Banner Archive for February 2009
 

Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office
The use of deadly force: Why one colonel thinks you should know it better

 

Lt. Col. David Bolgiano, student, reads a book in the Root Hall library Feb. 25.     While at the Army War College, Bolgiano pursued the topic of the use of deadly force for his Strategy Research Project and formally published articles in military magazines. Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.      

 

Feb. 25, 2009 -- It was 1 a.m. on a cold December night in 1985 when David Bolgiano, Maryland police officer and University of Baltimore law student, received a call while on a routine patrol assignment. The local McDonald's had set off its silent alarm, indicating a robbery. As an experienced police officer, Bolgiano was expecting it to be a false alarm, as they always had been in the past. Nevertheless, he immediately responded, not knowing that this ordinary patrol at the fast-food chain would threaten his life and inspire a career mission.

    Less than five minutes later, Bolgiano had a gun pointed at his head. Still, Bolgiano found it hard to believe.   

    "Despite the fact that I was responding to an armed hold-up silent alarm, I was still surprised by the fact that there was an armed hold-up in progress," said Bolgiano.

    The young assailant turned to run and the officer chased after him. 

    "While chasing him, I incorrectly believed that I could not shoot him in the back, despite the fact that tactically and legally that would have been appropriate," said Bolgiano.

    "As I caught up with the robber, he turned and refused to drop his weapon. I shot him center mass and won the gun fight. I was lucky."

    This incident was Bolgiano's first experience with the use of deadly force; an experience that would later inspire his studies and future publications.

    Fast forward 17 years, as the Staff Judge Advocate for the Maryland Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Bolgiano deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq from 2002-2004. Serving as the legal advisor to the Commander, Special Operations Command Central, Bolgiano witnessed similar life and death incidents. Only instead of a fast-food restaurant the deadly situations occurred in bustling, war-torn villages halfway around the world.

    The special operations Soldiers continuously faced lethal situations often including an indistinguishable enemy, and it was Bolgiano's job to insure their safety by teaching them the appropriate use of deadly force.

    Well-versed in the subject both in the civilian and defense world, Bolgiano spent five years as a law enforcement officer as a civilian, served as a senior attorney for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and helped draft the rules of engagement for Operation Noble Eagle following Sept. 11.

    As a legal advisor in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, he once again reviewed military and civilian law. He weighed the safety of Soldier's as well as the safety of the civilians around them. Ultimately, Bolgiano came to one conclusion. 

    "The military has a desperate need to increase the ability and authority of the American Soldier to use their judgment and increase their decision-making skills in order to make the right choice in any combat situation," said Bolgiano.

    Bolgiano described numerous situations in which our Soldiers and Marines sustained unnecessary injuries and casualties because they were too cautious in using self-defense, afraid of being reprimanded by commanders and formally investigated.

    While at the Army War College, Bolgiano pursued this topic as his Strategy Research Project and formally published articles in military magazines. 

    "The Department of Defense should develop and sustain a use-of-deadly force instructor certification program that would ensure joint training standards. This would educate and prepare student not only in the law, but also in the tactical realities pertaining to deadly force encounters and small arms proficiency," wrote Bolgiano in "Under Fire," published in Proceedings magazine.

     Bolgiano explained that the overwhelming fear of being investigated for any act during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has our Soldiers and Marines not acting in self-defense when they should. Still, Bolgiano insists the laws are not the problem.    

    "It's knowing the laws better," said Bolgiano.

    By doing so, Bolgiano argues that the better trained Soldiers and Marines will make proper decisions about the use of deadly force and would increase the likelihood of killing the enemy and saving civilian lives. 

    Bolgiano also notes it's not just Soldiers that need to understand the rules of engagement better.

    "We can do a much better job preparing our forces to make better decisions, both pre-shooting and post-shooting (i.e. explaining their decisions).  We can better educate commanders, judge advocates, and investigators," wrote Bolgiano.    

    Bolgiano advocates the Judgment-Based Engagement Training Seminar, a pre-deployment course which offers a combination of classroom and tactical instruction. JET, however, has not been implemented across the entire joint force, something Bolgiano would like to see done very soon. Currently, it is only presented as a unit-funded training opportunity

    At a Baltimore McDonald's 23 years ago, Bolgiano said he was lucky.

    "I did not understand my authority to use deadly force."

    But with two wars and the majority of troops facing combat, luck is just not good enough he said. 

    "We can't rely on good luck or the stupidity of our adversaries to win gun fights."

    Lt. Col. David Bolgiano is a student at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He serves as the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, Maryland Air National Guard. Additionally, Bolgiano is the author of  Combat Self-Defense: Saving America's Warriors from Risk-Averse Commanders and their Lawyers, he has also been published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin; Naval Institute Proceedings, Infantry Magazine, University of Baltimore Law Review; The Washington Times; and, The Baltimore Sun.

 

 

 

 

 


U.S. Army War College Class of 2009 Food Drive for the Carlisle Community

     From Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 drop off food items--canned meats, tuna, stew, soups, baby formula and other non-perishable items in the designated boxes in Root Hall entrances.  Volunteers are needed to assist with food delivery.  Contact USAWC Seminar 14, 703-245-3335 or e-mail Deborah.cusimano@us.army.mil

 


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Great Decisions Lecture: The U.S. and Rising Powers

 

Jef Troxell, Army War College, the fifth of eight presenters for the 2009 Great Decisions program, speaks in the chapel assembly room on Feb. 20. Troxell spoke about how the U.S. has perceptively transitioned from the world's only super power and the "indispensible nation," into a post-American era in which it must compete with an increasing array of emerging powers.  Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.

For a video of the lecture please go here.

Feb. 19, 2009 --  Is economic power alone enough to change the balance of power in the 21st Century?  That question, along with others, was discussed at the Great Decisions lecture on Friday, Feb. 20 in the Carlisle Barracks Post Chapel Assembly Room.

     The presentation consisted of a quick tour through the past several decades relating how the U.S. has perceptively transitioned from the world's only super power and the "indispensible nation," into a post-American era in which it must compete with an increasing array of emerging powers. 

     Retired Col. Jef Troxell of the U.S. Army War College was the fifth of eight presenters for the 2009 Great Decisions program.      

     "State power will be examined in the context of military strength, soft power, and a strong emphasis on economic power," said Troxell.  "We will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the most significant of these emerging powers and conclude by considering how the United States should respond as we move forward into the 21st century."

     "The recently appointed Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before Congress last week that the, '…primary near-term security concern for the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications.'".  "Tomorrow's Great Decision discussion will examine that proposition in lively detail," said Troxell.

    The Great Decisions lecture series is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club.  This program has been a source of information for more than 40 years.

        At the next lecture, scheduled for Feb. 27, Col. Alex Crowther of the U.S. Army War College will discuss Cuba and its future. 


DES exercise slated for Feb. 24

Feb. 20, 2009 --   A small readiness exercise is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 24 from 9:10 to 10 am in the vicinity of the VAC site. Disruptions to traffic flow are expected to be minimal, if any.

 


Lt. Col. Frank Misurelli, Army War College Public Affairs Office
International fellows become novice diplomats

Conducting negotiations, on the left side of the table from the Armenian Country Team are (L to R) Lt. Col. Ralph Arundell, United Kingdom, and Brig. Gen. Ajit Mudholkar, India; and on the right side of the table from the Russian Country Team are (L to R) Col. Patcharawat Thnaprarnsing, Thailand, Col. Fatih Altun, Turkey, and Col. Gabriel Pinilla, Colombia. Army War College International Fellows  recently took part in a two-day Negotiation Exercise in Collins Hall.  Photo by Lizzie Poster.

Feb. 10, 2009 -- International Fellows at the Army War College honed important skills  in a recently completed Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise in Collins Hall on Feb. 5 and 6.

    The exercise brought together more than 40 foreign military officers who are studying with  U.S. colleagues during the 10-month resident course at the Army War College.   It prepares the Fellows for official communication on behalf of their nations during future assignments.

    The two-day exercise centered on international negotiation efforts to resolve an ongoing conflict in 2018. This scenario-driven exercise involved nations within the South Caucasus region, a relatively small area located between the Black and Caspian Seas, and bounded by the larger nations of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

    Each Fellow worked on one of seven negotiation teams representing the nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, and the non-nation state of Nagorno-Karabakh. Over the course of the exercise, student teams entered into bilateral and multilateral negotiations in an effort to develop a negotiated solution to the conflict. The exercise culminated in a ministerial meeting, a joint meeting with all of the teams chaired by a retired ambassador portraying the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to the region. 

    Joining the students was a mentorship team who helped them to comprehend the complexities of the region, the conflict, and the issues, and coached them in the art and nuances of negotiations. 

    Led by Ambassador Cynthia Efird, USAWC Deputy Commandant for International Affairs, the mentor team consisted of eight retired ambassadors and two War College senior faculty members. Three of the mentors previously served as Ambassadors to Armenia, two have served as U.S. chief negotiators for Nagorno-Karabakh and all have extensive experience in the Caucasus region and in strategic-level international negotiations. 

    "This was great, excellent exposure to high level negotiations and all the students got into the role," said Australian Col. Simon Roach, a member of the Nagorno-Karabakh team, who showed a flair for the dramatic when he pounded his shoe on the table for emphasis during the ministerial meeting chaired by retired Ambassador William Hill.  "You appreciate the challenges of negotiations," he said.

