Banner Archive for April 2008
 

Col. John R. Dabrowski, US Army Heritage and Education Center
This Week in Army History: U.S. Army Liberates Flossenburg Concentration Camp

Image shows U. S. soldier near gates to Flossenburg Concentration Camp, Weiden, Germany, May 1945. The sign reading "Arbeit Mach Frei," translates into "Work Will Make You Free." Photograph by PFC Howard E. James (World War II Signal Corps Photograph Collection).  

    As Adolph Hitler'sThousand Year Reich crumbled under the Allied military onslaught, German concentration camps (Konzentrationlager, or KZ in German) began to fall to the advancing armies. Since 1942, rumors of German death camps were filtered to the Western Allies via Switzerland. For many, it was inconceivable that Germany had undertaken a program of genocide against European Jewry. Some grainy photos were smuggled out, along with eyewitness accounts of mass shootings, but still many in the West were skeptical.

    In the East, the steamrolling Red Army overran the first of the death camps in Poland in July, 1944, starting with Majdanek, near Lublin. Yet, surprisingly, many in the West still remained skeptical, dismissing Russian eyewitness accounts and photographs of the camp as "Soviet propaganda."

    It was, however, the drama of liberation, more than any other aspect of the Holocaust (or Shoah in Hebrew), that brought home to the West the horror of Hitler's Final Solution, ending once and for all the false belief that stories of Nazi atrocities were exaggerated Allied propaganda.

    Flossenburg concentration camp, located outside Weiden, Germany, close to the Czech border, was established in 1938, mainly for political prisoners. Once the war began, however, other prisoners and Jews were housed there as well. At its peak, the camp held between 5,000 and 18,000 prisoners under the control of Hitler's dreaded Schutzstaffel (SS). While Flossenburg is not as well-known as the more infamous camps of Dachau, Treblinka, and Auschwitz, it was nonetheless an important cog in the Nazis overall machinery in the Final Solution. At Flossenburg, members of the German Resistance to Hitler -- such notables as Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (former head of the German Abwehr or military intelligence), and Major General Hans Oster, to name a few -- were executed on the orders of Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler on April 9, 1945. Canaris and Oster were directly implicated in the unsuccessful plot to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, and they paid with their lives.

   As the Allied advance drew near to Flossenburg in April, 1945, the SS began forcibly evacuating prisoners fit to move to other camps still under German control. One former French prisoner, Marcel Cadet, reported that one man was left for dead for every 10 yards along the 125-mile evacuation route from Flossenburg south to the village of Posing.

    At approximately 10:30 hours on April 23, 1945, the first U.S. troops of the 90th Infantry Division arrived at Flossenburg KZ,. They were horrified at the sight of some 2,000 weak and extremely ill prisoners remaining in the camp and of the SS still forcibly evacuating those fit to endure the trek south. Elements of the 90th Division spotted those ragged columns of prisoners and their SS guards.   The guards panicked and opened fire on many of the prisoners, killing about 200, in a desperate attempt to effect a road block of human bodies. American tanks opened fire on the Germans as they fled into the woods, reportedly killing over 100 SS troops.

    Additionally, elements of the 97th Infantry Division participated in the liberation. As the 97th prepared to enter Czechoslovakia, Flossenburg concentration camp was discovered in the division's sector of the Bavarian Forest. Brigadier General Milton B. Halsey, the commanding general of the 97th Division, inspected the camp on April 30, as did his divisional artillery commander, Brigadier General Sherman V. Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck, who spoke fluent German, directed a local German official to have all able-bodied German men and boys from that area help bury the dead. The 97th Division performed many duties at the camp upon its liberation. They assisted the sick and dying, buried the dead, interviewed former prisoners and helped gather evidence against former camp officers and guards for the upcoming war crimes trials.

    One eyewitness U.S. Soldier, Sgt. Harold C. Brandt, a veteran of the 11th Armored Division, who was on hand for the liberation of not just one but three of the camps, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, and Gusen, when queried many years after the war on his part in liberating them, stated that "it was just as bad or worse than depicted in the movies and stories about the Holocaust. . . . I can not describe it adequately. It was sickening. How can other men treat other men like this?"

 


Wounded Warrior Webhall April 25

April 22, 2008 –  The Military Health System will hold its second live online town hall discussion on Friday, April 25 from 2:45 – 4:15 p.m. featuring S. Ward Casscells, MD, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.  

    The Pentagon's top doc invites wounded service members and their families to share their concerns and recommendations and ask questions in a live online discussion with senior DoD health leadership.

    Starting today, and throughout the live program, service members and their families may submit questions for the event by e-mail to mhswebmaster@tma.osd.mil.  Those interested in participating in the live chat should visit the Webhall page.  Instructions for participating in the live program can be obtained by clicking HERE

     All questions, concerns and recommendations should be focused on broad issues and lessons learned. Due to privacy concerns, the forum should not be used for sharing personal problems, and service members should always use the chain of command whenever possible.

 


 Free event explores past, present Army operations at Army Heritage Day

CARLISLE BARRACKS – Talk with Soldiers who have just recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, see how World War II-era Soldiers lived and fought and much more on May 17, 2008, at a free, public event, Army Heritage Day, from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. 

     Soldiers will talk about their own experience in today's operations. Activities will include tactical squad operations, demonstrated by a Brigade Combat Team.  Visitors will also want to keep an eye on the sky for the 101st Airborne Division parachute jump at 9:30 a.m.  Living history interpreters will re-create moments in a World War I trench, a Revolutionary War Redoubt, a French and Indian War way station, a Civil War winter cabins and a World War II company area. More than 45 re-enactor military units will bring history to life. 

    Army Heritage Day, at 950 Soldiers Drive in Carlisle, Pa, is minutes from Interstate 81, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Routes 11 and 15. Follow signs to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. There is free parking, handicapped accessibility, food sales and a historical book sale.

    For details visits www.usahec.org

 


Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club release
Patriotic ducks to float down Letort
Duck Derby Raises Scholarship and Community Outreach Funds

April 3, 2008 --  Up to 1,000 yellow rubber ducks featuring a patriotic "Uncle Sam" top hat will float down Letort Spring Run on Carlisle Barracks, on Saturday, April 26 at 11 a.m.

    The annual event, sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club, helps to raise funds for scholarships and financial outreach to the Carlisle community.

    The ducks will be released near the foot bridge behind Root Hall to navigate their way through  rocks and some rough water (for a rubber duck) to take a picturesque 1,000-foot trip ending at the footbridge behind Collins Hall.

    "This race is all about family fun," Nancy Drose, derby coordinator said. "Children can adopt a duck for just $1 for a Junior Ducky Dash at 10:30 am." Those ducks can be purchased at a booth on Indian Field on April 24-26.

     "Because of the generosity of local businesses and organizations on post, we're able to offer some great prizes for 4th-10th place as well as 1000th place,"  Marge Bessler, Race coordinator added.  "Cash prizes of $300, $150 and $75 go to first, second and third place ducks respectively."

     Those interested in Adopting a Duck for $5 each can contact Nancy Drose at 448-5139 or Marge Bessler at 254-6472.  "You do not need to be present to win," Drose said.

 


Family housing survey coming to post residents

    Soon Carlisle Barracks' family housing residents will be receiving a "Headquarters, Department of Army Resident Assessment Survey." 

    The purpose of this survey is to let servicemembers and their families tell the Army and it's housing partners how well housing occupants needs are being met.

    "The information you provide will help guide us in providing future improvements to our housing facilities and services," said Maria Jones, who works in the Residential Communities Office. "Your answers are strictly confidential and we urge you to offer honest responses.  We are not tabulating any personal data and your survey in no way identifies you or the residence you currently occupy. This is your opportunity to help make a difference."

    For the first time, a survey response incentive is offered courtesy of GMH Military Housing.  A entry form will be included with the survey for a chance to win a $100 gift card. A winner will be selected from a random drawing from survey respondents. The cut off date for the entry form is May 16.  Any entry form received after this date will not be added to the drawing which will be held on May 30. Survey responses will be accepted through the DA survey cut off date of June 30.

    If you have any questions about this annual survey, contact Maria Jones in the Residential Communities Office at 245-4823.

 


Public Affairs staff report
Carlisle Barracks to host 34th Annual Jim Thorpe Sports Days

 

U.S. Army War College athletes walk on the track around Indian Field during the Opening Ceremony for Jim Thorpe Sports Days 2007. This year's games will take place April 24-26. File photo by Tom Zimmerman.

March 27, 2008 – Spring is here, temperatures are starting to rise, and that means it's time for Jim Thorpe Sports Days to be held here April 24-26, 2008.

