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Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

NSPS training sessions: Getting connected with career success

 

The NSPS theme is a lot like the traditional song about "your thigh bone connected to your hip bone . hip bone connected to your back bone." Garrison employees who will move to the National Security Personnel System in April invested many dedicated training hours to learn about how the new processes will change the way of measuring successes.

"Connectedness" is a key concept for understanding how NSPS affects each employee. Members of the class learned that next year's paycheck and possible bonus is connected to the pay pool's ability to understand and concur with the supervisor's evaluation and recommendation, and that's connected to the self-evaluation written by the employee - which is connected to the performance objectives set at the beginning of the evaluation period.

The garrison is waiting to know whether employees here will all be in a single pay pool, or will be in a pay pool with others in the same job field from multiple installations. It's likely that the pay pool will include people who are not personally familiar with each employee and his/her work.  Pay pools make final decisions about whether an employee will get a share of available bonus money; they can decide about pay increases; they can assign a rating that will earn the employee no change in pay next year.

Employee role big in evaluations

With future pay at stake, every employee will want to create a self-evaluation that is clear and detailed with achievements and measures of success.  It's essential that employees and supervisors talk frequently, clearly and thoroughly about objectives and achievements.  The pay pool will see both assessments:  the employee's self-evaluation and the supervisor's comments and recommended rating.  

Most people will be rated "valued employees," making them eligible to share in a pay pool payout. A "valued employee" is rated 3 out of 5. A pay pool will look for evidence of greater achievements in order to rate a 4 or 5. And, it will agree to a 2 rating only if the supervisor made a case about counseling and unmet objectives.

There's more that goes into the rating. 

Performance objectives can be weighted, so that some job objectives are more important than others. And, the rating will include "contributing factors." Contributing factors reflect HOW an employee does the job. There can be up to three factors applied to each objective.  Examples include cooperation and teamwork, customer service, leadership, communication. A valued performance may be rated higher than a 3 if contributing factors are positive. The opposite is also true if, for example, job accomplishment comes with poor customer service.

The two-day session for supervisors in late January and the full day for employees later that week were led by George Fritz of garrison HQ and Rhonda Newcomer of the Civilian Personnel office. After much online learning, and the class, it was the exercise used in both groups that will be remembered. 

Class members practiced writing performance objectives for a fictional employee. In round-robin fashion, they wrote a self-evaluation for a different employee's objectives. They recommended supervisor ratings after reading a third person's self-evaluation. Finally, they realized the tough job of a pay pool that will make significant decisions based on objectives, self-evaluation, supervisor recommendation. If any link in the chain is weak, the pay pool decisions are weakened.

IMCOM is planning for mock pay pools in late summer to shake out understanding of how the system will work before the first real pay pools convene.

IMCOM leaning forward toward April NSPS

The Army Garrison at Carlisle Barracks is deeply invested in training and preparation for about 60 employees to convert to NSPS in April.

Next steps for transition teams at IMCOM and local levels are to structure pay bands and pay pools in accordance with federal law and with the approval of the IMCOM Senior Executive Leadership.

"We will be developing SMART objectives for headquarters functionals for cascading use and guidance throughout the command," announced Brig. Gen. John McDonald, IMCOM deputy commanding general. "We will keep you informed as milestones are reached, but if you have questions, ask.  Training and communication are the keys to this successful transition."

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

CENTCOM commander speaks at War College

 

Our task is to prevent extremist ideology from becoming mainstream in the Middle East, according to the nation's senior military leader with firsthand knowledge of the region.

Gen. John Abizaid spoke to the students and faculty of the Army War College Feb 7, sharing insights from his command of the United States Central Command. In describing the scope of 700 thousand U.S. and other nations' troops mobilized against Al Qaeda and associated movements, he compared the effort to the European theater of World War II. The challenge to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, to contest Al Qaeda and associated movements, to contain Iran, protect lines of communication and help people in the region protect themselves against extremism calls not only for military effort but for organized non-military power to prevail in the test of wills.  

Follow-on questions from the student body mirrored worldwide and interagency perspectives on the Middle East.  Students from USAID and the U.S. military, Fellows from Australia, Israel and Uganda, and others posed questions about challenges and priorities for the region.

 

 

Fort Knox Public Affairs Office

Army seeks recommendations for Maneuver Center of Excellence patch, crest and motto 

The Army is accepting design ideas through March 31 for the shoulder sleeve insignia, distinctive unit insignia and motto for the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

The Infantry and Armor schools will collocate and become the MCOE at Fort Benning, Ga., during the next five years. The center will be responsible for all Army land-based maneuver training development, doctrine, and capabilities development for armor and infantry proponencies. 

"Throughout the history of modern warfare, Infantry and Armor have fought side-by-side as brothers in arms," said Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, Chief of Infantry.  "With the creation of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Infantry and Armor will now train together forging an Army Strong partnership which produces America's best Soldiers, more capable than ever.  The selected patch, crest and motto must reflect the historic strength of this partnership and the future strength of our Army." 

Personnel assigned to the infantry and armor schools will continue wearing current shoulder sleeve and distinctive unit insignias that reflect the contributions, sacrifices and spirit of each branch. 

Soldiers assigned directly to the MCOE will wear the new insignia. 

"The challenge in designing the new insignia will be to capture the historic essence of each branch and their collective embodiment of maneuver as a principle of war," said Maj. Gen. Robert M. Williams, Chief of Armor.  "We're looking for innovative ideas to capture the significance of both Army and the Infantry lineage."

Current and retired military personnel and Department of the Army civilians may provide input for just one or all of the items.

 

Submission guidelines are as follows:

Requirements: A clear, hand-drawn or electronic sketch of the shoulder sleeve insignia, distinctive unit insignia, and a short, succinct motto.  The motto must be written in English and is limited to 26 characters (letters and spaces).  Individuals may provide a suggestion for just one or two of the desired items if they prefer.  

Format: Designs should be drawn on paper or provided as electronic files. Electronic files should be in JPG or BMP format, and may be sent on diskette or CD-ROM via normal mail or as an e-mail attachment. All submissions must include the name, phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address of the individual submitting the designs and motto.

Submissions: Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2007 and may be sent via e-mail (no larger than 3 megabytes) to: MCOE_Insignia_Suggestions@knox.army.mil

 

Alternatively, input may be sent via normal mail to either:

 

ARMOR Magazine

ATTN: ATZK-DAS-A (MCOE Patch)

201 6th Ave., Ste. 373, Building 1109A

Fort Knox, KY 40121-5721

             Or

Command Historian

6751 Constitution Loop, Suite 214

Room 451, Building 4

Fort Benning, GA 31905

 

Selection process

Submissions will be screened by the Maneuver Center of Excellence Board of Directors, which is chaired jointly by the Chief of Armor and the Chief of Infantry. The most suitable and acceptable concepts will be considered for forwarding to the Institute of Heraldry for final production of the patch and crest.

Acknowledgement

The individual(s) who submits the shoulder sleeve insignia, distinctive unit insignia, and motto design that is selected by the board of directors will receive a framed final patch, while the top entries in each category will also receive an MCOE coin with certificate of recognition for top entries. These acknowledgements will be issued in the fall of 2008.

 

Disclaimer:  The Department of the Army (Army) will acquire ownership of all entries, and each submitter agrees that submission of a design constitutes (1) assignment to the Army of any and all rights in the design, including copyright, and (2) a disclaimer of any trademark rights. All entries become the property of the Army, and the Army will have the sole right, at its discretion, to alter or modify any submitted design. By submitting a design, the submitter warrants that the design is original; that it has not been previously published; and that it does not infringe upon the copyright of any other person or entity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Office

Molly Pitcher Stitchers help save USAHEC thousands

More than 20 volunteers gathered at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center recently to do something a bit out of the norm of the military facility - sew.

By combining a regular hanger, some foam padding and about a foot or two of plain cloth, members of the Molly Pitcher Stitchers worked around a large conference table in an upstairs room of AHEC making special hangers to be used for displaying or storing the center's historic clothing.  

These "archival padded hangers," not only help to satisfy the Mollies' passion for sewing and creating, they also will help save the Army tens of thousands of dollars, according to Amber Tarnowski, an objects conservator at AHEC 

A similar pre-made hanger costs about $54, says Tarnowski, which is considerably more than the $14 in supplies it takes to make one of the hand-crafted hangers produced by the Mollies volunteers.  

