Banner Archive for October 2016

Red Blanket Drum, Dance Troop demonstration highlights Native American Heritage Month commemoration

The rhythmic thumping of drums coupled with the shouts and whirls of brightly dressed dancers are key components in Native American culture past and present. Having the privilege of watching a demonstration of various dances, once reserved only for tribal members, provides visitors an opportunity to better understand the traditions and heritage of Native Americans.

As part of Native American Heritage Month this November, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is excited to welcome performers from the Red Blanket Drum and Dance Troop on Monday, November 14 at 7 PM. These traditional Native American dancers will demonstrate ceremonial and social dancing techniques passed down from their ancestors for centuries. The demonstration will include authentic dress, free-style movements, and sacred songs, enhanced by the deep base of drums and coupled with examples of indigenous vocals, and flute music.

Each tribe maintains traditions and culture through many distinct styles of dance. There are dances and songs for courtship, for community events, and even for war. The Red Blanket dancers passionately devote themselves to keeping their peoples’ traditions alive.  The Red Blanket mission is to “provide educational programs through dance and song and to promote Native American awareness.”

This event is open to the public and FREE to attend. The presentation begins at 7:00PM and will conclude around 8:30PM. For directions, more information, and a complete schedule of USAHEC events, please visit: or call: 717-245-3972.

In addition to the performance by the group, the Army War College will recognize the accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans to our Army.

- A video featuring Army Sgt. Terri Bluebird who speaks on being the first female Paratrooper of the Year, growing up in the Army and her mother who was the first Native American female to serve 20 years in the Army and how she is following in her footsteps.

- A video that highlights Native Americans service in the U.S. Army will also be made available.

- A month-long library and digital signage display will showcase Native American Medal of Honor recipients

Carlisle Barracks staff learn about importance of resiliency

Command Sgt. Maj. Nelson Maldonado, Garrison CSM, leads a session on resiliency and it's importance for all leaders -- Soldiers, Army civilians and Families.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most resilient and responsive to change.”

These words, first spoken by Charles Darwin when speaking of evolution, ring true today. Physical fitness is not the only hallmark of the U.S. Army -- resilience also ranks high in developing strong Soldiers, Army civilians and Families.

This was the message from Command Sgt. Maj. Nelson Maldonado, Carlisle Barracks CSM, to a gathering of garrison directors and leaders during an introduction to Master Resilience Training Oct. 27 in Upton Hall. During the hour-long session Maldonado shared why resiliency is vital for not just Soldiers, but civilian employees and family members.

“Resilience is not new, but the Army knows how important this is,” said Maldonado, who is a trained Master Resilience Trainer. “It’s important for all of us to be aware of and address our mental and emotional fitness.”

As part of the training, Maldonado shared stories from his own experience as a Soldier and how the same challenges face leaders at all levels, military and civilian. The leaders around the table also shared some of their challenges and spoke with each other about how they manage stress.

The event served as an introduction to the larger ”ARMYFIT”, a U.S. Army program designed to build resilience and enhance performance of the Total Army -- Soldiers, Family members and Army civilians -- by providing training and self-development tools needed to better cope with adversity, build resilience and optimize performance.

“"Investing the time to provide Army Resiliency Training to our Carlisle Barracks garrison workforce is going to be powerful on a personal and professional level,” said Lt. Col. Greg Ank, Garrison Commander. “These concepts will serve all of us to be better teammates through effective communication skills, allow us to see ourselves and understand better ways to work together, and carry these tools home to be healthier and happier family members and citizens.  Some of these concepts seem so basic and instinctual, yet we all become so busy that we forget about how to employ stress-reducing, coping and active listening techniques to name a few."

The program is dedicated to overall health, as it supports development in the five dimensions of strength: social, emotional, Family, spiritual and physical. CSF2 is an integral part of the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, a campaign that promotes personal readiness and optimized human performance.

Research has not only shown that resilience and performance enhancement can be taught, but also that ready and resilient Soldiers, Family members and civilians perform better, which ultimately results in improved unit and mission readiness.

Additionally, CSF2 provides Soldiers, Family members and civilians with the tools they need to be successful.

Maldonado challenged each of the leaders to take the “Global Assessment Tool,” located at The “GAT” survey tool through which individuals can confidentially assess their physical and psychological health based on the Five Dimensions of Strength: Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Family, and Physical. Maldonado asked each of the directors to fill out the survey in preparation for a follow-on session in December.

“Knowing your strengths and weakness and how to address them can help you become a stronger version of yourself,” he said.

The GAT results give you your score in all five dimensions of strength and the Performance Triad, plus your RealAge, a metric that looks at your responses to the GAT and tells you your biological age compared to your calendar age. The GAT is available to family members and non CAC holders as well.

Following completion of the GAT 2.0., you’ll be entered into the ArmyFit online platform, where you can create a profile where you can share as much or as little information as you want. You’ll automatically receive recommendations based on your GAT 2.0 score and RealAge results and can compete in self-improvement challenges as individuals or teams.

Users can also receive weekly emails, which provide custom tips and updates on new content and have the ability to synchronize their personal fitness devices to ArmyFit. This new feature is compatible with about a dozen of the most popular fitness devices such as JawBone UP, Runkeeper and FitBit. A tracker feature allows users to set goals, add data and track improvements regarding weight, body measurements, and alcohol consumption so improvements can be readily checked.

For more information visit

Delegates, issues needed for local family forum

The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) provides a way for Soldiers and Family members to let Army leadership know what works, what doesn't, and what they think will fix it.  Issues may be submitted at any time through the Carlisle Barracks website at

Army Community Service at Carlisle Barracks will hold an AFAP Workshop on November 18, 2016 from 9 am - 3 pm at Army Community Service, building 632.   Delegates for the workshop are needed.  Representation from various demographics including Active Duty, Family Members, Retirees, National Guard/Reserves, DoD Civilians, Dual Military families, Single Soldiers and Single Parent Soldiers are requested.  Please call the AFAP Program Manager at 717-245-4357 to volunteer for this important event.  Submit your issues today!

AFAP provides Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, Army Civilians, Family members, Survivors, and Retirees a voice in shaping their standards of living by identifying issues and concerns for Army Senior Leadership resolution. Since its inception in 1983, the AFAP remains the only such partnership between a branch of the United States military and its constituents.

Issues can be submitted at the garrison Army Community Service office or to a unit Family Programs liaison. Army OneSource ( also facilitates AFAP issue online submission and routes the issue to the garrison/unit selected by the submitter for entry into the AFAP process. The needs of the Army community remain in the forefront of Army Senior Leadership. AFAP is the primary tool to communicate the important issues facing Soldiers, Army Civilians, Families, Survivors, and Retirees.

Information provided through the AFAP process gives commanders and leaders insight into current satisfaction detractors, quality of life needs, and expectations of Army constituents. Leadership uses the information to effect changes that improve standards of living and support programs. These changes foster a satisfied, informed, and resilient Army Community

Warning: Fraudulent AKO sites

The 7th SIG CMD has identified two fraudulent websites masquerading as the official Army Knowledge Online (AKO) website. The purpose of these fraudulent sites is to obtain the Common Access Card (CAC) login credentials of US personnel. The sites are akoarmymil[dot]com and akousarmy[dot]com. 

DO NOT access these sites for any reason. Both sites look and act like AKO, but they are not the actual AKO site and will steal information from users going to them. 

The Official AKO website is located at; which you can save to your bookmarks/favorites and refrain from using external links to access AKO.

Also, remember you should NEVER open URLs or hyperlinks sent via email or other methods without validating that you recognize the site/URL and that the email is digitally signed by the sender.

Commitment to information exchange: CLIF shares 'the rest of the story'

Oct. 26, 2016 -- The Community Leader Information Forum, or CLIF, talks Halloween safety, kids safety at the gyms, and flue shots for kids under 3 years. 

 A community spouse raised concern about the discomfort that scary clown masks have brought to many communities. Both Lt. Col. Greg Ank and Commandant Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp shared the command perspective aboutHalloween activities at Carlisle Barracks.  The kids' costume parade and thedoor-to-door trick-or-treating are a much-loved tradition here, and theywork because, "DES takes their role very seriously. They're always onguard," said Ank. I want you to know this post is safe for trick-or-treatingon Halloween.

 “We take these reported incidents [from other locations] and allpotential threats on the post very seriously," he noted. Parents shouldalways be prudently involved in costume choices for children, escort theirchildren for the night with appropriate safety lights and/or reflectiveclothing, and report any suspicious activity immediately to the police deskat 245-4115 or 245-3465.

 Every question is an opportunity pull up the curtain and explain how and whydecisions are made.

