Banner Archive for March 2008
 

John Harlow, TRADOC News Service
Way Ahead for Army Correspondence Course Program on-line testing

FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service, Mar. 17, 2008) – On Dec. 16, the commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Gen. William S. Wallace, directed the command, which oversees Soldier training and standards, to determine the depth of the problem associated with the Army Correspondence Course Program's (ACCP) on-line testing and take action on those issues that TRADOC controls.

    In July 2007, TRADOC became aware that a Website (shamschool.com) was posting answers to ACCP exams. A subsequent Army investigation determined a Soldier had developed a Website and posted ACCP exams and answers that could be downloaded by anyone who visited the Website. The Soldier has since been discharged from the U.S. Army.

    For many years, Army correspondence courses have been a part of the enlisted promotion process. The program is a formal nonresident extension of the TRADOC service schools' curriculum and is used to prepare Soldiers for advancement in their military careers. Soldiers can receive one promotion point for every five hours of ACCP. The total number of points possible for military education, which includes Army schools and training, is 200. The number of points a Soldier needs for promotion varies with specialty and needs of the Army. The more courses a Soldier completes, the more points he or she receives toward promotion, up to the 200-point limit. The ACCP's final exams represent evaluations of a Soldier's ability to comprehend course material.

    With the advancement of the Internet and communications and information-sharing technology, both military and civilian on-line testing became vulnerable to countermeasures that had once been used to effectively maintain the integrity of the program, specifically the testing phase.

    In mid-December of last year, the Boston Globe published the results of a five-month investigation into alleged on-line cheating by Soldiers, asserting that "hundreds of thousands of packages of completed exams had been downloaded by soldiers over many years."

    "Cheating violates our core Army values," said Wallace in mid-December in response to the article. Referring to the importance the issue has on Army institutional culture and on the advancement of junior Soldiers to the rank of sergeant and beyond, Wallace added, "The backbone of our Army is our noncommissioned-officer corps. Each and every one of them must live the Army values and be leaders of character. The institution depends on them."

    After the Boston Globe article appeared, Gen. Wallace directed a top-down review of ACCP policies and practices and committed nearly $6 million to overhaul the ACCP, hiring experts and integrating new software. As part of the top-down review, a 12-person panel was formed to find solutions to the cheating problem.

    In the overhaul of the testing environment, proctored exams were considered but quickly rejected by the review team, as it would have put additional stress on Soldiers who are already time-stressed, and would have unfairly disenfranchised Reserve and National Guard Soldiers who would have had to travel to proctoring centers on their own time and sometimes at their own expense. Course testing will remain as open-book exams, and the tests will still be in a multiple-choice format, but Soldiers will begin to notice significant changes in May and June. These changes will align the Army's ACCP with the best practices in the commercial sector and meet or exceed American Council on Education standards.

    Additional initiatives aimed at resolving the ACCP on-line testing vulnerabilities include:

  • The testing will have Soldiers being presented with one of three questions per subject area. The computer will select the question at random and will present questions one at a time on a single screen. The order of the answer within the question will also be random, so a Soldier will get a random question in random order.
  • The ability of Soldiers to print out the questions that come up on the screen will be limited.
  • Soldiers may fail the test only twice. If they fail the test a third time, they will be disenrolled and have to wait up to 90 days to re-enroll. This limits a Soldier's ability to repeatedly take the test to review all the questions until he can compile the answers over time.
  • The Army is looking at using Army Knowledge On-Line (AKO), which requires Soldiers to log-in using Common Access Cards (CAC), and its current protective measures as a method to add integrity to the test process and reduce the possibility of test-taking by someone other than the Soldier enrolled in the course.
  • Soldiers who sign up for large courses will be required to wait for what is considered a reasonable amount of time to study for it, acknowledging that a one- to eight-hour course could conceivably be completed in a day or two.
  • Soldiers will be able to take up a maximum of 1,000 academic hours a year, broken down to about 120 hours a month. Commanders will be able to waive that restriction if it is needed for a specific mission or task.
  • The penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for cheating on the tests will now be spelled out at the top of the exam, instead of at the bottom, which is the past practice. In striking the "submit" button, a Soldier is acknowledging he understands the penalties under UCMJ.
  • The Army is looking into legal means to protect on-line tests from being posted to websites.
  • Taking a cue from private-sector universities, the Army is contracting a company to do a review of its hardware and software system to make sure there are no holes.
  • Test-sharing Websites like shamschool.com and accpanswers.com will be blocked from the dot-mil domain.
  • The Army is considering moving the content of ACCP under the NCO Education System and its guided self-development program within the next 18 months.

    Additionally, as part of ongoing efforts to transform the military education system to better suit the career advancement of today's Soldier, the Army is revising all its on-line course procedures to meet American Council on Education guidelines for the award of college credit.

    TRADOC continues to review the conduct of its on-line courses. By enacting the recommendations of the 12-person panel, the Army strives to ensure that the points Soldiers gain for promotion through correspondence courses are earned honestly and with integrity.

                                                                                                                                                    

 

 


John Harlow, TRADOC News Service
Way Ahead for Army Correspondence Course Program on-line testing

FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service, Mar. 17, 2008) – On Dec. 16, the commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Gen. William S. Wallace, directed the command, which oversees Soldier training and standards, to determine the depth of the problem associated with the Army Correspondence Course Program's (ACCP) on-line testing and take action on those issues that TRADOC controls.

    In July 2007, TRADOC became aware that a Website (shamschool.com) was posting answers to ACCP exams. A subsequent Army investigation determined a Soldier had developed a Website and posted ACCP exams and answers that could be downloaded by anyone who visited the Website. The Soldier has since been discharged from the U.S. Army.

    For many years, Army correspondence courses have been a part of the enlisted promotion process. The program is a formal nonresident extension of the TRADOC service schools' curriculum and is used to prepare Soldiers for advancement in their military careers. Soldiers can receive one promotion point for every five hours of ACCP. The total number of points possible for military education, which includes Army schools and training, is 200. The number of points a Soldier needs for promotion varies with specialty and needs of the Army. The more courses a Soldier completes, the more points he or she receives toward promotion, up to the 200-point limit. The ACCP's final exams represent evaluations of a Soldier's ability to comprehend course material.

    With the advancement of the Internet and communications and information-sharing technology, both military and civilian on-line testing became vulnerable to countermeasures that had once been used to effectively maintain the integrity of the program, specifically the testing phase.

    In mid-December of last year, the Boston Globe published the results of a five-month investigation into alleged on-line cheating by Soldiers, asserting that "hundreds of thousands of packages of completed exams had been downloaded by soldiers over many years."

    "Cheating violates our core Army values," said Wallace in mid-December in response to the article. Referring to the importance the issue has on Army institutional culture and on the advancement of junior Soldiers to the rank of sergeant and beyond, Wallace added, "The backbone of our Army is our noncommissioned-officer corps. Each and every one of them must live the Army values and be leaders of character. The institution depends on them."

    After the Boston Globe article appeared, Gen. Wallace directed a top-down review of ACCP policies and practices and committed nearly $6 million to overhaul the ACCP, hiring experts and integrating new software. As part of the top-down review, a 12-person panel was formed to find solutions to the cheating problem.

    In the overhaul of the testing environment, proctored exams were considered but quickly rejected by the review team, as it would have put additional stress on Soldiers who are already time-stressed, and would have unfairly disenfranchised Reserve and National Guard Soldiers who would have had to travel to proctoring centers on their own time and sometimes at their own expense. Course testing will remain as open-book exams, and the tests will still be in a multiple-choice format, but Soldiers will begin to notice significant changes in May and June. These changes will align the Army's ACCP with the best practices in the commercial sector and meet or exceed American Council on Education standards.

    Additional initiatives aimed at resolving the ACCP on-line testing vulnerabilities include:

  • The testing will have Soldiers being presented with one of three questions per subject area. The computer will select the question at random and will present questions one at a time on a single screen. The order of the answer within the question will also be random, so a Soldier will get a random question in random order.
  • The ability of Soldiers to print out the questions that come up on the screen will be limited.
  • Soldiers may fail the test only twice. If they fail the test a third time, they will be disenrolled and have to wait up to 90 days to re-enroll. This limits a Soldier's ability to repeatedly take the test to review all the questions until he can compile the answers over time.
  • The Army is looking at using Army Knowledge On-Line (AKO), which requires Soldiers to log-in using Common Access Cards (CAC), and its current protective measures as a method to add integrity to the test process and reduce the possibility of test-taking by someone other than the Soldier enrolled in the course.
  • Soldiers who sign up for large courses will be required to wait for what is considered a reasonable amount of time to study for it, acknowledging that a one- to eight-hour course could conceivably be completed in a day or two.
  • Soldiers will be able to take up a maximum of 1,000 academic hours a year, broken down to about 120 hours a month. Commanders will be able to waive that restriction if it is needed for a specific mission or task.
  • The penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for cheating on the tests will now be spelled out at the top of the exam, instead of at the bottom, which is the past practice. In striking the "submit" button, a Soldier is acknowledging he understands the penalties under UCMJ.
  • The Army is looking into legal means to protect on-line tests from being posted to websites.
  • Taking a cue from private-sector universities, the Army is contracting a company to do a review of its hardware and software system to make sure there are no holes.
  • Test-sharing Websites like shamschool.com and accpanswers.com will be blocked from the dot-mil domain.
  • The Army is considering moving the content of ACCP under the NCO Education System and its guided self-development program within the next 18 months.

    Additionally, as part of ongoing efforts to transform the military education system to better suit the career advancement of today's Soldier, the Army is revising all its on-line course procedures to meet American Council on Education guidelines for the award of college credit.

    TRADOC continues to review the conduct of its on-line courses. By enacting the recommendations of the 12-person panel, the Army strives to ensure that the points Soldiers gain for promotion through correspondence courses are earned honestly and with integrity.

                                                                                                                                                    

 

 


Public Affairs staff report
New identity theft scam

March 18, 2008 -- Special Operations Command South has released information about a new way people are having their identities stolen. Police are warning the public that identity thieves could be stealing your mail without even getting into your mailbox.

     Typically ID thieves will break into cars or mail boxes to steal valuable information. Now detectives say the crooks have figured out a way to have your mail forwarded right to them.

     This week, Gresham Police (Oregon) arrested 26-year-old Amber Carrillo, who faces 86 counts of identity theft. According to police, Carillo would go to the post office and fill out a change of address form, noting the victim's name and listing her apartment as the forwarding address. Within days, police said Carillo would receive the victim's mail, including sensitive financial documents, and W-2 taxe forms!

     Police said that's just the tip of the iceberg. One of the victims alerted authorities after she stopped getting mail, but by that time, the ID thief was off and running.

     Police said if you stop getting mail or get an unexpected notice that your mail is being forwarded, alert the post office and the police right away.


Women's History Month Observance highlights WWII Soldiers 

Melissa Wiford, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, was the guest speaker at the Women's History Month Observance, "Looking beyond the Army Nurse Corps: The origin of the female Soldier," held March 18 in the Upton Hall Auditorium. Wiford spoke about women's roles in World War II, when Congress created the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. The observance also featured an invocation from Chaplain (Col.) Arthur Pace and remarks from Staff Sgt. Brandon Hutson. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


Public Affairs staff report
FEW hosting program on NSPS

  March 17, 2008 -- The Carlisle Chapter of FEW will host a noon-time program on NSPS lessons learned on Friday, April 11, 11:45 a.m. in Wil Washcoe Auditorium, Root Hall.

  The program will consist of a panel discussion with members of the Garrison who have recently completed their first complete cycle within NSPS.  These panel members work within all levels of the NSPS process:  male and female non-supervisory employees, civilian supervisors, and a member of the pay pool.

  The panel members will share their honest, candid opinions of the process--positive and negative--what they liked and did not like, what worked and what did not, and what changes were made to make the process work better and more smoothly during the second cycle.

  Each panel member will speak for 5-10 minutes, discussing their own impressions, and then the floor will be open to questions.  Ms. Rhonda Newcomer, personnelist with the CBks CPAC will also be in attendance to answer any questions that require her subject-matter expertise.

  The Carlisle Chapter of FEW brings educational programs to their members and also offers programs to the Carlisle Barracks community to enhance personal and professional growth.

  "We feel that our April program is of significant value to all Carlisle Barracks employees and their supervisors, so we've opened this program up to all," said Lisa Ecker, FEW Program Chair.  "You need not be a member of the Carlisle FEW Chapter to attend."

  To reserve a seat, contact Lisa Ecker via e-mail at lisa.ecker@us.army.mil or call 245-3155.