"If we make 400 hangers we save the Army $20,000," explained Tarnowski, who also helped put together a few hangers. 

The need for something of this nature may seem odd, but as the volume of pieces that come into AHEC increases the need for adequate ways to safely store and maintain them increases as well.   

Things that come into the facility are usually on wire hangers which can't hold up to the heavy, older garments, or on no hangers at all which leads to the deterioration of the piece. These hangers enable the center to have a strong, soft means by which to store their historical uniforms and other clothing. 

"This is just something that needs to be done," said Claudia Kyle, a Molly Pitcher Stitcher. "We do stitching regularly and [Tarnowski] came and spoke to our group about how to better preserve our things. She mentioned that she had a need for this and so here we are."

AHEC is always looking for volunteers for numerous projects. For more information contact Michael Lynch at 717-245-3803.

 

 

Carrie Williams, Defense Commissary Agency

Commissary scholarship deadline is Feb. 21

While chocolate and flowers are traditional Valentine gifts, perhaps for students the best gift is a $1,500 scholarship. The Scholarships for Military Children program might be just the ticket this Valentine's Day, but don't procrastinate because applications must be turned in at a commissary by close of business Feb. 21.

The scholarships are available to unmarried children under the age of 21 (23 if enrolled in school) of military active-duty, Reserve, Guard and retired personnel. Eligibility will be determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current ID card.

An applicant must be planning to attend an accredited college or university full-time in the fall term of 2007, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Scholarship applications are available at 263 commissaries worldwide, or can be downloaded through links at http://www.commissaries.com, http://www.militaryscholar.org or http://www.dodea.edu.

Along with their application, applicants must include an essay on "how and why" they would change an historical event. At least one $1,500 scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

 "Scholarships for Military Children is a wonderful military community program," said Patrick Nixon, DeCA director and chief executive officer. "Nearly 3,000 scholarships totaling more than $4 million have been awarded since the first awards were given in 2001."

Most of the funds are donated by manufacturers, brokers and suppliers who sell groceries in commissaries, and every dollar donated to the program by industry or the general public goes to fund the scholarships. The program is administered by the Fisher House Foundation.

A significant number of scholarships, about 10 percent every year, go to high school students at DoD schools overseas. "Every cent that community organizations can mobilize to support college-bound students is an investment in the future," said Joseph Tafoya, director of the Department of Defense Education Activity.

"With college costs soaring, our DoD students and their parents appreciate every available scholarship to help defray the cost, and the scholarships enable many of our families to better afford the tuition and provide an incentive for students to work hard," said Tafoya. "They also demonstrate that military communities are committed to education and increased opportunities for all students."

The scholarship program has also made inroads to increasing support from the "nonmilitary" community. California high school students sponsoring golf tournaments in 2006 raised thousands of dollars to donate to the program, and already for 2007, a private foundation has made a substantial donation.

"We're excited to see this worthwhile program gaining recognition and funding from the community at large, said Jim Weiskopf, vice president of communications at Fisher House Foundation. "Commissary industry support has been amazing and increased public support can only help ensure that the Scholarships for Military Children program continues to benefit the military community for many years to come."

Donations can be made through the link at http://www.militaryscholar.org, the official program Web site.

 

Carlisle Barracks Safety Office

Youth Center to present Neighborhood Safety Day Camp

Carlisle Barracks in conjunction with the American Trauma Society, Pa. Division will be holding a Neighborhood Safety Day Camp Feb. 15 at the Youth Center. 

Children ages 3 to 12 will be able to participate in safety presentations by base personnel on animal safety, tobacco, drug and alcohol awareness, nutrition, fire safety, crime prevention, and first aid. There will also be presentations on railroad right-of-way safety by Operation Lifesaver, bicycle safety by ATSPA, and passenger safety by South Central PA Highway Safety (SCPAHS).

"The camp is a fun way to teach kids about safety through interactive presentations," said Suzanne Volpe, ATSPA program development specialist. "We've done several of these in past years and the response has been great."

Jim Aiello of the Carlisle Barracks became aware of the program and thought it would be a great way to improve the safety of children on the base. "We're the first base to do this sort of thing," he said. "If this one is successful, we'd like to try to do it again later in the year for more kids."

ATSPA is a non-profit trauma prevention education organization dedicated to reducing the suffering, disability and death due to trauma. For more information on the Neighborhood Safety Day Camp program, please contact Suzanne Volpe at 1-800-822-2358, (717) 766-1616 or atspa@atspa.org. Also visit the Web at www.atspa.org and select "Programs" for information on Neighborhood Safety Day Camps as well as other safety programs that are available. 

 

 

Carlisle Barracks Safety Office

Boating Skills and Seamanship Course

The Carlisle Barracks Safety Office coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to have representatives bring an eight-week boating course to the installation. The free classes are scheduled to be held on Tuesdays from Feb. 13 through Apr. 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Post Chapel.

The course will cover numerous topics including boating choice, equipment, trailers and rules of the 'road.' Successful completion of the course will provide participants with applications for the certificate to operate a boat in Pennsylvania. For more information contact Jim Aiello at 717-245-4353.

 

 

Carlisle Barracks Safety Office

Motorcycle Safety Course

No motorcycle may be registered or operated on Carlisle Barracks unless the operator has attended a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course and possesses an MSF card. This policy applies to all servicemembers their family members, Department of Army Civilians, retirees, their family members as well as contractors and visitors who desire to operate a motorcycle on Carlisle Barracks.

The MSF course will be offered at Carlisle Barracks from March through September. The first class is scheduled for Mar. 13 and participants must register by Mar. 1. There is no cost for this course. 

Motorcycle operators who need to complete the MSF course can schedule attendance through the Safety Office.   

For more information contact James Aiello, the installation safety manager at 717-245-4353.    

 

 

 

Anheuser-Busch extends military tribute

Anheuser-Busch has extended its Here's to the Heroes program through 2007.

The program provides a single day's free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the servicemember and as many as three of his or her direct dependents. Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve servicemember or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID.

Admission Summary

Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission under the Here's to the Heroes program. He or she need only register online (here) and submitting his or her information or in the entrance plaza of participating parks, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents.

Valid for one complimentary single-day admission per person, per year, to one of the following Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island.

 

 

 

Army Contracting Agency

Consumers take warning about 'vishing' - the new 'phishing'

Better Business Bureaus frequently warn that scam artists are the first to take advantage of new technology. The latest example of scammer ingenuity is the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones to steal people's financial information. This new scam is called "vishing" -- short for "voice phishing."

It can work one of two ways. In the online version, the con artist sends a blast e-mail, disguised to appear as though it's from a financial institution, an online payment service or other well-known business. The e-mail may sport a trusted logo, typically reports a "security" problem with the recipient's account and urges the victim to call a telephone number to "straighten things out."  

The recipient, who knows better than to click on imbedded hyperlinks in

strange e-mails for fear of being "phished," feels safer calling a telephone number. The area code might be a local one they easily recognize or appear to be toll-free. When the victim calls, they reach an automated attendant prompting them to enter their account number, password or other private information for "security verification" purposes.  

Some "vishers" use automated dialing programs to "cold call" victims. The caller ID device may list a legitimate-looking local phone number, to inspire trust from the recipient. A prerecorded message (or sometimes a live "employee") claims the victim's account has been compromised or needs updating or verification. The victim is asked to enter their account information, which is digitally transcribed onto the hard drive of the scammer's computer.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips to protect against "vishing" scams:

*  Typical "vishing" e-mails imply urgency, ask you to verify account

information, and may contain misspellings.

*  If you receive a "vishing" phone call, hang up. Call your bank,

using the phone number on the back of your debit or credit card, and report the matter.

*  Banks do not use prerecorded messages to handle security issues. If

they telephone you to report suspicious use of your card, they do not need to request identifying information because they already have that on record.

*  Do not automatically trust a phone number based on its area code.

Con artists can hack into Caller ID systems, and VoIP users can assign anyarea code to a phone number.

 

If you think you have been a victim of "vishing" visit the FTC's Identity Theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft/con_about.htm.