    Named in honor of Jim Thorpe, the great American athlete, Jim Thorpe Sports Days is an annual event which began in 1974 and demonstrates teamwork, discipline and physical fitness in a collegial environment.

   The opening ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on April 25 on Carlisle Barracks' Indian Field.    The historic Indian Field is located at the corner of Ashburn Drive and Forbes Avenue.

    The colorful ceremony kicks off the sports competition between student athletes of the Army War College, Air War College, Naval War College, National War College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The athletes of the various senior service colleges will march onto the field, the official 'Olympic' style torch will be lit and the Carlisle Barracks cannon will be fired. Immediately following the ceremony the competition begins with the always exciting men's and women's relay runs on the Indian Field track.

    "This competition and the planned social events give us an opportunity to share sportsmanship and comradeship" said Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC Commandant. "General of the Army Douglas MacArthur said that 'upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other days, on other fields, will bear the fruits of victory.' Let us sow the seeds during Jim Thorpe Sports Day 2008 with good sportsmanship that will later serve our Nation on other fields of strife."

    The student athletes compete in soccer, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling, tennis, racquetball and in several running events.  These events begin at 5 p.m. on April 24 and continue through April 26.  The events are held on Carlisle Barracks and other off-post locations.   

    The complete event schedule can be found here.     

    The Opening Ceremony and sports events are open to the public.

Youth Activities

Looking for something for your kids to do? Check out the opportunities at the post's Youth Services below. For more information call 245-3354.

Thursday, April 24  Noon, Youth Services Opens
Noon – 3 p.m., Leisure and Recreation Activities, Pool, ping-pong, video games
3:15 - 3:45 p.m. Free Snack
3:45 – 4:30 p.m., Outside Activity, Pick up basketball
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Dinner, Chicken Nuggets/chips/drink
5:30 – 7 p.m., Movie "G", Latest release, with popcorn
7 – 9 p.m., Movie "PG-13", Latest release, with popcorn

Friday, 25 April 2008 Noon, Youth Services Opens
Noon – 1 p.m. , Free Lunch, Hot dogs/chips/drink
1- 2 p.m., Outside Activity, Capture the Flag
2- 3 p.m., Leisure and Recreation Games, Pool, ping-pong, video games
3:15- 3:45 p.m., Free Snack
4-4:30 p.m., Leisure and Recreation Games,
4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Dinner, Hot dogs/chips/drink
5:30 – 7 p.m., Movie "G", Latest Release, with popcorn
7 – 9 p.m. Movie "PG-13", Latest release, with popcorn

Saturday, 26 April 2008 Noon, Youth Services Opens
12:30-1:30 p.m., Free Lunch, Hamburger/chips/drink
1:30-2: 30 p.m., Arts/Crafts, Painting Hats
3 - 5 p.m., Movie "G", Latest release, with popcorn
5 – 7 p.m., Leisure and Recreation Games, Pool, ping-pong, video games
7 – 9 p.m., Movie "PG-13", Latest release, with popcorn

Social Events

    Everyone is invited, including children, to two social events held in conjunction with Jim Thorpe Sports Days.

  • Friday (April 25) Informal Buffet:
    • There will be an informal buffet Friday, April 25, from 6:30- 10 p.m. at the pavilion behind the Letort View Community Center. The country style buffet features BBQ and fried chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, fruit tray, cornbread, rolls, soda/ beer, water and coffee. The price is $13.25 for adults and $6.50 for children (6-12), children 5 and under eat free.
  • Saturday (26 April) Awards Cookout:
    • The concluding Awards Cookout will begin at noon on Saturday, April 26 at Carlisle Barracks Indian Field. The menu includes hamburgers, pork barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, Italian sausage, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, chips, beer and soda. The price for adults is $11.00 and $5.50 per children ages 6-12, children 5 and under eat free. The awards ceremony will begin at approximately 3 p.m. on Indian Field.

T-Shirts, hats for sale

    Also for sale are Jim Thorpe Sports Days 2008 shirts and hats. More information on how to order can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Strategy Conference brings together different perspectives for global issues

  
Participants in the 19th Annual U.S. Army War
College Strategy Conference listen to a panel 
discussion in Bliss Hall on April 9.
The conference brought together 
to discuss "Rebalancing the Instruments
of National Power," the topic of this year's conference. 
Photo by Tom Zimmerman. 
 

April 10, 2008 – On the surface it may not seem like undergraduate college students, U.S. Air Force Academy cadets, representatives from the State Department and War College faculty have much in common, but bring them all together at the 19th Annual U.S. Army War College Strategy Conference and you'll find out they're more connected than you think. 

    From April 8-10, these and many others gathered in Bliss Hall and the Letort View Community Center to discuss "Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power," the topic of this year's conference. More than 200 people attended this years conference.

    The variety of viewpoints made for a valuable conference according to one of the attendees.

    "This has a great variety of speakers and people attending the conference," said Air Force Col. Chris Shippey, a member of the Air War College faculty. "They have everything from college students to policy makers and they each bring their unique perspectives to the issues. I've sat in or been involved in a number of these types of conferences but this has been the best."

    The three-day conference featured panelists who spoke on topics such as the "Contemporary Strategic Environment, "Addressing the Military Instruments" and "Addressing Civilian Non-Agency Capabilities."

    "This is my first time here as a speaker but I've been to many conferences of this type and this is the best one I've ever been to," said Dr. Nora Bensahel, Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. "It's great bringing together all of the elements of national power, both the civilian and the military, to discuss the issues we all have to work on."  Bensahel spoke as part of the Contemporary Strategic Environment panel.

    One of the younger faces in the crowd was Air Force Academy Cadet Andrew Davis who was at the conference as part of a program at the school.

    "We came here as part of a scholars program at the academy," said Davis. "We are working on a paper on nation building and we're here trying to gleam as much knowledge as possible."

    Davis said he thought the information he gathered would be helpful for the rest of his career.   

    "So much of the information is new for me and it's really been useful to be here and it might help me later in my career," he said. "It would have been impossible to learn about some of these new initiatives without being here." 

     The conference wasn't just beneficial for people associated with the military though, just ask one of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania students who attended.

    "Just the little bit we've been able to experience has been great," said Rob Steinman, a senior physics major. "I've always had an interest in politics and government so to be able to listen to some of these speakers will be great." Steinman and a group of other students were brought by Dr. Dighton Fiddner as part of their political-military strategy class.

    Guest speakers for the conference included Dr. John Hillen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs and retired Admiral Dennis Blair, former Commander, U.S. Pacific Command and current holder of the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership.

    Other people attended the conference to give them a benchmark to judge their own by.

    "The United States Military Academy at West Point is planning a similar conference in June and I wanted to see what the War College perspective is on the issues," said Maj. Paul Oh, a West Point faculty member. "It's been really well done and has integrated a variety of perspectives. It's important to see how those perspectives differ and gives us in the audience a wide view of the issues."     

     


Reminder: Skateboarding only allowed in youth skate park

Post residents are reminded that the only authorized area for skateboarding on post is the Carlisle Barracks Skate Park, located behind Collins Hall.  

In order to use the skate park, children will need to be a member of Youth Services, and also join the Carlisle Barracks Skate Club. For more information contact 
Youth Services at 245-4555.  
 


Work continues on Meadows housing area

The recent run of nice, Spring weather has helped the construction of the Meadows housing area remain on schedule, according to Ty McPhillips, project manager for GMH. Work that remains includes laying driveways, exterior painting and spreading top soil. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

 


Commandant of the Marine Corps arrives in style

When Commandant of the Marine Corp Gen. James Conway came to speak to students of the U.S. Army War College April 11, he made quite an entrance arriving in a VMX-22 Osprey. Conway is seen here shaking 
hands with Maj. Gen. 
Robert Williams, USAWC 
Commandant, shortly after landing. 

The Osprey is an American joint service, multimission, military tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. The Osprey has provided support in Iraq, racking up some 2000 flight hours over three months with a mission capable availability rate of 68.1% as of late January 2008, according to a U.S. Marine release. They are primarily used in Iraq's western Anbar province for routine cargo and troop movements, and also for riskier "aero-scout" missions. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

  


Pfc. Jennifer Rick, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
War College alumnus inducted into International Fellows Hall of Fame     

 
Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti speaks during his induction ceremony into the U.S. Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame, in Bliss Hall April 16. Photo by Scott Finger.

April 17, 2008--On Wednesday, April 16 a U.S. Army War College graduate became the 30th inductee into the U.S. Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame.

            Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti, War College class of 1992, is the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army. He has served for more than 50 years, and has earned numerous awards.