 


Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office
Exercise tests Army War College students to think, act under pressure

Strategic Decision Making Exercise participants watch an SNN broadcast in the control room of Collins Hall. SDME is the capstone exercise for U.S. Army War College students. Photo by Scott Finger.

March 12, 2008 – Unless you were watching the Strategic News Network, you may have missed a few world-changing events last week. There was a tense showdown in the Middle East, multiple freedom of navigation issues, a homeland terror attack and a natural disaster all in the span of six days.

    Of course, it was 2021, and each of those scenarios and more were all part of the Strategic Decision Making Exercise, held from March 5 to 12 in the Center for Strategic Leadership at Carlisle Barracks.

    The exercise, or SDME as it is commonly referred to, serves as the capstone exercise for U.S. Army War College students. SDME is a six-day interactive strategic level political-military exercise based in 2021, which gives students the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge they've acquired during the academic year to a "real-life" situation.

"We are asking the students to take the knowledge they arrived with, the knowledge they acquired during the first eight months of the Army War College and now apply it and make decisions focused at the strategic level,"explained Doug Campbell, CSL director. "

    According to Campbell, planning for the exercise starts at the beginning of each school year.

A USAWC student participates in a press briefing during SDME. Soldiers from the 209th Broadcast Detachment then took clips and added them to the SNN broadcasts. Photo by Megan Clugh.

   "Initial planning begins with the receipt of student and faculty comments on this year's SDME," he said. "The second key factor is the receipt of next year's International Fellow student roster so we can determine IF expertise available to support the exercise.  Detailed planning begins in September as we begin to develop scenario material."

    The process of developing each scenario for the exercise isn't a simple one either.

    "Scenario development takes considerable time and effort.  We begin with an assessment of learning objectives to be achieved, identify potential areas of the world which meet the criteria of possible, plausible and important enough to the U.S. and its allies that a scenario would pass the 'so what test,'" said Campbell. "Following that assessment we develop a story outline, which lays out basic goals, objectives and flow of the scenario.  After scenarios have been developed then all the scenarios must be integrated so that we understand their interaction and load factors and the impact on learning objectives."

    This year's initiative was to create increased learning opportunities for IFs.

    "The most significant element for this year was the decision to fully integrate IFs into combatant command cells.  This was coupled with the creation of IF "White Cells" which made the IFs in those cells part of the exercise control structure," said Campbell. He went on to say that this helps provide the control organization with much more flexibility in responding to student needs and requirements.

 

A student takes part in a short-notice interview
on the third floor of Collins Hall.
Photo by Scott Finger.   
  

 

 Those IFs not in the white cell were designated as either "Exchange Officers" -- international officers acting as a US officer in an exchange program with their nations, or "Senior Military Representative" -- international officers who are provided by their nations as a national representative to a combatant commander once their country has joined with the US in a coalition effort, according to Campbell.

    The exercise is designed to give the students a wide range of experiences.

    "The most beneficial parts of the exercise are when we place students in difficult role playing situations," said Campbell. "Frequently that is when they interface with outside participants, such as Congressional Hearings -- during which they testify before members of Congress or Congressional staffers playing Congressman, where they have to engage the media, in either a briefing or in a stand-up question period, where they have to brief and answer questions from Distinguished Visitor's who role play a special assistant to the President." 

    During the exercise War College students also perform many of the duties and tasks that they will face once they graduate.

    "They are also required to conduct VTC's with Combatant Commander Staffs and perform bilateral negotiations with International Fellows role playing foreign government officials," said Campbell. "The most taxing element is the requirement to absorb information and make recommendations or decisions under time pressure."

    SDME has been very beneficial and a great learning experience according to one of the students.

    "I thought the SNN broadcasts were truly first class," said Hershel Holiday, a member of Seminar 4. I only wish that more people had access to the congressional hearings and the media engagements."

    The exercise also brings together more than 600 personnel from the War College and subject matter experts from outside the school to serve as controllers, observer controllers, or exercise facilitators. Personnel participating in the exercise come from numerous government organizations, including the Department of State, Joint Staff, FEMA, CENTCOM, FBI, and the CIA. Each year more than 50 distinguished visitors participate as role-players in the exercise; most as leaders from the military, diplomatic, interagency, business, and education communities.

    "The students participate in video teleconferences with members of Congress, who role-play as members of the House Armed Services Committee while the students testify. Each year there are ten to twelve serving members of Congress who participate by VTC from Washington," said Campbell.

 

Students meet to discuss how the days event will affect their planning.

 

    Another important part of the exercise involves the students interacting with various national and international news media outlets.  During press conferences and interviews, controllers act as reporters from different national and international news organizations. The sound bites from these media events are then incorporated into television news broadcasts televised in Collins Hall each day. The filming of the interviews and the actual television broadcasts are produced by Reserve Soldiers from the 209th Broadcast Detachment. They were also augmented with Soldiers from two other reserve units.

    This year's exercise was deemed a success, according to Campbell.

    "I think the exercise did a good job in achieving its learning objectives. The entire staff and faculty engaged in the exercise evaluate how well we are achieving our educational objectives throughout each day, with specific meetings held at the end of every day to conduct a formal assessment," he said. "I think the general evaluation is that the students did a very good job in achieving the learning objectives established for the exercise."  

    The exercise started in 1995 as the Strategic Crisis Exercise and continues to evolve each year according to Campbell.

   "The exercise changes every year. I would anticipate another evolution next year as we try to decide what is correct to prepare USAWC students for their new environment."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Post chapel to hold Easter services  

March 17, 2008 -- The post Memorial Chapel will hold the following services for the Easter holiday:

 

Wednesday, March 18:

  • Protestant Seder Meal 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Chapel activities room)

 Thursday, March 19:

  • Protestant Holy Thursday Tenebrae Service 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Catholic Holy Thursday Mass & Adoration, Mass 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Adoration 6 p.m. to midnight (Chapel Sanctuary and Activities room)

 Friday, March 20 (Good Friday):

  • Protestant and Catholic Seven Last Words 12 p.m. to 1 p.mp. (Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Catholic Mass 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Chapel)

 Saturday, March 21:

  • Catholic Easter Vigil Mass 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 Sunday, March 22 (Easter Sunday):

  • Protestant & Catholic Easter Sunrise Service 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. (Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Protestant & Catholic Easter Pancake Breakfast 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (Chapel activities room)
  • Catholic Mass and Protestant Worship services as normally scheduled: 9:15 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

IRS announces economic stimulus payment schedules, provides online payment calulator

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will begin sending more than 130 million economic stimulus payments starting May 2. The initial round of weekly payments will be completed by early July.

     The IRS also announced the availability of a new online calculator on IRS.gov to help people determine the amount of their stimulus payments.

     Stimulus payments will be made by direct deposit to people who choose to receive their 2007 income tax refunds through direct deposit. All others will receive their economic stimulus payments in the form of a paper check.

     “To receive an economic stimulus payment, people just need to file their tax returns as they usually do,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Linda E. Stiff. “The payments will be automatic for the vast majority of taxpayers. Some lower-income workers and recipients of certain Social Security and veterans benefits who don’t normally need to file a tax return will need to do so in order to receive a stimulus payment. IRS.gov has all the information people need to help them obtain a stimulus payment.”

     Stimulus payments will be sent out in the order of the last two digits of the Social Security number used on the tax return.

     Because the IRS will use the Social Security number to determine when checks are mailed, taxpayers may receive their checks at different times than their neighbors or other family members. On a jointly filed return, the first Social Security number listed will determine the mail-out time.

     The IRS expects to make about 34 million payments within the first three weeks after the payment schedule begins May 2. With more than 130 million households expected to receive stimulus payments, more than 25 percent of the payments will be made in the first three weeks.

     Taxpayers who choose direct deposit on their federal income tax returns can expect to receive their economic stimulus payments between May 2 and May 16 provided their returns were received and processed by April 15, 2008. For taxpayers who did not choose direct deposit on their tax return but whose returns were processed by April 15, the paper checks will be in the mail starting May 16, with the initial mailings completed by around July 11.

     The IRS is also announcing today the availability of an online calculator on IRS.gov to help taxpayers determine if they are eligible to receive an economic stimulus payment and if they are, how much they can expect. Anyone who has prepared a 2007 income tax return can use the calculator. It will ask taxpayers a series of questions, so they should have their 2007 tax returns handy. After answering the questions, the calculator will provide the projected dollar value of the payment.

     Below are the schedules for economic stimulus payments related to tax returns processed by April 15, 2008.

Stimulus Payment Schedule for Tax Returns
Received and Processed by April 15

Direct Deposit Payments

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:

Your economic stimulus payment deposit should be sent to your bank account by:

00 – 20

May 2

21 – 75

May 9

76 – 99

May 16

Paper Check

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:

Your check should be in the mail by:

00 – 09

May 16

10 – 18

May 23

19 – 25

May 30

26 – 38

June 6

39 – 51

June 13

52 – 63

June 20

64 – 75

June 27

76 – 87

July 4

88 – 99

July 11

     A small percentage of tax returns will require additional time to process and to compute a stimulus payment amount. For these returns, stimulus payments may not be issued in accordance with the schedule above, even if the tax return was processed by April 15.

     All or part of an economic stimulus payment may be applied to back taxes or certain other debts of the taxpayer, such as delinquent child support and student loans. In such cases, the IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer explaining the offset.

     To accommodate people whose tax returns are processed after April 15, the IRS will continue sending weekly payments. People who file tax returns after April 15 and receive a refund can expect to receive their economic stimulus payments in about two weeks after receiving their tax refunds, but not before the date they would have received their payment if the return had been processed by April 15. To ensure taxpayers receive their stimulus payment this year, they must file a tax return by Oct. 15.

     Two bureaus of the Treasury Department are involved in making the payments. The IRS will calculate the amount of each economic stimulus payment based on the tax year 2007 income tax returns it receives. The IRS will then forward the information to the Financial Management Service (FMS), which is the bureau of the Treasury Department that makes federal payments such as Social Security benefits, federal income tax refunds and, now, economic stimulus payments.

     The IRS reminds taxpayers that they can get their stimulus payments faster by using direct deposit when they file their tax return.

     In addition, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically. For people who normally don't need to file a tax return, the IRS and Free File Alliance have a special program set up to allow for free electronic filing.


AUSA and MCEC offer scholarship for prestigious summer program

March 14, 2008 -- The Military Child Education Coalition™ (MCEC) is excited to announce that the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) will provide one Army teenager with a full scholarship to the School of Public Service at St. Albans School, Washington, DC, during the summer of 2008.

    AUSA has agreed to sponsor one student for this highly competitive program, knowing that Army children possess a wealth of experience and expertise that can be enhanced by admission to this school. The MCEC has agreed to provide information about this scholarship through its wide network of high schools because it is a truly unique opportunity.

The School of Public Service
     School of Public Service is a leadership program which features an intensive four-week summer academic session held in Washington, D.C., from June 22 - July 19, 2008. Only 30 rising high school seniors are selected to participate in SPS, located at St. Albans School on the grounds of the National Cathedral. SPS admits both male and female students who have already shown a great deal of interest in public service, as well as an ability to positively influence others. While in the program, the students gain experiences designed to heighten not only an interest in public service but also their probability of entering into and succeeding in a career in civic leadership. Students study at the highest level of scholarship, using Harvard and other case studies that are more commonly used at the graduate level. No credit is given to SPS students; rather they are motivated by their interest in public policy and their desire to be contributing members of the group.

     The SPS website gives more in-depth information. Please be sure to view the 2007 Program's Blog, as it gives great insight into the program's daily activities: www.schoolofpublicservice.org.

Eligibility for the School of Public Service
     As of summer 2008, students must be a rising Senior (having completed the Junior year). SPS seeks students – male and female -- who excel in their studies and who have a keen interest in English, History, Government, and Debate. The ideal applicant is one who is willing to read, reflect, interview, discuss and debate issues of current interest. Students must also be willing to visit with key leaders throughout the Washington, D.C. region to observe, listen and question.

The AUSA Scholarship
     AUSA will fund the total cost of tuition, room and board for one student for this summer's program. The value of this scholarship is just short of $5,000. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be the son or daughter of a member of the United States Army (Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard), either currently serving or retired. The decision on the scholarship award will be made by May 7, 2008.

     In addition to the AUSA scholarship, SPS also offers financial aid. Applicants who do not receive the AUSA scholarship, but are still interested in attending SPS, are encouraged to apply for financial aid from the general fund.