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Office

Indiantown Gap Soldier presented Purple Heart

Jan. 18, 2007 -- A noncommissioned officer from Fort Indiantown Gap was awarded the Purple Heart in a ceremony Jan. 17 at Carlisle Barracks.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Clay was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in October while supporting the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.

As the senior enlisted member of a combat patrol, Clay and his 15-Soldier element was ambushed by more than 50 Taliban fighters. While fighting from the turret of a vehicle through the 90-plus minute engagement, Clay sustained numerous head injuries after three rocket-propelled grenades hit near his position.   

Presenting the award to Clay was Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston who was at the installation to speak to the U.S. Army War College students and meet with the area's enlisted troops. 

Preston initially recalled meeting Clay a couple years ago when Clay was serving as a small group instructor at the Fort Indiantown Gap Warrior Leader Course. 

"I met Staff Sgt. Clay about two years ago down at Fort Indiantown Gap where he was teaching," Preston said. "My son at the time was one of his students going through the Warrior Leader Course." 

He then spoke briefly about his experiences as the sergeant major of the Army and being able to travel and see first hand the work of Soldiers like Clay who are, "out there on freedom's frontier and making a difference."

"Being in this position for the last three years - having the opportunity to go back to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan two or three times a year - you really get a chance to see all of our Soldiers doing great things," said Preston.

Clay is currently assigned to the 166th Regiment at Fort Indiantown Gap. While the swelling to his face has subsided and his left eardrum has fully healed, Clay continues his therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for his traumatic brain injury and the residual effects of his injuries such as severe headaches and short-term memory loss.

 

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Office

Post Exchange unveils new look for the new year

Jan. 18, 2007 -- Soldiers, retirees, Army Air Force Exchange Service associates and numerous members of the Carlisle Barracks community gathered at the Post Exchange Jan. 18 to celebrate the unveiling of the various renovations that have been completed to the installation's shopping center.

Surrounded by balloons and signs proclaiming "New Year, New Look," AAFES representatives and Carlisle Barracks leadership collectively cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the official opening of the revamped PX.

"It looks bigger, and it looks brighter," said Jack Davis, the Carlisle Barracks PX store manager.

To get this updated look and feel much work has been done to increase the lighting and to redesign, organize the layout of goods and better utilize the space of the post store - with much of the changes being accomplished by the extra efforts of the exchange's employees. 

"One of the downsides of Carlisle barracks is that it's a small installation," explained Davis. "So we have a small PX and one of the things we have to counter that is the people here. Thank you to all the associates who work in here day in and day out, they just do a tremendous job.

Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, Commandant of the U.S. Army War College, echoed Davis' sentiment and also looked forward to what the changes meant for future patrons of the Carlisle Barracks PX. 

"Thanks especially to the great employees and associates of this Post Exchange who for many many months now have been dealing with this tremendous change that's taken place," said Huntoon. "This will serve this marvelous community so well for many, many years ahead."

 

 

 

West Point Founders Day 205th Anniversary celebration

The West Point Founders Day 205th Anniversary celebration is scheduled to be held at the LeTort View Community Center Mar. 3. The guest speaker for the event will be Col. Peter J. Curry, the U.S. Military Academy Director of Military Instruction. Military personnel will wear Dress Mess or Blues while civilians attending the celebration will wear black tie or dark suit. For more information contact Col. Greg Dyekman at 717-386-7209.

 

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

April circled on calendar for Garrison employees transition to NSPS

Jan. 11, 2007 -- It's been a quiet fact of life for a couple months that about 60 civilian employee in Garrison will convert to the National Security Personnel System this year. And, now, the reality is about 90 days out.  

The anticipated NSPS conversion date for Installation Management Command non-bargaining unit GS and GM employees is in the April 2007 timeframe, according to Brig. Gen. John Macdonald, deputy commanding general of IMCOM. Not all employees in garrison are preparing for this conversion. Because of the pending issue with respect to bargaining units and NSPS, the 2007 conversion in Installation Management organizations will not include those positions that are eligible for bargaining unit participation - even if not now participating. 

During this preparation period, every employee and their supervisor, to include military supervisors, have completed NSPS 101. Rhonda Newcomer at CPAC has been working for several months behind the scenes on the basics - from reviewing codes, to helping employees update their centralized personnel and training files.  The NERO human resources director led a town hall meeting for Garrison employees. And, the Garrison plans office has created an employee NSPS portal for 1-stop shopping for everything related to NSPS as it will exist at Carlisle for the Garrison employees.

 

What's next?

The dates for MANDATORY NSPS training have been approved. All classes will be held in the Upton Hall Reading Room.

For non-supervisory employees, the training is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is the only scheduled class for non-supervisory employees.

 

For supervisors, the training is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan 30 and 31 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. A make-up session for supervisors will be Tuesday, Feb. 13 and Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.

These are formal courses that will require each individual to register for attendance in Civilian Human Resource Training Application System, the civilian education system. To both register for CHRTAS and then enroll in the NSPS course click on the link below (or paste it into your browser) and follow the detailed step-by-step instructions in the attached Powerpoint presentation.

https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/chrtas/default.asp

 

What can you do?

Visit the portal . and dig in. It will be up to every employee and every supervisor to understand the new system. Knowing the lingo is a first step. Direct comparisons between the GS system and the NSPS system are like comparing apples to oranges.  For example, any discussion about job promotions under the new system cannot include the traditional language-there are no automatic step [within-grade] advances; there's no requirement to stay a year at one grade before advancing to the next; there are no 'grades' within the pay bands.

NSPS brings a new way to think about your job, your work, and your career. A key character of NSPS is the achievement focus.  On an installation of high achievers, it may seem unnecessary to speak of achievement, but NSPS will cause more focus on it, more measurement of it, and more communication between employee and supervisor about it.  Pay increases, promotions, and eligibility for annual pay band increases are tied directly to evaluations - not to time in service or time in grade.

Smart employees will learn all they can about NSPS, be an active participant in ensuring the boss fully understands the job and how to accurately measure performance, and get involved in managing their career. 

 

January 'pay raise' - before and after NSPS

BEFORE

Civilian Federal employees covered by the GS and certain other pay systems may receive a two-part pay increase in January: (1) an across-the-board increase in scheduled rates of basic pay derived from Employment Cost Index data on changes in the wages and salaries of private industry workers, and (2) a locality pay increase based on Bureau of Labor Statistics' salary surveys of non-Federal employers in each locality pay area.  The decision is made on an annual basis; the amount differs year to year; it is applied across the board to all GS employees.

AFTER

Eligible employees whose performance rating was better than 'unacceptable' may see their pay increase in the form of rate range and/or local market supplement adjustments. This year for those already in NSPS, DoD raised the minimum and maximum of all pay band rate ranges by the same 1.7 percent that the GS base rate increased. In addition, the Department raised standard local market supplement percentages by the same increase that the GS locality rates were increased. 

Additionally, spiral 1.1 employees who earned performance payouts, based on their achievements and evaluations, will receive their first NSPS performance payouts in January.

 

AHEC Website undergoes overhaul

Jan. 11, 2007 -- If you've been trying to find the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center online lately you're not alone as traffic on the site has increased by more than 3,000 percent in recent months.

In November, the website experienced a major overhaul in an effort to "modernize the image of the entire organization and maximize the functionality for visitors."

Along with the new look, the site subsequently took on a new address as well. The new address, www.USAHEC.org, was established in order to increase traffic from public sites that do not normally link to a .mil address.

"The AHEC's mission is to make its holdings accessible for patrons and the new website illustrates the AHEC's commitment to the public," said Capt. Ginger Shaw, the AHEC operations officer.

And apparently the commitment to the public is being well-received as its newfound accessibility and revamped look has increased the traffic on the site from 3,500 visitors in October before the new site and address, to more than 105,000 in December.

The new site, which showcases museum artifacts, prominent collections and priceless documents of the Military History Institute, now uses more appealing graphics and interactive links, according Shaw.

For example, there is a Lewis and Clark Air Rifle video located on the AHEC home page. The clip shows members of the Army Heritage Museum firing the weapon believed to be carried by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1803.

This is just the beginning for the site.