            According to the IF Hall of Fame website, to be eligible for this honor, former War College IFs must meet several requirements, including serving as the senior officer in the nation's armed forces, being assigned to the highest command position, being commander of an operational combined command and be internationally recognized as having made a significant and enduring military or humanitarian contribution to international peace and stability. The IF must be nominated, approved by the USAWC and cleared by the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

            The induction ceremony took place in Bliss Hall, and included words from Ambassador Cynthia Efird, Deputy Commandant for International Affairs.

"His presence today reflects the strength of his accomplishments," she said.

USAWC Commandant Maj. Gen Robert Williams also spoke, describing the time Castagnetti was a student here, mentioning world and national events, compact discs outselling cassettes for the first time, the band Nirvana and the World Wide Web becoming user friendly and popular.

"Gen. Castagnetti has demonstrated the finest professional competence and courage in the leadership of his nation's Army," Williams said.

Williams also read a note of congratulations from Castagnetti's former classmate and seminar representative, Lt. Gen. Claude Christianson, speaking about Castagnetti's unlimited potential, and that he was an inspiration to everyone in their class.

After being officially inducted into the Hall of Fame, Castagnetti said that it was an honor for him and his wife, Teresa, to be back at Carlisle Barracks where they had many great experiences. He spoke of his family, and said, "I truly believe that great families make great soldiers."

            He closed by saying, "To become Chief of the Army, you must be good from the beginning, work hard, have strength, and last but not least, you must be very lucky."

 

 

 

 

 

           


Bridge demolition to cause PA Turnpike closures this weekend

April 16, 2008 -- Motorists should be aware that there will be a planned detour this weekend on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Carlisle (Exit 226) and Breezewood (Exit 161) interchanges.

    The detour is scheduled for Saturday night April 19th into Sunday the 20th and will begin at 11:00 pm. for Eastbound motorists by closing the Breezewood Interchange (Exit #161) and then Westbound motorist will be detoured at 11:45 pm. when crews close traffic at Carlisle Interchange (Exit #226).  Blue Mountain (Exit #201), Willow Hill (Exit #189) and Fort Littleton (Exit #180) traffic intending to travel Westbound will be permitted to enter the system.

    The detours are required so that crews can demolish overhead bridges located in Cumberland County. The bridges located at milepost 211.1 (Middle Rd.)  and milepost 212.6 ( SR233 Doubling Gap Rd.) are being replaced with new bridges through a complete re-engineering project. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Engineering department advises the closures will be in effect on Saturday the 19th at 11:00 pm. (Eastbound) and 11:45 pm. (Westbound) into Sunday the 20th at 6:00 am.

    The following detour routes are also posted on the PA Turnpike Highway Advisory Radios, message signs and website.

Eastbound detour

Exit Breezewood to Route 30 West (.3 miles) to Route 70 East (I-81 exit MD #26, 48 miles) to Interstate 81 North (58 miles) to Exit #52B, Middlesex,   Route 11 South to the Pa. Turnpike Carlisle Interchange 226/Old 16.

Westbound detour

Exit Carlisle Route 11 North to Interstate 81 South (58 miles) to Maryland Exit #4 to Interstate 70 West (48 miles) to Route 30 East (.3 miles) and re-enter at Breezewood Interchange 161/Old 12.

    For more information visit the PA Turnpike at http://www.paturnpike.com/

 


Public Affairs staff report
AHEC debuts web-based video archive

    April 15, 2008 -- Did you want to attend the last lecture at the Army Heritage and Education Center but missed it?

    Well you are in luck as AHEC is pleased to announce the opening of our new web-based video archive, featuring lectures presented in the Perspectives in Military History and the Brooks E. Kleber Memorial Readings in Military History series.

    Several recent lectures are now posted, and more will follow as the concept is more fully developed. To access the Video Archive, go to http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/Video_Archives.htm.

    The link is also available from the AHEC home page at www.usahec.org <http://www.usahec.org/> . Lectures may be viewed online or downloaded to be played later.

 


Next 'Perspectives in Military History' lecture April 16

   The Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA is pleased to announce the next lecture in the Perspectives in Military History series. Dr. Fred Anderson, Professor of History, University of Colorado, Boulder, will present  "Why the French and Indian War is Worth Remembering: The Ironies of a Decisive Victory" on 16 APR 2008 at 7:15 p.m. in Ridgway Hall, Bldg. 950, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Topic background

    Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Years' War, a worldwide struggle for empire that pitted France against England in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Among its surprising results was the disruption of the British empire as a political system; indeed, within a dozen years that empire fell into the civil war that produced in the American Revolution.  Fred Anderson, Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will seek to explain the significance of the American phase of the Seven Years' War – commonly called the French and Indian War -- in American history, affirming that the best way to understand the Revolution is as part of a 40-year-long attempt to assert imperial control over the Forks of the Ohio, where Pittsburgh now stands.  He will argue in favor of the perhaps surprising proposition that winning an imperial war in a decisive way may ultimately carry consequences more harmful to the victor than the vanquished. 

Speaker Bio

    Fred Anderson received his B.A. from Colorado State University in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1981. He has taught at Harvard and at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is currently Professor of History. His publications include Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (2000) and, with Andrew Cayton, The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000 (2005).

 

 


Pentagon Telecommunications Center on behalf of DA Washington D.C. release
Military uniforms and accessories wear out dates

The following items have a wear out fate of April 30, 2008 for Active Army, Army Reserve and Army National guard Soldiers. The wear out date for ROTC Soldiers is April 2009.

  • Battle Dress Uniform
  • Desert Battle Dress Uniform
  • T-shirt, brown
  • Boots, Combat, leather black
  • Woodland and Desert Camouflage pattern caps
  • Olive drab green nametape and U.S. Army
  • Subdued olive green shoulder sleeve insignias and subdued shoulder sleeve insignias – former wartime service
  • Black rigger belt
  • Belt, web with open-faced black buckle
  • Jungle boots (green and black)
  • Black knit cap and black micro fleece knit cap – wear out date of Sept. 30, 2009
  • Coat, cold weather, woodland camouflage pattern (field jacket) – wear out date of Sept. 30, 2010

Protect your children with 'Kid Safe Network'

Department of the Army Security Detective Officer Walter Zeigler shows post youth how to execute a kick during the safety and leisure fair as part of a promotion for a  Kid Safe Network program. The Kid-Safe Network is a proactive, non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, molestation and abduction of children. At Carlisle Barracks the program is run by Zeigler. The program teaches and informs children and parents about "Danger Awareness." The Kid-Safe Network's national system expeditiously disseminates information about abducted or lost children. They recruit and train a staff and a network of Field Agents who work at providing information and also self-defense techniques to help women and children avoid and defend themselves during dangerous situations. The class meets at Thrope Hall Gym each Monday and Wednesday from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Photo by Megan Clugh.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Ceremony honors Warrior-Citizens

Soldiers of the 80th Training Command, The Army School System, receive their Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen awards during a ceremony April 12 in Bliss Hall. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

April 11, 2008 – As the U.S. Army Reserves prepares to celebrate it's 100th anniversary, more than 20 reserve Soldiers were honored for their service during a Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Ceremony April 11 in Bliss Hall.

    Soldiers from the 80th Training Command, The Army School System, were presented with flags, commemorative coins and lapel pins during the nearly three-hour ceremony. The 80th Division is made up more than 2,700 Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to 40 units in Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

    "Thank you for a job well done," said Maj. Gen. David Evans, Commanding General of the 80th Training Command. "Be proud of getting a difficult job done." The call of our 80th Division Soldiers to support Operation Iraqi Freedom was the largest call-up of their forces since World War II. More than 400 servicemembers are still deployed around the world and this was Evan's 21st Welcome Home Warrior Ceremony.

    Evans also took the time to thank the family members in attendance.

    "Without the support of loved ones your job wouldn't be possible," he said. "Each of you has made a great sacrifice, many we can't repay you for."

     He also stressed the need for the Soldiers and their families to take advantage of the services available to them to help ease the transition back from deployment.

    ""Re-establish your lives, reconnect with your family, employer and community," said Evans. "Soldiers change during mobilization. Separations of one-plus years are hard on families. Be patient, it takes time, don't let it destroy your life."

A display paid tribute to the four Soldiers who died while the 80th was deployed over the last four years. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

    One of those honored was thankful for the acknowledgment.

    "It's great to be recognized like this," said Spc. Laurie Funk.

     Also honored were four 80th Soldiers who died while on deployment.