How do I apply?
     HURRY! Deadline for the online application is April 15, 2008. The transcript and recommendation letter should be received by SPS in hard copy (or via email for applicants abroad) by May 1, 2008. Application must be made online at the SPS website: https://www.stalbansschool.org/home/form.asp?id=4892. Applicants for the AUSA scholarship are not required to pay the $25 application fee (even after April 1st). Scholarship hopefuls must state clearly on their applications (at the top of the essay for Section 2, Number 2) that they are applying for the AUSA SCHOLARSHIP and specify how they are eligible (see section above). There is no additional paperwork for the scholarship.

Questions?
    Contact Ms. Suzanne Woods at SPS with any questions: sps@cathedral.org or
202-537-5531.

 


Safety Awareness and Leisure Time Fair scheduled

March 14, 2008 -- Not only do we want you to have a safe summer, but we also want you to have fun while you're at it!  Plan now to attend the Safety Awareness and Leisure Time Fair, held Friday, April 7, from 11:30 to 3:30 at the Letort View Community Center.

     The Safety Office and the Information, Ticketing and Registration Office are sponsoring this event.

     Many local businesses and activities will be represented at this fun and informative fair. Post activities to be represented include: Fire Department, Veterinary Services, Provost Marshal Office, Environmental Health, Army Substance Abuse Program, Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, Force Protection and Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic .

     Off-post organizations/businesses include: South Central Pa. Highway Safety, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, PA Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Hershey Park, Allenberry Play House, Universal Studios, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Ski Roundtop/Paintball, Dickinson College, Kid Safe Network National Security Alliance INC, Madam Tussauds, Medieval Times, Costco and more.  

     For more information, contact Jim Aiello, Safety Manager, at 245-4353.   


Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr., U. S. Army Military History Institute
War Dogs: The Birth of the K-9 Corps

    Dogs have been associated with the United States Army since its inception, but their role has been primarily that of a mascot or in some other unofficial capacity. Not until World War II did the Army make the connection official. In January 1942, members of the American Kennel Club and other dog lovers formed a civilian organization called Dogs for Defense. They intended to train dogs to perform sentry duty for the army along the coast of the United States. Aware of this effort, Lieutenant Colonel Clifford C. Smith, chief of the Plant Protection Branch, Inspection Division, Quartermaster Corps, met with his commander, Major General Edmund B. Gregory, and suggested that the Army use the sentry dogs at supply depots. Gregory gave his approval to an experimental program, and on March 13, 1942, Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson approved Gregory's application and created the K-9 Corps.

Beginning in August 1942, the Quartermaster Corps established dog training centers at Front Royal, VA; Fort Robinson, NE; Cat Island (Gulfport), MS; Camp Rimini (Helena), MT; and San Carlos CA. The K-9 Corps initially accepted for training thirty-two breeds of dogs. By 1944, however, that list had been reduced to seven: German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Siberian huskies, farm collies, Eskimo dogs, and Malamutes. Approximately 18,000 dogs reached training centers after examinations by Dogs for Defense. Almost 8,000 of those animals failed exams given at the centers. Reasons for dismissal included excitability when exposed to noise or gunfire, disease, poor sense of smell, and unsuitable temperament.

    The Quartermaster Corps trained dog handlers as well as the dogs themselves. Technical Manual 10-396 (1 July 1943) outlined the doctrine to be followed in the training. Normal training time for a dog was eight to twelve weeks. First the animals went through what might be called "basic training" to become accustomed to life in the military. Then the dogs received assignment to a specialized training program--sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs, or mine dogs. The Quartermaster Corps established war dog platoons in March 1944 to assist American military forces conducting offensive operations in Europe and the Pacific. Of the fifteen such platoons organized, seven served in Europe and eight in the Pacific. It has been said that, in the latter theater, the Japanese never ambushed or made a surprise attack on a patrol led by one of the war dogs. The Quartermaster Corps also experimented with training dogs to locate casualties on the battlefield. Dogs were first tested for this at Carlisle Barracks on May 4, 1944. Ultimately, the Army abandoned this program because the dogs did not or could not make a distinction between men not wounded, men who had received wounds, or men who had died.

    After World War II, the Military Police Corps took over responsibility for training military dogs. They have continued to serve with distinction in other conflicts. It is estimated that the Army employed 1,500 dogs during the Korean War and 4,000 in the Vietnam War. Currently, the Army has 578 dog teams which have seen service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The courage and loyalty of these dogs have continued to save lives and prevent injuries since creation of the K-9 Corps.


Town Hall meeting planned to discuss teen substance use

March 13, 2008 -- Thursday, March 27, there will be a town hall meeting about protecting teens from underage drinking, and prescription and over the counter drug use, sponsored by the Cumberland-Perry Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Kirk Wilson, Mayor of Carlisle, will be the moderator. There will be opening remarks by Todd Eckenrode, Deputy Coroner of Cumberland County.

     The meeting will be held in the ATS Auditorium on the Dickinson College Campus, West Louther Street, Carlisle. There will be a meet and greet starting at 6:-- p.m., a performance by the REACH dance troupe and the meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

     For more information, call (717) 240-6300.


TRADOC Commander visits War College

Gen. William Wallace, Commanding General of the Training and Doctrine Command, spoke in the Letort View Community Center March 13, about TRADOC's mission and current state of affairs. The lunch was hosted at the LVCC by Lt. Col. Michael Mathews, Commander of the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion. While at Carlisle Barracks, Wallace met with USAWC Commandant, Maj. Gen. Robert Williams and visited the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


Workshop to be held for guardians of family members with special needs

March 11, 2008 – Army Community Service is hosting a workshop called 'Planning for the future of your child or family members with special needs," to be held Tuesday, March 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Anne Ely Hall, room 202.

     Issues that will be addressed are:

  • Government benefit eligibility
  • Guardianship and conservatorship/Guardian Ad Litem
  • Financial security and funding options

     The presentation will run approximately 60 minutes, and there will be time afterward for questions.

     Please RSVP with Anne Hurst, Exceptional Family Member Program manager, at 245-3775.


Jessie Webb, Family Advocacy Program Intern
Child Abuse Prevention Month; Do you know how to treat your kids?

March 7, 2008 -- Every ten seconds there is a report of child abuse or neglect. The most devastating result of the behavior is that four children in the United States die each day because of this abuse. In 1997, five out of every 1,000 military children were abused.  Eleven years later, that statistic has doubled. Today, ten out of every 1,000 military children are abused. Since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a correlation has been seen between the growing pressure and strain within family structures and the rise in incidents of child abuse. In the fiscal 2003-2004 year, out of 8,443 children involved in a child abuse or neglect report, 16 percent involved military families. Out of the 16 percent that were reported, one case in four from military families was substantiated.

     Child abuse is the harm to, or neglect, of a child by another person.  Abuse against children occurs in all cultural, ethnic, and income groups. Child abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect. Neglect is the most common form of abuse.  It is classified as deprivation of adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision. There are five different types of neglect; these include financial, physical, medical, educational, and emotional.

      Some factors that contribute to child abuse include the immaturity of the parents, lack of parenting skills, unrealistic expectations about children's behavior and capabilities, a parent's own negative childhood experience, social isolation, frequent family crisis and drug or alcohol problems. Parents learning effective discipline strategies will improve their coping skills. In recent years, multiple deployments have presented a new set of issues for military families. This pressure can lead to strains in the family structure, more financial pressure, and the loss of support systems. When a parent deploys, the remaining parent takes on more responsibilities in addition to their own role. These shifts in control can cause confusion and doubt if not met with preparedness. 

     The month of April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. We should celebrate and appreciate our children. Abuse of any kind can be detrimental to a child. We must protect our children and keep them safe and healthy. One simple technique for parents to practice when they feel overwhelmed in dealing with a child is to count to ten, or step out of the room for a few minutes for composure. Taking time out is paramount to restoring mental equilibrium which can prevent abusive behavior. Another strategy to employ when tension rises, is to stop in your tracks, step back and sit down, or you could even pick up a pen and write all of your thoughts down instead of verbally expressing them. There are numerous healthy ways to relieve tension.

     Keeping our children safe is a shared responsibility of parents, family members, educators, public officials, and faith-based and community organizations. Do you know where to go or who to contact if you witness an incident of child abuse or neglect?  Every military installation has a Family Advocacy Program (FAP). The FAP staff is trained to respond to incidents of abuse and neglect, support victims, and offer prevention and treatment services. The FAP personnel collaborate military units, law enforcement, medical and legal personnel, family service centers, chaplains, and civilian agencies to provide the most time efficient and effective services.

     At Carlisle Barracks, you can contact FAP at 717-245-3775 and ask for assistance, or call a Behavioral Health Social Worker at 717-245-4602. You can also contact Childhelp at 1-800-4-A-CHILD. 


 Marine Corps General speaks in Bliss Hall


Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke in Bliss Hall on Feb. 28. Photo by Megan Clugh.


Gate construction project to transition to Ashburn Road March 5

Feb. 28, 2008 -- On Wednesday, March 5, work is scheduled to be complete on the Claremont Road gate and will transition over to the Ashburn Gate. 

    From 6- 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, inbound and outbound traffic will be allowed as directed by Police/Security personnel. At all other times and days Ashburn Gate will be a one lane exit gate only. 

    Claremont Gate will be open for normal inbound/outbound traffic.

 


Cherie Huntington, Defense Commissary Agency
DeCA implements UPC lockout to help prevent purchases of recalled products

FORT LEE, Va. When a product recall is announced, store personnel normally pull the items from the sales area to ensure that they are not sold. The Defense Commissary Agency has now gone beyond the norm of food safety by implementing a "fail-safe" response system that prevents recalled products from scanning at the checkout stand.

    Through a procedure called Universal Product Code "lockout," DeCA can ensure that recalled products are not inadvertently sold to customers. It's one more check in a food defense network designed to safeguard the health of commissary customers, said DeCA Acting Director Rick Page.

    "We made use of existing commissary front-end technology to start a Universal Product Code 'lockout' on recalled items," Page said. "We're always researching, testing and fine-tuning ways to ensure food safety for our customers."

   Springing from a suggestion made to all retailers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the UPC lockout provides a low-cost safeguard in making sure recalled items don't find their way back on the shelves or in a customer's shopping cart. DeCA officials immediately went to work to make that suggestion become a requirement for worldwide commissaries.

    "We can now block an entire UPC at the register," Page said. "We've closed that loop. A recalled product scanned at the register would prompt a flag indicating the item is not for sale so it will not ring up."

    The UPC block cannot be used on a recall for a specific lot number or date, said Page, though that capability could emerge in the future. For now, the system blocks an entire UPC. If the product becomes safe to sell again, commissaries simply remove the lockout.

    DeCA's public health staff said three recalls in 2007 required removal of an entire UPC and would have been perfect candidates for a lockout.

    Commissaries receive swift notification of recalls, prompting immediate removal of any recalled product from shelves. The items enter medical hold status and are marked, inventoried and closely monitored until they are either released for sale or removed and destroyed by vendor representatives.

 

 


Dunham U.S. Army Heath Clinic release
What you need to know about MRSA

March 3, 2008 -- Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections have been receiving a lot of press and stirring public interest. While MRSA can be deadly, it is preventable and treatable if detected in time and cared for properly.

What is MRSA?

    MRSA is staphylococcus aureus, or a "staph" bacterium that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.  Many people carry it on their skin or in the nose.  It can cause minor infections of the skin or pimples and boils that should be treated with antibiotics and drained by a health care provider.  Serious staph bacteria sometimes cause infections in blood, bones, or lungs.  Treatment with antibiotics is usually successful.

    Staph bacteria have become resistant to a number of common antibiotics over the past few decades.  MRSA comprises a growing percentage of staph infections.  It is the most frequent cause of skin and soft tissue infections seen in emergency rooms.  MRSA is resistant to all the antibiotics in the penicillin family, which makes it hard to treat.

     Healthy people can carry staph or MRSA and have no ill effects, but can still pass the bacteria to others.  Patients who have been in the hospital for a long time, undergoing dialysis, suffering from a long term illness and / or people who use intravenous drugs are at risk.  MRSA infections occur most frequently in people with weakened immune systems.  However, MRSA infections are becoming more common in community settings, including schools.  In general, community-based cases are sporadic and do not occur in epidemics.

How is staph passed?

·         Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a staph infection or is a carrier, such as can occur in sporting activities.

·         Sharing personal items such as razors and towels with someone who is a carrier or has an infection.

·         Breaks in the skin such as cuts or scrapes.

·         Crowded living conditions.

·         Poor personal hygiene.

When should you seek medical care?

