Banner Archive for April 2010
 

Carlisle to test emergency notification system

 

Borough residents will receive telephone message around 6 pm Thursday

 April 27, 2010 -- The Borough of Carlisle will test their new telephone emergency notification system this week.  Borough residents can expect to receive a recorded phone message around 6 p.m. on Thursday,April 29.

    “We don't want to wait for our first emergency to use the system," Mayor Kirk Wilson said.  "If there are glitches, we want to know now and correct them now."

      Borough residents who wish to "opt-out" of these notifications may do so by using the appropriate prompt during future emergency notification calls. 

        Additionally, anyone wishing to "opt-in" to these emergency notification calls may do so by clicking on the "Emergency Notification System" link on the Borough of Carlisle's website at www.carlislepa.org  This ability to "opt-in" is available to borough and non-borough residents alike and is a recommended option for residents using cellular telephones as their primary means of communication within their homes.

      


 

Army to showcase high-tech robotics

   Robotics demonstrations and displays, featuring military robots that replace Soldiers for high-risk battlefield tasks, will take place Wednesday, Apr. 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Carlisle Barracks Indian Field.  Inclement weather site will be the Root Hall Gym.

  The intent of Robotics Day is designed to increase USAWC student awareness, and that of the surrounding community of the recent advances in robotics systems, especially those being fielded for use in ongoing operations, as well as those in research and development at various research laboratories, battle labs, and warfare centers.

   Participating will be 19 vendors and agencies bringing to Carlisle an assortment of air and ground robots, autonomous (independently operating) robotics systems, robotic exoskeleton, and miscellaneous robotic devices.    

  Students from area high schools, home school associations, first responders, colleges, JROTC, ROTC, USAWC alumni, local military installations, and Carlisle-area residents, are invited to participate and learn about these examples of applied science and technology.

  Individuals who do not have a Department of Defense decal on their vehicle will enter Carlisle Barracks through the Claremont Road Vehicle Access Center.  All visitors must show a driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  Due to construction at the Claremont Road Vehicle Access Center, signage will lead drivers to a temporary road to access Carlisle Barracks, Marshall Ridge Housing and the Golf Course.


Sportsmanship, competition to mark Jim Thorpe Sports Days athletic games

Suzanne Reynolds, Public Affairs Office

  Two Air Force F-16 fighters, from the 134th Fighter Squadron, Vermont Air National Guard, flying at 1000 feet at 300 knots, will be an awesome sight and sound at the Opening Ceremony for Jim Thorpe Sports Days, Friday, April 23.  The F-16’s will fly left to right (Northeast/Southwest) and fly over Indian Field on Carlisle Barracks at 1:28 p.m.  The Army War College Class of 2010 has 32 proud Air Force officers—as well as the visitors from the Air University at Maxwell Air Field, Alabama.

 Athletes from the Army War College will compete in soccer, golf, volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling, tennis, racquetball, running events, skeet trap, and the newest event, cycling, starting Thursday, April 22 at 4 p.m. through Saturday, April 24, as part of the annual Jim Thorpe Sports Days at Carlisle Barracks and locations throughout Carlisle.

  The sports events and opening ceremony are free and open to the public. The competition schedule and locations here

  Check out photos from the competition at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usawc/sets/72157623911269848/ and be sure to follow our Facebook page for news and photos from the playing fields http://www.facebook.com/USAWC.

    The opening ceremony will be held Friday, Apr. 23, 1 p.m. on Carlisle Barracks' historic Indian Field, where Jim Thorpe once displayed the teamwork, discipline and physical fitness that inspires the name of the athletic games at Carlisle. Jim Thorpe Sports Days has been an annual event since 1974.

  One hundred years ago, Thorpe was named All American. Special guests this year are his grandson, John Thorpe, and Jim Thorpe’s baseball teammate’s son, George Yuda. Yuda’s father was Montreville Speed Yuda.

  The colorful ceremony kicks off the sports competition among the students of the nation’s war colleges – Army, Air, National and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Following the parade of athletes will be the Old Guard's Caisson with its seven Percheron horses, the U.S. Military Academy mules, will be the invocation, singing of the National Anthem a cappella, U.S. Air Force fly over (two F16's), the Presidential Gun Battery will provide honors and open the games, and finally the lighting of the official 'Olympic' style torch.

  Immediately following the torch lighting, the competition begins with the always exciting men's and women's 2 mile/1 mile relay runs on the Indian Field track. 

   "Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other days, on other fields, will bear the fruits of victory."  General Douglas MacArthur first said that, and the spirit lives in the Jim Thorpe Sports Days.


EXHIBIT OPENS HONORING AMERICA’S LAST FIVE-STAR GENERAL--OMAR N. BRADLEY
 

   Gen. Omar N. Bradley was called, “The Soldier’s General” and was the last general officer in the history of the U.S. Army to wear five stars as a designation of rank. 

  On April 24, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will open a new exhibit that examines the life and times of this American icon.

  The exhibit entitled, “America’s Last Five Star General,” will feature many of the unique personal items and military artifacts that set Gen. Bradley apart.  A few of the objects that will be on display include the 24-Karat gold engraved pistol given to Bradley by Elvis Presley as a Christmas gift, the M-1 Carbine that he carried in his jeep across Europe, and even a GI Joe doll made in his likeness. 

  The exhibit is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon to 4 p.m., and will run through the spring of 2011.

  While you are visiting the Army Heritage and Education Center, be sure to explore the other featured exhibit, “Carlisle Barracks Then and Now,” which highlights the 253 year history of Carlisle Barracks.


  Leadership Link--your link to serve and improve the Community

  Are you interested in serving on the executive board of a nonprofit, or find out how your skills can serve and improve the community. 

  If so, join Leadership Cumberland, Class of 2010 for "Leadership Link" with special guest Pedro Cortez, secretary of the Commonwealth, Thursday, April 22, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Holland Union Building on the grounds of Dickinson College.

  Many nonprofits will be present to share their mission, answer questions, and mingle at this social/mixer-style event.  Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

  Respond to Leadershiplink.RSVP@gmail.com by April 16.


Army Recruiting Command sponsors Army Appreciation Day at the Army Heritage and Education Center

   You’ve seen it on television and in magazines.  And today, Monday, April 19, you will be able to see it for yourself.    

  The Army’s-own Orange County Chopper will be at the Army Heritage and Education Center 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of Army Appreciation Day sponsored by the Army Recruiting Command. 

  This is a wonderful opportunity to show your appreciation for our American Soldiers, while enjoying some of the best military equipment and training devices that support our Soldiers in the field.  The event is free and open to the public.

  AHEC and the Army Recruiting Command will have numerous exhibits and interactive tools set-up in the AHEC parking lot and in Ridgway Hall.  These training items include the Soldier’s Rock Wall, the Laser Shot Training System, the LAN system with the Army game, and the Army Physical Fitness Challenge.  You can also talk to Soldiers currently serving and veterans about their service or even get a dog tag made.

  In Ridgway Hall experience the history of Carlisle Barracks and the Army War College in the new exhibit, “Carlisle Barracks: Then and Now,” or take a walk on the interactive Army Heritage Trail, a 1-mile tour trail that looks at the history of the Army through the eyes of its Soldiers.


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Army Reserve birthday celebration brings together current, future USAWC students  

Brig. Gen. Leslie Purser, Army Reserve Deputy Chief, (left) Col. Robert Karmazin, USAWC student and Lt. Col. Virvitine Sharpe, USAWC student cut the cake during the Carlisle Barracks celebration of the 102nd Army Reserve Birthday April 14 in the LVCC. The students were joined by incoming Reserve Component members of the USAWC Class of 2011. Photo by Lizzie Poster.

April 14, 2010 – A packed Letort View Community Center was the scene for the 102nd Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Army Reserve.

    “What we are really celebrating is the legacy of the Citizen-Soldier who not only helped found this country but has kept it strong ever since,” said Col. Greg Martin, USAWC Army Reserve advisor.

    “Each of you in the room serve an important role in the success of the greatest Army in the world,” said Brig. Gen. Leslie Purse, Army Reserve Deputy Chief, and guest speaker for the celebration.

    Setting this year’s event apart from others was the fact that the 21 Army Reserve officers in the Army War College Class of 2010 shared the celebration with incoming members of the USAWC Class of 2011.

    More than 50 Army Reserve and Guard officers and their spouses came to Carlisle Barracks for a three-day Reserve Component orientation.

    “What really struck me is the sense of ‘arrival’ that you get when you actually come here,” said Lt. Col. Adam Roth, Commander of the 844th Engineer Battalion out of Knoxville, Tn., and USAWC Class of 2011 member. “When you are selected to come here, it’s not really ‘real’ until you drive in the gate, take a look around this beautiful post and start to talk with the staff and faculty. It’s a great feeling and I feel honored.”

    Roth is literally straight out of theater, returning home April 4 from a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq.  

Army Reserve members of the USAWC Class of 2010 pose for a group photo with Purser.  Photo by Lizzie Poster.

    “Nothing compares to the humbling responsibility of being charged with the lives and well-being of 873 Soldiers, but this is a close second,” he said of his selection to the Army War College. “I hope to share some of my experience and learn from those of the other great citizen-Soldiers here.”   

    Lt. Col. John Curwen, another member of the Class of 2011 said that the orientation really helped prepare him for life at Carlisle Barracks.

    “They seemed to cover almost everything in just a few days,” he said. “Having an opportunity to hear from current students about what to expect was really helpful.”

    Lt. Col. Tim Rickert, and his wife came to the orientation and said they can’t wait to be here for good.

    “I wish we could start tomorrow,” he said. “This orientation has been great and has really given us a feel for this place. It makes life less stressful when you know what to expect. I know we’re going to love it here.”

    RC students and their spouses receive an overview of all the services offered here. One of the biggest advantages is getting an early jump on looking at housing options and school options for children. 

    “Because we conduct this orientation a couple of months before the families move, this eases stress associated with cramming last minute research and planning into a move,” said Martin.

    A unique part of the orientation is the fact that the incoming students are linked up with sponsors from the graduating class and hear the student perspective on the Carlisle experience. 

Incoming Reserve Components members of the USAWC Class of 2011 listen to a briefer during the Reserve Component Orientation April 15. The three-day event helps students prepare for life at Carlisle Barracks. Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.

     “They begin to form new friendships with their fellow graduating and incoming students which will serve them well not only at Carlisle but for years to come both professionally and personally,” said Martin.

    Roth’s sponsor, Lt. Col. Roy Jewell, said that the Army War College experience is enriched by the different perspective of each of the components of the class.

    “In seminar, each of the different services, both active and reserve component, along with our civilian and international counterparts bring their own unique perspective to the table,” he said. “I think that the combination really forms a dynamic, cohesive and robust team that translates to the battlefield.”

    Another Class of 2010 student, Lt. Col. Darrell Dement, offered his advice.

    "A topic will come up that will really hit you right in the gut and get under your skin,” he said. “That's the subject you need to use for your SRP."

    Both Jewell and Roth agreed that the role of the reserve component has changed much in the last few years.

   “I would argue that the Guard and Reserve are just as proficient and tactically sound as our active duty counterparts,” said Roth. “Together, with our international partners, we form a force that can’t be found anywhere else.”

     During the orientation the officers were welcomed by Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC Commandant, and received inside information about housing, the unique assessment options through the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute and discussions led by the graduating students about expectations, academics, housing, athletics, and general student life.

