Banner Archive for November 2009

MWR facility closings for Thanksgiving holiday

The following MWR activities will be closed over the Thanksgiving Holiday:



Nov. 26 thru 27


**Bowling Center**

Nov. 26  



Nov. 25 - Close at Noon

Nov. 26 thru 27  


**Golf Course**

Nov. 26  



Nov. 24 thru 27



Nov. 24 thru 27



Nov. 26 – Open for Thankgiving Buffet

Nov. 27  


**Root Hall Joint Deli**

Nov. 26 thru 27  


**Dunham Clinic Snack Bar**

Nov. 26 thru 27


**Joint Pub**

Nov. 26 thru 27



Nov. 25 - Open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Nov. 26  - Front Desk Open 8 – 11 a.m.


**Skills Development Center (Auto and Framing & Engraving Studios)**

Nov. 26 thru 27


**Youth Services**

Nov. 26 thru 28


**Root Hall Gymnasium**

Nov. 25 thru 27  


**Thorpe Fitness Center**

Nov. 25  - Close at Noon

Nov. 26  - Closed

Nov. 27 - Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Armstrong Hall parking closure Nov. 17, 18

    Nov. 17, 2009 -- The Armstrong Hall parking lot will close Wed. Nov. 17 until 9:30 a.m. and will close again Thursday afternoon for the H1N1 vaccinations at Thorpe Hall.

In-state tuition for military members, families

Nov. 17, 2009 -- For periods of enrollment that begin after July 1, 2009, members of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) on active duty for a period of more than 30 days and his or her spouse, or his or her dependent children will be eligible to receive in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. Once a Service member or their family members are enrolled and paying in-state tuition, they will continue to pay the in-state tuition rate as long as they remain continuously enrolled at the institution even if the Service member is reassigned outside the state.

    This change is included in section 135 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H. R. 4137) (HEOA) which was signed into law on August 14, 2008 and amends and extends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This requirement applies to all public institutions that receive funds under a program authorized by the HEA.

    The Department of Education has worked with the institutions of higher education and is confident they are aware of the changes in the law and are fully implementing the policy. However, as we all know, there is always the chance that someone just doesn't get the word. If this happens, you should contact the financial aid or registrar's office at the institution. You can also contact the Veterans Affairs office at the institution. Even though you are active duty, these offices should be able to assist you.

    In the rare cases where these steps don't resolve the situation, please contact the Department of Education’s Ombudsman's office (toll-free at 877 557-2575) or via the internet. The online Ombudsman Assistance Request Form can be found at the Office of the Ombudsman website.  Both links access complaint information.



Theater of War: two presentations in Bliss Hall on Monday, Nov 23 at 1 - 3 pm and 6 - 8 pm

 Special CDC hourly childcare available for both presentations, Reservations required 

TV and movie star Charles Dutton stars in the Theater of War tonight at 6 p.m.

"Mental health issues are as old as humanity. We don't need to find shame. We don't need to find blame .... It's a normal consequence of war." -- Air Force 2nd Lt. Jason Hopkins, USUHS medical student 

   "The Theater of War team performed for us tonight – phenomenal … [for] leaders at all levels and spouses of the recently returned 2BCT leaders. It reached the whole audience on some level without fail."   – COL Kevin Brown, Ft Riley GC

 For the past year, Theater of War has presented readings of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes to military communities across America.  These ancient plays timelessly and universally depict the psychological and physical wounds inflicted upon warriors by war.  By presenting these plays to military audiences, our hope is to demystify and de-stigmatize psychological injury and to facilitate open dialogue about the challenges faced by Service members, Veterans, and their families today, said Theater of War director Brian Dorries. 

Both the USA Today and The New York Times have covered the phenomenon called, Theater of War.

The readings will be followed by a panel discussion with Carlisle Barracks Chap. Jim Carter and, from Fort Riley: Maj Jeffrey Hall, veteran of 2 OIF tours, and his wife, Sheri Hall.

   "... that's exactly how I feel. that's exactly how I acted, and it dawned on me that this has been something, an issue, that's been going on for 2500 years and the Greeks -- this is the way they dealt with it through these plays. And they would bring in their regiments to watch ...." -- Maj. Jeffrey Hall, 1st Infantry Division

It has been suggested that ancient Greek drama was a form of storytelling, communal therapy, and ritual reintegration for combat Veterans by combat Veterans.  The audiences for whom these plays were performed were undoubtedly comprised of citizen-soldiers.  Also, the performers themselves were most likely Veterans or cadets.  Seen through this lens, ancient Greek drama appears to have been an elaborate ritual aimed at helping combat Veterans return to civilian life after deployments, during a century that saw 80 years of war.

     "We're calling it PTSD now … but it's timeless …  Ajax's ego drove him to his 'divine madness.' … I know a hell of a lot of Ajaxes out there." – Brig. Gen. Kevin Mangum to commanders and spouses at Fort Drum presentation

 Ajax tells the story of a fierce Warrior who slips into a depression near the end of The Trojan War, attempts to murder his commanding officers, fails, and takes his own life.  It is also the story of how his wife and troops attempt to intervene before it's too late. Philoctetes is a psychologically complex tragedy about a famous Greek Warrior who is marooned on a deserted island by his Army after contracting a horrifying and debilitating illness. Plays like Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes read like classic descriptions of wounded Warriors, working under the weight of psychological and physical injuries to maintain their dignity, identity, and honor.  Thus, it seems natural that military audiences today might have something to teach us about the messages behind these ancient stories, and that these ancient stories have something important and relevant to say to military audiences. 

    "We can no longer equate silence with strength. We need to deal with the mental scars of war just as we do the physical.  'Theater of War' offers a way for those who have served in combat to see their own experiences played out in dramatic works, and come to terms with feelings they have been unable to address." -- Brig Gen. Loree Sutton, Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

Rated PG-13

Special hourly care will be available at Moore CDC during both Theater of War presentations. RESERVATIONS are required so as to plan for adequate childcare support. Call 245-3701. Cost is $3.50 per hour – payable by check to CDC.

  • For afternoon show, hourly care open by reservation only: 12:45 to 4 pm
  • For evening show, care available by reservation only from 5:45 pm to 9 pm

Theater of War has played at Fort Drum and Fort Riley and for DoD and VA audiences. "The key to the military's difficulty overcoming the stigma of mental illness may lie in 2,000-year-old plays and a modern interpretation," said Col. Charles Engel, a senior Medical Corps scientist at the Center for the study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. 

Sophocles was both general and playwright, according to director Brian Doerries who first presented a reading for several hundred servicemembers at a Navy combat stress conference. "We were scheduled for 90 minutes with 30 minutes of follow-up discussion. Fifty officers, chaplains, enlisted personnel and generals' wives lined up to speak ... quoting from the plays and relating them to their lives," he said.