  • Signe of Impetigo (a skin infection with pus filled blisters).
  • Boils (pus filled hair follicles) that do not resolve with warm compresses.
  • Development of a skin infection or a rash after close contact with a known MRSA carrier.
  • Signs of a spreading infection such as cellulitis (redness, warm, swelling and skin tightness).

How can staph infections be prevented?

Good personal hygiene helps to prevent staph skin infections:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer after activities that may have resulted in contamination.
  • Ensure surfaces that come into contact with the skin of more than on person, such as athletic equipment in a gym is cleaned regularly before and after use.
  • Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with Band-Aids until healed.
  • Do not share personal items such as towels, razors, or water bottles.  Keep athletic wear and equipment clean or freshly laundered.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages contaminated from wounds.

 

 


John J. Kurash U.S. Army Military History Institute
This Week in Army History: The Battle of the Million Dollar Tree

 

This image shows the tree the Banyan tree around which the battle for Hill 260 centered. USAMHI photo.  

March 3, 2008 -- "I joined E Company [182nd Infantry Regiment] as a replacement, on December 1, 1943, on Vita Levu, Fiji Islands, shortly before the division left for Bougainville. Our motto was 'Born in Battle' and nothing could have been more true; we fought all over the South Pacific as the Americal Division."
    So began the World War II journey of James E. Sweeney that started in the small town of Nesquehoning, PA, and brought him to the Solomon Islands just in time for a war.
    By early January 1944, all combat troops of the Americal were on Bougainville Island, relieving the 3rd Marine Division. Hill 260 was a piece of strategically located high ground, commanding the area near the Torokina River. High up on Hill 260 stood a banyan tree, 125 feet tall, surrounded by water and the enemy, with an observation hut atop it. From that high ground, the Japanese launched their great sat high on Hill 260 and commanded the area and was the subject of the Bougainville counterattack.
    In the early morning of March 10, Sweeney woke up to the sound of Corporal Bailey dropping magazines and bandoliers of ammunition near his bunk. "Jimmy, when it gets daylight, plaster the observation hut with all you got." Before he left, he added, "be careful, snipers are in the trees."
    Later that day, the enemy began shelling the Americal defensive perimeter with artillery fire. A new Soldier to the unit, a German-Jewish Soldier, a recent immigrant from Germany, was hit with a mortar shell near Sweeney. "He fell to his left with only a sigh…. My BAR [Browning Automatic Rifle] worked well at first, but by the end of the second day, I was only able to fire one bullet at a time. I had fired it so much and it was so hot that the barrel turned white." Sweeney's service in helping repulse that great counterattack earned him the Bronze Star. According to the citation for that award, he "volunteered to crawl forward to protect the left flank of a machine gun squad, disregarding the danger to himself, he continued until he secured the position. He remained in position for two days, until he was wounded and forced to leave the scene of battle." There were many brave men from Company E on March 10 and 11; together, they earned their company the Distinguished Unit Citation.
The Americans finally secured the island but not without great cost. E Company suffered 22 men Killed In Action and over 100 wounded in about 36 hours of fighting.
    History records this fight as the Battle of Hill 260. The men who actually fought it, however, remember it differently. They estimate firing a fortune against that hill and its towering tree -- a million dollars worth of ammunition, they say. To them, the fight of March 10-17, 1944, will forever be known as is called the Battle of the Million Dollar Tree. It is possible that, as you read this article, there are current American Soldiers in the fight of their lives, - no less bloody, no less fierce, than the Battle of the Million Dollar Tree. Like Sweeney, they will remember it for the rest of their lives. These are the burdens soldiers carry for us. Stories and scars of long ago battles, current and past wounds, opened and relived, like the memory of a tree, in the middle of the South Pacific, on a hill covered in blood.

 

 


Shelaine Tuytschaevers, Carlisle Barracks Public Affairs Office
VTC bridges the distance for deployed Soldiers

Stacey McMahon with her sons Ryan and Sean wait outside the VTC room in Collins Hall before they go in to talk with their  husband and father, Col. Michael McMahon, who is currently deployed. The McMahons are members of Seminar 21, a a group consisting of family members of deployed service members

 

Nov. 5, 2007-  Stacey McMahon helps her son Ryan tie a tie for his button-down, blue shirt, as his brother Sean stands by quietly laughing.

    "We want his dad to see him in his work uniform for his new job," said Stacey McMahon. 

    The interesting detail is Ryan and Sean's dad, Col. Michael McMahon, is overseas, which is where a video teleconference comes into play.  This VTC is available to Seminar 21, a group consisting of family members of deployed service members.  This event happens once a month, providing Seminar 21 with a visual and audio communication that links the whole family together. 

    Not only can a family see their Soldier, but the Soldier can see their family, thanks to technology and a high resolution two-way 30 inch television screen.

    Donna Jones, Relocation Program Manager for Army Community Services, is available to help waiting family members and facilitate the seminar activity. 

    "Seminar 21 is for everyone affiliated with Carlisle Barracks who has a Soldier deployed from here.  Through this VTC, families can have a chance once a month to call and talk to their loved ones, and seeing them in person is so reassuring," said Jones.

    "It's so good to see him instead of just hear him.  This is a great service that gives us something to look forward to, to hold on to, and bridge the gap," said McMahon.

    Sean says he gets to talk to their dad about cars and he even showed his dad some proofs of his senior pictures so his dad could help pick one out to use for the yearbook. 

   "This is really nice because my husband still gets to be a part of the decision process.  It's just good to see him and he even gets to see Ryan in his new work uniform.  He gets to feel like he's still very much a part of our daily lives," said McMahon.

    According to Jones, many times families will bring in birthday cakes and sing Happy Birthday and at Christmas time, families bring in presents and sing Christmas carols.

    The volunteer behind the scenes is Dinah Roadcap, the VTC facilitator who runs the equipment and schedules the calls.  She's been a volunteer for Seminar 21 since 2005. 

    "It's great we can provide something for Soldier morale.  Families can have a piece of mind when they get to see and hear first-hand that everything is all right.  I've been in that position myself and when I got to talk to my son when he was in Iraq, I was happy all week long," said Roadcap.

    Seminar 21 is organized entirely by volunteers who happily give up a small piece of the weekend to help connect families with their deployed Soldiers.  Youth Services provides drinks and snacks in the waiting rooms and even guards volunteer their time to make the building available.

    Jacqueline Schultz, a school liaison officer at Carlisle Barracks started volunteering to help with Seminar 21 back in September 2003.

    "The reason I volunteer is to help the children.  I provide entertainment to keep them occupied while they wait for their turn.  If a family has older kids, I try to provide activities interesting to that specific age group," said Schultz.

    Seminar 21 is scheduled for weekends, which provide more availability in family schedules and a quiet building without distractions.  Once in a while a sand storm can effect the transmission or a mission comes up where a Soldier can't make the phone call, but for the most part, the VTC goes off without a hitch.

    "Dinah and Donna make it so easy.  Everything runs smoothly, the room and the television is all set up for us.  It's good to know so much is in place to help families like us go through this," said McMahon.

    A variety of literature is available for families at Seminar 21 to help them cope with the deployment process.  Books like "Down Range, to Iraq and Back," and "Military Spouse Magazine," are some resources for families on site.  Resume' classes are offered and recently a reintegration seminar was offered at the Post Memorial Chapel where families gathered to prepare for their loved ones coming home.

    "Seminar 21 is one of the best opportunities to keep Soldiers connected while they are away.  This is very important, especially to children to actually see their parent," said Schultz

    At any given time, an average of ten families participate a month.  For Soldiers on the other end, the VTC takes place at night time in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, but they say they are happy to miss some sleep. 

    "It kind of provides a relief to both sides, verbal contact is great, but this is more personal, it's the next best thing to hands on," said Roadcap.

    "There was one year that I remember where a mother had five kids and they all brought in their different instruments.  One had a tuba, one had a flute, they all had their different musical parts and they all played a song for their dad," said Jones.

    Soldiers can have flowers delivered and placed in the VTC rooms for Valentine's or Mother's Day.  According to Jones, volunteers know that Seminar 21 can get very emotional and they've learned to keep tissues by the door.

    "Our first year was tough.  We didn't realize so many families would be so moved by the experience.  There were a lot of tears when they saw their loved one for the first time, but that got better.  With the routine of seeing them again each month, families were soon coming out of the rooms smiling, anxious for the next time," said Jones. 

 


Army Family Covenant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Carlisle Barracks reaffirms commitment to families 

Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Houston signs the Carlisle Barracks Army Family Covenant in Bliss Hall on Nov. 6. The covenant recognizes the commitment, sacrifices and contribution to readiness that military families make every day. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

 

Nov. 6, 2007 – Families are the backbone of the Army, and Carlisle Barracks took time Nov. 6 to honor the dedication of family members and stress the important role they play in today's military.

    In Bliss Hall, Carlisle Barracks and Army War College leadership signed an Army Family Covenant, and pledged to support Soldiers' Families while they defend the nation.

    At Carlisle Barracks, the most visible sign of the commitment to families is the new housing being constructed as part of the Residential Communities Initiative.

    "If there is one thing families in Carlisle Barracks agree, it's the desperate need for new housing," said Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson, garrison commander. "A 50-year old home and all the associated maintenance and space-related problems place a damper on an otherwise great place to live and work. But if you stand anywhere in Carlisle Barracks today you can see a $50 million solution to that problem."

    Dickerson went on to tell the families the plans for the future of the project.

   "Over the next four years the Carlisle Community will be in full development.  We have completed 12 apartments at Young Hall and the remaining 14 will be complete by this summer.  Also, along Claremont Road, 46 units will be completed at 'The Meadows' housing area. In addition, a 6000 Sq Ft Delaney Clubhouse is also to be completed this summer," he said. "Marshall Ridge Phase I is being built northeast of the Bowling Center and will be complete next Fall. College Arms will become Heritage Heights, demolition will begin this summer and new construction will begin in FY09 and complete in FY 11."

    He did point out that new housing weren't the only improved benefits.

    "We have improved existing programs through significant investments in Morale Welfare and Recreation, to include modernizing our Bowling Center, competing for and receiving a new 15,000 sq ft Youth Center in FY09 to complement our very popular youth programs and services." He also pointed out that the Child Development Center has increased their hourly care to create more flexibility for Soldiers and their families.    

    Family members in attendance said they enjoyed hearing what was being done on their behalf.

    "I can't believe they did this for us," said Kathleen Monagle, a Facilitating, Leadership, and Group Skills  trainer and U.S. Army War College student spouse.

    During the ceremony, Dickerson, Col. Tom Torrance, deputy commandant, and Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Houston signed the covenant in the presence of various post family groups.

   Dickerson closed the ceremony by promising to continue to take care of and thanking the families for all that they have done and will continue to do.

    "Carlisle Barracks is poised to provide direct impact to Soldiers and families, for they are the community pillars that make us matter. We stand committed to the success of the Army Family Covenant."

Army Family Covenant Background

    The Army recognizes the challenge, listens to Families and is taking action.  Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Jr., and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston signed a covenant with Army Families.  This Army Family Covenant recognizes the commitment, sacrifices and contribution to readiness our Families make every day.  Over the next few weeks covenant signing ceremonies will occur at every Army installation worldwide. 

    The Army Family Covenant commits the Army to provide Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive.  The words of the covenant are a pledge to ensure our families remain strong, so our Soldiers remain strong:

·         We recognize: The commitment and increasing sacrifices that our Families are making every day.

·         We recognize: The strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their Families.

·         We are committed to: Providing Soldiers and Families a Quality of Life that is commensurate with their service.

·         We are committed to: Providing our Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive.

·         We are committed to: Building a partnership with Army Families that enhances their strength and resilience.

We are committed to improving Family readiness by:  

  • Standardizing and funding existing Family programs and services;
  • Increasing accessibility and quality of health care;
  • Improving Soldier and Family housing;
  • Ensuring excellence in schools, youth services, and child care;
  • Expanding education and employment opportunities for Family members

    The covenant represents a $1.4 billion commitment in 2008 to improve Army Family quality of life, with the Army's leadership working to ensure similar funding over the next five years. 

    The covenant also means improved housing for Army Families.  As we speak, Carlisle Barracks is getting a face-lift in the form of family housing and the Delany Field Clubhouse.  When America's families offer their sons and daughters to the nation, these Soldiers deserve only the best quality of life as a return on that investment. And the Army Family Covenant is a commitment to do just that.

 

 

 

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PVT2 Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army family learns from living in Middle East

Seventeen-year-old Brooke Cusimano sits in her home at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Brooke and her family spent a year living in Qatar, a country in the Middle East. Photo by PVT2 Jennifer Rick.      