    "While we celebrate and recognize your hard work and accomplishments we also pause to remember those who we lost," said Col. Paul Benenati, Assistant Division Commander of the 80th Training Command. Recognized were Lt. Col. Thomas A. Wren, Staff Sgt, Robert Hernandez, Sgt. Fist Class Otie McVey and Spc. David Cissel.  A display was also set up with the Soldiers pictures during the ceremony. Fifty four 80th Division Soldiers have been wounded in action.

    The Welcome Home ceremonies began in 2004, after being authorized by Congress to honor reserve Soldiers. Evans said that it was very important to recognize these citizen-Soldiers.

    "You are the true heroes of this generation," he said. Iraq and other nations are on the road to democracy thanks to the work you and others have done. Welcome home heroes, we salute you."

 


Suzanne Reynolds, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Italian general next IF Hall of Fame inductee     

April 14, 2008 -- The U.S. Army War College will induct Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti, Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, into the International Fellows Hall of Fame on April 16 at 11:45 a.m. in the Bliss Hall auditorium.

    Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti, Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1992.  He has been Chief of Staff since September 2007. His previous assignments include UN Military Observer in the Middle East, Military Attache at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, appointed Deputy Chief of the Defence General Staff in March 2004 and commander of the Italian Joint Operations Headquarters in July 2005.  Castagnetti will be the 30th inductee of the USAWC International Fellows Hall of Fame.

IF Hall of Fame background

    The U. S. Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame was established to provide a prestigious and visible means of honoring USAWC International Fellow graduates who have attained, through military merit, the highest positions in their nation's armed forces, or who have held an equivalent position by rank or responsibility in a multinational organization.

 


Suzanne Reynolds, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Women's Professional Development Symposium slated for April 29

  April 10, 2008 -- The Carlisle Barracks 3rd Annual Women's Professional Development Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 29, 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Letort View Community Center here. 

  This event, sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Federal Women's Program and the EEO Special Emphasis Program Committee, is open to the civilian and military workforce and the surrounding community. 

  The symposium will provide information on self-development thru E-learning, continuing education, effective writing skills, self defense. USAWC Class of 2008 student, Col. Pollyanna Montgomery, will discuss her experiences as the first female Air Force commander of a combat squadron in Iraq. A complete agenda can be found here.

  Refreshments will be provided in the morning.  A Mediterranean lunch buffet will be provided on-site by the LVCC at a cost of $12.

  To attend, please fill out the attached registration form found here and return it NLT COB Wednesday, April 23 to either Dot Overcash, FWP Manager, 245-3191, email: dorothy.overcash@us.army.mil or to Mickey Cooper, FWPC Member, 245-4684, email:  melanie.cooper@us.army.mil. 

  If you plan to have lunch at the LVCC, please indicate on the registration form.   

  For more information, contact Tina Hawkins (EEO Assistant, 245-3151), Dot Overcash (FWP Manager, 245-3191), or Rachel Moritz (EE Manager, 245-3950).

 


Army news release
Army Deployments to CENTCOM Return to 12 Months 

    April 8, 2008 -- "Today, President Bush announced his decision to return to twelve-month deployments in the CENTCOM theater for active Army units," said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. "The President’s decision reflects the improved security situation in Iraq – one made possible by your unwavering commitment and willingness to sacrifice – as well as the recognition of the impact of extended deployments on Army Families and our readiness.  Today’s policy change will help reduce that strain as we continue to grow the Army and restore balance." 

    Today's announcement does not affect Soldiers currently deployed and those who will deploy prior to Aug. 1, 2008.  Those Soldiers will complete their scheduled deployments. 

    "We recognize the selfless service and unwavering commitment of America's courageous Soldiers, and are profoundly grateful for the sacrifice and support by Army Families," said Army Secretary Pete Geren.

    "This announcement is another step in our effort to restore balance to our Army," said Casey.  "Returning to our 12-month policy—combined with the growth in our force—will allow us to gradually reduce the stress on the force and prepare for the full-range of missions."

    The modified policy does not affect current dwell policies.   Upon return from deployment, units will not be deployed again for at least 12 months.  There may be exceptions to this policy given unforeseen circumstances. 

    "You have chosen a most noble profession," said Casey. "With your Families standing with you in support, you have borne the increased stress and burden of this war for our Army and our Nation.  A grateful Army and Nation thank you." 

 


 Safety and Leisure Time Fair informs post

Presenters from the Ski Roundtop Ropes Course explain the activities available at their facility in Lewisberry, Pa., at the Safety and Leisure Time Fair, held at the LVCC April 7. Other organizations, including Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic, Dickinson College Department of Public Safety, Members 1st Federal Credit Union and many others also had displays set up at the fair. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Post employees learn more about Civilian Education System

 

Col. Garland Williams, Commandant of the Army Management Staff College speaks about the Civilian Education System in Bliss Hall on April 3. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.  

 

April 3, 2008 -- Post civilian employees were given a first-hand look at the new civilian education system during a noon-time lecture April 3 in Bliss Hall.

    Col. Garland Williams, Commandant of the Army Management Staff College, talked for more than an hour about why the system is being updated and what it means for employees.

    "The only thing constant in our Army is change," said Garland during the presentation. "As the Army continues to transform to successfully accomplish its missions of tomorrow, our leaders, both military and civilian, must be adequately prepared to support the Army in any venue."

    According to the CES website, it is a new progressive and sequential leader development program that provides enhanced leader development and education opportunities for Army civilians throughout their careers. CES provides the Army Civilian Corps self-development and institutional training (leader development) opportunities to develop leadership attributes through distance learning and resident training.

    "We're tying to build multi-skilled leaders," said Williams. "More importantly, CES is a program for civilians, written by civilians. We're not just taking military courses and slapping a civilian cover on it. The new CES is sequential and builds on the class before, hopefully eliminating redundancy."

    During the noon-time session, Williams went through each of the courses that are part of CES and the requirements and objectives for each. The college offers the education program, which includes four progressive and sequential courses. The 57-hour Foundation Course is required for all Army civilians who were hired after Sept. 30, 2006.

    This online distributed learning course is followed by three resident courses: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The courses range from two to four weeks in length and are offered at the staff college's Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Fort Belvoir, Va., campuses. CES includes the Action Officer Development Course, Supervisory Development Course, Management Development Course, Foundation Course, Basic Course, Intermediate Course, Advanced Course and Senior Service College.

    "These courses are designed to be done during on-duty time," said Williams. "That's how we came up with the suggested times that it should take to complete the online portions of the course."

    One of the other benefits to the CES program is that the resident phases are centrally funded.

    "I pay for you to come to the resident phases of the courses," said Williams. "So thats another great thing about the program, it may not cost your command anything to send you."   

    Williams also acknowledged that unlike the traditional military education system and career progression, there was no "set path" for civilians.

    "Civilians don't have a typical career path since they come from so many different places," said Williams. "That's why we needed to re-look our current system and see what we could do." 

    The courses are also constantly being improved, said Williams.

    "We want to make sure everything presented is valuable and relevant to our civilian employees."

    For more information, visit the AMSC CES website at http://www.amsc.belvoir.army.mil/ces/

 

   

 

 

 


 Are you a Parent of a Child with Autism?

    The Carlisle Barracks Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member Program is presenting: Are you a Parent of a Child with Autism? Come and join other parents for a discussion on Tuesday, April 22 in the Army Community Service - Classroom 106 - Anne Ely Hall.

    The guest speaker will be George Rackley, President of the Autism Society of America- Greater Harrisburg Chapter. As parent of a child with Autism, she will be discussing the educational system and IEPs. Included in this presentation will be the services of Autism Society of America is as well as other resources in the surrounding area.

    Participants may bring a lunch to the session.

 


Alcohol Awareness Month tips 

Tips for responsible drinking

     Whilethe misuse and abuse of alcohol to dangerous and high-risk behaviors, it is possible to drink responsibly. The following are some easy tips to assist in making the responsible decision if you decide to drink:

  • Eat before and during drinking – while a full stomach cannot prevent alcohol from affecting you, eating starchy and high-protein foods will slow it down.
  • Don't gulp or chug your drinks; drink slowly and make the drinks last- try to drink no more than one alcoholic drink per hour.
  • Alternate between alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks – this will give your body extra time to eliminate some of the alcohol.
  • Remember the word HALT: NEVER DRINK if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
  • Before you celebrate, designate – identify a responsible driver who will not drink, or plan ahead to use public transportation.

Tips to avoid drinking

    Itis always OKnot to drink. Whether you always abstain from drinking, you simply aren't in the mood, or because you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, it is always your choice to make. In instances where you feel pressured to drink alcohol, there are countless ways of saying no:

 "No, thank you" – It's your choice not to drink.