"The AHEC plans to maintain viewer interest by rotating videos on the homepage twice monthly," said Shaw. "Future videos will include excerpts from veteran oral histories, portions of lectures, readings from Pulitzer prize winning authors and others from MHI's extensive audio visual holdings."

Also available at the new address are upcoming AHEC events, pages where educators can find information about gaining Act 48 credit, contact information for scheduling tours for students of all ages and focus areas, and information on future projects along the Army Heritage Trail.

The "entirely new site," Shaw said, will continue to grow and develop its accessibility in the coming months by using more applications which can involve educators and students the opportunity to learn about Army history.

As USAHEC.org continues to develop the site will also continue to grow in size as it will continue to be updated with more historical objects, literature and images that the institute has compiled over its' 40 years of existence.

"We estimate an approximate 10% of our holdings are digitized," explained Shaw. "As the Military History Institute began 40 years ago we obviously did not have a real digitization process, other than microfilm, for the archives."

Now however, "we are well on our way toward making the holdings of the Military History Institute accessible on line to the rest of the word for study," Shaw said.

For more information check www.USAHEC.org.

 

 

Planning for the future of your child or dependent with special needs

Parents of children and other dependents with special needs are invited to attend a workshop on planning for the future of your child or dependent with special needs. The workshop is scheduled for Feb. 8 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Bliss Hall. Topics that will be addressed include: government benefit eligibility, guardianship and conservatorship, and financial security and funding options. For more information or to RSVP contact Anne Hurst at 717-245-3775 or Joe York at 717-245-4787.

 

DoD News Release

Enhanced benefits for families of fallen Soldiers

Jan. 12, 2007 -- Family members of fallen Soldiers may be eligible for additional enhanced benefits from the U.S. Army. 

The President signed the National Defense Authorization Act 2006 increasing the Death Gratuity to a total of $100,000 for all deaths retroactive to October 7, 2001 through January 5, 2006. This legislation also provides an additional enhanced death benefit in the amount of $150,000 for any active duty deaths occurring between October 7, 2001 and August 31, 2005. 

"Family members of fallen Soldiers make great sacrifices on a daily basis and have suffered the ultimate loss. No amount of money can compensate these families for the loss of their loved one," said Lieutenant Colonel Robert Deckard, who leads the Army Families First Casualty Call Center (FFCCC) under the Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center.   "This is an entitlement that our extended family members are due."

FFCCC has identified 3,500 families who may be eligible for the Enhanced Death Benefits and is in the process of attempting to contact these family members to notify them of their potential eligibility.  Beneficiaries who believe they meet the eligibility criteria may also contact FFCCC to verify eligibility, obtain the proper forms and receive assistance with completing and submitting their claim to the Defense Finance Accounting Service.  As a result of this combined outreach effort, more than 90 percent of eligible beneficiaries have been paid.

FFCCC is a one-stop resolution center and was established to assist surviving family members of deceased Soldiers.  The mission of FFCCC is to provide long-term support and advocacy, and offer comprehensive resolutions to the families of fallen Soldiers by partnering with private and public organizations in addition to various outreach groups.  

Families of fallen Soldiers may contact the FFCCC for further information concerning eligibility criteria or questions regarding enhanced death benefits, support and referral information 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling toll-free (866) 272-5841 or by visiting FFCCC online at    www.armyfamiliesfirst.army.mil

 

DoD News Release

DoD announces force adjustments

Jan. 11, 2007 -- As a result of the President's Iraq strategy review, the Department of Defense announced today an increase of 20,000 U.S. military forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Specific decisions made by the secretary of defense include:

The 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., and currently assigned as the call forward force in Kuwait, will move into Iraq and assume a security mission there.

The 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, of the Minnesota Army National Guard, will be extended approximately 125 days until July 2007, and the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Ft. Riley, Kan., will deploy in early February 2007 as previously announced.

The 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, will be extended past its planned March 2007 redeployment date.  The 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., will also be extended past its planned April 2007 redeployment date.  The length of their extensions has not been determined but will be based on conditions in Iraq. 

Three other Army combat brigades will deploy as follows:

·        The 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Benning, Ga., will deploy in March 2007.

·        The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Lewis, Wash., will deploy in April 2007.

·        The 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Stewart, Ga., will deploy in May 2007.

The Marine Corps will extend two reinforced infantry battalions for approximately 60 days.  Additionally, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) will remain in Iraq for approximately 60 additional days.

Other combat-support and combat-service-support units may also be deployed as necessary once new requirements are assessed.

The additional forces will help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods while protecting the local population. These actions will build the capacity available to commanders to 20 brigade or regimental combat teams to assist in achieving stability and security and accelerate Iraqi Security Force development. 

Finally, USS Stennis Carrier Strike Group and the 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Regiment will deploy to the region to bolster security.

These deployments reflect the continued commitment of the United States to the security of the Iraqi people.  In consultation with the Iraqi government, commanders will continue to assess the situation and make recommendations about the appropriate force levels that best support the Iraqi government. 

The Department recognizes the continued sacrifices of these units and their family members. 

For information about the units announced today or other units involved in this rotation, please contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000, Marine Corps Public Affairs at (703) 614-4309 or Navy Public Affairs at (703) 697-5342.

 

 

Staff Sgt. Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Office

Remembering Dr. King: A day on, not a day off

 

Jan. 11, 2007 -- More than 40 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the world about his dream. From the steps of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial he described his hope for a society free from bigotry and racial injustice. A culture where his children, as he said, "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Today members of Carlisle Barracks took time out to pay tribute to the man and reflect on his message.

As the sun rose above the horizon, more than 50 people gathered and began a silent vigil across the installation to the Letort View Community Center. There they sat down for a warm breakfast while listening to soulful renditions of "If I Could" and "The Lord's Prayer" sung by Diane Wilson.

Following the performance, individuals from three generations spoke about what King's work meant to them and how it impacted their lives.

"In 1958, my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to see and hear and talk with the man, Dr. Martin Luther King," said Ruth Hodge. As she continued to reflect, she looked back on various difficulties she faced over time and explained that King that day had imparted her with the philosophy that, "your future is yours, determine your dream and goal, ask the Lord to help you, and you will reach your dreams and goals."

Along with his philosophies, King's steadfast will and unwavering focus was a life-lesson for Sgt. Frederick Woods.

"One of the things that stayed with me was that no matter what type of action was taken against him or any violence towards him, he never did anything back," Woods said. "It was always a message of peace.

As a young African American, Woods' opportunity to be proudly wearing his country's uniform and a leader of Soldiers, he realizes that his successes can in many ways be attributed to the work of King and his supporters.

"He showed courage in the face of fear and he also showed the importance of standing up for what you believe in because the outcome can become great," said Woods.

"Today, I am a part of Dr. King's dream."

And while much has been accomplished there is still much to be done.

"As we honor his legacy let each of us strive for the courage and the greatness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Lt. Col. Carmia Salcedo, a student at the Army War College.

 

Middle States Commission on Higher Education kick off

Jan. 11, 2007 -- The Academic Planning Conference Jan. 10 acknowledged the start of the preparation for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Self-Study re-accreditation that will occur in 2009.

Dr. Anna Waggener, Director of Institutional Assessment, is the Chair of the Steering Committee. "Assessment is a continuing process at the U.S. Army War College. The Academic Planning Conference was the ideal venue in which to highlight the 2008 academic year for the 2009 MSCHE review for accreditation."

The USAWC will produce a self-study that will be viewed through the lens of the 14 standards of "Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education" described by MSCHE. The standards encompass views of institutional context and educational effectiveness.

"Since accreditation is considered in terms of the institution, all of the USAWC activities will be involved in the self-evaluation process," said Dr. Waggener.

The Steering Committee consists of Col. Elton Manske, Department of Plans and Operations, Professor Doug Lovelace, Director, Strategic Studies Institute, Dr. Rich Yarger, Department of National Security and Strategy, Professor Bill Lord, Department of Command, Leadership, and Management, Dr. Larry Miller, Director of Communicative Arts, and Ms. Amy Knapp, Registrar. They will be seeking committee membership from all areas of the USAWC to engage in the self-study.

"This will be another milestone in recognizing our graduates and their efforts in the USAWC educational experience. I'm confident that USAWC will continue to be a graduate-level institution recognized through accreditation by MSCHE," said Waggener.