As example, the October CLIF became the opportunity to explain thatArmy-level policy forbids children under 13 from using mechanical cardio,strength equipment or sauna at any time.  Ank explained that thecomplementary policy, that children 13-15 can use all equipment if underdirect supervision of parent or guardian, for reasons of legal liability.

Each CLIF starts with the 3x5 card review. To encourage community members tocandidly share questions and concerns, 3x5 cards, with questions like theabove example, are gathered at each meeting. The cards trigger staff reviewto provide responses or to trigger actions that the commandant then 'owns'when he share the responses with the community.

Information exchange is a two-way street and Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp islistening.

The Community Leaders Information Forum, or CLIF, began life a few years agoas an information exchange with spouses who volunteer to be the information liaison with other spouses in each of the Army War College student seminars.  These SSRs, or senior spouse representatives, gather and share information about academic and post schedules and policies that are likely to affect the families.

Now, CLIF has  expanded.  It's open to any spouse at Carlisle Barracks, and it takes place at the Army Heritage and Education Center for easy access.

Rapp ended the October CLIF meeting today by thanking all who volunteer to represent friends, neighbors and colleagues from student seminars.  "Iknow you're not paid, and we appreciate what you do --  from passinginformation to your fellow spouses, to everything you do to make thiscommunity all that it is."

The team is all there, at CLIF meetings, to help explain policies and planning.

Lt. Col. Mike Belenky, Dunham Health Clinic Commander, talked about flu shots and took questions. They noted the lines for flu shots this week, and scheduled another opportunity.

Dunham is  offering an additional clinic Nov. 1, 1 to 7 p.m. After that, beneficiaries can get their flu shot by scheduling an appointment. Also, flu shots for ages six months to 35 months are now available by calling the clinic.

Rapp addressed the fact that gym hours have changed twice in the last fewweeks. New policies due to budget cuts at IMCOM, the parent organization forall garrisons, caused every garrison around the world to tighten belts. AtCarlisle, a decision was made to reduce gym hours. But some installations decisions included job cuts, so the Army has called for a pause while theplanned actions are reviewed. The budget cuts are not paused, however, andsome decisions will eventually come to affect MWR service levels at CarlisleBarracks.

Spouses and command members and leaders/managers from across the installation swapped questions and information:  Commissary, Exchange, Army Wellness Center, Dunham Health Clinic Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club, Army Community Services, and more. A selection:

  • USAWC students will hold their own Army-Navy football field, Dec. 8,  toraise the spirit for the USMA-USNA football game. This and more is on thecommunity calendar.
  • AUSA Family Forums were recorded and are posted for viewing, at 
  • The "Help for Husbands" Holiday Shopping Event is planned by the CarlisleBarracks Spouses Club (psst – “for men who need gift-giving ideas”) on Wed, Nov. 30 at 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the LVCC,
  • The Red Blanket Native American Drum and Dance Troop is scheduled for an educational program with dance and song, Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Army Heritage and Education Center.

The next Community Leaders Information Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the Army Heritage and Education Center where entry is always free and parking is plentiful.



Dunham Clinic announces flu shot program for 2016

It’s that time of year again, time to get your annual flu vaccination, and there is good news and bad news.

Bad news: The flu shot clinics at Dunham Clinic are ending Oct. 28. Good news: They are offering an additional clinic Nov. 1, 1 to 7 p.m. After that, beneficiaries can get their flu shot by scheduling an appointment. Also, flu shots for ages six months to 35 months are now available by calling the clinic.


To help make it easier for employees, retirees and family members to get their flu vaccinations this year, Dunham Clinic has set up a number of opportunities. For the 2016-2017 flu season, the Army will offer injectable flu shots to Soldiers, federal civilians, and beneficiaries. In accordance with effectiveness recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Army will not be offering live attenuated influenza vaccine, known as FluMist.

Retirees, family members and post employees (3 years and older):

Oct. 17– 21, 24-28

Mon/Wed/Fri 1 -4 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:30-7 p.m.

Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – noon

 Retiree Appreciation Day:

Carlisle Barracks, Oct 8, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The medical area will be closed during the open ceremony 8:30- 9:30 a.m.

 Who should get the Flu Shot?

The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months of age and all pregnant women, including those who are healthy and those with chronic medical conditions.  The Flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is administered with a needle,     usually in the arm.

Who can get the Flu Shot?

All military service members must receive annual influenza vaccinations IAW AR 40–562/BUMEDINST 6230.15B/AFI 48–110_IP/CG COMDTINST M6230.4G.  All exemptions must be reviewed and confirmed by a medical provider.  All DA Civilians, contractors, and eligible family members may receive the vaccine if desired.

Don’t let the flu bug catch you! Get your immunization early.

Government BookTalk spotlights USAWC Press publications

Oct. 26, 2016 -- People ar e reading ... USAWC publications. Just ask Government BookTalk.

Did you know that US Army War College publications can be purchased from certain online vendors? Don't do it.

The Strategic Studies Institute of the Army  War College is a  62 -year-old Army think tank renowned as much for its independence as for its expertise. Its publications are always free, online. If you prefer a hard copy version of any publication, it's available at moderate rates from the Government Printing Office.

This, just out, is the GPO's pitch to go-GPO for your hard copy book orders --

In Carlisle Barracks, PA, one of our nation’s oldest military installations prepares the next generation of senior leaders for a changing world. It’s called the U.S. Army War College—a place where a community of security and military minds convert issues into strategy.

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the “geostrategic and national security research and analysis” arm of the U.S. Army War College. They’re a little bit like the U.S. Army’s own think tank. SSI is filled with experienced research staff who develop strategic recommendations. Such independent analysis is often published in booklet form.

GPO makes available a wide range of SSI publications. Let’s take a quick look at two recent additions to the collection.

9781584877332The Pivot to Asia: Can It Serve as the Foundation for American Grand Strategy in the 21st Century?

In 2012, the Obama administration announced a “Pivot to East Asia” strategy designed to prioritize the deepening of bilateral relationships with emerging economies in the region. This SSI work places that policy in historical context and discusses “problems that the Obama team faced in its efforts to solicit the support of regional friends and allies.” It also provides analysis of how U.S. outreach efforts utilized a network of military partners as well as the role U.S.-China relations in the pivot campaign.

From Assistance to Partnership: Morocco and its Foreign Policy in West Africa

9781584877110Morocco lies at a geopolitical and cultural crossroads like no other country in Africa. Sustained economic growth and political stability are reshaping it into a bulwark of peace and counter-extremism in West Africa. This strategic study examines how Morocco is strengthening its position as a regional security provider in the region. It “aspires to…[be] a partner of choice for the United States and other organizations seeking to develop their interests in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s learning how to savvily leverage “security cooperation, economic development, strengthening cultural ties, and capacity building” with partners inside and outside the region.


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Making Our Community Safer: Effective Ways to Combat Family Violence, Sexual Assault 

Join us Nov. 7 at 11:45 a.m. in the Wil Waschoe Auditorium in Root Hall for a presentation by Pamela Jacobs, an attorney, advocate, and presenter who has dedicated her career to educating families and empowering survivors of physical and sexual violence. She is an engaging speaker whose passion is empowering people to discover innovative responses to these epidemics, which impact one in three females and one in six males, according to Gina Beck, Army War College Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, who is sponsoring the event. Her presentation will address why these issues happen and effective steps that we can each take to make our Families and communities safer.

For more information, contact Gina Beck at 717-245-4925 or 717-448-1067.

What’s the story with the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center? 

‘What’s the story with…?’ is a phrase commonly heard at Carlisle Barracks. With more than 50 buildings in the National Historic Register, the post has a history unlike many others.               

This is the latest in a series that will take a look at historic buildings, photos and more that tell the story of Carlisle Barracks. Throughout its nearly 260 years of history, the post has been the home to many pioneering schools, events and leaders that have helped shape our Nation. Want to learn more? Check out the Carlisle Barracks history page at or visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at

This week’s entry focuses on the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center.

Built sometime before 1887 by Carlisle Indian Industrial School students, the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center is one of the three physical fitness facilities on Carlisle Barracks. The building has retained its original purpose as it was also a gym for the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The facility was enlarged in 1887, adding the three-story front, then renovated in 1976 and again in 2003 that included updating interior finishes and altering the structure to meet the changing demands of fitness today.

It was named after the famed athlete, Jim Thorpe (of Sac and Fox Indian heritage), in 1954 since he won both the Decathlon and Pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the only athlete to ever win both of these events, though his medals were later taken away and his records stricken from the book because he had played two years of semi-professional baseball which disqualified him from the games as he was not an amateur athlete as the International Olympic Committee required at the time. Also in 1912, he was awarded the, “All Around Amateur Athletic Union Champion of the U.S.” His achievements and resulting fame brought recognition to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Today, the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center is available for use by active duty, retired military and their authorized family members, DA civilians, reserve and National Guard personnel, DoD contracted employees, technical representatives, and employees of military banking facilities and credit unions who are working at Carlisle Barracks.