   

Russian Team members in the midst of a team meeting include (left to right) Col. Ndagulu Imam, Nigeria, Lt. Col. Petre Codin, Romania, Col. Fatih Altun, Turkey, and Brig. Gen. Anwar Ayasrah, Jordan. Photo by Lizzie Poster.

 

    "This is the fourth time I have participated in this exercise so I really enjoy it," said Hill.  "This exercise is good use of real situations and a good practice," he said at the conclusion of the exercise.

    "The international fellows, all masters of the military element of power now have a better grasp of the diplomatic element of power and how the two can be combined," said Hill.

  

Maj. Gen. Josef Proks, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, is briefed by retired Ambassador Harry Gilmore, the first U.S. Ambassador to Armenia and Ritchie Dion, contractor with Booze Allen Hamilton, about what training the International Fellows are receiving.  Proks is a 1999 USAWC graduate. Photos by Lizzie Poster.


Guitar lessons being offered at Youth Services

Guitar lessons are currently being offered at Carlisle Barracks' Youth Services. There are five openings for Friday classes which start on Feb. 20. It costs $120.00 for 12 lessons. Contact Youth Services at 245-4555 for more information.


Thomas Zimmerman, Army war College Public Affairs Office
Post honors Soldiers, employees at ceremony

Devon Stockdell, LVCC, laughs after receiving her Civilian of the Quarter Award during an award ceremony held Feb. 10 in the LVCC. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Feb. 10, 2009 -- A packed Letort View Community Center was host the Installation Quarterly Awards on Feb. 10, where excellence, hard work and dedication were rewarded. Individuals were recognized everything they had done for Carlisle Barracks over the previous months.

    A special group of people were given awards for their part in a New Years Eve they will never forget when someone collapsed while exercising at the Jim Thorpe Gym.

    Ronald Slakie, a retired Army officer who lives in Carlisle, had been working out at the gym when he fell to the ground and began to convulse and appeared to be seizing, according to Carla Nye, wife of Col. Tim Nye, student. Nye and the gym staff quickly responded to help save his life. Those who received awards were:

·         Navy Capt. James D. Heffernan, USAWC DMSPO -- Army Commendation Medal

·         Carla Nye, Family Member -- Commander's Award for Public Service

·         Todd C. Hooper, DES Fire Dept -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Richard J. Juday, Jr., DES Fire Dept -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Jeannine E. LaFranchise, DES Fire Dept (ABSENT) -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Richard G. Lewis, DES Fire Dept (ABSENT) -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         James J. O'Connell, DES Fire Dept -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Sven D. Shepherd, III, DES Police Dept -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Regina W. Thames, DFMWR Sports -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

·         Robert S. Zglenski, DES Police Dept -- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

 

 

Staff Sgt. Kevin Betton, Post Chapel NCO, speaks after receiving an award for being named the NCO of the Quarter. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Other awardees included:

·         Devon M. Stockdell, DFMWR LVCC, Civilian of the Qtr, 4th Qtr CY08

·         Staff Sgt. Kevin L. Betton, HHC/Chapel, NCO of the Qtr, 4th Qtr FY08

·Harold J. (Howie) Weary, Jr., DES Police Dept, Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

Length of Service Awards:

·         Cynthia C. Burwell, DFMWR CDC, 20 Years

·         Judy C. Cobb, DFMWR CDC, 15 Years

·         Larry J. Piper, DFMWR, 15 Years (ABSENT)

·         Dana A. Bovender, DFMWR LVCC, 10 Years

·         Anna M. Moyer, DFMWR LVCC, 10 Years

 

Sgt. Radesha Dantzler, Hqs Co, is all smiles after receiving a certificate of appreciation for her work during the Senior Citizens Holiday Social. Photo by Megan Clugh.

 

 

USAWC Certificates of Appreciation for Senior Citizen's Holiday Social:

·         CW2 Chad Bowen, HRD (ABSENT)

·         Master Sgt. Barry Sessoms, CSL (ABSENT)

·         Sgt. 1st Class Richard Hall, CSL (ABSENT)

·         Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Lane, CSL (ABSENT)

·         Staff Sgt. Tanja Eitel, CSL (ABSENT)

·         Staff Sgt. Ronald Gordon, CSL

·         Staff Sgt. Catherine M. Hutson, HRD (ABSENT)

·         Sgt. Radesha Dantzler, Hqs Co

·         Sgt. George Frame, HRD

·         Spc. Thomas Fiedler, Chapel (ABSENT)

·         Spc. Jennifer Rick, PAO

·         Spc. Jake Lane, DUSAHC (ABSENT)

·         Private 1st Class Moses Deng, DENTAC

·         Private 1st Class Theera Smalls, DUSAHC (ABSENT)

  

  Other photos from the ceremony

 
   
   

 

 

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army showcases high-tech robotics at War College

Feb. 12, 2009 --  Robotics demonstrations will feature military robots that replace Soldiers for high-risk battlefield tasks at the Root Hall Gym and parking area, Thursday,  Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Like a 'car show,' the event will display 'concept vehicles' as well as large and small robots in use for military jobs like surveillance, and disposal of explosive ordnance. 

    Students from area high schools, as well as the students of the Army War College, are invited to participate and learn about these examples of applied science and technology.

     This is the Army's only educational robotics exhibition, designed for Army War College students to see the newest robotic technology developed in support of military operations. Robotics Day will showcase the future with recently fielded examples and those in development at various government and university laboratories.

     "We want to show the students some of the advances in technologies that the Army and civilian companies are coming up with to make their jobs easier," said Bob Barnes, who helped organize the event. "There is a good chance these students will encounter some of these types of machines in the near future."

   Some highlights include:

·         MDARS security robot – Currently deployed protecting Army Ammunition depots in the western U.S., it will operate autonomously on Indian Field

·         TALON SWORDS robot – Will be remotely controlled from the Root Hall Gym, and can be aimed with its targeting laser at various targets on Indian Field

·         T- Hawk flyable vertical takeoff and landing UAV now in use as the FCS Tier One UAV.

    iRobot is going to demo their IED robots at event. For the last few years, these Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGVs) have been used to detect bombs and conduct dangerous military operations while keeping our troops safe in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

 


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Arctic importance topic of Great Decisions Lecture   

Air Force Lt. Col. Alan Kollien, USAWC student, spoke in the post chapel assembly room Feb. 13 in the latest installment of the  Great Decisions lecture series. He spoke about the importance of the Arctic region. Photo by Kelly Schloesser. 

to view the presentations go here

Feb. 12, 2009 -- Issues regarding the emerging area of importance, "The Arctic," were discussed at the Great Decisions lecture on Friday, Feb. 13 in the Carlisle Barracks Post Chapel Assembly Room.

     The discussion explored a variety of resource, environmental, cultural, geopolitical, legal, military, and security issues required to build a "Strategy for an Arctic Age" and inform the U.S. National Security Strategy.

     Lt. Col. Alan Kollien, U.S. Air Force, is a student in the U.S. Army War College Class of 2009 and the fourth of eight presenters for the 2009 Great Decisions program. 

     "Arctic climate change introduces new opportunities and challenges especially for the United States and its Arctic neighbors," said Kollien.  "This century's newly navigable waters bring increased commercial shipping and resource exploration, but also expose a previously secure North American maritime flank, and spark new conflicts in the polar region as nations rush to claim potential mineral riches."

    The Great Decisions lecture series is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club.  This program has been a source of information for more than 40 years.

Kollien spoke to a near capacity crowd. Photo by Kelly Schloesser.

        At the next lecture, scheduled for Feb. 20, retired Col. Jef Troxell of the U.S. Army War College will discuss the rising powers of the world.

 

 


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Energy, U.S. Economy topic of Great Decisions Lecture  

Col. Michael Moon, U.S. Army War College faculty member, spoke in the chapel assembly room Feb 6 during 
the most recent Great Decisions lecture. Moon spoke about energy and the
U.S. Economy. 
Photo by Suzanne Reynolds.  

To view the presentation go here

Feb. 5, 2009 -- "Energy is the global economy, and to say Americans are addicted to oil is like saying a human is addicted to air," said Col. Michael Moon, a faculty member at the U.S. Army War College, during his talk Feb. 6.

    In his presentation, Moon provided context on energy, economics, and how they are interrelated.

    Moon was deployed to Iraq from April 2007 to May 2008 as the director of Electrical Sector Development and also as the director of Energy Sector Development, Moon worked with the U.S. Department of State/U.S. Mission Iraq with their electricity and oil experts and with the Ministries of Electricity and Oil.

    Moon was the third of eight presenters participating in the 2009 Great Decisions program. 

    "I presented basic historical facts about the very volatile energy industry and provide some background on the complexity of the issues surrounding energy and the global economy," said Moon.

   

Moon spoke to a nearly full capacity crowd. Photo by Suzanne Reynolds.

    He discussed what steps the President must take to align the U.S. economy with new energy realities, how the U.S. can deal with so-called "energy autocracies" emerging in Latin America, Africa and even Russia, and also on the future of OPEC.

    The Great Decisions lecture series is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club.  This program has been an information source to the community for more than 40 years.

        The next lecture, scheduled for Feb. 13, Lt. Col. Alan Kollien, student in the U.S. Army War College Class of 2009, will discuss the new race for the Arctic.

 

After his talk, Moon answered questions from audience members. Photo by Suzanne Reynolds.