Nov. 13, 2007 -- It's common knowledge to most people that serving in the military often means the servicemember, as well as that person's family, will be moving to a new location every couple of years. This may mean moving across the state or across the country, but for some families it means going to a whole new continent.

    For the Cusimano family, it meant moving all the way to the other side of the planet to the country of Qatar, a peninsula off the Eastern side of Saudi Arabia in 2006, while Col. Greg Cusimano served as the brigade commander for the 401st Field Support Brigade in Afghanistan. They lived in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Col. Cusimano is now the Director of Academic Engagement here.

    His wife, Dawn, said she was excited about the move because it meant a command position for her husband, although the Middle East was not her first choice for her family.

    Their daughter, Brooke, is a 17-year-old senior at Carlisle High School, and was a junior at the time. She said that she was not happy when she found out about the move. She was apprehensive about living in the Middle East.

    "At first I wasn't open to an international scene," Brooke said. "I didn't want to leave the friends I had here."

    She says now though, that her time in Qatar was a good learning experience for her, and she was happy with her time there.

    Brooke said the most common reaction she saw from people when she told them about the move was fear, because all they knew about the Middle East was what they saw on TV. Dawn said that many people warned them to be cautious and careful during their time overseas.

    Both Dawn and Brooke said they were weary of encountering people with very anti-American views. While there are people with those negative views,neither of them experienced any negativity toward them because they were American. Brooke said though, that she was the only American in her International Relations class, and people would often look at her when referring to the United States.

    While living in Doha, Brooke and her then eight-year-old brother Vincent attended the prestigious American School of Doha, which hosts students from 52 nations. The student body consists of 40 percent from the Middle East, 25 percent Americans, 20 percent Europeans, ten percent from Asia and five percent from Africa. Both Brooke and Vincent enjoyed their time at the school. At the same time, Dawn was teaching elementary age students at the same school.

    Both Dawn and Brooke said that living in Qatar was a lot different than they expected, and they learned a lot about different cultures. Qatar is a very diverse place, with only 25 percent of the people living there actually being from Qatar. The majority of the population is from places such as India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, Dawn explained.

    Brooke said that the year she spent in Qatar gave her a whole new perspective on today's world. She now knows that people from other countries see the United States as dominant and overpowering. She had always thought that Arab women were repressed because of the way they dress, covering their whole bodies and most of their faces. She would learn that they actually prefer to dress this way so that no one sees their bodies.

    Being in Qatar was a year-long learning experience in a country rich in history, culture and diversity, said Dawn. She went on to say, "It's not a place to fear. It's not war-torn like many people think. It's a beautiful, diverse country."

    Col. Cusimano said it was his wife who set the tone for their kids to learn, grow and succeed in the new environment. "The kids will often adapt the mood of the parent and hers was positive and open-minded," he said.

    Brooke said that she will always treasure the friends she made there and the memories from that time, such as being named the princess at her junior prom with her friend Sam, who was from Iraq, being the prince.

    "Little did I know that moving there would be the best and most enlightening experience of my life," Brooke said.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Medal of Honor recipient inducts NCO into prestigious club

Col. Gordon Roberts presents Sgt. Jerry McKissen with his medallion during his induction to the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club on Nov. 29. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Dec. 4, 207 -- Sgt. Audie Murphy is widely known as the most decorated Soldier in American history, so it was fitting that the only active-duty Medal of Honor recipient was the keynote speaker for an induction ceremony of the club named in his honor.

    Col. Gordon Roberts, a USAWC student, helped induct Sgt. Jerry McKissen into the Sgt. Audie Muprhy Club on Nov. 29 in the Bliss Hall foyer. At the event, leadership was clearly the tone of the afternoon.

    ""NCOs are doing the most remarkable things these days, the right things, every day and every night and I am so impressed and humbled at their ability to achieve," said Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, USAWC commandant at the ceremony.

    No one was better suited to talk about the importance of leadership than Roberts. As a specialist fourth class assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and less than a month after his 19th birthday, Roberts silenced four enemy bunkers on a ridge in central Vietnam. He saved two pinned-down platoons and helped evacuate wounded Soldiers from an exposed hill, all under intense fire. Roberts received his medal from President Richard Nixon at the White House.  There are 111 living Medal of Honor recipients. At age 57, he's both the youngest and the only one on active duty.

   Roberts also had a connection to Murphy, who died in a plane crash in 1971.

    "I had the privilege of meeting Audie Murphy and learned of his death two months after receiving my Medal of Honor.  Audie Murphy became a role model to me and everyone around me," he said.

    Roberts reminded McKissen that this ceremony wasn't the culmination of his accomplishments as an NCO either.

    ""Receiving the Audie Murphy award is a starting line, not the finish line," he said. "It's not simply getting yourself better, but it is getting everyone around you better. As NCOs we have to train, your nation counts on that."

    McKissen thanked the people who came to the ceremony to support him and help him through his career.

    "I wouldn't be here today without all of the friendship and support of those other NCOs and Soldiers I served with," he said. "Thank you." McKissen is the NCOIC of the Carlisle Barracks Dental Clinic. 

    Roberts also had a message for the other officers, NCOs and Soldiers in attendance.

    "Everyone who bears this uniform bears the same responsibility. This war is not the end of the testing process.  You are no better than the Soldier that stands on your left and stands on your right."

Sgt Audie Murphy Club background

    The original club was started at Fort Hood, Texas early in 1986. In 1994 at a Sergeant Major of the Army conference, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club spread Army-wide, to all commands with installations retaining the selection process for their own NCOs.

    When a Soldier is inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, he/she is given a medallion which is approximately 2 inches in diameter. The medallion is suspended by a broad powder-blue ribbon representing the traditional color of the infantry. The medallion is worn around the neck on the outside of the Class A or Dress Blue uniform for official functions such as military balls or Sergeant Audie Murphy Club meetings.

 


Pfc. Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Fitness classes at Thorpe Gym provide a fun way to exercise

 
Participants in the "Muscle Magic" class, held at the Jim Thorpe Gym, practice stability and stretching on BOSU balls. The purpose of the class is to tone and build muscle. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


February 13, 2008 -- Do you want to enjoy a new, fun way to work out? Learn the correct way to exercise  to maximize your workout and avoid injury? The Thorpe Hall Gym may have just what you're looking for.

     The Army Physical Fitness Research Institute and Morale, Welfare and Recreation have brought several fitness classes to the Thorpe Gym, said Regina Thames, recreation assistant at the gym.

     Held during the day and in the evening, Monday through Friday, the classes are open to all servicemembers, families, and Department of the Army civilians.

     Classes are offered in cardiovascular fitness, such as step aerobics, extreme cardio and hi/lo aerobics, Thames explained. Classes like muscle magic and teen/parent strength training are designed for toning and building muscle.

      There are also more exercise-specific classes such as yoga, Pilates, tae kwon do, physio and BOSU ball, flexibility and Zumba, a Latin-inspired aerobic dance.

     "There are really classes for everything," Thames said. "We do aerobics, step, physio ball, bands – everything."

    All classes are taught by certified instructors from Thorpe Gym or contractors from the Carlisle Family YMCA.

     To start attending, simply go to the gym and purchase a punch card. Each punch card costs $25 and will allow you take part in 12 classes of your choice. Schedules of class times are available at the gym.

     Thames said that most classes have 15 to 20 people in them, and are taught in a way that allows people of all skill levels to participate.

     Everyone is encouraged to come and try out the classes. "There's something for everyone," Thames said. "There's good music, good people, and a good workout. It's a lot of fun."


Public Affairs staff report
Spouses club auction March 7
Annual Benefit Auction Open to Public 

This quilt is one of the items up for auction at the Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club Auction March 7 at 6 p.m. in the LVCC. Proceeds from the auction go toward scholarships and outreach funds provided to organizations within the Carlisle area.

CARLISLE, PA – The Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club is hosting its 8th annual Benefit Auction Friday, March 7 at the Letort View Community Center. Proceeds from the auction go toward scholarships and outreach funds provided to organizations within the Carlisle area.

    The silent auction begins at 6pm with the opportunity for guests to browse through dozens of donations from area businesses and artists. The live auction begins at 8p.m. Some auction prizes include a private tour and wine tasting at Adams County Winery, a round of golf with cart for four at the Felicita Garden Resort and Spa and a one night stay with dinner and breakfast at Caesars Pocono Resorts.   

    "Each year area businesses are so generous to offer very special gift packages," Lisa Towery, Spouse Club president said. "It has allowed us to give back to the community with donations to many deserving organizations around Carlisle." In 2007, the club donated over $25,000 in outreach and scholarship funds.   

    "The theme of this year's event, 'Embracing the Quilt of Friendship' really speaks to the eclectic lives military spouses lead and the variety of friendships they create as they move to different military posts," Leslie Drinkwine, auction chair explained.   "We have some wonderful prizes that tie in with that theme including 'A Taste of Pennsylvania' that includes area gourmet foods; Longaberger baskets; and a stained glass lamp that is part of an even larger package.  Even our logo which features a star quilt displayed near a limestone bridge on Carlisle Barracks is an auction item as a framed print created and donated by local photographer Angela Yarbrough."  In addition, someone will go home with a beautiful handmade quilt to celebrate the event.  

   Tickets for the event are $12.50 per person which includes a pasta and potato buffet.  For more information please contact Auction Chair­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Leslie Drinkwine at 243-4178.

 


Col. Charles. D. Allen, Director, Leader Development, Department of Command, Leadership, and Management
Busting Myths of Promotion Boards

WASHINGTON -- In the late spring of 2007, I was contacted by the "Army" via e-mail to determine my availability to sit on a selection board for senior members of our Army non-commissioned officers corps.

As with most queries for taskings, I was not eager to volunteer, but this was a unique opportunity to see the process firsthand. The nomination of board members is kept secretive and I was cautioned to only inform the members of my supervisory chain of command that I was being considered for participation. This cloak of secrecy ("I am going away for three weeks and can't tell you why or where") adds to the ambiguity of the process and the attending myths.

I, like many colleagues, have intently reviewed promotion selection lists over my nearly 30 years of service, checking for names of members of my commands as well as friends, former students, notables, and notorious Soldiers (both commissioned and non-commissioned).

In general, the selection system seemed to work for the force where strong performers were recognized and selected. But there were questions about the one name expected to be on the list that was not and the one name that we hoped would not be but was. The stories and myths centered on the guidance provided to the board, the perception of a quota system, and the concern that not enough time was provided to fairly assess the files of Soldiers who have done great service to our nation. This article is written to provide one officer's experience and address some myths about the selection process.

The U.S. Army Human Resource Command DA Secretariat maintains a very useful website for AC Enlisted Boards. The Board Information Guide claims that "the Centralized Enlisted Promotion Selection System has been described universally as the fairest most comprehensive selection system in the military." It further states that other foreign militaries have adopted a similar system for the selection and promotion of their senior NCOs. This is a pretty large assertion, so I was interested in participating in the process that has been cited for its effectiveness and efficiency.

The 1999 RAND Report MR-1067, "A Description of the U.S. Enlisted Personnel Promotion Systems," provides great detail on the process for lower enlisted grades (E-1 to E-6) for all services, but is noticeably sparse on the procedure for selecting the top NCOs of our military.

Background

Prior to the consolidation of promotions, the selection for the most senior enlisted grades - sergeant first class, master sergeant, first sergeant, sergeant major, and command sergeant major - were conducted at the installation level. Each of these positions has great responsibility as the senior enlisted advisor within key organizations of the Army.

In tactical line units, sergeants first class are the platoon sergeants for lieutenants; First sergeants provide the order and discipline forcaptains who are company commanders. Sergeant majors are key staff assistants for battalions, brigades, and divisions. The top enlisted positions are held by command sergeant majors who assist the commanders of battalions and higher headquarters in developing Soldiers into effective units.

In the past, Soldiers were promoted based upon position/rank vacancies (e.g., Platoon Sergeant/E-7), cancelled requisitions that left positions unfilled, and Department of the Army quotas. Under the old system, a Soldier could not compete for promotion at the local installation selection board unless a position/grade vacancy existed at the unit of assignment. This created a "right time/right place" situation which did not afford equitable promotion opportunities for all Soldiers and did not ensure that the larger needs of the Army were being met. Promotions to sergeant major, master sergeant, and sergeant first class were centralized at HQDA on Jan. 1,1969, March 1, 1969, and June 1,1970, respectively.