What buildings would you like to learn more about? Send an email to with the Subject Line: “What’s the story with?” and we’ll include in an upcoming edition.

Previous stories

Hessian Powder Magazine

Armstrong Hall

Frederick the Great

Upton Hall

Royal American Circle

Coren Apartments

“Pop” Warner House

Two police officers recognized for excellence


Two Carlisle Barracks police officers were recognized for excellence and promoted to the rank of sergeant on Oct. 20 during a ceremony hosted by Police Chief Paul Heinlein and director of emergency services Bob Suskie.

Eric A. Williams, who started here in July 2010, started as a patrolman was appointed as the Traffic Accident Investigator earlier this year.   Eric previously served as an Army MP from 2010-2013.

Christopher Archdeacon, started working at Carlisle Barracks as a guard in 2014 and was hired as a police officer later that year. Chris served in the United States Air Force Security Force from 2001 to 2007.

Army enters consultations with Native American tribes about Cemetery

Jim Thorpe Hall is one of the 20 buildings that are part of the Carlisle Indian School Historic District on Carlisle Barracks. The building was recently renovated to not only be updated with America Disability Acts requirements but was also restored to the way it appeared during the days of the school which called Carlisle Barracks home from 1879-1918.

Nearly 100 years after the Army assumed responsibility for the graves of students from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the Army is now in consultation with numerous Native American tribes for disinterment of remains to their families and communities.

The boarding school operated between 1879 and 1918 at Carlisle Barracks, educating more than 10,000 Native American children during its 39-year operation.

The Northern Arapaho, Rosebud Sioux, Standing Rock Sioux Tribes and other interested parties met this week in South Dakota with Army representatives for the first in a series of government-to-government consultations about a path forward. The office of the Army National Military Cemeteries led the Army representation to discuss the process of establishing documentation to establish familial ties or legal authorization prior to disinterment from the cemetery.

The Army also held talks in June in the state of Washington and in October in North Carolina to ensure that other tribes are aware of the possibility and requirements to request disinterment. No remains will be exhumed before then, according to Army spokesperson Dave Foster.

The requirements to exhume a body from a military cemetery include the need for a full statement of reasons for the proposed disinterment, as well as notarized affidavits by all close relatives of the deceased stating that they have no objections. Army cemetery rules define close relatives as spouse, parents, adult brothers and sisters and adult children of the decedent. The military has said that it understands that there will be certain challenges and will work with the tribes on each case.

There are tentative plans to begin the process of disinterment in late July, 2017.     

The Carlisle Barracks Cemetery includes 228 graves: 186 graves of Native Americans who attended the Indian Industrial School, and 42 graves of veterans and/or their eligible dependents. When the Army assumed control of the post in 1918, the cemetery became a military cemetery.  The first burial occurred in February 1882; the cemetery was closed to further interments in 2005. The cemetery is located on the grounds of the 259-year-old military base, near its main entrance on Claremont Road. The graves sites not requested for disinterment will be remain untouched.

IMMEDIATE: ROOT HALL Electricity Guidelines

The cause of the power failure has been determined and the necessary steps are being taken to purchase and install the necessary parts to make the required repairs. As a result, the Joint Deli will remain closed until further notice and all energy conservation measures will remain in place.

Due to a failure with the transformer and switch gear in Root Hall last Sunday, the remaining transformer is operating at near capacity, and reduced energy consumption is necessary to prevent a system failure.  

As a result, we ask Root Hall occupants to take the following actions beginning WEDS, 19 October:

•             Power down and unplug any non-essential equipment (for example: coffee pots, microwaves, TVs and small refrigerators)

•             Power down all PCs, monitors and printers when departing for the day

Additionally, we will close the Joint Deli in Root Hall beginning Wednesday, October 19th until further notice.  Please use the Bowling Alley, Golf Course, Café Cumberland or Subway for lunch.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Carlisle Barracks emergency services hosting exercises Oct. 21,24

Carlisle Barracks Emergency Services will be hold a series of training exercise Oct. 21 and 24 at 637 Liggett Road. There will be training in progress signs posted and traffic may be slowed, but the road will remain open. The exercises will start around 10 a.m.  

Dr. Rory Cooper to speak at Disability Employment Awareness event, Oct 21   #InclusionWorks

Diversity includes Disability:  Dr. Rory Cooper (photo, right) will speak here for National Disability Employment Awareness Observance

21 October 2016 / 1200-1300

Wil Washcoe Auditorium

In 2003, shortly after arriving in Iraq, an anti-tank mine blew off then-Maj. David Rozelle's right foot and part of his leg below the knee. After his injury, he was determine not to let the wound define him, and instead vowed to return to service in Iraq. Once his wound healed, he dove into rehabilitation and was fitted with an artificial foot and left. He returned to Iraq for two additional tours.

 "I didn't let that landmine injury define me, I made it so my recovery from the landmine injury and my return to war was what defined me," said Lt.Col. Rozelle.(photo, left)

 A boating accident left U.S. Air Force Capt. Christy Wise without her right leg. Three months later, she joined 270 wounded service people participating at the 2015 Department of Defense Wounded Warrior Games. She has since requalified as an Air Force pilot.

 Stories of motivation and discipline cannot be told without recognizing the science and technology at work.

 You're invited to the National Disability Employment event on Friday, Oct 21, from Noon to 1 p.m. in Wil Washcoe Auditorium, in Root Hall.

 This will be an opportunity to learn about breakthroughs in employment and in technology for disabled Americans through the first-person experience and expertise of Dr. Rory A. Cooper. 

 Dr. Cooper is a nationally known expert and innovator in the field of Rehabilitative Science and Technology. An Army veteran with a spinal cord injury, he has dedicated a career to advancing science and support through many roles, titles, and achievements.

 Dr. Cooper is FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Medicine & Rehab, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cooper is also Director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories.

 He is the Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories: a Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a member of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Medicare Advisory Committee, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Prosthetics & Special Disability Programs Advisory Committee, Chair of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

 This event for the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks community and neighbors is part of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

 National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time to recognize the significant contributions American workers with disabilities make each and every day. It is an opportunity for us to reaffirm the DoD commitment to recruit, retain, and advance people with disabilities throughout our workforce.

Service dogs, adaptive equipment help increase inclusion, learn how  

Two special events are planned at the Sgt. Andrew McConnell Youth Center, home of the post’s youth and school programs, as part of the post-wide celebration of inclusion and disability awareness Oct. 21.

A 10:30 a.m. demonstration by the Susquehanna Service Dogs will showcase the training that provides service dogs, hearing dogs, balance dogs, service dogs for service men and women, facility dogs, in-home service dogs and companion dogs. Each dog is specially trained to perform specific tasks. Weather permitting the event will take place on the outdoor patio of the center.

At 4 p.m., a Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation demonstration in the gym will highlight some of the modified sports equipment that has been developed individuals with disabilities. The organization offers equipment for skiing and snowboarding and waterskiing, kayaking and cycling.

ACS, Red Cross partnership just one example of community coordination  

Recently members of the Army Community Service (ACS) and DPTMS staff partnered with the American Red Cross Disaster Program and attended a training on Emergency Shelter Fundamentals this month.  The training sponsored by the Red Cross is one of several trainings designed to assist agencies on the implementation and operations of an Emergency Shelter should there be a natural disaster and families are displaced from their homes.

The joint training is just one of the ways that Carlisle Barracks partners with the community for emergency response. The installation police and fire departments partner with many local townships and boroughs to help create and safe and more secure community.  

Partnerships are "win-win" for both the Army and the organizations we partner with. We share resources, training opportunities, and work together for the good of the community.

One of the key areas of partnerships here are aimed at youth and families. Through partnerships with organizations such as 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Military Child Education Coalition, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, and organizations in the local community, the Carlisle Barracks Child and Youth Services is able to deliver quality education programs to children and youth, as well as provide support to Army Families.

For organizations like our Army Community Services here, these partnerships are vital for their operations. They allow us to expand our reach and provide services to a larger client base, including retirees. Through our Information & Referral role, we maintain a directory of resources and are constantly updating this directory. Leveraging partnerships allows us to stay relevant and current regarding resources for our military families. These services and partnerships include job fairs, joint trainings and more.

One of the most visible partnerships here at Carlisle Barracks are with local first responders. We have partnerships with the Cumberland County Chiefs of Police Association; Castle's K9 Inc.; and the Fire Departments in Carlisle Borough and North Middleton Townships. These partnerships allow us to have connection to the Community for information sharing, to provide for shared training opportunities, and resource sharing.