Bill Camp  plays Odysseus, the director of Greek intelligence, in 'Ajax.'  Broadway credits include Saint Joan, The Seagull, and Jackie: An American Life. His television and film credits include The Dying Gaul, Rounders, In and Out, Reversal of Fortune, Law and Order, Joan of Arcadia, and Great Gatsby.

Adam Driver plays Neoptolemus, an untested officer and the son of Achilles, in 'Philoctetes.' Driver is a former Marine lance corporal, First Battalion, First Marine Regiment, Weapons Company, 81st Platoon. He is also an acting student at Juilliard. Recently, he was seen off-Broadway in The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons and in Slipping at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

Elizabeth Marvel plays both Athena, goddess of war, and Tecmessa, the battle-worn wife of Ajax.  Broadway credits; Top Girls, Seascape, An American Daughter, Taking Sides, Saint Joan, and the Seagull.  Television/Film: Burn After Reading, The Dying Gaul, A Will of Their Own, The District, and 30 Rock.

Director Bryan Doerries is a New York based writer, translator, director, and educator. He is the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to Service members, Veterans, caregivers and families as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by combat Veterans today. Over the past year, Bryan has directed film and stage actors such as Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Michael Ealy, and Jesse Eisenberg in readings of his translations of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes for the U.S. Marine Corps, West Point cadets, homeless Veterans, the Department of Defense, and many other military communities. In addition to his work in the theater, Bryan serves as program adviser for the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and lectures on his work at colleges and universities.


 Spouses' Club Holiday Auction benefits many organizations 

  The Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club held their Holiday Luncheon including a silent and live auction on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Letort View Community Center here.  Auction items were donated by members of the Army War College seminars, permanent party spouses, and area businesses.

  Because of events like this, the Spouses' Club is able to provide outreach funds to many Carlisle Barracks and Carlisle Community organizations.

  The recipients for November each received checks for $400--the Carlisle Barracks Conversation and Culture program for special activities; the Hope Station to fund the Kid's Café, and Homes for Our Troops to fund the building of homes for our Veterans.

  Checks were presented by Amy Turner, Spouses' Club president, to Jim Washington of Hope Station and representing the Conversation and Culture program, International Fellows' spouses' Lynn Walker from Canada and Claudia Farfan from Colombia.

USAWC Army, Navy Flag Football Game Dec. 8

    Army students will play the Navy students in a Flag Football game on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Indian Field. For more information call 245-4343.  



Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Carlisle Barracks takes time to honor employees, Soldiers  

Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, Army War College Commandant, shakes hands with Sgt. Radouane Moukraj, during the Quarterly Awards Ceremony Nov. 10 at the LVCC. Photo by Lizzie Poster. 

want more photos?

Nov. 10, 2009 -- "It's truly an honor to be here to recognize so many great performances," said Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC Commandant, during the Quarterly Awards ceremony Nov. 10 at the LVCC.

    During the ceremony, military and civilian employees were recognized for their hard work.

    "This is a special opportunity for all of us to take pause and see how each of us makes a difference on our team."

   Williams then remarked on the tragedy at Ft. Hood and reminded those gathered that they are all part of one big Army Family.
    "Tragedy struck our Army this week in a very profound way," he said. "Those at Fort Hood are still recovering from it, but we have also seen how our family is ready to come to aid at a moment's notice. Keep them in your thoughts."

    He thanked the award winners and everyone at Carlisle Barracks for their service and dedication.

   "You are all part of something very special and what we do here makes a difference. Thanks for all that you do."

Award recipients included:

Civilian Employee of the Qtr, 3rd Qtr CY09

Mr. Nicholas T. Mikkelson, III, Directorate of Emergency Services

USAWC Certificates of Appreciation for participation in the Plainfield Elementary School Military Career Day Program on Oct. 23

Spc. Eric Cruzat, Dunham Clinic

Spc. Moses Deng, Dental Clinic  

Spc. Sherrita Dobson, Dental Clinic  

Spc. Thomas Fiedler, Chapel

Spc. Anniel Samujh, Dunham Clinic

Sgt. Radouane Moukraj, Center for Strategic Leadership

Sgt. Christian Wonders, Veterinary Command

Sgt 1st Class Curtis Lane, Center for Strategic Leadership

1st Sgt.Carlos Runnels, Headquarters Company


USAG Certificates of Appreciation for American flag training to Bellaire Elementary School students

Spc. Thomas Fiedler, Chapel

Sgt. James Malone, Jr., Human Resources Directorate

Sgt. Radouane Moukraj, Center for Strategic Leadership

Sgt. Jeffrey Poland, Headquarters Company

Sgt 1st Class Crystal Blue, Equal Opportunity

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Bowden, Dental Clinic  

1st Sgt. Carlos Runnels, Headquarters Company

Capt. Joseph Mickley, Headquarters Company

USAWC Certificate of Appreciation along with GC Coin for performance during recent EO inspection and USAG Certificate of Achievement for serving as MC for CBks Hispanic Heritage Celebration Sept. 22

Sgt 1st Class Ronald Gordon, CSL

Length of Service Awards: 

Barbara J. Barnes, Food Service Nutritionist, Child Development Center - 20 years

Mary "Karen" Comello, Administrative Assistant, Youth Center - 20 years

Wendi E. Kent, Hotel Manager, Army Lodging - 20 years

Cary L. Meals, Custodial Worker, Army Lodging - 20 years

Elizabeth "Liz" A. Knouse, Child & Youth Services Coordinator, DFMWR - 15 years

Heather M. Myers, Child & Youth Program Asst, Youth Center - 5 years

Commanding General's Bonus Award Program: 

Deborah Borzager, Department of Distance Education

Stacy Ling, Directorate of Contracting

Lee McLure, Directorate of Emergency Services

Bree Sherwood, Army Physical Fitness Research Institute

Susan Wise, Garrison Headquarters



Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
USAWC students reminded of ethical, moral factors of strategic decision making

Sir David Omand spoke to USAWC students about ethical, moral factors of strategic decision making in Bliss Hall on Nov. 12. Photo by Scott Finger.

Nov. 12, 2009 --  Army War College students gained valuable insights and advice from a British perspective about how important strategic planning is during a lecture by Sir David Omand in Bliss Hall Nov. 12.

    Omand, currently a visiting professor in the War Studies dept at King's College in London, is a former senior British civil servant. He spent much of his career in the Ministry of Defence, including as Deputy Secretary for Policy, as Under Secretary in charge of the defence programme, and as Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State.