 

 


Youth Services to host annual Daytona 500 pizza party 

Carlisle Barracks' Youth Services is slated to hold an annual Daytona 500 pizza party on Sunday, Feb. 15 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Children in grades Kindergarten through 12th are welcomed to come watch the race on a big screen t.v. and enjoy free pizza, chips and drinks. The party is open to all Youth Services members.


Post chapel services to be held in fellowship hall Feb. 14, 15

Feb. 10, 2009 -- All weekend worship services will be held in the Chapel Fellowship Hall on Saturday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 15.  The Chapel Sanctuary will be undergoing maintenance during that time, and there will be no entry allowed.  The Chapel Sanctuary will be reopened for services Feb. 21-22.

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Students learn about Army Enterprise during Bliss Hall talk

Feb. 6, 2009 – Army War College students got a first-hand look at the Army Enterprise system during a talk in Bliss Hall Feb. 6.

    Lt. Gen. Robert Durbin, special assistant to the Army Chief of Staff for enterprise management, spoke for more than an hour about what the Army Enterprise system is and how it can benefit them.  

    "We need to help adapt our institution for the future," said Durbin.  Durbin went on to explain that the adaptation touches all areas of the Army -- Soldiers, equipment, processes, training and services. 

   "We need to look at how we manage those important resources to make the Army run better," he said. He pointed out that these processes will become more crucial as the resources available become less abundant.

   Durbin stressed the importance of an "enterprise approach" to counteract consumption-based planning and behaviors present in today's Army. He pointed out the need to adapt the force in an era of persistent conflict.

    "The Army must adapt the institution to most effectively and efficiently deliver trained and ready force while preserving the all- volunteer force."  He said that Army Enterprise Boards have met to support open and frank discussions and solicit senior leaders input to strategic decisions.

    After his talk, Durbin answered questions from the students and faculty.

   Durbin was a perfect speaker to explain such an important topic according to USAWC student Lt. Col. Frank Zachar.

    "The Army noticed he had an affinity for data and capability to understand complex systems and moved him into positional that were important for the operational Army," said Zachar, who was also Durbin's former G-3. 

    Durbin spoke as part of the Joint Process and Landpower Development module in the USAWC curriculum. The course focuses on the tools and process necessary to develop trained and ready combat forces for the combatant commanders.

    He closed with what he felt was the most important reason that the adaptation was necessary.

    "It's the right thing to do for our Soldiers and our families."

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Walzer talks ethics to USAWC audience

 

Dr. Michael Walzer, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, spoke to Army War College students in Bliss Hall Feb. 5 about the importance of ethics in military planning. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Rick.

Feb. 5, 2009-  A renowned writer and scholar spoke to Army War College students, staff and faculty in Bliss Hall Feb. 5 about the roles and effects that civilian casualties play in the planning and execution of military actions.

    Dr. Michael Walzer, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, shared his thoughts his thoughts about civilian casualties during military operations. Walzer went on to point out the effects that pictures of civilians killed during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006 had on public opinion.

     He said that the responsibility in safeguarding those civilians trumped the need for proportionality in terms of winning the battle.  He spoke about the ethical dilemmas that arise when faced in the planning of a military operation that may incur civilian casualties.

    "Necessary carefulness is a very important responsibility," he said. "It's good to be averse to fighting as long as we understand that sometimes it is necessary. We need to insist that the responsibility decision comes first."

    After his remarks he took questions from the students which ranged in topic from the merits of preemptive war to the factors that go into planning an operation. 

    Walzer was a great speaker to tackle the tough topic according to Col. Norm Allen, student.

    "He is one of the most respected and influential writers in this field." 

    Walzer spoke to the class as part of the Commandant's Lecture Series, which is focused this year on Ethics in Strategic Military Leadership: Theory and Practice. Each year a number of lectures are invited to speak at the College on a designated theme or area of emphasis.

Walzer background

    Walzer has been a permanent member of the faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey since 1980. He joined the institute after teaching for 14 years at Harvard University, which followed four years, beginning in 1962, on the faculty of Princeton University.

    He has written on a wide range of topics, including just and unjust wars, nationalism, ethnicity, economic justice, the welfare state, radicalism, tolerance, political obligation, and the history of Jewish political thought. He is also on the editorial board of the academic journal Philosophy & Public Affairs.

    He received his bachelor's degree from Brandeis in 1956 and spent the following year at Cambridge University on a Fulbright Fellowship. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1961.

 

 


Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Delaney Field Clubhouse opens 

 

Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC commandant, Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson, garrison commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Jose Powell, post CSM, cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony for the Delaney Field Clubhouse Feb. 5. Photo by Megan Clugh.

 

February 5, 2009 - Despite the morning's frigid cold temperatures, Carlisle Barracks community members were all smiles as they gathered outside of the Delaney Field Clubhouse for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The new community building is a part of the Residential Communities Initiative plan to transform Carlisle Barracks with the aim to provide a better quality of life for Soldiers and their families.

    "This project has been well worth the effort. There is no one more deserving to have this great building than those who sacrifice and continue to sacrifice," said Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson, garrison commander.

     The approximately $1.3 million facility features a large community room, full kitchen, TV lounge, internet café, a conference room and a children's play room. The 6,000 square-feet of space, is also home to the Balfour Beatty Management Office and the Army Housing Office.   

     "This installation needed a gathering place for the Soldier's and families that live here. And with its placement near the Chapel, Child Development Center, and upcoming Youth Center, it has created a central location for families. This is a true example of how we are working together transforming this post into a great community," said Ty McPhillips, project manager for Balfour Beatty Communities.

  

Post residents and employees braved the cold for the ceremony. Photo by Megan Clugh.  

  McPhillips also discussed naming the building after Brig. Gen. Matthew A. Delaney, the Commandant of the Medical School on Carlisle Barracks from 1933-1935. 

     "During his time in command, General Delaney oversaw and executed the largest buildup that Carlisle Barracks had ever seen. The post was in a constant state of construction. This is oddly similar to today," said McPhillips. 

    Everyone at the ceremony remarked the great changes taking place and they noted that the Delaney Field Clubhouse is a highlight of the evolution the post is making. 

    The clubhouse's community room has added a location for post residents to come together, they said. The large room can be reserved by residents for an array of events, bringing together friends and neighbors. The room features a gas fireplace, large flat-screen television and leather furniture. It also has an accordion door that can divide the room into two smaller spaces, if needed.

    Adjoining the community room is a full kitchen furnished with modern appliances.  The kitchen enables the community house to hold events with food and drinks such as potlucks, coffees, or birthday parties.

    In addition to having the sports field out behind the clubhouse, the children's play room provides a location for families to gather on play dates after school. 

  

The childrens play room in the Delaney Field Clubhouse. Photo by Megan Clugh.

    "This community center is our way of saying thank you to all of you and your families," said Christopher Williams, Executive Vice President of Balfour Beatty Communities.

   "We understand you make great sacrifices. You all certainly deserve this great place to gather and enjoy being together when you are not fighting thousands of miles away," continued Williams.

    "Please enjoy this community center; we are blessed to take care of you all for once."

    To read more on the Delaney Field Club House and Carlisle Barracks Construction visit http://www.carlisle.army.mil/construction/ 

Community Room Reservations:
Only Carlisle Barracks Residents can reserve the community room and must be present during the event. Maximum occupancy is 80. Deposit required upon time of reservation. Call 243-7177 or stop by the Balfour Beatty Management Office located in the clubhouse to reserve.

 

 


John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service
General does part to reduce mental health stigma

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2009 - Army Maj. Gen. David Blackledge is doing his part to reduce the social stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment for war-related stress.

    The general suffered from post-traumatic stress after surviving a near-death experience during his first deployment to Iraq in 2004. Now he willingly shares his tale of recovery and hopes his example will help others in dealing with war's invisible wounds.

    "I felt it was critical that we had senior leaders experiencing [post-traumatic stress] come forward," Blackledge, the Army's assistant deputy chief of staff for mobilization and reserve issues, said in an interview at the Pentagon last week.

    The wife of a military member suffering from war trauma used Blackledge's story to spur on her spouse to seek treatment, Blackledge said.

    "She said, 'My husband was suffering from this, and when I showed him the article in the paper about you coming forward, he said that if a two-star general can get help, then maybe I can too,'" he said.

    Blackledge's story begins in Iraq in February 2004, when he was working there as a civil affairs commander. He was leading a team to Iskandariyah to meet with tribal sheiks when their convoy was ambushed with smalls-arms fire. The attack killed the interpreter sitting near Blackledge and blew out a tire on their vehicle, causing it to roll.

    The survivors of the attack regrouped and escaped to a nearby checkpoint. Blackledge suffered a broken back and ribs, and other physical injuries. He was put in a body cast at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and remained there for several days before arriving at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

    "Within a day of me being at Walter Reed, a psychiatrist came to me ... and talked to me about what was going on. He also told me what to expect," Blackledge recalled. "I told him at the time that the ambush kept replaying in my mind."

    The psychiatrist told Blackledge his re-experiencing of the incident was normal, and he provided the general with mental techniques to help gain control of his memories.

    "He said to basically picture it as a movie, and when it intrudes, tell yourself, 'I don't want watch the movie right now,' and kind of click it off," he said, adding that the medical staffer also explained to Blackledge and his wife what they could expect over the course of rehabilitation.

    The psychiatrist continued to work with the general, who began experiencing nightmares, hyper-alertness and other post-traumatic stress symptoms, he said.

    The general added that the psychiatrist also was savvy enough to know how to record the medical information so that Blackledge would not risk harming his career advancement or prospects for future security clearances.

