Banner Archive for January 2009

Championship Chili Cook-off slated for Jan. 30


Carlisle Barracks' 21st Annual Championship Chili Cook-off is slated for Jan. 30 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Letort View Community Center.

    The event will include chili sampling, door prizes and entertainment by Bob Foltz.

    Chili Competitors: There is a $10 entry fee which includes a two-chili entry limit and a six foot table the evening of the event.

    There will be prizes for best chili, runner-up, people's choice and best creative theme and table presentation.

    For more information, call 245-4069.


Col. Bobby Towery, USAWC Chief of Staff
Two-hour delay, Wed. Jan 28

Carlisle Barracks personnel will have a 2-hour delay tomorrow (Wednesday, 28 January) for reporting to work.  Liberal leave is authorized for employees that are not able to report to work.  This does not apply to emergency essential employees. 

 Students will report to class at 10 a.m. hours.

 Be safe - the strength of the War College is in its people!


Army Substance Abuse Office
Energy Drink or Alcohol?

    We're sounding the alarm on a new health concern. They're delicious, they're thirst quenching, they're colorful, they're super-trendy…they're alcoholic. Your teens probably participate in the new trend of energy drinks…but is that all their getting? Many new "energy" drinks are actually alcoholic. Mixing Stimulants and Depressants is a growing trend in the Energy Drink industry. Energy drinks mixed with alcohol can cause dehydration, risk of seizures, and increased alcohol intake.

    The biggest concern about these new drinks is that anyone can buy them. They are not in the same aisle as the alcohol…they're right along side the energy drinks and soda. They are packaged the same, with bright colors and big text…it's the fine print you may miss; and so do clerks. An underage teen recently said, "They're awesome, I've bought a ton of them and I've never been ID'd before…clerks think it's just a normal Rockstar!"

    In addition to labeling and stocking problems, the Division of Substance Abuse is also concerned about marketing strategies. These products are being marketed to teens with suggestive names like "Pimp Juice," "Cocaine," "Rockstar 21." Be aware of anything that spells sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

    "Alcohol is already the number one drug used by teens," says the DSA. "They are also being targeted by energy drink manufacturers. Products are specifically being marketed to sell using sex, references to illicit drugs, questionable health benefits, and risky behaviors. That is one way the alcohol energy drinks are gaining market share, is by catering to those individuals that have to try the newest thing."

    For more information, contact Army Substance Abuse at 245-4576.

Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Editorial: An inauguration to remember

Jan. 21, 2009 - Not even the below-freezing temperatures could deter the massive crowds from witnessing history on Washington D.C.'s National Mall on Tuesday, January 20. Bundled in winter coats, gloves, hats, and scarves, the record breaking crowd braved not only the cold but also hours of travel, enormous security lines, and extreme confusion throughout the crammed city. And despite the obstacles faced, the crowd couldn't have been more exuberant. 

    The estimated two million in attendance for President Barack Obama's Inauguration lined metro stops throughout the District, Maryland, and Virginia as early as 4 a.m., hoping to get as close to the Capitol as possible.

    As I stepped out of the subway car before sunrise at the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop, the station's crowd resembled sardines packed into a can 10 times too small. As we moved painfully slowly, cameras were raised high above the immense sea of people, taking photos and recording video of the astonishing site surrounding us.

    "Yes, we can," echoed throughout the station as people cheered loudly, completely oblivious to what would normally be a claustrophobic and even dangerous situation. Something big was happening. The sheer anticipation of that moment when the first African-American would be sworn in as President of the United States was enough to make us easily forget the very uncomfortable circumstances.

    After the hour-long exit out of the metro station, I welcomed the freezing cold wind as the sun began to slowly rise over the Smithsonian Institutes lining the mall. The moment of solitude was short lived as I joined the herd and marched down Independence Avenue to one of the few security checkpoints for ticketed guests.  For two more hours I anxiously waited in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, treasuring every step I took closer to the reflecting pool below the Capitol.

    "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma," cheered those surrounding around me every few minutes as we moved through security. Once again, the crowd transcended their current situation and looked forward to the future.

     Inside the security gates young children sat on the shoulders of a parent, seniors were guided forward in wheelchairs, others ascended high into the trees, and families huddled together under one shared blanket. Songs and chants echoed proudly throughout the mall as we all looked eagerly onto the steps of the Capitol waiting for the noon hour when Barack Obama would take the oath of office. 

   The singing crowd silenced immediately as Obama finally stood before Chief Justice John Roberts and recited the oath. Tears streamed down faces, hats were thrown in the air, and thousands of flags were waved as people applauded and celebrated the new leader before them. 

     The president's speech continued to draw both applause and tears from the millions before him. For the man standing to my right and wearing a "Veterans for Obama" baseball cap, it was these words that brought tears to his eyes.    

    "As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains," President Obama said.

    "They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves."

    As the daughter of a Soldier and an Army civilian, these words weighed heavily on my mind as well. Still, for much of the speech I remained flooded with emotion, leaving many of the president's words muddled in my mind.  

    This was certainly a historic moment and I couldn't have been more proud of the American people for overcoming our past and electing an African-American as our President. 

   Still, for me, this day was much more than just about race.

   Since I was a kid, sitting on my father's shoulders at Bill Clinton's Inauguration in 1993, I have always cared about politics. I studied it in school, I interned on Capitol Hill, and I volunteered on campaigns. I was in the minority when I voted at 18 and again at 22. I never understood how much of America remained quiet at the polls.       

    Thus, what overwhelmed me on January 20, 2009 had little to do with the color of Barack Obama's skin, but the simple fact that so many people cared. They voted. They volunteered. They campaigned. They donated. They traveled to Washington to see this day.  We, the American people, reversed our downward spiral of political apathy.

    When I Iooked into millions of faces filled with smiles and tears that surrounded me on the mall, they were anything but apathetic.       

    Hopeful. Excited. Proud. Reassured. Happy.    

    As the sun set over our nation's capitol that evening we were a rainbow of these emotions. And the three simple words that rang throughout the city served as a reminder for all that we had overcome.

    "Yes, we did."




Spc. Jennifer Rick, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Teen AFAP symposium gives voice to post youth

Teens Kayla Roules and Kaylena Spears laugh while discussing topics at the Teen Army Family Action Plan conference Jan. 17. AFAP was designed to give servicemembers, Department of the Army civilians, spouses, family members and retirees a chance to voice concerns they have about their quality of life. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Rick.

January 21, 2009 – Each year Carlisle Barracks hosts an Army Family Action Plan symposium to hear from servicemembers, Department of the Army Civilians, spouses, retirees and family members about their quality of life in this military community.

    A separate conference welcomed post teens to raise their concerns and brainstorm potential solutions to the problems. This first-time effort to create a special day for teens took place Jan. 17 at the Letort View Community Center.

    The eight teens involved first had an open forum to talk about a variety of issues, and then vote on the three they felt were the most important. The teens brought up topics ranging from environmental issues to pets to pizza.

   Once the top three issues were identified, the teens were asked to write about them, detailing exactly what the problem is, who it affects and a recommendation for how the situation could be improved. After going through what each had written, they chose the best one and combined it with key words and ideas from the others to make sure their ideas as a whole were expressed correctly.

    "This is one of the most important things you can do," said Don Watkins of Child, Youth and School Services. Watkins was the facilitator for the event. "This is your opportunity to make a difference."

    Linda Slaughter, post Army Community Service director, also stressed the importance of being involved.

    "This is important not only to the teens here at Carlisle Barracks, but to teens all across the Army. Think globally – not just locally," she urged.

Laura Bremer and Justin Blackburn study the ideas the group had, and chose the ones they feel are the most important. The group chose issues regarding Youth Services and the Thorpe Gym as their top three issues. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Rick.

    The group chose to focus on Youth Services, and talked about the staff and the dwindling number of kids that use the facility.

    "There are really great things to do there – rock climbing, paintball trips – and no one goes," said Kaylena Spears.

    Their recommended solution was to involve the most important people at Youth Services – the kids – in the hiring process. They bounced around ideas of adding questions for potential staff members to answer and the teen council president sitting in on interviews.  They decided that the best solution is for new staff members to go through a trial period of two to four weeks, where they are being watched by the staff and the kids.
    During this time, the new staff member would have time to get adjusted to the new environment and people. This would give everyone the ability to see if the potential staff member is fit for the job and the environment, and the kids would be able to give their input as well.

    Another important issue to the teens is the building YS currently occupies. According to the teens, the building is small, and does not provide enough separation between the age groups that use it. The teens believe that the differences in age and maturity levels cause friction when they are all concentrated in one area.

    The teens were told that Carlisle Barracks is approved to begin work on a new Youth Services facility that would help alleviate some of their problems.

Kyle Sheghan, a senior at Carlisle High School, discusses issues and potential solutions during the Teen AFAP conference. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Rick.

    The teens' third discussion point was the Thorpe Gym policy that people must be 17 years old to use the free weight room. According to Kyle Sheghan, a senior at Carlisle High School, there are many teens on post who would love to use the weight room to prepare for the athletics they're involved in at school, but can't because of the age restriction.

    "If we can use the weight room at school, why can't we use it here?" he asked. "A lot of people can't get down town to work out, and the gym here is within walking distance."

    They proposed that at the age of 14, a teen could use the free weight room after having written parental consent, and going through a class where they would be shown the proper use of the equipment as well as important instructions for maintain their safety while working out.

    The teens' issues and recommendations have will be briefed to the Carlisle Barracks senior leadership, along with issues from adults at the larger AFAP symposium. This conference is being held Jan. 21-23 at the LVCC. Local issues will be resolved on post, and larger issues will be forwarded to the regional level to be addressed.  

Apply now for 2009 CBSC scholarship

    Jan. 26, 2009 -- The Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club is now accepting applications for the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club 2009 military family member merit scholarship.

Applicant qualifications:

  •  Possess a valid US Military Family Member ID Card.
  •  Be a CBSC member dependent under the age of 23.
  •  If not eligible to join the CBSC, Service member must be assigned to Carlisle Barracks
  •  Be a HS senior or currently enrolled in a college or university.
  •  Agree to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student during AY09-10.

    For Questions and Applications contact CBSCSCHOLARSHIP2009@HOTMAIL.COM

    Application packets must be postmarked NLT MARCH 20, 2009.


25th Army Ten-Miler has 30,000 runner cap, new packet pick up, EXPO location

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 26, 2009 - The Army Ten-Miler is celebrating its 25th   anniversary in 2009 and new and expanded programs will highlight the running of this historic, athletic event Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C., with the start and finish at the Pentagon.

    Race officials announced that this year's field will be expanded to 30,000 runners.

    "The race filled in a record 21 days last year so we increased the runner field to allow more people to participate in this year's 25th anniversary race," Jim Vandak, race director, said..

    To accommodate the additional runners, the race's two-day packet pickup and EXPO will move to the D.C. Armory, while the well-established and popular pre-race GEICO Pasta Dinner, featuring the United States Army's noncommissioned officer leadership, will remain at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel with an expanded seating capacity.

    This year's dinner will be a special event, race officials said, because the secretary of the Army, Pete Geren, and the Army chief of staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., have declared 2009 as the Year of the NCO.  

    Officials also confirmed that the Army Ten-Miler will use a wave start again this year to ensure a safe and competitive race. 

    "We have been able to incrementally increase the runner's field over the years and maintain safety and quality standards," Vandak said. 

    Adding, "Last year, 99 percent of our runners gave the race a good or excellent rating. We are very excited about this 25th anniversary race and will be working hard to provide a great race for all our runners."

    The DC Armory, located at 2001 East Capital Street near RFK Stadium in Washington, is accessible from the Stadium/Armory Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines.

    The Lead Sponsors for the 2009 race are the Association of the United States Army and KBR, an AUSA sustaining member. 

    AUSA is also the race's founding sponsor beginning its support at the first race on Oct. 12, 1985, when 1,379 runners crossed the finish line at the Pentagon's River Entrance.

              In 2008, the Army Ten-Miler had 18,960 finishers -- with military and civilian runners coming from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, Romania and Canada.


          Online registration for the race and pasta dinner reservations opens Wednesday, April 1, at <> . 

    Despite the increased runner field, race officials expect the race to sell out by mid-May and encourage runners and teams to sign up early to assure entry. 

    Last year 99.8 percent of the runners registered online and the race closed out in a record breaking 21 days. The pasta dinner sold out in a record 16 days.

          Military installations can pre-pay for team entries (no less than four, no more than eight runners) again this year. 

    After securing their pre-paid entries installations will have until Aug. 14 to register their final team roster for the October Army Ten-Miler. 


2009 Army Ten-Miler

          The 25th Army Ten-Miler takes place in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Oct. 4, the day before the opening of the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

          Produced by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, this Army tradition annually attracts runners from around the world to compete for top honors in over 27 individual and team divisions. 

    Acclaimed for its fast, scenic course filled with national landmarks and monuments, the Army Ten-Miler is the only running event to start and finish at the Pentagon.

          Race weekend activities are open to the public and include a press conference, race EXPO with over 60 vendors, special clinics, static displays, youth activities and more. 

          For more information on the Army's premier running event visit <> .


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Local group provides support to local, international communities 

  Jan. 23, 2009 -- A local volunteer organization made up of Army War College students, staff, and faculty has raised more than $2500 for local and international charities. 