    He focused his remarks on the ethics of making decisions at the strategic level and how important it was that when making these decisions that you don't allow the tactical or operational needs to override the strategic vision.

    Omand also pointed out how it is very easy to win tactically and lose strategically. Omand used historical examples like the use of double agents during World War II and decisions made during conflicts with the IRA. During both of these situations tough choice had to be made at the strategic, tactical and operational level that had varying degrees of success in the months and years later.  

    The speaker provided the students with plenty to discuss in seminar according to Lt. Col. Andy Lippert.

   "I gauge the speaker's success not only on the talk and question and answer period but on the questions it raises inside of me and my seminar mates," he said. "In this case I think he gave us a lot to think and talk about in seminar."

    Col. Philip Sherwood, USAWC International Fellow from England, agreed.

    "There are big moral and ethical issues that face us in decision making," he said. "It was fascinating to hear the cases studies of the complexity of planning an operation. There are few people who could speak so eloquently on this topic." 



Erin O. Stattel, U.S. Army War College, Public Affairs Office

An opportunity to educate others elsewhere

    (November 9, 2009)--U.S. Army War College professor Charles Allen participated in a series of panel discussions at Boston College moderated by media representatives like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy.

    The Nov. 7 session, "Soldiers and Citizens: Military and Civic Culture in America" was held as Boston College's sixth annual Mass Humanities fall symposium and featured topics such as diversity in the armed forces, conscription versus a volunteer force, and the divide between military and civilian cultures.

    "Overall, people were really curious and there was a great turnout," Allen said. "The audience was engaged and it was a great opportunity for [panelists] to help inform people about these important topics that face our nation."

    Allen was one of the panelists on the symposium who weighed in on diversity in the armed forces and the relationship between military culture and civil society in the United States, sharing experiences from his point of view and 30-year career in the United States Army.

    "I had plenty to add to the diversity panel having served as an African American in the Army and growing up in Cleveland, Ohio," Allen said. "It was also interesting to hear what my fellow panelists had to say and to provide my perspective on the progress and challenges within the military."

    Allen was accompanied by other panelists such as Michael L. Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, on "Diversity in Uniform: Race, gender, class, sexuality and religion in the armed forces" and Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on the panel for "United We Serve: The all-volunteer force, national service, and democracy."

Molly Bompane, Army Heritage & Education Center

AHEC's world-famous Civil War photo collection now online

The American Civil War was an important era for photography. Photographic processes were invented in the early 1820s, but it was the Civil War period when photography was available and affordable for the public.

The images of Civil War photographers Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardener and Samuel Cooley, among others, put a face on the price of war.

The best Civil War photograph collection in the world is now available and free for public enjoyment and education.

AHEC has made available at the digitized photo collection of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

The collection is preserved for future generations -- and more accessible to the many researchers and enthusiasts around the globe who have an interest in the Civil War. AHEC has long been known as the world's largest repository of Civil War photographs in collections that formerly required a visit to the Military History Institute archives.

Images from the collection have made their way to hundreds of scholarly and popular histories. They play a key role in the popular PBS/Ken Burns television series on the Civil War.

The nation will soon commemorate, from 2011 to 2015, the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Now, millions of people around the world will have the opportunity to see the faces of those Soldiers who fought on both sides of the national conflict.

View the AHEC's Civil War collection at


Thomas Zimmmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
PKSOI lends expertise to Afghanistan mission

Col. Mike Anderson, PKSOI, (left) Col. Kim Field, military assistant to the Department of State, Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, and Col. Scott Wuestner,  PKSOI, all recently served in Afghanisatn recently in support of a new joint command.

Nov. 9, 2009 – Two members of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations recently returned from a two-month deployment to Afghanistan to help develop the doctrine that will lead the new joint command in the region.

   Richard Smyth, PKSOI special staff, and Col. Mike Anderson, PKSOI strategic plans senior analyst, each brought their unique backgrounds to assist in the development of the operations plan for the new three-star joint command inInternational Security Assistance Force  in Afghanistan. The command will be headed by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. Smyth and Anderson were part of a six-member team were charged with helping to develop a plan that would help lead to greater stability in the country.

    "I think we finally have a sustainable strategy in Afghanistan," said Smyth. "We know have a much better understanding and awareness of our environment as well as the TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) for the complex environment."

    Smyth, a career foreign services officer, has spent nine year total in Afghanistan and brought some familiarity to the issues facing the region to the table.

    "After 30 years of war, Afghanistan is due for a break," he said. "You can feel the gratitude for the U.S. actions and support by the vast majority of the Afghan people."

    Anderson said the experience was beneficial to see how to apply the lessons taught at schools like the Army war College.

    "In planning we have to look closely at the civilian and military links and how they affect stability," he said. "The college, it's organizations and staff are truly SME's in these areas and the ability to reach back for guidance and advisement really adds to their value."

    Smyth agreed.

    "Commands can truly benefit from the specialist expertise on dealing with priorities and proven methods to promote stability."

    The benefits for situations like this aren't just for the command according to Anderson.

   "With these engagements we are able to bring back knowledge of what's going on in the field that we can integrate directly into the planning and educational process."


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Chapel hosts Thanksgiving for Soldiers 

Soldiers from Carlisle Barracks, Dunham Health Clinic and the 1st Battalion of the 108th Field Artillery, 56th SBCT of the Pennsylvania National Guard line up for a Thanksgiving luncheon in the chapel on Nov. 10, 2009. Photo by Erin Stattel. want more photos?

  Nov. 10, 2009 -- For the 17th year Soldiers stationed at Carlisle Barracks and the surrounding area, joined together to enjoy the annual Soldiers Thanksgiving Luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Carlisle Barracks Post Chapel.

  "It was started in 1993 as a way to thank the Soldiers for what they do," said retired Army Col. Ray Porter, Post Chapel volunteer.

  Post Chapel volunteers make sure the event runs smoothly—they decorate the tables, serve the food, and bring desserts.

  In their opening remarks post chaplains Col. Gregory D'Emma and Lt. Col. Jim Carter said on occasions like this it's important to remember the service and sacrifice of Soldiers and called to mind the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas.

  Sgt. 1st Class Pamela Murphy, operations sergeant at Carlisle Barracks Garrison, said this was her second time at the luncheon. 

    "It is very nice and nice that it is open to other Soldiers," she said.  "I know the Soldiers appreciate it," said Murphy.

  This year, Soldiers from the 1st Battalion 108th Field Artillery 56th SBCT Pa. National Guard in Carlisle, participated after returning from Iraq in September.

  "It feels good to be back," said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Klunk.  "What we are trying to do right now is get our Soldiers back to our drilling status."