 

Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service

Caldwell: Iraqi government will control its ground forces by year's end

Jan. 4, 2007 -- The Iraqi government will have command-and-control of all of its ground forces by the end of 2007, a senior U.S. military officer based in Baghdad predicted today.

The year 2007 "is truly the year of transition and adaptation" for Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, told reporters at a news conference in Baghdad.

All Iraqi army divisions will be under Iraqi Ground Forces Command by summertime, Caldwell said. And, all Iraqi provinces, he said, will go back to Iraqi provincial control by the fall.

"So that by the end of the year 2007, a significant year of transition, the multinational force and the U.S. mission here in Iraq will be truly in support of the efforts of the government of Iraq and not commanding and controlling those things, but working as a support mechanism," Caldwell said.

Meanwhile, President George Bush and his advisors are putting the finishing touches on a new U.S. strategy for Iraq. The president is expected to announce the new plan sometime before his State of the Union address, slated for Jan. 23.

The Feb. 22 terrorist bombing of the Golden Mosque religious shrine in Samarra triggered a surge of Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence across Iraq in 2006, a development that has led to the formulation of a new U.S. strategy for Iraq, Caldwell said.

Caldwell pointed out that, despite the violence, the Iraqis have made considerable advances in the past year.

"Iraqis achieved many accomplishments in 2006 that serve as the foundation for future progress," Caldwell pointed out. Over the course of the past year Iraq seated its first democratically-elected permanent government, he said, and the nation also produced a national unity government that represents Iraqis of all religious sects and tribes.

"Iraqis have stepped up and begun taking responsibility for their own security," Caldwell said, noting that responsibility for security in Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Najaf provinces has been transferred to Iraqi provincial control.

"The Iraqi army and police now have overall responsibility for all law enforcement and security activities in those provinces (and) answer to their respective provincial governors and councils," he said.

Just one of Iraq's 10 army divisions was responsible for operations within its own territory at the beginning of last year. Today, 80 percent of Iraq's army divisions are responsible for their own battle space, he said.

Yet, Iraq continues to be plagued by high levels of unacceptable violence, Caldwell said, noting the mayhem has cost the lives of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

And, more than 800 U.S. servicemen and women gave their lives in service in Iraq over the past year, he said.

"The loss of every single one of these brave Americans is a terrible tragedy for a family somewhere," Caldwell said. "Even as we continue to work to secure Iraq and build a better future for the people of this region, we extend our deepest condolences for their loss and for our eternal gratitude to these families for the sacrifice of their loved ones."

The Iraqis and their coalition partners face significant challenges in 2007, Caldwell said. The Iraqis must increase the capabilities and efficiency in their army and police units, he said, while their government must continue to work to reconcile and unify different segments of the population.

Multinational Force Iraq is committed to assisting the Iraqi government by conducting operations and developing Iraqi security forces to provide the stability needed so that Iraq's new political processes can mature, Caldwell said.

"Coalition forces remain dedicated to this mission, and we have not given up on the Iraqis," Caldwell said. "We cannot write off a country where people have not given up on themselves."

The United States has been fighting terrorism and extremism since the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, where 241 servicemembers, mostly Marines, died, Caldwell said. Iraq is another battleground, he said, that is pitting the forces of freedom against those of terrorism and extremism.

"In partnership with the Iraqi people, we are fighting to demonstrate that there is an alternative besides tyranny and extremism for the people of this region," Caldwell said.

 

Volunteers needed at the Army Heritage Museum

Many uniforms in the U.S. Army Heritage Museum collection suffer from hanger marks, corrosion, permanent distortion, etc. from hanging on improper hangers. Pre-made conservation quality hangers cost $54 each; we can make them for $2-3 each ourselves and with volunteers. Each hanger requires little sewing and only 8 minutes to make.

 

The Molly Pitchers Stitcher volunteers are coming January 24, 1-3 pm to meet in the AHEC conference room for a collective introduction to making hangers. All volunteers are welcome and appreciated. For more information please contact Amber Tarnowski, Chief Conservator, USAHEC, 5-493.

Michael Lynch, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Perspectives in Military History

A Great Lion at Bay: Sherman's Campaign for Savannah

Jan. 11, 2007 -- The Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the next lecture in the Perspectives in Military History series, "A Great Lion at Bay: Sherman's Campaign for Savannah, December 1864" to be presented on January 17, 2007 at 7:15 p.m. The presenter this month is Roger Durham, Director of the Army Heritage Museum here at the AHEC. The event will be held in Ridgway Hall, Bldg. 950, Carlisle, PA. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the talk begins at 7:15. This event is free and open to the public. Directions to the Center and information on other programs are available at www.usahec.org.

 

PA Teachers: This event is eligible for professional education credits under Act 48.

Sherman's March through Georgia is a well-known event in Civil War history but the capture of Savannah is often seen as nothing more than an after-thought to the conclusion of the march. However, Sherman did not just waltz into the city when he arrived there. In reality, the city did not fall easily into Sherman's hands -- it took him two weeks to capture the city while General William J. Hardee and his defenders escaped. The problem of how to capture the city was not easily solved by Sherman's usual means of outflanking enemy defenses. With an army that outnumbered his opponent by a 6 to 1 margin, why did it take him so long to capture Savannah? Why did his opponent, William J. Hardee, claim in later years that his defense of Savannah, was a highlight of his military career? This talk will examine the complexities of this campaign, the "cause and effect" relationship that resulted in the capture of the city and explore the criticism of Sherman's handling of the operation as well as Hardee's stubborn defense and textbook retreat. This is a topic that has received very little attention in the study of Civil War history.

 

Roger S. Durham, is the Director of the Army Heritage Museum in Carlisle, PA. Durham holds a B.S. in History and Library Science from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in History and Historic Preservation from Georgia Southern University. He is a Vietnam veteran and has worked in the museum field for 32 years. He began his career with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Historic Sites in 1974 and served as Site Superintendent of four state historic sites and a state park in the nine years he was employed there. He then moved to the Texas Historical Commission in 1983 as Museum Field Consultant for the Northeast Texas Region and Director, Sam Rayburn House. Durham joined the Department of the Army Museum System in 1985 as the Curator of the Fort Bliss, Texas Museum, and then transferred to the 24th Infantry Division and Fort Stewart Museum, Georgia in 1986. Durham transferred to the National Park Service as Supervisory Museum Curator at the Thomas Edison National Historic Site, New Jersey in 1998 and then assumed duties as the Director, Army Heritage Museum, Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2003. His publications include High Seas and Yankee Gunboats - A Blockade Running Adventure from the Diary of James Dickson (2005); A Confederate Yankee - The Journal of Edward William Drummond, A Confederate Soldier from Maine (2003) and The Blues in Gray, The Civil War Journal of William Daniel Dixon (2000); and Fort McAllister: A Pictorial History of Fort McAllister, Georgia (2004); and numerous articles.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Civilian Career Day helps USAWC students plan futures

Dec. 19, 2006 - "Our civilian leadership in the U.S. government today is partnered with our uniformed leadership at historically close levels today in the formulation and execution of national security strategy," said Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, U.S. Army War College Commandant, during the opening remarks of the Civilian Career Day held in the Command Conference Room in Root Hall Dec. 19.  "We see that clearly reflected here in the exceptional credentials and operational experience of our civilian students of the Army War Class of 2007."
    The event, organized by Dr. Sara Morgan, the senior civilian adviser to the War College students, brought together Senior Executive Services (SES) representatives from commands and services from all over the nation to give them an opportunity to find out what the future may hold for the civilian students in their careers. 

    Members of the SES serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal work force. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal agencies.

    "It is a very special day here at the War College," Morgan said. "Hopefully today you will learn more about the SES program, and what opportunities may exist for you when you graduate from the college."

    Huntoon also pointed out that a large proportion of the civilian students had recent experience in the current theaters of operation.

    "This year's class is very special because 69% of the students have recently served in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "This is the finest group of civilian students in my time here as commandant."

    Keynote speaker for the event was Mike Vajda, Director of the Civilian Human Resources Agency, who gave an update on human resource management. Also in attendance were representatives from the Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Material Command, the Installation Management Command and the U.S. Army Forces Command.    