  Noncommissioned officers and officers of all Services and components comprise the Carlisle Barracks Chapter of ROCKS, Inc.  Named for Medal of Honor winner Maj. Gen. Charles C. Rogers, the chapter was established in 2000 and was formed with the mission of providing fellowship, professional networking and mentorship.

  "The organization provides a rich environment to meet professionals who aspire to help others in need who are less fortunate from life's circumstances," said Col. Xavier Stewart, president of the Carlisle Barracks chapter.  "It is a venue for me to learn from, grow, develop and share my talents, time and treasures with the membership at large and the Carlisle community."

  Providing community and world-wide support is an important mission of the organization. 

  Outreach support to date includes:

·         $1,000 for the United Church of Christ in the CROP Walk/Run Campaign for the World Church Services with one-third of the money going to the food bank in Harrisburg and two-thirds to Africa for the purchase of water, blankets, goats and laying hens

·         $1,250 for the HEIFER program for purchasing milking cows for sustainability of African villages

·         Supporting 30 families in the Harrisburg area through the Angel Tree program, providing Christmas gifts for children whose parents are incarcerated

·         Providing volunteers for the Carlisle Salvation Army

·         Providing volunteers for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation

·         Providing canned goods for the Harrisburg Food Bank

  The chapter is currently accepting applications for two $500 scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year.  The purpose of the Maj. Gen. Charles C. Rogers Achievement Scholarship is to provide recognition, inspiration and encouragement to aspiring minority high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a college or technical degree.  

   "I am extremely impressed with how the organization reaches out to the local community," said Col. Randall Cheeseborough, ROCKS member.  "Numerous volunteer hours have been invested to provide great service to our community."

  The non-profit organization also provides mentorship, scholarships, and outreach to active and retired commissioned officers, reserve component officers, warrant officers and ROTC cadets.

  "Success today is contingent on one's ability to effectively network and build friendships," said Lt. Col Terrance Fields, ROCKS member.  "Through the ROCKS we can share stories, develop skills and build coalitions that can propel us personally and professionally."

History of The ROCKS, Inc.

  Army officers attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., began to meet informally in order to get to know each other better.  Many knew one another from college or other military assignments and also had something else in common – how to "survive" at Fort Leavenworth.  Jokingly they named themselves "Blue Geese" a term well known at CGSC.  After departing from CGSC, many of the officers were assigned to the Pentagon and the D.C. area where they continued to meet informally. 

  In the following years the group continued to grow and many of the officers were reassigned in and out of the D.C. area.  The need for a more structured organization was recognized and a formal meeting was held on Oct. 9, 1974.  Resulting from that meeting, officers present decided to call themselves the "No Name Club."

  A meeting was held on Dec. 1, 1974, for the purpose of naming the group when shocking news was received that one of their Geese and Charter member, who was expected to attend the meeting was killed in a plane crash.  Brig. Gen. Roscoe (Rock) C. Cartwright and his wife Gloria were returning from visiting their daughter in Columbus, Ohio, when the plane crashed enroute to Dulles Airport. 

  Following the Cartwright funeral, a special meeting was called in which organization members voted to administer the Roscoe C. Cartwright Scholarship Fund and to name the organization "ROCKS" in honor of Brig. Gen. Cartwright.  (The Rocket, The ROCKS, Inc., Winter 2007)

  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., The ROCKS, Inc., has chapters throughout the U.S. and its territories.



Lori Mezoff, America's Army game public relations director
America's Army 3 game to be released this year


A partial screen shot depicts an operating environment in the America's Army 3 game, to be released later this year. Courtesy photo.

SILVER SPRING, Md. (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2009) - Six years after the U.S. Army revolutionized military action games with the launch of the free personal computer game America's Army, the Army has announced the upcoming release of America's Army 3.

America's Army is the only free action game that delivers an authentic Army experience, officials said, by reflecting the training, technology, actions and career advancement of a Soldier within a unique exciting game experience.

AA3, which will be rated T for Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, will be released later this year. As with previous versions of America's Army, officials said AA3 will be constantly updated to include new features and missions and to highlight new technologies being incorporated in today's Army.

Using the state-of-the-art Unreal Engine 3, America's Army game developers brought the most popular trademark gameplay features from the previous versions to AA3. Highlights include authentic weapons and technologies, realistic training and exciting gameplay missions.

More detailed interaction

AA3 will provide players new insights into the Army and Soldiering while making the game easier to play, easier to install and easier to download, according to its producers

"In AA3 we've taken all of the best features in AA2, incorporated feedback from the AA community and added the latest technology to develop a high-tech game that can be customized by the player to create a much more detailed interactive experience," said Michael Bode, executive producer of the America's Army game. "One of our key design philosophies is to make the game easily accessible to a new player, while at the same time keeping a deeper layer of complexity for the more advanced players to discover and take advantage of."

AA3 highlights different aspects of the Army from Army Values and the Warrior Ethos to Army career opportunities and lifestyles both on and off duty. Through their in-game characters, AA3 players will be able to experience the way Soldiers train, live, and advance in the Army. AA3 players will also experience different types of technologies and equipment used by the Army's high-tech Soldier.

Values integral to ROE

Players are bound by Rules of Engagement, or ROE, and gain experience as they navigate challenges in team-based, multiplayer, force-on-force operations. In the game, as in the Army, accomplishing missions requires teamwork and adherence to the seven Army Core Values. In the game, a player's actions and demonstrated Army values will have consequences that are integral to success in gameplay and will affect a player's career progression.

"With AA3, we're taking military gaming to an all new level where every detail counts," said Col. Casey Wardynski, originator and director of the America's Army game project. "We want our America's Army 3 players to have a greater understanding of the Army and its values. Our Soldiers are aspirational figures and our players are able to virtually experience many aspects of a Soldier's life from their training, to their missions, to the way the Army has influenced their lives."

As with the previous America's Army games, AA3's authenticity is second-to-none, Wardynski said. The Army development team worked closely with subject-matter experts from across the Army to make sure that everything about the game is as realistic as possible.

Unreal Engine 3 delivers realism

AA3 has more authentic military elements including training, technology, weapons, and audio than any other military game. Built on Unreal Engine 3, AA3 delivers stunningly realistic environments, lighting effects, animations, and team-based experiences.

AA3 players will have persistent characters that they customize by embarking on career paths in which they advance by completing specialized training and accomplishing missions. The evolution of the player's career follows the same progression as it would in the Army.

Players are rewarded at significant milestones, such as graduation from basic training or returning from a deployment, through pride moments -- vignettes represented visually as an achievement screen, movie or a slide show. These pride moments transition the player from one state of training or character progression to another.

Initially, the core of the gameplay focuses on an Infantry Soldier (11B military occupational specialty). Players can select from a variety of roles that the 11B performs such as Rifleman, Automatic Rifleman, Designated Marksman and Grenadier.

New specialties coming

The first additional MOS players can explore is 68W Health Care Specialist (Combat Medic) which will be added this summer. Players who complete advanced individual training modules can take on new MOS roles that will affect gameplay. For example, by completing medic training, players will be able to treat minor and major injuries in single-player training missions and render advanced medical aid in multi-player missions.

In subsequent game releases, players who complete Combat Engineer training will be able to assist in mission pre-planning, such as emplacing an obstacle to impede the mobility of enemy forces.

Training is a key element in the AA3 game just as it is in the Army, the game producers say. The game offers a variety of new training levels that will give players an advantage. After completing basic training, players can go to advanced training to increase their in-game skill level and progress in their Army career.

Success in the game earns players the privilege of taking specialized training. This specialized training allows players to unlock new abilities and gear, and to customize the gear they carry as well as their equipment loadout.

As players advance, they will be able to 'cross-train' on many different MOSs available in today's Army. Such players will be highly sought after - according to the game producers -- due to the capabilities they bring to multi-player missions. Additionally, as a new feature, players will have the ability to join online games with limited capabilities using the "instant action" feature.

About America's Army

The Army creates and distributes America's Army so that young Americans can virtually explore Soldiering in the U.S. Army like Soldiers experience it - as individuals and as members of teams, the game producers said.

Through the game's virtual experiences, young Americans can explore the Army from basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and medic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to operations in defense of freedom. Along the way, they can join elite Army units and experience the strength of Army teamwork, values and technology within an engaging environment.

The game has become an online phenomenon, consistently ranking among the most popular PC action games played online. The games are rated T for Teen and can be downloaded free from various partners listed on the site. They are also distributed at local Army Recruiting stations, ROTC Detachments and Army events.

The Army launched the first version America's Army in July of 2002, and has released major updates to the game every few months. These releases feature new technologies, missions, Army units and occupations. In keeping with the dynamic nature of Soldiering, the America's Army game will continue to expand and will allow players to explore the Army of today, tomorrow and the future, officials said. They said America's Army 3 will be an entirely new version of the game.


Maj. Mike Humphreys, 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team
New facility pours needed water Into Baghdad


Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, speaks to a crowd of more than 200 people at the official opening of the Sadr City Rusafa Water Treatment Facility in the Hay Ur neighborhood of Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district, Jan. 21, 2009. Photo by Maj. Michael Humphreys  

BAGHDAD, Jan. 23, 2009 – A ceremony marked the official opening of a new water treatment facility that will deliver much-needed fresh water to the people of northeastern Baghdad.     
    About 200 people, including Baghdad Mayor Navet Al Essawi and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker, attended the Jan. 21 ceremony at the Sadr City Rusafa Water Treatment Facility, located in the Hay Ur neighborhood of Baghdad's Adhamiyah district.
    The modern facility will help shape the future of Baghdad and Iraq, Crocker said.
    "This is truly a strategic project," the ambassador said. "It provides 96,000 cubic meters of water to Baghdad per day, and the United States of America is proud and pleased to have financed this project and to see it through to completion with our close friends and our partners in the mayoralty and the government."
    The $65 million facility, completed in October, took three years to build. It provides 4,000 cubic meters of fresh water per hour to northeastern Baghdad, to include 27 sectors of Sadr City.
    "This project is the most important and probably the biggest project for Sadr City," Al Essawi said. "This project and others like it will clear the path of terrorism."
    The ceremony served not only to demonstrate a return of essential services to the region, but was a symbol of closure for an area that had been marred by violence for so long, said Maj. Brian Horine, the civil military operations officer for the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
    "This opening is about what the government of Iraq has done for the people. This facility was started more than two years ago when Sadr City was in the height of bad times," the Phoenix native said. "Today, security and stability has returned, allowing this to happen."
     The mayor thanked coalition forces for their help and guidance in making the new facility a reality.
    Horine said the water treatment facility is just a start to many equally important projects soon to be completed, including a nearby electric substation that will distribute reliable power to the people of Sadr City.
    Baghdad and Afghan government officials are committed to the people, the mayor said.
    "The people of Sadr City and their neighbors have suffered from a water deficiency for 10 years. Now they can rest and be secure that they have someone to look after them," Al Essawi said.

Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service
Gates cites positive response to pending Guantanamo closure

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2009 - President Barack Obama's decision to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has made a positive impression in the world community, and that will assist America in its fight against global terrorism, the Defense Department's top official said here today.

    Closing Guantanamo "creates additional opportunities for us in terms of partnering with other countries and other countries' eagerness to work with us in dealing with violent extremists," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during a Pentagon news conference.

    Some countries apparently are mulling taking in detainees, Gates said, as part of the process of shuttering Guantanamo.

    Such a development, Gates said, indicates that news of Guantanamo's impending closure "is being positively received" across the world.

    "As I said, I think that creates opportunities for us," Gates said.

    Obama earlier today signed three executive orders, one of which directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year. Another order signed by the president directs the stand up of a special interagency task force that will study the future disposition of present Guantanamo detainees that cannot be transferred to other countries and that pose a serious danger to the United States.

    Obama said at the signing ceremony that his executive order impacting Guantanamo's detainee operations was issued "to effect the appropriate disposition of individuals currently detained by the [Defense Department] at Guantanamo, and promptly to close the detention facility at Guantanamo consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interest of justice."

    A process will be developed, Obama continued, to implement closure of the detainee center at Guantanamo "no later than one year from now."

    Obama directed Gates on Jan. 20 to cease referring any new cases through the military-commissions process at Guantanamo Bay and to request 120-day continuances on all ongoing active cases there.

    Management of housing and legal proceedings involving Guantanamo's detainee population has been under the purview of the Defense Department since the detention center was opened shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

    Gates has recommended shutting down the Guantanamo detention center since he was appointed defense secretary more than two years ago.

    "Clearly the challenge that faces us -- and that I've acknowledged before -- is figuring out how do we close Guantanamo and at the same time safeguard the security of the American people," Gates said. "And that's the challenge we will continue to face.

    "I believe that there are answers to those questions," the secretary continued, "but we clearly have a lot of work to do and the executive order spells out, I think, the work that has to be done to get there."

    Gates said he was among the least-qualified people to offer an opinion as to how detainees should or would be handled in the legal system after leaving Guantanamo.

    "I think those recommendations will be made by the [U.S.] Justice Department, perhaps with the input of the White House Counsel for the President," Gates said.

    Another executive order that was signed by Obama today directs the U.S. military and other U.S. agencies to follow the Army Field Manual, which bans torture when interrogating detainees "to promote the safe, lawful and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody," Obama said.

    The directive, he added, highlights the importance for the United States to comply with the Geneva Conventions, which ban torture and specify humane treatment of all prisoners during wartime. Some detainees held at Guantanamo have said that they were tortured.