  About 411 Soldiers from the 108th and 134 from the 856th Engineer Brigade from Punxsutawney served together in Iraq for nine months.

  Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Kankiewicz, 108th assistant operations sergeant, said that the transition was easier since it was his second time in Iraq.

 "When I left, my son Donovan was three-months-old," said Kankiewicz.  "I was very excited to come home and see how much he has grown."  "He just started to walk," he said.

  Before heading to Iraq, the 108th spent three months training at Camp Shelby in Miss., and Ft. Polk, La.

  "This deployment was more challenging mentally because we moved so much," said Capt. Luis Mendoza, 108th logistics officer.  "I had to make sure that the equipment was accounted for and secure at each location," he said.


Local Veterans Day events


The Carlisle Vietnam Veterans will conduct their annual all-night vigil on the steps of the Old Courthouse to honor and remember all POW-MIAs beginning at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.   

The Joint Veterans Council of Carlisle will conduct the annual Veterans Day Ceremony in Carlisle in the Courtroom of the Old Courthouse, 2nd Floor, commencing at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11.  The Cumberland County Honor Guard is providing the firing squad and bugler.  The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Janet R. Holliday, Garrison Commander, Carlisle Barracks. 

Other areas events Nov. 11

Carlisle – Crestview Elementary School Veterans Day Program will be held at 9:30 a.m. in their auditorium.  The guest speaker is Col. John Hort, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

Chambersburg – The Annual Community Veterans Day Service will be held at 4 p.m. at the Letterkenny Chapel on Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg.  The service is jointly sponsored by the United Churches of the Chambersburg Area and the Joint Veterans Council of Chambersburg.  The guest speaker is retired Army Col. Tony Cerri, currently the Engineering and Technology Chief of the Experimentation Directorate of the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

HanoverHanover High School will hold a Veterans Day Program at 8 a.m. in their auditorium.  The guest speaker is Col. Warner Prescott, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

Hanover Hanover Middle School will hold a Veterans Day Program at 9 a.m. in their auditorium.  The guest speaker is Lt. Col John Eddy, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

McConnellsburg – The McConnellsburg American Legion Post 561 will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m., outside the Court House.  The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Jeffrey Powell, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

Mechanicsburg – Lower Allen VFW Post 7530 will hold a Veterans Day Program at 11 a.m. outside the Post at 4545 Westport Drive, Mechanicsburg.  In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the post.  The guest speaker is Air Force Lt Col. Hector L. Cruz, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

Mechanicsburg Mechanicsburg Area Veterans Council (American Legion Post 109 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6704) will conduct Veterans Day Ceremonies at the GAR Monument in the Mechanicsburg Cemetery at the corner of Frederick and Marble Streets beginning at 11 a.m.  In the event of adverse weather, the ceremony will be at the VFW Post 6704 at 4907 Carlisle Pike.  The guest speaker is Dr. William Harner, Superintendent of Cumberland Valley School District, retired U.S. Army.

Mt. Holly Springs – The Mt. Holly Springs American Legion will hold a Veterans Day service at the Mt. Holly Springs Cemetery at 2 p.mThe guest speaker is Col. Thomas Slade, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.

Shippensburg – The Shippensburg Senior Activity Center (Southampton Place) will hold a Veterans Day program at 10 a.m.  The center is located at 56 Cleversburg Road.  The guest speaker is Air Force Lt. Col. Brook Leonard, U.S. Army War College Class of 2010.



All Star Cast of Celebrity Judges Join Operation Rising Star Finals

            When your twelve Operation Rising Star finalists take to the stage for the first time on Saturday, November 14th, at Wallace Theater, their performances will be critiqued by a star-studded panel of celebrity judges. 

            This year's panel includes our own retired 12th Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley—who is appearing as a judge for his 5th season.  According to Tilley, "I have been fortunate enough to judge this competition for four years, and every year it gets better and better.  With the deployment and stress on the military, I think it's important to get family members involved in the contest and showcase their talents.  I'm always amazed at the quality of the performances we see."

            Since retirement, Jack has continued his advocacy for all servicemembers.  He is co-chairman of the American Freedom Foundation, a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation organized to honor veterans of America's armed forces and raise money and awareness for various veterans' organizations with special emphasis directed to welfare and educational issues facing those wounded in action, those disabled and families and children of veterans killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He has worked tirelessly with the organization managing the annual successful fund-raising benefit concerts with top named entertainment.

            Rounding out the judging panel for the 2009 competition are Debra Byrd, vocal coach and arranger for American Idol, and country music star Michael Peterson, both back for their third season with Operation Rising Star.

            Byrd has worked with everyone from Lyle Lovett to Barry Manilow; has been in five Broadway shows; was tapped to be the vocal coach for the 2006 tour of High School Musical—The Concert; and has developed music products such as vocal coaching DVDs, pitch pipes, and seminars.  Byrd has taken her love of music to the next level with products designed for

singers and musicians. Her highly-acclaimed instructional DVD, Welcome to STAR SCHOOL© focuses on vocal performance and audition training.

            Peterson is loved around the world for million-selling country music chart toppers, and is co-producing a CD for the Military Child Education Coalition to be released in February.  His new CD featuring "You Could Hear a Pin Drop" benefits the American Legion Legacy Scholarship.  Peterson received the Bob Hope "Spirit of Hope" award from the USO and the U.S. Army for his outstanding service to the nation.

            In addition to this stellar panel of judges, there will be a guest judge at the final night of the competition (taped November 16th/aired on the Pentagon Channel November 17th).  Singer, actress, and television personality Kimberly Caldwell will take a seat at the judges table Wednesday night.  Caldwell gained national recognition during her time on the second season of the television phenomenon, "American Idol," and is also known for her work as an entertainment correspondent and host for the TV Guide Network.  She will soon be seen as the host of the new MTV series, "P. Diddy's StarMaker," produced by Mark Burnett and Sean "P.Diddy" Combs, which is set to premiere in 2009.           

 The judges scores will count for 50%, with audience members able to view the performances on the Pentagon Channel (November 15th, 17th, 19th and 21st) and cast their votes by logging on to  If you don't like the judges verdict…log on and vote to keep your favorite performer in the competition and help them move on to the next round.  Voting windows will be open for two hours following each broadcast.

            If you live in the Fort Belvoir, VA commuting area and would like to meet our judges and be part of the live studio audience for the taping of the three Operation Rising Star final rounds and the reveal show, admission is free.  Shows will be taped on November 14, 16, 18 and 20th at 8 p.m. at the Wallace Theater.