    The contributions that Reserve and Guard officers add to the seminar and USAWC experience can’t be duplicated anywhere else, according to Martin.

    “As Citizen-Soldiers they provide a connection to communities across America and this is particularly important as the footprint of military bases shrinks nationwide,” he said. “Most of our RC Soldiers and Airmen have held command positions at the battalion level, most have deployed in current contingency operations, and many hold important civilian jobs that provide unique experience and perspectives.” 

    “We traditionally have a number of students with significant experience in the Pentagon, in the interagency, and in joint assignments that is without equal.  All this brings a depth and richness to the Reserve Component military member's experience and they are eager to share it with their fellow students.”

Orientation starts in DC

    Both the Army Reserve and National Guard officers hear briefings from their respective leaderships.

   The National Guard officers reported to the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va, where they were greeted by the Brig. Gen Timothy Kadavy, Army National Guard Deputy Director, and briefed by the senior leadership on current issues effecting the Guard. 

    “This was an acknowledgment that most of the students from the States have not had much, if any, exposure to issues that affect the Guard on the national-level and that their studies will bring them up to the strategic level of thinking and operations,” said Col. Oliver Norrell III, USAWC Army National Guard Advisor.  The officers then traveled to Carlisle to complete their orientation with the rest of the Reserve Component students.

   The Reserve officers heard speakers from the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, at the Pentagon on subjects of professional interest.

    “This year's briefings are on several of the current initiatives of the Chief, Army Reserve are so current that they are close-hold and pre-decisional,” said Martin. “They are just the sort of cutting edge information our war college students crave.”

    Since 1908, the Army Reserve has served in every major military and humanitarian engagement of the past 100 years. 


IMCOM release
Army announces 2010 Communities of Excellence winners

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Army chief of staff has selected U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg, N.C., as the Gold winner in the 2010 Army Communities of Excellence awards competition.

The installation will receive a million-dollar grand prize during a Pentagon ceremony May 4, followed by the Commander In Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence in a separate Pentagon event May 5. Fort Bragg built on an ACOE Silver prize earned last year to take top honors for 2010.

USAG Fort Campbell, Ky., and USAG Fort Hood, Texas, are Silver winners in the 2010 ACOE competition, with each installation receiving a $500,000 cash prize.

USAG Garrison Fort Leavenworth, Kan., USAG Schinnen, the Netherlands, and USAG Yongsan, Republic of Korea, were Bronze winners. Each will receive a $250,000 cash prize.

"These winners and all the competitors are to be congratulated for the hard work they put into this competition," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command. "ACOE keeps the focus on doing the right things, in the right way, and with the right priorities to deliver sustainable installation communities."

Additionally, a new competition category for 2010 recognizes exemplary practices in installation operations and is awarded to six garrisons: Detroit Arsenal, Mich.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Detrick, Md.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; and USAG Japan. Exemplary practice winners will each receive a $75,000 cash prize.

The Special Category overall winner for the Army National Guard is the Minnesota Army National Guard, which will receive a $400,000 cash prize. The 1st Mission Support Command, based at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, is the Special Category winner for the Army Reserve and will receive a $500,000 cash prize.

The Army's chief of staff presents ACOE Awards annually to recognize performance excellence in installation management. The awards recognize continuous business process improvement; individual innovation; groundbreaking initiatives; and dedication to efficiency, effectiveness, and customer care. These efforts directly affect the quality of support to Soldiers, families, civilian employees, and retirees who work, live, train, and play on Army installations.

The ACOE program uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program Criteria for Performance Excellence - an internationally recognized integrated management system - to evaluate the competing installations. The criteria are the basis for performance excellence recognition programs worldwide and in federal agencies including the U.S. Army, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Participants are judged against this common standard and not against each other.

"ACOE helps these installations focus on cost-conscious and performance-based activities, and that contributes directly to a resilient, healthy, and mission-ready Army," Lynch said.

An independent panel of judges identifies the winning installations based on the installations' written applications and additional information gathered during site visits by examiner teams. Each winning installation receives a monetary award, trophy and commemorative flag.


The U.S. Army wants you to advance the cause for its profession and ethic
Competition deadline Aug. 15

 The U.S. Army's professional ethic is strong and you can make it Army Strong!  The U.S. Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic (ACPME) is sponsoring an Army-wide ethics competition, where Soldiers, Civilian employees and Families members may choose up to seven ways to share their powerful stories and personal insights about how we maintain the U.S. Army's high ethical standards -- a key source of our Army's strength in this era of persistent conflict.  The competition runs through Aug. 15, 2010. 

The entry form can be found here

The one-page entry form and the submission package can E-mailed to theacpme@usma.edu; or submitted by mail to:  U.S. Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic, Taylor Hall, Bldg 600; ATTN: Competition; West Point, NY 10996; or sent by fax to (845) 938-0414.

The competition's seven categories include:  1) Army Professional Exemplar - The best personal account or profile of an individual that exemplifies an Army professional; 2) Army Values Exemplars - The best accounts of individuals that exemplify each of the seven Army values; 3) Articulate the Army Professional Military Ethic - The best Army written document outlining a recommended set of codes, principles, values, beliefs, ideals or other approaches to articulating what we stand for as an Army; 4) Professional Development Program -The best unit professional development program (LPD, OPD, or NCOPD); 5) Case Study / Vignettes - The best moral-ethical case study or vignette (can be recent or historical); 6) Monograph - The best written monograph /essay articulating the Army professional military ethic and its place in our profession and culture; and 7) Instructional Method - The best methods or techniques for instructing the professional military ethic or character development

 "Our professional military ethic is the system of moral standards and principles that define our commitment to the Nation and the way we conduct ourselves in its service," said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey in last year's Joint Forces Quarterly magazine. "In part, we articulate the professional military ethic through Army values, the Warrior Ethos, the noncommissioned officer's creed, the Soldier's creed, and oaths of office.  Yet the full meaning of the professional military ethic extends beyond these beliefs and norms.  More implicit aspects of our rich history and culture influence our moral compasses as well."

 The charter for the Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic (ACPME) is to ensure that our core values and ethos remain strong in the face of repeated deployments and the challenges of modern, complex battlefields.  This includes formal responsibilities for the full scope of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities as they affect the professional military ethic and character   The ACPME is making an Army-wide contribution as it explores the moral and ethical foundations of the profession of arms.

 For more information about the competition, visit the ACPME web site at http://acpme.army.mil,


Erin O. Stattel, Army War College Public Affairs

A risky stance takes first place in public speaking contest

    (April 14, 2009)-- Delivering a speech that  entertained the idea of letting Iran possess nuclear weapons may have been a risk, but it was well worth it as Lt. Col. Christopher A. Worley walked away as the winner of the Class of 2010 US Army War College Public Speaking Competition.
 

Lt. Col. Christopher A. Worley delivered his speech, "Let Iran have the bomb" and won first place in the 2010 USAWC Public Speaking Competition. Photo by Charity Murtorff.

    “The speech was actually based on my SRP,” Worley said after the judging was announced at the April 13 event in Wil Washcoe Auditorium. “We had been discussing the book ‘The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking’ and we looked at problem solving from a different angle. I wanted to make this speech personal, yet have some fun, but there is no joking about nuclear weapons, so I had to strike a balance and make it relevant to people here in Carlisle.”
    Dr. Larry Miller, contest moderator, explained that strategic leaders are expected to persuasively speak to audiences.
    “There is a great deal of value in a strategic leader’s ability to speak to an audience persuasively on issues of national security,” Miller said. “This is preparation for their futures.”
    The contest’s theme was “Strategic Security: The Way Ahead” and the presenters were expected to deliver a persuasive speech limited to 7 to 10 minutes in length. The five judges were Dr. Anna Waggener; Col. Stephen Weiler; Col. John Dabrowski; Col. Gregory Cantwell and retired Col. Ruth Collins, director of the U.S. Army War College Foundation.
    “As a public speaking instructor I was a little biased to certain criteria such as body language and the strategic message put out by the presenter,” Weiler said. “In public speaking, presenters need to have three basic criteria: Emotional appeal, logical appeal and credibility. All four of the speakers did a great job.”
    In second place was Lt. Col. Douglas Douds, with his speech centering on Benjamin Franklin’s “Join or Die” political cartoon and how it is applied to today’s world, asking audience members, “What would that poster look like today?”
    Lt. Col. Sherman LaCost urged listeners to “unplug” themselves from the inundating technology that can pull people in conflicting directions. His speech “Building Human Capital: Unplug Technology,” reminded audience members that learning occurs through reflection. Lt. Col.  Jonathan    McColumn presented “Peace through Strength.” McColumn posed the idea that the United States should stockpile weapons of mass destruction without the intention of using them as a means to deter potential enemies. 

    As the winner, Worley’s name appears on a perpetual trophy for the competition, a $250 check as well as a winner’s certificate. All participants received items courtesy of the Army War College Foundation.


Carlisle Barracks Police Department
Maintenance to cause delays, closures at both Ashburn, Claremont Road gates  

April 14, 2010 -- On April 15 and 16, DPW will be performing maintenance on the vehicle barrier systems at both Carlisle Barracks gates. Traffic patterns will be modified during the day while the work is being performed. The schedule is as follows: 

  • April 15 – The Ashburn Road gate will be open for both inbound and outbound traffic, however, from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. motorists can expect delays as the roadway will be reduced from two lanes to a single lane to accommodate the work crews.
  • April 16 – The Claremont Road Gate will be closed to ALL outbound traffic from approximately 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

You asked for it, you got it — Ashburn Gate to stay open late Thurs, Fri nights starting April 29

April 13, 2010 – With warm Spring weather right around the corner and more post residents out and about, the Ashburn Road gate to Carlisle Barracks will stay open until 10:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights for a 30-day trial period starting April 29.

   “We expect more folks to be walking on and off the installation taking advantage of the weather,” said Lt. Col. Janet Holliday, garrison commander.

    After the trial period, the usage amounts will be analyzed to see if the gate should remain open for extended hours.

Ashburn Gate hours for Jim Thorpe Sports Days only

    The Ashburn gate will be open for 24-hour operations starting Thursday April 22 through Saturday April 24 in support of Jim Thorpe Sports Days. The gate will close at the normal time, 9:30 p.m., on Saturday.



Brig. Gen. Joseph McCarthy died

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Joseph E. McCarthy, 88, formerly of Carlisle, died Friday, April 9, at Fort Belvoir, Va.

McCarthy promoted the creation of the Army Heritage and Education Center in Middlesex Township and served as the founding president of the Military Heritage Foundation.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Mary, Queen of Peace, Carlisle Barracks Chapel.


Automation to improve Post-9/11 GI Bill processing

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2010 – With 153,000 veterans enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill this semester, and new automation tools to arrive this month to improve processing procedures, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki declared the program “on track” and headed toward greater efficiency.

Shinseki acknowledged during an interview with American Forces Press Service that the Post-9/11 GI Bill got off to a rocky start after it took effect Aug. 1.

He said he was surprised when many colleges and universities took months to submit the student enrollment certificates VA needed to begin cutting checks to the schools as well as enrollees.

“They must be well-endowed,” he said of schools that covered the up-front costs of students’ tuition, room and board without seeking prompt reimbursement. “But because I don’t have that certificate, I haven’t paid them tuition. But neither have I paid kids their monthly living stipend or their books, because they are all tied together.”

By the second week of December, the end of the fall semester, VA was still receiving 1,500 to 2,000 certificates of enrollment a day for students who had been attending schools since August, he said. In fact, some are still trickling in to VA.

“We learned a lot. We learned we had to talk to 6,500 schools and say, ‘We have got to do better,’” Shinseki said. “We needed to work with them and explain to them that ‘Whether you think it is important or not, the veteran doesn’t get paid until you send us this certificate of enrollment.’ So for the veteran’s sake, we need to do better.”

Shinseki credited the VA staff with stepping up to the plate, contacting schools directly to solicit those enrollment certificates, then going into overdrive to manually process thousands of certificates a day. He convened a late-night meeting in November, bringing together the education directors from VA’s regional offices to come up with ways to further speed up the processing.

“We took out steps that were redundant,” he said. “In the process, we have simplified and reengineered the business process. … We have worked the bugs out of an imperfect system.”

By the end of the fall semester, he said, all 173,000 enrollees were being paid through this new process.

As of Feb. 1, 131,000 of the 153,000 students enrolled in the system were being paid, and VA was “knocking down” the remaining certificates at the rate of about 7,000 a day, he noted.

“So I feel pretty good about how this is going,” Shinseki said. “Our numbers are up and our payments are up, and we still don’t have an automated tool.”

The first of those new tools is set to come online this month, with more capabilities to follow in July, November and December. By the year’s end, Shinseki said, the system will be fully automated.

“I think we are on a good track,” he said. “Now, when automation comes, we are going to have a tremendous gain.”

Shinseki said he’s counting on lessons learned implementing the Post-9/11 GI Bill to carry over as VA tackles its major challenge this year: reducing the disability claims backlog.

Shinseki called the Post 9/11 GI Bill a generous investment in the future of veterans who have served the country in uniform since 9/11.

“I feel good about the GI Bill. That is an accomplishment,” he said. “I think that, long-term, this is going to be a huge return for the country. And it is a huge step for [veterans] and their lives.”

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans seeking an undergraduate degree a full ride at any state institution at the highest in-state tuition rate, by state, along with a semester stipend for books and a monthly living stipend.

For the first time in history, servicemembers enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program can transfer unused educational benefits to their spouses or children.

The living stipend does not extend to active-duty servicemembers receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.


First Lady thanks military community for service

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2010 – First Lady Michelle Obama today applauded servicemembers and defense civilians for their commitment and service to the nation in a speech in the Pentagon courtyard, calling America’s military community the finest in the world.

“First, I want to say thank you,” Obama said to an excited audience of Pentagon workers. “This visit is another chance to shine a spotlight on the service and sacrifices of the finest military in the world and your amazing families.”

Obama was joined on stage by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, his wife, Becky, and several defense civilians, all of whom have more than 40 years of federal service. She recognized Gates and his wife for their support of military families and for their relentless service under eight different U.S. presidents.

“Thank you for supporting the men and women of this department, and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the real hero in that family, Becky Gates,” Obama said, drawing laughter from the audience. “For more than 40 years, Becky has shared her husband with our nation.”

The well-being of military families has been among Obama’s signature issues and priorities in her first year as the first lady. She and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, have visited military bases on several occasions to express their support, something Obama said has been “one of the greatest privileges I’ve had as first lady.”

“The visits that I’ve done to bases all across this country have just been inspiring,” she said, adding that thanking servicemembers and their families “is one of the favorite things I get to do.”

Obama’s visits with military families have been an inspiration, she said, noting her travels to military communities whose servicemembers are preparing to deploy and visits with troops who recently returned from overseas duty. She also recognized those families whose military members have suffered life-changing injuries and worse.

“I’ve seen the unbelievable love of spouses, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, who’ve lost a loved one at war,” she said. “I’ve been inspired beyond measure by our incredible wounded warriors and their families.”

The Defense Department’s commitment to those who have been wounded or killed in action – and their families -- is a testament of the department’s strength, she added.

“It’s a reflection of the spirit of this department – service before self, love of country, dedication to duty, taking care of each other,” the first lady said. “It’s the spirit that so many of you have shown in Afghanistan and Iraq and all around the world, year after year, tour after tour.

“Our country has never asked for so much for so long of our all-volunteer force,” she continued. “You always step up, and you always come through.”

The same can be said of defense civilians in the department, she added, noting that the troops couldn’t do their jobs so well without the support of the “force behind the force.” Defense civilians are behind the scenes, developing policies, purchasing equipment, ensuring readiness and caring for wounded warriors and families, she said.

The first lady stressed that her thanks and appreciation are more than just words, that her testimony is backed up by deeds as well. President Barack Obama, Gates, and other senior officials and military leaders work every day to ensure troops have the right tools to accomplish their missions, she said.

The administration and military service chiefs and secretaries work to increase time at home between deployments, she noted, and they also work to improve military housing and Defense Department education systems and to care for troops recovering from combat stress and injuries.

“This administration understands that we have to take care of these American heroes who take such good care of all of us,” she said.

Obama also saluted children of military families, calling their sacrifices “the mightiest of our service.” Military children struggle to stay strong so their servicemember parents can focus on the mission, and also are a key aspect in their parents’ recovery from combat wounds, she added.

“It can be so hard for these kids, probably beyond what we could ever imagine,” she said. “So they need all of the love and support we can give them, both at school and at home.”

Despite all of these government initiatives and efforts, supporting military members requires much more. Support also takes active and engaged American citizens, she said.

“As long as I’m first lady, I’m going to keep urging all Americans to do their part,” she said, “whether it’s something as simple as volunteering time or pro-bono services to troops and their families, or making a home-cooked meal for a busy spouse who’s struggling to keep it together, … or something as simple as saying thank you when you see one of our troops in your community.”

Every American can do something in service to their country and in service around the world, she said.

The first lady praised the U.S. military’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti following the earthquake there.. The American military played a tremendous role, evacuating Haitians from the rubble, and distributing food, water and medical treatment. Those efforts continue today, she said.

“Every American is grateful for the service that you’ve shown to that country,” she said. “We’re all so humbled by it. We’re inspired by it.

“On behalf of the president, on behalf of the American people, thank you for the service that you display every single day around the world, often in harm’s way,” she added. “You make us so very proud.”

 


BBC Foundation scholarship deadline extended

Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation has extended the deadline for its academic scholarship applications to May 15, 2010. 

“With recent spring breaks and income tax returns due, we thought we’d give families a break and extend the deadline for scholarship applications,” said Heidi Puente, Community Manager for Balfour Beatty Communities.  

Family housing residents with high school and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for these scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Scholarships are valued up to $2,500.  The application, details and requirements can be found at www.bbcommunitiesfoundation.org. 

In 2009, Balfour Beatty Communities formed Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to honoring military personnel – active, disabled and fallen – and their families.   One of the primary goals of the Foundation is to promote the pursuit of education and a commitment to community leadership through educational scholarships to the children of active duty military members that reside in family housing. 

“We encourage our high school and undergraduate residents to apply,” said Puente. “With the cost of tuition and books, any little bit helps.”  


Erin O. Stattel, Army War College Public Affairs

Putting a strategic twist on college panel discussions

(April 9, 2010)-- Traveling across the United States to colleges and universities speaking to both undergraduate and graduate students, the Eisenhower Series College Program has been showing American institutions of higher learning just what senior military officers are made of.

Col. Irving Smith and Col. Aaron Webster were two of the five team members on the UMASS visit. Discussions with students included topics such as nuclear policies and the surge in Afghanistan. Photo by Erin O. Stattel, Army War College Public Affairs.


“The speakers were really engaging and really relaxed the audience,” said Caitlin Coughlan, a junior and journalism major at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “I am interested in the subjects of Iraq, Afghanistan and national security and to have these officers here brings good commentary. The students definitely benefited because they don’t get this from the news and just sitting in classrooms. This is coming from people who have had experience with these topics because it is part of their careers.”
Members of the Eisenhower Team engaged in a dialogue about military issues during several of Dr. Laura Reed’s political science classes at UMASS.  Topics of discussion included the use of drones to conduct air strikes, as well as terrorism through cyberspace.
“This experience has truly been invaluable,” said Reed. “Just to have the academic piece is invaluable, but to incorporate these presentations into our curriculum is just wonderful.”
On this trip, Col. Burl Randolph, Col. Aaron Webster, Col. Irving Smith and Col. Don Degidio offered their viewpoints and their experiences during panel discussions moderated by Air Force Lt. Col. David Bolgiano. The April 8 panel discussion topic was “The War in Iraq and Afghanistan: A Status Report.”
“These students are very current events savvy,” said Smith. “Ironically, they are a lot more militaristic in their world view than we are. They want to know all about Iran and what is next for President Karzai in Afghanistan.”
The Eisenhower panel includes 12 Army War College students, but is pared down to a handful of students for individual trips, creating a more intimate setting, which fosters in-depth and thoughtful debate and discussion.
The panel engaged students during a busy afternoon at UMASS with a panel discussion addressing issues brought up by students, -- mostly undergraduates.  Questions ranged from the use of UAV’s, to the way ahead in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Students were most concerned and curious about how wounded warriors will be cared for and employed as they return from theater.
“One student said that this was the most realistic and educational forum he had had since he had been at UMASS and he would like to have more dialogue like this,” said Col. Aaron Webster. “The Eisenhower program is probably one of the most valuable parts of the Army War College that should be expanded to reach even more of America and our future strategic leadership.”
In addition to the most recent trip to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for the 2010 academic year the Eisenhower Series College Program has ventured to 10 schools throughout the nation including the University of San Diego, the University of South Carolina, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the World Affairs Council in Pittsburgh. The format of the program is varied, but consists of Army War College students engaging with undergraduate students at colleges and universities throughout the country. Army War College students present their experiences and give students the chance to ask senior military officers how their life in the service has shaped their careers. Eisenhower participants apply are selected through a competitive process.
“Across the board the questions and the insights from the students at UMASS were in the top tier in comparison to the other trips we have been on,” said Lt. Col. David Bolgiano, faculty instructor. “The experience from this series gives me great personal hope for the United States of America because on average the students have been engaged and switched on to important strategic issues of our day.”
Current topics, such as the surge in Afghanistan, as well as other relevant topics like terrorism through the use of cyberspace, are discussed on an intellectual basis, giving college students an idea of how the subject matter they are learning in the classroom translates to real life.
“We have been very well-received at these colleges this year and that has led to really great interaction with the students,” said Capt. Bill Davis, director of the Eisenhower program. “At several schools, in fact most of them, the students are so interested in what our team has presented that they want to stay after classes and get more information from them.”


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Strategy Conference tackles definition of war

The Army War College hosted the 21st Strategy Conference April 7-9 to encourage dialogue between the military, academia and the civilian sector of strategic issues.  Here, panel members Dr. Brian M. Linn, Dr. John A. Lynn, Dr. Antulio Echevarria, II, Frank Hoffman and moderator Dr. Conrad C. Crane, discuss the historical context of war. Photo by Megan Clugh.

Videos from the conference are at www.youtube.com/usarmywarcollege

April 7, 2010 – More than 150 experts from the military, academia, research labs and think tanks gathered at the Army War College April 7-9 for the 21st Strategy Conference to think and debate about the changing nature of war.

    The conference, “Defining War for the 21st Century” was designed to stimulate intellectual discourse, to foster informed policymaking processes, and to develop effective U.S. strategy in the post-September 11 world, in order to clarify the issues, outline the debates, and generate strategic options.

 

   Dr. Martin van Creveld, an Israeli military historian and theorist, was the keynote speaker for the conference and focused his remarks on the definition of war, historical perspectives on war, distinctions between Western and Eastern definitions of war, and how the termination of war has changed.

    “Historically, wars were an organized activity with strict and specific rules,” he said. “Today, those rules are changing and not always for the better.”

    Van Creveld pointed to the situations in Sierra-Leone and East Timor when talking about what can happen when conflicts arise and the rules of law aren’t followed.

    “Without these clear and agreed upon rules you don’t have a war, you have a massacre,” he said. “That’s why this is such a timely conference on a very important topic.”

    The changing concept of what war is, especially in the context of current operations, was a large topic of discussion during the question and answer period.

  

Dr. Martin van Creveld, an Israeli military historian and theorist, was the keynote speaker for the conference. Photo by Megan Clugh

 

    Conference attendees and panel members participated for a variety of reasons.

      “My focus is projecting what we need to plan for 30 years down the road in terms of strategy and equipment,” said Air Force Col. Chris Kinnan, Air University Center for Strategy and Technology. “The questions of what will war look like 30 years from now and how will we fight it are the same issues we discuss here at the conference.”   

   “This is so valuable because the U.S. military doesn’t always do a great job in planning in terms of looking at it from a long-term perspective,” said Dr. Martin Cook, panel member and Stockdale Professor in the College of Operational and Strategic Leadershipat the Naval War College. “These types of conferences help us do that.”

    “I can’t think of a better place to come learn about strategy and strategic thinking than the Army War College,” said Edward Straub, conference attendee.  

     “One could argue that a cyber attack against another country is an act of war,” said Dr. James Carafano, Heritage Foundation, during one of the panels. “The definition of war is changing. The structures and rules are changing. We need to be able to define these problems and debate them.”

  “I truly believe that when you learn to start thinking at the strategic level, you need to re-charge your batteries and refresh your thinking constantly,” said Maj. Bob Dixon, strategic planner at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. “For me, I can’t think of a better place to recharge and refocus than here at the Army War College,” said Dixon, who served here in the early 2000’s.

   Dixon noted the benefit of collaborating directly and frankly with the expert staff and faculty of the college.

   “When you’re in the field or out doing your job, you read studies by Dr. [Steven] Metz or Dr.  [Antulio] Echevarria that really make you think and bring up issues for discussion,” he said. “When you come to this conference you have the opportunity to sit down and talk to them and discuss them further. You can put a price on that value.”     

    “It’s great to bring together academics, government and uniformed military in one place to see what the state of thought is on these important topics,” said Col. Daniel Pinnell, G-3 for the Future Force Integration Division at Ft. Bliss, Texas and USAWC Class of 2009 alumnus.

    Pinnell said that the discussion on the rule of law and ethics were particularly of interest to him.

    “I think that these are the toughest issues to deal with as leaders, especially in the counterinsurgency environment we are operating in,” he said.  

    “I came to learn more about the Army and how they plan to tackle transformation and modernization,” said John Groevein, Penn State Research Lab. “The changing nature of conflict is an important issue going forward and I enjoyed hearing all of the different perspectives on how to adapt.”

Former USAWC Commandant retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales was a guest speaker for the strategy conference banquet.

     Panels composed of three to five distinguished experts who framed the discussion and facilitated a dialogue with attendees added to the conference experience.

   Transformation was discussed by the first panel, with Dr. Brian M. Linn, Dr. John A. Lynn, Dr. Antulio Echevarria, II, Frank Hoffman and moderated by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.

   “The Army is looking at ways of hybrid fighting,” said Hoffman. “I think that may be the answer to fight current and future conflicts. I think we have learned some great lessons from Iraq and they key will be to apply them.”

    “Unfortunately you’re not going to see the lessons learned until we get to the next conflict,” said Linn. “That’s just the way the cycle operates.”

    The panel discussions tackled the following questions:

  • Why does it matter how we define war?
  • How does a nation know it is at war?
  • Will all "wars" have discernable start and end points, or will some "wars" have no definable end?
  • What are the political and social implications when the political elite and general policy differ in their interpretations?
  • What are the dangers of misusing or overusing the "war" label?
  • Must a new "theory of war" be developed?
  • What are the dimensions of war -- unrestricted war, lawfare, hybrid war, cold war, asymmetric war, cyber war?
  • What are the challenges in defining victory?

     "The U.S. Army War College's Annual Strategy Conference is widely regarded as the premier event of its type," said Prof.  Douglas Lovelace, SSI director.  "Consequently, the USAWC enjoys a privileged position in being able to attract the best scholars and most accomplished practitioners to address perplexing national security issues.  The presentations and conversations that comprised this year's conference clearly demonstrated the USAWC's commitment to increasing the body of knowledge that underpins our educational and research missions."


Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general, Installation Management Command
Commentary: Resiliency

ARLINGTON, Va. - Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity ... it's mental toughness! Webster defines resilience as, "the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress" and "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."

The strength of our Nation is only as strong as the Soldiers, Families and Civilians that courageously support and defend it. Over the last eight years, more than one million Soldiers have deployed to combat, more than 3,900 Soldiers have sacrificed their lives, and more than 25,000 have been wounded in service to our country.

Army units and Families across the globe are relocating in compliance with the Base Realignment and Closure Law, and we continue to transform our business practices. To remain strong in this dynamic environment, leaders must proactively maintain and develop resiliency programs and services to enable the total Army Community (Soldiers, Civilians, Families and Retirees) to maintain healthy relationships and happy lives.

Our approach to supporting resiliency for the Army Community is to enhance their ability to adapt to stress by supporting, maintaining, and developing programs and services that promote total wellness. As I have said before, I am convinced that the Army spends too much time fixing Soldiers after they break, evidenced by the rise in suicide and substance abuse rates. We should be spending our time, energy, and resources to make the Army Community resilient to prevent them from breaking.

We will use the Public Health Model of assessment, education, intervention, and treatment to integrate and deliver services to help prevent Soldiers, Civilians and Families from breaking.

By applying this model before a crisis happens we will be better able to keep the Army Community strong in all dimensions of resiliency.

Individuals must be fit mentally, physically, and spiritually to achieve optimum resilience. The Installation Management Community will provide the best care, support and services for the Army Community by improving quality of life through initiatives, such as the Army Family Action Plan, the Army Family Covenant, Army Community Covenants, the Installation Management Campaign Plan and the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program.

When I was the senior commander at Ft. Hood, Texas, I built a Resiliency Campus to enable the Army Community to become resilient before deployments, during deployments and to solve many other challenges faced by Army Families.

Other IMCOM garrisons are also focusing on resilience. Fort Bliss, Texas, has a Restoration and Resilience Center that offers a Warrior Resilience Program and a Family Resilience Program. Fort Jackson, S.C., is opening a Master Resilience Training school that will offer a 10-day Master Resilience Training Course to equip leaders to teach coping skills to unit members. At Fort Campbell, Ky., the Family Resiliency Council has teamed up with key organizations to be one of the first installations to publish an online resource guide to provide accurate and accessible information to Soldiers, Families and Civilians. These are but a few initiatives underway dedicated to enhancing Soldier, Civilian and Family resilience.

The strain of multiple deployments and other stress factors may continue into the future.
Therefore, I challenge leaders and personnel throughout the Army Community to think of new ideas to enhance installation resiliency initiatives and to send your ideas to your installation leadership or me. I also challenge each of you to take advantage of existing programs and services on your installation and in your community to remain mentally, physically, and spiritually fit.

The Army Community is strength of our Nation, and IMCOM garrisons are the Army's Home!


Traffic changes coming to Claremont Road gate

    Starting April 26, Jim Thorpe Road from Claremont Road to the entrance of the Meadows, will be closed to traffic until approximately June 1 so that it can be widened and repaved allowing utilization of the new access control points. All traffic to Carlisle Barracks, the Meadows and the golf course will need to enter through a temporary road that will be marked. Inclement weather could delay the start or end date of the project.

Upon turning off of Claremont Road, there will be signage directing traffic to their destination:

•Meadows and Golf Course traffic will turn left and proceed as normal

•Carlisle Barracks traffic will turn right to the new access control point

Upon approaching the new access control point there will be three options:

• Visitors without a DoD Decal will enter the left lane, where they will be directed to the inspection area

• DoD decal holders will enter the center lane

•Buses and trucks will use the right lane

    Exiting traffic for the Meadows and Golf Course will also be affected All traffic departing the Meadows and Golf Course must travel to and process through the access control point, following the lane assignments above. Once through the checkpoints, they can make a left or right to exit the installation. Residents will need to show ID at the access control point.



Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service
Obama, Medvedev sign new START treaty

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 - President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Prague today, with both countries pledging to reduce their deployed, strategic nuclear weapons stockpiles.

The so-called "New START" sets new limits on ready-to-use, long-range nuclear weapons and establishes comprehensive verification procedures for both countries to verify which weapons the other possesses.

"Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations," Obama said at today's signing ceremony, where he was joined by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and National Security Advisor James L. Jones Jr

While setting significant reductions in the nuclear weapons both nations will deploy and reducing their delivery vehicles by about half, the president said, the treaty recognizes the deterrent value these weapons play.

"It enables both sides the flexibility to protect our security, as well as America's unwavering commitment to the security of our European allies," he said in his prepared remarks.

Today's ceremony represents a step toward fulfilling the long-term goal Obama expressed a year ago in Prague of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminating them.

"I believed then ? as I do now ? that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global nonproliferation regime and make the United States, and the world, safer and more secure," he said today in Prague.

Obama called the spread of nuclear weapons to more states and nonstate actors "an unacceptable risk to global security." New START, along with the new Nuclear Posture Statement released earlier this week, demonstrates the United States' commitment to stopping proliferation, he said.

The new treaty also makes good on his commitment to "reset" U.S. relations with Russia, Obama said, so the two countries can build trust as they work together for the benefit of both nations and the world.

"This day demonstrates the determination of the United States and Russia ? the two nations that hold over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons ? to pursue responsible global leadership," he said. "Together, we are keeping our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which must be the foundation of global nonproliferation."

The new START treaty sets the stage for talks about further reducing both countries' strategic and tactical weapons, including non-deployed ones, he said.

Obama and Medvedev agreed in Prague to expand their discussions about missile defense, including regular information exchanges about threat assessments and a joint assessment of emerging ballistic missiles.

"As these assessments are completed, I look forward to launching a serious dialogue about Russian-American cooperation on missile defense," Obama said.

Obama emphasized that nuclear weapons are not just an issue for the United States and Russia.

"They threaten the common security of all nations," he said. "A nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist is a danger to people everywhere."

He noted that representatives of 47 nations will meet in Washington next week to discuss concrete steps that, if taken, will secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years.

After Congress ratifies it, the New START treaty will replace the previous treaty that expired Dec. 5.


 

Troops in Afghanistan to say goodbye to leisure concessions

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 7, 2010) -- Beginning in May, servicemembers stationed in Afghanistan will have a harder time finding a Pizza Hut or a pair of Oakley's -- 50 Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracted concessions are slated for closure in anticipation of an additional 30,000 inbound troops.

A memorandum written by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, in February outlined a 60-day closure plan for the shops and stated that recreation "should never be the distracter that changes the focus of the mission."

Lt. Col. Michael T. Lawhorn, public affairs officer with International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan, or ISAF, said this move is not an attack on fast food or fun; it's largely about accommodating the thousands of incoming Soldiers and focusing on the mission at hand.

"It's going to make sure we are applying our limited resources in the best possible way for our Soldiers who are already here and who will arrive during the surge," Lawhorn said in an interview from Kabul. "We're still really in an intense atmosphere here."

Shops providing services such as embroidery and alterations, T-shirt shops, engraving, perfume shops, art and framing, and new car sales join Burger King, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Dairy Queen, and Popeye's on the list for closure. However, Lawhorn stressed that not all restaurants and AAFES concessions are being closed. For example Green Beans coffee shops will stay, and those concessions being closed are not necessarily being shut down for good.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities such as gyms, telephone and Internet centers will continue to be supported, as will Afghan-run bazaars and shops which support local economies.

Lawhorn pointed out that with the concession closures, an estimated 60 less shipping containers per month will be transported into Afghanistan, which will require fewer Soldiers on the roads providing security, and less fuel flown in for convoy trucks.

"Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need to be resupplied with ammunition, food and water," wrote Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall, the command sergeant major of ISAF on his blog.

Lawhorn mentioned that he's heard Soldiers' complaints about their deployments in Afghanistan, and they do not have to do with a lack of fast food.

"The things Soldiers talk about are not complaints about Burger King," Lawhorn said.

"Closing these facilities will free up much-needed storage facilities at both Bagram and Kandahar, space which is critical as 30,000 additional American and up to 7,000 international troops flow into Afghanistan over the next several months," Hall wrote.


American Red Cross Blood Drive at Dickinson College

  Did you know that 50 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, but that only 5 percent donate once a year.

  Well, on Monday, Apr 26, you will be able to change those statistics.

  Dickinson College will sponsor a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Holland Union Social Hall on the Dickinson College campus. 

  For information on exclusions for donating blood due to medications, travel outside the U.S., and more, visit the American Red Cross website:  http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-topic

 


Introducing CBO – Carlisle Barracks Online

March 24, 2010 -- The first townhall meeting took place March 22 to introduce the opportunities and schedule for Carlisle Barracks Online. Under the transition plan, knowledge management -- and knowledge sharing -- will become routine by way of the portal, instead of the 'G' drive. Additionally, the portal, aka Carlisle Barracks Online, will become the go-to location for teaching materials, regulations, and a host of documents now stored on various network drives.

The timeline has shifted. The 'G' shared drive will not revert to 'read only' status in April, as previously planned, but will remain fully functional through January 2011.  Get a head start and get smart about using the portal:  online training is easy and easily accessed -- on the portal, of course.  Go to: CBPortal and find the 'ad' on opening page for "self-paced online Portal Training."

The transition schedule will occur in three phases --

  1. Organization and Training will continue through June 15.
    • Carlisle Barracks Online (CBO) portal landing page and the top-level organizational landing pages will become operational
    • SharePoint Site Administrator (SPSA) training will occur
    • User training will be scheduled -- setting the framework for the remaining phases
    • Discovery/Assistance team visits to requesting organizations will review  data needs and assist with recommended solutions.
    • CBNet landing page will shut down ... no longer needed.
  2. Academic Year 2011 Data Migration: June 16 -- August 7  
    • Organizations will move data to portal locations -- documents can used collaboratively throughout ay2011
  3. Process Conversion: June 16 -- January 3
    • Carlisle Barracks will begin a systemic review of business processes, with user input, to take best advantage of the content and capabilities of the portal.

Moving the tremendous amount of content and data currently stored on the shared drive – the G drive -- to the portal has many advantages and benefits. Content stored on the portal provides everyone with CAC access the ability to access content remotely while TDY, on-leave, and from home.  It enables content owner to grant access to users outside Carlisle Barracks to share information and enables sharing large files.  

Content on the portal is searchable across Carlisle Barracks, allowing improved information sharing. Ultimately select content can be made accessible and searchable to external users such as the operational Army.  

The portal provides all users a more effective means of electronic collaboration while increasing the potential efficiency and effectiveness of work processes such as staffing actions, reducing redundancy, improving tracking and accountability, and enhancing situational awareness for all.  Using the portal also presents us a more effective means of managing our network capacity and storage needs while increasing access and saving costs.

 


American Forces Press Service
Tricare meets health care bill's standards, Gates says 

The Tricare military health plan meets the standards set by the health care reform bill the House of Representatives passed, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a statement issued March 22.

Calling their health and well-being his highest priority, Gates reassured servicemembers and their families that the legislation won't have a negative effect on Tricare, which "already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefit standards."

"This was clarified by a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives [March 20], and is expected to be re-affirmed by the Senate," Gates said in the statement.

"The president and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care," the secretary said.

The United States Congress has passed major health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a statement issued March 21, 2010, that the TRICARE military health plan meets the standards set by this legislation.

Secretary Gates reassured service members and their families that the legislation won't have a negative effect on TRICARE, and that their health and well-being are his highest priority.

TRICARE "already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefit standards," affirmed Gates. "The president and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their families will continue to receive the best quality health care."

Will the new legislation transfer TRICARE into another government health care program?
No. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act leaves TRICARE under sole authority of the Defense Department and the Secretary of Defense, and we are governed by an independent set of statutes. "For the Department of Defense, and specifically for our 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries, this law will not affect the TRICARE benefit. Eligibility, covered benefits, copayments and all other features of our TRICARE program remain in place." – Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) Dr. Charles Rice

What does deeming TRICARE as "qualifying coverage" mean?
It ensures that TRICARE beneficiaries will not be impacted by the new legislation's requirement that people without qualifying coverage will have to pay a financial penalty.

Is TRICARE For Life considered "qualifying coverage" under the new law?
Yes, TFL is deemed qualifying coverage under the legislation already passed by both the House and Senate.

Can I expect my TRICARE enrollment fee, premiums, deductibles or co-pays to go up because of this legislation?
There is nothing in the legislation that would change any TRICARE fees.

The new health care bill allows adult children to stay on their parent's health care plan until age 26 if their employers don't offer insurance. Will TRICARE adopt this policy?
Many beneficiaries with dependent children are very interested on how the Act will impact their children age 26 and younger. Our current age limits – 21, or age 23, if the dependent is in a full-time school program – are set by statute, so separate legislation would be required to change them. If changes are made to the statues governing TRICARE, then, like any other legislative initiative, time will be required for us to implement the changes. Until that time, the benefit remains unaffected by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

How can I find out about updates to the TRICARE benefit in the future?
We are committed to keeping our beneficiaries informed about their benefit. We will make new information available on our website, at our call centers, and via all of our educational materials as soon as we have more to share. You can also sign-up to receive benefit updates via e-mail.

 

    For more information visit http://www.tricare.mil/NHCB_default.aspx

 

 


 New IMCOM plan focuses on homes, families

    April 6, 2010 – The Army has made significant progress in "rebalancing" itself from the demands and stresses of 8-1/2 years of conflict – and is moving aggressively to support the Soldiers and Families of the All-Volunteer Army in the expected decade of conflict ahead.

    Army leaders delivered these assessments on the first day of the Installation Management Conference, where a new plan for operating installations more efficiently and effectively was rolled out. "We Are the Army's Home" is the theme of the new Installation Management Command Installation Management Campaign Plan and logo.

    "About half of my staff, my CSM, the Deputy Commandant and I recently had the opportunity to attend the IMCOM Conference in San Antonio where the IMCOM leadership unveiled the new logo and theme," said Lt. Col. Janet Holliday, garrison commander. "We were struck by the commitment of the entire IMCOM team to make a better way of life for Soldiers, Army civilians and their families.  The family on the logo is neither civilian or military; rather, the family is representational of all Army families.  In addition, the logo reinforces commitment to country, community and the environment.  We are all excited to be a part of IMCOM as we work together with our senior commander to make Carlisle Barracks' the Army's home."

    "This document describes my vision as Commanding General, Installation Management Command and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management to bring effective and efficient services, programs and infrastructure to bear on the challenges faced by Commanders, Soldiers, Families and Civilians in a fluid operating environment, and my Campaign Plan for achieving that vision," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command. "It lays out my strategy, through Lines of Effort and Keys to Success, and metrics by which we will track progress."

   The new plan focuses on six lines of effort:

– Soldier, Family and Civilian Readiness

– Soldier, Family and Civilian Well-Being

– Leader and Workforce Development

– Installation Readiness

– Safety

– Energy Efficiency and Security

    The new plan can be found at http://www.imcom.army.mil/hq/initiatives/campaign_plan/

    A video on the new plan can also be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dmNCeHZpgk&feature=player_embedded#


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Local Scout achieves highest honor

Tyler William, (kneeling), son of Col. Tom and Vera Williams works on a 55 ½ foot brick and paver walkway between the post chapel and the fellowship hall that he completed for his Eagle Scout Project in July 2009. Courtesy photo.

April 1, 2010 -- Tyler Williams, son of Col. Tom and Vera Williams, received

his Eagle Scout Award March 28 in ceremony at Carlisle Barracks.

    To achieve this rank, an Eagle Scout Candidate must complete an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. In this case, Tyler, his fellow Boy Scouts and parents built a 55 ½ foot brick and paver walkway connecting the Army War College Memorial Chapel and the Fellowship Hall.  Tyler, a junior at Carlisle High School, conducted his project from July 1 to 3, 2009. He completed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on

 

Dec. 10, 2009.

    The ceremony was attended by Congressman Todd Platts, State Senator Pat Vance, and Representative Will Gabig. 

 

 

   


Ann Marie Wolf, Army Substance Abuse
April is Alcohol Awareness Month 

    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 women who put their babies at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome when they drink, professionals who drink after a long day of work, or senior citizens who 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.

     The above information provided by the Army Center for Substance Abuse E-prevention newsletter.

Tips for responsible drinking

     While the 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

    It is always OK not 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.

Army Substance Abuse Program continues to offer training:

RESPONSIBLE DRINKING, AND ALCOHOL ABUSE – This class will challenge common beliefs and attitudes that directly contribute to high risk alcohol abuse, physical tolerance vs mental tolerance. We will discuss how our choices can protect or harm the things that we love and value.

Thursday, 29 April – 1130 at the ASAP office, bldg 632 Wright Ave

SPECIAL EVENT – Brown Bag Lunch

April – Sexual Assault Awareness and Alcohol Awareness Month!

Family Advocacy and Army Substance Abuse Programs are presenting:

 

"In My Own Words" - a story about one man's addiction. Storytelling – real people, real stories.  Come and meet Steve

 

Date – Wednesday, April 14

Location – Anne Ely Hall room 106

Time – 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

For more information contact:  Ann Wolf (245-4576) or Anne Hurst (245-3775)

Open to the entire Carlisle Barracks community

 

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

 


Training, registration mandatory for golf cart use

April 2, 2010 -- Updates to CBks Reg 190-5, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, may be viewed on CBNET. Major changes have been made to Section 4 which deals with Golf Carts/Utility Vehicles (GC/UVs). Registration and safety standards may be found on pages 11 and12.

    It's mandatory for all personnel who operate GC/UVs to take new safety training. The GC/UV training program is provided by the CBks Safety Office (245-4353).

Directions to the training site:

1. Open CBNET.

2. Open Garrison Training and Development Portal under Quick Links.

3. Open Carlisle Barracks Golf Cart Training under FY103rd Quarter.

 


Federal Voting Assistance Program news

    The following States will hold Primary Elections during the months of May and June, 2010 on the dates indicated.

May 4, 2010: Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio
May 11, 2010: Nebraska, West Virginia
May 18, 2010: Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania
May 25, 2010: Idaho
June 1, 2010: Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico
June 8, 2010: California, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia
June 22, 2010: Utah

Register and Request Your Ballot Now!

    All members of the U.S. Uniformed Services, their family members and citizens residing outside the U.S. who are residents from these States and have not yet submitted a registration and ballot request (FPCA) for the 2010 calendar year, should do so as soon as possible.

    The FPCA ballot application and instructions for the above States are available at www.fvap.gov/FPCA. Click on your State on the map and follow the instructions to register and request an absentee ballot. Some States allow submitting the FPCA by fax or email in addition to regular mail.

    Send your FPCA NOW to your election office to ensure you have enough time to receive, vote, and return the ballot!

Texas run-off primary

    On April 13, 2010, Texas will hold runoff primary elections for offices that did not receive a majority vote in the March primary. Due to the short time period between the March 2, 2010 primary election and the April 13, 2010 runoff election, you should not wait for your regular absentee ballot and submit the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as soon as possible. If and when your regular absentee ballot arrives, vote it and send it back, and if it arrives before the deadline, it will be counted instead of your FWAB.

    If you are eligible to vote in this election, and requested and received a ballot for the November 4, 2008 presidential election or the March 2, 2010 primary, an absentee ballot will be mailed to you on or about March 19, 2010, unless your mailing address has changed. There may not be adequate time between the time you receive your State ballot in the mail to vote the ballot and return it in time to be counted! Therefore, you are encouraged to vote your FWAB now!

Vote your FWAB

You may download a FWAB at www.fvap.gov or get a FWAB from your installation/embassy/consulate voting assistance office. To complete the FWAB's Voter's Declaration/Affirmation correctly, follow the Texas instructions at www.fvap.gov/FWAB/fwab-tx.html, or in the 2010-11 Voting Assistance Guide. To complete the ballot, use the official candidate list at the Texas State Elections website at: www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/whatisontheballot.shtml.

    For more information visit http://www.fvap.gov/

 

Florida Voters, Submit Your Ballot Request NOW for the April 13, 2010 Special Election

On Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Florida will hold a special general election to fill the congressional vacancy left by the resignation of Congressman Robert Wexler. The 19th Congressional District includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

The candidates in this election are:

-       Democratic: Ted Deutch

-       Republican: Ed Lynch

-       No Party Affiliation: Jim McCormick

-       Write-in: Josue Larose

North Carolina Military and Overseas Voters, Submit your Ballot Request for the May 4, 2010 State Primary

North Carolina will hold its State primary election on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. If you are eligible to vote in this election, and requested and received a ballot for the November 4, 2008 presidential election, you will automatically receive an absentee ballot, and need not take any further action unless your mailing address has changed.

Register to Vote

Registration is required for all Uniformed Service members, eligible dependents, and overseas citizens. You will be registered if your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is received by the local election office by May 3, 2010.

Request Your Ballot

If you do not have one on file, you need to fill out an absentee ballot request as soon as possible. The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) ballot application and instructions are available at www.fvap.gov.

Send your FPCA NOW to ensure you have enough time to receive, vote, and return the ballot! The online version of the FPCA and North Carolina's instructions on how to fill out and submit the form are available at:

http://www.fvap.gov/FPCA/fpca-nc.html.

  

Indiana Military and Overseas Voters, Submit your Ballot Request for the May 4, 2010 State Primary

Indiana will hold its State primary election on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. If you are eligible to vote in this election, and requested and received an absentee ballot for the November 4, 2008 presidential election, you will automatically receive an absentee ballot, and need not take any further action unless your mailing address has changed or you have not specified which major political party (Democratic or Republican) you wish to receive a May 2010 primary ballot for. Under Indiana law, you must choose a primary ballot for one of the two major parties to vote for candidates running in that party's primary.

If you have not specified which party's primary ballot you wish to receive, or if your address has changed since 2008, please file an absentee application with your county election office as soon as possible.

Register to Vote

All UOCAVA citizens: Your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) will be considered timely if it is received by Monday, April 26, 2010. You will then be sent an acknowledgment of registration from your county voter registration office.

Registration is required for overseas citizens and absent Uniformed Service members.

If you are already registered, you must still complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to request an absentee ballot.


James Chesser, Carlisle Barracks Police Chief
Spring means time for pet safety

March 30, 2010 -- It is that time a year now, the snow is gone the dogs want to stretch their legs and the kids too, so here are some reminders to keep us all safe. 

    Post and Housing Rules prohibits dogs from being chained outdoors and left unattended at any time and pets are prohibited from playground areas. 

    All animal bites cases must be reported immediately to the Carlisle Barracks Police Desk (717-245-4115) and the animal must be brought to the Vet Clinic at the earliest practicable time by the next normal duty day.  Animals may be quarantined for a period of 10 days and home quarantine may be used by the post veterinarians at their discretion.

     If you need further information you may refer to CBks Regulation No. 40-1, 8 December 2003 and Balfour Beatty Family Housing, Mar 2008.

    As always the Police Department is available for question:

Chief of Police-245-4754; Operations- 245-4909 / 3439.


Carol Kerr, Army War College Public Affairs Officer
Construction, renovation to re-create working space across Carlisle Barracks

Letterkenny Army Depot is building a new Youth Center. The Carlisle Barracks Youth Center, slated for a new location near the CDC,   will look like this within months after its Fall 2010 start of construction. 

March 30, 2010 -- In the 1930s, Carlisle Barracks expanded for the Army Medical Field School; it bought neighboring land, and constructed new housing and organizational buildings.

In the past few years, new and renewed family housing brought a post-wide re-creation of like magnitude has caused alumni and former visitors to pause with unfamiliarity. 

The next stage of installation-wide changes will support the mission of the college and the garrison. When all is done, there will be new construction and renovation from one end of the post to the other. The plan calls for multiple moves and counter-moves.  But the benefits are big -- a new facility for the nationally renowned Strategic Studies Institute;  4 additional seminar rooms in Root Hall for an expanded USAWC Class of 2012; and a modern new Youth Center, near the Child Development Center and Delaney Community Center, to replace the current WW2 facility.

The SSI plan

When the Tax Clinic ends seasonal operations in Upton Hall, in May, the Family/Morale/Welfare & Recreation directorate will move to Upton Hall basement, vacating office space at 632 Wright Ave. That "swing space" will become a 15-month home away from home for the SSI analysts and staff, as of late September. Meanwhile, construction of the new SSI building is planned to begin in early Fall with an SSI move-in date of January 2012. The new SSI building will rise on the grounds of the old Garrison Headquarters, demolished several years ago as a below-grade building. Heavy equipment is there for early engineering site work now. 

When SSI vacates 2nd floor offices in Root Hall, the space will be renovated to create four new seminar rooms ready in August 2011 for the expanded Class of 2012, with more International Fellows, US students and faculty.

Garrison moves  

Meanwhile, the domino game continues with garrison spaces. The plan begins with a new warehouse to be built in the Public Works area late this year; the new warehouse space will house DPW and MWR equipment currently stored at 832 Sumner Road. When empty, a portion of Bldg 832 will be converted for the Thrift Shop that's now planning to move from the back of 832 Wright to a user-friendly location near the post's retail area and parking.  The newly created space at 842 Sumner Road, the long building situated behind the Laundry/ITR/Outdoor Recreation, will be great for business, according to Tom Kelly, Public Works Director.

    In a final move, the FMWR offices will move in Summer 2011 into newly-renovated space formerly occupied by the Thrift Shop.

Youth benefits

Bouquet Road Housing will be brought down by BBC by July of this year to make way for the Youth Center. Construction is expected to start in October; the modular construction project calls for 8 to 12 months.  

 


Erin O. Stattel, Army War College Public Affairs
A new face to help Carlisle Barracks usher in Earth Day

 

Colonel Carlisle is the new face of recycling at Carlisle Barracks. Look for him to find out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle all over post.

 March 30, 2010 -- A new face will soon grace a recycling bin near you at Carlisle Barracks and he wants you to Live Green!

    Seen at the left, Col. Carlisle, will help community members dispose of their recyclables properly, conserve energy and live greener lives while residing and working at Carlisle Barracks and the Army War College.

    Armed with a thorough knowledge of efficient environmental practices, Col. Carlisle will be spotted around post, helping community members make eco-minded choices in their daily lives and identifying important items such as recycling bins. Cans, glass bottles and plastic containers can be recycled in various locations in Root Hall and other buildings while white office paper can be placed in recycling bins in seminar rooms and offices.

Earth Day celebration set for April 30

    Col. Carlisle will help usher in the 2010 Carlisle Barracks Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration on April 30 at 10:30 a.m., starting with a tree planting ceremony at the Butler Road Bridge.

    Activities will continue back at the Delaney Field Clubhouse where children can enjoy hot dogs and see Smokey Bear who will put in an appearance amid displays from various organizations focused on helping visitors and families learn Earth-friendly practices.

    Displays will include different types of light bulbs and lighting options, recyclables turned into everyday products, and pervious pavement options, all to create a more energy efficient home and installation.

    With the help of children from the CDC on Earth Day, the Directorate of Public Works will create a wildflower conservation area on the embankment near the Vet Clinic as a way to prevent soil erosion. As a low maintenance area, it will cut down on emissions produced from mowers while adding to the bucolic scenery, explained Donna Swauger, manager of the Carlisle Barracks Environmental Management System.

   "Carlisle Barracks is a Tree City USA community, which means that we have demonstrated a public commitment to caring for and conserving our trees.  Many of the trees here on the post are hundreds of years old and add to the historic feel of the community," said Lt. Col. Janet Holliday, garrison commander. "We are looking forward to celebrating Arbor Day and renewing our commitment to the Tree City USA program and being one of the premier "green" communities in the Army."

    As part of the ceremony Carlisle Barracks will also celebrate its 19 years of being named a Tree City USA with a tree planting ceremony. This year the post will plant a flowering dogwood, provided by Balfour Beatty Communities.

    "Flowering dogwoods are native to Pennsylvania and are well-adapted to the site," explained DPW's Donna Swauger, environmental management system manager. "Native dogwood populations have been struggling against Dogwood Anthracnose which is a serious, fungal disease that, since it was first reported in 1978, has spread rapidly from its northeastern origins. Also, dogwoods provide food for wildlife, are lovely in bloom, and have unique bark."

    The flowering dogwood typically stands up to 30 to 40 feet at maturity and its branches can span up to 20 feet across, creating shady spots perfect for picnics or reading a good book. The spring-blooming tree is commonly found along the east coast from Maine to Florida and as far west as Texas. It grows in a variety of habitats throughout its range, but generally occurs on fertile, well-drained but moist sites, making it an ideal candidate for the area near the Butler Road Bridge.

    This species has been severely impacted by dogwood blight, a fungal disease that can decimate natural populations, but will have one more added to its numbers when it finds a new home across from the bowling center.

Post aims to be more 'green' with new initiatives

    Col. Carlisle's debut and the Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration highlight a shift around post to help conserve the natural resources and keep Carlisle Barracks green.

    As part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense's new policy to ensure the viability of the housing privatization initiative and to help reduce the Department of Defense's consumption of utilities, residents on post already receive "mock" utility bills, and will begin to receive "actual or live" utility bills July 1, 2010. The initiative exists to promote conservation and environmental awareness on military installations across America.

    The latest is another initiative added to the Army's increased emphasis on reducing its carbon "bootprint."

    After July 1, residents who conserve energy below the baseline, or the average usage in a particular neighborhood, can earn rebates or credits, while those who exceed average figures will be required to pay overage fees.

    "This OSD directive and Army policy really began as a tool to encourage residents to conserve energy and with all of our new construction and renovations on our residential housing, utility meters have been installed," explained Bif Coyle, chief of the Army Housing and Residential Communities Office.

    "Go Green, Be Green, Live Army Green," is the mantra Balfour Beatty Communities is touting at military installations across America. The tagline is designed to get Soldiers and Army families to start thinking environmentally as part of the housing management's Residential Communities Initiative and actual billing process.

    Carlisle Barracks residents can learn more about the new utility billing program at Balfour Beatty Communities' Live Army Green website, as well as review a video featuring helpful tips about how to conserve energy and avoid paying overages on utility bills at http://www.balfourbeattycommunities.com/livearmygreen/default.aspx.

 

 


Thomas Zimmerman Army War College Public Affairs Office
Sports Days athletes prepare to defend title  

    March 16, 2010 -- The competition will be intense for the Commandants Cup during the 2010 Jim Thorpe Sports Days April 22-24 at Carlisle Barracks.

    The annual events pits students from the Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, Interagency and International Fellow students against each other in an annual match up of the nation's senior service schools.

    Participants from the Air War College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National War College, Army War College and the Marine War College will compete in this year's games.

    For the last few weeks teams have been coming together and practicing day and night in preparation for the games. A few of those students who will represent the Army War College are profiled below.

Multi-sport athletes

    Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Nolan, will do his bestto help the Army War College win not one, but three events during Sports Days as he competes in basketball, volleyball and tennis.

    "I probably would have played more by my wife barred me," he joked. Nolan has been a life-long athlete and 21-year career officer.

    "In my younger days I played for several base basketball and volleyball teams," he said. "I haven't played tennis competitively since high school, but thankfully, over the years I've always run into good Air Force tennis players and golfers."  

    Nolan joined the Air Force in 1989 and started as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch officer.

    "After four years, I was selected to attend the Education With Industry program with Aerojet Electronics and cross-train into the contracting officer career field."

  For the past 16 years Nolan has served in multiple contracting assignments to include being a contracting squadron commander at Aviano Air Base in Italy and the acquisition manager for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His next assignment will be to take over the Department of Defense contracting in Iraq.   

    Like Nolan, Lt. Col. Scot Arey said he hopes that his skills will help him keep the Commandants Cup at the Army War College by being a two-sport threat.

    First he hopes his skills at tennis help his chances at sports days' glory.

    "I hope to make the tennis team still," he said. The competition for the team slots is tough and there are many very good players.  This includes both the US as well as the international officers."

    The career Army Aviation officer spent the last two years on the Army staff at the Pentagon. Before that he served at a battalion command in Honduras with JTF-Bravo and Fort Hood with 4th Infantry Div for more than four years.

    Arey will also participate in some running events, specifically the 5-mile run and the relay team.

    Also pulling a "Deion Sanders" act will be Lt. Col. James Ryan, who entered active duty in 1988 as a Quartermaster officer through the ROTC program at Saint Bonaventure University. He will compete in both volleyball and soccer.

    Soccer is his first love, having played for more than 27 years he said. He has been playing volleyball for about six years. 

    Ryan's most recent assignment was on the Department of the Army Staff, Directorate of Logistics, G4, as chief of the Logistics Initiative Group from 2008-2009.  In this role, Ryan was responsible for all information and strategic messages delivered to the Director of Logistics.

    Brazilian Lt. Col. Frederico Sampaio will also take to the fields for three sports during the games, for the tennis, soccer and volleyball teams.

   The life-long athlete has played tennis, soccer, volleyball, and swimming for most of his life as well as participating in pentathlons and half-marathons.

    His career in the Brazilian military started in 1985 at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy in Brazil. Sampaio has served most of his career in the Amazon region and as an instructor at the academy. In between he has had a variety of deployments and multi-national assignments.

    "I completed some tactical military courses like a jungle warfare, paratrooper, jump-master, mountaineering, desert warfare courses in addition to regular courses of a military career like, captain school, and a command and staff college," he said. "In 2001 and 2002 I was a military observer in the tri-border of Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia."  From 2005 to 2006, he was a staff officer for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti Headquarters. His most recent position was as an instructor and operations officer at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy.       

Sports Days overview

    During the three–day series of sports competitions, student athletes participate in 14 sporting events to include  women's one-mile relay, men's two-mile relay, women's 5K run, men's  five- mile run, men's and  women's bowling; men's and women's golf; racquetball; basketball; soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

     In addition to individual medals in each event, the college that accumulates the most points will be awarded the Commandants Cup which keeps the trophy until next year's competition. The opening ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on April 23 on Carlisle Barracks' Indian Field, located at the corner of Ashburn Drive and Forbes Avenue.

Jim Thorpe Sports Days history

    The event is named after Olympian Jim Thorpe who grew to national fame in football, track and other sports. He also attended the Carlisle Industrial Indian School.       

    Thorpe participated in the 1912 Olympic Games and blew away the competition in both the pentathlon and decathlon and set world records that would stand for decades. "This year's event marks the 100th anniversary that Thorpe was named first team All-American.  

     In 1950, the nation's press selected Thorpe as the most outstanding athlete of the first half of the 20th century and in 1996-2001, he was awarded ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Century for his Olympic accomplishments and as a professional football player.


Suzanne Reynolds, Public Affairs Office
Spouses Club Auction raises record numbers

Deborah Donahue, representing Domestic Violence Services, receives an outreach check for $500 from Nancy Davis, Spouses' Club Outreach Chair on March 19 at the CBks Spouses' Club Auction.  Photo by Suzanne Reynolds

The 2010 Spouses' Club Auction held Friday, March 19, was a huge success, raising more than $20,000 for scholarships and outreach, according to Shelisa Baskerville, Spouses' Club Chairperson.

"It was a wonderful evening with an amazing amount of support from the students, staff, families, and local community," she said.

  This was the tenth year for this event which started out with a welcome cocktail, paddle registration, and silent auction, followed by the live auction.  Items auctioned off included overnight stays at bed-and-breakfasts, specialty gift baskets, fondue sets, antiques, and a West Point chair.

  Funds raised from this event fund scholarships for outstanding students and provide outreach money for Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle-area, and national organizations.  Past Recipients of these funds have included Carlisle Projet share, the Veterans Service Organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Sadler Health Center, Carlisle CARES, Hope Station and the International Fellows' Spouses conversation and Culture Program.

  Outreach checks were presented at the auction to the following organizations—

  $750 donation to Safe Harbour Homeless Shelter to create a computer room for their school-aged children and to enhance security for their building.

  $250 donation to Binky Patrol will be used to purchase fabrics and sewing supplies to make handmade blankets for children who are ill, abused, in foster care, or experiencing trauma.

  $500 donation to Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties will be used to support their 24-hour hotline operations.


 Ashburn Gate to restore weekend hours

The Ashburn Gate on Route 11 will be open Saturdays and Sundays, as of April 10, from 6:30 a.m. to 9: 30 pm.

Weekdays hours will remain 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

It will be closed on federal holidays.


 New Army program to provide more effective services to families of Fallen Soldiers

Suzanne Reynolds, Public Affairs Office

Eight Pa. Gold Star Mothers met with CBks representatives from Garrison and ACS to create a partnership for the new Army program, "Survivor Outreach Services" on March 19.  Also pictured with the Gold Star Mothers are Cora Johnson, ACS Financial Readiness and Jeff Hanks, ACS SOS Coordinator. Photo by Suzanne Reynolds

 

 

 

  To better understand the concerns, share experiences, and improve services to survivors of deceased Soldiers, the Army has launched a comprehensive program, Survivor Outreach, (SOS) and the Army Community Service here wants to spread the word.

  SOS will provide long-term support throughout the grief process, extended financial counseling assistance, and other services as required to surviving family members, ensuring their concerns are addressed expeditiously.

  Carlisle Barracks ACS SOS and eight representatives from the Pennsylvania Gold Star Mothers, gathered March 19 to create a partnership to advocate for education and awareness for survivor outreach services here at Carlisle Barracks. 

  The first SOS Forum is scheduled for Friday, Apr. 30, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Post Chapel, sponsored by Carlisle Barracks ACS with Gold Star Mothers, designated community agencies, and surviving family members.  The information gained from this forum will provide valuable lessons learned in order to support the community, especially since Pennsylvania is the third largest state with the most casualties, according to Jeff Hanks, the SOS coordinator here.

  "I think it is going to be wonderful," said Carol Fahnestock, member of the Pa. Gold Star Mothers and mother of Staff Sgt. Kimberly Voelz, who died in Iraq in 2003.  "It will be informative to hear what other people are going to say.  There is a lot of stuff I didn't know we were entitled to," she said.

  Gold Star refers to the national organization formed in 1928 following World War I called American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.  The organization credits its success to the many loyal, capable, and patriotic mothers who while sharing their grief and their pride, have channeled their time, efforts and gifts to lessening the pain of others, according to its web site.

 

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
International Fellows tour commands to gain better perspective of U.S. military

 

Finland Lt.Col. Kaarle Lagerstam and Albanian Col. Vladimir Avdiaj, Army War College International Fellows, talk with a colleague before a session at Fort Carson, Colo., during the recent Unified Command Field Study. The trip provided the IFs with a first-hand introduction to the U.S. command structure, culture and more. Courtesy photo.

 

March 31, 2010 -- After 21 days of seeing first-hand more than 20 U.S. regional commands or agencies, Army War College International Fellows returned armed with new first-hand knowledge about the U.S. military command structure and American history and culture.

    The Unified Command Field Study took place from Feb. 5-26, and provided the International Fellows exposure to the Department of Defense structure, combatant commands, and regional security issues these commands face. The three-week trip took the IFs to U.S. Northern, Southern, Pacific, Southern, Central, and Special Operations Commands as part of the officers' training in the structure and foundation of the U.S. military.

    "We wanted to provide them a physical and practical application and demonstration of the elements of the U.S. military they have been learning about while at the Army War College," said Col. Alex Portelli, head of the post International Fellows program.  He said that the purpose of the International Fellows program is to establish good working relationships between senior U.S. military officers and senior officers of select foreign countries.

    "It's also meant to improve the Fellows' firsthand knowledge of U.S. culture and institutions through study and travel in the continental United States," he said. "This is an opportunity for them to see places in our country that they normally wouldn't have an opportunity to. This helps to provide them with a richer understanding of American culture."

      

USAWC International Fellows listen to an employee explain how they sift through mud and dirt for materials at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command during their recent Unified Command trip. Courtesy photo.

 

   Trips to the Seminole Indians in Florida and the University of Miami Center for Western Hemispheric Studies helped reinforce this point.

    "We want the IFs to take back with them not just an understanding of the US military command structures but also an understanding of American culture," said van Voorst. "This trip provided them an opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and diversity of America that you just don't get in a classroom. "

    The trip built on the knowledge from the previous core courses during the academic year. It allowed the IFs the liberty to examine these commands' and agencies' implementation of such subjects as national policy and security strategy.

    "One of the biggest benefits of this trip is that it shows that no matter what country you are from, there are issues and challenges that face the military," said Portelli. "By showing the IFs how we struggle and deal with certain issues it might help them find a solution for a similar problem in their own country."

     One of the highlights of the trip was to Norfolk, Va., home of Joint Forces Command and U.S. Fleet Forces. There the international officers toured the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS Wasp, seeing first-hand the U.S. Navy's many capabilities.

    "Most of the Fellows are army officers and have not had the chance to be aboard a navy ship, even in their own countries, so I hope they take away an appreciation for the complexities of our military structure and organization," said Carol van Voorst, the Deputy Commandant for International Affairs at the Army War College.

   One of the visits was to the USS Wasp, a Navy multi-purpose amphibious assault ship. The 50 military officers came aboard the Wasp for a tour of some of the ship's vital centers. The tour was meant to educate the foreign officers on what the U.S. Navy brings to the table in the pursuit of global peace and stability.

 A USAWC International Fellow raises his hand to ask a question during a session at Fort Carson Colo., during the trip.  

    "The fellows are learning about strategic studies in the classroom along with their U.S. counterparts, but it really drives the lessons home when you're standing on the deck of the USS Truman or talk with the head of SOUTHCOM," said Portelli. "Seeing the physical applications of the lesson being taught is invaluable."

    It wasn't just the trips to the large commands that may prove to be most valuable to the fellows as they carry on their career.

    "One of the most dynamic sessions were the one we had at Ft. Carson," said van Voorst. "Here the fellows had an opportunity to listen to the leaders speak about the challenges created by the current OPTEMPO, the stress on the Soldiers and the stress on their families. No matter what country you are from this is an issue all leaders can relate to."

    She said that the discussions lead to a great dialogue on how to help prepare Soldiers for deployment, how to care for the families they leave behind and how to help them when they return.

    Many of our IFs have served or will soon serve in the Iraq and Afghanistan regions and this dialogue for them was extremely worthwhile." 

    The trip also helped to bring the fellows even closer together as a group.

    "At the beginning of the trip the buses were really pretty quiet," said van Voorst." But by the end of the three weeks it was filled with discussion. This program and trip helps form the kinds of relationships that we'll need some day in the future."

 

 


New traffic patterns at Claremont Road effective April 26

March 31, 2010 -- Starting April 26,  Jim Thorpe Road from Claremont Road to the entrance of the Meadows, will be closed to traffic until approximately June 1 so that it can be widened and repaved allowing utilization of the new access control points. All traffic to Carlisle Barracks, the Meadows and the golf course will need to enter through a temporary road that will be marked. Inclement weather could delay the start or end date of the project.

 

Upon turning off of Claremont Road, there will be signage directing traffic to their destination:

  • Meadows and Golf Course traffic will turn left and proceed as normal
  • Carlisle Barracks traffic will turn right to the new access control point

Upon approaching the new access control point there will be three options:

  • Visitors without a DoD Decal will enter the left lane, where they will be directed to the inspection area
  • DoD decal holders will enter the center lane
  • Buses and trucks will use the right lane

Exiting traffic for the Meadows and Golf Course will also be affected

All traffic departing the Meadows and Golf Course must travel to and process through the access control point, following the lane assignments above.  Once through the checkpoints, they can make a left or right to exit the installation. Residents will need to show ID at the access control point.


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
National Constitution Center displays AHEC posters 

The "Pro Patria! Join Army for Period of War," poster designed by H. Devitt Welsh for United States Army Recruiting in 1917 encouraged young men to enlist by illustrating the great Army tradition of the horse Soldier. The poster, from the Army Heritage and Education Center collection, is part of the "Inspiring A Nation: World War I Posters of the Philadelphia Sketch Club," exhibit at the National Constitution Center on display until April 25.

March 24, 2010 – "It all started off with an exhibit we did with the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College," said Jim McNally, curator of art for the Army Heritage and Education Center. Designing for Victory 1914-1945 showcased WWI and WWII posters from the AHEC collection of more than 3,000 posters.

   Philadelphia Sketch Club members saw the posters in a traveling display and created a new partnership with the Army Heritage and Education Center, to mark the club's 150th anniversary.

   On February 4, the National Constitution Center unveiled a new display called, "Inspiring a Nation: World War I Posters of the Philadelphia Sketch Club," showcasing World War I-era posters from the AHEC collection.

    "Some of the nation's leading artists, including members of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, donated their time and work to create them," said David Eisner, president of the NCC.

    Each of the 25 exhibit posters was designed by sketch club members; they've been seen by more than 50,000 visitors already. 

    "This exhibit explores how artists and government agencies used these posters to justify wars, bolster morale and persuade citizens to enlist for combat, buy war bonds, conserve vital resources, and accept sacrifices and losses," said McNally. The posters were responsible for raising more than 2/3 of the funds needed to cover the cost of the war, he noted.

    The posters on display are painstakingly-created facsimiles made from originals in AHEC's collection, McNally explained. Scott Finger of the USAWC photo lab invested two to three hours on each to scan, clean up, print and prepare for framing.

    "This is a prime example of how we partner for success at AHEC,' said McNally. "By working with the Philadelphia Sketch Club and National Constitution Center we are able to share the history of the Army all over the nation and world." 

     Visit the poster display at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center, through April 25, or visit virtually at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/AHEC/AHM/constitution_center.cfm

 


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Construction on AHEC Visitors Center continues

With the snow behind us for good, construction continues on the Army Heritage and Education Center's Visitor and Education Center. Shown here is the side of the VEC as it connects to Ridgway Hall. Work on the outside is nearly complete. The building construction is expected to be complete by the end of June. Courtesy photo.

March 31, 2010 -- Construction continues on the 37,000 square foot Visitor and Education Center at the Army Heritage and Education Center and is expected to be completed by the end of June according to Mike Perry, executive director of the Army Heritage Center Foundation. Currently work is focusing on putting up drywall and other interior work. After completion the AHCF will begin the formal process of offering the building as a gift to the Army.

    The building is designed to serve as the entrance point of the Army Heritage and Education Center Campus and will include galleries, two multi-purpose rooms, a small cafeteria, a museum store and office space. 


Carlisle Barracks hosts Active parenting course

Jen Starner, an instructor from Pressley Ridge services for children and families, leads a discussion during an Active Parenting Class Match 26 in the Youth Services building on Carlisle Barracks. Photos by Megan Clugh.

March 31, 2010 -- Carlisle Barracks hosted an "Active Parenting Now" class in March at the Moore Child Development Center. The three-session program was designed for parents of children ages 5-12 and addressed topics like communication and cooperation, discipline and responsibility, and power, courage and self-esteem. 

    Jen Starner, an instructor from Pressley Ridge services for children and families, led the course.

   "Jen relates very well with parents," said Anne Hurst, the ACS Family Advocacy director. She uses video clips of children's behavior and parental reactions – and then guides the parents in discussion about what they've seen and what responses will be more effective, added Hurst.

 Anne Hurst, ACS family advocacydirector, adds to the discussion during the March 26 session. The three-session program was designed to help parents of children 5-12.


Public Affairs staff report
USAWC student 'egg drop' teaches lesson about creativity

Col. Walt Mercer shows that his egg remains intact after being dropped from a ladder as part of an exercise in the Creative Leadership elective at the Army War College. The course teaches future senior leaders the importance of creative thinking. courtesy photo.

March 31, 2010 -- Army War College students participating in the Creative Leadership elective raised eyebrows as they walked into the Root Hall gym for an exercise on March 23. The students were asked to design a system that would enable a raw egg to survive the drop from a height of eight feet.  The catch? The system components must be made of edible material.  The entries ranged from loaves of bread, heads of lettuce, pizza crust filled with marshmallows, and a parachute contraption made with dried seaweed.  Of the 13 systems, ten eggs made it through undamaged. 

    Back in the seminar room, the after action review commenced.  The group discussed creativity concepts presented in the elective, validated some of the instruments on personal preferences, and shared their thoughts on how they embarked on the "silly" task.  Tying the exercise into a current operations application, Prof Chuck Allen, wrote three letters on the board –"I-E-D"—and asked how the exercise related to military's approach to protecting servicemembers against the most deadly weapon faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

    "Creativity is about solving real tough problems that have defied other solutions and require novel ways of thinking," said Allen. "As presented in the elective, developing and supporting creativity in organizations is a necessary skill for senior leaders."   

 

 


 


Texas A&M University announcement
Retired Lt. Gen. Richard Chilcoat, former USAWC Commandant

March 18, 2010 -- Former Army War College Commandant retired Lt. Gen. Richard A. (Dick) Chilcoat, died Tuesday, March 16, in College Station, Texas A&M University announced. 
    He also served as the dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service and holder of the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair. Chilcoat was appointed the school's first permanent dean in July 2001. After stepping down as dean in 2008, Chilcoat held the position of executive professor.
    A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Chilcoat later earned an MBA from Harvard University. During his 42 years of military service, he served in combat in Vietnam; had staff and command tours of duty in the infantry, aviation, operations, and policy and strategy; and served as executive assistant to Gen. Colin Powell during the First Gulf War. Chilcoat also directed and facilitated the Army Strategic Leadership Course for army general officers, served as the 43rd commandant of the United States Army War College and was appointed as the ninth president of the National Defense University by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    "Dean Chilcoat's service at the Bush School mirrored his distinguished military career," said current Dean Ryan Crocker. "The Bush School made remarkable advances during his tenure. It was a time of great expansion and growth, and Dean Chilcoat played a significant role in advancing our academic programs, including dual-degree programs in political science and economics; launching innovative certificate programs in international affairs and public service and administration; and strongly supporting the expansion of our research capabilities."
    Executive Associate Dean Sam Kirkpatrick cited Chilcoat's leadership and outstanding interpersonal skills as enabling the school's success. "It was largely due to Dick's leadership that the Bush School was able to quickly become highly regarded and nationally ranked in a relatively short period. His commitment to academic excellence strengthened our ability to develop and sustain high quality programs, recruit distinguished faculty and excellent students, and attract the private and public resources needed to sustain our dynamic growth."

 


 Army Heritage and Education Center Resumes Weekend Hours

Jack Giblin, AHEC

  Beginning April 3, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will resume weekend hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays through October 31.  

  Ridgway Hall will be open for exhibit viewing and research, but all research pulls must be arranged during the week, as no research materials will be pulled on the weekends.

  AHEC is currently featuring an exhibit on the history of Carlisle Barracks entitled, "Carlisle Barracks:  Then and Now," which will run through December 2012. 

  On April 24 AHEC will open to the public its newest exhibit, "America's Last Five Star General," which examines the life and legacy of the Soldier's Soldier, General Omar N. Bradley.  This exhibit is scheduled to run through April 2012.

The Army Heritage Trail is open dawn to dusk daily.