    "It seemed logical to me, because there was a concern at that time about how these things would be recorded in your record," Blackledge said, noting that the process has improved significantly since his injuries.

    Fifteen months after the ambush, Blackledge again deployed to command a civil affairs unit in Iraq. While at a meeting in Amman, Jordan, in November 2005, Blackledge was in one of the three hotels targeted in a coordinated bombing that killed 60 people and injured more than 100.

    When Blackledge returned from that deployment, he again suffered from nightmares and hyper-alertness, as well as sleeplessness and a shortened attention span.

    "This time, my concern was not my career, but, 'Is this how I'm going to be for the rest of my life?'" he said.

    Blackledge again sought mental health treatment – this time at the Pentagon clinic – where a doctor explained that the therapy he'd begun after his ambush had been interrupted by the second deployment.

    "He said, 'Let's start over again, and we'll guarantee you're much better at the end of it,'" Blackledge recalled.

    In July 2007, the Army launched a chain-teaching program to help soldiers and their families identify symptoms and seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury.

    When Blackledge began incorporating his own experience into the lessons he delivered, he realized the ripple effect that speaking out can have.

    "As I gave that instruction to my headquarters staff, I kind of interspersed it with what I'd been through," he recalled. "As I started inserting my own experiences, people started raising their hands and saying, 'I had that same thing happen to me.'"

    Blackledge since has volunteered to help Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree Sutton, a psychiatrist who heads the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, in her campaign to urge post-traumatic stress sufferers to share their stories.

Related Sites:

Warrior Care Web Portal <http://www.warriorcare.mil/

National Resource Directory for Wounded Warriors <https://www.nationalresourcedirectory.org/nrd/public/DisplayPage.do?parentFolderId=6006.com

Military OneSource <http://www.militaryonesource.com/

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury <http://www.dcoe.health.mil/default.aspx>

 

 


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
National Children of Alcoholics week

    One in five adult Americans lived with an alcoholic while growing up.  Child and adolescent psychiatrists know these children are at greater risk for having emotional problems than children whose parents are not alcoholics.  Alcoholism runs in families, and children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics. Most children of alcoholics have experienced some form of neglect or abuse.

    Although the child tries to keep the alcoholism a secret, teachers, relatives, other adults, or friends may sense that something is wrong.  Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise that the following behaviors may signal a drinking or other problem at home:

  • Failure in school; truancy
  • Lack of friends; withdrawal from classmates
  • Delinquent behavior, such as stealing or violence
  • Frequent physical complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol; or
  • Aggression towards other children
  • Risk taking behaviors
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior

Children Of Alcoholics may exhibit many symptoms when trying to deal with alcoholism in the family:

  1. Guilt. Children may blame themselves for their parents drinking.
  2. Anxiety. Children may fear injury, fights, and violence between the parents.
  3. Embarrassment. Children may feel ashamed to invite friends home and are afraid to ask anyone for help.
  4. Inability to have close relationships. Children may not trust others.
  5. Confusion. Children recognize that their alcoholic parent is unpredictable. (A parent can change suddenly from being loving to angry, regardless of the child's behavior.)
  6. Anger. Children feel anger at their alcoholic parent for drinking, and the anger can extend to the non-alcoholic parent for lack of support and protection.
  7. Depression. Children feel out of control and helpless to change the situation.

Facts for families:

  • Some children may act like responsible "parents" within the family and among friends.
  • They may cope with the alcoholism by becoming controlled, successful "overachievers" throughout school, and at the same time be emotionally isolated from other children and teachers.
  • Their emotional problems may show only when they become adults.

Source: http://www.aacap.org/page.ww?section=Facts+for+Families&name=Children+Of+Alcoholics 


Post holds National Prayer Breakfast
Photos by Spc. Jennifer Rick

Retired Chaplain (Maj. Gen. ) David Hicks, former Chief of
Chaplains, was the guest speaker at the Carlisle Barracks
National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 5.

 

The Post Chapel Praise Team performed a selection of songs
during the breakfast.

 

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Martha Hayes read 2 Chronicles 1: 7-12.

 

Guests at the breakfast bowed their heads as a prayer was said.


Flu Vaccinations still available at Dunham, DDC 

Feb. 4, 2009 -- The Flu Vaccination is still available at Dunham Health Clinic on Carlisle Barracks or at the Defense Distribution Center Health Clinic (DDC) in New Cumberland. 

    DOD Civilian/Military Employees, TRICARE and TRICARE for Life beneficiaries are all eligible to receive the vaccination at one of our facilities. Anyone who has not received their flu shot should go to either location.  No appointment is necessary and patients interested should report to the check in desk to get a number.

   Immunizations at Dunham Clinic are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. DDC is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours on Tuesday until 7:30 p.m.  Be sure to check the clinic website at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/dahc/dunhamhome.htm for clinic closure information before leaving home.

    The FluMist is no longer available only the flu shot. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, 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.  It is highly recommended for all pregnant women and anyone with a chronic illness to receive the flu shot.

    Contraindications:  There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician.  These include but are not limited

to: people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs; people who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past; and people who developed Guillain-Barre' syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.  People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

    For more information contact the Immunization Clinic at 245-3608 or visit the center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov


Spouse's Club luncheon Feb. 18

Feb. 4, 2009 -- Mark your calendars now the Carlisle Barracks Spouse's Club presents a Fashion Extravaganza on February 18th. Come and see the latest fashion styles from casual, to sport, to professional and even high couture.  Members of our club will be the feature models.  Social hour begins at 10:30 a.m. with lunch to follow at 11:15.  The cost is $13.00, call your respective contact person to make your lunch reservation.  

    A - I       Shannon Blocker     blockerclan@aol.com

    J - R      Brenda Moreland     DaveandBre@aol.com

    S -Z       Celeste Williams      apftmax@juno.com


Free YS trip to Army Experience Center

    Join Youth Services on a free trip to the NEW Army Experience Center in Philadelphia on Sunday Feb. 15. Lunch and dinner will be provided and the trip is open to teens in 9-12th grades. Pre-registration required. Register with Youth Services  by Feb 12. The bus will depart the YS parking lot at 10 a.m.

    For more information call 245-4638/3801.

 


AER Kick-Off Breakfast Feb. 27

    Feb. 4, 2009 -- Tickets are on sale now for the Army Emergency Relief Kick-Off Campaign Breakfast Feb 27 from 7 to 8:30 am at the Letort View Community Center. The price is $8 per ticket and the guest speaker will be retired Lt. Gen. Robert F. Foley, AER HQ Director. The Annual Army Emergency Relief Campaign will be conducted March through May.

     For more information contact Cora Johnson, AER Campaign Coordinator, at 245-4720 or cora.johnson@us.army.mil

 


Suzanne Reynolds, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Great Decisions Lecture Series addresses Global Food Crisis

 

Ambassador Cynthia Efird of the U.S. Army War College speaks in the chapel assembly room Jan. 30 as part of the 2009 Great Decisions lecture series. Drawing on her experience as a senior diplomat, Efird spoke about the possible issues that may develop in the event of a global food shortage. Photo by Suzanne Reynolds.

For a video of the presentation go here

Jan. 30, 2009 -- Drawing on her experiences as a senior diplomat, Ambassador Cynthia Efird of the U.S. Army War College, highlighted the cruel reality of massive food shortages now and the danger of a future of increasing hunger.

    "The number of undernourished people in the world has risen to more than one billion," she said.

    Efird was the second of eight presenters for the 2009 Great Decisions program.  Her presentation was held Friday, Jan 30 at 1 p.m. in the Carlisle Barracks Post Chapel Assembly Room. Ambassador Efird is now in her second year as the senior State Department representative at the USAWC, serving as the Deputy Commandant for International Affairs.

    She pointed out that climate warming is taking productive fields out of production, that the growing affluent populations in China and India are demanding a "rich man's diet", that water resources are declining, increased energy costs, climate change and that energy requirements for worldwide agriculture are competing with other needs.

    "You put all of this together and you can see why the food supply problem may becme a very large issue," she said.

    She argues that food security is not just a humanitarian issue. 

    "The security of U.S. citizens depends on addressing the despair and anger of third-world parents who now too often helplessly watch their children suffer from hunger," said Efird.  "Security and global economic progress depends on adequate nutrition for all children."   

    The Great Decisions lecture series is sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses' Club.  This program has been a source of information for more than 40 years.

        The next lecture, scheduled for Feb. 6, Col. Michael Moon of the U.S. Army War College will discuss energy and the U.S economy.

 


Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Defense Media Activity
Web site helps troops, Families adjust after deployments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2009 - A Military Health System Web site continues to help returning servicemembers and families adjust after a deployment ends, the site's program manager said Jan. 29.

    About 20 percent of servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience adjustment difficulties such as stress, irritability and sleep problems, Dr. Robert Ciulla, program manager for afterdeployment.org, said on the "Dot Mil Docs" program on BlogTalkRadio.com.

    The afterdeployment.org project is one of several core projects within the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, known as "T2," located at Fort Lewis, Wash., under the direction of Dr. Greg Gahm. T2 is a directorate of the Defense Department's Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Ciulla noted that possible barriers to obtaining services, including a perceived stigma, stop many servicemembers from seeking out care. Ciulla emphasized that online resources have many advantages.

    "Users can log on to afterdeployment.org in the privacy and comfort of their own homes and work with the site's resources anonymously. This should help with concerns about stigma," he said.