    "I think you have to weigh the costs of the more severe interrogation measures with, as the president talked about in his inaugural address, our values and the impact on our values," said Gates, who has also served as director of the CIA.

    Gates added, "We know a lot more about al-Qaida now than we did during the early years" of the war against terrorism. Consequently, the requirement "for measures that go outside the Army Field Manual is dramatically less than it was several years ago," he said.

   "So, based on my experience in both arenas, I am very comfortable with where the executive order places us," Gates said.

    The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses that can be tried by military commission, according to a military commissions fact sheet.

    The detention center at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of global war on terrorism that followed the 9/11 attacks.

    About 250 people are being held at Guantanamo today, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.


Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service
Senate confirms Clinton as Secretary of State

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – The Senate voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to confirm Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and as a member of President Barack Obama's national security team. 
    The Senate confirmed Clinton's nomination by a 94-to-2 vote.
    Clinton has represented New York since her election in 2000 and has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She supported military action in Afghanistan, but opposed recent actions in Iraq. In the Senate, she sponsored legislation to increase the size of the Army and has consistently worked to help military families.
    Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at her confirmation hearing she looks forward to working with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. She noted Gates' distinguished record of service to the country and belief in a strong partnership between the Defense and State departments.
    As it works to take on more responsibility in foreign policy, she added, the State Department will have to work to disprove the presumption that the military can move more quickly and work more effectively.
    "I'm working with Secretary Gates," the senator said. "He's very open to cooperative efforts. But we have to prove that we can shoulder this responsibility." She cited the need to prove the State Department can handle stabilization, reconstruction and other "outcomes-oriented development aid" quickly and without enormous bureaucracy.
    Clinton emphasized during her confirmation hearing the importance of diplomacy in promoting national security.
    "Diplomacy is hard work, but when we work hard, diplomacy can work -- not just to diffuse tensions, but achieve results that advance our security, interests and values," she said.

John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service
White House web site lays out National Security Agenda

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – As President Barack Obama and the first family began moving into the presidential residence here yesterday, the administration unpacked a new presidential agenda on the White House’s official Web site.

    Shortly after Obama took the oath of office, the president’s agenda, including Obama’s strategy for defense and Middle East policy, was uploaded to 

    According to the agenda, the administration supports the effort begun in 2007 to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000 to help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families. 

    The new commander in chief also plans to create a Military Families Advisory Board to make senior policymakers and the public more aware of military families' concerns. Meanwhile, a vignette on the site about first lady Michelle Obama states that supporting military families is an issue “close to her heart,” and an issue on which she intends to focus her efforts. 

    Many of the policies cited online mirror the items Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed on their campaign and transition Web sites. 

    An issue affecting both military members and their families is the policy of “stop-loss” that requires selected troops to remain in uniform after their service contracts expire. The president has promised to cease these mandatory extensions. 

    “Obama and Biden will end the stop-loss policy and establish predictability in deployments so that active duty and reserves know what they can and must expect,” the site states. 

    Another piece of Obama’s defense agenda is building defense capabilities for the 21st century by fully equipping troops -- including members of the National Guard and reserves -- for their missions, and balancing conventional and counterinsurgency weapons systems. The president also advocates reforming a corruptible contracting process while maintaining aerial and naval capabilities, and supporting a pragmatic and cost-effective missile defense system. 

    Obama and Biden have vowed to build up special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, and other units and capabilities that are in chronic short supply; to invest in foreign language training, cultural awareness, human intelligence and other needed counterinsurgency and stabilization skill sets; and to create a more robust capacity to train, equip and advise foreign security forces. 

    This agenda item dovetails with the administration’s pledge to develop “whole-of-government” initiatives to spur global stability, in which military and civilian efforts are linked and a 25,000-strong Civilian Assistance Corps consisting of doctors, lawyers, engineers and police is formed as a deployable unit available in times of domestic or international need. 

    On foreign policy, the site describes the incoming administration’s plans for U.S. force posturing in the Middle East: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden will responsibly end the war in Iraq so that we can renew our military strength [and] dedicate more resources to the fight against the Taliban and [al-Qaida] in Afghanistan.” 

    With regard to U.S. force levels in Iraq, a newly enacted agreement between Washington and Baghdad sets the legal framework for a timeline of withdrawal. The status-of-forces agreement, which became effective Jan. 1, stipulates that American combat forces pull back from cities and villages to major bases by June 30, 2009. 

    The deal also calls for all American troops to vacate Iraq by the last day of 2011, though officials point out that a withdrawal timeline is subject to change according to political circumstances. 

    In Afghanistan, the Pentagon is expected to add about 25,000 additional troops over the next 12 to 18 months, according to defense officials. Some 32,000 American forces currently are deployed there. 

    Both Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who replaced Donald H. Rumsfeld as then-President George W. Bush’s defense secretary and whom Obama has retained as Pentagon chief, have spoken about the need to push for stronger commitment from NATO allies in Afghanistan. 

    During a news conference last month in the Afghan capital of Kandahar, the secretary said that some NATO allies believe they and their Afghan counterparts are holding their own in some areas of fighting. 

    “But I think everybody would agree that holding your own isn't good enough,” Gates said. The Obama White House, meanwhile, said it “will increase our troop levels in Afghanistan [and] press our allies in NATO to do the same.” 

    “America's traditional alliances, such as NATO, must be transformed and strengthened, including on common security concerns like Afghanistan, homeland security, and counterterrorism,” the Web site states.

Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Great Decisions Lecture Series 2009
Next:  Feb 6, Energy & the U.S. Economy, presented by Col. Michael Moon

Jan. 30, 2009 -- Two speakers have explored topics important to American citizens for the Great Decisions program held at Carlisle Barracks with Army War College speakers. The next will take on the topic of Energy and the U.S. Economy, Feb. 6.

Col. Jim Helis, recently returned from a six-month deployment in Afghanistan, discussed the challenges between Afghanistan and Pakistan along with his own personal experiences as the Chief of Plans, International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. View the video here.

Amb. Cynthia Efird, Deputy Commandant for International Affairs, spoke Jan. 30 about the global food crisis.

NEXT:  Feb 6 at 1 p.m. in the Post Chapel Assembly Room.   The nation faces a skyrocketing price of oil, the American automakers efforts to restructure factories, Americans changing travel habits, and rising energy demands of developing countries. Col. Michael Moon, USAWC faculty member, will explore the question: What steps should the Obama Administration take to align the US economy with new energy realities? 

  The Great Decisions lecture series is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club. This well-attended program has been a source of information for more than 40 years. Great Decisions is a nationwide program to promote citizens' knowledge and debate of significant national issues.



C. Todd Lopez, Army News Service gets facelift in new year


WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 12, 2009) -- Come Jan.16, the official Web site of the United States Army will sport a new look.
    The new site features a graphic redesign, a new "subdued" color palette, and a downplaying of page graphic elements so user focus will be on content and not flashy graphics. Billed as a "refresh" of the "official homepage of the United States Army," the newly designed will be more than just a change to the look and feel of the site, however.
    The new also includes software to ensure more streamlined delivery of video content, additional servers to host content closer to the user, expanded image galleries, an increased emphasis on visual products, and streamlined navigation menus to help users find information more quickly.
    "We wanted to make it easier for visitors to find what they wanted on the site," said Lt. Col. Kevin Arata, director of the Army's online and social media division. "We also wanted to focus more on visual content and new media."
    Each print story page on the site will now feature larger photographs at the top of the page. Articles with multiple photos will automatically display "slide shows" to make it easier for users to see all images associated with a story.
    The Army's official Web site has hosted video content for several years now, but Arata said the site was having difficulty handling the bandwidth associated with video content. The site redesign will feature software that makes it easier to stream video content to the user. The site will also utilize multiple servers strategically placed around the world, so bandwidth-intensive content is located closer to the user.
    Due to the new video software, video content can now also be higher quality. And users can share the best of those videos with friends and family via mail-to options and URLs that allow users to embed video into their own Web pages.
    "The neat thing," Arata said, "is that if I want to share a video I find on with my dad, I can easily do that now."
    The Jan. 16 refresh of will also feature links on content that allow users to tag stories and video pieces using social bookmarking links like Delicious, Digg and Reddit.
    The January refresh is just foreshadowing of even better things to come for, Arata said.
    "The refreshed website launched in January is the first step in what will ultimately be a totally redesigned website launched in October 2009," he said. "The website in October will incorporate the latest in technology to ensure we have a world class website for our world class Army."


Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service
Obama vows not to waver in America's defense


President Barack Obama waves to the crowd at the conclusion of his inaugural address, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. The 44th president of the United States assumed his duties as commander in chief and vowed not to waver in defending America. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley.  

The inaguration ceremony can be seen here.

For more visit

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2009 – President Barack Obama pledged a "prudent use" of military power as the nation works toward "ushering in a new era of peace" in his inaugural address to the nation today.

    "Our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint," he said from the west side of the Capitol here after taking the oath of office as the 44th president. An estimated 2 million people crowded the National Mall and surrounding area to hear his address.
    The use of these principles will allow America to develop greater understanding of other nations and greater cooperation against common threats from them, he said.
    "We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan," Obama said. "With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet."
  Obama said Americans will not apologize for their way of life, nor waver in its defense. "And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you," he said.
    America is a country of doers and risk-takers; it is an immigrant country where each generation worked hard to provide for the next, he said.
    "For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life," Obama said. "For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
    "For us, they fought and died in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sahn," he continued. "Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions, greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."
    Americans today must continue this journey, he said. It is time for hard decisions and a time of change. "Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions, that time has surely passed," he said. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
    Obama rejected the idea that the nation has to choose between its safety and its ideals. "Our Founding Fathers -- faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine -- drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
    In the United States, all languages are spoken, all religions are practiced, and all good people are welcomed, he said. "And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace," he said.
    Obama reached out to the nations of the world in his speech. He told them that America "is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."
    He also spoke to the Muslim world, saying America seeks a new way forward, based on mutual interest and respect.
    "As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains," the president said. "They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington [National Cemetery] whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves."
    He called on all Americans to shoulder that burden of service. He said it is the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.
    "Greatness is never a given. It must be earned," he said. "Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame."
    The faith and determination of Americans can serve the nation well in a time rife with challenges.
    "Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," the president said. "Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."
    Americans have lost their homes, their jobs, their businesses, and health care is too costly, he said. Schools are failing too many, and the American energy policy plays into the hands of the nation's enemies.
    "These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics," he said.
    These are disturbing, but more disturbing is a sapping of confidence and the fear that with this decline the next generation must lower its sights, he said.
    "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real," the president said. "They are serious, and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met."
    While the challenges of this age are new, the values which have seen the country through in the past will best serve the nation, Obama said. "Honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old, but these things are true," he said.
    America must return to these truths, he said. "What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task," Obama said.
    "This is the price and the promise of citizenship," he said. "This is the source of our confidence, the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny."
    If Americans seize this responsibility, then the challenges will be surmounted, he said.
    "Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations," Obama said.

Julie Myer of the Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club presents $800 checks to Sherrie Davis of the American Red Cross and Col. George Teague of the Samaritan Fellowship at a luncheon Jan. 28 at the Letort View Community Center. 
    Each year the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club provides financial assistance to eligible groups or organizations that meet the criteria established by the club.  
    The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
    The Samaritan Fellowship of Carlisle is a nonprofit charity providing monetary assistance and furniture to any area person or family in need, to assist with rent payment, utility bills, medical bills, auto repair, purchase of food or clothing. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Rick.


Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service
Hero of Hudson River crash landing got start in Air Force

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2009 – The pilot who crash-landed a crippled airliner in New York's Hudson River this afternoon, saving 155 lives on board, is an Air Force Academy graduate who received his pilot training in the Air Force.
    Chelsey B. "Sully" Sullenberger steered US Airways Flight 1549 toward the river when both engines failed less than five minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. All 150 passengers and five crew members survived the incident. 
   Sullenberger is an Air Force Academy graduate who served in the Air Force from 1973 to 1980, according to his resume posted on the homepage of his company, Safety Reliability Methods, Inc.
    He was an U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II fighter pilot who served as a flight leader and training officer in Europe and the Pacific. He was also the Blue Force mission commander during Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. 
    President George W. Bush and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg were among the first to publicly laud Sullenberger for quick thinking and heroism that averted a catastrophe.
    Bloomberg noted during an early evening news conference that Sullenberger did not leave the aircraft as it floated in the river until he had confirmed that every passenger had been safely evacuated.
    "It would appear the pilot did a masterful job of landing in the river and making sure everybody got out," Bloomberg said. "I had a long conversation with the pilot. He walked the plane twice and made sure that everybody was out."
    Bush, in a statement released by the White House, said his administration is coordinating with state and local officials to respond to the incident as it monitors the situation.
    "Laura and I are inspired by the skill and heroism of the flight crew as well as the dedication and selflessness of the emergency responders and volunteers who rescued passengers from the icy waters of the Hudson," he said. "We send our thoughts and prayers to all involved in the accident."  

Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service
President praises troops in farewell speech


President George W. Bush delivers his farewell address to the nation Thursday evening, Jan. 15, 2009, from the East Room of the White House, thanking the American people for their support and trust. White House photo by Chris Greenberg.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2009 – President George W. Bush singled out military members for their selfless service and cited his administration's accomplishments over the past eight years during his farewell address to the nation. 
    America owes a debt of gratitude to all its citizens who volunteer to defend the nation in this time of danger, Bush said tonight from the White House.
    "I have cherished meeting these selfless patriots and their families," he said. "And to all our men and women in uniform listening tonight: There has been no higher honor than serving as your commander in chief."
    Bush delivered the country's best wishes to his successor President-elect Barack Obama and his family, calling the inauguration of the first African-American president a chance for the world to see the vitality of American democracy.
    "This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation," the president said.
    Bush remarked on the central event of his presidency -- the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 Americans.
    "I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock," he said. "I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93.
    "I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son's police shield as a reminder of all that was lost," he said. "And I still carry his badge."
    For most Americans, life was able to return to normal, but his never did, the president said. "Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation," he said. "And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe."
    Bush spoke of the accomplishments that grew out of 9/11 including the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, the transformation of the military and improved cooperation among intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
    "Our nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists' movements, freeze their finances and break up their plots," he said. "And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them."
    Soon after the 9/11 attacks, coalition forces went into Afghanistan to eliminate the safe havens from which al-Qaida terrorists planned, trained for and financed the attacks.
    "Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al-Qaida and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school," Bush said.
    U.S. forces also participated in providing freedom to millions of Iraqis who lived under a brutal dictatorship. The country was once a sworn enemy of America, but is now "an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States," the president said.
    Bush admitted that there is legitimate debate about many of his decisions. "But there can be little debate about the results," he said.
    "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil," he continued. "This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe -- law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States armed forces."
    The president said the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a larger ideological conflict between two radically differing visions of the future.
    "Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience and marks unbelievers for murder," he said. "The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace."
    Advancing the belief in freedom and justice is the only way for America to defend itself, Bush said. "When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror," he said. "When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism."
    He may have done some things differently, Bush said. "Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind," he said. "I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions."
    The president said terrorism remains the greatest threat to the United States.
    "Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again," he said. "America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard."
    America must continue to engage with the nations of the world and reject isolationism and protectionism, he said. Retreating would only invite danger.
    "In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad," he said. "If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led."
    America must maintain its moral clarity in the future. "I have often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable," he said. "But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right.
    "This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace," the president said.
    Even in tough times, Bush remains optimistic because he has faith in Americans.
    He spoke of Marine Staff Sgt. Aubrey McDade, who charged into an ambush in Iraq and rescued three of his fellow Marines, and of Dr. Bill Krissoff, a surgeon from California.
    "His son Nathan, a Marine, gave his life in Iraq," Bush said. "When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son."
    Krissoff was 60 years old - 18 years above the age limit -- but his petition for a waiver was granted. "For the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine," the president said. Now a lieutenant commander, he soon will deploy to Iraq where he will help save America's wounded warriors and uphold the legacy of his fallen son.
    "In citizens like these, we see the best of our country -- resilient and hopeful, caring and strong," the president said. "These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great nation will never tire, never falter, and never fail."

Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
PACOM commander talks issues with USAWC students


Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, speaks to Army War College students, staff and faculty in Bliss Hall on Jan. 16. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Jan. 16, 2009 – The commander of forces in the Pacific Ocean region shared his insights into the challenges of the regions and the importance of partnerships during a talk to Army War College students in Bliss Hall on Jan. 16.

    Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, made his second visit to the War College and spoke to the students for about 30 minutes before taking their questions. He shared insights of his more than 30-year naval career and the challenges that face the Navy and other U.S. forces in the region.

    Keating though, started off by commenting on the single-digit weather that had recently barreled into the area.

    "For those of us who live in Hawaii these temperatures are a bit bracing," he said with a laugh.  PACOM headquarters is at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

   Keating then gave an overview of the PACOM area of responsibility, which comprises 51 percent of the earth. It encompasses about half the earth's surface, stretching from the west coast of the United States to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole.

    "I got to visit about half of them during my recent assignment," said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Coble, student. Coble recently served in the region.  "PACOM is a wonderfully diverse command."


 Keating answers a question. Photo by Megan Clugh.

    One of those areas of responsibility is the Strait of Malacca, through which 85 percent of the world's oil flows through each year.

   "The security in areas like these is hugely important not only to us, but to the entire world," he said.

   Partnership is a huge characteristic of the region according to Keating. Partners in recent exercises have included India, Japan, Australia, and Singapore. 

    He discussed the role of China in the region, to include environmental concerns and the desire to bring them into the regional partnership.

   "Partner with us, there is plenty of room, work with us," he said. 

   The activities in the regions just aren't military he said, pointing to recent disaster relief missions in Burma and the Philippines. PACOM has participated in more than 20 disaster relief operations in 12 countries and one U.S. territory (Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Palau, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Guam) since 1996.

    "These types of missions help reinforce the importance of partnerships," he said.

    Keating spoke as part of the Theater Strategy and Campaigning course, which challenges students to apply their skills to develop and evaluate near and long-term plans and programs. 

     His experience as a leader made him a perfect fit to speak during this course according to Navy Capt. Tom Wedding, student, who noted Keating's numerous leadership positions throughout his career in many important regions."

   Questions for Keating included the use of soft power versus hard power, military and political interactions with China and steps being taken to strengthen security in the region.

PACOM background

    PACOM military personnel number approximately 250,000, or about one-fifth of total U.S. military strength. U.S. Navy and Marine forces are numerically the largest elements in the AOR.

    The Pacific Fleet includes five aircraft carrier strike groups and Marine Corps Pacific possesses about two-thirds of U.S. Marine Corps combat strength. The entire Navy-Marine team comprises more than 135,000 personnel, 180 ships, and 1,400 aircraft. U.S. Air Forces Pacific comprises approximately 39,000 airmen and 350 aircraft; and Army, Pacific has about 50,000 personnel, including four Stryker brigades. PACOM also has more than 1,200 Special Operations personnel. Finally, there are more than 13,000 Coast Guard personnel available to support U.S. military forces in the region.

    PACOM participates in many exercises and other engagement activities with foreign military forces.

Major exercises include:

- TALISMAN SABER: A biennial Australia/United bilateral in a short warning, power projection, forcible entry scenario. The exercise is a key opportunity to train Australian and US combined forces in mid to high-intensity combat operations using training areas in Australia

- COBRA GOLD: A joint/combined exercise with Thailand designed to improve U.S./Thai combat readiness and joint/combined interoperability.

- BALIKATAN: A joint exercise with the Republic of the Philippines and the U.S. to improve combat readiness and interoperability.

- KEEN SWORD/KEEN EDGE: Joint/bilateral training exercises (field training/simulation, respectively) to increase combat readiness and joint/bilateral interoperability of U.S. Forces and Japan Self-Defense Forces for the defense of Japan.

- RIM OF THE PACIFIC: A biennial large-scale multinational power projection/sea control exercise. In 2000, participants included the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Chile and the United Kingdom.


Dee Connelly, Registered Nurse, Army Physical Fitness Research Institute
Blood Pressure - Know Your Numbers  

Dee Connelly, registered nurse at the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, takes the blood pressure of another APFRI staff member, Chris Kusmiesz at the APFRI assessment center. Courtesy photo.

High blood pressure is a factor in 67% of heart attacks and 77% of strokes in the United States.  Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries.  When the force stays too high, it becomes a life-threatening condition called high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. An estimated one in every three Americans has high blood pressure.  In one study done on individuals between 40-55 years of age, over 16% of participants were found to have high blood pressure while over 75% were found to have above normal blood pressure, also known as prehypertension.  Prehypertension places an individual at increased risk for heart disease while high blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease.  

    Blood pressure is measured as the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure or top number) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure or bottom number).  Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is considered normal when it is below 120/80mmHg.  Blood pressure that measures between120-139mmHg over 80-89mmHg is considered prehypertension.  If it measures in the range of 140/90mmHg or higher it is high blood pressure or hypertension. 

    Listed below are the categories of blood pressure levels as determined by the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Categories for Blood Pressure
Levels in Adults

(Ages 18 Years and Older)

  Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)
Category Systolic   Diastolic
Normal < 120 and < 80
Prehypertension 120-139 or 80-89
High Blood Pressure  
Stage 1 Hypertension 140–159 or 90–99
Stage 2 Hypertension greater than or equal to160 or greater than or equal to100

When systolic and diastolic blood pressures fall into different categories, the higher category should be used to classify blood pressure level. For example, 160/80 mmHg would be stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure).

    In 90-95% of high blood pressure cases, the cause is unknown.  In fact, you may have high blood pressure for many years and not know it.  That is why it is often referred to as the "silent killer".  You may live many years without any symptoms or ill effects but that does not mean it is not hurting you.  Both hypertension and prehypertension force your heart to work harder to pump blood, increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure.

    High blood pressure is a lifelong disease—it can be controlled but not cured.  The first step to managing your blood pressure is to have it checked regularly.  If your blood pressure is within the range of prehypertension or higher, you can make lifestyle changes to help reduce it.  These include reducing the fat and salt in your diet, losing weight, increasing regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake. Your doctor will decide whether you need medication in addition to dietary and lifestyle changes.

Salty Situation

    Though it can't prevent high blood pressure, cutting back on salt (sodium) can help regulate hypertension.  Experts suggest that even people who are otherwise healthy should moderate their sodium intake.  You can cut that intake by making wise food choices.  A good place to start is by eliminating processed foods, which account for more than 75% of the salt we eat.  If you eat out a lot, you should know that many restaurant meals contain a day's worth of sodium.  What's more, not all foods that contain sodium have a salty taste. That's why it pays to read labels. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Most of us take in more than 4,000 milligrams every day. A low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower blood pressure significantly.


APFRI provides an automated blood pressure machine just outside the Root Hall Library for your use.  Please check your blood pressure regularly after sitting quietly for five minutes, with legs uncrossed. 

Please learn your blood pressure numbers to determine if you are at risk for prehypertension or hypertension.

Seminar volleyball championship ends season
Photos by Spc. Jennifer Rick



Janet Wray, CGSC Public Affairs and Ted Ihrke, CGSC Dept. of Command and Leadership
Leaders meet to discuss education

Jan. 20, 2009 -- Representatives from the military services came together at the U.S.  Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Jan. 20 for the Sister Service College Conference.  The conference provided a forum for leaders to share information, gain an understanding of common challenges and explore ways to improve the education of field grade officers.

    Brig. Gen. Edward Cardon, Deputy Commandant of the CGSC, provided an overview of the Army college.  Cardon emphasized CGSC's initiatives to increase interagency participation. 

    CGSC's Commandant, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, added that just two years ago interagency participation was occasional, but now,  24 months later, there is a noticeable difference.

    "The ultimate goal," Caldwell said, "is to have an interagency representative in each seminar group."

    Caldwell said in August 09, 39 interagency students are projected to be students in CGSC's schools – 18 in Intermediate Level Education, five in the School of Advanced Military Studies, and 16 in the School for Command Preparation. 

    Caldwell also touched upon the importance of international military students at CGSC as well as the strategic communication initiative for students.

    "The information domain is becoming more important in the 21st century, " he said.  "We've put a lot of emphasis in this area – every student must blog, write, engage with the community and do a media interview."

    Caldwell said the idea is to routinely expose officers to the culture of engagement, "to get out and engage the community at large."

    Leaders from the Air University, the Naval War College, and the Marine Corps University briefed their organizations' educational programs.   Representatives from the Army War College and the Joint Staff also participated in the conference.

    Following briefings, discussion topics included:  military to civilian instructor ratios, balancing irregular warfare instruction with more traditional core competencies in the curricula, health and wellness initiatives, distance education programs, and techniques to ensure educational needs of the operational force are met.

    One of the intents of this first Sister Service Education Conference was to focus efforts on achieving quality education across all military services.   All attendees unanimously agreed on the value of the conference and the need to periodically meet to discuss Professional Military Education programs.  This group will meet again next month at the Military Education Coordinating Conference hosted by the Joint Staff.  

Energy tip of the month

Jan. 14, 2009 -- If your home or building has storm windows, make sure the storm window is also closed.  The extra air space between the storm window and the inside window adds insulation value and helps prevent air infiltration.  This will help your building feel more comfortable and be more energy efficient.



Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army Spouse wins a day at the spa 

  Jan. 14, 2009 -- A military spouse whose husband, son, and son-in-law are attached to the Pa. Army National Guard 56th Stryker Brigade, Fort Indiantown Gap, has won a day at the Felicita Spa after entering an essay contest for military families.

  The winner, selected on Dec. 29, 2008, was Cindy Small from Lebanon, Pa.  Small's essay was about her life as a military spouse.

    To honor the men, women and families who serve our country, the Carlisle Barracks Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation partnered with the Felicita Resort and Spa in Harrisburg to bring a day of relaxation (massage, facial and pedicure) for one lucky essay winner, said Staci Cretu, FMWR marketing manager.

    "I did not expect it, I thought there would be somebody who would be more deserving than myself, someone with a better story," said Small, who wrote about her experiences during her husband's Army life:  "35 Years and Counting."

  Cindy plans to use the prize to pamper herself within the next few months.

  The goal of the essay contest was to compile a collection of inspiring or uplifting stories about how military life affects the personal lives of service men and women and how family affects Soldiers on the job and how military life affects family members.

  FMWR offers a variety of services through Army Community Services to meet the social and economic needs of the Military Community.  Eligible patrons are active duty, retirees, National Guard, Reserve components, Military Family members and civilian employees.