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Pieces of Heritage Tree used to tell history of Carlisle Barracks

Dec. 18, 2006 -- Even though the Carlisle Barracks Heritage Tree lost its battle against age and illness, it continues to help tell the story of the Army's second active oldest installation.

Ed Otto, head of the post's Directorate of Information Management, has taken pieces of the nearly 222 year-old European Beech and has carved Indians faces into them, reflecting a period of history at Carlisle Barracks.

"I thought that carving the faces of Indians into the wood would be appropriate because of the period of time when Carlisle Barracks was home to the Indian Industrial School," said Otto.

In 1879, the War Department passed the control of the post to the Department of the Interior for the 39-year Indian School program. Founded by Richard Henry Pratt, the school was the first off-reservation government boarding school for Native American Indian children. Carlisle served as the model for dozens of schools throughout the U.S., some of which are still in existence.

For Otto, the carvings took about 8-10 hours each, but are something he loves to do in his spare time. Some of the larger ones can take up to 20 hours.

"It's just really relaxing to me to make these carvings," he said. Otto has been doing wood carvings since 1993, when he took a class at the Skill Development Center held by Bill Martin, a retired E-8 from Carlisle Barracks.

"I really had no idea how to carve, and hadn't done it before I took that class," said Otto. "But after that class I really got into it." Otto also said that he now belongs to numerous carvings clubs to help hone his craft.

"The first thing I ever carved was a Santa face that I did in the class taught by Bill," he said. "I thought it was great at the time but now my wife won't even let me take it out of the box at Christmas it's so bad looking," he said with a laugh.

Otto meets once a week with other carvers in Carlisle.

"That's how you learn from everybody," Otto said. "You learn a little bit from this guy, a little bit from that guy and eventually you start to develop your own style."

He said he prefers to carve human figures rather than animals or landscapes.

"I've done a few birds but they just don't seem to come out right. Otto said that he often buys large picture books at area stores to help gather inspiration for his carvings. "But when I start I have a basic idea of what I want to do, but you really just never know how it's going to come out. That's part of the fun." Otto uses primarily mallets and chisels when he carves.

To help preserve the wood from the Heritage Tree, Otto soaked it in water before be began to carve.

"The wood was so dry, that it would just fly apart if you weren't careful with it, the tree was in such bad shape," he said.

Otto was alerted to the piles of wood by one of his co-workers, Col. Curtis Cheeseman, the Chief Information Officer, who thought they would make good wood for carving.

"I just hated to see the wood go to waste, and thought that it would be great to carve with."

Hopefully, Otto said, the carvings would keep the tree an integral part of telling the Carlisle Barracks story.

"Hopefully these simple carvings will show a piece of the history of Carlisle Barracks."

 

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA, American Forces Press Service

Gates Sworn In as Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2006 - Robert M. Gates was sworn in as the nation's 22nd secretary of defense in a ceremony at the Pentagon here today.

After President Bush introduced Gates as "an experienced and thoughtful leader," Vice President Richard B. Cheney administered the oath of office. Gates was officially sworn in at the White House earlier today in a private ceremony.

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with the people in this department -- dedicated professionals whose overriding priority is the defense of our nation," Gates said upon taking the oath at the Pentagon.

The Defense Department is carrying on many different activities, all of which are important, but the most pressing concern is the situation in Iraq, Gates said. Since being confirmed by the Senate, Gates has participated in National Security Council meetings on Iraq, received a number of briefings at DoD, and discussed the situation and way forward in Iraq with the president. He said he intends to travel quite soon to Iraq and meet with military leaders and other personnel there.

"I look forward to hearing their honest assessments of the situation on the ground and of having the benefit of their advice, unvarnished and straight from the shoulder, on how to proceed in the weeks and months ahead," Gates said.

The situation in Afghanistan is also very important, Gates said. The progress made there in the last five years cannot be undone, he said, and the U.S. and NATO must keep their commitment to the Afghan people.

"How we face these and other challenges in the region over the next two years will determine whether Iraq, Afghanistan, and other nations at a crossroads will pursue paths of gradual progress towards sustainable governments, which are allies in the global war on terrorism, or whether the forces of extremism and chaos will become ascendant," he said.

Bush also emphasized that America is at a time of great consequence in the war on terror. The secretary of defense must understand the challenges of the present, see the threats of the future, and provide the best possible advice to help direct the nation's armed forces as they engage the enemies of freedom around the world, he said.
Gates is the right man for the job, Bush said.

"He knows the stakes in the war on terror," Bush said of Gates. "He recognizes this is a long struggle against an enemy unlike any our nation has fought before. He understands that defeating the terrorists and the radicals and the extremists in Iraq and the Middle East is essential to leading towards peace. As secretary of defense, he will help our country forge a new way forward in Iraq so that we can help the Iraqis achieve our shared goal of a unified, democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself, and be an ally in our struggle against extremists and radicals."

Everyone wants to find a way to bring America's troops home, Gates said, but the U.S. cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. "Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come," he said.

Bush cited Gates' long career in public service: He started in an entry-level position at the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966, rose to become its director, has worked under six presidents, and spent almost nine years on the National Security Council staff.
"Bob Gates' lifetime of preparation will serve him well as the secretary of defense," Bush said.

Bush and Gates both praised outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, noting his exceptional leadership during a time of change at DoD. "Donald Rumsfeld has devoted decades of his life to public service," Gates said. "He cares deeply about our men and women in uniform and the future of our country."

Gates said that defense transformation will remain a priority for him, and he pledged to involve in the decision-making processes those who will ultimately carry out the decisions.

"I return to public service in the hope that I can make a difference at a time when our nation is facing daunting challenges and difficult choices," he said.

 

Message from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to Defense Dept. personnel

Dec. 18, 2006 -- It is an honor, and a humbling responsibility, to take the helm of this Department in a time of war and to lead men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country.

In the coming weeks I will visit some of the key military posts and commands at home and abroad, as well as consult with this Department's senior civilian and military leaders and staff. I look forward to meeting and hearing from the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are the true heart and strength of America's armed forces. As the President has asked for my unvarnished advice, I expect the same of you.

Over the years of leading big institutions, I have learned something important: leaders come and go, but the professionals endure long after the appointees are gone. The key to successful leadership, in my view, is to involve in the decision making process, early and often, those who ultimately must carry out the decisions. I will do my best to do that.

This Department is always engaged in a host of different activities that aid our nation's defense. All are important, all are valuable. The most important issue we face is the situation in Iraq.

By removing the brutal and dangerous regime of Saddam Hussein, and by confronting the extremists and insurgents who have sought to derail any progress since, the United States and our Coalition partners have provided the Iraqi people a unique opportunity to have a decent future.

The violence in Iraq must be contained and reduced. Failure in that part of the world would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come.

A successful outcome in Iraq, one that will help protect our nation and serve her long-term interests, will require all elements of America's national power to work more effectively together, in cooperation with allies and partners in the region.

Afghanistan has made great strides since being liberated five years ago, but that progress is now at risk. The United States and our NATO allies have made a commitment to prevent the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan again. We intend to keep it.

How we face these and other challenges over the next two years will determine whether Iraq, Afghanistan, and other nations at a crossroads will pursue paths of gradual progress, or whether the forces of extremism and chaos will become ascendant.

As we address these challenges, it is important that we carry forward the process of what has been referred to as defense transformation. President Bush made it a priority at the beginning of his administration to help our military become more agile, more lethal, and more expeditionary. Much has been accomplished; much remains to be done. This task remains a necessity and a priority today.

It is also essential that we make every effort to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and carefully, and that we continue to maintain and enforce ethical standards of doing business. In a department as large as this one, neither task will be done perfectly, but it is important that we strive to do our best.

Our country is at war. I take this job with the knowledge that my decisions will have life-and-death consequences for America's troops, as well as their families. I have accepted that responsibility, and will never forget it.

To all of the men and women of the U.S. military: you serve in the finest traditions of those who have worn this nation's uniform these past 230 years. It is a high honor to serve with you as Secretary of Defense.

May God bless you and may God bless the wonderful country we have sworn an oath to protect.