    Ciulla said that logging on to afterdeployment.org "means that users don't have to worry about transportation, or scheduling appointments, or arranging a sitter for the kids." He added that online tools have other advantages, including 24/7 access anywhere an Internet connection is available.

   Afterdeployment.org was officially launched in August, and is designed to provide behavioral health tools to servicemembers, their families and veterans in all the service branches, Ciulla said. It includes exercises and tools that the entire family can use.

    "All of the materials on the site have value to families ... the main exercises and tools on the site -- such as stress and anger management, sleep hygiene, getting balance in one's life -- all of these tools are as relevant for a spouse or other family member as they are for someone on active duty just returning from deployment," he said. "We consider the self-help workshops, modeled after actual therapy sessions and which include exercises and vignettes and self-assessments, to be the site's signature elements."

   Ciulla said the self-care tools available on afterdeployment.org provide the entire military community with vital service-delivery options. He noted that the site has particular advantages for National Guard and reserve units, who may be distant from a military treatment facility or otherwise located in areas lacking providers who are knowledgeable about military-related adjustment concerns.

    Ciulla added that officials are working on future workshops on topics such as traumatic brain injury and resilience training. He also said he and others in the project office have "listened to the feedback we have received over the past months."

    "In addition to TBI and resilience training," he said, "we'll be targeting content in a number of areas, including domestic and partner issues, and veterans' issues and women's issues, to name a few."

    Additionally, Ciulla said, military leaders and health care providers can tap the site's materials to learn about common problems and change strategies, and to obtain useful contact information concerning local resources.

   Currently, afterdeployment.org offers 12 programs: Adjusting to War Memories, Dealing with Depression, Handling Stress, Improving Relationships, Succeeding at Work, Overcoming Anger, Sleeping Better, Controlling Alcohol and Drugs, Helping Kids Deal with Deployment, Seeking Spiritual Fitness, Living with Physical Injuries and Balancing Your Life.

 


Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press Service
New GI Bill carries different eligibility, benefits

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2009 – A series of educational assistance programs administered by the Veterans Affairs Department, commonly called the GI Bill, have helped servicemembers pursue post-secondary learning for decades. 
    Soon, another program will be added to the mix: The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Bill will be available to qualified individuals Aug. 1.
   "We previously administered four major education programs before this bill came along," Keith M. Wilson, VA's education service director, said. "The new Post-9/11 GI Bill has different eligibility criteria [and] pays for different types of training."
    The new GI Bill provides three separate types of benefit payments to those who have at least 90 days of aggregate active service after Sept. 10, 2001.
    The first type of payment covers tuition and fees equal to what each state's most expensive state-run school charges for in-state, undergraduate study.
    In addition, an allowance based on the Defense Department's basic housing allowance for an E-5 with dependents is available as a benefit paid monthly, Wilson said. The housing allowance's dollar amount depends on the location of the school the servicemember or veteran is attending, he added.
    The third benefit is a stipend of up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.
    "Now, each of those payments is subject to the amount of active duty an individual has," Wilson said. Eligible people with 36 or more months of active duty will receive 100 percent of the three payments, he said. Those with less than 36 months of active service will receive a prorated amount.
    For example, Wilson said, someone with 90 days to six months of active service qualifies for 40 percent of each of the three types of payments. The benefits increase with an individual's amount of active service, and extend to National Guardsmen and reservists who have at least 90 days of active service.
    "Previously the Guard and reserve members didn't really have a stake in the GI Bill per se," he said. "Now, we have one program that covers both the active duty and the Guard and reserves."
    For those who incur out-of-state tuition, attend a private school, or want to pursue graduate studies but find their tuition and fees above the cap set by the VA, there's the Yellow Ribbon program.
   "The Yellow Ribbon program is a sub-element of the Post-9/11 GI Bill," Wilson said. "The … program allows schools to enter into an agreement with VA by which the school will waive up to half of the difference of their tuition and fees charges and what the cap is for that state, and VA will match the amount that the school waives.
   "It's basically a supplemental amount of tuition and fees that would be payable to the school," he added.
    Wilson said he thinks the voluntary supplemental program has been well received by schools. He cautioned, however, that the VA still has steps to take before any formal agreements between any institution of higher learning and the VA can take place, including finalizing regulations and setting tuition caps.
    "So no school, public or private, that would be interested in the Yellow Ribbon program really has enough information yet to make [the decision to participate]," he said.
    It remains to be seen, Wilson said, what effect the country's current economic situation may have on the Yellow Ribbon program.
    "The important thing to remember is that the Yellow Ribbon program is available to all schools," he said. "[Speculation about] whether or not schools' financial situations are going to impact their participation or not is a little bit premature. They don't have all the information they need from us yet."
    More information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, eligibility, and how this new bill could affect those with service prior to Sept. 10, 2001, is available on the Veterans Affairs GI Bill site or by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 toll-free. Along with answers to frequently asked questions, visitors to the site will find a link that will allow them to receive updates on the new GI Bill via e-mail as they become available.

Related Sites:
The GI Bill
Department of Veterans Affairs


TRADOC News Service
Army Civilian University assumes responsibility for AMSC

    Feb. 3, 2009 -- Army Civilian University, the institution created this year with the mandate to integrate and optimize Army civilian development and training, is taking its first major step by assuming oversight of Army Management Staff College at Fort Belvoir, Va., by Jan. 30, 2009.

    Army Management Staff College is the Army's premier schoolhouse for civilian leader education for basic and advanced leadership and management responsibilities.

     The Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff established ACU as a direct answer to multiple detailed studies and analyses recommending greater accessibility and visibility of educational opportunity to its Civilian Corps. An institution based on organizational structure and common standards, rather than the physical construct and central location of a university that one might expect, ACU will serve as the connective tissue between educational institutions focused primarily on Army civilians.

    For Army civilians – and for the Army as a whole – this is very good news, said ACU President Jim Warner. "ACU will significantly enhance the Army's capability to deliver training to civilians and provide visibility, accountability and optimization of current assets to the Army and its commanders.

     "However, front and center, Army Civilian University's mission is about enhancing our Army's ability to accomplish its diverse and demanding missions during this era of persistent conflict," said Warner. "It's about restoring balance, sustaining the civilian contribution to the all-volunteer force and strengthening the Army's agility and strategic flexibility. The Army can't do this without a trained and ready civilian workforce."

    The transfer of AMSC to ACU was established by a Combined Arms Center Fragmentary Order, effective Nov. 26, 2008, and will be executed over a 60-day period, from Dec. 1, 2008 to Jan. 30, 2009.

 What is Army Civilian University?

    Army Civilian University is the emerging institution charged with the development and oversight of an enterprise approach to civilian education.

    Currently headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., ACU is not a physical place where civilians attend – like the Army War College. Rather, it is the organizational unification of select academic institutions that serve primarily civilians in support of the Army mission. ACU was created to achieve greater visibility and opportunity for civilian personnel – while having the adaptability and assets to provide civilians the training that Army and its commanders need most.

    ACU supports U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's establishment of integrated curricula with a standardized, competency-based approach to civilian education and leader development. While ACU will be focused on providing civilians the training the Army needs – and much of this education will be accredited by universities – it is not foreseen at this time that ACU will award academic degrees.

    In July 2007, the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army approved Army Initiative 5, "Accelerate Leader Development," giving TRADOC executive agency responsibility for leader development and establishing ACU.

    Although ACU's development is in its early stages, the institution's impact over the long term will be significant for the Army. ACU expectations are to:

·         Enhance the Army's capability to deliver training to the Civilian.

·         Produce trained and ready adaptive civilian leaders who are strategic thinkers.

·         Prepare leaders to operate across the full spectrum of operations in an environment of persistent conflict.

·         Strengthen the quality of each individual educational institution by ensuring appropriate investment in faculty and facilities while developing strong research and publication programs.

·         Create leader development strategies and education systems for Army Civilians, as well as synchronizes an enterprise of well-integrated institutions, building linkages with the larger academic community.

·         Assist the Army to develop a clear positive civilian identity, while streamlining leader development and providing cross-functional opportunities.

·         Ensure the Army leadership model keeps pace with change and resourcing challenges of the Civilian Corps and the increasing role of Civilians in the leadership positions.

·         Streamline activities and operations together into a leader development and education enterprise that develops distinct competency based learning models.

 

 

 


Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press Service
Education activity asks parents, students for feedback

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2009 - The Defense Department Education Activity is asking parents and students to share their thoughts about what works and what doesn't in its schools through a customer-satisfaction survey.

    "DoDEA is firmly committed to continuous improvement and highest student achievement," said Sandra D. Embler, chief of research and evaluation for the activity. "The input of the students and parents is an essential component in identifying strengths and weaknesses in the system." Officials administer the survey every two years.

    Parents and students in the fourth through 12th grades can expect to answer the same questions on the survey, Embler said. They'll have a chance to express their opinions on the schools and instruction, the level of emphasis on assessments, the use of technology for learning, and how their school's administrators communicate. They'll also be able to comment on student-support matters such as counseling, college planning and transition issues.

    Embler said she and her team will work quickly to make the results of the survey public.

    "The survey ends Feb. 28," she said. "Results will be available online the first week of March on the DoDEA Web site." Visitors to the site will find a link to the results from DoDEA's home page, she said.

    Once the results have been analyzed, Embler said, it's just a matter of what level of action is involved to implement suggestions. Individual schools often take immediate action when they receive the results, she explained, while actions that involve DoDEA as a whole often take longer.

    "For example," she said, "based on previous customer satisfaction survey results, DoDEA established a task group related to high school counseling. This task group spent last year researching and discussing issues and making recommendations."

    Some of those recommendations are being implemented now, she added.

    Traditionally, teachers, administrators and educational support staff also have participated in this survey. This year, Embler said, they will take a separate employee survey in March.

    "While many surveys are administered and the results are never incorporated into actions, all levels of DoDEA – schools, districts and systemwide will use the results to make improvements," she emphasized.

    While the survey is voluntary, participation is encouraged, Embler said. DoDEA officials estimate it will take about 20 minutes to complete the survey, which can be found by clicking on the "2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey" link on the right side of DoDEA's home page.

Related Sites:

Department of Defense Education Activity <http://www.dodea.edu>

 

 


Carlisle Barracks Chili Cook-Off photos
Photos by Spc. Jennifer Rick

 

 The annual Carlisle Barracks Chili Cook-Off was held Jan. 30 at the Letort View Community Center.
Awards are as follows: 

Best Theme & Table Presentation:  Seminar 17 
    Team name:  Scurvy Dogs
People's Choice Award: Seminar 9  
    Team name:  Syndicate; Chili name:  Fili Chili 
    (Remember the Alamo)
Runner Up Award for Best Chili: Seminar 17  
    Team name:  Scurvy Dogs; Chili name:  C4 Commandant's Caribbean Curse Chili
Best Chili Award: Seminar 1  
    Team name:  Club Gitmo; Chili name:  Iquana Chili


This year 21 teams competed for a total of 39 chili entries.

   
   


Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Delaney Field Clubhouse open for the Army Family neighborhood 

   

The Delaney Field Clubhouse, 
a new community center on Carlisle Barracks, will celebrate a ribbon-cutting Feb. 5 at 10 am.   The approximately $1.3 million facility features a community room, kitchen, TV lounge, internet café, and a children's play room, totaling 6,000 square-feet of space. 
Photo by Kelly Schloesser. 
  

Jan. 30, 2009 - Carlisle Barracks is welcoming a new addition this month, a community center for post residents. As a part of the post-wide project to provide better housing for Soldiers and their families on Carlisle Barracks, the Delaney Field Clubhouse is now open. The formal ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Feb. 5 at 10 a.m.     

    "The idea behind the clubhouse is for it to act as community center for the residents of the barracks," said Ty McPhillips, Project Director for Balfour Beatty Communities, Carlisle Barracks' partner in the Residential Communities Initiative.  

    "It's a place where they can just gather and hang out, or for more formal meetings and events," said McPhillips.

    The approximately $1.3 million facility features a community room, kitchen, TV lounge, internet café, and a children's play room, totaling 6,000 square-feet of space. The outdoor patio backs onto a large field where kids can play games and sports.

    "They can use it for all kinds of community events. For instance, they can have a potluck dinner and use the kitchen. They can bring the kids and have them in the play room, TV lounge, or outside on the sports field," said McPhillips.

    The large community room has a gas fireplace, large flat-screen television, and leather furniture. It also has an accordion door that can divide the room into two smaller spaces, if needed.

   

The Delaney Field Clubhouse has come a lomg way since this file photo was taken in late 2008. Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.

 

Adjoining the community room is a full kitchen furnished with modern appliances. 

    "Residents have the ability to reserve the community room and kitchen for use in any number of ways," said Heidi Puente, BBC Community Manager. 

    "I think the clubhouse will be a great place off-site to get together with my seminar and neighbors," said Lt. Col. David Jones, student. 

    Just off the lobby is a TV lounge, equipped with a flat-screen television and overstuffed seating. 

    "It's great that it will be open in time for the Super Bowl. It sounds like a really good place to watch games and get to know people," said Col. Hal Lamberton, student.

    Opposite to the TV lounge is the Internet Café.

    "The area has two desktop computers available for use and is equipped with wireless internet service," said Puente.

    Located in the back corner of Delaney is a play room for children. 

   

One of the lounges inside the new community center. Courtesy photo.

    "The children's room is equipped with everything children need to occupy their time, all the perfect size for them," said Puente.   

    Balfour Beatty said this would be a great place to have a play date, where both kids and the parents can have an enjoyable time.

    Balfour Beatty Management Office and the Army Housing Office will also relocate to the clubhouse. To reserve the facility, residents can stop by or call the management office at 243-7177.

 

 


Spouses Club accepting applications for scholarship

The Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club and Thrift Shop is now accepting applications for the 2009 Military Family Member Merit Scholarship.

Applicant qualifications:

    -Possess a valid military family member i.d.  card
    -Be a CBSC member dependent under age 23
    -If not eligible to join the CBSC, servicemember must be assigned to Carlisle Barracks
    -Be a high school senior or currently enrolled in a college or university
    -Agree to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student during Academic Year 2009-2010
    -Qualified applicants will also be considered for the First Command Scholarship.

    For questions and applications, contact cbscscholarship2009@hotmail.com. Application packets must be postmarked no later than March 20.


Command Sgt. Maj. Jose Powell, Carlisle Barracks Command Sgt. Maj.
Commentary: 2009, "Year of the NCO" 

Jan. 27, 2009 -- It's an honor for all Noncommissioned Officers that the Secretary of the Army established 2009 as the "Year of the NCO." 

    No one is more professional in any other Army than our noncommissioned officer, a leader of Soldiers.

    As noncommissioned officers, we are members of a time-honored corps, which is known as "the backbone of the Army."  The Army Heritage and Education Center is a national treasury of stories about the noncommissioned officers who served our nation from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, to charges on Omaha Beach and battles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The noncommissioned officers at Carlisle Barracks are few in number, but they have accomplished much. They have shown their willingness to make personal and family sacrifices on behalf of our nation. Our NCOs think ahead at all times and do not just sit and wait for things to happen. They have answered our nations call and served in theaters of operations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and at home providing stability during times of crises in our country. They have recruited, trained and led Soldiers in combat. They have mentored unit members and built cohesive units. 

 

    Competence is their watchword. Our NCOs embody the standards our Soldiers must emulate in order to continue the legacy of excellence in our noncommissioned officer Corps.  With this in mind, they must be better than their Soldiers no matter what their job. It won't happen overnight, but it takes constant dedication, commitment and hard work. They must lead by example and be the role model. No double standards for NCO and Soldiers.  They ensure planning, preparation, and execution phase of the mission.

    The NCO never forgets their two basic responsibilities: the accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of their Soldiers. These NCOs know and understand the commander's intent in order to execute their mission flawlessly while providing for "the welfare of Soldiers"; pushing them hard to do unpleasant things to improve their odds of surviving longer on our current and future battlefield? Today our noncommissioned officer serves not only our country, but also provides the security, medical care and training to more than 120 countries throughout the world.  Our NCOs are truly caring professionals.

 

    The Army's focus in 2009 will highlight the roles and responsibilities of today's noncommissioned officers by promoting further development through the use of education, fitness and leadership development initiatives. There is none more deserving of this recognition during 2009, get to know these men and women.  They make us Army Strong. Hooah!

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Faculty member learns first-hand about Afghanistan fight

Col. Jim Helis, chairman of the Department of National Security and Strategy, stands outside a 19th century fort near Spin Boldak, now used by the Afghanistan Border Police. Helis recently returned from the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Courtesy photo.

To see the "Great Decisions" presentation by Col. Helis, go here

To listen to Col. Helis speak about his experience in Afghanistan on the "SmartTalk" WITF radio program, go here

Jan. 22, 2009 -- An Army War College faculty member recently returned from a six-month deployment, having seen firsthand the application of  Army War College  lessons and the challenges awaiting graduates of the class of 2009.  

    Col. Jim Helis, chairman of the Department of National Security and Strategy, recently returned from the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, bringing back experiences he said will last a lifetime. Helis served as the Chief of Plans, and was tasked with developing a new campaign plan for Afghanistan. Based in Kabul, the ISAF is the NATO lead and serves as the operational command for the mission and brings together more than 55,000 soldiers from 41 nations.

    The Army War College doesn't just educate the students in its resident and distance programs; it also has a mission of supporting the operational and institutional force.  In June 2008, the college received a request for a senior planner to work a new campaign plan for Afghanistan. 

    "Less than two weeks later I was on a plane," Helis said with a big smile. Helis was one of the more than 10 faculty and staff members to have been dispatched in the last year to support ongoing operations.

    The task of developing the plan was an eye-opening one, according to Helis.

     "Once the plan was drafted we found gaps in some areas and the team went about plugging them," he said. Helis was in charge of four teams that included officers from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain, and others. The job called for close coordination with other agencies in the region. The plan focused on how to further stabilize the nation and operate in a counter-insurgency environment. The plan also had to incorporate how to utilize an anticipated influx of U.S. military personnel and to support the upcoming democratic elections.

    "We had to make sure that our plans were synched and coordinated with the other civilian and military efforts on-going in Afghanistan to help ensure success," he said. "It was truly a collaborative effort."

    Also, the joint-environment forced Helis to look at the issues from the perspective of his partner countries.

    "You have to realize that other countries bring their own unique perspectives to the fight and factor that into your planning," he said. "You have to think long-term and make sure everyone understands what the goals are to be successful." 

Helis at Mazr-e-Sharif after a trip to the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan border crossing.

       These opportunities not only help support our Army and partner countries, they also bring an immense value to the USAWC curriculum, according to Dr. Bill Johnsen, dean of academics.

    "Faculty support to ongoing operations, especially to active combat theaters of operation, provide invaluable insights into senior level leadership and theater-level warfighting skills that can be immediately translated into our curriculum and teaching," he said.

    Helis agreed.

     "I was able to do what our students will do when they graduate," he said. "I have a much better appreciation for what we can do to prepare them for that environment and for the most part we are on the right track."

    Helis went on to say that certain skills are necessary to be successful in a joint environment.

   "You need to be able to thinking creatively and critically and be able to communicate those ideas both orally and in writing," he said. "You have to be able to think broadly and see how all of the pieces fit together."  


Spc. Jennifer Rick, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Operations and Gaming Division enhances learning experience
  

Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Marshall, Sgt. 1st Class Richard Hall and Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Lane of the Operations and Gaming Division work to prepare for the 2009 Strategic Decision Making Exercise. SDME, coordinated largely by the OGD, is the capstone exercise for the Army War College resident class. Courtesy photo.

January 26, 2009 -- When you think of how Army War College students learn, you might think of people sitting around a table discussing issues or reading history and case studies. Well, you'd only be partially correct. That's only part of the learning experience. The students apply new knowledge and understanding in scenario-based exercises.

    The war college resident class's capstone exercise, the Strategic Decision Making Exercise, is a two-week exercise that gives students the opportunity to implement the knowledge, skills and abilities they have gained through experience and from their exposure and participation in the war college curriculum, said Prof. James Kievit, professor of National Security Leadership.

    "SDME is a joint and multinational exercise that includes political and military play at the high operational and strategic levels, all set in the year 2021," explained Sgt. 1st Class Richard Hall, OGD intelligence NCO. "It is intended to place students in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous virtual environment.         

    "Aided by appropriate information technology tools and models, they apply service and joint doctrine within the framework of the interagency, military contingency planning and execution, military resourcing, and multinational coordination processes," said Hall.

    "Students will develop strategic policy recommendations for employing the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic elements of power, while considering multiple scenarios," he said. "Those scenarios include major combat operations, lesser contingencies, stability operations, global terrorism, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, and model crises in every Geographic Combatant Command."

    The event is largely facilitated by the Operations and Gaming Division, commonly called the OGD, which operates out of the Center for Strategic Leadership located in Collins Hall.

    The OGD hosts the SDME exercise, coordinates the internal and external personnel involved, provides intelligence and mapping support, produces other needed materials, as well as develop, review and edit the scenarios to ensure realism, quality and value for the students. Countless hours of planning are put into creating a real-life atmosphere for the exercise.

    SDME and all other OGD operations are executed by 35 senior military officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians. Their jobs range from the development and execution of research, war games and experiential exercises, Strategy Research Project advisors, production of sensitive publications for each exercise and more.

Members of the Operations and Gaming Division Support Staff discuss the upcoming Strategic Decision Making Exercise, which will be held in Collins Hall March 4-11. Courtesy photo.

    It takes a wide range of professional skills and expertise to create and execute the SDME.

    "We are extremely fortunate to have senior non-commissioned officers serve alongside the other members of the division," said Col. Phil Evans, OGD director. "In the current environment, all of them are deployment returnees. They are very competent and each of them is eager to contribute to the organization and the Army.

    "They provide us with the benefit of their excellent experience and do a great job at their assigned tasks inside the division. Additionally, since OGD works with external organizations as part of its mission, our NCOs get opportunities to directly represent the Army. For example, during Senior Leader Staff Rides conducted for strategic leaders in the private and public sectors, our NCOs come in close contact with corporate heads who, in many cases, have little to no understanding of the Army and how it operates," said Evans.

    "The active participation of our NCOs sends a strong signal, guaranteeing that these civilian leaders come away with a positive appreciation of our devotion to leadership and competency across the force," he added.

    "From my perspective, the greatest benefit students gain from the OGD's experiential learning opportunities, especially from the SDME, is greater self-awareness as leaders," Kievit said.

    "The opportunity to work with as many audiences as we do is interesting and professionally rewarding," Evans said. "We often learn in addition to merely educating, and this parlays itself into better qualities of support by the members of the organization on behalf of CSL, the USAWC and the U.S. Army," said Evans.

    The OGD provides experiential learning opportunities for the War College and for strategic-level audiences around the country; supports the operational and institutional force; researches and publishes on strategic-level subjects; and performs strategic communication tasks on behalf of the War College and Army senior leadership, explained Evans.

    The OGD works with outside organizations such as the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, as well as non-military or government organizations. They conduct leadership seminars, also called strategic leader staff rides, and conduct crisis negation simulations for graduate students of universities, including Georgetown, Texas A&M and Princeton noted Evans.


Spc. Jennifer Rick, Army War College Public Affairs Office
AFAP Symposium sheds light on local, Army-wide issues

Sgt. Gregory Stovall briefs Carlisle Barracks senior leadership on issues and potential solutions to local and Army-wide issues. Commissioned and enlisted servicemembers, Department of Defense civilians, retirees, spouses, family members and teens were invited to attend the three-day, annual conference. Photo by Scott Finger.

January 26, 2009 -- When it comes to understanding the ups and downs of military life, who knows better than the people who live it? That’s why the Army has an annual event called the Army Family Action Plan, a grassroots organization which gives enlisted and commissioned servicemembers, Department of the Army and Department of Defense civilians, spouses, retirees, family members and teens an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

    The Carlisle Barracks AFAP symposium was held Jan. 21-23 at the Letort View Community Center. This year, the 44 delegates at the conference were split into four topical groups: Children and Youth, Community Support/Consumer Services, Medical/Dental and Soldier Support.

    Each group discussed Army-wide and local issues and concerns. After reviewing all their options, they voted on what they felt were the three most important. They then discussed and chose what they believed to be a good potential solution to the problem, captured in an Issue Paper.

    Throughout the conference, subject matter experts from organizations throughout the installation were available to answer any questions, and let the delegates know if an issue is already being worked on.

    At the end of the conference, a spokesperson from each group presented what they felt was working well and their issues and recommendations to the Carlisle Barracks senior leadership. 

    Some issues will be resolved by the post’s leadership, and others will be presented to leadership at the regional level, and if needed, will be passed to the Department of the Army level. 

    Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, Army War College commandant, expressed interest in the issues, and addressed the delegates, facilitators and observers.

    “You all are a powerful group,” he said. “No one wants to take on the Army family.”

Delegates’ most valued services
    • Medical and dental care
    • Housing
    • Commissary
    • Child, Youth and School Services
    • Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation
    • Veterans’ benefits
    • Family Readiness Group

Delegates’ choices for most positive aspect of Carlisle Barracks
    • Youth Services, child care
    • Human Resources
    • County Fair
    • YS summer camp
    • USAWC staff is professional
    • Post housing construction
 
    The delegates came up with a wide variety of issues and recommendations for change.

CYSS online registration and payment
    Currently: Parents must register their children for Child, Youth and School Services at the YS building. According to the group members, this leads to missed payments, reduces participation and contributes to parents missing time from duty.
    Group Recommendation: Their proposed solution is the ability to register children online. The DFMWR reported that they are already working on an online FMWR system, which is expected to be available in the next 18-24 months.

PTSD testing for Soldiers returning from deployment
    Currently: All Soldiers are screened for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when returning from theater, but delegates believed they may not be receiving enough follow-up care to be properly diagnosed and treated, if needed.
    Group recommendation: Delegates want to see an Army-wide standardization of PTSD screening at intervals such as the four- and 12-month mark from returning from a deployment. Post leadership agreed and said they would make sure to pass the issue higher. 
Military Clothing Sales on Carlisle Barracks
    Currently: Servicemembers find the lack of a military clothing and sales facility on Carlisle Barracks a problem. The nearest facility is at Fort Indiantown Gap, which is an 80 mile round trip from Carlisle Barracks. Sister services must travel to Washington, D.C. to purchase military clothing items. Delegates noted that purchasing items online often resulted in delays of up to several weeks.
    Group Recommendation: They would like to see a full-service facility, including items for all branches of the military, brought to Carlisle Barracks.

Delegates at the 2009 Army Family Action Plan Conference discuss issues relating to military life. The delegates were separated into four work-groups: Children and Youth, Community Support/Consumer Services, Medical/Dental and Soldier Support. Photo by Scott Finger.

Other issues
    • Currently: The Gifted and Talented programs at schools around the country have different standards and testing. This causes a problem for military children who change schools often. Kids often have to be retested at each school, which takes time and money, and the children sometimes miss time in the program due to the need for new tests.
    Group Recommendation: Parents would like to see a way for the transition to be easier for their kids, so they are getting the most out of these programs.
   
    • Currently: Non-active duty servicemembers, Reservists and retirees are not eligible for the use of Youth Services programs.
    Group Recommendation: Open the YS programs to military i.d. card holders, whether or not they are on active duty.

    • Currently: The system for tracking volunteer hours is not user friendly, and results in an inaccurate measure of service.
    Group Recommendation: Implementing a new system, such as scanning a card at the beginning and end of volunteer hours for an easier way to keep track.

    • Currently: Households with a family member needing special care often have problems when moving to a new installation, because specialized coverage cannot start until the family is physically at the new duty station.
    Group Recommendation: Introducing a TriCare policy change so that coverage in a new region can be arranged before the family is actually in the area. 

    • Currently: Veterinary services are inadequate to meet the needs of this military community.
    Group Recommendation: Expand the hours and services of the installation’s veterinary facility.

    • Currently: Many servicemembers and families are unaware of the benefits they may receive from traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.
    Group Recommendation: Delegates would like to see education available to families so they know what is available to them.


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Post open arms to families of deployed Guard members

A Stryker vehicle from the 56th SBCT, Pa. National Guard moves out to conduct joint operations during JRTC rotation 09-02 at Fort Polk, La. Local families have found help from Carlisle Barracks services.Courtesy photo.

The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, is the Army’s only reserve-component Stryker Brigade. The team was mobilized in September 2008 to conduct full-spectrum operations in Iraq. Before deployment, the unit trained at multiple sites across the country, including Camp Shelby, Miss., and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. 

    Many of the 4,000 Soldiers are already in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, preparing to move into Iraq. They will be stationed near Taji, an area about 60 miles north of Baghdad, according to Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, Pa. National Guard spokesman. Pennsylvania has the National Guard’s only Stryker unit. All the brigades using the armored fighting vehicle are part of the regular Army. The PANG deployment to Iraq is the largest since World War II.   

    During the deployment their family members can receive support from Carlisle Barracks. 

    “Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is a dedicated group of men and women who provide support and leisure activities to all of our Soldiers --  active duty, Reserve and Guard -- their Families, military retirees and the civilian employees,” said Barbara George, FMWR director. 

    “FMWR provides an array of services and programs at every installation – family, child and youth programs, recreational, sports, fitness, entertainment, travel and leisure type activities.”

    Also available for the families is the Carlisle Barracks Army Community Services.     

    “ACS can assist families on matters dealing with financial planning, assisting spouses to research for jobs, managing deployment and the day to day stresses associated with military life,” said George. 

   Youth programs are available for the youngest members of the family as well.  

    “Our Child and Youth School Services provide outstanding child and youth programs, and are made available to the 56th SBCT,” said George. 

    The goal of the post MWR is to help Soldiers and their families, according to George. 

    “The many programs available to our Guard units are a great resource and I strongly encourage the Family members of the 56th SBCT to visit all of our activities,” she said.  “We want to be their first choice for recreational, leisure and family activities.”


C. Todd Lopez, Army News Service
Army addresses rising suicide rate, highest in four years
For a media roundtable with Army leaders go here

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 29, 2009) -- The number of suicides in the Army has risen again, for the fourth year in a row, and the problem is being addressed with an Army-wide "stand-down" and chain-teaching program.
   The Army experienced 128 confirmed suicides in 2008, up from 115 in 2007, said Army leaders during a media roundtable Jan. 29. An additional 15 deaths are being investigated as suspected suicides, though Army experts say experience has shown that as many as 90 percent of suspected suicides are eventually classified as confirmed.
    "The numbers represent tragedies that have taken place across our Army," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. Adding that the Army is doing all it can to address the problem. "Every suicide is a tragedy we take personally in the Army."
    The secretary said if the Army is to succeed in counteracting the rising trend in suicides in the service, all components of the Army -- including the active-duty, Reserve and National Guard components -- must work together and also work with other organizations such as the Veteran's Administration. To facilitate that collaboration, he appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli to lead those efforts.
    "We felt it was necessary to have a central figure at the top ranks of the Army to reach across those components and bring about the kind of progress we hope to achieve," Geren said.
   Chiarelli said the Army must work quickly to reduce the trend of suicides in the Army, saying that if the suspected suicides did in fact turn out to be confirmed suicides, the Army's rate for suicides would rise to about 20.2 per 100,000 individuals.
    "That number is particularly noteworthy, because the last reported numbers from the Center for Disease Control -- which lags behind, was 19.2," Chiarelli said. "That's important because the Army has always had a suicide rate quite a few numbers below the CDC rate -- the average American rate."
    Chiarelli has directed an Army "stand-down" to address the problem, between Feb. 15 and March 15. During that time, he said, commanders will take time to direct the problem "head on," the general said, adding that the service is prepositioning materials for commanders to use when talking with Soldiers.
    The general also said the Army would follow the stand-down with a chain-teaching program -- an Army method used to ensure every individual Soldier has been exposed to new material -- during the 120-day period after March 15.
    "The second thing that is absolutely critical is to reach out to Soldiers and tell them it is not wrong to reach out for help," Chiarelli said. "We have to change our culture."
    In the past, he said, it has been a culture in all the military services, that accessing mental health resources was detrimental to a servicemember's career.
    "That is something we have got to turn around," he said. "We are committed to doing that. And that is all leaders -- review what they have done in the past, what has helped us in the past -- and continue to do those. At the same time, to reach out to their Soldiers and make sure there is no stigma."
    The Army's stand-down will include training to help Soldiers recognize suicidal behavior in their fellow Soldiers, as well as teach them techniques to intervene.
    While Secretary Geren has said the Army is unsure exactly why the numbers of suicides have risen over the last four years, Chiarelli said stress was probably a factor.
    "There is no doubt in my mind that stress is a factor in this trend we are seeing," Chiarelli said. He also added that about a third of the suicides were amongst those deployed, a third were amongst those who had returned from deployment, and a third were amongst those who have had no history of deployment.
    Army leaders also said that traditionally it has been both relationship and financial problems that have contributed to Soldier suicides -- and that increased deployment lengths then may contribute to suicides by adding additional stress on families and relationships.
    Secretary Geren said when tour lengths were increased to 15 months, the Army worked to alleviate some of the stress that would be created between Soldiers and their families by adding additional funding to Army family programs.
    "That's when we started trying to hire additional mental health workers, when we started putting additional resources into family support -- trying to reduce stress on the families and the stress on the Soldier who is worrying about the family back home," Geren said. "You saw a tremendous reallocation of resources within the Army budget."
    Geren said the Army has changed the family support budget from $700 million to nearly $1.5 billion.
   "We saw the stress, we recognized it, and we started putting resources to that challenge," he said. "I can tell you, senior leadership knew -- we could feel the pressure -- and we started moving resources to address those issues."
   In October, Army senior leaders signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a study to get to the root causes of why Soldiers commit suicide.
    Under the MOA, the NIMH will conduct research for the Army that will evaluate the many factors that contribute to suicide. The results of the study will be used by the Army to develop strategies to prevent suicides.
   The study is expected to last five years, during which time the NIMH may interview Soldiers, their families and their parents. The study will include the active-duty force in addition to the National Guard and Army Reserve.


Paul Boyce, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
Army announces historic electric vehicle lease

Jan. 12, 2009 -- In what is the single largest acquisition of its kind ever, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren announced today that the Army plans to lease thousands of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).
     "The Army is committed to substantially reducing the greenhouse gas emissions through our acquisition of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles," Geren said. "This historic acquisition will constitute the largest acquisition of electric vehicles not just in the military, but in the entire country."
    The announcement was made during an acceptance ceremony at Ft. Myer, where six of the new vehicles will be incorporated into base operations. The NEVs are part of a more comprehensive and far--reaching energy security strategy designed to save energy and money, and to wean the Army from fossil fuels. The Army is focused on harnessing renewable and alternative energy sources like geothermal, solar and biomass conversion.
    The 4,000 non-tactical electric vehicles will be used on Army bases for passenger transport, security patrol, and maintenance and delivery services.
     In addition to the vehicles delivered to Fort Myer, the Army will lease 794 more NEVs this year; 1,600 will be leased in 2010, and 1,600 leased in 2011. A General Services Administration announcement in FedBizOps.Gov solicits NEV manufacturers to help provide the vehicles to meet the Army's goal of 4,000 NEVs in three years.
    The vehicles delivered to the Fort Myer Installation today were two four-passenger sedan NEV models and four two-passenger NEV utility models. The utility model has a stake bed and a 1,000 pound payload capability. With a full eight-hour charge, the NEVs can traverse 30 miles at a top, street-legal speed of 25 miles per hour.
    These first six electric vehicles are manufactured by the Global Electric Motorcars division of Chrysler Corporation. But dozens of other companies that manufacture electric vehicles can compete to meet Army vehicular requirements in the future.
    The Army will save money by leasing electric vehicles vice leasing gasoline- or hybrid-powered vehicles. Fuel or energy costs for the electric vehicles also are significantly less―an estimated $460 annually for the electric vehicle versus an estimated $1,200 annually for gasoline-powered cars.
    The environmental benefits, likewise, are impressive. By using electric vehicles, the Army will reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 11.5 million gallons over a six-year period. This translates into 115,000 fewer tons of CO2 emissions during that same period. This is significant because CO2 emissions contribute to global warming.
    The 4,000 electric vehicles will be used in a non-tactical environment; however, as part of its Future Combat Systems (FCS) ground force modernization program, the Army is developing a suite of eight new hybrid-electric powered Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs) for its armored forces. These more fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce the Army's dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the number of refueling convoys exposed in combat.
     The FCS vehicles also will give Soldiers the power output to deploy on the battlefield vastly more capable life-saving technologies―including superior reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence assets. More modern and robust reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence capabilities have proven decisive in key battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    "The Army will continue to leverage new and emerging technologies to ease its dependence on fossil fuels," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Partnerships and Senior Energy Executive for the Army Paul Bollinger.
    "With more than 12 million acres and 155 installations, the Army has the secure land and facilities to provide industry with a strong foundation for commercial development of renewable energy for our country. The Army can and will be a catalyst for greater production and innovation by renewable and alternative energy producers," Bollinger said.