            This year's Operation Rising Star competition is sponsored by General Motors Military Discount program.  Please visit their website to learn how you can save on your next GM vehicle -

             For additional information about Operation Rising Star, how to vote, the 12 finalists and attending the live show finals, please log on to

Erin O. Stattel, U.S. Army War College, Public Affairs Office

Ft. Hood shooting kills 13, wounds 30

November 6, 2009— Worldwide, Army installations will remember the Soldiers and civilians killed and wounded at Fort Hood at 1334 central time: 1434 local time.  

    A single gunman shot and killed 13 people and wounded another 30 during a shooting yesterday at Ft. Hood in Texas.

    At approximately 1:30 p.m. on November 5, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, identified as a psychiatrist at Ft. Hood, opened fire at the post's Soldier Family Readiness Center, post commander Lt. Gen. Robert Cone confirmed last night.

    Hasan reportedly shot 43 people in the Soldier Family Readiness Center, Cone stated in a Nov. 5 press conference. The shooting resulted in 13 dead (12 military, 1 civilian) and 30 wounded.

    Investigations are ongoing and Army officials are not speculating as to a motive or access to a weapon. The FBI is on post and will bring the expertise necessary for the investigation, officials said.

    Army officials have confirmed Hasan is not dead but is in custody in stable condition.

    Officials have confirmed that as of this morning, 28 people remain hospitalized and approximately half required surgery. All are currently stable in the post's hospital and three community hospitals. Next of kin notifications have been completed for about 90% of those who died as of this morning. The post's priority is caring for the wounded and providing additional grief counseling to give Soldiers and families comprehensive care and support.

    Fort Hood is no longer on lock down and the post will observe a day of mourning Friday. A family hotline for questions/concerns has been established and can be reached at 866-836-2751.

   "God bless these Soldiers and Army civilians for their great reaction, support, and first aid on the scene," Cone stated.

    At Carlisle Barracks -- The Carlisle Barracks chapel will be offering prayers in response to the tragic incident at Ft. Hood during Chapel services today, Saturday and Sunday.

    Members of the Military Council of Catholic Women enjoy some breakfast and each other's company after keeping Army Family members in their prayers during Friday's Mass. Photo by Erin. O. Stattel, USAWC Public Affairs.

    "As a spouse, I can imagine what they must be going through and I am keeping our Army Family members in my prayers," said Jeanne Sexton, president of the Military Council of Catholic Women. "With the holidays coming it is going to be tough, so we all need to lift the people of Ft. Hood up in our prayers."

    The women of the MCCW called the tragedy sad and vowed to pray for their fellow Army Family members.

    "This is an awful tragedy for all of us and I regret the loss of life," said Chaplain Gregory D'Emma. "We need to pray for those who died, those who were injured and the families affected by this terrible event."

   If approached by members of the public or the media, keep in mind how important an accurate report is and speak only to which you personally know to be true, as we share our concerns in this tragedy for our Army Family.

    NOTE: Emergency Services at Carlisle Barracks encourages residents, employees and guests to cooperate with gate guards as they execute their requirements to check identification, inspect vehicles and respond to perceived threats, said Robert Suskie, DES director. DoD-decal vehicles are subject to random inspections; non-DoD vehicles are inspected.

    "Privately owned weapons are not permitted on post -- unless you are a post resident and have registered the weapon at the Vehicle Registration Office, located in the skill development center on Claremont Road."

  Erin O. Stattel, U.S. Army War College, Public Affairs Office

Volunteer, help make someone's holidays bright


(Nov. 3, 2009)--Looking for the perfect present this holiday season?  Volunteerism seems to be the preferred gift for the U.S. Army War College and Carlisle Barracks community.


    The 54th Annual Senior Citizens’ Holiday Social will be held Dec. 9 and 10 from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Letort View Community Center and those who have worked the event before are looking forward to serving the local senior community once again.


    “This event just puts you into the right frame of mind as we all prepare to travel back to wherever our homes and families are,” said Lt. Col. Pat Sweeney, the project coordinator for the event. “The whole process and spending time with these elderly community members just puts the holiday spirit into you.”


    This will be Sweeney’s third year at the wheel of the Senior Citizens’ Holiday Social.


    Senior citizens from local nursing and retirement homes will be escorted to the Letort View Community Center to enjoy a few hours in the company of volunteers while munching on cookies and taking in holiday entertainment. Each senior will have their picture taken with their escort and be given the framed photo and a bag of cookies to take home as memories made in the company of volunteers who care. Volunteers will be from throughout the student body, residential community, and post-wide workforce. 


    A USAWC student escorts a guest during the 2008 Senior Citizens' Holiday Social. Escorts go to area nursing homes to pick up their guests and then spend the afternoon with them, eating cookies, taking in live entertainment and sharing stories and laughs. File photo.


    "Getting involved as an escort in the Senior Citizens’ Holiday Social as a volunteer has been a rewarding event for our entire family,” said Air Force Col. Michael Marra. “It is a very personal way to give back to many great Americans who helped build this country and who are now enjoying the autumn of their years here in the Carlisle area, sometimes far from family, friends and regular visitors.”


     Youth Services Director Bob Salviano is the nursing home coordinator for the event and has volunteered for the Senior Citizens’ Holiday Social for the past ten years, calling it one of the best community outreach events that Carlisle Barracks puts on.


    “This is one of the events we do here at Carlisle Barracks that serves as community outreach and it is important that we support the local senior citizens. After all, they supported us while we were growing up,” he said. “They love coming and we love having them. This event makes their day and for some of them, they can’t wait for the next year’s social to come around.”


    From their time spent with area seniors to the entertainment, which usually includes a lively Elvis impersonation, volunteers have their share of fun during the social as well.


    “It really is a lot of fun,” said Lt. Col. Scott Rainey, who will mark his third year as an attendant coordinator for the event. “For some of the folks that come, this is the one time a year that they get out and they are just so happy to be out and socializing, that it’s really rewarding to see their joy.”


    Maj. Mickey Turner agreed.


    “Last year I filled in for [Lt. Col. Rainey] when he was deployed and watching all their faces just light up when they see all the officers waiting for them is just great,” Turner said. “Especially watching the older ladies faces, it is wonderful. They are so excited to have someone paying specific attention to them all afternoon and it is really worthwhile, and they deserve the attention.”


    Rainey said that last year even his children volunteered and loved it, as did Turner’s.


    “My daughter’s high school choir came and sang and she enjoyed it,” Turner said.


    Sweeney also recalled his family’s involvement.


    “Last year, my wife volunteered to hostess and she noticed an older gentleman dressed up in his suit and she told him he looked very nice, and he answered, ‘Thanks for noticing,’” Sweeney said. “I know that left an impression on her.”