  • "Alcohol's not my thing".
  • "I'm the designated driver".
  • "No thanks, I already have a drink".
  • "I'm on medication".
  •  Simply walk away.

     Another way to avoid drinking alcohol is to enjoy mock tails. Mock tails, contain the same ingredients as many popular alcoholic drinks with one exception, they don't contain alcohol. Refreshing and fun, they can be consumed without having to worry about any of the consequences of alcoholic drinks.

Information Provided By The Army Center For Substance Abuse.

 

 


Public Affairs staff report
Spring---now time to clean your PC

    April 8, 2008 -- Spring time isn't just a good time to clean your house, it's also a good time to clean up your files on any shared drives and email.

    Users should review data currently stored within email and on their G and U Drives in order to eliminate redundant files as well as those that are no longer needed. Users may also choose to store your archived files on a DVD and then remove them from your G or U Drive.  Historical email that need to be retained should be stored within Personal Folders (PSTs).

What files could be deleted?

 --Draft copies of files.

 --Double versions of files (keep the most recent).

 --Electronic files that contain information you already have in hard copy or can easily find on the internet.

    For email cleanup, Otto recommends that you clean your mailbox in this order: Inbox, Sent Items and then Deleted Items

  • Inbox - Delete any messages that you do not wish to keep and move messages you want to keep into your Personal Folder.  Your Personal Folder is located on the Network and does not count against your limit.

  • Sent Items - Delete any Sent Items that you do not wish to keep and move messages you want to keep to your Personal Folder.

  • Deleted Items - Once messages are deleted in other folders, they are moved to your Deleted Items folder.  These items will still count against your storage capacity until you empty your Deleted Items folder by simply right clicking on the Deleted Items folder and selecting Empty "Deleted Items" Folder.

    If you need assistance with spring cleaning any of your files or email, call the Service Desk at 245-3000.

 


Pfc. Jennifer Rick, Public Affairs Office
Memorial sportsmanship award given to Seminar 12

Garrison Commander Sergio  Dickerson presents Col. Wade Dennis, sports representative of Seminar 12, with the Richard "Butch" Hoerner Memorial Sportsmanship Award March 4. Courtesy photo.

 

March 28, 2008 -- Commemorating a loved one's life after their death can bring peace to the people left behind and share the person's memory with generations to come. 

     Commemorating a life is exactly what the people of the Thorpe Hall and Root Hall gyms did after the death of their coworker and friend, Richard "Butch" Hoerner in November 2006. 

     Hoerner had worked at Carlisle Barracks for over 26 years, and the loss of this dedicated man was felt by many, said Chuck Gentile, sports director.

     Hoerner's death was the result of a brain aneurism he suffered while hunting on a vacation.

     After his death, Gentile wanted to find a way to celebrate Butch's life, and share with others the spirit that so many once knew. What he came up with is an award in Chuck's name, to be given to the seminar that has shown the greatest sportsmanship throughout their seasons of volleyball, softball and basketball.

      A trophy was made, and each year will be inscribed with the winning seminar. This year, Seminar 12 showed the most sportsman ship, and in a ceremony held March 4, they were named the first winners of the Butch award.

      The whole staff, wearing uniforms that all now say "Butch" across the back, was there for the emotional event, Gentile said. Mrs. Hoerner presented the awards the Lt. Col. Sergio Dickerson, who then presented the award to Col. Wade Dennis, sports representative of Seminar 12.

      "Doing this really fits with our mission," Gentile said. "He was a guy you could always count on, and everybody knew him. We miss him."


John J. Kruzel,  American Forces Press Service
Bush Confers Highest Military Decoration on Fallen Navy SEAL

George and Sally Monsoor speak with President George W. Bush during a Medal of Honor presentation ceremony in honor of their son Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, in the East Room of the White House, April 8, 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Aho.  

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008 – President Bush today posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL whose mortal sacrifice in Iraq saved the lives of two fellow SEALs and several Iraqi soldiers.

    The fallen SEAL's parents, George and Sally Monsoor, accepted the honor on their son's behalf during a White House ceremony. The Medal of Honor, awarded for gallantry in combat exceeding the call of duty, is the nation's highest military decoration.

   "In September 2006, Michael laid down his life for his brothers in arms," Bush said. "Today, we remember the life of this faithful Navy SEAL, and on behalf of a grateful nation, we will present Michael Mansoor's family with the Medal of Honor that he earned."

   Monsoor, a 25 year-old machine gunner with SEAL Team 3, was providing security at a sniper lookout post on Sept. 29, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq, when a fragmentation grenade hit his chest and bounced to the floor. Positioned next to the single exit, only Monsoor could have escaped harm.

    Instead, he threw himself onto the grenade. Monsoor used his body to absorb the blast and shield two nearby SEALs. The SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers survived, some with wounds, others unscathed. Monsoor died a half hour later.

   "One of the survivors puts it this way: 'Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, "You cannot take my brothers. I will go in their stead,"'" said Bush, quoting one of the SEALs saved by Monsoor.

    In remarks today, the president characterized the petty officer as an unlikely candidate for the SEALs. As a child, he suffered from asthma attacks and coughing fits that routinely landed him in the hospital, Bush said.

     But the asthmatic child resolved to wean himself off his inhaler, strengthening his lungs by challenging his siblings in swimming races. The determined child grew into a young man who eventually completed SEAL training, which Bush called the "ultimate test of physical endurance."

    "Less than a third of those who begin this training become SEALs," he said. "But Mike would not be denied a spot."

   The maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command, Navy SEALs are expert reconnoiters and stealth warriors, often performing clandestine operations that larger forces cannot conduct undetected. Today Monsoor became the first SEAL to earn the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and the second SEAL to receive the award since Sept. 11, 2001.

   Monsoor was inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes on April 9, where his name was engraved alongside some 3,445 recipients of the nation's highest honor.

   The petty officer previously was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with combat "V" device, and a Purple Heart before becoming the fourth servicemember to receive the Medal of Honor since the beginning of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

   Awarded by the president in the name of Congress, the Medal of Honor was created in 1861 as a personal award of valor for members of the Navy. Today, every service branch confers the rare honor upon those who distinguish themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life."

   "The Medal of Honor is awarded for an act of such courage that no one could rightly be expected to undertake it," the president said. "Yet those who knew Michael Monsoor were not surprised when he did."

Other Iraq and Afghanistan Medal of Honor recipients

Oct. 22, 2007

Afghanistan

Lt. Michael P. Murphy-- United States Navy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his Headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 

 

Iraq

Jan. 11, 2007

Corporal Jason L. Dunham -- United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

 

April 4, 2005

Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith -- United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.

     For more information visit http://www.history.army.mil/moh.html

 


2008 Army Birthday Ball

    The 2008 U.S. Army Birthday Ball will celebrate America's Army, The Strength of The Nation and our 233 years of service.  This year's U.S. Army Birthday Ball will be held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center on Saturday, June 14, 2008 and include an elegant evening of dining, dancing and entertainment.  All Army members, Family members, DA Civilians, Retirees and Veterans are invited.  Registration opens April 7, 2008. 

    Visit the AKO 2008 Army Birthday Ball Registration <https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/137983>  page for more information and reservations.

 


Lynda Valentine, Defense Commissary Agency
Commissaries celebrating 'Earth Day' all year long  

FORT LEE, Va. – Earth Day takes place April 22, but the Defense Commissary Agency is starting early by flipping the switch on its first "solar powered" commissary April 7 at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

    The Los Angeles commissary is not new, but after April 7 about 30 percent of the energy used by the store will be powered by the sun. The $840,000 project was funded through the Department of Defense Energy Conservation Investment Program. While Los Angeles is the first DeCA store to be partially powered by solar energy, the agency plans to seek additional opportunities to use alternate sources of energy at commissaries worldwide in areas with the highest utility costs.

    Solar power is just one of many "earth-friendly" initiatives taking place at commissaries throughout the world. Other initiatives include everything from selling energy-saving light bulbs, "green clean" products and reusable grocery bags, to reducing energy use at stores, and partnering with the freight industry to ensure products are shipped to commissaries in the most environmentally friendly way possible. 

    The SmartWay Transportation Partnership is an initiative that creates voluntary partnerships between various freight industry sectors and the Environmental Protection Agency. Participants work to reduce unnecessary long-duration truck and locomotive idling, with a goal to save up to 150 million barrels of oil annually while reducing greenhouse emissions. DeCA currently partners with 12 companies using the SmartWay approach.

    Under the agency's energy management program, commissaries now use heat reclaimed from refrigeration systems for space and water heating. In addition, many stores use energy-efficient, glass-door-refrigerated display cases instead of open cases and use display case lighting that automatically turns on and off. These ideas and other initiatives havecumulatively saved about $47.4 million in utility costs since 1995.