 

Suzanne Reynolds, Public Affairs Office

Celebrating Christmas in other countries

Dec. 18, 2006 -- Christmas celebrations in other countries all differ because of local traditions.  These traditions may include decorating the Christmas tree with fruit, candy or flowers, enjoying different types of foods, observing special rituals, and referring to Santa Claus by another name.

Two USAWC International Fellows and their families were very gracious during this very busy time of year to meet with me and share Christmas traditions in their countries:  Col. Jari Kytola, his wife Mari and their children, Katja and Aleksi from Finland; and Lt. Col. Braulio de la Rosa, his wife Lissette and their children, Kevin, Braulio, Jr., and Patricia from the Dominican Republic.  

Christmas in Finland

In Finland Christmas begins on the first Sunday of December and ends on the 13th day after Christmas Day.

According to the Kytola's, the Christmas tree is not set up and decorated until Dec.  23 or 24, and is not filled with decorations like the American Christmas tree. 

"The idea is the same, but the amount of decorations is not," said Col. Kytola. 

In Finland, Christmas tree decorations may include fruit, candy, ornaments and electric candles. 

"We brought some Christmas decorations with us and also purchased some here," said Mari. 

Another difference from one country to another is the big sales prior to Christmas. 

"In Finland, there are no sales until after the New Year," said Mari and Katja.  "So many people buy gift cards for presents and use them after the New Year."    

Col. Kytola also said that Christmas is celebrated more on Christmas Eve than on Christmas Day in Finland.  Christmas Eve morning a traditional breakfast consisting of rice porridge and raisin soup is served. The tradition also includes a sauna bath before Joulupukki (Santa) arrives and visiting the grave sites of loved ones and to light candles. Ham is the traditional food for the Kytola family, in fact, Jari, is the one who prepares it.

"Christmas Day is a day to relax, enjoy, and be with family," said Col. Kytola. 

On Dec. 23 the Kytola's oldest son and Mari's mother will arrive from Finland to enjoy the Holidays in Carlisle, along with a few day trips planned to Hershey and Washington, D.C.

From snow to sand

Christmas is a very important holiday in the Dominican Republic so celebrations start very early in the year.  In fact, they start in October and end in January.  "Radio stations in the Dominican Republic start playing Christmas music in October," said Lt. Col. de la Rosa.

"Because the Dominican Republic is situated close to the U.S. and Puerto Rico, there is a high influence of American culture," said de la Rosa.

The normal tradition for Dominican families is to exchange presents on Jan. 6, but because of this influence, some families now exchange on Dec. 25. 

As in Finland, Dec. 24 is a day of celebration which includes a large dinner with family.  Pork is the traditional meal served on this day. 

"Twenty-five years ago, apples were considered a symbol of Christmas," remembered de la Rosa.   "They were only available during the Christmas season, but today they are available year round.

There are also some traditions unique to the Dominican Republic.    

"The tradition on Dec. 25 is to show off and wear the new clothes and shoes that were purchased in the month of December," remarked Braulio and Lissette.

De la Rosa pointed out that Christmas trees in the Dominican Republic are set up and decorated on Nov. 1 and taken down on Jan. 6.  They can be either green or white in color and are decorated with flowers and ornaments.  The only item under the tree is the Nativity scene which is traditional.

Speaking of big sales, the de la Rosa's plan to purchase an artificial Christmas tree after the holidays and will take it home to the Dominican Republic after graduation in June.

The de la Rosa's are definitely in the Christmas spirit, in fact, they were the first on their block to put up Christmas lights and decorations.  Since their home is small, they will consider the decorated trees in their front yard as their Christmas tree. 

For the de la Rosa family Christmas will be celebrated with relatives who live in New Jersey.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Class of 2006 alumni donate money to Soldiers at Walter Reed
Dec. 18, 2006 - In a ceremony held at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Chapel on Oct. 31, 2006, Col. Ronald Smith, Dunham Clinic Commander and member of the class of 2006, presented a check in the amount of $9,500 to Chap. Craig Wiley, WRAMC command chaplain and chief of the Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care, for their program, Operation Helping Hands. 

"The donation will provide direct support to wounded Soldiers and their family members for a variety of unanticipated expenses, such as temporary lodging, MWR and activities tickets, small loans, phone cards, clothing, etc., that arise during the total care of the servicemember," said Smith.

A previous trip to Walter Reed enabled Smith to learn more about the program available for Soldiers who had been injured in the line of duty.

"I visited several of the Soldiers on a previous trip to Walter Reed, for the sole purpose of learning more about the numerous aspects of the Wounded Warrior program," said Smith. "The energy and positive attitudes of the Soldiers was infectious."

The class of 2006 decided to donate the money to the program after some discussion on how they could help their fellow servicemembers.

"The Class of 2006 voted to donate gift money to a charity that addressed real needs of the major events that occurred during our academic year (Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Hurricane Katrina, etc.), with a preference toward the wounded Soldiers," said Smith. "I was assigned to investigate and in the course of the investigation, I came upon Operation Helping Hands at Walter Reed."

Smith pointed out that what stood out to him was that all of the money donated to the program will go directly to the Soldiers and their families.

"A number of unique attributes arose about Operation Helping Hands," he said. "There is no overhead, since it is run by the Chaplaincy. The money directly serves Soldiers and Family Members at a time of urgent needs.  The money can be flexibly applied to the individual situation.  The assistance covers various points throughout the recovery process."

Smith commented on how important it was to the class membership to be able to show their deep gratitude to the servicemembers who sacrificed so much.

"Chaplain Wiley expressed his deep appreciation for the generosity and reiterated the importance of the contribution toward the welfare of the servicemembers and their families," said Smith.   

Smith also credited the staff at Walter Reed for the health of the Soliders and success of the Wounded Warrior Program.

"The Walter Reed staff is singularly focused on the success of these Soldiers, with the determination to return them to the functional status they possessed prior to their injuries," he said. "The leadership at Walter Reed is committed to incorporating the most cutting edge technologies available, and works closely with industry and the research and academic worlds to maintain this edge.  The program is impressive, as are the personnel and wounded servicemembers who make the program a success."

 For more information or to make a donation contact Chaplain Daniel Finkhousen at (202)782-6305.

 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance

A candlelight vigil and breakfast honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is scheduled for Jan. 11. Beginning at 7 a.m. at Indian Field, the vigil will proceed from there to the Letort View Community Center for a free breakfast buffet and various presentations relating to King and his work. For more information on this event contact Sgt. 1st Class Kingsley Thomas at 245-3661.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office
EFMP bowling season comes to an end

December 18, 2006 - The bowling season for the participants in the "Carlisle's Best Friends," a sports program that is run in conjunction with the Carlisle Barracks Exceptional Family Member Sports Program officially came to and end on Sunday, Dec. 17 with a party at the Youth Services building.

"While we were enjoying our party, a group of Christmas carolers stopped by to sing for us," said David Myers, who runs the Exceptional Family Member Sports Program at Carlisle Barracks. The group was led by Col Joel Hillison and Chaplain Arthur Pace.

"It brings a huge smile to my face to see these kids out, having fun and doing things they really enjoy," said Myers. "We play soccer, basketball, softball & bowl throughout the year."

"It started about 10 years ago, with only one or two sports," Myers said. "We've been able to expand it now to four; bowling, basketball, soccer and baseball." About 30 kids, ranging in age from 6-25 take part in the program. 

Myers got involved in the program because he just wanted to find some way to help out.

"I heard about the program, and got to see first hand how much the kids enjoyed it," he said. "The more involved I got the harder I worked to help find new sports to play, and ways to make it better."

Myers pointed out that the program brings kids together from on and off post for activities, many of whom they may already go to school with or know from other programs.

"We've got kids from on and off post who play, and a lot of them have been coming since we started," Myers said. "Sometimes these kids aren't able to or don't want to play in regular sports leagues, and this gives them an opportunity to be comfortable and to have fun."

Each sports season lasts about two months, and is run strictly on a volunteer basis.

What does EFMP do?

The sports program is just one part of a Carlisle Barracks program that is designed to help families of special needs children.

The term "special needs" covers a wide range of physical and mental disabilities and can include anything from physical handicaps to depression and asthma.

The program at Carlisle Barracks provides assistance from a wide range of areas, including youth services, the school liaison office, post housing office, Dunham Clinic and the Directorate of Community Activities to name a few. EFMP coordinates with off-post agencies as well. They can help kids with getting into a school district, finding childcare and finding medical care.