    To some extent, the senior citizens coming to the event are extended members of the Army family, organizers noted.


    “I can also say that because of the demographics in the area and the presence of Carlisle Barracks in the community, there are a lot of veterans and family members in this area, so for me, it is a reminder that I will be in their shoes someday,” Sweeney said. “Also, my mother is almost 80 years old and I just hope that if she has to be in a nursing home while I am in a different location, someone would spend some time with her when I can’t be there.”

    Guests enjoy quality time with their escorts as they watch entertainment provided by volunteers. File photo.


    “This event is a time when the Army War College truly becomes family to our guests, and I encourage everyone to give a small portion of their time on December 9 and 10 this year,” Marra said. “It will mean everything to our older neighbors here in the Carlisle area community."


    For both the seniors who attend and the students who volunteer, Sweeney said the event creates memories that will last a lifetime.


    “I think the most memorable aspect of this event, for me, is seeing the impact it has, not only on the seniors, but on the volunteers,” he said. “For the past two years I have spoken with students who have served as escorts and they all have agreed that the event leaves lasting impressions on them. One student said it was probably the best thing he did all year, so after hearing that, I look at it as something that students will always remember, even though they go into it not knowing that yet.”


    The event is currently seeking volunteers to help escort senior citizens, provide entertainment acts, decorate the LVCC, bake cookies and serve as attendants, who will help seniors in and out of vehicles. To sign up, visit


    “We love getting lots of cookies,” Sweeney said, “but our most important task is to spend one-on-one time with guests who may not receive that kind of attention all year.”

Hourly care at CDC, activities planned during NYC trip


    Nov. 2, 2009 -- In support of the NYC Trip, the Moore CDC is accepting reservations for hourly care.

·         Care available Nov 18—20, 2009

·         Certified sitter list available for Sat., Nov. 21

·         Hours of operation:  8:30 am– 3:30 pm

·         Ages Served:  Children 6 weeks to 5 years

·         Hourly Care Fee:  $3.50

·         Children must be registered with CYSS


For more information call 245-3701



Youth activities during NYC trip Nov 18 - 21


Wednesday, Nov 18                              Hot Dogs & Chips @ 3:15 pm

                                                            Arts & Crafts @ 4 pm

                                                            Open Rec at YS 4 pm—6 pm


Thursday, Nov 19                                  Hamburger & Chips @ 3:15 pm

                                                            DVD @ 4 pm

                                                            Open Rec at YS from 4 pm—6 pm


Friday, Nov 20                                      Chicken Nuggets & Chips @ 3:15 pm

                                                            Open Rec at YS from 4 pm—6 pm

                                                            Dodgeball (K-12) 7 pm—10:45 pm

Jessica Bittle, Security Office
Social networking and OPSEC

Nov. 2, 2009 -- Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and thousands other networking sites are everywhere on the internet, becoming digital international communities. You can join any one to create your own village of connections. The more information you provide on your profile, the more connections you make, but there is a danger if you’re not careful.


    According to a survey by Webroot, members of online social networks may be more vulnerable to financial loss, identity theft and malware infection than they know, and a lot of the risk is related to their own online behavior. Among the most notable:


-       Two-thirds do not restrict any details of their personal profile from being visible through public search engines like Google

-       Over half are not sure who can see their profile

-       About one third include at least three pieces of personally identifiable information

-       One quarter accept “friend requests” from strangers.


    Many of us, who’ve been with the Department of Defense for a number of years, probably have heard about the importance of OPSEC when it comes to military operations, (for those who have not, immediately see the Security Office for your briefing) but OPSEC extends far beyond just military applications. OPSEC can be extended to your own online behavior for personal reasons…like protecting your bank account.


Some simple steps you can take with your own online profile:

-       Change the default privacy settings.

-       Be careful what you post & limit personal information.

-       Only accept “friend requests” from people you actually know.


Latest educational information on ways to protect yourself on-line

US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)

A Guide to Facebook Security and Privacy

Parents Guide to MySpace

Social Media Security Guides


 Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Roosevelt lecture focuses on NATO, current operations

  General Sir Peter Wall, United Kingdom Commander of Land Forces, addressed the students as part of the annual Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Exchange Series. The lecture series is an annual exchange of British and American military lecturers. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Oct. 22, 2009 – The role of NATO and the continued progress in Iraq and Afghanistan were the main theme of the 2009 Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Oct. 29 in Bliss Hall.

    General Sir Peter Wall, United Kingdom Commander of Land Forces, addressed the students as part of the annual lecture series. 

      When asked whether NATO is still relevant, Wall said that's it ability to respond to multiple conflicts across the spectrum of operations and capabilities make it unmatched in the world. He stated that relationship between the United Kingdom and the U.S. remains strong but common issues like impatience at the strategic level are possible roadblocks to progress.

        Wall also said that relationships are the keys to building and sustaining successful coalitions. He remarked that the International Fellows program at the Army War College was a great initiative in this direction.

Wall Background

    Wall was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1974, and following studied Engineering at Cambridge University.  His early service was spent in Belize and Rhodesia, and as a platoon instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  He has commanded the 9th Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers; the 32d Engineer Regiment in Germany; the 16th Air Assault BDE in United Kingdom; and Commander 1st (UK) Armoured DIV, responsible for the security of Basra, Iraq in 2003. 

Lecture series background

    The Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Exchange Series began in 1947, and honors Major Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Roosevelt served in both the American and British army's during World Wars I and II.  The Kermit Roosevelt Lecture Exchange Series is an annual exchange of British and American military lecturers.

Erin O. Stattel, U.S. Army War College, Public Affairs Office

Garrison town hall meeting delivers answers

October 23, 2009—Carlisle Barracks residents and employees had the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns or praise during the Oct. 22 garrison town hall meeting in Bliss Hall.

    About two dozen community members turned out to ask questions and listen to answers and updates from various garrison department representatives. Topics of questions and concerns ranged from mock utility bills to snow and ice removal. Community members asked their questions in the auditorium, while some watched on closed circuit TV and submitted questions via email.

    "I found the meeting to be very helpful and all my questions were answered," said Amy Turner, a Carlisle Barracks community member. "I think this is a great way for the community to voice grievances or appreciations."

    Garrison commander Lt. Col. Janet Holliday hosted the Carlisle Barracks Installation Town Hall Meeting Oct. 22, 2009, fielding questions from residents in attendance and via email. The meeting was also broadcast on post for residents unable to attend. Photo by Erin O. Stattel.

    "I think the meeting was both very productive and necessary," said Col. Roger Shuck, student president of the USAWC Class of 2010. "It gave the Carlisle residents a technological and innovative manner to express their ideas and concerns. The interactive email method is especially helpful for families with small children, who otherwise couldn't participate and the format for the town hall meeting is exactly perfect."