    With implementation of an effective waste management plan in 2007, DeCA recycled more than 38,400 tons of cardboard, plastic and pallets, resulting in an increase of $1 million for the surcharge account. Surcharge money is used to build new commissaries and renovate existing ones.

    "We are committed to being an environmental leader in the food marketing industry," said Rick Page, DeCA's acting director. "A critical element of our leadership role is effective waste management leading to zero waste at commissaries nationwide. By working diligently and in an orderly manner toward zero waste, DeCA is able to improve its recycling volume and thus the surcharge revenue. Everyone benefits – customers, our installation partners, DeCA, and most importantly, the environment," he said. 


 Devins recognizes post, Bosler Library partnership

Diane Devins, Installation Management Command, Northeast Region, visited the Bosler Library in Carlisle March 31 to recognize the partnership between the library and Carlisle Barracks. During her visit, Devins was given a tour of the library, learned about its services and met the library's staff and a local family that uses the library.  Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pvt. Joseph Myers reads to his daughters, Hailey, 4, and Kylie, 7 months, in the children's section of the Bosler Library. Photo by Pfc. Jennifer Rick.


  Armstrong Hall parking lot expanding

    Work will start the week of March 31 to expand the parking lot adjacent to Building 314, Armstrong Hall by 18 spaces. Weather pending, this project is scheduled last around 60 days.

   None of the existing parking spaces are expected to be affected by the construction. Motorists and pedestrians should exercise caution when navigating this area.

 

 


Ann Marie Wolf
April is Alcohol Awareness Month

March 31, 2008 -- When many people think of alcohol abusers, they picture teenagers sneaking drinks before high school football games or at unsupervised parties. However, alcohol abuse is prevalent within many demographic groups in the United States. People who abuse alcohol can also be college students who binge drink at local bars, pregnant womenwho put their babies at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome when they drink, professionalswho drink after a long day of work, or senior citizenswho drink out of loneliness.

Alcohol in the workplace

     About 15 percent of U.S. workers said they either used alcohol at work or were impaired on the job, according to research from the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.

     Researchers interviewed 2,805 adult workers between January 2002 and June 2003, and asked them about workplace alcohol use and impairment over the previous 12 months. Questions included how often they drank within two hours of reporting to work, drank during the work day, worked under the influence of alcohol, or worked with a hangover.

     Lead author Michael R. Frone, PH.D., and colleagues found that 1.8 percent of the workforce drank alcohol at least once before coming to work, and 7.1 percent drank during the workday – often during lunch breaks but also during other breaks or while on the job. An estimated 1.7 percent of employees worked under the influence of alcohol, and approximately 9.2 percent had gone to work with a hangover, the authors said.

     "Of all psychoactive substances with the potential to impair cognitive and behavioral performance, alcohol is the mostly widely used and misused substance in the general population and in the workforce," Frone said. "The misuse of alcohol by employed adults is an important social policy issue with the potential to undermine employee productivity and safety."

     Alcohol use and impairment was more common among men than women, among younger employees, and more prevalent among evening and night shift workers.

     This study was reported in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.

     As reported on Join Together online. The above information provided by the Army Center for Substance Abuse E-prevention newsletter.

Army Substance Abuse Program continues to offer training:

     The Army Substance Abuse Program is to ensure that all military and civilian personnel are provided prevention education/training services (that is a minimum of four hours for military and three hours for civilian personnel). In a continuing effort to accomplish this requirement the ASAP/Prevention staff will be providing several classes during April, May, June and July. The following one hour classes will be offered at the Army Substance Abuse training room. All participants must pre-register by calling 245-4576 or 5-3790. Class size is limited.  All classes are open to family members. You may complete the on-line training to work towards meeting the requirement.

 April – Alcohol Awareness Month & Month of the Military Child

Tuesday, April 22                                   1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632
Media Literacy – Parenting to Protect Children

Thursday, April 24.                                 11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632
Media Literacy – Parenting to Protect Children

Tuesday, April 29                                   1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632
Media Literacy – Parenting to Protect Children

     The above class will focus on: Teach Violence Prevention, Develop Thinking Skills, Guard against Drug Use and Promote Your Values.

May – Think Twice – Marijuana and Cancer

Thursday, May 8                                    1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632

Tuesday, May 13                                   1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632

Thursday, May 15                                  11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632

     For years, marijuana has been regarded as a harmless drug – especially by young people. Conflicting scientific data and social attitudes have hidden many of the side effects from the public. However, over the last few years, recent advances in research technology have provided new evidence concerning marijuana's health risks. In particular, the link between marijuana smoking and cancer has become quite clear. Find out more by attending this class.

June – Summer Sense: Alcohol Awareness and Summer Safety

Tuesday, June 17                                   11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632

Thursday, June 19                                  1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632

Thursday, June  26                                 11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632

     This class will challenge common beliefs and attitudes that directly contribute to high risk alcohol abuse. We will discuss how our choices can protect or harm the things that we love and value. The class will also provide tips for having a safe summer.

July – Stress and Anxiety in The Workplace

Thursday, July 24                                               11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632

Tuesday, July 29                                                1 p.m.                           ASAP, Bldg. 632

Thursday, July 31                                               11 a.m.                         ASAP, Bldg. 632

     This class will help you learn what to stress, or, in other words, how to manage your stress. Whether your stress comes from personal problems or professional pressures, you'll learn how to approach stressful situations on and off the job and how to manage your own reactions to stress.

     For more information or to schedule individual organization training, contact the Prevention office at 245-4576/3790.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


AHEC hosts first Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient

Retired Colonel Roger Hugh C. Donlon, spoke at Ridgway Hall on March 19 as part of the Perspectives in Military History 
lecture series. Donlon was the first man to receive the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, as well as the first member of the Special Forces so honored. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.

    In January, 1964  Captain Roger H.C. Donlon, assumed command of U.S. Army Special Forces Team A-726 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and trained it for deployment to Vietnam. The team deployed in May to Camp Nam Dong, west of Da Nang  near the Laotian border, to provide physical security and health and welfare service to over 5,000 local villagers.

    The Green Berets would also advise the over 300 South Vietnamese personnel assigned to the camp. In the early morning darkness of July 6, 1964, more than 900 Viet Cong soldiers attacked Nam Dong with mortars, grenades, small arms fire and automatic weapons. The attack proceeded all night, and many of the South Vietnamese defenders were wounded in the fierce fighting.  Donlon was wounded, and two of his team were killed. During his speech, Donlon recalled the attack and its aftermath, and his long journey of healing in the years after.

     "This was one of the most trying times of my life," he said. "But it helped shape who I am today."

    For Perspectives" meeting times and places, please check the AHEC homepage: www.usahec.org


David Keough, U.S. Army Military History Institute
TWIAH: Boston Under Siege

 

This map shows the area surronding Boston at the time of the siege in 1776. It was drawn by Colonel Henry B Carrington, U.S. Army and appears in his book "Battle of the American Revolution 1775-1781...."published in 1877 (USAMHI Rare Book Collection).

If you play word association with "March 17" and "Boston," most Americans would say: "Saint Patrick's Day" or maybe "Saint Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston." There is, however, another holiday associated with that day and city -- Evacuation Day.
    After the clashes at Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, the British troops fell back to the city of Boston, and Massachusetts minutemen and other militia took positions outside the city. As more volunteers arrived from other parts of New England, the rudiments of an army took shape in a siege of the British garrison in Boston. In accord with orders from the Continental Congress, George Washington assumed command of the force on June 15, 1775, and slowly created more order among the militia and volunteers.
    The siege dragged on into the winter months. The British, backed by the ships of the Royal Navy, seemed content to stay in the city and wait out the men of the new Continental Army and the state contingents. Events took a more serious turn early in 1776. Henry Knox, an artillery officer of the prewar Massachusetts militia, supervised transporting captured cannon from Fort Ticonderoga by sledges over the snow to Boston. Backed by numerous cannon, Washington could now conduct a more active siege of the city.
    In a carefully planned operation, American troops seized the hill tops of Dorchester Heights and Nooks Hill south of the city on March 5 and hauled guns to siege works constructed on the hills. From these closer points of high ground, the American guns could now command the neck of land connecting the main area of the city to the broader plains to the south and west. The artillery also threatened to deny the Royal Navy its safe anchorage in Boston Harbor.
    After some negotiations, it was agreed that the British would be allowed to evacuate the city, unmolested; they, in turn, agreed not to set the city on fire. On March 17, the British formally completed the evacuation and the Americans took charge of Boston. Washington's General Order of the Day, officially announcing these events, began as usual with the Parole and Countersign of the day for the guards -- Parole: "Boston"; Countersign: "St. Patrick."
    In 1901, the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, Massachusetts, made Evacuation Day a local holiday.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Elections -  What you can and cannot do; politicking rules for government employees

    March 25, 2008 -- With election activity steadily picking up, defense officials remind members of the military and Defense of Department civilians that they're subject to rules regulating their involvement in political activities.