  For information or assistance, call the Army Community Service Office at (717) 245-4357 or visit the website,


Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army Civilians crucial to Carlisle Barracks mission 

    Jan. 14, 2009 -- "I am an Army Civilian – a member of the Army Team," is the first line of the Army Civilian Corps Creed, serving as a reminder that behind the most renowned Army in the world stands over 250,000 civilians providing constant support worldwide.

    "Throughout our nation's history and currently cross the globe, Army Civilians are supporting our nation at war. Army Civilians continue to provide stability and continuity during war and peace," said Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, commandant of the Army War College.

     "This is especially true at Carlisle Barracks – without a doubt, our Army Civilians provide the backbone to our mission success each and every day," continued Williams in a message to the civilian workforce. 

    At Carlisle Barracks, civilian support for the Army mission is exceptionally visible. The post employs roughly 750 civilians and 230 NAF employees along with more than 100 contract personnel. Total civilian support totals more than 1,000 throughout the installation: double the nearly 500 soldiers assigned to the post.

    Within the Army War College itself, civilian contributions are significant, represented not only in the student population but also as a part of the faculty.  About 40 percent of the full-time professors at the college are civilians. 

    "We have 28 civilians that are full-time faculty," said the Col. George Teague, deputy dean of academics. "Even more are part-time or work in the various academic departments around post." 

    "As partners with the men and women in uniform, your accomplishments are critical to the Army War College's contributions to leadership education and support to operational force. Your character and your dedication reflect the values of our Army," said Williams.

   "I invite our full community of uniformed and civilian employees to view a stirring news video, here, that reminds us of the essential role of Army civilians today. I join the other senior leaders within our Army and here at Carlisle Barracks in a salute to you and with my deepest gratitude, thank you for your continued service because you are …

An Army Civilian - A member of the Army TEAM

You are dedicated to the Army, our Soldiers and Civilians

You will always support the mission

You provide stability and continuity during war and peace

You support and defend the Constitution of the United States and consider it an honor to serve the Nation and its Army

You live the Army values – Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage

You are an Army Civilian

You are Army Civilian Strong!  You are the strength our Soldiers can trust!

Prepare for dangerously cold weather

Jan. 14, 2009  -- A surge of arctic air forecast to arrive in Pennsylvania on Thursday will bring hazardous wind chills that could lead to serious health problems, the Health Department warned today.

    Temperatures across Pennsylvania are expected to range from the single digits to minus 10 tomorrow, with wind chills forecasted to drop to 5 to 30 below zero.

    "Taking preventive action can help you reduce the risk of hypothermia, which is a very real threat in extreme cold-weather conditions," said acting Secretary of Health Everette James. "When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body's stored energy and result in hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia is particularly dangerous because it slows the functions of many vital organs, including the brain, and you may not realize it is happening."

    Stay alert for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, warm the victim up immediately and get medical help as soon as possible.

    During periods of extreme cold, the Department of Health recommends that you:

·         Make outdoor trips as brief as possible.

·         Dress warmly in several layers of loose fitting clothing.

·         Cover your mouth and face with a scarf or knit mask to protect your lungs from extremely cold air.

·         Keep dry and change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.

·         Avoid exertion as cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart.

·         Remain in your vehicle if you become stranded. Keep warm by wrapping your entire body in extra clothing, blankets or newspapers. Move your arms and legs while sitting to improve circulation and stay warmer.

·         Watch for signs of frostbite. These consist of loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

    While hypothermia is generally associated with being outdoors, it can occur indoors if your thermostat is set too low, or there is a power outage or heating system failure. Follow these recommendations:

·         Conserve heat by avoiding unnecessary opening of doors or windows. Close off unused rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.

·         Monitor body temperature of infants less than one year old. Infants should never sleep in a cold room because they lose body heat more easily than adults and can't make enough body heat by shivering.

·         Check the temperature in your home often if you are over 65 years of age. Older adults often make less body heat because of slower metabolism and less physical activity.

·         Check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure that their homes are adequately heated.

·         Eating a well-balanced meal will help you stay warmer. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages as they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.

    To learn more about the Department of Health and its services, visit or call 1-877-PA HEALTH. 


Army issues apology for letter error

    Jan. 7, 2009 -- The Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., is sending a personal letter to 7,000 families who received improperly addressed correspondence from the Army.
     The U.S. Army is apologizing and correcting a printing error that resulted in approximately 7,000 letters being sent to family members who lost a Soldier in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The letter did not contain a specific by-name salutation and address, but merely a placeholder greeting, "Dear John Doe." The letter, which was printed by a contractor and mailed in late December 2008, informed family members about private organizations offering assistance to Families of Soldiers who have died in OEF/OIF. The letter was sent from the U.S. Army Human Resources Command's Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Center in Alexandria, Va., which subsequently issued a formal apology today.
     "There are no words to adequately apologize for this mistake or for the hurt it may have caused," Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, The Army Adjutant General, wrote in a Jan. 7, 2009 message. "It is important the original intent of the letter is not lost. The organizations mentioned are dedicated to honoring loved ones and recognizing their sacrifice and commitment."
    For an interview with Brig. Gen. Reuben Jones, Army's Adjutant General and USAEC garduate,  go here.

Michael Tolzmann, Special to American Forces Press Service
Defense Department, VA host Suicide Prevention Conference

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 13, 2009 – More than 750 people from the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and private enterprise -- including social workers, chaplains, researchers, and family members – are gathered here this week for a suicide-prevention conference.

    Scientists, clinicians and specialists are working to eliminate the stigma that's often tied to seeking mental health care in the military, Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton, the Army's highest ranking psychiatrist, said during remarks on the conference's opening day yesterday.

    "The secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs have both emphasized [that] seeking help is a sign of profound courage and strength," Sutton said. "Truly, psychological and spiritual health are just as important for readiness as one's physical health."

    Sutton, special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, said the soldier ethos of never leaving a fallen comrade behind applies to those with wounds that aren't visible. She stressed the importance of reaching out and intervening early for those who seem to need help.

    The four-day conference features workshops and training that focus on suicide-related topics that include crisis negotiation of a suicide in progress, resilience in suicide prevention, overall suicide-prevention strategies and mental health strategic initiatives.

    Yesterday's keynote address drew a large, attentive audience who listened to a soldier, husband and father who has experienced the effects of suicide through the loss of his own son.

    Army Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, commander of Division West at Fort Carson, Colo., has spoken openly about mental health, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2003, his 21-year old son, Kevin, a top ROTC cadet, hanged himself after battling depression. Graham told the audience his son feared the repercussions disclosing his mental health issues might have for his Army career. Graham's eldest son, Jeff, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004. He said he and his wife have chosen to continue to serve "in memory of our sons."

    "Both of my sons died fighting different battles," he said.

"I can think of few subjects more important that this one," the general said, stressing the need to talk about the challenges and stigma associated with mental health and thoughts of suicide.

    "Leaders, be compassionate," he said. "Soldiers, it's OK to get help. Untreated depression, PTSD or TBI deserve attention. Encourage those who are afflicted to seek help with no embarrassment."

    Suicide can afflict anyone, regardless of rank, stature or wealth, Graham noted.

    He emphasized the "ACE" program for soldiers – Ask your buddy, Care for your buddy, Escort your buddy – and said the Defense Department and VA have a national, toll-free suicide hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

    "Don't be afraid to intervene and save a life," he said. "Just being with someone can make a difference."

Related Sites:
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
Warrior Care Web Portal
Warrior Care News
National Resource Directory for Wounded Warriors
Military OneSource
Department of Veterans Affairs


January MWR happenings


  • Joint Pub OPEN—Hours: Thur, Fri, Sat—4pm-9pm
  • Joint Pub NFL Sunday Ticket—1pm-8pm until Feb 1, 09
  • Jan 19—Blue Plate Special. MENU: Beef and Broccoli, Sweet and Sour Pork, Fried Rice, Stir Fry Vegetables, TossedSalad, Fresh Vegetables and Dinner Rolls. $8.50 adults, $4.25 Children 6-12 and 5 and under Free.
  • Jan 26—Blue Plate Special. MENU: Baked Ham, Roasted Chicken, Parsley Potatoes, Tossed Salad, FreshVegetables and Dinner Rolls. $8.50 adults, $4.25 Children 6-12 and 5 and under Free.
  • Jan 30Chili Cook-Off from 6-11pm. Call LVCC to sign-up.
  • Feb 1—Super Bowl Party—Doors open at 5pm. Watch the game on our GIANT Screen Projection TV!Come out and enjoy all your traditional tailgate favorites! Nacho Bar—Popcorn—Chips—Dips—HotDog Bar with all the Fixings—FREE!!! Beverage Specials and Prize Giveaways
  • Feb 13—Valentines Dinner Dance—$60 per couple or $30 single. Includes a Four Course Dinner,Dancing and a Complimentary Glass of House Champagne. MENU: Gulf Shrimp Cocktail, Wedge Salad Wedge of Iceberg topped with Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Bacon & Peppercorn Dressing, Beef Wellington Served over Sauce Bordelaise, Chicken Breast Jerusalem\Sautéed Breast of Chicken topped with Savory Artichoke Hearts, Rissolet Potatoes Laced with Herb Butter, Frenched Baby Carrots Steamed in Lemon Oil & Clover Honey, Crème Brulee filled Chocolate Cup Served over Fresh Raspberry Puree. Includes beverage service to include iced tea & water.


  • Jan 17—Baltimore Inner Harbor & Aquarium Trip on the MWR Bus. $38 Adults, $35 MilitaryAdults/Teen with Military ID, $37 Seniors 62+ and $30 children 3-11. Includes admission to the aquarium and transportation.
  • Jan 18 & Jan 30—Ski Round Top Trip on the MWR Bus. $12.25 per person (ski rental, lifts, etc., all additional)
  • Jan 31—Air & Space Museum Trip at Dulles Airport on the MWR Bus, On-Your-Own, $14.50 per person


  • Jan 17—Teen AFAP hosted by ACS & YS. Location: Letort View, Time: 10am—3pm
  • Jan 21-23—Army Family Action Plan Conference


  • Jan 31—Rock Climbing Trip at Dickinson College for grades 6-12 from 1:30-4:30pm
  • Jan 31—5k and 10k Volksmarch Trip on the MWR Bus at York City, PA from 8am—5pm
  • Feb 1—Super Bowl Party from 6-10pm. Free Pizza, Chips and Drinks. For grades K-12.
  • Youth Basketball Registration going on now! Season begins on Jan 19th

Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Town hall forum to address the impact of the ever-changing economy on the Carlisle area

  Jan. 13, 2009 -- The Greater Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce will host a town hall forum on Wednesday, Jan. 14 to address the impact the U.S. economy has had on the Carlisle area.

  The Chamber has invited a number of community leaders to discuss the economic impact and what needs to be done to maintain a strong and vibrant Carlisle in years to come.

  Panel members will include:  Pa. State Senator Patricia Vance, President, Dickinson College, William Durden, State Investment Manager, M&T Bank, Scott Ehrig and the CEO, Carlisle Regional Medical Center, Nathan Staggs.

  The Town Hall Forum will be held in the Stern Center Greater Room on the Dickinson College campus from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

  This event is open to the public. 

Tonight: Army War College student featured in documentary 

National Geographic Channel's Full Battle Rattle, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. Comcast channel 109 and 210 (HD)

    Deep within the Mojave Desert, the U.S. Army has erected a cluster of fake Iraqi villages where American soldiers spend three weeks training before deployment. USAWC student Col. Robert McLaughlin's battalion training at the National Training Center in August 2006 is featured.


Col. Jeremy Martin, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
Commentary: Obama inaugural, potent history, dream fulfilled

Jan. 12, 2009 -- When President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath as the 44th President of the United States on Jan. 20, he will have concluded one of the most inspiring and symbolically rich journeys in American history – the end of which presents daunting challenges and unique opportunities.

    A decided underdog when he launched his candidacy, Obama rode a wave of support from Americans who were willing to stand up for the "hope" and "change" he very effectively communicated to capture the trust and confidence of a majority of Americans, which carried him all the way to the presidency.

    Obama's election draws parallels with other American presidents who led the nation through challenging times, and campaigned as agents for change. President Abraham Lincoln understood the strategic objectives of the Civil War that marked his time, as well as the importance of addressing the domestic issues beyond the fighting that divided the nation. President Franklin Roosevelt led the nation in times of economic turmoil and protracted war; and President John F. Kennedy captured the imagination of a new generation of Americans with a message of change.

    President-elect Obama (D-Illinois) announced his candidacy for president on February 10, 2007, shortly before the 198th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, America's sixteenth president and arguably its most revered politician. Lincoln is widely regarded as our nation's greatest president, a courageous leader who ushered in what is widely considered the most dramatic period of change in American history.

    Lincoln was savvy in surrounding himself with people of differing political affiliations and perspectives at a time when the country was engulfed in partisanship; Obama is giving an indication of a similar approach to governing. Standing before a cheering crowd in front of the old Illinois statehouse in Springfield, Illinois, where   President Lincoln once served in the legislature and established himself as an agent for change, Obama evoked the memory of Lincoln to announce his candidacy for president.

    And so it is on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the "Great Emancipator's" birth that America inaugurates its first African-American president.

    When Obama assumes the mantle of president he will inherit challenges similar to those faced by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was elected in 1932. Roosevelt inherited an American economy in severe depression. Roosevelt used his vast political and communication skills to rally the country during this period and went on to lead the country through war and out of economic despair.