The Carlisle Barracks Fire Department responds in the County to provide additional support to the Community's volunteer firefighters and partners with the County HAZMAT Team for training and resources sharing.”

The community also values the expertise of the staff here. For example, Det. Svend Sheppard of our DA  police hosts an annual bicycle officers training course that brings officers from all over the region. The Army War College speaker’s bureau places nearly 300 speakers each year at events all over the region to include civic organization events, college and high school classrooms, and ceremonies. This academic year it has placed nearly 100 speakers who have shared their expertise on topics like U.S. operations in Afghanistan, leadership, the U.S role in humanitarian assistance, ethics, and the role of the military in response to ISIL.

And these are just a few of the key partnerships that help make Carlisle and Carlisle Barracks a great place to live. I encourage each of you to find a way to give back to our community, to “pay it forward” for the benefits of us all.

National Red Ribbon Campaign 2016 Oct. 23 – 31
Yolo – be drug free #youonlyliveonce

In 1990, the Department of Defense (DoD) joined in the national effort by commencing an award program to encourage service members to keep communities drug-free and to recognize outstanding outreach programs. This year's Red Ribbon Week theme is, YOLO – Be Drug Free #YOUONLYLIVEONCE.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is an opportunity to send a consistent “No Drug” message to people everywhere. The following activities and events will take place Oct. 23 – 31.  


Monday, Oct. 24 – Drug Prevention Resource table set up in the Youth Center, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. 

Oct. 26 & 27.– Meet and hang out with your Army Substance Abuse (ASAP) Staff from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Days will vary.

Monday, Oct. 24 – 31 – Display at DUNHAM

Thursday, Oct. 27 – Narcotic Drug Dog Demonstration, 3:30 p.m. at Youth Center.

Events are sponsored by MWR Children & Youth Services, Army Substance Abuse, CBKS Department of Emergency Services and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.

For additional information contact the Army Substance Abuse Program at 245-4576.

It takes a team: College honors 2 International Fellows Program specialists

October 18, 2016 -- Behind the scenes, it takes a team to coordinate information and support for 74 international fellows, and more than 250 family members. Gretchen Morrison and Cindi Bishop were recently singled out for the depth of expertise they lend to the job.

Bishop is the plans and operations assistant for the International Fellows Program, but this Spring and Summer, she stepped up in the temporary absence of the operations officer. That put the full action of coordination on her desk for the IF Orientation Course. A 6-week program, the orientation course incorporates on-site sessions and field trips.  On-site briefings introduced critical support about base operations, school information. Guest speakers introduced core elements of the United States, from culture and history to first amendment rights and the US Constitution. Faculty offered ‘101’ briefs about Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy.

Travels to the Department of State, Senate Arms Service Committee, Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, Philadelphia’s historic center, Hershey Medical Center and Rotary Club were rounded out by meetings with the Cumberland County commissioner, county judges, district attorney, public defender, and sheriff;  meetings with the Carlisle Borough mayor and manager; and orientation to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

Additionally, the orientation course planned for events with family members. “The fun stuff,” according to Bishop, introduced them to a slice of Americana:  HersheyPark, Senators Baseball, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, guided tours of Washington D.C., and a Spirit of America cruise on the Delaware River (thanks to an anonymous donor).

The IF Orientation was the first impression about the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks for the international officers who traveled here from 70 different countries.  The high bar for accomplishing the mission was reflected in the citation for her Commander’s Award for Civilian Service: “Her attention to detail and steadfast devotion to program goals resulted in an orientation course that was flawlessly executed.”


 Gretchen Morrison: family advisor, policy advisor (below, with Commandant Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp)

Gretchen Morrison steps in for a wide range of responsibilities as the Personal Affairs Specialist in the International Fellows Program. Her portfolio is as complex as it is wide-ranging:  medical liaison, medical billing, K-12 school enrollment, medical qualifications for school-age children, among other things. The complexity is tied to the range of healthcare payment modes, for which Morrison has become liaison, advocate, and policy expert.

“She has basically worked herself, and educated herself, into being a policy expert at the Army level,” said Kevin Bremer, deputy IF Program director. She’s a subject matter expert on family member healthcare for all senior Professional Military Education institutions – CGSC, Air Force, NDU, he said.  She provided input for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency about healthcare industry standards that led to a change in policy. In turn,” that policy update has resulted in better service to International Fellows and family members, a more efficient reimbursement process or better cooperation within the reciprocal agreements,” said Bremer, as he noted the multiple ways that IF family healthcare is insured.

“That was her regular job – extremely time-consuming. And then she added the officer manager job to her duties for a critical five-month period, over the Spring and Summer. “This is our busy time – still taking care of resident student families, 32 Academic Prep Course students arrive in April, the resident class graduates in June with all the detail that entails, distance education International Fellows, and the new course coming in.

“Add to that a record number of family members, just south of 300 family members,” said Bremer, as background to her honors with the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.


What’s the story with the "Pop" Warner house? 

‘What’s the story with…?’ is a phrase commonly heard at Carlisle Barracks. With more than 50 buildings in the National Historic Register, the post has a history unlike many others.               

This is the latest in a series that will take a look at historic buildings, photos and more that tell the story of Carlisle Barracks. Throughout its nearly 260 years of history, the post has been the home to many pioneering schools, events and leaders that have helped shape our Nation. Want to learn more? Check out the Carlisle Barracks history page at or visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at

This week’s entry focuses on the “Pop Warner” house.

Glenn Scobey Warner, born on April 5, 1871 in Springville, New York, would become an important figure in Carlisle Indian Industrial School history, as the football coach who worked with famous footballer and Olympian Jim Thorpe and who went on to coach the team to a win against the Army football team in 1912. "Pop" Warner, as he was affectionately nicknamed by his players, grew up in New York and after a few years spent with his family in Texas, he attended Law School at Cornell University. It was here Warner learned to play football.

After finding that he had a talent for the game, Warner coached at the University of Georgia and then returned to coach at his Alma Mater. In 1898, a dispute over who would be the head coach the following season led to Warner's departure and his coaching job at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Hired by Richard H. Pratt, founder and first superintendent of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Warner was offered an incredible salary of $1,200 for the year. Warner worked with the young Native American men to make them into a team that could compete with the other major Universities around the country. He found that the Native American boys had a different skill set than the young men he coached previously. The men were typically smaller than other college players, but they were fast and agile. The footballers at the school also gave Warner more flexibility with his plays. Warner developed several new types of plays throughout his tenure at Carlisle, which his players quickly learned. Warner was important to the Carlisle football team in many ways, but he is probably best known for his work with Jim Thorpe, Carlisle’s defeat of the Army team in 1912, and his contributions to the modern game of football. Thorpe showed his talent throughout the game and led the team to a 27-6 victory over the favored Army team. Additionally, Warner made another contribution to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School when he wrote the school song “Old Carlisle, Dear Carlisle,” that was sung to the tune of “Oh, Tannenbaum.”

During his coaching career at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Pop Warner lived in the unassuming house on Pratt Avenue, located near the primary entrance to the school. Built in 1905, the house “adopts a traditional American foursquare domestic design.” There was a trolley that transported students and faculty into town that went directly in front of the home on the way to a stop along what is now Armstrong Hall.

Today, the building is used as family quarters.

What buildings would you like to learn more about? Send an email to with the Subject Line: “What’s the story with?” and we’ll include in an upcoming edition.

Previous stories

Hessian Powder Magazine

Armstrong Hall

Frederick the Great

Upton Hall

Royal American Circle

Coren Apartments

Important info for voters

While many voter registration deadlines have passed there still are registration deadlines coming. Please check the FVAP website select your appropriate state for your specific deadline. Deadlines for postmarked absentee ballots will be right around the corner. Do not wait till the last minute and miss out on casting your vote!
You may also choose to contact your local VAO (USAWC or DAHC) or the IVAO.
The IVAO can be reached at 717-245-3688, through email at, or stop by Building 22, Ashburn Hall, Room 108.

Liberating Mosul will be Iraq's biggest fight, OIR spokesman says

WASHINGTON -- The size of Iraq's second-largest city will make the liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's two-year grip the largest mission Iraqi security forces have yet undertaken against the enemy, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters Wednesday.

Providing an update on the counter-ISIL effort in Iraq and Syria by teleconference from Baghdad, Air Force Col. John L. Dorrian said Mosul's size is on the "order of magnitude larger than the liberation battles in cities such as Ramadi, Fallujah and Sharqat."

With operations and planning along the Tigris River Valley to liberate the city underway, the Iraqi government is working with the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations to plan for people fleeing Mosul when the fighting begins, Dorrian said. The Iraqi government is directing 20 campsites for displaced people and is working with the U.N. and other organizations to pre-position resources to take care of them.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has informed the residents of Mosul by radio address of the pending liberation, and he has asked residents to cooperate with security forces, Dorrian said.


Elsewhere in Iraq, Iraqi forces have attacked ISIL fighters in the Euphrates River Valley on multiple fronts to remove them from the eastern side of the river, north and south of Hit, the colonel said. Within the past few days, the Iraqi forces completed clearance operations along the Euphrates Valley, connecting their northern and southern forward battle lines with about 140 miles of contiguous cleared area between Baghdad and Haditha.

Clearing this area takes pressure off the Iraqi forces to defend multiple fronts in the valley, and it helps to protect Ramadi, Fallujah and Baghdad from ISIL attacks as the battle for Mosul is waged, Dorrian explained.

That operation also increases pressure on ISIL, which has shown significant signs that its supply shortages and the dismantling of its command and control across Iraq are leaving them incapable of stopping the Iraqi forces from advancing.

"Continuing to pressure the enemy along the Euphrates River Valley is very important to the overall security of Iraq," Dorrian said, "and we'll continue a relentless campaign of strikes to keep the enemy on the back foot as the [Iraqi forces continue clearing operations]."


Progress against ISIL forces in Syria also is evident along the Mara line in the north, as NATO ally Turkey and coalition forces continue advise-and-assist missions with local forces. "Since the start of Operation Noble Lance, these partnered forces have liberated 254 square kilometers of ground, to include the people in 37 villages in that area," Dorrian said.

And since Manbij was liberated in mid-August, displaced residents are returning to the city in large numbers. About 70,000 people now reside in Manbij while efforts continue to remove ISIL booby traps and homemade bombs, the colonel told reporters, although 125,000 lived in Manbij before the enemy invaded. More than 3,000 families have benefited from humanitarian aid.


The Inherent Resolve spokesman said reports show ISIL has used commercial, "off-the shelf" drones for surveillance, and in some cases, to deliver explosives. While not a new ISIL tactic, Dorrian said, the coalition is working the drone issue with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization and the Army, among others.

"To supplement the capabilities already in theater, a system called Drone Defender and additional advanced systems have been sent that are capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and defeating [unmanned aircraft systems] threats," he said.

Young Hall construction projects begin

After years of careful planning, two Young Hall construction projects have begun to complete necessary concrete and roof work to the 1930’s area building, now used for family housing.

According to Belfour Beatty Communities, who briefed to plan to Young Hall residents during a town hall meeting Oct. 5, starting Oct. 11, Pullman SST will have teams working on the “D” side bay of Young Hall, removing and replacing concrete sidewalks and balconies down the street, wrapping along to the Indian Field side. The work is expected to last six to eight weeks, with work starting no earlier than 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. BBC cautioned residents that there will be nose, odors, machinery and dust during the project.

Later this month a roof replacement project will also begin.

The bus stop along Forbes Ave will remain open with no impact to pick up or drop off times.

Resident parking will also be affected but spots have been identified for residents. Temporary loading and unloading zones have also been established. 

Motorists are asked to watch for pedestrians in the cross walks near Young Hall as the construction continues.

Safety of the residents and contractors is the number one priority according to Theresa Steele, regional project manager for BBC. Each day construction workers will clear the areas of debris, including nails during the roofing work. The workers will also be clearly identified with proper identification and safety gear.  

Questions or concerns can be addressed by Kristen Dunkle, the BBC Community Manager here by calling (717) 243-7177.

Strategic Studies Honors Dr. Don Snider

Oct. 13, 2016 – the Army War College staff and community celebrated Dr. Don Snider's retirement from the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College,  in Bliss Hall Auditorium at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

SSI hosted the ceremony for Don Snider’s exceptional service as a prominent standard bearer of military professional stewardship, and to recognize his enduring contributions to fostering a climate of professionalism and ethical behavior in the Army.

During the ceremony Maj. Gen. William Rapp, Commandant USAWC, read letters sent to him to congratulate Mr. Snider. One of these letters from Prof. Dick Cone, UNC Chapel Hill, he wrote “you have made a real difference, with a combination of practical military experience  and informed scholarship in convincing entire generation of Army leaders of the need to address their normal, address their values, their teachings to women and men of the next cohort,” Cone wrote. “You have always been and will always be value added in the very best since that work,” he finished.  

In the Winter 2015 edition of Parameters the US Army War College Journal, Snider wrote,

The Department of the Army is, in fact, an institution of dual char­acter. It is at the same time both a governmental bureaucracy and a military profession. Thus there is a powerful, internal tension raging between the competing cultures of bureaucracy and profession. Only one can dominate institution-wide and at the levels of subordinate orga­nizations and units. Presently, and after fifteen years of war, there are indicators the culture of profession dominates that of bureaucracy, but only weakly so ….

 [The Army’s Stewards] alone have the moral responsibility and accountability to keep the Army a military profession, and thus an effective national instrument of land­power. And they will only do so by urgently and forthrightly addressing, among many others, the issues outlined in this essay. –‘Will Army 2025 be a Military Profession?’

Dr. Snider holds a Doctorate in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. He helped lead a two-year effort to produce the first-ever doctrine on the U.S. Army as a military profession (ADRP-1, The Army Profession, 2013).  Subsequently, he assisted another such effort in 2015 that refined the Army’s Professional Ethic. A partial list of Snider’s professional publications includes –

  • The National Security Strategy: Documenting Strategic Vision, 2013
  • Once Again, the Challenge to the U.S. Army During a Defense Reduction: To Remain a Military Profession, 2012
  • American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era, 2009
  • The Army’s Professional Military Ethic in an Era of Persistent Conflict, 2009.
  • Dissent and Strategic Leadership of the Military Professions, 2008

This celebratory event will mark Snider’s third retirement -- first from active duty as an Army colonel, then from the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic at West Point, and now from his position as Professor of the Military Profession and Ethic, with the Strategic Studies Institute. 

Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills visits Carlisle     

Billy Mills a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe and 1964 Tokyo Olympic Gold Medalist for the 10,000 meter run, visited Carlisle Barracks Oct. 7. One of his stops was the Jim Thorpe Gym, named in honor of the only other Native American Olympic Gold Medalist.

Carlisle Barracks hosted one of only two Native Americans to win an Olympic gold medal who came here to honor the memory of a man he considered “almost god-like,” Jim Thorpe.

Billy Mills, a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe and 1964 Tokyo Olympic Gold Medalist for the 10,000 meter run, visited Carlisle Barracks Oct. 7 to walk the grounds that Thorpe, a student of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, once called home.

“Jim Thorpe was like a god to me growing up,” said Mills, who was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and attended the Haskell Institute, now known as the Haskell Indian Nations University. “I couldn’t relate to him as he seemed larger than life. Even after winning the gold medal he said that he can’t bring himself to compare himself to Thorpe.

Considered by historians as one of the biggest upset in Olympic history, his victory in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympic Games saw him weave through a field of lapped runners and finally passed the race favorites, Ron Clarke and Mohamed Gammoudi. Mills took up distance running while attending the Haskell Institute and at the University of Kansas under Hall of Fame coach Bill Easton, he was an All-American in cross country in both 1958 and 1959.  A 1984 movie titled "Running Brave" was made of his life. Mills was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

While here, Mills visited Indian Field, the site of many of Thorpe and the other athletes of the schools legendary accomplishments, and walked through the gym that bears his hero’s name.

“It’s amazing to be here and think of all of the accomplishments of Jim Thorpe and his teammates,” said Mills. It was the first time that Mills had visited Carlisle Barracks.

In addition to his athletic prowess, Mills is also a Marine Corps veteran and spoke about why he chose to serve.

“Myself and many native people have very strong impulse to belong and serve two nations,” he said. “I wanted to honor myself, my tribal nation and my country by serving.” His given native name, Makata Taka Hela, loosely means "love your country.”

Mills now heads a non-profit group “Running Strong for American Indian Youth, in addition to being an advocate for Native American communities.

“We aim to help American Indian people fulfill their basic needs -food, water, and shelter- while also helping their communities gain self-sufficiency and self-esteem,” he said.  Mills and the group was recognized in 2012 by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Citizens Medal for their work.

Mills was in town taking part in a Cumberland County Historical Society conference that focused on the athletic legacy of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

What’s the story with Coren Apartments?

‘What’s the story with…?’ is a phrase commonly heard at Carlisle Barracks. With more than 50 buildings in the National Historic Register, the post has a history unlike many others.               

This is the latest in a series that will take a look at historic buildings, photos and more that tell the story of Carlisle Barracks. Throughout its nearly 260 years of history, the post has been the home to many pioneering schools, events and leaders that have helped shape our Nation. Want to learn more? Check out the Carlisle Barracks history page at or visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at

This week’s entry focuses on Coren Apartments.

Named after Captain Isaac Coren, who headed the First Artillery School at Carlisle Barracks in 1778, the Coren Apartments were originally constructed as officer quarters in 1838 and called Barracks 4.  

After burning down due to accidental causes in 1857, the Confederates burned the Coren Apartments in 1863. After the building was rebuilt, it served as teachers’ quarters and General Pratt’s office when the U.S. Army transferred Carlisle Barracks to the Department of the Interior for use as the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1879. Contrary to some legends, it was never used as a girl’s dormitory.

After World War I, when Carlisle Barracks housed General Hospital No. 31 and the Medical Field Service School, nurses’ headquarters stood in the Coren Apartments.

Today, Carlisle Barracks uses the building for family housing.

What buildings would you like to learn more about? Send an email to with the Subject Line: “What’s the story with?” and we’ll include in an upcoming edition.

Previous stories

Hessian Powder Magazine

Armstrong Hall

Frederick the Great

Upton Hall

Royal American Circle

Annual “RAD” provides important information to retirees, family members

A packed Bliss Hall was the site of the annual Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 8. Retirees and family members were able to learn about services and progarms important to them during the day-long event.

Want more photos? Visit

Once a servicemember, always a servicemember was the message for the 2016 Carlisle Barracks Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 8.

More than 800 retirees and family members came out for the annual event that provides retirees from all services an opportunity to learn about the latest in TRICARE, get their yearly flu shot, meet with representatives from the legal office and more.  It was the largest turnout in RAD history.

The key note speaker for the event was Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, Army War College Commandant, who provided an update on the Army’s priorities, current initiatives and answered questions from the audience.   

“This is one of my favorite events each year,” said retired Army Master Sgt. Bill Jones, who was here for the eighth conservative year.  “The post really does an outstanding job at brining everything together in one place for us.”

One of the highlights were the TRICARE briefings held in Bliss Hall and Reynolds Theater, one for those under 65 and one for those over 65. Tailored information was provided at each.

“With all of the changes that seem to come out every day with TRICARE, it’s great to be able to sit down and talk with someone face-to-face and get answers,” said retired Army major colonel James Wright, a veteran of Korea.

Attendees also heard update from the Carlisle Barracks Retiree Council, the Exchange and Commissary and Veterans Affairs.

“This was a great event and I can’t wait until next year,” said Jones.

Army is searching for - Ideas for Innovation

Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy is looking for innovative ideas to improve the Army.  Army Innovation 2 was developed to give Soldiers and Civilians an easy way to share and collaborate on ideas that will improve the Army.

“AI2 unleashes the creativity, ingenuity and adaptability of the force to improve readiness throughout the Army. I encourage all Soldiers and Civilians to share your ideas for innovation today” said HON Patrick J. Murphy, Under Secretary of the Army

AI2 replaces the Army Suggestion Program and provides a platform for unleashing the creativity of the force to bring ideas to valued outcomes. It is a venue for Army Soldiers and Civilians to share innovative ideas and creative solutions that positively affect the Army though increased cost savings, quality, productivity, cycle time, process improvement and/or morale

             Do you have an idea that will?

             Contribute to safety and security

             Provide technological solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s problems

             Offer competitive advantage on the battlefield

             Improve morale and quality of life

             Improve effectiveness and efficiency of operations

            Save money or time

Army Soldiers and Civilians have always been very innovative. Some great examples include:

The Airfield Manager at Hunter Army Airfield recommended realigning the fuel points at the petroleum, oil and lubricants facility to refuel aircraft saving the Army $8.7 million.

A sergeant from Fort Lewis recommended the fabrication and use of a holding fixture to secure the jacket of the XM 296.50 caliber machine gun on an OH- 58 Kiowa helicopter, reducing the damage to equipment during maintenance by 95%.

Join the Conversation and go to follow the 4 steps to share you innovative idea. Through this site you can also collaborate with those that have submitted ideas by voting, discussing and tracking.

You can use the voting buttons on the top of each idea to weigh in on whether you think it’s a good one. Offer feedback or subject matter expertise to help decide whether ideas can be implemented. Keep track of the ideas you’re interested in to see whether they’re being considered for implementation.

Important: You must have a milSuite account to create an idea, vote, comment or follow ideas. Register at https://www.milSuite.miland if you are having trouble accessing the AI2 or milSuite sites, contact the help desk at

Gym hours to expand effective Oct. 17

Effective Oct. 17, hours of operations for the post fitness center will revert back to their original hours of operation. The gyms and fitness centers had reduced hours of operation effective Oct. 1 due to anticipated reductions in Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation funds. A decision was made at the Secretary of the Army level to re-evaluate the anticipated reductions across all Army DFMWR services and as a result, the normal hours of operations have been restored.

Once a final decision is made, any changes to hours of operations for DFMWR services will be announced. 

Effective Oct. 17, the hours of operation will be as follows:

Indian Field Fitness Center

Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.,

Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sundays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Root Hall Gym

Mon - Fri: 5:30 am - 8:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed

 Holidays: Closed

Racquetball/Handball Court

Mon - Fri: 5:30 am - 8:30 pm


Thorpe Hall Gym

Hours of Operation
Mon - Fri 5 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sat 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Holidays 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Army Field Band to Perform at Cumberland Valley High School

Cumberland Valley High School will host a stirring and inspirational performance by the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus in Performing Arts Center on October 16, 2016, at 3 p.m.

The performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are recommended. You can reserve your tickets at

As an added bonus, 10 of Carlisle Area Cumberland Valley High School students will be performing the "El Capitan" March by Sousa alongside the Army Band musicians.

The Concert Band is the oldest and largest of the Field Band's four performing components. This elite 65-member instrumental ensemble, founded in 1946, has performed in all 50 states and 25 foreign countries for audiences totaling more than 100 million. Tours have taken the band throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Far East, and India.

 Carlisle Barracks Oktoberfest back Oct 6-9

Oktoberfest and many other events are open to the public with free admission and free parking. This year's event is set for Oct. 6-9.

A shuttle schedule can be found at  

Enjoy the traditional German salute to fall with a fun twist at the Carlisle Barracks Oktoberfest Oct. 6-9. There will be fun for all ages to include: Carnival rides and games, 5K Volksmarch, food and craft vendors, local wine, crisp apple cider and seasonal beverages. The annual event features a traditional fest tent with live music, games, craft fair, Oompah, Pop, Rock and Country music and more.

“OktoberFEAST” new addition to event  

New this year is the OktoberFEAST – a fun run/walk starting at 10 a.m. Sign up as a human and experience the thrill of running from the blood-thirsty undead. Or sign up as the undead and do your best to keep the humans from reaching the finish line unscathed. Humans will make their way around the path at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center and Carlisle Barracks Golf Course without being "caught" in the "Undead Zones." This race is presented by the Carlisle Family YMCA and will be held in conjunction with Oktoberfest.

Admission and parking are free. The event will be held rain or shine.

Oktoberfest is scheduled from Oct. 6-9 at the Army Heritage Trail, Army Heritage and Education Center. 

Event hours:  Thursday, Oct. 6 from 4-9 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 from 4-9 p.m.,

Saturday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Volksmarch registration 8-11 a.m. and Arts and Crafts Fair inside of USAHEC is from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9 from noon–7 p.m.

Not your speed? You can also take part in a 5k or 10k Volksmarch on Oct. 9. This is a sanctioned event by the American Volksmarch Association. This is a FREE event for those who wish to participate without IVV credit. IVV credit is $3.00 (children 12 & under are not charged for IVV credit). Start/Finish: Army Education & Heritage Center. Once parked, walk towards AHEC and signage will guide you to the registration tent.

So mark your calendars to attend Carlisle Barracks’ Annual Oktoberfest—a four-day, family-oriented event. A wide variety of music is part of the event with acts like the High Altitude - Air National Guard Band of the Northeast - U.S. Air Force, and "Six String Soldiers," taking part.

Free shuttle service will be available to the public from Dickinson College, Carlisle High School and Comfort Suites all four days.  A schedule of events, shuttle service, and more is available at

      Highlights include

Oct. 6-9            Carnival rides and games for all ages

Oct.8, 9          5K, 10K Volksmarch 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Registration ends at 1 p.m.)
Oct.8              Arts and Crafts Fair inside of USAHEC, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Army Heritage and Education Center is located at 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle.  For directions:



Retiree Appreciation Day set for Oct. 8

Military Retiree Appreciation Day at Carlisle Barracks will take place Sat., Oct. 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and many events are scheduled to share important command information briefings for military retirees, family members, survivors, and those who will retire soon.

Registration opens at 7:30 -- with retirement benefits offered throughout the day

  • ID cards: Anny Ely Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
  • Mini-health screening in Root Hall Gym, all day
  • Flu shots will be available in the Root Hall Gym. ID cards will be required to verify eligibility.
  • A TRICARE representative will be available in Reynolds Theater to answer questions.
  • Dunham Pharmacy will be open 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Commissary open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Exchange open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Briefing schedule:

  • Keynote address: Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, Army War College Commandant, 9:20 a.m.
  • Dunham Army Health Clinic update: 10:10 a.m.
  • TRICARE briefings: 10:45 a.m. (TRICARE-FOR-LIFE: Bliss Hall; Under-65: Reynolds Theater)
  • Retiree Council presentation: 1:05 p.m.
  • Legal Briefing: 1:50 p.m.
  • Exchange and Commissary updates: 1:20 p.m.
  • Veterans Affairs benefits briefing: 2:05 p.m.

For more information visit


Robert D. Martin, USAWC Public Affairs
Valley Forge – Connecting Leadership Theories

No battle was ever fought at Valley Forge. But the site of the Continental Army’s winter encampment of 1777-78 under General George Washington, proved to be the turning point of the Revolutionary War. A new army emerged later that spring from Valley Forge, where ragged local militia, state controlled troops and the Continental Army were transformed into one Army, capable and anxious to bring newly found skills to bear in a fight with the British.

International fellows – 74 senior army officers from 70 countries studying this year at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. spent a day at Valley Forge under the guidance of the Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History for the Army War College, Dr. Holly Mayer.

Col. Rory Crooks and Dr. Holly Mayer speak to International Fellows at Artillery Park in the Valley Forge National Historic Park during their staff ride, Sep. 28

 “From a standpoint of the Army War College core curriculum, Valley Forge offers insights to the relationships between strategic leaders during the encampment, the successful outcomes from early examples of defense management, and echoes of applicable strategies from theorists that would follow the American Revolution,” said Col. Rory Crooks, director of the International Fellows Program.

“Ultimately, the winter encampment there provided our International Fellows an example of an episode in American history when our military was beset by overwhelming problems,” said Crooks. “It was the role of extraordinary strategic leaders like Washington who were able to envision a strategy toward victory, as well as the equivalent of “security force assistance” from friendly European partners, that gave us the opportunity to become the nation we are today,” he said.

“Valley Forge has great implications since we have finished our strategic war study and now we are entering into strategic leadership so we can connect those theories with leadership,” said Nepalese Col. Santosh Dhakal.

“Politics is the supreme tool, which ultimately guides war, which was applied here even during the revolutionary war. During this time the United States was not yet independent, did not have a solid Army, but they started exercising a kind of checks and balance -- a true application of Clausewitz’s trinity,” he said.

“The Staff Ride was very interesting and a visit to Valley Forge is essential to understand the historic background of the development of the United States,” German Col. Martin Werneke said.  “Getting the military perspective from Col. Rory Crooks and historic background from historian Holly Mayer was great. 

German Col. Martin Werneke intently listens to Dr. Holly Mayer discuss the events throughout the encampment at Valley Forge during the International Fellows staff ride to Valley Forge National Historic Park

“There was even a connection to the current Strategic Leadership Course regarding the great personality of George Washington as strategic leader,” said Werneke.

The International Fellows are fully integrated into all Army War College studies, in seminar cohorts that duplicate the mix of US Army, other US Services, federal agencies, and other nations that engage in the strategic security environment. Throughout the year, they engage in additional experiences as part of the Field Studies orientation to the United States’ culture, economic, history and values.

R. Evan Ellis[1]and Roman D. Ortiz[2]

Rejection of the “Peace” Accords with the FARC: What’s Next for Colombia?

Oct. 4, 2016 -- On October 2, by a very narrow margin, Colombians voted to reject the agreement that their government had negotiated with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) that would have formally ended that group’s 52-year long struggle to overthrow that nation’s government.  The result came as a shock to many both within and outside Colombia, given that polls taken shortly before the referendum predicted the accord would pass by an almost two-to-one margin.[3]  Indeed, in our confidence that the referendum would pass, had written and were waiting to go to press with a detailed article on the outlook for post-agreement Colombia.

Interpreting the results

The October 2 vote does not reflect Colombia’s rejection of peace, but rather, of an accord that many Colombians believed would bring neither peace nor justice.  Colombians have long become accustomed to the breach between the erudite discourse of their leaders, and the realities of their daily lives. The rejected 297-page long accord was a good example of this contrast. Beyond the language used by the government to encourage acceptance of the agreement, a number of its provisions threatened to both worsen the security situation and exacerbate the difficulties of the Colombian economy.

In the agreement, the FARC had committed to demobilize less than 6.000 combatants, when the total number of guerrillas, including affiliated forces, were estimated to be 15,000 or more. The agreement had thus presented the risk that a significant part of the FARC’s clandestine networks would have remained active following the demobilization process. In addition, the agreement committed to the distribution of some 9 million hectares of land, requiring the expropriation of numerous private properties that likely would have significantly expanded social conflict in the rural areas. Finally, the cost of implementing the accord was calculated to be around US$30 billion over ten years-- a figure which is not realistic at all given the situation of the Colombian economy, which is already under severe fiscal pressures, due to low international oil prices and other factors.,.

Further adding to the understanding by Colombians that the agreement would not have brought “peace,” the nation’s other principal terrorist group, the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), with its 2,500 armed combatants, was clearly poised to continue the fight, and indeed was alreadymoving into areas vacated by the FARC. In a post-agreement environment, the ELN was likely to become even stronger in military terms through flows of FARC personnel and material into its own organization.

Colombians were further aware that former FARC members not participating in the accords would create a new generation of criminal bands which would increase the threat represented by such groups that already are a public security menace just as violent as the FARC and ELN.

On October 2, not enough Colombians could suspend disbelief, based on the experiences of their adult lives, that, in the words of the referendum, the agreement would “end the conflict and construct a stable and enduring peace.”  Controversial elements of the agreement, such as providing 10 non-elected seats for members of the FARC in the Colombian Congress for the periods following the 2018 and 2022 elections, a transitional justice system which many believed would allow the FARC to avoid serious punishment for serious crimes committed during the conflict, and the payment of benefits to demobilized fighters that exceeded what many Colombians themselves earned, certainly helped mobilize Colombians against the accord as well.

The vote highlights the strength of Colombian democracy and institutions, despite their imperfections.  It is notable that some 13 million ballots were cast, and yet definitive results were available within two hours of the election.  The result was decided by a difference of less than half a percentage point (50.2% to 49.8%), and yet within minutes of the confirmation of results, President Santos publicly accepted the defeat of the core initiative of his presidency.  Santos did not claim fraud, or try to rally his supporters to protest the results, or ask the Supreme Court to declare a recount.

An ambiguous strategic scenario

The rejection of the accords unleashes a significant wave of uncertainty in Colombia, but we believe, presents a strategic situation less grave and more manageable, than had the accords been approved.

Although President Santos declared that he will continue to honor the ceasefire currently in place with the FARC, and although the leadership of the FARC has declared their desire to continue to work toward peace,[4]it is likely that a significant number of FARC middle rank cadres will opt for leaving the peace process, uncertain as to what will come.  The ultimate result will be an ambiguous situation from juridical and strategic points of view.

As seen from his initial pronouncements, President Santos will likely continue the ceasefire with FARCwhile he works toward a new agreement. By implication, he will not authorize military operations in the areas where FARC units are located in order to avoid an incident which breaks the fragile truce. Yet not doing so will allow FARC dissidents to operate with almost complete impunity in these areas.  Indeed, within the new background of uncertainty, such impunity will increase incentives for FARC units to continue illicit activity, such as narcotrafficking, since doing so will pose relatively low risks.

As such illicit activities continue amidst the cease-fire, the position of the Colombian government will become increasingly difficult. Even if the breakaway factions of the FARC are not openly attacking Colombian targets, President Santos will come under increasing pressure to enforce the law.

Although the internal cohesion of the FARC has always been limited, particularly with respect to fronts such as the 1stand 7thwhose autonomy was bolstered by significant income from narcotrafficking, the rejection of the accords will make it even less manageable as a single organization. While, as seen in early declarations, the leadership of the organization will remain committed to negotiations seeking a new deal with the government, the new uncertainty will decrease the number of middle rank commanders willing to take the risk of participating in the demobilization process, preferring a continued existence outside the law, living off of illicit activities.

The attempt to find a new route to peace with the FARC, including bringing others into the process such as political rival Alvaro Uribe and his party Centro Democratico, will consume significant amounts of the administration’s time and political capital through the end of the President’s term in August 2018.  However capable the Colombian security forces, this distraction will probably impair the development and implementation of new initiatives against Colombia’s other security challenges, including the ELN, and the BACRIM, even as the continuing collapse of Venezuela makes a security and refugee crisis on Colombia’s eastern border an ever greater possibility.

At the same time, the rejection of the accords will increase the probability that the ELN will cancel or postpone the beginning of their own negotiations with the government, insofar as the defeat has eliminated most of the credibility of the Santos administration as a negotiating partner. Meanwhile, the conflictual relations between ELN and FARC could become more complex and violent. In regions such as Nariño and Arauca, the ELN is recurring to terrorism in order to destroy FARC clandestine networks and reassert control over coca growing areas and other territory with strategic relevance. In this context, it is not clear what it is going to happen in those areas where both guerrilla groups have been collaborating.

The impact on the armed forces and the economy

On the government side, the ambiguous situation into which Colombia has entered also raises concerns about the resources available to Colombian security forces to continue the multi-front struggle against the FARC, ELN, and Criminal Gangs. The Colombian military has come under pressure for significant budget cuts in the name of reaping the nation’s “peace dividend.”   The allocation for investment in the defense budget has dropped from $995 million to $355 million between 2013 and 2016.  It is not likely that the Santos government will reverse that trend as it seeks to renegotiate the accords, and while it faces severe fiscal pressures from low international prices for petroleum, a significant source of revenue for the Colombian state.

Nor is it clear how the rejection of the referendum will affect ongoing transformation efforts within the Colombian military.  While independent from negotiations with the FARC, the missions and associated requirements of the armed forces is affected by the need to prosecute a military campaign against those sectors of the organization which leave the peace process and continue to be involved in criminal activities.

Although the U.S. has pledged to continue to support Colombia following its rejection of the accords, it is unclear whether it is prepared to be as generous in helping it to continue to prosecute the conflict, as it was in supporting the peace.

On the positive side, the rejection of the referendum is likely to avoid or postpone a new wave of conflict in rural areas of Colombia, stemming from disputes over property rights as the government seeks to re-distribute land.  Nonetheless, although the rejection of the referendum stops the implementation of land-redistribution, it does not affect the government’s 2011 law for the restitution of land to those forced to abandon or sell their properties during the internal conflict, which has created enormous legal uncertainty over land titles for those considering investing.[5]  Such uncertainty has already impeded investment in areas such as the eastern plains, and will likely continue to give pause to those considering acquiring properties in the region for new projects.

The distraction of re-negotiating the agreement with the FARC, in combination with the political damage to the Santos administration from the rejection of the previous deal, is also likely to prevent the government from addressing other serious challenges facing Colombia.

With respect to coca production, with the government’s suspension of aerial spraying at the end of 2015, the area under cultivation for coca in Colombia has more than doubled to 159,000 hectares, with a potential production of 420 tons of cocaine.  It will be difficult for President Santos to take the politically controversial step to resume aerial spraying with glyphosate, particularly when the FARC objected to its use, and Santos is working to broker a new deal with them.  Yet the rejection of the agreement also means that the Colombian government cannot leverage the FARC in its fight against coca production either.

With respect to Colombia’s budget and economy. continued low international prices for Colombia’s petroleum exports have already created significant deficits in the government’s fiscal accounts.  It is very likely this tendency will become worse.  Sustained low oil prices have effectively paralyzed oil exploration, with a lack of significant new investment to locate new deposits to replace those which are becoming exhausted. As a consequence, Colombia’s crude reserves are declining very quickly and the country could become a net oil importer in just a few years. The continuing activities of the FARC, ELN, and Criminal Gangs in the Colombian countryside only compound this situation.

The international dimension

Among Colombia’s neighbors, the rejection of the deal is another diplomatic setback for President Maduro’s regime in Venezuela. From the beginning of the peace process, the Venezuelan diplomacy supported the negotiations with two goals. On the one hand, to break its increasing isolation in the region. On the other hand, to strengthen the Colombian left as a tool to gain influence over the neighboring country. The result of the Colombian referendum has frustrated these intentions.

Something similar can be said about President Correa of Ecuador. Although Quito has played a more prominent role in the contacts with the ELN, the rejection of the deal with FARC is also setback for Ecuadorian diplomacy and the nation’s aspirations to become a regional peace broker.

As during other occasions, it is likely that countries in the region, and perhaps in Europe and other parts of the world, will seek to portray Colombia negatively for having “rejected peace.”  While initial proclamations will likely use terms such as “concern” and “disappointment,” expressing support for the continuation of the process, it is likely that the global left will nonetheless find an opportunity to isolate a key U.S. partner in the region.  Yet with relatively pro-West, pro-market governments now in power in Peru, Brazil, and Argentina, and with Venezuela in the midst of a profound crisis, the ability of the leftist governments of the region to use the vote to isolate Colombia is arguably far more limited than it was just a year ago.

The vote in Colombia also occurred at a pivotal moment in the United States, as the North American electorate prepares to choose who will succeed Barack Obama.   While many in the Obama administration may be disappointed that “peace in Colombia” will not be part of the outgoing administration’s legacy, it is more important now, than ever, for the United States to stand with its partner, and the decisions that it has made through an admirably democratic process.  The people of Colombia have chosen faith in their security and other institutions, rather than compromise, to bring to justice those who have waged a 52-year war against the Colombian people.  Both Colombia’s principles and democracy were on display October 2nd.  For the many flaws in Colombia’s institutions and socioeconomic system, Colombia has once again demonstrated itself a capable and honorable partner with which the United States can and should work to build a more secure, just, and prosperous region, and world.

Let there be no misunderstanding. The rejection of the agreement with FARC involves significant risks to the security of Colombia.  Yet there is a strong case to be made that the threat to the stability and prosperity of the Colombia would have been much greater had the agreement had been approved.  Yet in the end, that is a decision that only Colombians could make.  They have made it with dignity.  It important for the United States to continue to support them in their path forward. 


The author is research professor for Latin America at the U.S. Army War College.  The views expressed in this work are his own, and do not necessarily represent his institution or the U.S. government.

[2]Román D. Ortiz is director of Decisive Point, a consulting firm specializing in defense, security and political risk. 

[3]“El Sí va ganando en el plebiscito”, Semana, Bogotá, September 10th, 2016 available at

[4]“'Timochenko' dice que las Farc le seguirán apostando a la paz”, El Tiempo, Bogota, October 2nd, 2016, available at

[5]The law places the burden of proof on the property owner, in the event of a challenge, to show that his title is legitimate.  Moreover, even if the owner has legally acquired the property, his title to the land can be taken away if established that it was acquired illegally by a previous owner.

What’s the story with Royal American Circle?

‘What’s the story with…?’ is a phrase commonly heard at Carlisle Barracks. With more than 50 buildings in the National Historic Register, the post has a history unlike many others.               

This is the latest in a series that will take a look at historic buildings, photos and more that tell the story of Carlisle Barracks. Throughout its nearly 260 years of history, the post has been the home to many pioneering schools, events and leaders that have helped shape our Nation. Want to learn more? Check out the Carlisle Barracks history page at or visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at

This week’s entry focuses on one of the unique and oldest housing areas on post is called Royal American Circle.

Royal American Circle on Carlisle Barracks pays tribute to that history with a plaque and its name. The barracks at Carlisle was established in 1750 when the Pennsylvania colonial government decided to send a small group of Soldiers to defend a stockade built to protect the town of Carlisle; it also served as the departure point for Colonel John Armstrong’s raid on the Indian Village, Kittanning, in 1756. Finally, the arrival of British Colonel John Stanwix and the 62ndRoyal American Regiment in Carlisle on May 30, 1757, marked the establishment of the first real military camp at Carlisle.

During the French and Indian War, Carlisle served as an important post for the British Army who defended Western Pennsylvanian settlements from French and Native American raids. Colonel Henry Bouquet, deputy commander to General John Forbes from 1758-1759, used Carlisle as his supply base and established it as the main post during the campaign to capture Fort Duquesne in 1758.

With the beginning of the American Revolution, the function of Carlisle Barracks changed. In 1776, General George Washington established the “Public Works of Carlisle,” which included a forge, after he appropriated the necessary funds from Congress. Renamed Washingtonburg for the famous General, the site served as the main supplier of goods, weapons, and ammunition to the Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary War.

The three buildings, one single home and four duplex homes, were built in the 1940's and are now family housing.

What buildings would you like to learn more about? Send an email to with the Subject Line: “What’s the story with?” and we’ll include in an upcoming edition.

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