The centralized promotion system affords promotion opportunities on a fair and equitable basis Army-wide. The centralized promotion system was designed to:

(1) Fill the Army's requirement for senior NCOs with qualified Soldiers who have demonstrated potential for increased responsibility.

(2) Provide for career progression and rank which is commensurate with ability and potential.

(3) Attract and retain the high-caliber individual for a career in the Army.

(4) Maintain the integrity of the promotion system by providing for a fair and equitable advancement opportunity to the proven Soldier, and to preclude from promoting the individual who is not productive or progressive.

The basic concept of the centralized system is to promote those individuals to SFC, MSG, and SGM who compete equally with their contemporaries and are found to be best qualified. Promotion is not intended to be a reward for long honorable service in the present rank, but instead is based on demonstrated performance in present and lower ranks and potential ability to serve successfully at the higher rank. Personnel not selected for promotion are not precluded from consideration by future boards, provided they meet the eligibility criteria established for consideration.

Historically, centralized boards convene annually to select a specified number of Soldiers for promotion to the senior ranks. Selections for promotion are made by Military Occupational Specialty to limit the number of promotions and meet a specific select objective. The Soldier is considered for promotion using the "whole Soldier" concept whereby qualifications for promotion are judged by the entire record. No one item of information by itself is considered overriding in determining the best qualified for promotion. The promotion board cycle is a fairly routine schedule. For Fiscal Year 2008, the MSG board met in October 2007 with results released in November 2007. The SFC board convened on 22 Jan 2008 and those results should be published by mid-April. So the cycle begins anew-CSMs and senior field grade officers, don't be surprised to receive an email or phone call "inviting" you to participate in the CMS/SGM/SMC selection in June 2008.

It was my privilege to serve on the selection board for the most senior grades in our Army-promotion to Sergeant Major, appointment to Command Sergeant Major, and selection for attendance at the Sergeants Major Course. I arrived at the selection board site for the Active Component, the Army's Human Resources Command - Indianapolis, at what was formerly Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Ind. The in-brief was very professional and complete. We met with the board president, a major general, and staff of the Department of the Army Secretariat who set out to prepare us for this critically important task -one that directly influences the leadership of our Army for the next decade. There were several sources of guidance for the board, from the deputy chief of staff, G-1, to the proponent branches for the career fields.

Everything is about process. Before we arrived, the initial task was to develop a representative composition of the board that would reflect the demographics of the Army. For this board there were 12 panels that covered two dozen career management fields. Each CMF has a varying number of military occupational specialties. For example, I was the Panel C chief that was responsible for two CMFs -, Field Artillery and Air Defense. Within the Field Artillery CMF there are several associated MOS's - cannon or missile crewmember, survey, radar, fire direction, etc. Thus, the composition of the selection board and its panels sought to provide senior levels of experience and expertise that matched the diversity of the force. My deputy was a lieutenant colonel serving as an Air Defense battalion commander. The Panel C senior enlisted representatives were a regimental command sergeant major and an installation command sergeant major - two very experienced professional Soldiers from the Artillery and Air Defense career fields. To protect the integrity of the board process and preclude external influence, board members perform their duties at a relatively remote location at HRC-Indy and all are cautioned about external contact.

"Prior to looking at or reviewing any file, board members are given a comprehensive orientation on the board process, where to find key information on assignment and individual qualifications, the use of NCO evaluation reports, and detailed written guidance from the Army deputy chief of staff, G-1. Each branch proponent provides a familiarization document to detail its career paths and critical assignments using the phrases of medium and high risk that are inherently challenging and important. This gives specific guidance on the unique qualifications Soldiers should possess to be the most competitive for selection. The G-1's "Memorandum of Instruction" gives specific guidance on the conduct of the board.

With this information and their own experience, the board members determine, as a group, what attributes make a Soldier best qualified for selection using a numbering system from a low of 1 to a high of 6. This set of standards is agreed to by each panel member and is the criteria used to vote each file throughout the board process."

The execution of the selection board allayed many of my prior concerns. Each panel establishes its own set of standards that are briefed and approved by the board president. The panel members have ample opportunity to validate standards during practice rounds or "mock boards" with real files from past boards. This permits the panel to ensure the standards are clearly understood and agreed upon by its members. It also supports the "fine tuning" and calibration of the standards to ensure a consistent assessment of the files against the accepted standards.

Boards consider the Soldier's performance record in the official file and electronic extracts from the personnel qualification record. The board's analysis of the file included careful evaluation of many factors:

(1) Scope and variety of assignments with record of performance.

(2) Estimate of potential (as reflected on evaluation reports) expected of an NCO at the next higher grade.

(3) Trends in efficiency.

(4) Length of service and time in critical positions.

(5) Awards, decorations, and commendations.

(6) Education - both military and civilian.

(7) Adherence to Army Values.

(8) General physical condition.

During actual conduct of the board, there is immediate feedback that identifies when the ratings are out of tolerance among the panel members. The panel chief calls a quick huddle to inform members of the discrepancy and reinforce what was agreed upon as the standards for assessment. In all cases, the deviations are resolved. The technical details of how this process works is available from the DA Secretariat. The results of the panel assessments are compiled into a general order of merit for each military occupational specialty.

There is another detailed process that develops the selection objective for each career field to meet the needs of the Army. The selection objective was predetermined before the board convened and unknown to the board members, therefore was not a factor in the assessment of the Soldier files. Likewise, demographics were never presented or discussed as part of the criteria for selection. Plainly stated, there was not a quota for ethnic groups or gender for any CMF or MOS. Each Soldier was evaluated on the information in the official files and those scores generated the ranking of the personnel fully qualified to meet the needs of the Army.

After three weeks on the board and at its close, I left with great confidence in the process and its inherent fairness. I, like many others, had heard about the number of files and the pressure to complete so many files per day that only allowed a scant amount of time to review each Soldier's record. What I found is that there was enough time to conduct a comprehensive review of each file according to the standards. There was also an effective system of checks and balances to ensure consistency in the assessment of the files. Most importantly, I also took pride in the professionalism of my panel members and that of the entire board. Each understood the gravity of the task at hand and its long-term implications for our Army. Prior to certifying the results of the FA and AD panel, I asked each of the panel members to look at the names and evaluation scores of those senior NCOs that were selected. I then asked them if there were any reservations about the Soldiers that we selected and concerns about those Soldiers (all strong professionals) who had not made the cut based upon the selection objective. Our panel was extremely confident that the best qualified were chosen based on the high standards that had been set by the panel. With that, I was able to report to the Board President, "Mission Accomplished."

When the board results were released in late August 2007, I was willing and able to address concerns about the process. In fact, the DA Secretariat provided a comprehensive briefing packet to present the transparency of the selection boards and their procedures. For those NCOs who are in zone for promotion and selection for the next grade, your record will speak for you, so heed the recommendations in the Board Information Guide and of your branch proponents. To those who will receive the call to participate in an upcoming selection board in 2008, seize the opportunity to be part of shaping the future success of our Army-your time cannot be better spent.






DA Stand-To excerpt
FM 3-0-- What is it?

    Feb. 22, 2008 -- Field Manual 3-0, Operations, is one of two Army capstone manuals and is the first significant revision in operational doctrine since 9/11. Reflecting more than six years of wartime experience, this manual is the blueprint for operating in an uncertain future.

 

What has the Army done?

    The Army recognized that the next several decades will be an era of persistent conflict that will generate continuing requirements for military forces. FM 3-0 discusses changes in the complex and volatile operational environment, and how we need to prepare Soldiers and leaders to operate in that environment. The FM provides the overarching doctrine of how the Army will conduct operations to defend the nation, protect vital interests and fulfill national military responsibilities.

    FM 3-0 does not focus exclusively on current operations, but also addresses the needs of an Army responsible for deploying forces promptly anywhere in the world (its expeditionary capability) and operating for extended periods in any environment at any point across the spectrum of conflict, from stable peace through general war (its campaign capability). FM 3-0 institutionalizes simultaneous offensive, defensive and stability or civil-support operations as the core of the Army's doctrine.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

    For the immediate future, a mobile training team will visit each division, corps, schoolhouses, and other locations if requested, to help Soldiers and leaders "internalize" FM 3-0. A dedicated education program will help propagate the field manual's ideas throughout the force. The Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., has designed a multifaceted approach to educating Soldiers on the new field manual, including a study guide on CD-ROM, a Web site and a chain-teaching program. FM 3-0 will be included in almost all officer professional military education, including the Intermediate Level Education (ILE) curriculum.

 

Why is this important to the Army?

FM 3-0's impact on the force and the application of the doctrine will be revolutionary. Four specific points in the doctrine to note:

  • The importance of stability operations is elevated to co-equal with combat (offensive and defensive operations). 
  • The field manual acknowledges and accounts for the critical nature and influence of information in operations. 
  • The field manual forges an operational concept that drives initiative, embraces risk and focuses on creating opportunities to achieve decisive results. 
  • The field manual emphasizes the central role of the commander in full-spectrum operations, bridging battle command and operational art in leveraging the experience, knowledge and intuition of the commander.

 

    Soldiers are the centerpiece of our formations and the Strength of this Nation. To ensure continued success of our Soldiers, we must all review, understand, internalize and continue to improve this doctrine.

 

 


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Seminar passes important info to senior leader spouses

Thomas Hall, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, speaks to members of the Army Family Team Building Senior Spouse Leadership Seminar in Collins Hall recently. Photo by Scott Finger.

Feb. 20, 2008 -- The U.S. Army War College held this month a Senior Spouse Leadership Seminar for Army Family Team Building, offering information and skills development  for spouses of Soldiers from around the country.

    The three-day seminar was designed to provide spouses of senior military leaders the training that can enhance their abilities as AFTB program mentors and advisors.  The seminar provides relevant, useful information about the Army Family Team Building program and how it can benefit every military community.

    The 2008 seminar included an opportunity to discuss issues facing military families with Thomas Hall, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Hall exchanged insights about multiple issues ranging from the G.I. Bill to Family Readiness Groups.

    "I commend the Army.  I think you are leading the way with family programs," said Hall.  

    "The time is now to focus on our families," he noted. "Remember, you enlist the Solider and re-reenlist the family."

    Joe York, who runs the AFTB at the USAWC, echoed those thoughts.

    "We know we have to take care of the families, that's why we're here."

    The annual seminar is offered at both the Army War College and  the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss. It's conducted for the spouses of leaders attending those schools. Upon graduation, the spouses will take information and skills to military posts and Reserve and National Guard locations nationwide.  

    The leader seminar for Army Family Team Building reviews inherent and implied roles as program advisors, mentors and advocates and explores and refreshes skills that make those roles more successful. The topics included --

  • Exploring AFTB: What Can Our Program Offer Your Community?
  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Advising
  • Working with Volunteer Organizations
  • The Balancing Act: Taking Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Others.

 


Pfc. Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
USAWC Library and MWR helping local families   

The U.S. Army War College Library displays new books provided by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command. The books cover topics that many military famliies face. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick

February 22, 2008 -- The U.S. Army War College Library has teamed up with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to help local military families will by adding more than 80 books to the USAWC Library.

     The books cover topics that affect the modern day military family, said USAWC Library Director, Bohdan Kohutiak. A few of the topics included in this collection of books are getting jobs in today's world, dealing with deployment, the dynamics of military families, post traumatic stress disorder and dealing with injuries from combat.

     "These are concerns that various military families have," Kohutiak said.

     These kinds of books are being given to all MWR libraries. The War College Library isn't MWR affiliated, but Kohutiak volunteered them to house the new books.
           
     "It's important for leaders and future leaders, the students, to be aware of the issues facing the troops," he said.

     The books are on display in the library, and are available for use. The Army Community Service office has a list of the books and can refer people to them.

     "This is a proactive step the library has taken in showing concern for the military community," Kohutiak said.


Ann Marie Wolf, Army Substance Abuse Program
National Inhalants and Poisons Week March 16 - 22

    Feb. 26, 2008 -- They're all over your house. They're in your child's school. In fact, you probably picked some up the last time you went to the grocery store. Educate yourself. Find out about inhalants before your children do.

    Most parents are in the dark regarding the popularity and dangers of inhalant use. But children are quickly discovering that common household products are inexpensive to obtain, easy to hide and the easiest way to get high. According to national surveys, inhaling dangerous products is becoming one of the most widespread problems in the country. It is as popular as marijuana with young people. More than a million people used inhalants to get high just last year. By the time a student reaches the 8th grade, one in five will have used inhalants.

What is inhalant use?