    A question regarding mock billing for utilities was addressed by Heidi Puente, community manager for Balfour Beatty Communities, who explained the process.

    "We group like kinds of housing together, so for instance, homes with like floor plans are considered like kinds," Puente explained. "Everyone is receiving mock bills right now so they can see where their usage is and make changes in their practices if needed."

    Puente said the program is a conservation program and will charge residents only if they exceed their neighborhood average.

    "From those like kinds we find an average of utility usage, then residents will only have to pay if they are above the usage average and they will have an opportunity to receive a refund if they are below the average usage," Puente explained. "The only residents who are not in the running to pay overages or receive refunds are those who live in homes that are unique, meaning there are not enough like kinds to create an average."

    An average, Puente said, can be created when there are at least 11 like kinds of homes. Residents can monitor their utility usage by entering their account number

    Snow removal was also addressed during the meeting with Directorate of Public Works Director Tom Kelly reminding residents to keep children off of snow piles so machine operators may dump additional snow in a safe manner.

    "Residents are responsible for clearing their driveways and sidewalks and can pick up snow melt from BBC," Kelly said. "Facility managers are responsible for removing snow and ice at their buildings and DPW is responsible for snow and ice removal on post roads. But it is everyone's responsibility to report ice and snow that has not been cleared by calling in a work order."

    Kelly advised Carlisle Barracks community members to call 245-4019 to place work orders for snow and ice removal.

    Kelly also gave community members an update on the VAC site at Claremont Gate.

    "We expect the VAC site to be operational by December," he said. "The contractor slowed because we had to go back and modify the contract to include some redesigning work including the moving of security cameras, installing more obstacles which will add more protection to the guards."

    Kelly said the old access point will be dismantled and Thorpe Road will be repaved in the spring when the asphalt plants open up again.

    As for parking on post, no parking garage is slated for construction at Carlisle Barracks, Kelly clarified.

    "A parking garage is not seen as a priority by Congress and I don't see it happening," Kelly said.

    Garrison leadership pointed out that there are 1,479 parking spaces on post and the front and back gates are separated by a seven and a half minute walk. The garrison commander encouraged students living on post to leave their cars at home and walk to classes.

    Overflow parking for the Letort View Community Center was a problem brought up from a Coren Apartments resident who explained that when events are held at the LVCC, people tend to park in residents' reserved spots.

    "We will look into it and see what we can come up with. We might need stronger signage, but we will take a look at it," Kelly told the resident.

     Community members also inquired about longer hours at the PX on Fridays, suggesting the Class VI open later Friday morning to accommodate longer evening hours. A users survey for Thorpe Gym identified a request for earlier hours on the weekends. Department heads said they would look at staff and schedules to see how to adjust hours accordingly. A resident asked if the post currently has a working relationship with the local YMCA, making the indoor pool available to Carlisle Barracks residents. Department heads said they would look into contacting the YMCA with inquiries about use of the indoor pool.

    Residents raised questions about the post movie theater's schedule and whether more children's movies could be acquired.

    "We can look at scheduling and see if we can open on long weekends and have more matinees," said the AAFES representative.

     Overall the meeting was deemed a success by the garrison leadership and they plan to host another one in Feb.

    "I am very proud of the garrison team for their willingness to field questions at last night's meeting," Lt. Col. Janet Holliday said. "The meeting was very productive and I think we have taken a positive step towards better community relations and a continuing dialogue on what we as a team can do to make life better for those who live and work on Carlisle Barracks."

    Stay tuned to the Banner for updates on schedules for the AAFES movies, Class VI store, Thorpe Gym, and the transition plan for residents from mock billing to true utility billing, safer options for those off-post residents who currently walk along Route 11 to post, and the availability of pool access at the local YMCA to Carlisle Barracks families.

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Officer
Spouses learn to be Gatekeepers for friends, family with emotional problems

Spouses as Gatekeepers course to be offered again Nov. 13

    Most people in suicidal crisis will send warning signs that they are in trouble. If we can intervene in that period, people can be stopped and helped. These are among the messages of the new Spouses as Gatekeepers course here.

    Two small groups met with Dr. Ines Roe, Dunham psychologist, in October for the launch of the discussion-based training session here. 

    A gatekeeper is anyone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, according to the Army's Suicide Prevention Program.

    Gatekeepers don't play the role of therapist. Gatekeepers can persuade the person that there is hope and help, and take the person by the hand to get help.  The gatekeeper training offers the ability to recognize signs, ask the right questions, and refer someone to professionals. 

   Like CPR, gatekeeper Question-Persuade-Refer training offers knowledge and confidence to do something -- to ask a question and save a life.

    "We need knowledge and courage. Ask a question and save a life. It's something we can all do," said actress Carrie Fisher who appears in an introductory video for the Spouses as Gatekeepers course.

    Roe guided the spouses through some common 'myths' about suicides. Participants were surprised and intrigued to learn the truths: that most people communicate their intent sometime during the week preceding the attempt; that suicide IS preventable, and that almost any positive action may save a life.

     Participants' reactions were strong. It's simple, some noted. It gives you a new way to think about suicidal situations, they said. 

    Favorable feedback from participating spouses led to scheduling for a session Friday, Nov. 13 from 12:30 to 2 pm.  Contact Dee Shives to register for Spouses as Gatekeepers  at 245-4602.

Erin O. Stattel, U.S. Army War College, Public Affairs Office

AFAP finds solutions to Army family problems

(October 28, 2009)—With frequent moves and family members away on long deployments, new issues in the Army family can form quickly and unexpectedly, but a way to find solutions is readily available in the form of a three-day workshop.

    Volunteers brought issues to the table and either worked through them or sent them to be addressed by Army headquarters during the annual Army Family Action Plan workshop held Oct. 28-28 in the Letort View Community Center here.

    Volunteers serving as delegates bring up topics ranging from teens using free weights in the gym to Army-wide standardized post deployment screening for post traumatic stress disorder, according to AFAP coordinator Jeff Hank.

    "This year, we have about 30 people and we have broken groups down into three sections: community support/customer services, child and youth, and soldier support," Hanks said.

    Hanks explained that each group is joined by subject matter experts from post organizations such as the commissary, TRICARE, housing and AAFES. The group is equipped with a recorder, a facilitator and an observer to monitor discussions.

    "There are facilitators in each room to help decide if issues are appropriate for this forum," Hanks said. "Issues that are brought to AFAP have to be real issues that affect everybody in the community. Once the workgroup is done, the top three issues from each group are presented to the garrison commander and the commandant and it is then decided whether they are local issues or forwarded to the [Army's] AFAP, which is held in January."