    Many experts believe the economy President-elect Obama will inherit is the country's worst since the Great Depression. He will also inherit a nation at war on two fronts - in Iraq and Afghanistan. As with Roosevelt, these daunting challenges will require Obama to maximize the use of his political and communication skills as he leads the nation through this challenging period. Roosevelt is considered by many to be one of America's greatest presidents, and with the challenges Obama must immediately face, the opportunity for greatness is within his reach - but in the current volatile economic and security climate there is also great risk.

    For many Americans, Obama also evokes memories of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a young, talented politician and gifted communicator who represented a new generation of politician. Many credit Kennedy's masterful use of television as a catalyst for his close election victory in 1960.

    Most observers believe that the Obama campaign benefitted enormously from his savvy use of the Internet and modern day technology to win the Democratic Party's nomination. In 1960, during his acceptance speech for the nomination of his party for president, Kennedy called for change when he used the term "New Frontier," to rally Americans to his cause. Kennedy captured the imagination of a new generation of Americans with his call to service, for a renewal of hope and possibilities when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

    Given the challenges currently facing America, President-elect Obama, like President Kennedy, will likely seek  to inspire a new generation of Americans with a renewed call for service and sacrifice in his inaugural address – perhaps to achieve energy independence.

     In a final moment of symbolism which will usher in a powerful and dramatic conclusion to what will undoubtedly be one of the most significant moments in American history, Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009 – the very day after America celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963, that Dr. King gave one of the greatest speeches in American history, his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    In that speech, Dr. King said he dreamed of a day in which his children would "one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." On the opposite end of the Washington Mall on the steps of our nation's capitol, 45 years after Dr. King's speech, and as a result of more than 66 million Americans of all races who pulled the lever for him on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama will become the embodiment of that dream.

(Editors note: Col. Jeremy Martin is a USAWC graduate.)

AFAP Conference to be held Jan. 21-23

The Army Family Action Plan Planning Committee is seeking individuals to serve as delegates, facilitators, recorders and operations center personnel. To participate, you must be one of the following:
    -Active duty military
    -A military family member
    -Department of the Army civilian
    -Military retiree
    -National Guard/Reserve

    Possible community issues include: Housing and public works, healthcare, consumer affairs, child, youth and teen issues, DA civilian and force support.

    A separate Teen AFAP symposium will be held Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Letort View Community Center. It is open to all teens in the military, retiree, Reserve/National Guard and Department of Defense civilian community in central Pennsylvania. Teens must be registered by Jan. 13.

    To participate in the AFAP conference or for more information, contact Army Community Service, AFAP Coordinator at 245-3684.

Marine Corps Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes, Headquarters Marine Corps
Servicemembers rehearse 56th Presidential Inauguration


Army Staff Sgt. Derrick Brooks, who serves with 741st Military Intelligence out of Fort George G. Meade, Md., stood in for President-elect Barrack Obama during the rehearsal for the 56th Presidential Inauguration. Stand-ins for the president, vice president and their families were selected due to height, weight, gender and ethnicity similarities, according to Air Force Maj. Andra Higgs, action officer with the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Bryan G. Carfrey  

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2009 – From providing musical performances to acting as key personnel during the swearing-in process, hundreds of servicemembers were on hand this morning around the nation's capital to support the 56th Presidential Inaugural rehearsal.       
    Each branch of serice played a key role in working out potential issues before the inauguration, said Howard Gantman, staff director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
    The rehearsal started promptly at 5:30 a.m., with a rough walk-through, followed by the placement of military bands and joint-service cordon personnel.
    Army Staff Sgt. Derrick Brooks, who serves with 741st Military Intelligence at Fort George G. Meade, Md., took a position of honor as he stood in for President-elect Barack Obama. Brooks' speech consisted of nothing more than, "My fellow Americans. God bless America," but event coordinators said his role was critical.
    Other servicemembers stood in for Vice President-elect Joe Biden and the Obama and Biden families. Navy Seaman LaSean McCray played the role of Michelle Obama. Army Spc. Nicholas Rupple stood in for Biden, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Karen Lowden, as Jill Biden. 
     Two military children stood in as the Obama girls. Dominique Sewell, the 14-year-old daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class Natalie Sewell-Johnson, stood in as Malia. Ten-year-old Gianna Justice Samora-Nixon, daughter of Navy Chief Petty Officer Kenneth Nixon, was Sasha. 
    All were selected based on height, weight, gender and ethnicity similarities, explained Air Force Maj. Andra Higgs, an action officer with the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee.
    The military's involvement in the presidential inauguration is a centuries-old tradition, which honors the commander in chief, recognizes civilian control of the military and celebrates democracy, Higgs said.
    More than 5,000 servicemembers will participate in the Jan. 20 event and provide ceremonial assistance.
    "It's an honor for them to be center stage," Higgs said. "We're very glad to have been provided with such world-class support."
    Today's rehearsal gave members of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee a sense of what they can expect next week, when 240,000 ticketed guests and potentially millions of spectators gather in Washington to see Obama become the 44th U.S. president.
    "It's an honor and a privilege to take part in this [rehearsal]," said Navy Lt. Marcus Jones, who stood in as an Obama family member. "Beside the birth of my children and my marriage, this will be one of the most memorable days of my life."

Spc. Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
USAWC spouse, gym staff, help save a life at Jim Thorpe Gym

 January 7, 2008 – An average day at the gym turned into quite an experience for an Army War College spouse and the staff of the Jim Thorpe Gym Dec. 31 when someone collapsed while exercising.

    Ronald Slakie, a retired Army officer who lives in Carlisle, had been working out at the gym when he fell to the ground and began to convulse and appeared to be seizing, said Carla Nye, wife of Col. Tim Nye, student.

    Nye was the first to the fallen man's side after suddenly hearing a scream, a bang and her husband yelling her name, she described.

    "I ran over to the gentleman, and about 30 seconds later he stopped breathing," she said. "I began giving him mouth-to-mouth, and then someone from the gym staff came up with a defibrillator."

    That was when staff member Regina Thames jumped into action.

    "I ran upstairs and Carla was already doing CPR," Thames said. "We had to use the defibrillator and continue chest compressions until the EMTs arrived."

    Nye has an extensive background in nursing, especially for children, and has taught paramedics and emergency medical technicians the ins and outs of performing CPR on babies.

    The quick reactions of the gym staff and bystanders saved Slakie's life that day, said his wife Pat.
    Pat, extends her deepest thanks to everyone who was with her husband that day.

    "They all saved his life. Without them, I wouldn't be able to hold his hand right now. If Ron could speak right now, he would be so proud and thankful to everyone.

    Slakie is currently in a local hospital. 

Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
USAWC employees learn about NSPS results
To see the town hall videos go here

Jan. 9, 2009 – After a year of tracking accomplishments, writing and re-writing objectives and assessments, it was finally time to find out the results of the 2008 National Security Personnel System at the Army War College.

   More than 60 employees who gathered for a town hall meeting on Jan. 8 in Bliss Hall to learn about the results of the pay pool across the college and what their payouts were calculated. Col. Bobby Towery, USAWC chief of staff, reviewed the results and answered a few dozen questions.

    Many questions were about how this pay increase compared to the one they would have received under the previous General Schedule system. Several people later indicated that they still had questions about how their personal salary has changed and why.

     The NSPS payout consists of:

* Performance-based payouts in the form of base salary increases, bonuses, or a combination of both;

* An NSPS general salary increase of 1.74%,

* An increase to local market supplements of approximately 1 percent (LMS) equal to the increases to General Schedule locality pay rates.

    Under the previous General Schedule system, employees would have received a 2.9 percent salary increase and the percent local market supplement increase. Under NSPS, employees will receive 1.74 percent of the salary increase, and the 1 percent local market supplement. The remaining 1.16 percent of the salary increase was distributed to the NSPS pay pool for bonuses and salary increases.

   Towery also explained that the NSPS process was one he felt was equitable and fair and was designed to make sure there were checks and balances to make sure employees were treated fairly.

    ""Each of the assessments was looked at multiple times at multiple levels," he said. "Every evaluation was also looked at during the final pay pool, regardless of the rating.

   "I personally looked at every evaluation," he said.

    Under NSPS, employees receive a final rating of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. The ratings were determined by looking at both the employee and rater assessment.  

    Each share was worth 2.009 percent of an employees' salary.  For the USAWC, the final rating count was a follows:

·         Five employees received a rating of 2

·         164 employees received a rating of 3

·         52 employees received a rating of 4

·         Two employees received a rating of 5 

    The ratings will determine the number of shares an employee received as part of the pay pool. The shares could either be distributed to an employee as a salary increase or bonus. For one share, the payout was comprised of a 52.5 percent salary increase and a 47.5 bonus. For two shares, it was an 87.5 salary increase and a 12.5 percent bonus. For three to five shares, it was a 100 percent salary increase. 

Rating Level

If Average Rating is:

Then Number of shares is:


















1 share




   The pay pool also shared some lessons learned for the employees to use in preparing for the next pay pool.

For objectives:

  • Ensure objectives are clear and measurable with qualitative and quantifiable expectations based on industry standard, historical data or regulatory guidance.
  • Identify and eliminate redundancies in objectives; consider combining similar objectives.
  • Consider carefully the number of objectives. General rule of thumb is two to three. More than three often meant splitting an objective into two objectives that were not really supportable as two distinct objectives.
  • Make sure the objectives encompass all of the employee's duties.
  • Carefully consider the weighting of each objective.
  • Consider the number of contributing factors. Again, less is better, choose one or two.
  • Required job skills should not be contributing factors.
  • Write objectives so a third party (pay pool panel) can understand.

For employee self-assessments:

  • Employee should 'sell' him / herself - Write for the pay pool panel as well as the rater.
  • Explain what was accomplished, how well it was accomplished, and the impact it had for the mission or organization during the rating period only.
  • Spell-check and proof what you write - eliminate unnecessary verbiage, typos and poor grammar.

    After all was said and done, Towery said he felt the process was a success.

   "It was a long but good process. I think it was fair for everyone."






Army War College Public Affairs Office staff report
Former USAWC scholar named National Intelligence Director

    Jan. 9, 2009 -- President-elect Barack Obama has named retired Navy Admiral Dennis Blair to be director of national intelligence. If confirmed by the Senate, Blair would oversee the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and give the president his daily intelligence briefings.

     An area resident, Blair held the 2007-2008 Dickinson College and U.S. Army War College General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Joint Chair in Strategic Leadership. In this position, Blair participated in the academic life at both institutions. The Bradley Chair provides a visiting scholar the opportunity to explore with students and faculty, through lectures and discussion, the nature of leadership and how it can best and most ethically be exercised in a world transformed by globalization, technology and cultural change.

     Neil B. Weissman, provost and dean of Dickinson College said, "Adm. Blair added greatly to our community as Bradley chair holder. We were all impressed with his experience and thoughtfulness."

     "During Adm. Blair's tenure at the U.S. Army War College, he served as a role model and mentor for our students," said Dr. William T. Johnsen, dean of academic affairs at the War College. "He adeptly distilled his extensive experience in national security and military strategy into insights that our students can apply for the remainder of their careers."

     Jonathan Roberts, Dickinson alumnus from the class of 2008 and currently a graduate student in intelligence studies at King's College in London said, "I was fortunate enough to take a class with Adm. Blair and he was very helpful to me in the graduate school application process. He was an excellent teacher and a strategic thinker. President-elect Obama clearly has an affinity for smart people, and Blair certainly fits that bill."

     Named in memory of the World War II hero, the Omar Bradley chair is intended to encourage civilian-military dialogue. Both institutions are deeply committed to understanding leadership— from the perspective of the liberal arts and sciences at Dickinson, and in the environment of international security studies at the Army War College. Pulitzer Prize winning historian and journalist, Rick Atkinson and Dr. Richard Kohn, a nationally recognized expert in the relationship between civilian leadership and the military officer corps, are among those who have held the chair.

     A 34-year Navy veteran, Blair oversaw the U.S. Pacific Command after the Sept. 11 attacks in military operations that covered more than 100 million square miles. As the commander in chief, he led the largest of the unified commands and directed U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force operations in an area stretching from India to the West Coast of the United States. Blair was the first person to serve as associate director of the Central Intelligence Agency for military support. He was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal four times and the National Intelligence Service medal twice.


William Bradner, Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs Office
Disney, Army resort make vacations more affordable for troops

Naval officers Lt. James Corbett and Lt. Cmdr. Erin Duffy take a whirl on Cinderella's Golden Carrousel with daughters Maggie, left, 5, and Aoife, 8 months, and son Dessie, 2. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Co.  

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2009 – A Disney vacation just got more affordable.
   With the "Disney's Armed Forces Salute" offer, active and retired U.S. military personnel, including active members of the United States Coast Guard and activated members of the National Guard or Reserves, can enjoy complimentary, multi-day admission into Disney's U.S. theme parks, and additional special ticket offers for family members and friends.
    "For so many of the men and women who serve in our U.S. military, time together with their families is cause enough for celebration," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We are grateful for their service and hope 'Disney's Armed Forces Salute' will allow our troops to create wonderful, magical memories with their family and friends."
    Shades of Green, a resort hotel on Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., is open exclusively to servicemembers, retirees, defense civilians, and their families. It is a safe haven for military families whether they're reintegrating after an overseas deployment, having one last "family fling" before mom or dad deploys, or simply getting away for a weekend.
    "If I suddenly break down and cry in a Holiday Inn, everyone's going to be looking at me funny," one guest recently explained. "Here, if it suddenly dawns on me he's leaving in a week and I start to cry, I've got 10 people asking how they can help and offering support."
    The resort manager, Brian Japak, is a retired soldier, and his son has survived two roadside-bomb attacks while serving in Iraq.
    "I have great empathy for the families that we serve here," he said.
    Japak said the staff makes every effort to ensure the guests are pampered Disney style -- with just a touch of "home" through the tax-free Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppette and a Mickey Mouse statue decked out in red, white and blue. Security at the hotel complies with standard base force protection regulations, ensuring the Soldiers and families can sleep soundly and not worry about their personal safety.
    Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center hotel run by the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command based in Alexandria, Va. The command's mission is to provide Soldiers and their families with the same quality of life they are sworn to protect. Rates are set on a sliding scale, based on rank, and with no shareholders to answer to or profits to be made, the rates are kept remarkably low.
    At the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, from Jan. 4 to Dec. 23, each active or retired member of the U.S. military may obtain one free five-day "Disney's Armed Forces Salute" ticket with "Park Hopper" and water park options. The ticket is valid for five days of admission into the four Walt Disney World theme parks, plus a total of five visits to a choice of a Disney water park, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park or certain other attractions.
    During this offer period, active or retired U.S. military personnel also may make a one-time purchase up to five "Disney's Armed Forces Salute Companion" tickets – good for five days -- for $99 each, plus tax, for family members or friends. Although this ticket for family members and friends does not include either the Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More options, it can be upgraded to add either such option, or both, for an additional $25, plus tax, per option. All tickets and options are nontransferable and must be used by Dec. 23.
    A similar offer is in place at Walt Disney Land in California. More information is available at installation ITT/ITR offices.
    AFRCs offer four other world-class destinations for families, including Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany; Dragon Hill Lodge in Seoul, South Korea; the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, and the Cape Henry Inn and Beach Club at Fort Storey, Va.

(William Bradner works at the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command's public affairs office.)

Free program: MRSA, common cold, flu and you

  Jan. 8, 2008 -- Find out the answers to these questions and more by attending "MRSA, the Common Cold, the Flu and You" on Thursday, Jan. 15 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Root Hall's Mary Walker Room. 

  Sponsored by the Carlisle Chapter of Federally Employed Women, the program will be led by the Lebanon VA Medical Center's MRSA prevention coordinators.

  If you plan to attend and since seating is limited, contact Lisa Ecker, at 717-245-3155 or e-mail:

  This program is open to the Carlisle Barracks community. For more information see the flyer.

Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
APFRI opens new CGSC satellite facility


Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, Commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth; Lt. Col. Georgette Diggs, deputy director CGSC APFRI annex; Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, commandant Army War College; Col. Tom Williams, director APFRI Army War College, cut the ribbon opening the new APFRI annex at the Command and General Staff College.  U.S. Army photo by Prudence Siebert.


Jan. 8, 2009 -- A strong body and mind are vital to make any leader successful, no matter what level. That was the message as the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute celebrated the opening of their new $1 million satellite facility at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

     This new collaboration brings 24 years of APFRI expertise to the 1,200 mid-grade officers attending the Command and General Staff College annually, as well as the staff and faculty of CGSC. APFRI has also opened its services to the family members of Soldiers in order to increase awareness, and to allow families as a whole to implement healthy lifestyle changes.

    "While at Command and General Staff College, I ask each of our students to do three things -- reflect, rebalance, and refocus," said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, commander, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. "For many, the rebalancing of their lives is the most difficult, especially in their physical fitness. This program will help them to do just that by providing not only an assessment but also a road map for physical fitness and wellness, both of which are crucial in our Soldiers today and tomorrow."

    Since 1982, the Army Physical Fitness and Research Institute has assessed the health of senior officers during their time at the U.S. Army War College. They have developed a state-of-the-art health and fitness program specializing in the over 40 population. 

    "The expansion of APFRI's leader education program at CGSC reflects the Army's commitment to healthy, fit and strong leaders who will sustain healthy, fit and strong Soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, Army War College commandant.

    In 2006, Gen. William Wallace, commanding general, Training and Doctrine Command, directed APFRI to expand their program to the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. Through the years, the APFRI leader education programs evolved to address the complex interplay of leadership, health and fitness as a component of professional military education.

    The Army is well known for its demanding and rigorous physical training, culminating semi-annually in a physical fitness test for all of its Soldiers. In the past, mid to upper level leaders have maintained the fitness level specified in the APFT, but have not necessarily focused on the "Formula for Fitness." This formula focuses on linking leader development with an enhanced understanding of how nutrition, aerobic conditioning and strength training combine in relation to disease prevention and body composition, enhancing both endurance and resiliency for our leaders. The stress and challenges of leadership can lead to increased blood pressure and high cholesterol which could develop into more serious conditions such as strokes or heart attacks.


The "Bod Pod" at the newly opening APFRI annex at the Command and General Staff College. U.S. Army photo.

   "This program is changing lives – we've seen it happen right here already," said Caldwell.  "We're excited to know the future impact it will have on the students and our entire force as they go out and share what they've learned with those they will lead in the future."

    The APFRI education process begins with an in-depth analysis of the individual's level of fitness and health, along with identified risk factors. The personalized and comprehensive assessment becomes the foundation for learning how to "reset" and "balance the Soldier" while reducing their risk for life-threatening illnesses. Leaders then take these lessons to teach, coach, and mentor their subordinate leaders into developing a new and healthier force.

    "It's about educating the force so they can be role models and they can go out and be those role models for their subordinates in the future," said Williams.  "To show them what health and fitness means, and carry that forward in a century where we're going to have challenges as a nation and a people."   


   Changing behavior through education is the goal of the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, according to Col. Tom Williams, APFRI director.

    As part of the APFRI program, leaders undergo a complete health assessment. The assessments help to give the APFRI staff a baseline for each student's health, fitness, nutrition and well-being. From that information the staff is able to identify each individual's strengths and identify fitness and nutrition and behavioral changes that may be necessary. Then the APFRI staff provides information and guidance through classes and other educational opportunities.     


Williams talks with visitors prior to the APFRI ribbon-cutting at the Command and General Staff College.  U.S. Army photo.

    "Almost everyone realizes that exercise and living a healthy lifestyle are important, but we seldom give ourselves time to do so," said Williams. "We try and help that by giving you the knowledge of what your risk factors are and by providing opportunities to learn how to deal with them."

    The education aspect is one of the most important, according to Williams.

    "The underpinning of the program is to push you into lessening your risk factors," he said. "The best way to do that is to educate you on what they are and what you can do to mitigate them. The benefit of the program is that it gives you an idea of your health relative to that of others in your age group."

(Editor Note: Some information in this story came from a CAC release)






 2009 The Year of the Noncommissioned Officer  Jan. 5, 2009 -- Since 1775, the Army has set apart its NCOs from other enlisted Soldiers by distinctive insignia of grade.

    With more than 200 years of service, the U.S. Army's Noncommissioned Officer Corps has distinguished itself as the world's most accomplished group of military professionals. Historical and daily accounts of "life as an NCO" are exemplified by acts of courage, and a dedication and a willingness to do "whatever it takes" to complete the mission. NCOs have been celebrated for decorated service in military events ranging from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, to charges on Omaha Beach and battles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In recognition of their commitment to service and willingness to make great sacrifices on behalf of our Nation, Secretary of the Army established 2009 as "The Year of the NCO."

    Throughout 2009, the Army honors NCOs through initiatives and
events that:

  • Enhance the awareness of members of Congress and the American public's understanding of roles and responsibilities of today's NCO.
  • Enhance and accelerate the development of NCOs through education, fitness, and leadership development initiatives.

    We invite you to join the celebration of one of America's greatest assets, the NCO Corps, the "backbone of the American Army."

 For more visit



Carol Kerr, Army War College Public Affairs Officer
January 2009 NSPS payouts approaching

Jan. 6, 2009 -- With NSPS payouts approaching in January, it is important to understand the various components that make up the January pay changes under NSPS. The NSPS payout consists of:

*           Performance-based payouts in the form of base salary increases, bonuses, or a combination of both;

*           An NSPS general salary increase of 1.74%, which is equal to 60% of the General Schedule increase;

*           An increase to local market supplements (LMS) equal to the increases to General Schedule locality pay rates.

    The NSPS general salary increase is an across-the-board salary adjustment for NSPS employees who are rated "2" or higher under the NSPS performance management system. The amount of this increase is 60% of the government-wide General Schedule pay increase for Federal employees. For 2009, the General Schedule increase is set at 2.9 percent. Of this percentage:

* 60 percent—or 1.74 percent—is designated for increases to base salaries and paid to NSPS employees who receive a rating of record of 2 or higher.

* 40 percent—or 1.16 percent—is allocated to performance pay pool funds and distributed through the pay pool panel process as performance-based salary increases.

     NSPS employees receive local market supplements based on the General Schedule locality pay rates. The increases to these local market supplements will mirror the General Schedule locality increases and be paid to employees with a performance rating of 2 or higher. For 2009, the overall average increase to General Schedule locality rates is 1 percent, but an employee's actual increase depends on his/her duty location.

    To view the 2009 pay tables and local market supplements, CLICK HERE <> .

    Employees who receive a final rating of record of 3 or higher are eligible for performance-based payouts, in addition to the general salary increase and the increase to local market supplements. Employees who do not receive a 2008 final rating of record will receive the full General Schedule increase (2.9 percent) and the applicable increase to the local market supplement.

    To see an example of how an employee who works in the Washington, DC area may be compensated under NSPS in 2009, CLICK HERE <> .

2009 Fact Sheet on NSPS Payouts

     For more information on the January pay changes under NSPS, please review the January 2009 NSPS Payout Fact Sheet. CLICK HERE <>  to view the Fact Sheet.



Federal transit information for Presidential Inauguration

Metro Plans for Inauguration Weekend

Metrorail will operate rush hour service for 15 consecutive hours (4 a.m. to 7 p.m.), will stay open for two extra hours (until 2 a.m.), and will be one important transportation alternative for people who are planning to attend the Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

Metro officials expect extremely crowded conditions on Inauguration Day.  Metrorail stations and trains will be packed as people head to the Inauguration, and expect to see even tighter conditions afterward.  Expect the crowds to be huge with hundreds of thousands of people expected to be in the nation's capital not only for Inauguration Day, but for the days preceding it as well.

The U.S. Secret Service has deemed the Inauguration as a special national security event and due to security measures, the Archives-Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter Metrorail station on Metro's Green and Yellow Lines, will be closed all day on Inauguration Day, Tuesday, January 20.  In addition, one of two entrances to the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange Lines will also be closed.  The Smithsonian station entrance on the National Mall will be closed.  The Independence Ave SW entrance will remain open.

·         Metrorail Travel

In anticipation of crowded trains, Metrorail will operate continuous rush hour service from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Inauguration Day, Tuesday, January 20, and have extra personnel on hand to help patrons get to and from the events.  Peak fares will be charged all day on January 20.  Regular parking fees will be charged at Metro lots and garages on January 20.


Metrorail Hours

Special Metrorail Service


Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009

7 am to 3 am

Regular Saturday Schedule


Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

7 am to midnight

Regular Sunday Schedule


Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday)

5 am to midnight

Saturday Holiday Service


Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day)

4 am to 2 am

Rush-Hour Service Through 7 pm



·         Metrobus Travel

Metrobus will operate on a normal Saturday schedule.  However, with the anticipated street closures around the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade, all Metrobuses will be prepared for detours.  Bus customers are encouraged to plan significant extra time to travel through these areas.  No vehicular traffic, including buses, is expected to be able to pass close to the U.S. Capitol, nor will vehicles be able to cross Pennsylvania Avenue.


Special Metrobus Service

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009

Regular Saturday Schedule

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009

Regular Sunday Schedule

Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 (Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday)

Regular Weekday Service

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day)

Saturday Service(expect major delays downtown)

·         MetroAccess Travel

MetroAccess will operate identical hours to Metrorail and Metrobus over the Inauguration Weekend and through Inauguration Day. MetroAccess customers are encouraged to plan significant extra time to travel due to increased traffic throughout the service area. With the anticipated street closures around the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade on Inauguration Day, all MetroAccess users should be prepared for detours. MetroAccess customers are reminded to reserve their trip by 4:30 p.m., the day prior to travel. ]

Metro $1 Coin Campaign to Coincide with Inaugural Events

Metro Transit System Opens Its Doors to $1 Coins in Time for Holiday

Season and Inaugural Events

A news conference is to be held by United States Mint Director Ed Moy and Metro's Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal, to announce a new $1 coin campaign.  The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, December 22, at the Metro Center Station in Washington, D.C. 

Metro operates the second largest subway system and the fifth largest bus network in the United States.  Currently, there are 86 Metrorail stations operating within a 106.3-mile network. 

To view and download high-resolution images of the latest circulating

Presidential $1 Coin, go to:

WMATA Metro Transit PD (MTPD)

The Metro Transit Police Department and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are collaborating to enhance security at Metrorail stations and on trains and buses during Inauguration Weekend.  The Metro Transit Police strongly recommend that customers bring as little as possible with them when traveling through the Metrorail system to cut down on the possibility that items are left behind, resulting in the need for Metro or TSA officers to respond to reports of unattended items.

On Inauguration Day, all Metrorail station restrooms will be closed for security reasons.



Amtrak PD

·         Preliminary stages of planning.  Will update accordingly as information is received.


MARC Train Plans & Schedules

Martin Luther King Holiday - January 19, 2009
MTA will offer regular MARC Train service on the Penn Line and limited "S" services on the Brunswick and Camden Lines.  No reservations required.  Regular fares will apply, and passes will be accepted.

Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies - January 20, 2009
MARC service will operate reserved trains on special schedules.  Round trip tickets cost $25.00 (no regular MARC tickets will be accepted).
MARC Train service will operate inbound to Washington between 5:00am until 9:00am and outbound from 4:00pm until 9:00pm on all three lines (Penn, Camden and Brunswick).  Penn Line service will not operate north of Baltimore's Penn Station.  Passengers can board MARC Trains at selected stops along all the lines to and from Washington's Union Station.

Penn Line - 12 trains from Baltimore to Washington between 5am and 9am and then 12 trains from Washington to Baltimore between 4pm and 9pm
Camden Line - 7 trains from Baltimore to Washington between 6am and 10am and then 7 trains from Washington to Baltimore between 4pm and 9pm
Brunswick Line - 9 trains to Washington between 6am and 10am and then 9 trains from Washington between 4pm and 9pm

Commuter Bus Plans & Schedules

Martin Luther King Holiday - January 19, 2009
Commuter Bus shuttle service will be offered from designated Park & Ride locations to Metrorail stations.  Reservations are not required and tickets can be purchased onboard.  All shuttles will charge a $10.00 round trip fare.  Exact Change only.

Commuter Bus will operate the following shuttle service between 5:30am and 10:00am into the Metrorail stations and then between 4:00pm and 9:00pm from the Metrorail station:

Frederick (Monocacy Park & Ride) to Shady Grove every 30 minutes
Columbia (Broken Land Park & Ride) to Greenbelt every 30 minutes
Scaggsville/Burtonsville to Silver Spring every 30 minutes
Annapolis to New Carrollton every 30 minutes
Kent Island to New Carrollton every 60 minutes
Prince Frederick/Dunkirk to Branch Avenue every 30 minutes
Upper Marlboro to Branch Avenue every 30 minutes
Charlotte Hall to Branch Avenue every 30 minutes
Waldorf (Blue Crabs Stadium) to Branch Avenue every 20 minutes

Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies - January 20, 2009
Commuter Bus will operate shuttle service between 4:00am and 9:00am into the Metrorail stations and then between 4:00pm and 9:00pm from the Metrorail stations.  Reservations are not required and tickets can be purchased onboard.  All shuttles will charge a $10.00 round trip fare.  Exact change only.  Listed below are the designated locations and frequency of service.

Frederick (Monocacy Park & Ride) to Shady Grove every 15 minutes
Columbia (Broken Land Park & Ride) to Greenbelt every 15 minutes
Scaggsville/Burtonsville to Silver Spring every 15 minutes
Annapolis to New Carrollton every 15 minutes
Kent Island to New Carrollton every 30 minutes
Prince Frederick/Dunkirk to Branch Avenue every 15 minutes
Upper Marlboro to Branch Avenue every 15 minutes
Charlotte Hall to Branch Avenue every 15 minutes
Waldorf (Blue Crabs Stadium) to Branch Avenue every 10 minutes

MARC Ticket Information and Purchase Instructions

MARC tickets will go on sale Saturday, December 20, 2008.  Commemorative tickets for reserved MARC Train Service cost $25.00 and covers round trip passage and a commemorative program booklet that will be distributed on Inaugural day.  Your set of tickets is valid for round trip passage on January 20, 2009 only.

Each person traveling via MARC must have his or her own tickets.  Children must also have a ticket to board the train.  All tickets are marked for use on specific trains.

Tickets are valid only for the train and time reserved at the time of purchase.  No exchanges will be allowed.  Passengers who miss their reserved trains are asked to contact Amtrak station personnel for assistance.


Inauguration Service Information

This year's historic election of Barack Obama has generated great interest, and VRE will do its part to help people, from near and far, participate in the Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies.

Beginning at 5:05am, on Tuesday, January 20th, we will offer twelve northbound morning trains (six on the Fredericksburg Line and six on the Manassas Line) and fourteen afternoon/evening return trains (seven on each line), beginning at 1:30pm.

Inauguration Day trains will not make stops at Franconia/Springfield, Alexandria or Crystal City.  For detailed information about the train times, please visit our Inauguration Day Service schedule page.

In anticipation of the expected high ridership for this day, all tickets are by reservation only.  As a result, special tickets must be purchased through mail-order.  (See our Group Page special ticketing information for buses and groups of 25 or more).

Regular VRE tickets will NOT be accepted.  Due to the volume of expected crowds, this is a special event where crowding and security needs to be controlled.  Also, please note, because this is a one-time event, special tickets will not be refunded.

VRE Security

  • VRE will not be in service on January 18th or 19th
  • VRE public service announcements; website announcements etc. between now and the inauguration will encourage passengers traveling to the inaugural events via VRE not to bring strollers; back packs; (large) umbrellas; etc. onto the trains inasmuch as it's anticipated that checkpoints at said events will most likely not allow said items.
  • Full/Regular service will be provided by VRE on 20 December
    • However; on the VRE will not stop at the Franconia/Springfield; Alexandria or Crystal City Metrorail stations
  • Twelve (12) trains total are scheduled to "run" on 20 December.
  • All seats will be reserved on VRE trains on 20 December. Tickets will be color coded and will cost $25 per ticket and tickets may be purchased on line via VRE's website
  • Based on peak hours vs. other factors; VRE trains with vary between 4 – 8 car train consists throughout the day.


PRTC – OmniRide (Commuter Bus)

No Inauguration Day Service info provided as of 12/16/08

Loudoun County Transit (Commuter Bus)

No Inauguration Day Service info provided as of 12/16/08

 Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs
Fisher House receives donation from 2008 War College Class


Lt. Col Anthony Johnson, 2008 Yearbook Treasurer, and fellow classmate Col. Gordon Roberts, present a $2,690 check to Maurice Borde, Fisher House Assistant Manager, in Washington D.C.   

Dec. 31, 2008 -- With thousands of wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Fisher House has become a necessity in military communities across the nation. The organization provides military families a "home away from home," and many people agree that the houses are an intricate part of the recovery process for Soldiers.

    Recognizing this, the War College Class of 2008 elected to donate funds to the Fisher House Foundation. Lt. Col Anthony Johnson, the 2008 Yearbook Treasurer, and fellow classmate Col. Gordon Roberts, presented a $2,690 check to Maurice Borde, Fisher House Assistant Manager, in Washington D.C. Nov. 25. 

    The decision to donate the money to Fisher House was made unanimously among the class.  

    "We chose to donate the money to the Fisher House because of all it does to give back to Soldiers and help families," said Johnson, now the Director of Law Enforcement, Peacekeeping and Stability Institute.   

    "The house gives families a chance to stay with their Soldier, which is really important in the healing process," said Johnson. 

     Instead of worrying about where to stay or how they can afford it, families can focus on getting their Soldier well. 

    "The ability to reside free-of-charge in a Fisher House eases the financial difficulties during the transitional periods between hospital trauma care, recovery, rehabilitation, and therapy," added Johnson.

    Currently, there are more than 40 Fisher Houses located on 18 military installations and ten VA medical centers. Several more are under construction.   

    "It was a great experience to see some of the wounded warriors in the house; it was an honor to present the check on behalf of the class," said Johnson.    

    The Fisher House was founded in 1990 by Zachery and Elisabeth Fisher, with the goal to provide comfort, care, and compassion beyond the call of duty for the retirees, veterans, reserve, and active military members and their families. 

    For more information on the Fisher House, visit

2008 Army War College Award winners 

Madigan Writing Awards


  • Dr. Tami Davis Biddle (DNSS) — "Shield and Sword:  U.S. Strategic Forces and Doctrine Since 1945"
  • Dr. Conrad C. Crane (AHEC) — "Minting COIN: Principles and Imperatives for Combating Insurgency"
  • Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II (SSI) — "Clausewitz and the Nature of the War on Terror"
  • Dr. Paul Rexton Kan (DNSS) — "Drugging Babylon: The Illegal Narcotics Trade and Nation-Building in Iraq"
  • Mr. John F. Troxell (CSL/OGD) — "Presidential Decision Directive-56: A Glass Half Full"
  • Dr. Marybeth Ulrich (DNSS) — "Ukraine's Military Between East and West" 


 Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II (SSI)Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century

Newly Appointed Tenure

  • Col. Joel Hillison
  • Col. Michael McMahon
  • Col. Robert Nye
  • Col. Dean Stodter
  • Col. John Tisson

Title X Faculty Promotions

  • Dr. Tami Biddle
  • Dr. Larry Goodson
  • Dr. Al Stolberg
  • Dr. Kevin Weddle
  • Dr. Rich Meinhart
  • Prof. Ed Filiberti

Academic Chairs

  • Dr. James Gordon – General of the Armies John J. Pershing Chair of Military Planning and Operations
  • Dr. Kevin Weddle – General Maxwell D. Taylor Chair of the Profession of Arms

Dedicated Chairs

  • Prof. Anthony Williams – Francis W. DeSerio Chair of Strategic and Theater Intelligence
  • Dr. Mark Grimley – Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History
  • Col. Jeffrey Caton – Transformation Chair

Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Banner editorial: Helping Wounded Warriors is our duty

Dec. 22, 2008 -- November was designated Wounded Warrior month by the Army, but there should be no end to the commitment by those who take care of those injured while defending America's freedoms.

     "We owe those who wear the uniform all the support they can possibly have. We'll give them the best medical care, and for the docs and nurses here, there's no doubt in my mind our troops get the best medical care possible," said President George W. Bush during a recent ceremony at the White House honoring wounded warriors.

    While Carlisle Barracks may not deploy large numbers of Soldiers to theater, the military and civilians here can -- and do – dedicate efforts on behalf of Wounded Warriors.

   More than 40 Soldiers who were injured in the line of duty have enjoyed the Pennsylvania tradition of hunting turkey and deer, thanks to Randy Rakers, security manager and special security officer at the Army Heritage and Education Center. Since Spring 2007, he and his friends in the Michaux Yellow Breeches chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation have hosted Soldiers from the Army Wounded Warrior Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    Special veterans' licenses and the required tags were donated, as well as all the equipment the Soldiers would need. Each Soldier was decked out from head to toe in warm, blaze orange hunting clothes.

    Rakers isn't alone in finding a way to help.

    Members of the Army War College 2008 class donated $2,690 to the Fisher House at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Responding to a unanimous choice to support the Fisher House, graduates Col. Gordon Roberts and Lt. Col. Anthony Johnson presented a check November 25 to Maurice Borde, in support of the unique program that meets humanitarian needs beyond those normally provided by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

    There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and offer the comforts of home in a supportive environment. More than 10,000 families find a home at one of the Fisher Houses annually – and no family pays to stay at any Fisher House. Donations are used to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

    The Army's Wounded Warrior Program is the official program to assist and advocate for severely wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers and their Families, wherever they are located, for as long as it takes. AW2 gives individualized support to this unique population of Soldiers, who were injured or became ill during their service in the Global War on Terrorism.

      "There is no higher priority for the Department of Defense, after the war itself, than caring for our wounded warrior," said Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense.

    Everyone who enjoys the freedoms that our brave Soldiers provide us every day owes it to them to do what they can to help.

    Check out the support groups and nonprofits organizations. Help focus your local church, civic group or veterans organization on ways to help. 

    Volunteer at the Wounded Warrior Project to become a community liaison, or donate to the Wounded Warrior fund, CFC 11425 of the Combined Federal Campaign or to Army Emergency Relief.

    "We owe more than just our gratitude to our wounded and fallen, their families and those who stood beside them in combat. We must do everything within our power to ensure they receive the care and benefits they so richly deserve. These veterans have given one-hundred percent and they deserve one-hundred percent back," said Amd. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, in a letter to all servicemembers. 

    It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do something. What are a few minutes, a few dollars or a few days to give to someone who has devoted their life to protect yours?

Post breaking ground on new VAC site

Dec. 22, 2008 -- Early work is underway in the construction project to create a new, relocated Vehicle Access Control site for the Claremont entrance to Carlisle Barracks.

    The Army awarded the project to Odyssey International, Inc., of Lancaster, Pa.  The contract of approximately $1.5 million value runs through July 2009.

    During December, the site has undergone evacuation work, clearing trees and placing markers for the new road. Utilities have been placed underground.

    The new vehicle checkpoint will be relocated away from the Meadows Housing Area, providing for both security and better quality of life in the neighborhood.

    The construction and relocation will enhance traffic flow on Claremont and minimize morning congestion. The horseshoe-shaped access road will be set back deeper than the current VAC access road, closer to the railroad tracks, with room for more cars awaiting security checks. And, the project includes creating a right hand turn lane from Claremont Road onto Thorpe Road. 

    The new road plan is designed to eliminate confusion for visitors and increase efficiency. All vehicles will travel the same route.  Trucks will be inspected without having to drive a second loop. Cars with decals will enter post as they do now after the first checkpoint. Cars without decals can either continue on to the Barracks Crossing Vehicle Registration or to the Search Office, where they can obtain a visitors pass. 

    The project includes plans to upgrade the stop light, add street lights, place a new pedestrian sidewalk from the Meadows to the gate, and create new landscaping at the current site.    

    The current vehicle access operations will continue throughout the construction. The project is not expected to disrupt traffic flow on Claremont nor entry into post at the Claremont gate.