    Gone are the days when the military posted troops at the polls after the Civil War, an act that Steve Epstein, director of the DoD General Counsel's Standards of Conduct Office, said intimidated many southerners into not voting.

    Today, Epstein said two sets of rules help protect the integrity of the political process: a DoD directive for active-duty service members and the Hatch Act for federal civilians.  These rules keep the military out of partisan politics and ensure that the workplace remains politically neutral, he said.

Voting encouraged

    That's not to imply that military members and civilian employees can't participate in politics.  Epstein said DoD encourages both groups to register to vote and vote as they choose, and to urge others to vote.  Both groups can sign nominating petitions for candidates and express their personal opinions about candidates and issues-- but only if they don't do so as representatives of the armed forces.  Also, all federal employees can make contributions to political organizations or candidates.

Dos and don'ts

    Beyond that, the list of dos and don'ts differs widely, depending on whether the employee is an active-duty service member, a rank-and-file Civil Service employee, a political appointee or member of the career Senior Executive Service, Epstein said.

    Of all DoD employees, the men and women in uniform have the most restrictions regarding political activity, he explained.  A 1993 revision to the Hatch Act freed most Civil Service employees to engage in political activities outside the workplace that were once forbidden, although many restrictions still apply.

    For example, service members as well as government civilians can attend political meetings or rallies.  Military members can attend only as spectators and not in uniform.  They're not permitted to make public political speeches, serve in any official capacity in partisan groups, or participate in partisan political campaigns or conventions.

    On the other hand, civilian employees governed by the Hatch Act may be active in and speak before political gatherings or serve as officers of political parties or partisan groups.  They also are permitted to manage campaigns, distribute literature, write political articles or serve as a spokesperson for a party or candidate.

    Military members generally aren't permitted to campaign for a political office.  Civilian employees are, as long as it's a nonpartisan election.

    While the dos and don'ts concerning political activity may vary, Epstein said the basic rules hold true for all DoD workers. They can't use their position to influence or interfere with an election.  And they can never engage in political activity on the job, in a government vehicle or while wearing an official uniform. The information in this article may not apply to all employees and servicemembers. Please check with your local JAG office or Designated Ethics Counselor for more information.

Federal employees may-

  • be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections 
  • register and vote as they choose
  • assist in voter registration drives
  • express opinions about candidates and issues
  • contribute money to political organizations
  • attend political fundraising functions
  • attend and be active at political rallies and meetings
  • join and be an active member of a political party or club
  • sign nominating petitions
  • campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, municipal ordinances
  • campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections
  • make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections
  • distribute campaign literature in partisan elections
  • hold office in political clubs or parties

Federal employees may not-

  • use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
  • solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
  • solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by federal labor or other employee organizations)
  • be candidates for public office in partisan elections
  • engage in political activity while:
    • on duty
    • in a government office 
    • wearing an official uniform
    • using a government vehicle 
  • wear partisan political buttons on duty

    Even permissible activities may not be conducted using rank, position, or affiliation. Permissible activities may not necessarily be conducted on the installation.  There are procedures that must be followed when engaged in activities with a non-federal entity even when one is acting in their personal, non-official capacity. Some of these activities may also be such that they would be considered outside employment and require pre-approval from the employee's chain and a written legal review from the Designated Ethics Counselor. More details about restrictions on DoD military and civilian employees' political activities are posted on the DoD Web site at www.osc.gov.

Military, civilian voting assistance and resources

    Military can get help obtaining ballots from their home states and more from the Federal Voting Assistnce Program.  The voting assistance officers are armed with federal postcard applications and the 2008 Voting Assistance Guide.  The guide is also posted on the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site at www.fvap.gov.

    Civilians who need voting assistance can pick up registration forms at local post offices, county libraries, school guidance counselors and the Motor Vehicle Administration.

    The Army Voting Assistance Program Website is: https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/Active/TAGD/pssd/psb/votingindex.htm

    This year's Army voting program slogan is: Be Smart.....Do Your Part.....Vote! Voting eligibility rules and cutoff dates for registration, requesting, and returning absentee balloting materials vary by individual state.  It is important to carefully read state instructions and follow directions to the letter.

    Carlisle Barracks Voting Assistance help is available from:

  • Mr. Elton Manske, USAG, Installation Voting Assistance Officer
  • Maj. Steven Toth, TRADOC/AWC Voting Assistance Officer
  • Sgt. First Class Jeremiah Garland, DAHC Voting Assistance Officer

      Voting Assistance Officers are more than willing to assist in-state/local voters with instructions for voting registration and directions to polling places too.

(Editors Note: The information in this article may not apply to all employees and servicemembers. Please check with your local JAG office or Designated Ethics Counselor for more information. Information in this story came from a DoD release. )

 

 

 


Col. James C Nannos. Army Heritage and Education Center
A mystery solved, the Revolution revisited

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, during one of its many operational missions, was dredging the shipping channels of the Delaware River around 1909. At this time that river was a very busy place with massive ship yards, loading docks, and one of the largest U.S. Naval Yards on the east coast. Philadelphia and the Delaware River waterfront were a major industrial and military complex in a nation, which was fast becoming a world power and industrial giant.

    The U.S. Dredge Cataract was working the western shore of the river near Fort Mifflin that year when its crew found a submerged wreck that would have much historical significance. The crew of the dredge and the Colonel in charge of the United States Engineer Office, George A. Zinn, had sufficient knowledge to identify the hulk they found as a sloop, not a large frigate. They rightly dated the vessel to the Revolutionary War, but lacking a background in uniforms or historical material they did not realize that the helmet plates found on the vessel were Germanic, so the consensus was that they were British. 

    What shipwreck had been found, and what had caused the ship to founder? A search for information on sunken royal ships revealed one likely candidate, a transport ship named the Brilliant. That vessel was part of a large convoy of transports carrying baggage, hay, and soldiers to the British army in Philadelphia, a city which that army had held since September of 1777. This convoy out of New York spent most of March, 1778, sailing from New York, down the New Jersey coast, to their gathering point off the mouth of the Delaware River. Late that month, the 28 ships, including the Brilliant, entered that river and sailed upstream toward Philadelphia. American forts no longer barred their route, yet potential danger still lurked from American Army units on shore and from American naval raiders who darted out from creeks emptying into the Delaware. Even more formidable were the “Marine Chevaux-de-Frise:” large underwater obstacles, tipped with iron barbs designed to stop or sink any ships which ran into them. 

    The British had long been aware of the frise, but sailing through it, undamaged, required expert seamanship, especially in that age of wind and wave. Wind proved the undoing of the Brilliant, which was one of the smallest ships being used in British military operations in North America. March 30 was so windy that helmsmen of larger vessels had difficulty controlling their course in going through the frise. Those bigger frigates and supply ships bumped into the Brilliant and pushed her aside -- right into the frise. The iron barbs tore a gaping hole, and she began to sink. Her crew and all her passengers -- convalescent wounded and sick German mercenary soldiers en route to rejoin their regiments in Philadelphia -- were saved. Their baggage, however, was lost, including their distinctive helmet plates. 

    The ship and its artifacts of the Revolutionary War went to the bottom of the Delaware River, to be found 131 years later. These artifacts have been saved; three front plates and four back panels from German fusilier helmets are known to exist to this day. Now and on into the future, they can be studied by all who appreciate the military heritage of our land.


 Seminar 19 basketball champs for 2008

Members of the Seminar 19 basketball team pose with their trophy in the Root Hall Gym. Seminar 19 defeated Seminar 14 in the finals 39 - 32. Photo by Lizzie Poster.


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Spouse club auction raises nearly $15,000 for local outreach

March 26, 2008 – Nearly 175 people packed the Letort View Community Center March 7 to pay it forward at this year's Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club Auction.  

   "The auction raised nearly $15,000 that we will be able to distribute back to the community through various methods," said Leslie Drinkwine, who chaired this year's CBSC Benefit Auction. The money raised from the auction will be distributed through the Spouses Club Outreach Committee. The monies are generally distributed to three types of groups: local groups, local military groups and national military-related organizations.