    Inhalant use refers to the intentional breathing of gas or vapors with the purpose of reaching a high. Inhalants are legal, everyday products which have a useful purpose, but can be misused. You're probably familiar with many of these substances -- paint, glue and others. But you probably don't know that there are more than 1,000 products that are very dangerous when inhaled -- things like typewriter correction fluid, air-conditioning refrigerant, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane and even cooking spray.

Who is at risk?

    Inhalants are an equal opportunity method of substance abuse. Statistics show that young, white males have the highest usage rates. Hispanic and American Indian populations also show high rates of usage.

What can inhalants do to the body?

    Nearly all abused products produce effects similar to anesthetics, which slow down the body's function. Varying upon level of dosage, the user can experience slight stimulation, feeling of less inhibition or loss of consciousness. The user can also suffer from Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. This means the user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time he or she uses an inhalant. Other effects include damage to the heart, kidney, brain, liver, bone marrow and other organs. Results similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may also occur when inhalants are used during pregnancy. Inhalants are physically and psychologically addicting and users suffer withdrawal symptoms.

What can I do if someone I know is huffing and appears in a state of crisis?

    If someone you know is huffing, the best thing to do is remain calm and seek help. Agitation may cause the huffer to become violent, experience hallucinations or suffer heart dysfunction which can cause Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Make sure the room is well ventilated and call EMS. If the person is not breathing, administer CPR. Once recovered, seek professional treatment and counseling.

Can inhalant use be treated?

    Treatment facilities for inhalant users are rare and difficult to find. Users suffer a high rate of relapse, and require thirty to forty days or more of detoxification. Users suffer withdrawal symptoms which can include hallucinations, nausea, excessive sweating, hand tremors, muscle cramps, headaches, chills and delirium tremens. Follow-up treatment is very important. If you or someone you know is seeking help for inhalant abuse, you can contact the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition at 1-800-269-4237 for information on treatment centers and general information on inhalants. Through a network of nationwide contacts, NIPC can help (but not guarantee) finding a center in your area that treats inhalant use.

What should I tell my child or students about inhalants?

    It is never too early to teach your children about the dangers of inhalants. Don't just say "not my kid." Inhalant use starts as early as elementary school and is considered a gateway to further substance abuse. Parents often remain ignorant of inhalant use or do not educate their children until it is too late. Inhalants are not drugs. They are poisons and toxins and should be discussed as such. There are, however, a few age appropriate guidelines that can be useful when educating your children.

    Inhalants are a diverse group of organic solvents, volatile substances, and propellant gases that are intentionally concentrated and inhaled for their psychoactive effects, which range from an alcohol-like intoxication to hallucinations.

    The above information was taken from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition site and the Army Center for Substance Abuse site. For additional information contact the Army Substance Abuse Prevention office at 245 – 4576.

 


International spouses share culture

Mrike Berzani serves food from her native country of Albania during a Conversation and Culture meeting, held February 19 at the Post Memorial Chapel. The meetings are hosted by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club. The meetings give both International Fellows' spouses and American spouses an opportunity to learn more about other cultures. During the summer and fall, the meetings focus on Carlisle and the surrounding communities. In the second half of the year, participants are invited to make a short presentation about their country to the group. Margarita Loza of El Salvador also presented her country that week. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


War College students participate in Dickinson College panel 

  

Army War College students address a political science class at Dickinson College. The class on leadership and the U.S. Constitution featured a panel discussion with Col. Tom Cook, Lt. Col. Jill Newman, and Col. Jeremy Martin.  Retired Adm. Dennis Blair led the collaborative teaching event; he is the Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership, shared by the Army War College and Dickinson College. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Post enters partnership with Bosler Library

 

A partnership between the Carlisle Barracks Family and  Morale Welfare and Recreation and Bosler Memorial Library in Carlisle will make it easier for post families to find their favorite books. Courtesy photo.

Feb. 26, 2008 -- Carlisle Barracks residents have another reason to be happy to live in Cumberland County.  Now a partnership with Bosler Memorial Library is filling a gap that has existed for the last five years in the recreational library arena. 

    The Bosler Memorial Library has officially opened its doors and resources to Carlisle Barracks residents.  In October 2007 a formal partnership was formed between the Carlisle Barracks Family and  Morale Welfare and Recreation and Bosler Memorial Library in Carlisle.   

    "Our aim in forming this partnership is to provide the best level of service and ensure high quality of life available for both our Soldiers and their Families," said Mary Anne Turnbaugh, who works for the post's Morale Welfare and Recreation. "Bosler is filling the need for the recreational side for the Soldiers, their spouses and their children."

    With the agreement, Bosler provides general public library service for the U.S. Army War College students, their family members and the Carlisle Barracks community.  The Army reimburses the library based on the Barracks' population and the current average per capita funding level from state and county funding sources.

    Carlisle Barracks is one of two posts in the Army who are forming partnerships with local libraries to fill a need for recreational library services said Turnbaugh.

    "Located just one mile from either of the two gates to the post, it is close enough to be convenient, located in downtown Carlisle.  The library exceeds Army standards and is a full service library, offering wireless internet access, computer lab with free classes, a 'Booked for Lunch' program, and many other  programs for its patrons."

    Linda Rice, Library Director, states this partnership is beneficial to both the library and the Carlisle Barracks families. 

    "Access to a public library is important for research and recreational reading.  The students spend a year in the Carlisle area and having a home library makes their time in Pennsylvania more pleasant," said Rice.

    Bosler has a minimum of ten computers for public use in the library and computer lab.  Hours of operating are: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. (Sept-June) and Closed Sundays July-August.

    For more information visit the library's website at Bolser Memorial Library website.  

    The US Army War College Library also makes its rich research and information resources and services available to family members and other members of the Carlisle Barracks community. The library in Root Hall is open during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., or visit the Library's website at www.carlisle.army.mil/library

 


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Post firefighters get some 'help' during training exercise

 

Deputy Garrison Commander Joe Manning puts on 
his helmet while participating in a firefighter training 
exercise Feb. 15 at the old mill on post. 
Manning and Lt. Col. Dickerson, garrison
commander took part in the training. 
Photo by Megan Clugh.   
  

 

Feb. 26, 2008 -- The post firefighters had some extra help during a training exercise on Feb. 15 as both the garrison commander and deputy garrison commander suited up and saw what it's like to fight a fire through their own eyes.

    Both Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson, garrison commander and Joe Manning, deputy garrison commander took part in the post firefighters monthly training event.   

    "We held our training that month at the old mill and Mr. Manning wanted to get a feel for what we do," said Jim O'Connell, Carlisle Barracks fire and emergency services chief.

    Manning and Dickerson didn't just suit up and run in a burning building however.

    "We gave him a class on how to use the SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) and how to pull an attack line," he said. "We smoked out the old mill and responded as if it was real.  He pulled the attack line and entered the building with the crew while the other crew did a search." Dickerson went in with the team the second time they entered the building.

    Manning said that the chance to train with the post firefighters was something he and Dickerson had wanted to do.

  "The garrison command has always had an interest in the training of our firefighters," Manning said. "The garrison commander and I have observed their training at the county training facility in the past. I thought that it may be interesting to observe first hand, and only to a small extent, what they go through in responding to an emergency situation."

    Manning went on to say he appreciated what the firefighters do.

    "What firefighters do has to be instinctive and reinforced by their continuous training requirements," he said. "What I found most interesting is the choreographed response of the crew from the alarm at the firehouse and through the suppression of a simulated fire at the old mill.   Every one of the crew clearly knew their role and exactly what to do - except me who immediately tangled the hose. These guys are professionals."    

    What surprised him the most was the weight of the equipment said Manning.

One of the post firefighters enters the old mill during the training exercise. Photo by Megan Clugh.

    "The equipment weighs a lot; even simulated smoke gets your heart rate up and it is very dark in a smoke-filled building."

    Manning said that he would be happy to train with them again.

    "Going in with our firefighters is a real honor for me, but I don't think I added much to their training. I sure learned a lot from our crew about the rigors of firefighting."

    O'Connell said he'd have them back again.

    "For rookies they did alright, and we would love to have them back again."

 

 


 Pfc. Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Wounded Soldiers able to hunt thanks to local man

Randy Rakers, security manager and special security officer at the Army Heritage and Education Center, sits with a disabled Soldier who was able to hunt to thanks to a program that Rakers help make possible. Courtesy photo.

Feb. 27, 2008 -- Since the spring of 2007, Soldiers from around the country have been coming together in this area to go out into the countryside and hunt turkey and deer. The common factor among these brave men? They have all been injured in the line of duty, and most have been a part of the Army Wounded Warrior Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 
     
     The driving force behind this program is Randy Rakers, security manager and special security officer at the Army Heritage and Education Center. 

     Rakers, who is the president of the Michaux Yellow Breeches chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, started taking wounded Soldiers out to hunt after hearing of a wounded Soldier who wanted to hunt but didn't think he'd ever be able to again. A few phone calls later, the program was started, and within a week two Soldiers made the trip up from Walter Reed, Rakers explained. 

     Special veterans' licenses and the required tags were donated, as well as all the equipment the Soldiers would need. Chris O'Hara of the Bass Pro Shop in Swatara Township gave each Soldier a shopping cart and told them to get what they needed. Each Soldier was decked out from head to toe in warm, blaze orange hunting clothes.

     Rakers contacted a local land owner he knew, Tom Schafer. Schafer told Rakers to bring the Soldiers out so he could meet them. They arrived to find a cabin on a hill, a refrigerator full of food and an offer for a steak dinner from their host. 

     Along with the donated materials and the use of land, many others helped out the cause. Several professional turkey calling groups from the area offered to help the hunters, and a film crew documented the whole experience. Twenty people offered to help in some way for just two hunters.

     "The support we got from Carlisle was amazing," Rakers said. "Everyone wanted to help."

     Carlisle Barracks did its part in helping out as well. Joe Manning, deputy garrison commander, treated the whole group to dinner at Alibis in Carlisle, Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson offered them guest housing on post and Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, former USAWC commandant, gave them all certificates to the club. 

     "Everyone really bent over backwards to help us," Rakers said. "From boots to hats and everything in between!" 

     Rakers also helps local people with disabilities go out hunting. Last October five disabled Soldiers and 15 disabled citizens, some in wheelchairs, got the opportunity to go deer hunting, again with donated licenses, tags and equipment. 

     If transportation is a problem for the Soldiers, Rakers steps in and gets them here.
     "If they can't get here on their own, we go get them," he said. "It's as simple as that."

     More than ten Soldiers have been able participate in this program so far, and several of them have come multiple times, Rakers explained. 

     "Some of them come for car shows in the summer, some come to go fishing. It's a good way for them to get away from the hospital," he said. 

     Upcoming events for the program are fundraisers including pig roasts, raffles and car washes. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has also expressed interest in helping.

     "We've had an amazing turnout with this," Rakers said. "Not one person has turned us down. The sky is really the limit."


 Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Class of 2007 alumnus dies in car accident

 

    Feb. 27, 2008 -- U.S. Army War College Class of 2007 graduate Nigerian Brigadier General Solomon Giwa Amu, died in road accident Feb. 18 in Jaji, Kaduna.

    He was serving as the Nigerian Army Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu. Giwa-Amu was on his way to the command and Staff College, Jaji, to deliver a lecture when he died.  Giwa Amu was appointed the Director of Army Public Relations in August 2007 following the completion of his tour of duty in the United Nations.

  Nigerian ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed shock and sadness over the death of his former aide-de-camp, Brigadier-General Solomon Giwa-Amu.

    "His death is an untimely elimination of a bright star, an officer and a gentleman, who had exhibited all the attributes of an officer who would make it to the top," the former president told the News Agency of Nigeria.  

    He is survived by his wife, Judith, and their four children who were with him in the Carlisle Community while he was a USAWC International Fellow.

 

(Editors note: Information used in this story came from an allafrica.com news story.)

 


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
USAWC student recognized by Bush for commitment to disabled persons program

 

Laura Bush participates in a photo opportunity with Jim Nussle, Director, Office of Management and Budget and employee of the year government workers from the AbilityOne 2007-2008 workforce Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, in the Diplomatic Room at the White House. U.S. Army War College student Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Westermeyer was among the group recognized. He is standing behind and to the right of the first lady. White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

 

Feb. 26, 2008 –  An Army War College student was recognized by First Lady Laura Bush at a White House ceremony for supporting the Ability One program.

    Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Westermeyer was among the honorees on Feb. 11. He was one of 15 people who were recognized for their work with National Industries for the Blind and NISH, two nonprofit groups that help distribute the government's procurement orders under the program.

     The Ability One program was established by federal law to provide employment opportunities for blind and severely disabled persons.  The program is administered by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, and is executed by two organizations, the National Industries for the Blind and NISH-Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Severe Disabilities.  This program has enabled people who are blind or who have other severe disabilities to acquire job skills and training, receive wages and benefits, and gain greater independence and quality of life. 

    Westermeyer said he felt the program was very important.

    "The AbilityOne program is unique in that it helps people AND it saves taxpayer dollars, that is a rare combination," he said. "Historically, the unemployment rate for disabled persons hovers around 70%.  Most of these people want to work and above all have some semblance of a normal life. You can't do that if you don't have a job."

    He went on to say that the program also had benefits for the government as well.

    "By employing them through the AbilityOne program you take people that are normally receiving some type of federal relief and turning them into taxpaying citizens. This translates into millions of dollars of savings to the federal government annually. More importantly, you are bringing dignity, pride, and self worth to a whole class of people."

    According to a White House release, AbilityOne provides employment opportunities to more than 43,000 people, the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other severe disabilities in the United States. More than 550 non-profit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality goods and services to the Federal Government at a fair price.

    Westermeyer's experience with the program dates back to 2001 when he was the Commander of the 92nd Contracting Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base. The AbilityOne employees performing on the grounds, custodial, base supply store and switchboard operator contracts contributed significantly to Fairchild winning the 2002 Air Mobility Command Installation Excellence award, the 2001 Air Mobility Command Base Appearance contest, and the state of Washington's Governor's award for Excellence. The contracting squadron was also recognized with the 2002 Air Mobility Command President's Committee award for supporting people with disabilities.  In 2002, Lt Col Westermeyer also initiated the first ever AbilityOne appreciation picnic for the base's disabled and blind workers.

    In 2007 he was recognized nationally by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled as an AbilityOne Champion, and as an "Outstanding Contributor" to the program. He was also recognized as the 2007 Omaha Goodwill Person of the Year and the 55th Contracting Squadron won the Air Combat Command President's Committee Award for supporting people with disabilities. 

    Laura Bush has words of thanks for all of the people recognized for participating in the program.

    "I also want to thank you for the work that each one of you do and the contributions you make to AbilityOne," she said. "It's very important for Americans with disabilities to be afforded the opportunities to lead independent lives, to be able to use their talents and their potential to the fullest. And I know that that's what you all work on every day. And I thank you very, very much for it."

    Westermeyer said that a few images will stick with him as a reminder of the visit to the White House.

    "If you look at the group photo you will see a diverse goup of people with all types of disabilities proudly standing around the First Lady, that says a lot.. It was great to see the White House recognize the AbilityOne program and to know that the President signed a memo that day supporting the program and to hear the First Lady sing its praise. My personal memory is of me standing directly behind the First Lady and hear her praise the program. That made my day."

    On that same day, President George W. Bush signed a memorandum reminding federal acquisition executives, purchase cardholders and other procurement officials to utilize the AbilityOne program.

    "Americans with disabilities make valuable contributions to our country's workforce that helps keep our nation the world's economic leader," the president said. "Expanding employment opportunities for these individuals will help ensure that our economy is drawing on the talents and creativity of all its citizens and that America remains a place of opportunity for all. Supporting the AbilityOne Program is one good way to achieve this goal."

   

 

 

 

 

   

                                                                                       

 

 


John Harlow, TRADOC News Service
Army unveils new Field Manual for operations

 

 

Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Mazuela (right), a platoon sergeant with Company B, 2-325 Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, keeps a watchful eye out for security risks while shoppers visit one of the thriving new market areas in Baghdad's Sha'ab neighborhood Jan 15.  Stability operations take on added importance in the new FM 3-0.  U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs.

 

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Army's new field manual for operations, FM 3-0, brings the first major update of Army capstone doctrine since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    "This change in operational doctrine is designed to ensure that our Soldiers have the very best tools, training and leadership they need to succeed," said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the commanding general of the United States Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    Gen. William S. Wallace, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, is scheduled to unveil the 15th edition of the field manual at the Association of the United States Army Winter Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in late February.

    "Today's Army is about half the size it was in 1970, but the U.S. military's involvement around the world has tripled since the collapse of the former Soviet Union," Wallace noted in the foreword to the TRADOC information pamphlet for FM 3-0. "The next several decades, according to many security experts, will be an era of persistent conflict that will generate continuing deployments for our Army."

    "We must emphasize doctrine as the driver for change," said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. "You can't cement change in the organization until you adapt the institutions. That change begins with doctrine."

    The rise of transnational terrorist networks, religious radicalism, ethnic genocide, sectarian violence, criminal networks and failing nation-states all imperil the United States and its national interests.

    "A tremendous amount of change in FM 3-0 has come from lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Caldwell. "It was important for us to go back and take those lessons that we have learned over time and incorporate them into our doctrine, training and leader development."

            There are several changes in the new operations manual:

  • The operational concept and the operational environment
  • The stability operations construct
  • The information-operations construct
  • Warfighting functions
  • The spectrum of conflict
  • Defeat and stability mechanisms
  • Joint interdependence and modular forces

 

    FM 3-0 institutionalizes simultaneous offensive, defensive, and stability or civil-support operations as the core of the Army's doctrine. The concept of full-spectrum operations, first introduced in the 2001 manual, still represents a major shift in Army doctrine – forces must be able to address the civil situation at all times, combining tactical tasks affecting noncombatants with tactical tasks directed against the enemy.

    According to Caldwell, FM 3-0 is revolutionary. There are four specific points in the manual that he calls revolutionary:

  • The importance of stability operations is elevated to co-equal with combat (offensive and defensive operations).
  • The critical nature and influence of information on operations.
  • An operational concept that drives initiative embraces risk and focuses on creating opportunities to achieve decisive results.
  • The critical role of the commander in full-spectrum operations, bridging battle command and operational art in leveraging the experience, knowledge and intuition of the commander.

            Stability operations are viewed as important – if not more so – than offensive and defensive operations in the new operations manual.

    "Whatever we do and wherever we go in the world today, fundamentally, the operations are going to be conducted among the people," said Lt. Col. Steve Leonard, chief, Operational Level Doctrine, Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, and one of the lead authors of FM 3-0. "The operations are going to be focused on the well-being and the future of the populations we are operating in. The lesson that we all brought home was that the mission we completed was a little bit different than the mission we set out to do. We all had a much greater appreciation of the importance of stability operations and the need to integrate stability operations with the traditional combat operations that the Army performs."

    Winning battles and engagements is important but not decisive by itself; shaping the civil situation in concert with other government agencies, international organizations, civil authorities and multinational forces will be just as important to campaign success, according to the new FM.

    The new operations manual institutionalizes the need for cultural awareness, which is critical to understanding populations and their perceptions to reduce friction, and prevent misunderstanding, thereby improving a force's ability to accomplish its mission.

     Soldiers and leaders must master information. To the people, perception is reality. Altering perceptions requires accurate, truthful information presented in a way that accounts for how people absorb and interpret information with messages that have broad appeal and acceptance. This is the essence of information engagement in the new FM.

    "We have come to recognize that in the 21st Century, the information domain is a critical component," said Caldwell. "It is how you perform information operations, how you perform psychological operations, how we take and embed and link all of these together while we are performing non-lethal forms of stability operations. This is a major change and one of our key elements of combat power."

    The new operations manual asks leaders to embrace risk, focus on creating opportunities to achieve decisive results and take initiative. With Soldiers fighting door-to-door one minute and rebuilding schools the next, they have to be able to adapt and make the right decisions in any given situation.

    "We're not teaching Soldiers what to think in the school and centers; we're teaching them how to think, how to think critically and how to think creatively," said Caldwell. "There is no way that we can properly prepare Soldiers for the challenges and diversity of the threats they will face on the battlefield today. They are too diverse. The asymmetrical threats are absolutely unpredictable and will continue to be in the 21st- century battlefield. Therefore, we must ground Soldiers in the principles and the art of creative and critical thinking. That has been what we are pushing back into the school houses."

    FM 3-0 brings a philosophical shift of how Soldiers and commanders are empowered to complete their mission and adapt to their surroundings.

    "This manual moves away from the focus of the 90s which was more on process, science and technology," said Leonard. "It emphasizes the human dimension of command and leadership. One that focuses instead on the commander as a leader who draws on experience, intuition, knowledge and the human aspect of what leadership is about. When this is applied in an operation, it provides the flexibility, adaptability and creativity that are necessary to operate in what we recognize as a fundamentally dynamic and volatile operational environment."

    The Army's senior leadership has been hands-on with the creation and writing of FM 3-0.

    "This manual was shaped by the senior leaders of our Army," said Leonard. "It has the flavor of combat. It has the experience of mid-grade officers who can communicate between the senior leaders and the junior leaders and noncommissioned officers. It was fundamentally shaped by senior leader engagement. With a manual of this importance, we made sure that what we presented to the force was something that rings true from that new Soldier coming off the street, to the most senior leader in the Army, the chief of staff."

 

 


Kaleb Dissinger. Army Heritage Museum
GPS goes to war - The Global Positioning System in Operation Desert Storm

 

Soldiers of the XVIII Airborne Corps pause during Operation Desert Storm to gain their correct location by using an Small Lightweight GPS Receiver. US Army Space & Missile Defense Command photo.  

 

Feb. 24, 2008 -- Many people may not realize when and where Global Positioning System (GPS) technology came to fruition. The NAVSTAR Global Positioning System was first introduced by the US Air Force in the mid1960s, eventually becoming a Department of Defense (DOD) project. The system was designed to determine positional information on Earth through the use of a constellation of orbiting satellites. The first GPS satellite was placed in orbit In 1978. Once complete, the system was to have 24 satellites, providing unlimited two and three-dimensional coverage 24 hours a day. When the U.S. Army deployed for Operation Desert Shield in 1990, 16 NAVSTAR satellites were in orbit, providing a guaranteed three-dimensional coverage lasting about 19 hours. The new devices had a built-in error of only sixty feet compared to earlier land based systems with up to eight miles in expected error.

    By 1991, GPS had been utilized for more than ten years by aircraft, Special Operations teams, and in limited training missions. The system was relatively unknown to much of the Army at the time. During Operation Desert Shield, Special Operations teams were inserted behind Iraqi lines with missions that would have been unthinkable without the use of GPS. With a large scale operation against the occupying Iraqi Army on the horizon, Army commanders realized the need to supply frontline units with the GPS devices. The problem was the limited number of devices on hand. In an October 1991 newsletter, the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) noted only 500 demonstration receivers were owned by the Army at the outset of Operation Desert Shield. As a result, commercial receivers were rapidly procured. Still, when operations started on February 24, 1991, only selective units and vehicles were equipped with the new technology. For example, of the VII Corps' 40,000 vehicles in theater, only 3,000 received a GPS unit. Those vehicles needing the devices often included forward and reconnaissance elements, unit commanders, and artillery surveyors. There were instances of troops buying their own GPS devices. Lieutenant General Frederick Franks, the VII Coprs Commander, noted after the war, "They [GPS receivers] were invaluable in avoiding fratricide and allowing accurate navigation and artillery fires."

    G-day came on February 24, beginning at 0400. U.S. Army units in both the VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps quickly realized the value of the GPS units. With the unexpectedly rapid advance of coalition forces, heavy reliance was placed on these small devices while navigating in a featureless desert landscape. The 24th Infantry Division used the receivers to link phase lines for the assault, helping to maintain command and control. Although seven different types of GPS devices were used during the war two models comprised the clear majority. The AN/PSN-10 Small Lightweight GPS Receiver (SLGR, pronounced "Slugger") was favored with approximately 4,000 devices deployed. The SLGR is a small rectangular, box-like hand-held unit developed by Trimble Navigation. It weighs about four pounds and can be mounted to a vehicle or aircraft. The second most prevalent device was the NAV 1000M Receiver, made by Magellan, still a leading company in GPS technology. It was smaller than the SLGR and is powered by AA sized batteries. Approximately 1,000 of these devices were utilized during the war.

    The relatively new Global Positioning System receivers aided the U.S. and coalition forces in winning Operation Desert Storm after only four days of ground combat. It was the first major land campaign involving the widespread use of GPS. The space-based navigation technology joined the U.S. military's arsenal of combat capabilities. By 1995, all 24 NAVSTAR satellites were in orbit, providing world-wide coverage 24 hours per day. Today, GPS technology is prominent in both military and civilian applications. From weapons systems and precision guided ordnance to individual receivers for our warfighters abroad, GPS capabilities are now essential. The system has advanced our nation's navigational abilities and warfighting capabilities to a very high standard.