    Melanie Sullivan served as a delegate and was stationed in the soldier support workgroup.

   "We spent the past three days brainstorming to come up with issues that will help the entire Army family's quality of life and understanding the problem so we could address the issues to find solutions for them," she said. "Issues that came up included improved bereavement services for military members who have lost their civilian spouses. We also looked at housing for single soldiers as far as current requirements and worked on moving forward with the requirements to meet today's standards."

    In the child and youth workgroup delegates and facilitators discussed methods of tracking data for military students' educational progress.

    "By tracking testing data of military children we can monitor how they are doing educationally," explained delegate Paige Adgie.

    "We could address the issue of needing to monitor how our students do academically by making testing data identifying military children as a subgroup," said fellow delegate Marlene Morschauser. "We also recommended that this be done from state to state so parents can see how students are doing across the nation."

    Facilitator Elizabeth Gayton said the community support/customer service workgroup was able to quickly work through local issues with the help of the garrison commander and garrison department heads.

    "We discussed the Dept. of Defense's initiative to start billing residents for excessive utility usage and worked through some recommendations," she said. "We had a wonderful mix of representation in our workgroup from active duty to retirees to a representative of National Guard families and DA civilians. Our SME's were great and if they didn't know the answer went flying out the door to find it."

    Holding collaborative efforts like AFAP gives the Carlisle Barracks community the chance to have a voice, Hanks explained.

    "This event gives a chance for the families to say, 'Hey, this is an issue and we need to address it,'" Hanks said. "It is also a chance for volunteers to serve the entire Army family by working through an issue for the greater good."

    Each installation in the United States sends a delegate to the annual AFAP where delegates will work on the issues that were forwarded by installation AFAPs.

    "From that meeting, they come up with the top three Army-wide issues and they are then taken on by the DA for review and policy change if necessary," Hanks said.

    Hanks has been working the event for the past five years and he said he has seen issues like paying online for childcare registration to the need for PTSD screening Army-wide.

    "The Army has been holding this workshop since 1983 and we are trying to make an impact on not just one person, but the entire Army family," he said.

    Workgroups voiced their recommendations to senior leadership during the Oct. 28 out-brief and are already being taken into consideration.

    "We are looking at all of the issues that were identified as local issues, particularly the new digital signs and wireless in the CYS," said Lt. Col. Janet Holliday, garrison commander. "We are also looking at the force protection concerns addressed by the residents of the Meadows. We have increased patrols in the Meadows and I have asked our DA police to stop and query all solicitors as to their intentions and reasons for being in the housing area."

    "In addition, [the commanding general] and I plan to meet with the new general manager of our AAFES facility to address concerns about operating hours and clothing sales," Holliday said.

Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

Act ends controversial personnel system

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2009 – With President Barack Obama’s signature today on the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, a controversial pay-for-performance personnel system is abolished.

    About 220,000 Defense Department employees who had come under the National Security Personnel System will transition back to the long-standing General Schedule system, but that will take time, a senior official said.
    Tim Curry, acting program executive officer for NSPS, said the department could start transitioning employees in six months. The department has begun a comprehensive planning process, he explained, with the goal of ensuring a smooth and orderly transition of employees and organizations out of NSPS.
    "The department is going to proceed deliberately and cautiously without unnecessary delay," Curry said during an interview today. The transition will take place organization by organization, he said to minimize disruption. Meanwhile, employees under NSPS will remain in that system.
   "It took three years to bring those 220,000 employees into the system," Curry said. "Congress recognized that it was going to take time … to do it right."
    The new law gives Defense Department officials six months to develop and submit a plan to Congress detailing the transition. The whole transition must be finished by Jan. 1, 2012.
   "We will work under NSPS for the time being, while we are working on the transition plan," Curry said. "When we're at the point where employees come out of the system, … the law ensures that no employee's pay will be reduced when converting out of NSPS."
    Employees outside of NSPS are not affected by the change.
   Curry's office is also studying the new law's other civilian personnel ramifications. He said these include requirements for performance management, hiring flexibilities, training requirements and the department’s ability to go back to Congress for added personnel flexibilities.
    "We're looking at what that means and how to proceed,"
Curry said. "We're just assessing the impact and how to move forward."
    The major complaint about NSPS was that it was overly complicated and that no employee understood the pay pool process, Curry said, pledging that department officials will take the lessons from the NSPS experience as it moves ahead.
    "We'll be particularly mindful of issues surrounding complexity and transparency," he said.     "Those are certainly important considerations to ensure employees understand and accept and buy into any rules that will be put in place."
    Civilian employees under NSPS finished a rating cycle at the end of September. These workers will receive performance ratings and payouts effective in January under NSPS, Curry said. A provision of the act requires that employees with Level 2 ratings or higher are guaranteed a pay increase in January that’s at least equivalent to the pay increase that applies to General Schedule employees.


New signs debut for safety, post information

Eric Underkoffler, Jen Nevil, Jason Percoco, Dave Buceta, and Helen Musser are thanked by Col. Bobby Towery, deputy commandant, for their graphic art work and network support. The new digital information signs will alert residents, employees and visitors for safety, security and common interests. Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.

    Oct. 30, 2009 -- Three new outdoor digital information signs became operational Oct. 29 at both entrances to post and outside Reynolds Movie Theater to update by-passers on safety messages, upcoming movies and other post information. 
   The signs, like those found at many other military installations, will welcome visitors and provide safety messages and information of community-wide interest. They will be operated with a safety-first consideration as the light will dim during darkness and will not distract drivers.

    "The Carlisle Barracks Safety Office conducted a comprehensive risk assessment of the new post digital signage and has concluded that the signs pose no serious risks to either drivers or pedestrians," said Jim Aiello, post safety officer. "Over the next few days the signs will be adjusted to the appropriate brightness levels to ensure optimal visual conditions."

    Others concurred that the new signs, like any new technology or dramatic change, need to be adjusted when they are first implemented. 

    "These signs are a significant change to the look and feel of the garrison and it may take some time to adjust to them," said Col. Robert Hoelscher, CIO.

    Modifications to brightness and timing are underway to make the new information signs more effective for local use. Adjustments and evaluations will continue for several weeks.

   The signs provide a notable benefit for quick dissemination of information, like safety messages in the event of an emergency or closure.

    Additionally, the signs also provide another venue for residents and employees to learn about post events, like last night's trick or treating or the ability to list movies playing at Reynolds Theater for the upcoming weeks.

    Organizations can request outdoor digital sign displays with a DA 3903 [on CBNet] graphics work order.