    "The amounts and distribution levels vary from year to year based upon monies raised in the current year," she said. The outreach committee is currently in the process of reviewing the requests.  

    Some of the popular items included a "Cinco de Mayo" party to be held at Quarters 1 for 40 people, fetching nearly $2,000. Another was a seminar-donated weekend at a log cabin in the Massanuttan Mountains overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, which went for $425. Also receiving a lot of attention was a turkey hunt for a father and son in May with custom made turkey calls and gear, and the Garrison Commanders parking spot for one week.

    One of the other highlights according to Drinkwine was the "marketing" of the Carlisle Barracks Fire Engine ride. The "Vans" and "Vannas," dressed in true fire-fighting uniforms, complete with boots and hats.

    "The 'Vans' and 'Vannas' are high school teens whose moms are typically involved with the club," she said. The youths did their best "Vanna White" impression during the auction, showing off the items for bid. 

    The Silent Auction was also enormously successful. Many organizations donated smaller items that were grouped together into packages for auction, said Drinkwine. One of the most popular was a "Touch of Italy" package that featured several pieces of Italian pottery, an Italian platter, an Umbrian water pitcher, and wine.   

    The Spouses Club gathers the items for auction through a variety of different means.

    "The club … is legally allowed to solicit donations from retailers, vendors and outside organizations for support in the auction," she said, noting their 501 (c) 7 status. "We also appeal to the students and the various constituencies of the AWC for donations. We encourage the seminars, especially, to be creative and to put together interesting offerings."

    "This year we received nothing less than amazing entries," she said.  

    Attendees of the auction agreed.

    This year's auction offered a wonderful variety of items from themed baskets to lodging at a Virginia resort," said Suzanne Reynolds, auction attendee. "I particularly enjoy the silent auction where I find myself scurrying from item to item trying to get that last bid in before the time ends." She successfully bid on a few items, including two pet packages and a pamper yourself and gardening themed baskets.

    The annual event depends solely on volunteers according to Drinkwine.

    "Truly the success of this function was the work of many across our community."

    Planning for the auction began back in the Summer and involved the participation and coordination of many on-post agencies. Some of those organizations included the Garrison Commanders staff, USAWC Command Group, GMH, the Commissary, Root Hall bookstore, Provost Marshall, LVCC, Post Exchange, Root Hall mail room, MWR, the Thrift Shop, and Army Community Services. 

    Drinkwine thanked the legions of volunteers who helped make the event possible.

     "Without the help and support of so many agencies and individuals, the auction would not have been nearly as successful," she said.

 


Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army Emergency Relief:  Helping the Army take care of its own

    Nearly everyone, at some point in their life, has been in a situation when they needed emergency financial assistance. The Army Emergency Relief program is here make sure that Soldiers are not left without help in their time of need.

    Whether it's car repairs to travel home to see a dying loved one or for assistance paying for college, AER can help, said Cora Johnson, AER officer and campaign manager.

    In Nov 2003, Reader's Digest described AER as one of The Best Charities in America "who's worth trusting with your donated dollars."  The Army provides much of the administration requirements; thereby insuring that 95 cents of every dollar you donate goes directly into programs for Soldiers and their families.

   "It's time again for the annual AER campaign. From March 1 to May 15, representatives for AER will be in departments all over post collecting money for the campaign," said Johnson.

    Since 1942 AER has been helping Soldiers with their financial emergency needs, but the money that goes to helping the Soldiers doesn't come from the governmental budget. The money comes from Soldier and civilian donations, according to the AER website.

    The money that you donate will go to Soldiers and their families needing financial assistance with things such as food, rent, utilities, emergency transportation, vehicle repair, funeral expenses, medical and dental expenses and more, according to the AER website.

    "Donations can be made in the form of cash, check, money order or allotment," said Johnson.

    AER has helped 2.9 million Army people with more than $837 million in financial assistance since the beginning of the program, according to the official AER web site.

    "You can take pride in the fact that your Army Emergency Relief remains well positioned to continue its support of our Soldiers," said retired Army Gen. E.C. Meyer, president of AER.
        To make a donation, find the AER representative in your department. A partial list can be found below:

AER Chair/Co-Chair: Staff Sgt. Catherine Hutson and Sgt. George Frame

AHEC: Tommy Shird

APFRI: Maj. Heidi Kaufman

Chapel: Staff Sgt. Jewell Forand

Garrison: Sgt. First Class Curtis Youngs

Dunham: Sgt. Fist Class Rutledge Davis

Dental: Staff Sgt. Jerry McKissen

DRMO: Sharon Coy

USAWC Chief of Staff: Candi Smith

DSES: Roy Carte

Seminar Reps vary by Seminar.

    For more information about AER, call Army Community Services at 717-245-4720 or go to the AER website at http://www.aerhq.org/.


Pfc. Jennifer Rick, Public Affairs Office
New program helps Army families with special needs children

March 28, 2008 -- Families with Exceptional Family Members, children that have physical and/or mental handicaps, have to devote a large amount of their time caring for that child, often putting other parts of their lives on the backburner.

    The Army has found a way to help the families with exceptional family members by starting the Exceptional Family Member Program Respite Care. The EFMP connects military families with a care provider that is right for their child, explained Anne Hurst, the EFMP manager for Carlisle Barracks.

    The program was started by the Army Family Action Plan, which regularly holds forums to find out what issues Soldiers and their families have. It has affected many Army regulations and caused Congressional changes in laws, Hurst said.

    The EFMP Respite Care gives the guardians of the exceptional family member a chance to take a weekend vacation, do errands they otherwise couldn't do, go to another child's sporting event or even just get a full night's sleep.

The care providers have a variety of backgrounds, and are trained at all different levels, Hurst said. Some have a sports background, and can teach the child a new activity, and some have teaching degrees in special education.

    To use this respite care, the family must first qualify medically. The exceptional family member must meet one or more of the following criteria: Little or no age appropriate self-help skills, severe continuous seizure activity, ambulation with neurological impairment that requires assistance with activities of daily living, tube feeding, tracheotomy with frequent suctioning, apnea monitoring during hours of sleep or inability to control behavior with safety issues requiring constant supervision.

    After a doctor has certified that the child is eligible, the family will fill out a form with Army Community Services. The family will be given a list of available care providers, and will then interview the people they think will be good for their child. The care provider will come to the family's home to meet with the parents and the family member.

    Once the family has chosen their care provider, they will work directly with that person for scheduling. The Army pays for 40 hours of respite care per month for each family. The family and care provider will keep a timesheet, which will be submitted to the EFMP manager on a monthly basis.

    "It's going really well," Hurst said. "The families that are using the program are very happy with it. They're very grateful for the help they are receiving."

    To start the application process, contact Anne Hurst, Army Community Services, at 245-3775.


Defense Commissary Agency release
Commissaries highlighting food safety

March 31, 2008 -- The April campaign is part of DeCA's yearlong efforts to demonstrate what the commissary does to be a source of safe food, said Rick Page, DeCA acting director and a staunch advocate of food safety throughout his three decades as a military grocer. 

     "Recent events in foodborne illness outbreaks have caused many consumers to wonder if their food supply is safe," Page said. "Our customers can be confident that we employ higher standards of safety and security to protect the food sold in commissaries.  

     "Nationwide, food safety awareness is observed in September," he added. "However, DeCA's emphasis on food safety is such that we want to do this twice a year – it's that important."

     During April, customers will learn more about how commissary products are safeguarded during delivery to the store. Also, DeCA will announce its participation in Be Food Safe, a government program involving a group of nearly 30 retail grocery chains, to help educate consumers about the four steps of preventing foodborne illnesses in the kitchen: cleaning, separating, cooking and chilling foods. Customers will begin seeing Be Food Safe posters in the stores and information linked to DeCA's Food Safety Web page at http://www.commissaries.com.

     These measures and more are all part of DeCA's daily vigilance to help safeguard the products sold in its commissaries, said Army Col. Perry Chumley, DeCA's top food safety officer.   

     In the store, DeCA has a group of employees who are trained to examine products upon delivery, looking for any evidence of issues such as improper temperature during transport; condition of packaging materials; cleanliness of the carrier; and product exposure to any potentially harmful elements. As products arrive to the store, they are subject to inspection, as necessary, by military food inspectors, from both Air Force Public Health and Army Veterinary Service. In situations involving higher threat levels, DeCA works with installation security officials to check delivery vehicles before they enter a base.

     "What we do in food safety goes well beyond anything you'd experience in the commercial sector," Chumley said. "Our store employees and the military food safety inspectors are part of a combined effort to ensure that we deliver a quality commissary benefit that is safe and secure."