More on EFMP

Soldiers on active duty enroll in the program when they have a family member with a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process. Family members must be screened and enrolled, if eligible, when the soldier is on assignment instructions to an OCONUS area for which command sponsorship/family member travel is authorized, and the soldier elects to serve the accompanied tour. This screening consists of medical records review for all family members, and developmental screening for all children six years of age and younger.

To find out more visit http://www.armycommunityservice.org/vacs_efm/home.asp or to volunteer for the sports program call Dave Myers at 245-3354.

For more on the EFMP program contact Anne Hurst at 245-3775.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office
2006 Combined Federal campaign exceeds goal
Dec. 13, 2006 -- The 2006 Combined Federal Campaign has come to an end and Carlisle Barracks has exceeded its goal by ten percent.
    "The success of this year's CFC campaign speaks well of federal employees' generosity. It sets a high bar for next year," said Cora Johnson, the Carlisle barracks CFC manger. "I can't say enough about what an awesome job the key workers did to make this happen and the generosity of all of the members of Carlisle Barracks Community. We raised $126,440.00 this year, exceeding the highest known goal ever set at Carlisle Barracks."  
   
Johnson went on to say that teamwork, communication, leadership involvement and persistency is what made it happen.
    "Lieutenant Colonel Sergio Dickerson, the garrison commander and 2006 CFC Chairman, raised the installation's goal from $110,000 to $115,000 and I knew there was a lot of work ahead for me and the keyworkers," she said. "We also had to work with the different organization/activities flexible work schedule. When the keyworkers went on temporary duty, another person stepped up and didn't let it drop. We have amazing people with incredible compassion at Carlisle Barracks."
    Johnson also wanted to remind people that it's not too late to donate.
    "Personnel can donate through the United Way until Jan. 15, 2007."
    Donations can be mailed to: United
Way of the Capital Region
                                              2235 Millennium Way, Enola, PA 17025

American Forces Press Service

Finance, accounting service adds new features to 'myPay' system

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2006 - Several improvements have been made to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's online system for military members and civilian DoD employees known as "myPay."
    A new feature has been added for military servicemembers on the Savings Deposit Program. The SDP allows servicemembers serving in designated combat zones an opportunity to deposit a specific amount of money into a high-interest-rate account.
    "Previously, only deposits could be made," said Pat Shine, a DFAS official. "Servicemembers can now request withdrawals from the account through myPay, and we've added a link to the withdrawal form from the SDP statement."
    Another improvement provides military servicemembers access to a printer-friendly option. While all myPay customers can print their own leave-and-earnings statements and W2s from the Web, the printer-friendly option allows for higher quality print copies of all documents.
    Shine explained that myPay wants to keep customers up-to-date on new information and notifications related to their pay. "We need current e-mail addresses to send pertinent information to our customers. A new myPay feature asks customers to enter their current e-mail address. Once on file, the system annually certifies the address to make sure it's current."
    Shine added that maintaining the safety and security of myPay is a top priority. "We proactively implement new security features on a routine basis to protect our customers against identity theft and scams," he explained. "The secure technology provided to myPay customers meets or exceeds security requirements in private industry worldwide."

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Army National Guard celebrates 370 years

Dec. 13, 2006 -- What is a few years younger than the Mayflower Compact (1620); a lot older than the Declaration of Independence (1776) and U.S. Constitution (1787); predates the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps by 139 years; and is 311 years older than the Air Force?

Answer: The National Guard. Known originally as the militia, the National Guard turned 370 years young on Dec. 13.

    The Army War College celebrated the birthday with a short ceremony in the LVCC and with a talk to the class by Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, the Director of the Army National Guard.

    Vaughn spoke to the students about many issues pertinent to the National Guard including the role of the National Guard in the National Military strategy and the effects of current deployments. As the Director of the Army National Guard, he guides the formulation, development and implementation of all programs and policies affecting the Army National Guard; a force of 350,000 Soldiers in the 54 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia. Vaughn is a 1994 graduate of the Army War College.   

 

Staff Sgt. W. Wayne Marlow, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division

Silver Star approved for Soldier who sacrificed himself for crew

ORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq (Army News Service, Dec. 13, 2006) - Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis packed only 136 pounds into his 6-foot frame, but few have matched his inner strength.
    McGinnis sacrificed himself in an act of supreme bravery Dec. 4, belying his status as the youngest Soldier in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment. The 19-year-old mechanic from Knox, Pa., likely saved the lives of four Soldiers riding with him on a mission in the Adhamiyah section of Baghdad.
    McGinnis was manning the gunner's hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. It flew past McGinnis and down the hatch before lodging near the radio.
    His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas, recalled what happened next: "Pfc. McGinnis yelled 'Grenade ... It's in the truck,' I looked out of the corner of my eye as I was crouching down and I saw him pin it down."
   McGinnis did so even though he could have escaped. "He had time to jump out of the truck," Thomas said. "He chose not to."
   The Silver Star Medal was approved for McGinnis's action and will be awarded posthumously.
    "He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant," Thomas said. "He's a hero. He's a professional. He was just an awesome guy."
    Three of the Soldiers with McGinnis that day have returned to duty, while a fourth is recovering in Germany.
   McGinnis joined the Army after graduating high school in 2005. He had been in the Army 18 months and made his mark even before his heroic deed.
   "He was a good kid," said C Company's senior enlisted Soldier, First Sgt. Kenneth J. Hendrix. "He had just gotten approved for a waiver to be promoted to specialist."
    He also appeared on the Nov. 30 cover of Stars & Stripes, manning his turret.
Besides his military accomplishments, McGinnis leaves his friends and family with memories of a fun-loving, loyal man.
    Pfc. Brennan Beck, also of the 1st Bn., 26th Inf. Regt., said McGinnis made others feel better.
   "He would go into a room and when he left, everyone was laughing," Beck said. "He did impersonations of others in the company. He was quick-witted, just hilarious. He loved making people laugh. He was a comedian through and through."
    While having a witty side, McGinnis took his job seriously.
    "He was not a garrison Soldier. He hated it back in garrison," Beck said. "He loved it here in Iraq. He loved being a gunner. It was a thrill, he loved everything about it. He was one our best Soldiers. He did a great job."
    Beck has memories of talking all night with McGinnis about where they wanted their lives to go, and said McGinnis always remembered his friends.
    "When I had my appendix removed, he was the only one who visited me in the hospital," Beck said. "That meant a lot."
    Another infantryman with the 1st Bn., 26th Inf. Regt., Pfc. Michael Blair recalled that McGinnis helped him when he arrived at Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany.
    "When I first came to the unit ... he was there and took me in and showed me around," Blair said. "He was real easy to talk to. You could tell him anything."
    McGinnis' final heroic act came as no surprise to Blair.
    "He was that kind of person," Blair said. "He would rather take it himself than have his buddies go down."
    The brigade's senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. William Johnson, also had high praise for McGinnis.
    "Anytime you get a Soldier to do something like that - to give his life to protect his fellow Soldiers - that's what heroes are made of," Johnson said.
    It also demonstrates, Johnson continued, that the 'MySpace Generation' has what it takes to carry on the Army's proud traditions.
    "Some think Soldiers who come in today are all about themselves," Johnson said. "I see it differently."

 

Spouses club now accepting request for funds
Dec. 12, 2006 -- The Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club is now taking requests for funds for distribution this spring. If you are a member of an organization desiring additional funding or know of a worthy group needing funds, the CBSC may be able to give some assistance.
    An outreach request form will be sent to you upon request. Requests will also be accepted in written form and must include the following information:
    --Name of Organization

--Point of Contact and Signature

--Phone Number

--Amount Requested

Additional Information: 

--Number of people benefited by request

--Other fund raising activities

--Any benefit to military (active duty, dependents, retired)

--If you have received funds in the past and how much

   Requests must be received by Monday March 12, 2007. For more information contact Patricia Dickman at 258-9179.

 

Army Heritage Center Foundation release

Dennis Franz named an Army Heritage Center Foundation Honorary Chairman

    Dec. 12, 2006 -- Emmy award-winning actor and U.S. