Banner Archive for June 2010
 

DES hosting exercise June 28, 29

The Carlisle Barracks Directorate of Emergency Services will be conducting exercises on June 28 and 29.   Disruptions at the gates should be minimal.


FVAP MARKS ARMED FORCES AND OVERSEAS CITIZENSVOTERS WEEK

     AGENCY TO LAUNCH ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION ASSISTANT TO EASE REGISTRATION PROCESS

 

June 25, 2010 - Arlington, VA – The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will launch an online voter registration assistant in conjunction with Armed Forces Voters Week (AFVW) and Overseas Citizens’ Voters Week (OCVW) June 28-July 7, to help more than 6 million military, their voting age dependents, and overseas voters better navigate the registration process. The new online FVAP Voter Registration Assistant, available Monday, helps automate a once cumbersome, manual process in advance of the mid-term elections. Go to www.fvap.gov to register and request your absentee ballot.

The online FVAP Voter Registration Assistant guides users through voter registration, avoiding the confusion of navigating the State-by-State instructions to fill out the registration forms.  Guiding voters step-by-step ensures that all information is filled out completely before moving on. At the end of the process, the assistant provides the completed form for signature and the appropriate address and delivery information for their voting district (mail, fax or email).

In 2008, FVAP asked local election officials why registration and absentee ballots were rejected. The responses indicated that the voting forms were inadequate, incomplete or mailed to the wrong jurisdiction. Since Uniformed Service and overseas voters must start the voting process earlier than their stateside friends and relatives, fewer mistakes at the outset of the process ensures that the appropriate documentation is received and returned on time.

”You may be absent come Election Day, but you CAN be accounted for,” remarked Bob Carey, FVAP Director. “Go to FVAP.gov, fill out your registration and absentee ballot application online, and send it back in July so that your election official has time to process it and send you back your absentee ballot for the November general election.”

To support the launch of the online assistant, and in celebration of AFVW and OCVW, FVAP has also unveiled a worldwide marketing campaign designed to direct voters to www.fvap.gov, where they can find and utilize the absentee voting resources made available by the government.

 New Campaign Encourages Participation

As Armed Forces and Overseas Citizens’ Voter Week gets underway, FVAP is also launching a robust marketing and communications campaign to increase voter awareness of FVAP.gov, to educate voters on the voting process, and increase voter success rates.

Underscoring the message that as a military member or overseas citizen, you can “be absent, but be accounted for” the campaign will ultimately include usage of online assistants, websites, electronic games, and TV as well as print advertisements. Starting next week, advertisements will run in Military Times, International Herald Tribune, and Stars and Stripes. Additional ads will appear in the August issue of Military Spouse magazine.

The communications campaign and the online Voter Registration Assistant will launch during AFVW and OCVW, June 28-July 7, 2010. AFVW and OCVW are coordinated efforts by the Department of Defense and the Department of State to reach out to all military and overseas citizens. The purpose of this week is to encourage all citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) who have not registered to vote or requested an absentee ballot this year, to do so at this time.

 Military and civilian organizations will host voter outreach programs during this week with activities like:

     Registration drives

     Strategic placement of voting materials

     Informational meetings

     Publicizing the upcoming election and focus on the importance of voting

 With the full support of the Secretary of Defense, FVAP encourages both military and

Department of State Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) to enlist the help of organizations to participate in AFVW and OCVW. Organizations such as spouse clubs, family services, Boy/Girl Scouts and other groups that support absentee voting for citizens residing outside the United States can be effective venues for holding voter registration drives, informational forums and other non-partisan activities which stress the importance of participating in the upcoming elections.

For more information please visit www.fvap.gov. If you’d like more information on the

campaign or to schedule an interview with Director Carey, please contact Erin St Pierre at Erin.StPierre@fvap.gov.

 

 

 

We Want Your Feedback! If this document was helpful to you or if you ran into problems or

have questions, please contact FVAP at vote@fvap.gov. With your feedback, we can make

this even more helpful for the next election.


Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos, Army War College Public Affairs

Carlisle Barracks provides support for waiting families

June 25, 2010 - A few months before the students at the U.S. Army War College graduate they learn their next assignment .  For 36 military personnel, their next assignment will be an unaccompanied deployment.   Many of the families will wait for the tour to end at Carlisle Barracks.  “This year we have the largest group of deployed service member’s spouses staying behind in the history of the college,” said Col. Bobby Towery, deputy commandant of the Army War College.

To help the waiting families through what can be a trying year, Carlisle Barracks offers a multitude of services ranging from allowing families to remain in post housing to drawing up powers of attorney to classes on how to make simple automobile repairs.

“One of the biggest benefits for the remaining family members is that they will be surrounded by other military families,” said Heidi Puente, the community manager for Balfour Beatty which manages family housing.  “The service member can deploy knowing his family is being taken care of.”

Michele Pritchard, the Seminar 21 leader, hands a flower to a new member.

The small town feel of the post is another reason many families choose to wait at Carlisle rather than another post.  “I decided to stay here because Carlisle has a small town feeling that a lot of larger posts don’t have,” said Sharon Bolduc whose husband, Col. Donald Bolduc, deployed to Afghanistan last year.  “When he returns, the kids and I will go to Fort Bragg to be with him.”

As is true at all military bases, Army Community Services here plays a big role in helping waiting families.  “We hold monthly meetings and training seminars to help the families with any issue that may come up,” said Linda Slaughter, the director of the Carlisle Barracks ACS.  “The meetings also give the spouses the chance to get together and lean on each other for moral support.”

Carlisle Barracks' waiting families include more than those associated with the Army War College.  “Sometimes when a Soldier deploys from another base, his family will return home to wait out the deployment,” said Slaughter.  “When those families return to this area, we let them know that we are here to provide any support they may need.

The waiting families of recent war college graduates have another asset they can turn to, “Seminar 21.”  As a nod to the War College, which is organized into 20 seminars, seminar 21 is a networking support group for the Army War College spouses of deployed service members.  “As most of the socializing at the college is done within the student’s seminar, we created this seminar to provide the same social capabilities," said Bolduc.

“While your spouse was a student here, we (the war college) took care of you,” said Towery.  “We will continue to take care of you and your service member during the deployment.  That is our job, and it is a job we at the War College take very seriously.


 

Obama accepts McChrystal’s resignation, nominates Petraeus

For a video of the remarks go here 

President Barack Obama today accepted Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s resignation as the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, calling it the right decision for national security.

The president also announced that he has nominated Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan.

The decision comes in the wake of a Rolling Stone magazine article that depicts McChrystal and members of his staff as being at odds with the president’s administration.

“The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general,” Obama said. “It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan.”

Obama noted that his decision wasn’t based on a difference in policy or “any sense of personal insult,” and he said he greatly admires McChrystal for his decades of service.

“Over the last nine years with America fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has earned a reputation as one of our nation’s finest soldiers,” Obama said. “But war is greater than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president. As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”

Obama said he didn’t make the decision lightly, noting the importance of his responsibility to the “extraordinary men and women who are fighting this war.”

“I've got no greater honor than serving as commander in chief of our men and women in uniform, and it is my duty to ensure that no diversion complicates the vital mission that they are carrying out,” he said. “That includes adherence to a strict code of conduct. The strength and greatness of our military is rooted in the fact that this code applies equally to newly enlisted privates and to the general officer who commands them. That allows us to come together as one. That is part of the reason why America has the finest fighting force in the history of the world.”

The president also noted his responsibility to do whatever is needed to succeed in Afghanistan and “in our broader effort to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida.”

“I believe that this mission demands unity of effort across our alliance and across my national security team,” he added.

The nation has a clear goal, the president said.

“We are going to break the Taliban's momentum,” he said. “We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same.

“That's the strategy that we agreed to last fall,” he continued. “That is the policy that we are carrying out in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The president reiterated that the change in leadership marks a change in personnel, not policy. Petraeus has been heavily involved in the development of the Afghanistan strategy, he noted.

“General Petraeus fully participated in our review last fall, and he both supported and helped design the strategy that we have in place,” he said.

“In his current post at Central Command, he has worked closely with our forces in Afghanistan, he has worked closely with Congress, he has worked closely with the Afghan and Pakistan governments and with all our partners in the region,” Obama continued. “He has my full confidence. And I am urging the Senate to confirm him for this new assignment as swiftly as possible.”

McChrystal publicly apologized yesterday for the profile piece.

“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened,” he said. “I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.”

In a statement issued June 22, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said McChrystal made a “significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case.”

“We are fighting a war against al-Qaida and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world,” the secretary said. “Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose.

“Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security,” Gates continued, “and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions.”

 


Become a fan of the Army War College on Facebook

Want to keep up on the latest news from the Army War College, share news, learn about your fellow students, former graduates and more? Then you should become a fan of the U.S. Army War College on Facebook. 

Updated daily with photos, videos and links to stories about our community, the page is a perfect complement to the Banner and other news outlets because it helps you share your news with the USAWC Community.

The best part is that you don't even need a Facebook account to check the Army War College site, just visit www.facebook.com/usawc


 DDE Students complete first resident seminar

SSG Corey Baltos, War College public affairs

June 30, 2010 - The members of the Distance Education Class of 2011 are half way through their course.  To mark this milestone the 367 members reported to the Army War College to begin the first of their two week residents’ sessions. 

The two-week course, which met from June 21-July 2nd, allows the students to participate in seminars group sessions, attend lectures and staff rides, and hear guest lecturers teach them on strategic leadership in a global environment. 

Distance education at the Army War College began in 1967 as the Department of Corresponding Studies to meet the increased demand for senior level officers needed to fight in south-east Asia.  Now many students partake in the distance learning because their location or job makes it difficult for them to break away for a year and study as a resident. 

“The distance education course allows the students to continue their full time job while attending this course,” said Dr. Clay Chun, Department Chair of the Department of Distance Education.  “Plus, they can immediately put their education and training to use in their full time jobs.”

“This course is a lot harder than the resident course is,” said Marine Lt. Col. Darrell Akers.  “You have to balance your normal duties, your family and your course work.  It is a very challenging use of time management.”  Akers is the regimental executive officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, CA.

“While distance education has come a long way, there are still many things that we cannot do well over the internet,” said Chun.  “It is difficult, for example, for the students to listen to and interact with a guest lecture over the net.”

One of the guest lecturers was Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.  He gave the assembled class insight in how many Pakistani’s view the U.S.    He stated that the majority of Pakistanis view the U.S. as either a well meaning country that uses their military to react to the world instead of understanding it, or as a bully who is trying to take over the world.  “For a country that does not see itself as militaristic, your preferred method of international involvement is through your military,” said Haqqani.

An important aspect of the first two week resident’s session is the forming of the seminars that will be utilized during the remainder of the course and after they graduate.  “Forming them now, gives the students a chance to put a face to a name and began forming the interpersonal relationships that will be vital for the remainder of the course and beyond,” said Chun.

“Getting to know the people we have been conversing with over the internet for the past year will help us with the second half of the course,” said Lt. Col. Joe Ebert, 378th Engineer Battalion.  “It is nice to put the face with the name.”

For all War College students their seminar is probably the most important aspect of their time here.  “I am still in contact with most of my seminar,” said Gen. (Ret.) David McKiernan, USAWC class of 1992, who spoke to the DEC. 

At the end of their residency the students are expected to have a different appreciation of the curriculum they are being taught.  They are also expected to use the skills they learned in strategic leadership and apply them both to the rest of the course and to their professions.  “You are not expected to leave here as modern day Clausewitz,” said McKiernan.  “But rather as a better “practitioner” in a service, joint interagency and coalition context.”

The distance education program consists of a series of 10 on-line courses and 2 resident courses, taken over a 2-year period, giving a total of 36 credit hours for the program.  Like the resident program, successful completion of the distance education program results in the Graduation Certificate and a Master of Strategic Studies degree. 

During their two week residency, students also have the opportunity to utilize the USAWC Library and AHEC for research and to participate in the Leadership Feedback and Physical Fitness Assessment programs.  The Distance Education class of 2011 is slated to graduate July 22, 2011. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

(Above) DDE students conduct hands on strengh training from the APFRI staff.   (Right) Students gather in the Command Conference Room for a "brown bag discussion" with that day's guest speaker.

 

Watch for photos to be posted throughout the next two weeks, capturing the DDE Class of 2011's First Resident Course here

You can also stay on top of all the Army War College news on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usawc


Summer Sense Campaign—How to have a safe July 4th

Throwing a party responsibly

While everyone loves a great party, it’s the hosts’ responsibility to ensure everything runs smoothly.  The following are some tips to make sure everyone has a safe AND fun time:

 

*           Get together a list of emergency numbers (police, fire, etc) as well as that of some taxi companies to have available before hand

*           Have a bartender (someone not drinking) to help keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking, and who is drinking. The legal drinking age is 21

*           Make sure you have non-alcoholic beverages available

*           Keep food available throughout the entire time you have guests (high protein foods like meat and cheese are best)

*           Stop serving alcohol about 2 hrs before the party’s anticipated end

*           Encourage the Designated Driver Program – SOMEONE WHO IS NOT DRINKING.

 

*           NEVER EVER LET ANYONE WHO’S HAD TOO MUCH TO DRINK DRIVE!

 

Have a safe, accident free Fourth of July Weekend.

 

For additional information contact the Army Substance Abuse Program at 245-4576.

 

SUMMER SENSE: DRINKING, BOATING AND THE LAW

 

Remember:

 

*           Boating under the influence carries stiff penalties. If you are arrested you could face fines between $500.00 and $7,500.00, up to 2 years in jail, and suspension of boating privileges for up to one year.

*           Homicide by watercraft while under the influence carries fines up to $15,000.00, and three to seven years in prison. An operator is considered impaired at .08 BAC in PA.

*           Each year more than 700 people die in boating accidents. Alcohol is involved in close to 40% of these fatalities.

*           Your vision, judgment, reaction time, and balance are impaired with the first drink, all of which you need when boating.

*           It is illegal to operate a watercraft (including personal watercraft and jet-skis) on all waters of the Commonwealth while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

*           Stay Safe. Don’t operate a boat under the influence of alcohol.

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT THE ARMY SUBSTANCE ABUSE OFFICE AT 245-4576 or check out the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission at www.fish.state.pa.us

 

The above information was provided by the PA Liquor Control Board.

 

 


Campbell Soup Company issues recall of several SpaghettiOs products

Campbell Soup Company has issued a voluntary recall of several SpaghettiOs products because of possible under-processing, according to a June 17 message from Defense Commissary Agency health and safety officials.

As a result of this recall, DeCA has removed from its shelves the following products:

  • SpaghettiOs with Meatballs, 14.75-ounce can,UPC: 5100-02526, bearing the identifying product code "US" on the bottom of the can.
  • SpaghettiOs A to Z with Meatballs, 14.75-ounce can,UPC: 5100-14320, bearing the identifying product code "4N" on the bottom of the can.

Both recalled products bear the establishment number "EST 4K," as well as a "Use By" date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of each can.

People who have purchased any of the recalled products are advised to stop using them. Customers can return any recalled products purchased from a commissary to the place of purchase for a full refund.


Carlisle Barracks Announces Job Openings for Gate Guards and Police

  Carlisle Barracks, an equal opportunity employer, announces job openings for gate guards and police positions. USAJOBS.com is the entry point to apply for Guard-0085 and Police-0083.  

  Job details are in AR190-56.  All persons applying for a guard position must have a military campaign medal.  Candidates for police positions must have performed the full-time law enforcement duties of a uniformed police officer at the Federal, state, or local law enforcement level for at least 12 consecutive months within 3 years of the hire date.

  Security guard and correctional officer duties will not be considered law enforcement experience for the purpose of these training waiver requests.  

  The candidate’s experience must include a description of the duties performed and be certified, in writing, by the applicant. Additionally, graduation certificates and full transcripts containing all tasks trained from accredited Federal, state, or local law enforcement academies of at least 9 weeks in duration are required.  As an exception to the 9-week civilian police academy requirement, successful graduates of a U.S. military Service certified police officer training academy (that is, USAMPS; U.S. Air Force Security Forces Training Academy), who meet the above experience requirement, also may apply.

  For information on building resumes into the Army database, go to:  www.cpol.army.mil/employment


By TRADOC News Service

Sarvis and Solomon take top drill sergeant titlesStaff Sgt. Timothy Sarvis

FORT MONROE, Va. (June 18, 2010) -- Staff Sgt. Timothy E. Sarvis, assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., was selected as the active-duty Army 2010 Drill Sergeant of the Year and Staff Sgt. Melissa C. Solomon, assigned to the 108th Training Division, was selected as the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year.

"We went through some rigorous times out there," said Sarvis. "I was a little surprised when I won. All those drill sergeants were doing great stuff out there."

Upon hearing her name announced as the Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year, Solomon said, "I was very shocked ... but I'm very honored to have won."

Winners were announced in a military ceremony here today hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. John R. Calpena and reviewed by Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, deputy commanding general for Initial Military Training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Both Drill Sergeants of the Year were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.Staff Sgt. Melissa Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

The winners were among eight of the Army's top drill sergeants competing for the prestigious award. This year's competition featured five active-duty and three Army Reserve drill sergeants. Each competitor had already been recognized as the Drill Sergeant of the Year for his or her respective installation or division.

The active-duty Army Drill Sergeant of the Year will receive the Stephen Ailes Award, initiated in 1969. Ailes was Secretary of the Army from 1964 to 1965 and was instrumental in creating the first Drill Sergeant School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The Reserve Component winner will receive the Ralph Haines Jr. Award. Haines was commander of the Continental Army Command (forerunner of TRADOC) from 1970 to 1972. Both awards will be presented in the Pentagon at a later date.


Puerto Rican troops, Families need new birth certificates

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2010 - Servicemembers and their families who were born in Puerto Rico will need to obtain a new birth certificate starting July 1, although the Defense Department will honor the certificate they used to establish their identity and to enroll for military benefits prior to that date, a defense official said.

 

The Puerto Rican government, in cooperation with the departments of State and Homeland Security, has enacted a new law that invalidates all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued on or before June 30. The law, which takes effect July 1, is intended to combat the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico birth certificates to obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits and other federal services, according to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

 

Within the Defense Department, officials will accept only the new, certified birth certificate for initial enrollment into the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System as of July 1, said Heidi Boyd, senior policy analyst for Defense Department ID card policy. DEERS is the department's database of servicemembers, their family members and others who are eligible for military benefits, including the Tricare military health plan.

 

However, the birth certificate used by servicemembers and their families to enroll in DEERS prior to July 1 will remain valid and they will remain enrolled, Boyd said.

 

"Identity is very important for [the Defense Department], and we need as much as we can to establish identity," she said. "But we're not going to take someone's benefits away. We're going to make sure everyone gets the coverage and entitlements they're supposed to get through this process."

 

Still, Boyd recommends that servicemembers, their families, Defense Department civilians and contractors born in Puerto Rico apply for a new birth certificate for identification purposes, including ID card renewal.

 

"People with an old birth certificate should do the best they can to get a new one as quickly as possible," she advised. "And we'll do everything we can to make sure the process is easy for them and benefits are not disrupted."

 

People can apply for a new certificate online at http://pr.gov, or through the mail by completing an application available at http://www.salud.gov.pr/Programas/RegistroDemografico/Documents/Birth%20Certificate%20Application.pdf.

 

While people can apply now, the government won't start issuing the new birth certificates until July 1, Boyd noted.

 

The Defense Department also is working with the Puerto Rican government to establish an expedited mail-in system for military members, according to Christopher Arendt, deputy director of accession policy. This system, he added, still is in the planning stages, and people should continue to apply online until it's launched.

 

After July 1, people who have applied for but haven't yet received the new birth certificate and require DEERS enrollment or an ID card issuance or renewal can obtain a temporary 90-day card through their military service branch, Boyd said. She also encouraged servicemembers and their families to keep alternate documents, such as a passport or driver's license, on hand to establish identity and eligibility.


Amanda Keene, Army War College Public Affairs

Carlisle Barracks supports senior games for 12th yearParticipants enjoy a game of Pinochle at the LeTort View Community Center.

For more photos go here

June 18, 2010 – Seniors from centers all across Cumberland County came to Carlisle Barracks yesterday to enjoy a fun-filled day of activities and fellowship with each other.  The 117 participants were able to choose from a variety of 25 events – from pinochle, shuffleboard, basketball and bowling to billiards, darts, dancing and run/walks.

“We love the location,” said Heather DeWire of Cumberland County Aging & Community Services.  “We appreciate the Barracks letting us use their facilities, and the MWR staff is exceptionally helpful.”

The Senior Games have been held at Carlisle Barracks for the past twelve years.  Senior Games combine sports, recreation, friendly competition and fellowship, all in one day.  The goal is to stimulate active lifestyles, promote healthy living, build lasting friendships and create fond memories.Three ladies finish the 1600M walk at Indian Field.

A gentleman sends his ball down the lanes at Strike Zone Bowling Center.


Army & Air Force Exchange Service release
Make the call after recall

DALLAS – With the recent major recalls of cars, toys, and even a popular fast food franchise’s promotional glassware, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service wants to ensure their patrons know the recall process for goods sold in exchanges.

    There are two ways to check recalls specific to exchange operations. Authorized shoppers can go to their local exchange and check the customer service area or log on to www.aafes.comfor the latest recall information.

    “The fact of the matter is, the customer needs to be informed and reassured,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm, AAFES senior enlisted advisor. “We strive to stay abreast and quickly post all recalls that affect our customers.”

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission generates recalls and alerts on products. These are based on regulatory website information, supplier notifications, inspections, testing results and Department of Defense Hazardous Food and Non-Prescription Drug Recall System alerts.

    In the event of a potential recall, AAFES Quality Assurance notifies buyers to determine whether exchange shoppers have been affected. Buyers then provide information such as the scope, Universal Product Code and disposition information. Once quality assurance specialists send recall information to impacted stores and distribution centers, details are posted in the stores and online. Once the item is recalled it can be systematically blocked at the registers and the distribution flow is stopped.

    “If the customer is knowledgeable of how this process works it makes their experience better,” said Helm. “And we are in the business of making sure customers are taken care of.”

    Helm and AAFES invite Exchange patrons to utilize the CPSC and AAFES websites as well as in store information to stay up to date on the latest recall information.

    CPSC is the federal agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death. Information concerning more than 4,500 product recalls is available through their website at http://www.cpsc.gov


    By Erin O. Stattel, Army War College, Public Affairs

    An Army War College send-off for retiring commandant

    Maj. Gen. Robert M. Williams honored with ceremony

   For more photos go here

Gen. Martin Dempsey, commanding General U.S. Army TRADOC and William Johnsen, USAWC Dean of Academics bid MG Robert Williams and his wife Deb farewell during MG Williams' retirement ceremony on June 17,2010. Photo by: SSG Corey Baltos

(June 17, 2010)—With the 28th Division Pennsylvania Army National Guard Band playing in the background, the Army War College community bid farewell to Maj. Gen. Robert M. Williams and his family, at a ceremony June 17 on Carlisle Barracks’ historic parade grounds. The ceremony officially marked the end of a 36-year career in uniform for the outgoing Army War College commandant.

    “Today’s a day to celebrate and three years ago I thought I was leaving the Army soon,” Williams said. “We came to Carlisle and little did I know how this place would consume Deb and I, nor how hard it would be to leave.”

     General Martin Dempsey, Commanding General of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, officiated the ceremony and called the former commandant “the kind of peer you call to talk about a thorny problem.”

    “I always enjoy coming here. Carlisle Barracks is one of those places where you can feel those who have tread before us on this hallowed ground,” Dempsey said in his opening remarks. “On Monday we celebrated Flag Day and today we celebrate the service of a man and woman for 36 years. That kind of commitment to a single vocation is remarkable.”

    “Bob’s lasting legacy is his passion for developing the next generation of leaders: leading, educating and training Soldiers,” Dempsey said. “Bob has said that he’s had the good fortune of being associated with education and training, but the truth is the Army’s been fortunate to have Bob associated with education and training.”

    Williams received the Award of Distinguished Service Medal for his years of service in the Army, as well as an honorary degree from the U.S. Army War College.  His wife, Deb Williams, received the Secretary of the Army’s Public Service Award in appreciation for her contributions as a volunteer to the Army.

    “Deb and I have had this extraordinary life,” Williams said. “We don’t get wealthy as Soldiers, but we lead very rich lives.”

    Present at the ceremony were Williams’ former commanders and colleagues, among them former Army Chiefs of Staff retired Gen. Carl E. Vuono and retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan; retired Lt. Gen. John Sylvester; retired Lt. Gen. Ronald E. Adams; retired Maj. Gen. James Kelley; former USAWC commandant retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales; and retired Maj. Gen. Gerald Sajer.

    Williams spoke about his different experiences and of all those who shaped them, and reflected on the memories made.

    “The feel and sound of rain on my helmet and the cold wind on my face as I rode in the back of a jeep,” he said. “Some of them would make normal people cringe, but those memories are like home and today it would feel like refuge to be back there. I would live them all over again.”

   

 

Gen. Martin Dempsey bids farewell to MG Robert Williams during his retirement ceremony. Photo by: SSG Corey Baltos

Prior to his assignment as the 47th commandant of the U.S. Army War College in 2008, Williams served at Ft. Knox, where he was the Commanding General of the United States Armor Center from September 2006 until January 2008.  From November 2002 through June 2004, Williams served as the Commanding General, 7th Army Training Command and the Expeditionary Training Center, headquartered at Grafenwoehr, Germany.  During this period, he also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the C3 for CJTF-7.  Additionally, he served as the G3 (Operations) for US Army Europe and Seventh Army from June 2004 until August 2005. 

    Williams is the son of a soldier and the second generation in his family to continue the legacy of service to the nation.  His career highlights include command of 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; assistant division command of 1st Infantry Division in Germany; service with the Allied Command Europe, Rapid Reaction Corps; leadership of the Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and joint duty at the Pentagon.  Williams also served as the executive officer of the Second Armored Division’s, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor (Tiger Brigade) during Desert Shield, and Desert Storm during their mission to Kuwait City to cut off fleeing Iraqi forces. The events were chronicled by a Newsweek article in 1991.

    Williams was commissioned in 1974 from the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He holds a master’s degree in philosophy from Emory University, and a second master’s degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.

    He served as an instructor in the English department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Retired Maj. Gen. Robert and Deb Williams have two children.   Williams, who considers his hometown Jacksonville, Fla., will take a job in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

    Williams’ decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.

 

 

MG Robert Williams laughs as he shakes hands with Gen. Martin Dempsey during his retirement ceremony. Photo by: SSG Corey Baltos.


 Public Affairs staff report
USAWC students recognized for improving physical health

 

Col. Robert Byrd and Lt. Col. Shawn O’Brien, members of Seminar 2, pose with Col. Tom Williams, APFRI director, and their “Iron APFRI” trophy, given to the Army War College Seminar that supported their Iron  APFRI participants to help them win June 19 in the Bliss Hall foyer. Photo by Amanda Keene.

 

June 16, 2010 -- Army War College students who demonstrated the “greatest achievement" between the APFRI Assessment last August/September and the recent follow-up Assessment in March were given APFRI t-shirt during a ceremony June 10 in the Bliss Hall foyer .

    “Given the significant health and fitness improvements evidenced in a significant number of other individuals within your AY10 Class, this is a significant achievement worthy of recognition,” said Col. Tom Williams, APFRI Director.  

    Also recognized were the students who won the “Iron APFRI” competition.

    “This was a very demanding 12-week regimen that involved focusing on leadership, health, and fitness.” said Williams. “Leadership involves influencing others to do what they might not have done on their own so their collective leadership in convincing other students within their seminar to participate is worthy of recognition.” The winner was Seminar 2. Col. Robert Byrd and Lt. Col. Shawn O’Brien accepted the trophy on behalf of the seminar.

    The “Iron APFRI” competition was created as a way for Army War College student seminars to compete against each other and also promoting health and fitness.

    “Each seminar was asked to nominate two volunteers who will display the greatest overall improvement from their assessment results from last August and September to a follow-up assessment in March 2010,” said Williams, APFRI director. 

Participates had the opportunity to receive weekly individualized personal training support from APFRI Health Fitness Instructors, personal classes, and access to other specialists within APFRI to help optimize their progress, according to Williams. APFRI Fitness Team members reviewed their initial assessment and meet with team members weekly to help plot a course for individual success in health and fitness.

    

Students recognized included:

Col. John Jansen

Col. Wendy Bechtal

Lt. Col. Dirk Plante

Col. Ron Metternich

Lt. Col. Ernesto Sirvas

Col. Robert Timm

Ronald Crevecouer

Israel Col. Nir Solomon

Egypt Col. Tarek Hassan

Botswana Col. Sentsehae Macheng

Colombia Col. Ruben Alzate-Mora

Georgia Lt. Col. Zurab Algadze

Deb Vergos

Col. Frank McClary

Nepal Brig. Gen. Rajendra Chhetri

Lt. Col. Ed Siegfried

Marine Lt. Col. Reese Rodgers


Prof. Charles Allen, Army War College

The Legacy of Henry O. Flipper in the U.S. Army

[www.army.mil] --This year on May 22, the President of the United States and Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, Barack Obama, was the graduation speaker for the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The birthday of the U.S. Army, June 14, marks the anniversary of another graduation of special note. In 1877, Henry Ossian Flipper became the first African American graduate of West Point. That the United States would elect a black man president 130 years after the first black graduate of West Point would have been beyond the pale for many Americans of that generation and culture.

Henry O. Flipper was born into slavery in 1856 and gained his freedom after our bloody Civil War. In 1873, talented and well educated, Flipper received an appointment to West Point and left Atlanta University. While the U.S. War Department sought to have a cadre of African American officers, the military academy staff and students resisted the introduction of Negroes into the Corps of Cadets.

Flipper was the seventh African American to enter West Point and, as a member of the Class of 1877, was the first to graduate and be commissioned as an Army officer. This was quite an accomplishment since from 1870 to 1898, twelve African Americans entered the Academy and only six stayed longer than one semester. Flipper remarked of his experience, "there was no society for me to enjoy-no friends, male or female, for me to visit...so absolute was my isolation." Flipper would be one of the three black cadets that actually completed the curriculum and graduated in the nineteenth century.

His graduation was marked with curiosity, fanfare, and respect by some for his success as a cadet. That, however, did not readily translate into a successful Army career. One of the original Buffalo Soldiers and assigned to the 10th Regiment U.S. Cavalry, Flipper was eventually charged and faced courts-martial for embezzlement of funds. Though found not guilty of that charge, he was convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer for filing false official reports and was dishonorably discharged. After the Army, Flipper was a successful civilian engineer who would eventually serve in the Department of Justice and later would be a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. In 1976, before the centennial of his graduation from West Point, Flipper's descendants filed for review of the courts-martial decision. The Army Board for the Correction of Military Records recommended setting aside the conviction and, as a result, the Army issued a Certificate of Honorable Discharge, citing the unjust nature of the proceedings and punishment. The story of Henry O. Flipper reached another Commander in Chief and in 1999, President Bill Clinton issued a pardon for him.

What is the legacy of this Georgia-born slave? Some might have expected that his graduation would have led to easier acceptance of African Americans into West Point and into the Army officer's corps. That was not to be. Despite the evidence of heroic actions of African American soldiers on the western frontier and in the Spanish American War, our published U.S. history reflected something to the contrary. A 1925 study conducted by the Army War College offered the following conclusion:

As combat troops under modern war conditions, [negroes] never rose to the standard of white units even when well led by white officers. The negro officers were educationally and in character far inferior to the whites, and troops under negro officers were unfit for battle against an aggressive and active enemy.

It was not until 1936 that the fourth African American cadet graduated from West Point, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. In 1940, his father, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. became the first African-American general in the United States military. When World War II started, father and son were the only two African American line officers in the Army. As a cadet, Davis, Jr. faced some of the same hardships as Flipper, subjected to "silencing" and isolation during his four years at the Academy. Graduating 35th out of 278 in the Class of 1936, Davis Jr. would become a member of the fabled all-black Tuskegee Airmen, then the 332nd Fighter Group "Red Tails." Later he would achieve the rank of Brigadier General having commanded several black aviation units in World War II. Another Tuskegee Institute graduate and airman, Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. would become the first African American four-star general in the U.S. military.

In 1948, in the aftermath of WWII and perhaps taking note of the performance of African-Americans across the services in that great endeavor, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981 directing the integration of the Armed Forces. Few in the West Point Class of 1951 would have considered that cadet Roscoe Robinson would be the first African American West Point graduate to wear four stars and culminate his Army career as the United States Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Robinson's alma mater bestowed honors upon him with the Distinguished Graduate Award in 1993. In 2000, West Point posthumously dedicated one of its lecture halls as the General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. Auditorium.

This is more than just a history lesson, there is a personal connection for me and only a few degrees of separation. As a high school senior in the fall of 1972, I was contacted by a West Point liaison officer who was recruiting young men of color to join the officer ranks of our Army. My fellow military academy cadets included Lloyd Austin (the former Commander, 18th Airborne Corps in Iraq and is now nominated as a four-star commander of U.S. Forces-Iraq)) and my 1978 classmate Tom Bostick (now Lieutenant General and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel/G-1). During those four years at West Point, I met officers of color of proven ability on the staff and faculty who accomplished great things in their service to the nation.

With the Class of 1978, we were by my rough count among the first 300 black graduates from West Point, following Flipper's accomplishment of one hundred years prior. The West Point Classes of 1979 and 1980 included African American brothers, Leo and Vincent Brooks, who would follow in their father's footsteps and attain the rank of Army Major General. Vincent would become the highest ranking cadet as the First Captain of the United States Corps of Cadets. During my assignment teaching there in the late 1980s, we welcomed the appointment of Brigadier General Fred A. Gordon (Class of 1962) as the first African American commandant of West Point.

When I graduated from the United States Army War College in 2001, a retired non-commissioned officer from my battalion command presented me with a framed print of Henry O. Flipper-that print has been on my living room wall ever since. I returned to the War College faculty in 2003 and to the right of my office doorway is a display of the achievements of Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. This summer another group of 340 students from the military services, government civilian agencies, and 50 countries will attend the Army War College and I hope each of them will take notice of the Davis print as they walk our hallways.

The legacy of Henry O. Flipper is long and significant. The institution that actively resisted enrollment and development of African American officers now has an award in his name to graduating cadets at the Academy who exhibit "leadership, self-discipline, and perseverance in the face of unusual difficulties." As is often the case in our history, U.S. civilian leadership directs change of the Army. The Army, as an institution, resists change that is perceived to challenge its identity, its culture, and its core mission. The institutional bastions, like West Point, are the holders of traditions and can be the fiercest resisters. Civilian direction and oversight is required to ensure that change (for the right reasons) is not subverted and diverted. This is reaffirmed by the legacy of a talented former slave who was motivated to serve his country. The opportunity provided to Henry O. Flipper for service led to opportunities for countless named and unnamed soldier-leaders.

That's the way it should be in our institutions and our society. We should look for and identify talented people, protect and provide for their personal and professional development, and allow them to reach their full potential as leaders in our nation. This is what will keep America great.

Retired Army Col. Charles D. Allen is the Professor of Cultural Science in the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management at the U.S. Army War College.


Post hosts Force Protection Exercise

Post firefighters start packing up their equipment after fighting a "mock fire" during the post force protection exercise held June 15. Photo by Amanda Keene.

 

A routine scheduled Force Protection Exercise was held on Carlisle Barracks on Tuesday, June 15, from 5:30 to 11 a.m.

"The exercise went really well," said Barry Shughart, installation emergency manager.  "I've gotten good comments from people both on the ground and in the [Incident Operations Center].  Everyone learned a lot."

Carlisle Barracks Force Protection Exercises are held quarterly and involve first responders on Post partnered with outside agencies.  The Pa. State Police EOD team took part in Tuesday’s exercise.

"[The State Police] were able to integrate easily into the [Incident Command] system," said Shughart.  "They were very cooperative during the exercise."

Even though exercises are conducted to practice for a possible incident, real-world events still happen.
 
"During the exercise, the fire department had a real-world alarm to respond to," said James Chesser, Chief of Police for Carlisle Barracks.  "The guards also had an illegal entry.  They were common, everyday events, but it hampers the training event when you have to pull people out for real-world incidents."

College honors 2010 Award Winners

The U.S. Army War College gave special honors to 29 members of the Class of 2010 during the graduation ceremony on the Carlisle Barracks parade field today.

Col John Frewen, Australian Army:  The 2010 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition (1st place) for --  “Harmonious oceans?: Chinese aircraft carriers and Australia’s U.S. alliance”

COL Richard G. Zoller: The 2010 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition (2nd place) for -- “Russian cyberspace strategy and a proposed United States response”

 COL Tarn D. Warren: The 2010 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition (2nd place) for -- “ISAF and Afghanistan: the impact of failure on NATO’s future”

LtCol James T. Jenkins II: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “Terminating peace: Military flexibility during Bosnian reconstruction and stability operations”

COL Carl R. Trout: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “American war strategy: Restoring coherence and unity of effort”

Cmdr. Mary K. Hallerberg, U.S. Navy: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “Maritime piracy: Examining the U.S. response to a global threat”

Lt. Col. Lorianne M. Campanella: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “Moving forward vice straight ahead”

Mr. Ernest E. Rodgers III, DHS: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “The Army National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security”

Col. Mark W. Lukens: The AWC Foundation Award for Outstanding Strategy Research Paper for – “Strategic analysis of irregular warfare”

Col. Douglas V. Mastriano: The AWC Foundation Personal Experience Monograph Writing Award for – “the last battle of the Argonne: Archeological research and the authenticity of Sergeant Alvin York’s heroic deed”

Lt. Col. Christopher A. Worley, U.S. Air Force: The AWC Foundation Speaking Competition Award for – “Let Iran have the bomb”

Lt. Col. Richard A. Teolis, Jr : The AWC Foundation Anton Myrer Leadership Award for – “A holistic approach to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

 Col. Bruce A. Stephens: The COL Don & Mrs Anne Bussey Military Intelligence Writing Award for – “A hedge against politicization: An impartial intelligence community for America”

Brig. Gen. Malik Zafar Iqbal, Pakistan Army:  The Dr. John D. Conroy, Jr. Teaching Strategy Group Writing Award for – “US-Pakistan relations: an appraisal of the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy to counter terrorism”

Col. Scott W. Power: The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Writing Awards for – “Security force assistance: An enduring U.S. Army structure”

Lt. Col. Early I. Falk, U.S. Army National Guard: The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Writing Awards for – “Supporting operational National Guard’s dual role: Reconsidering Reserve Component categories”

 Col. Walter M. Hudson: The COL & Mrs. T. F. Bristol Military History Writing Award for – Occupational pursuits: The Army and World War II occupation planning”

Lt. Col. Ernesto L. Sirvas:  The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Institute for Land Warfare Award for – “Al Qaeda’ millenarian doctrine and implications for US policy”

Cmdr. John James Patterson VI, U.S. Navy: The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Writing Award for – “Long-term counterinsurgency strategy: Maximizing Special Operations airpower”

Lt. Col. Dirk E. Plante:The Military Order of the World Wars Writing Award for – Revitalizing the Nuclear Weapons Enterprise”

Lt. Col. Tarn M. Abell, U.S. Air Force Reserve: The Lieutenant General Thomas J. Plewes Reserve Components National Security Strategy Writing Award for – “Arctic security in a warming world”

Col. Ivar S. Tait:The U.S. Military Academy’s William E. Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic (SCPME) Writing Award for – ‘Establishing a Middle East Institute for security cooperation”

 Chaplain (Col.) Jonathan E. Shaw: The Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association (AFCEA) Writing Award for – The role of religion in national security policy since 9/11”

 Col. Allan L. Webster:The Excellence in Logistics Research or Writing Award for – “The role of the Army in infrastructure and capacity building”

Lt. Col. Brook J. Leonard, U.S. Air Force: The Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research for  -- “Bargaining theory and building strategies for countering armed groups”
Lt. Col. Thomas A. Bruno, U.S.  Marine Corps: The Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research for – “Ending an insurgency violently: the Samar and Batangas punitive campaigns”
Brig. Gen. Naseer Ali Khan, Pakistan Army: The Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research for – “Kashmir dispute: Significance of its early resolution”
Mr. Paul A. Matus, NSA: The Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research for – Strategic impact of cyber warfare rules for the United States”

Col. Roger L. Shuck, President, Class of 2010:  The AWC Alumni Association Lifetime Membership Award


Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos, Army War College Public Affairs

USAWC graduates senior military and government leaders

Find graduation photos to include all diploma photos here:

Find graduation videos from the USAWC graduation here:

Find writing awards from the USAWC graduation here:

Download graduation videos here

Steve Forbes, guest speaker for the 2010 USAWC graduation, congratulates Army Col. Sammie L. Hargrove after receiving his diploma at the graduation ceremony June 12, 2010.

 

Officers of all military services, federal civilians and international officers celebrated the completion of studies at the U.S. Army War College in a ceremony in the historic Carlisle Barracks parade grounds, June 12.  This class is the 94th class to graduate since the War College was founded in 1901. The college awards the USAWC diploma and master’s degree in Strategic Studies.

The graduating class of 2010 consists of 336 students, including 266 U.S. officers from the Army, Air Force, Navy Marines, and Coast Guard and senior officers from 49 nations. As well as the military officers, 27 senior civilian employees from various U.S. federal agencies received degrees.

The graduation marked both an end and a beginning.  It was the end of their 10-month resident studies course, and the beginning of a new set of challenges as they step into the responsibilities of senior leadership.

“Attending this class helped me focus on getting to the next strategic level,” said USAWC class president, Army Col. Roger Shuck.  “We learned to think outside the box, and look at problems from different perspectives.”  Shuck will use the skills he honed at the war college at his next assignment as the garrison commander of Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Maj. General Robert Williams, USAWC commandant, encouraged the graduates to build on the relationships they forged over the past year to help them in the years ahead.  “Your combined backgrounds brought a wealth of knowledge to your studies in a time of enormous change, great danger and uncertainty for our nation, our military and the whole world,” said Williams.

“The skills you refined and the personal relationships you have developed are certain to influence your success when you are presented with the opportunity to serve and lead at the strategic level,” Williams said.

Marine Col. David P. Sheehan receives his diploma from Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, comandant USAWC, during the graduation ceremony on June 12.

 

Several students noted that the friendships they made were the greatest assets of their time here.  “We better understand the United States and the people of this great country,” said Malaysian Brig. Gen. Zaki Mokhtar, USAWC International Fellows President.

Other students and family members noted that this year gave them time to reconnect with their families.  “For me the best thing about this year was it gave me additional time with my family that has been neglected since 9/11,” said Army Lt. Col. Gary McGinnis.  His wife, Sally, agreed.  “The best thing about this year was meeting all these wonderful people and playing in the snow.”  McGinnis and his family will return to Raleigh, N.C., where he will resume his job at the North Carolina National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters.

Steve Forbes the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media was the graduation speaker.  He reminded the graduates of the role that economies play in the world and more specifically how it affects the military.  “Financial mismanagement during the 1920’s led to the Great Depression which led to catastrophic changes in the world.  Without the Great Depression, Adolf Hitler never would have come to power in Germany,” said Forbes.  “The stagnation of the world’s economy in the 1970’s led to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops.  Both issues we are wrestling with today.”

USAWC graduates line up to receive their awards for academic excellence.

 

 

Forbes went on to say that when the economy is allowed to flourish, the entire world would benefit.  “In a free society we learn to adjust, we get things right and the result is a global boom,” said Forbes. “We learned from the mistakes of the 1920’s, righted the economy in the ‘30’s, and enjoyed a tremendous worldwide post war economic and social boom.” 

Forbes recommended five principles that will affect the environment in which the graduates will work:

  • The rule of law – enforce contracts and property rights
  • Sound money – money should be stable in value
  • Taxes – Taxes are the price and burden of society
  • Make it easier for people to go into business
  • Remove barriers to business to encourage entrepreneurship.

Forbes acknowledged that we live in troubled times, but we can learn from history. “If we get back to basics, we don’t spend what we don’t have, we learn from our mistakes, and adjust accordingly, we will pull through.  Civilization will advance.  There will be more innovation,” said Forbes. 

Forbes closed with, “When you hang up your hat for the last time, you can look back on your life and say, ‘mission accomplished, civilization advanced, freedom advanced, and I had a role in it’.

 Class of 2010 Background

The graduating class of 2010 includes  --

  • 260 officers from the Army, Air Force, Navy Marines, and Coast Guard Officer representing the Active, Reserve, and National Guard components 
  • 27 senior civilians from the Department of the Army, the Defense Senior Leader Development Program, Department of State, National Security Agency, and Department of Homeland Security
  • 49 International Fellows, foreign officers from Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan (2), Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Yemen.

      More than 65 percent of the U.S. military student body has campaign experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 32 percent in Operating Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). At least 30 are heading to assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, while others will support operations from headquarters worldwide.


Army War College celebrates Army birthday

Army War College students and National Security Seminar members join in standing ovation for the post’s junior Soldier, Pvt. 1st Class Melissa McBride, of Enterprise, Ala. who helped Maj. Gen. Robert Williams cut the 235th Army Birthday cake, June 11 in Carlisle, Pa. 

“The official date is June 14 – Flag Day – but it will be meaningful for all of us to take this moment together,” said USAWC Commandant Maj. Gen. Robert Williams as a final event for the Army War College class of 2010 before the June 12 graduation.  

    “On Memorial Day last month, most of our [Army War College] students took pause to note that this was one of the few Memorial Days on which they weren’t on duty somewhere around the globe. That’s why the Army Birthday is a unique moment: we stop everywhere, around the world, for a few minutes … to tip a beret …  cut a cake … or sing the Army song. There will be birthday cakes from Fort Bragg to the National Training Center, forwarding operating bases in Iraq and command outposts in Afghanistan. Today, we have 250,790 soldiers deployed or forward-stationed in nearly 80 countries overseas.

     “We have much to celebrate. For 235 years, generations of american men and women have stepped forward ... At home and abroad ... As soldiers and army civilians … to  defend our freedoms, and those of our friends and our allies.  And, generations of army men and women have played central roles in fighting diseases, building infrastructure at home and abroad, organizing disaster relief, offering humanitarian assistance, developing new technologies, and – make no mistake – winning the nation’s wars.  No matter the mission, they have dedicated themselves to make our Army strong … and to make our nation strong.

     “You know, this is my last Army Birthday in uniform and I believe the meaning of this simple symbol is profound,” said Williams. “We pass our values from senior to junior, from one generation to the next, and that’s an important part of how we maintain this national treasure, the Army.”

 Williams, Chaplain (Col.) D'Emma and McBride cut the cake for the Army Birthday.


For the 2009 Carlisle Barracks Drinking Water Quality Report please go here.


Thomas Zimmerman, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Seminar brings together civilian, military leaders to discuss national security issues

 

Air Force Lt. Col. David Trimble, and Marine Lt. Col. Anthone Wright talk about an issue with Rene Bardorf, National Security Seminar  Participant and Executive Director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Bristow, Va., during NSS June 9. Photo by Thomas Zimmerman.

want more photos?

 

June 10, 2010 -- A diverse group of Americans from education, law, business and other fields traded daily work routines for a week-long experience as new members of the Army War College seminars. Informed citizens, who are interested in national and international issues, came here for an immersion experience with the men and women here who will make the news.  

    The Army War College welcomed more than 150 new members of the National Strategy Seminar, June 7-11, and sent them into 20 different seminar rooms to exchange thoughts about compelling and challenging topics national security. These discussions provided a mix of opinions and gave the topics new dimension for faculty and students. 

    “Seminars like this are important because, as you know, we are in an era of prolonged conflict and everyone in this room will play an important role is shaping our future,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC commandant, during his opening remarks in Bliss Hall. “The discussions and relationships formed here will reap benefits as we set the course for our nation.”

   The seminar has been held at the Army War College annually since 1954 and serves as a "final synthesis" of the year's education for the Army War College students.

   

Carlisle Barracks Soldiers participate in a retreat ceremony for the 2010 National Security Seminar. Photo by Erin O. Stattel.

 

    During the five-day seminar, USAWC students and their guests took part in discussions, motivated by a variety of speakers from the civilian and military worlds. Guest speakers included Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, the top military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Dr. Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute, Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Dr. Jennifer Bryson, Witherspoon Institute.   

    “Each of the speakers has brought up issues that have made me look at them from a different perspective,” said Doug LaViolette, NSS participant and president of the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation in Oneida, Wisc. “This has really helped energize the discussions when we get back to our seminar groups.”

     LaViolette, an Army veteran, said he wishes he had the opportunity to attend a seminar like this while he was serving.

    “I feel it’s extremely important that there is a healthy and open dialogue between the military and civilian communities,” he said. “We can’t do any of this alone.”

    The week started off with a VTC from Afghanistan by Flynn, who spoke to the audience about strategic planning, the roles of the different regional players and the importance of operations in Afghanistan in regional stabilization.

    “It was great being able to hear first-hand from a leader who sees every day what is going on in Afghanistan and the issues and challenges that our troops are dealing with every day,” said Steve Stafford, NSS participant, a consultant from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. “It really changes your perspective on the situation when you hear about all of the challenges and meet the men and women who will be leading the fight in the future.”

    “He (Flynn) brought up a lot of issues that face our troops in Afghanistan that I wasn’t even aware of like the challenges of the terrain and working with local tribes that make their jobs so much harder,” said David Mulligan, NSS participant and owner of White Sands Construction, Kamuela, Hawaii.  

NSS participants and USAWC students talk while in seminar during NSS. Photo by Amanda Keene.

     Herman brought a different perspective for many of the NSS guests and USAWC students as she covered topics like the legal application of the First Amendment, the ACLUs view on the detainment of terror suspects, and the application of Miranda Rights.

    “She really made me think more about some of the issue she discussed from a perspective that I hadn’t considered before,” said Neil McCollum, NSS participant and Senior Vice President, AON Corporation, Roswell, Ga. “While I didn’t always agree with her stance on some of them, I think that these types of events help encourage a healthy dialogue on some very important issues.”

    “She definitely brought up some topics and some perspectives that energized our seminar discussions,” said Lt. Col. Carla Campbell, student. “It was great to see the give-and-take between the students and the NSS guests. It was a healthy dialogue.”  

    Some of the NSS participants said that the best part of being at the seminar was the chance to talk and hear from the perspective of the military’s future leaders.

    “I’ve always had a healthy respect for the military and the tough job they have but I never really understood everything they do until I came here,” said Frank Padak, NSS participant and President and CEO, Scott Credit Union, Collinsville, Ill.  

    “This has allowed me to see first-hand how secure the future of our nation’s military is.”

    “This is my first real experience talking with members of the military and I’ve been very impressed with their depth of knowledge on so many topics,” said David Browning, NSS participant and Senior Vice President of TechnoServe, Old Greenwich, Conn. “I think the opportunity to talk to someone who has seen the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan first-hand is amazing and an experience I’ll never forget.”

    Beltway insider Dr. NormanOrnstein brought to the NSS discussion years of working inside the capital region and writing and speaking about topics from heath care to the challenges facing Congress.

    “He really provided us some great topics for discussion once we got back to our seminar,” said Peter Kay, NSS new member and consultant from Cincinatti, Ohio. “The insight he provided into topics like the 2012 election and issues of increasing importance like immigration were great.”  

   Apart from the Bliss Hall and seminar discussions, NSS new seminar members also attended a Gettysburg Staff Ride and multiple social events, all designed to share and exchange ideas.

    “I think it’s great that we are able to meet and talk over these important issues with the future leaders of our military,” said Robert Johnson, NSS participant and Bronx, New York, County District Attorney.

    “The ability to spend a week talking with these folks really helps bring an insight into how they think and operate. You just can’t find anywhere else.”

    “It’s really a great opportunity to see how we’ve grown and developed as strategic leaders,” said Lt. Col. Steve Nott, student. “The time we spent in seminars talking over issues with civilian leaders from all walks of life really helps us see how we all need to work together to solve these issues.”   

    “This seminar has really helped reinforce for me that the solutions for many of the issues facing national security will take a team approach to solve,” said Marine Lt. Col. Anthone Wright. “We’ll need to work with our civilian partners to find the best and most efficient solution.”

    Williams closed the National Security Seminar 2010 with his thanks to new members for their earnest participation. “It is our honor to serve this nation in such good company,” he said in the final Bliss Hall session, June 11.

     “You have asked the tough questions,” the commandant noted. “You had no reluctance to both assimilate and engage -- qualities we admire in our profession of arms!

     “Your lives are all about the rich diversity that makes up our great nation, fills us with great pride, and reminds us of the true strength of this country we serve.

     I hope this week has proved useful and I hope we have given you a sense of the kind of strategic leaders who will graduate tomorrow -- leaders who are up to the tough tasks that lie ahead.

     Williams highlighted the International Fellows whose contributions were richly valued this week and throughout the year, and who will find themselves in significant leadership positions in their nations. Some will return to nations in difficulty, he added. They represent the rich, diverse, exceptional strength that is possible, he said, as he led the audience in applause for the 49 international officers in the Class of 2010.

     “We cannot do it alone.” 

     Whatever solutions will be needed for challenges ahead, those solutions will include the competence, courage, candor, and compassion of the great men and women of our Armed Forces, he said.

     Williams offered a special thanks to the Army War College Foundation and to the McCormick Foundation for their generous support to the NSS programs.


Maj. Gen. Williams says farewell to USAWC Class of 2010

In his last time addressing the Army War College Class of 2010 before graduation, Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, USAWC Commandant, delivered these remarks in Bliss Hall--

In my final days as a Soldier and the commandant of the Army War College, my message this afternoon is a simple one, but also serious.  Let me begin with the simple part.

You have been a terrific class, you have had, in our opinion, a great year, and you all have a bright and challenging future ahead.   As I stand here, I am painfully aware that some of you have packers at the door,  so with that in mind, I will try to bebrief.

Thanks for the great work that you and your families have done for this community.  Thanks to all the spouses of the class of 2010 whose collective energy have been remarkable this year.     

As all of us in this room know, leadership is the hallmark of our profession, and your class leadership, starting with Col. Roger Schuck and Brigadier Zaki Mokhtar, has been outstanding.   I want all the seminar leaders, all the class officers, please stand up and be recognized for your contributions. Your class demanded the faculty give you all that they could deliver, and yet you always supported the team here.  I thank all of you for that. 

I also want to thank all the class committees, but especially the yearbook team.  The yearbook committee labors in relative obscurity and their product is not seen until you are all dispersed but their efforts are significant.  Would Col. John Mauk and the yearbook team please stand up and be recognized. 

Now -- a special thanks to this class for a great effort at Jim Thorpe Sports Day.  I would ask the Jim Thorpe committee chairmen stand up and be recognized.  Thanks for giving me an undefeated tenure as the commandant.  Let the word go out to Maxwell, to Newport, to Fort McNair, to Quantico – you missed your opportunity – the class of 2010 would not be denied. By the way the class of 2004 stands ready to hand over their very special hats, but not to you.

Now let me be a bit more serious.

You are about to re-enter the day to dayservice of protecting the nation.  Some of you will deploy within a few days of graduation; others inevitably in your next year or two.

We are, ladies and gentlemen facing an existential threat— these are extraordinarily dangerous times, and it is my belief that the collective threat that all of us face today is more dangerous than the threat that ominously hung over this great country during the Cold War.

That threat makes the lessons, and the context of your education here all the more important.  For those of you who have already deployed in harm’s way, your experience gives you a sobering view of the near term, and my hope is that those experiences reinforce the importance of your year here. 

In the days ahead many of you will begin to make an important transition; from the need to demonstrate physical courage to the need increasingly to demonstrate moral courage. Most of you have already begun this transition.  You will be less a hands-on leader, and more a leader who employs the indirect approach because of the scope, the span and the nature of your responsibilities. I know that many of you already recognize this from your experience.   It is a very different battlefield that you will be asked to serve on in the days and years ahead.  When first you stood on some hill, on some battlefield - and I know many of you have done this- and immediately saw the entire battlefield before you-- it was easy…..---in the days to come it will be much harder--the reality of the battlefield--for you--is something far beyond the kind of time and space relation that you experienced as a Lt., a Capt., or even a Lt. Col.  It will be hard--much harder and the stakes will be enormous.  I am confident that all of you in this room are up to the challenge.  As I have told many of you this year--welcome to the big leagues.

Use your well honed instincts, your personal relationships, and the education you have received here and elsewhere and you will do well. 

That said, never forget,your passion for our Soldiers and your responsibility for leadership.  Someone will always have  to get Soldiers to move off the beach,or from behind that stone wall, someone will always have to get Soldiers to take the objective----increasingly for you though, it will mean taking a hard position---to change an ill conceived  policy, to move an organization forward, or perhaps to stand up--in the face of real professional danger-- to change a poorly conceived operational concept, or an incomplete campaign plan----the point is, leadership makes the difference; it is and always will be important at the tactical level--and it is no less important at the strategic level.

Now for some very serious thoughts, and they are serious indeed, I believe I owe you a bit of reflection on what I believe your generation of strategic leaders will face in the next 5-15 years.  And so let me begin:

I believe your generation of strategic leaders will face

    -  potential war– and I mean war  in the traditional sense,  a real conventional conflict, perhaps on the Korean Peninsula, perhaps in the Middle East, perhaps in some location completely unimaginable to us here on this day in this auditorium. The reality is there, the conditions are ripe, and you may have to lead your nation through this enormous challenge

    -  your generation will face potential economic challenges the like of which the country and world has not seen in over 90 years.Your generation will face the question soon as to whether strategy should dictate resources or resources should dictate strategy.

    -  your generation will face a complex world in which conflict is the noun, where--to use a phrase you have heard a lot of this year, a whole of government approach is demanded, but were the rest of the government is largely absent.

    -  your generation will face environmental catastrophes - the likes of which we are seeing right now in our own gulf and sadly perhaps you will face catastrophes that are even worse.—you will be called --to bring order out of what  will surely be chaos.

    -  last but not least, I believe your generation will haveto rebuild an army.  We are approaching 10 years into this war. Long wars have an interesting characteristic about them, in that,they act like giant crucibles on which all training, education, combat developments, and organizations are shaped and forged.  So it has been with this war.  The real question is, has this war, has this crucible, forged the training, the education, the combat developments and the organizations the country needs in the next century- and not for “this”war,but the next one.

You in this room have to answer that question. And you in this room must have the vision to see what that war might be and you in this room must develop the narrative to convince your political masters, your Army, your Air Force, your Navy , your Marine Corps,and the country to move in that direction. This will require moral courage and real leadership.  It will be very hard indeed.

T.E Lawrence in his great work, the seven pillars of wisdom wrote passionately about how in the wake of “his” war , the Arab revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule, and I quote, “old men came out and took from us our victory, and then remade it in the likeness of the former world they knew.”

Now the interesting thing about Lawrence’s passage here is that like some of you in this audience he was worried about his army returning to its former self—

Characterize it as you will, I am speaking about your former Army—big, heavy,combined arms like etc etc.  But the fact is as right as Lawrence was in his time,he was also very wrong, and had the British Army shaped itself in the wakeof WWI as Lawrence wished, they would have been woefully unprepared for WWII.

The truth is T.E. Lawrence was captured by “his”war and not the war that was coming.

So like T.E. Lawrence, be concerned about the Army you have to build and lead, but also be concerned that you do not become the tired generals who want to fight the last war, and remake the world you know so well.

That is your world ladies and gentlemen—I may have it wrong and in a sense I hope I do have it wrong

Now to a slightly lighter tone.

Stay in contact, especially with each other.  The Army War College is about lifelong learning and outreach.  We stand ready to serve you wherever you go with faculty support or access to our materials.  Keep us informed about your operational reality– we must always be ready to adjust to the conditions and you can help your college do that.

Let me close on a personal note of appreciation.  Many of us here have sons and daughters in this profession.  My son is preparing himself to be a Lieutenant.  With that said,   it is the most personal and heartfelt measure of my confidence and respect for this class that I would be honored to have any one of you lead my son in your future commands.  I wish all of you the very best.  I will miss all of you a great deal. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the enemy remains at our gates ---the republic calls all of you for service yet again.

God bless you all and God Speed. I’ll see you Saturday at the parade ground.


The U.S. Army War College welcomes new Members to the National Security Seminar

 

Col. Sergio Dickerson and Lt. Col. Ricky Emerson, USAWC students, talk with an NSS New Member during a break June 8 in Bliss Hall.

For NSS photos go here 

  Approximately 160 business, government, academic and community leaders from across the country are here this week to participate in the 56th Annual National Security Seminar, June 7-11.  The Seminar is the capstone event of the 10-month curriculum here at the Army War College, the Army’s senior educational institution.

   The principal purpose of the seminar is to give participants an opportunity to meet and exchange views with the Nation’s future military leaders.  Army War College students learn from various citizen viewpoints on defense and security matters.  NSS guests participate as new members of one of twenty student seminars to discuss national security issues.

  Featured speakers during the week will include Professor Susan Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, Dr. Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Dr. Jennifer Bryson, director of the Islam and Civil Society project at the Witherspoon Institute, and Representative Lee Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.   

  The U.S. Army War College was established in 1901 “not to promote war, but to preserve peace,” in the words of Elihu Root, then Secretary of War.   As the Army’s senior service college, it prepares senior military officers to serve in the highest command and staff positions in the Armed Forces of the United States.  Annually, it provides educational outreach to nearly 7,000 students, program participants and senior visitors.

   The 336 members of the Army War College Class of 2010 include 260 officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including active, reserve and National Guard; 49 international military officers and 27 senior civilian employees of the federal government.


Army Substance Abuse Program
Summer sense campaign: Prescription RX abuse

What can you do?

Think about your home. What prescription and over-the-counter drugs do you have? Where are they kept? Would you know if some were missing? The good news is that you can take steps immediately to limit access to these drugs and help keep your teen drug-free.

1. Safeguard all drugs at home. Monitor quantities and control access.

            Take note of how many pills are in the bottle or pill packet, and keep track of refills. This goes for your own medication, as well as for your teen and other members of your household. If you find you have to refill medication more often than expected, there could be a real problem – someone may be taking your medication, and monitor dosages and refills.

2. Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider’s advice and dosages.

            Make sure your teen uses prescription drugs only as directed by a medical provider and follows instructions for OTC products carefully. This includes taking the proper dosage and not using with other substances without a medical provider’s approval. Teens should never take prescription or OTC drugs with street drugs or alcohol. If you have any questions about how to take a drug, call your family physician or pharmacist.

3. Be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines.

            Examine your own behavior to ensure you set a good example. If you misuse your prescription drugs, such as share them with your kids, or abuse them, your teen will take notice. Avoid sharing your drugs and always follow your medical provider’s instructions.

4. Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medicines in the trash.

            Unused prescription drugs should be hidden and thrown away in the trash. So that teens and others don’t take them out of the trash, you can mix them with an undesirable substance (like used coffee grounds or kitty litter) and put the mixture in an empty can or bag. Unless the directions say otherwise, do NOT flush medications down the drain or toilet because chemicals can pollute the water supply. Also, remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles or pill packages before you throw them away.

5. Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well.

            Make sure your friends and relatives, especially grandparents, know the risks, too, and encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicine cabinets. If there are other households your teen has access to, talk to those families as well about the importance of safeguarding medications. If you don’t know the parents of your child’s friends, then make an effort to get to know them, and get on the same page about rules and expectations for use of all drugs, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Follow up with your teen’s school administration to find out what they are doing to address issues of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse in schools.

    Talk to your teen about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These are powerful drugs that, when abused, can be just as dangerous as street drugs. Tell your teen the risks far outweigh any “benefits.”

    The above information provided by PARENTS the Anti-Drug. For additional information contact the Army Substance Abuse Program at 245 – 4576.


Deployed parents can view defense schools' graduations

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2010 - Deployed servicemembers with children graduating from Department of Defense Education Activity-managed schools in Europe this month will be able to view a live broadcast of the ceremonies.

An estimated 125 servicemembers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations have children taking part in 14 graduation ceremonies, DoDEA officials in Wiesbaden, Germany, said.

For the seventh consecutive year, DoDEA will provide a webcast of the graduation ceremonies to include congratulations videos from the U.S. European Command commander and each service component commander, as well as student messages and graduation announcements.

The webcast will feature the graduation ceremonies of the following DoDEA high schools in Italy, Germany, England and Spain on these dates:

June 10 ? Naples, Patch, Bamberg, Ansbach, and Heidelberg High Schools June 11 ? Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, Vilseck, Rota and Lakenheath High Schools June 12 ? Aviano, and Mannheim High Schools June 13 ? Wiesbaden and Vicenza High Schools

To view a graduation ceremony, go to www.doddsegrads.net, then type in the username "2010grads," and the password "lucky2010."


Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Summer programs, camps, online offerings for military youths  

 June 4, 2010 – One of the biggest issues during the summer for many parents is how to keep their child occupied and safe during their school holiday.  For children whose parents work or are stationed at Carlisle Barracks, there are many programs and activities to not only exercise their body, but their mind as well. 

 Carlisle Barracks offer many opportunities for post youth.

 “The activities not only offer a respite from day-to-day routines, but also foster camaraderie among children dealing with similar military challenges,” said Barbara Thompson, director of the Pentagon's office of family policy, children and youth.

 "Peer to peer is wonderful way for children to learn how to deal and cope with separations and parents' absence," she said. "Each person copes differently, but my personal belief is that when you're busy, it takes some of the burden off of your shoulders, takes away some of your anxiety and concern."

Camps offer opportunities

Thompson suggested military families start by looking into the plethora of day and residential summer camps.

Military camps such as these can be particularly beneficial for Guard and Reserve children who may not have a community of support around them, Thompson said.  "It shows that they're not alone, that there are other children facing the same worries and anxieties as they deal with the issues of the military lifestyle," she said. 

The Carlisle Barracks Summer Day Camp is available for elementary school age children, both active and reserve.  The camp, which is partnered with the Pennsylvania Boys and Girls Club, runs from June 14 to August 27. 

“The goal of the camp is to keep the kids active,” said Bob Salviano, the Carlisle Barracks School Age Services director. “We have a wide variety of activities for the kids, such as bike riding, swimming, science programs and many other things.”

For teens, Carlisle Barracks has a Teen center that is open Monday through Saturday.  “While it is not a structured camp,” said Salviano.  “It is a place where teens can hang out, shoot pool, skate board or just socialize.”  Like the summer camp the teen center also plans excursions for the kids to places like Hershey Park or to play paintball.

The Defense Department will deploy more than 100 of its child and youth behavioral specialists to 99 of these camps, Thompson noted. They'll support the camp staff, she said, and also will conduct focus groups and other support activities for children.

The department will send hundreds of other child and youth specialists to Operation Purple Camps and to camps sponsored by the services, Thompson said.

In total, "we are going to be sending over 500 child and youth specialists across the world to take care of children in summer activities," she said.

Operation Purple Camps, sponsored by the National Military Family Association, are designed to help military children ages 7 to 17 cope with the stress of having a parent deployed, Michelle Joyner, the association's communications director, explained.

While camp registration has ended for this summer, registration still is open for Operation Purple Family Retreats, available to all members of a military family. The next retreat will be held July 4 at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It includes a travel stipend to defray the cost, Joyner said. People can visit militaryfamily.org to sign up or to learn about the association's other family programs.

Other Operation Purple Family Retreats will be held in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in September and the Pocono Mountains here in Pennsylvania in October.  For more information, please visit http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple/family-retreats/how-do-i-apply.html

"It's a wonderful opportunity to bring kids together so they can learn some coping skills to get through difficult times," she said. The children also are encouraged to form their own support networks, she added.

Off-post community offers cultural opportunities

Off the installation, Thompson encouraged parents to explore cultural opportunities through the Blue Star Museums program. This initiative, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, offers servicemembers and up to five of their immediate family members free admission to participating museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day. More than 600 museums in 50 states and the District of Columbia have signed up so far.

Some of the Pennsylvania museums who are participating in this program are: the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the Hershey Story in Hershey and the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in Willamsport.  For a complete list of participating museums go to: http://www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index.php

For budding golfers, the First Tee Military Affiliate Program offers free golf instruction to children from Guard and Reserve families geographically separated from a military base, Thompson noted.

The instruction is available at First Tee's 200 chapters located across the nation. School-age children at all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, are invited to hone their golf game with the help of trained coaches.

The program not only sharpens their skills on the green, but also equips children with life skills. Along with basic golf instruction, First Tee coaches teach children interpersonal communication, managing emotions, goal-setting and overcoming obstacles.

There are nine First Tee chapters in Pennsylvania.  Their website is: www.thefirsttee.org.

Online tools also available

For parents looking to keep their kids' learning skills honed throughout the summer, Thompson suggested they visit Tutor.com, a free, online tutoring service for servicemembers and their families. Children can access round-the-clock professional tutors who can assist with school work.  Children can also receive help from the staff at the Carlisle teen center.

"When children are out of school we want their time to be fun, but productive as well," she said.

Also aimed at education, the Department of Defense Education Activity will offer a four-week summer enrichment program that emphasizes math and language arts skills. This year, the program will be offered at 62 sites worldwide to about 10 percent of the activity's students from kindergarten through 8th grade.

The activity also offers a summer online high school program for students who are at risk of not meeting graduation requirements. These students can enroll in coursework to replace a failing grade or to fulfill a course requirement.

"Our summer school program helps our students meet their educational requirements through a virtual program," said Patricia Riley, chief of the activity's Virtual School Program. "This is particularly helpful for our students overseas, since many [do] travel back to the U.S. to see family in the summer, which would be difficult if they were attending a traditional brick-and-mortar summer school."

From outdoor activities to educational opportunities, the department's summer-time programs are just another way of taking care of military families, Thompson noted.

"Children also serve," she said. "For them, it may be a little harder than [for] the adults in their life, because they can't always figure out what's going to happen next, especially depending on the age of the child. To have these opportunities for excitement and fun is just the best thing that we can do."

 

Some information in this story came from a Defenselink.com report.

 


Summer comes to Carlisle Barracks

Memorial Day has come and gone kicking off the unofficial start to Summer here at Carlisle Barracks. The post is busy as usual, getting a head start on post construction projects, the opening of the post pool and new ice cream stand and the final stage of the Claremont Road gate construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Regina Thames, post pool manger, eyes up an ice cream cone, the perfect treat on a hot summer day outside the new ice cream shop at the pool. Coming soon will be detail on a “name the ice cream shop” contest. The shop is open the same hour as the pool, 11-12 for lap swimming, 12-7 p.m. for opening swimming.

For more information on the pool go here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work is almost complete at the Claremont Road gate as trees have been planted at the former vehicle inspection area. The project created a safer inspection area for Meadows and post residents and provides better protection for the guards and police.

 

 

 

 

Moving trucks are also a common sight as Army War College students and their families prepare to move on to their next assignments.


Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Post hosts town hall meeting

Lt. Col. Janet Holliday, Carlisle Barracks Garrison Commander, welcomes everyone to the Town Hall meeting held at Bliss Hall auditorium on June 2nd. Photo by Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos.

June 1, 2010 -- The summer months at Carlisle Barracks bring to mind many things; packing up and moving after graduation, construction, and the challenge of keeping kids occupied all summer.  These questions and more were answered at the Carlisle Barracks town hall meeting, which was held in Bliss Hall June 2, 2010.

    As students depart after graduation they may have unwanted but serviceable items that they can’t take with them. To help save these items from the landfills, the post will be participating in Project Share drive June 9th from 9 to 11 a.m.  Volunteers will pick up tagged bags of non-perishable goods, according to Nancy Davis, the Project Share coordinator.  Goods can also be brought to a Project Share truck stationed at the PX parking lot.

    An issue that had been brought up at previous town hall meetings, the mock billing of on post resident utilities, was also addressed.  Ty McPhillips, Balfour Beatty Communities, Carlisle Barracks housing partner- explained the changes.  The original plan was, after months of mock billing to establish a base usage, to start real billing in July 2010.  However, a full meter audit conducted in February and March of this year identified an anomaly in the Forbes Ave., Garrison Lane, and Royal American duplexes. 

    “Each duplex shares a geo-thermal well pump,” said McPhillips.  This means they are only getting readings from one household instead of two.  To solve this problem the homes will have an isolation meter installed on the well.  Once these are installed, they will also undergo a mock billing period to establish a base line, so the real billing will not start until next year.  “It is not fair for half the people to get billed while the other half doesn’t so, all billing will be pushed back until July 2011,” said McPhillips.

    Also on the agenda was summer construction. 

    “I am going to make your summer memorable,” said Tom Kelly, the public works director.  “I am going to tear your roads up.”  Due to the usually harsh winter last year there is about $100,000 worth of road work and curb repair to be done. 

    Kelly also urged residents to be careful around Upton Hall starting on June 24th because they would be repairing the cupola, or the rounded part of the roof.  The repair work should be finished around the first of August. 

   Another project will be the construction of a building to house the post fire trucks, adjacent to the fire station.  Work is schedule to start June 14 and last until approximately Oct. 1. The structure is a pre-engineered steel building with a brick veneer to match the barracks complex buildings. The majority of parking in the parking lot behind the fire house will remain open, but eight spaces will be removed permanently to accommodate the building.  All of these spaces are either reserved for government vehicles or permit parking.

    Lastly, demolition of the Bouquet Road homes is slated to begin on July 1st to make way for the new youth center which is scheduled to break ground in October.

    Another topic discussed were the Child and Youth Services of activities that are being offered to keep post youth active during the summer. 

    “We will have our annual summer camp which will run from June 14-August 27,” said Liz Knouse, FMWR director.  “Parents can sign their kid’s up for the whole summer or just a couple of weeks or a few days.  It is up to them.”  The camp is available to children in Kindergarten through sixth grade.  For older kids there are dances and field trips and the teen center is open every afternoon Monday through Saturday. For more information call 245-4555. 

    The next town hall meeting is expected to take place in September.


Installation Picnic July 9

The Carlisle Barracks Installation Picnic will be held on Friday, July 9, from noon to 4 p.m. at the picnic area behind the LeTort View Community Center.

This year's menu consists of: BBQ pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, vegetable platter, fruit platter, potato salad, macaroni salad, and lemonade or iced tea to drink.  Food will be served from noon to 2 p.m.  After 1 p.m., it's all you can eat!

You can purchase your tickets from any of the following:

AHEC – Tommy Shird                  DHR - SFC Pamela Murphy

PKSOI – Barbara Glasgow          USAWC/DPO – Bonnie Moore

Root Hall – Marianne Barrick     Dunham Clinic - SFC Grant

USAG – Theresa Martin               CSL – MSG Richard Morris

DRM/DOC – Julia Blessing         Vet Clinic – PFC Alissa McBryde

APFRI – Capt Doug Lowery        DMWR – Kevin Small

 

To take advantage of special pricing, please purchase your tickets before July 1.  The price for adults is $6 per person (orange ticket), children ages 6-12 is $3 per child (gray ticket), children under 6 eat free.  Volunteers can purchase their tickets for $3 per person.  If you purchase your tickets after July 1: adults are $8/ticket, children 6-12 are $5/ticket, volunteers are $5/ticket.


Unattended package leads to quick response by post security

June 3, 2010 -- Post security personnel responded to a suspicious package left in the vicinity of Root Hall today which led to a short lockdown of the building while it was investigated.

The owner of the package was contacted and a bomb dog from the Cumberland County police determined the package as safe and the building was re-opened for normal operations.

“We appreciate the professionalism and quick reaction of our security team and the cooperation we received from our downtown partners,” said Col. Al Bourque, USAWC Chief of Staff.


Amanda Keene, Army War College Public Affairs Office
Learn to swim on post

 

June 3, 2010 -- Beginning June 14, swimming lessons will begin for all registered participants.  Each class will hold a maximum of ten students; lessons are 50 minutes in length, held daily Monday through Friday, and last for two weeks.  Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"We have fun doing it," said Robert Jumper, instructor.  "You can definitely see an improvement when the two weeks are over."  This is Jumper's third year as a lifeguard and instructor at Carlisle Barracks.

The participants are usually young children, but the lessons are open to all ages.  Classes are available for all levels.

"The classes are held at different levels, numbered one through six," stated Jumper.  "By level four, swimmers are learning the butterfly and are familiar with free style and the backstroke."

Registration will be accepted by calling 245-3560/4029/4343.  Registration can also be completed at the Sports Office or swimming pool, during regular hours.

At the time of registration, a $40 per student fee must be paid.  Carlisle Barracks Youth Services' Day Camp children receive a $5 discount when registering for swimming lessons.


Amanda Keene, Army War College Public Affairs
Community pool opens for season May 29

May 27, 2010 – The Carlisle Barracks pool, located behind the Letort View Community Center, will be open for the summer season at 11am, May 29. 

The pool will be open daily, 11am to 12pm for lap swimming, and open swimming from 12pm to 7pm.  While schools are still session, the pool will only be open from 4pm to 7pm for open swimming.  Remember – the pool will be cleared during “Retreat.” 

A few reminders:

Bathing suits are required at all times; no cut-offs or t-shirts permitted.  No shoes, flippers or shower clogs permitted in the pool, or on the pool deck.

When there is sighted thunder and/or lightning in the area, the pool will be cleared of patrons.  There will be a 45-minute waiting period after the storm leaves the area.  If swimming cannot be continued for the rest of the day, season pass holders will receive a free game pass at the Strike Zone bowling center for that day.

Military members, civilian employees and their family members who possess a valid DoD ID card, or Community Operations/Recreation ID are permitted to use the pool.  All identification cards are to be presented when entering the pool.

Swimming lessons begin June 14.  Each class will hold a maximum of ten students; lessons are 50 minutes in length and last for two weeks.  Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Don’t forget – the volleyball sand-pit is also available during pool hours.  Bring your own ball, or you can borrow one from the snack bar.  You can also borrow pool toys, free of charge!

For more information regarding the pool and relevant activities, contact the pool operator, Regina Thames at 245-3560/4029. 


 

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command
Sponsorship: Start Strong to Be Strong

I have moved many times in my career, within the United States and overseas. I have deployed several times, leaving my wife to pull double duty at home. I know the good, the bad and the ugly of moving firsthand from my Family's experience and the stories shared by other Soldiers, Civilians and Family members. Every move brings new opportunities but also challenges and stress that can have a negative impact on work and home life.

I also know from personal experience that sponsors can be the determining factor between a good or bad move. An excellent sponsor plays a key role in making a positive first impression and helping the new person and Family integrate into the unit, workplace and community.

During the past several years the Army has been experiencing a high volume of transition due to Army Force Generation, modularity, Grow the Army, Base Realignment and Closure and troop mobilization. Now more than ever we need effective sponsorship to mitigate the stress of transition; however, Soldiers, Civilians and Families continue to express frustration with the Army's Sponsorship Program.

Sometimes our personnel and Family members have an exceptional sponsor − someone who truly makes them feel welcome and gets them off to an excellent start − but that is not always the case. There may be sponsors who are not well-equipped or motivated to provide the needed assistance or, even worse, no sponsorship at all. These experiences make sponsorship a pressing Army Family Action Plan issue. I am taking this opportunity to improve on our Total Army Sponsorship Program (TASP) to enhance the readiness of our Soldiers and Civilians, and deliver on our promise to take care of Families.

The Army's Sponsorship Program, as prescribed in AR 600-8-8, The Total Army Sponsorship Program, requires every first-term Soldier have a sponsor. The sponsor acts as a big brother or sister and helps the Soldier learn Army standards and develop a sense of responsibility and teamwork. After that initial assignment, TASP offers sponsors for every Soldier, Private through Colonel, and likewise for every Civilian in grades up to GS-15. A vital part of the Sponsorship Program that is often forgotten or overlooked is the rear detachment support provided to Family members of deployed Soldiers and Civilians.

So we have in our regulations a Sponsorship Program that covers all members of our community. I want to make sure that what is outlined on paper is also happening in our communities. Soldiers, Civilians and Family members will have a sponsor to provide information and support before, during and after transitions, mobilizations and deployments.

We must make sure sponsors are well-equipped for their important role. Sponsors must understand their role and have the necessary information and resources to fulfill it. Even more so, sponsors must be willing to reach out and make human contact, especially with new Soldiers, first-time Civilian employees, and Family members who are unfamiliar with the Army way of life.

Above all, I want to ensure that commanders are invested in the success of the Sponsorship Program within their community. TASP is a commander's program. Its success is contingent upon the commander's involvement and support. It is leadership's responsibility to send the message that sponsorship is something important to do and to do it right. At the most basic level, that means having an adequate pool of sponsors to meet the needs of the community and supporting those sponsors with reasonable time and resources to do a good job.

I have asked IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Ciotola to lead a working group to review sponsorship from a holistic perspective and to update the program to meet the needs of Soldiers in today's Army. Two important aspects of the Sponsorship Program under examination are integration and tracking. We must have a means to collect, transmit and follow up on their needs and issues. We do not want Soldiers carrying unresolved issues from assignment to assignment. We do not want Families to fail to connect or to become disconnected from their community, especially if their Soldier is deployed. We are looking at the feasibility of using current systems to integrate and track TASP processes Army wide, among other possible improvements. I anticipate that new recommendations, guidance and requirements will be forthcoming as a result of our review.

We are approaching summer, the traditional moving season for the military. Most of us in an Army environment, Soldiers, Civilians and Family members alike, know what it is like to relocate. We know what a difference it makes to have a helping hand along the way.

Leaders, your direct experience alone, whether good or bad, should be enough incentive to make the Sponsorship Program in your sphere of influence as effective as possible.

With a successful sponsorship program, we can treat every one of these moves as an opportunity to show that we will do right by Soldiers, Civilians and Families. The time and effort invested up front will pay big dividends in the satisfaction, commitment, and increased cohesion and mission readiness of Army units. All Soldiers, Civilians and Family members must be provided with quality programs and safe communities that meet their needs while enabling them to thrive and maintain resiliency. We will keep our promise.


DeCA announces nominees for ‘Best Commissary’ awards

    Of the 253 Defense Commissary Agency stores around the world, 25 have been nominated to compete for the agency’s most prestigious honors, the annual Best Commissary Awards.


    One of those nominated is the Carlisle Barracks Commissary, which was nominated for the Bill Nichols Award, given out to the best large U.S. commissary.

    "We're excited to be in the competition," said Larry Hoover, Carlisle Barracks Commissary manager. "We've been nominated several times over the past years, and hopefully this is our year! "

    Other nominees in the category areKeesler Air Force Base Commissary, Miss., Moody Air Force Base Commissary, Ga., Marine Corps Air Station New River Commissary, N.C., and Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Commissary, Va.

    DeCA’s Best Commissary awards recognize overall excellence in commissary operations and service. Selection of nominees is highly competitive and is based on operations, performance and accountability. The awards honor legislators who protected the commissary benefit and championed quality-of-life issues for the military and their families.

    Winning stores are objectively evaluated in four areas: accountability, unit cost, commissary customer service survey and sales. The standard for accountability requires all departments in the store – meat, grocery and produce – be within the allowable tolerance for their physical inventory during fiscal 2009. For unit cost, a store must have a decrease in unit cost from previous years’ average. Under the commissary customer service survey criteria, the store must meet or exceed the DeCA average or the average for its sales band category. And, under sales, commissaries located in the United States must show a positive sales growth, averaging fiscal 2009 with previous years’ sales.

Each finalist is subject to an unannounced inspection by the DeCA Inspector General’s office and an unannounced command visit.

Winners will receive their awards at the DeCA and American Logistics Association 2010 Training Event and Conference to be held in Atlanta in June.


Amanda Keene, Army War College Public Affairs

US students win annual soccer match with IFs 2-0

May 27, 2010 – The US students and International Fellows took part in the annual Army War College US-IF Soccer Match yesterday afternoon, where the “winner” was the US team, 2-0.

The annual game “is a friendly match in the soccer family,” according to Dr. Larry Goodson, Professor of Middle East Studies.  “The students have been working together for several months, and in this game they’re split – US versus IF.  This allows them to give each other a family kick-around and ‘talk smack’ to each other.”

“The point is for them to have fun and I think we achieved that yesterday,” said Goodson, who coached the soccer team for Jim Thorpe Sports Day in April.  The players from that team made up the split of US and IF players in yesterday’s game.  Goodson started the US-IF match as coach for the US side, but was invited to play on the IF side for a few minutes during the game.

“Everyone played well,” said Gretchen Morrison, who works in the IF Program.  “There was a good spirit in the crowds, and some exciting moments in the game.”

“It was a great game – a clean game,” said Col. “Alpo” Portelli, who directs the IF Program.  “The IF had great skill and played very gentlemanly.  We were surprised that the US won, but all the players had a good time.”

The IF team’s goalkeeper, Col. Mohammed Al Hamami of Iraq, acknowledged the US team had more physical stamina. 

“We had good players,” said Al Hamami.  “The emotions were good and everyone was having fun.  There was no fighting and it wasn’t competitive. After the game, there was a nice picnic with hot dogs and burgers.”

The match is an event that’s been held annually over the past ten years. 


A new online look will not change the professional tone and strategic orientation of Parameters, the Army War College journal. It will make it easier to research and use.

Like a new car with a better dashboard putting more choices at the driver's fingertips, the new Parameters online page makes selection easy.

Move directly to J. Boone Bartholomees' article, "The Issue of Attrition," or choose from among the selection of articles exploring tthe Spring 2010 featured topic, "Counterinsurgency and Beyond.'

Review the quarterly's editions published since 1971 or check out the Book Reviews.


 If you wonder how well privatized family housing is working on Army posts, so does the Army. That’s why surveys will be delivered to all on-post family residences during the week of June 1.

The Army Resident Survey give families a voice in assessing how well it’s working for them.  Questions in 14 categories are designed to help Army families determine how the privatized family housing initiative is shaping up here. It measures residents’ thoughts about housing assignment, move-in, policies, and maintenance services, among others.  The survey will be distributed to other Army installations with privatized family housing.

 “This survey is an annual effort to allow you and your family to tell us how well we are doing in meeting your on-post housing needs,” said garrison commander Lt. Col. Jan Holliday.

The survey responses are strictly confidential. Your survey will not identify the family or the residence you currently occupy. Honest responses will result in a more accurate picture of the current hosing conditions and services, said Holliday. That, in turn, will  help us and our developer partner, Balfour Beatty Communities, focus on improvements, she noted.

For questions, call the Army housing office here at 245-4959.


Staff Sgt. Corey Baltos, Public Affairs Office

Students confront battlefield’s hidden enemy

May 25, 2010— Many believe that once the United States pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq we will no longer have to worry about improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  This is not true, according to the college’s guest speaker, May 25.

 “As the increased uses of IEDs outside of these theaters have shown us, IEDs will continue to be the weapon of choice for both non-state actors and nation states throughout the 21st Century, said Col. Jeffery Jarkowsky, the operations and training division chief for the Joint IED Defeat Organization.

In February 2006, Defense Secretary Robert Gates converted the Army IED task force into a permanent organization dedicated to winning the fight against IEDs using all available resources. “Working hand-in-hand with military, government, academia, industry, and international partners, JIEDDO is rapidly finding, developing, and delivering emerging capabilities to counter the IED as a weapon of strategic influence,” said Jarkowsky.

 “There are many reasons as to why [the IED] has become their weapon of choice,” said Jarkowsky. “However the main reasons are: they are easy to build and easy to place. These bombs have the added effect of disrupting not only our ability to sustain the fight but to erode our desire to continue the fight.”

IEDs are a serious threat to civilians. 

 “IEDs are the enemy’s number one weapons system and the number one cause of casualties among U.S., coalition and civilians.  The enemy knows it can’t go toe-to-toe with us using conventional means, so the IED is the only way they can effectively attack us.”

The  JIEDDO is using a three-pronged attack on IEDs:  defeat the devises using equipment such as jammers and MRAPS; attack the networks that build and fund IEDs; and, train the force to detect and neutralize IEDs through realistic simulations during pre-deployment training. 

Sitting in on the lecture was Maj. Gen. Zetyad Mahawod, the commander of the Iraqi War College. A key way  to defeat IEDs is to strengthen cooperation between military and civilians. 

“In Iraq there is increased dialogue between our military and the civilian populations in the towns and villages,” said Mahawod.  “This has led to a significant decrease in the number of IEDs.”

IEDs are not only cheap and easy to place, they have significant effect on the people, noted British Army Lt. Col. Matthew Sharp, NATO advisor to the Iraqi War College.

 “People being blown up by IEDs have a psychological effect which the insurgents exploit to lessen our will to fight,” said Sharp.

“The threat is not going away,” said Jarkowsky. “We must understand this.  Otherwise we will have a hard row to hoe in the future.” 


New CBO introduces the Carlisle Barracks  Knowledge Network

The new CBO site is live online. From CBNet, you can select the CBO coin image [upper left corner of CBNet page] and connect to the new web face for collaboration at the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks.

For two weeks, both sites will be live.

As of June 15, CBO becomes the opening page for all users, according to Jamie Hulsey, IT manager.

All departmental pages currently linked from the CBNet will no longer be accessible as of June 15.  “All information will be presented in your departmental SharePoint site: the portal. If your departmental portal has not been set up, please contact 5-3000 for assistance,” said Hulsey.

As you review the new CBO, you’ll note a new way to get to the portal directory.

Where formerly you’d link to “USAWC portal” off of the CBNet and find the site directory, now you have two choices. You can select from the navigation bar at the top – or, go to Quick Links and select ‘CBO portal directory.”

The reason we’re having th3 two-week intro period with both sites side-by-side, is to help people get accustomed to the new portal navigation, and to see that every key element on the CBNet has been transferred to CBO. It may be in a different place.

Using the SharePoint portal will move the Army War College community into the 21st  century with the web 2.0 environment – the emphasis is on knowledge sharing.

Facebook is collaboration in the social environment – and, CBO creates a collaboration tool for the work environment,with simple, clear ways to share information and to control who you share it with.

Each department has a trained sharepoint site administrator who can answer questions;  55 have been trained from organizations throughout the post.  Find your sharepoint administrator: on the navigation bar, select Service Desk … Service Desk Portal … and then select Sharepoint Administrators in the middle of the page.

 

 

 

 


Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service
Gates addresses troops on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal

WASHINGTON (May 28, 2010) -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told troops worldwide today that any repeal of the so-called "don't ask don't tell" law will be delayed until the ongoing Defense Department high-level review is completed, and only after he, the president and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all can certify that the department is ready to make the change without hurting unit cohesion, military readiness, military effectiveness, and recruiting and retention.

Gates recorded a special message that will be broadcast on the American Forces Radio and Television Service and the Pentagon Channel to speak directly to servicemembers and their families about the moves toward repeal of the law that bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

"There's been a lot of political posturing and maneuvering on this issue this week, and the secretary wanted to communicate directly to the troops about what this all means to them," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. "He wanted to make it clear that the department's review of how to smartly implement a change in the law is more important than ever, and their participation in it is absolutely critical to its success."

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill yesterday that would allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed a similar amendment last night.

President Barack Obama said he is pleased with the congressional actions. He has long favored repealing the law, in which has been in effect since 1994.

"Key to successful repeal will be the ongoing Defense Department review, and as such, I am grateful that the amendments ... will ensure that the Department of Defense can complete that comprehensive review that will allow our military and their families the opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process," he said in a written statement released by the White House last night.

Obama said being the commander in chief is his greatest honor. "This legislation will help make our armed forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian Soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity," he said.

Any change in the law will take time, Gates said in his recorded message. "The legislative process is long and complex," he said. "While it appears likely that Congress will eventually change the 'don't ask, don't tell' law, we do not expect the legislation that would do this to be presented to the president for months - perhaps not until the end of the year."

The amendment is the result of a compromise worked out between the administration and Congress. It allows the military to revoke the "don't ask, don't tell" provisions 60 days after a military study group chaired by Jeh C. Johnson, the Defense Department's general counsel, and Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, presents its report in December.

The legislation is a deferred repeal, Gates stressed. "It would repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' but only after -- I repeat, after -- the ongoing Department of Defense high-level review is completed, and only after the president, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I all can certify that we are ready to make this change without hurting unit cohesion, military readiness, military effectiveness, and recruiting and retention," Gates said.

As the legislative process continues, nothing will change in current policies and practices, the secretary said. "Current law, policies and regulations remain in place, and we are obligated to abide by them as before," he said.

The vote in the House and at the Senate committee makes the results of the Defense Department study even more important, Gates said. The panel will conduct a thorough and fact-based assessment of the impact of the potential law change and will develop "an implementation plan that minimizes any possible disruption to the department's mission and on-going operations," he added.

Gates urged servicemembers to participate in the review. "We need to hear from you, and your families, so that we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner," the secretary said. "So please let us know how to do this right."

He asked all servicemembers to stay informed on this issue, but to not let it distract them from the "critical mission to defend our country and our duty to uphold the values represented by the uniform you wear," he said.

The message will play on AFRTS broadcast outlets overseas and on the Pentagon Channel in the United States.


Live utility billing delayed 'til July 2011

June 1, 2010 -- A glitch in electric metering in certain residences will give all on-post residences a one-year delay in electric utility billing.

Live utility billing in family quarters will be postponed ‘til July 2011. The garrison and its partner, BBC, decided to postpone the start date for all residents who were due to start receiving electric-usage bills.

For months, family housing residents have received mock bills, with no money due. The mock bills helped families become aware of their consumption habits, compared to others in similar housing.  Mock billing was a preparation for the live billing, scheduled to begin July 1.

While families reviewed their habits, BBC and the billing specialists also reviewed and analyzed metering results. They found an odd pattern in electric metering, according to the BBC project director for Carlisle Barracks, Ty McPhillips.

Where two sets of historic quarters are linked to a ground well, the electric usage was higher for one set.  

The pattern was detected in the historic homes on Forbes Road, Royal American Circle and Garrison Lane – triggering an investigation by BBC and Public Works into the metering that is linked to the geothermal wells.  They found that the ground pump electricity usage was wired to only one meter of each set of quarters linked to a single well.

It was a small difference in usage. It affects only those historic homes on the geothermal wells.  But it was enough to call a halt to the live billing start date, said McPhillips. BBC will invest $10 thousand in new metering to be installed this year to ensure that it’s right when billing goes live.

There are no problems with the metering in the new homes in Heritage Heights, Meadows and Marshall Ridge. But they get a year of grace so as to roll in the live utility billing once, for all.  The garrison command and its BBC partner agreed to postpone the utility billing program for all homes. Residents will continue to receive mock billing statements so they can continue to review their usage.

The utility billing delay proves the point made by the Army’s director of residential community programs. Ivan Bolden told residents at the February town hall meeting that the Army’s intent was to bill, and to bill fairly.

"We won't execute utility billing here 'til we get it right," said Bolden in February.

There’s a level of confidence in this process and review to ensure that when live billing does occur, it will be fair and consistent with the Army’s guidelines,” said McPhillips.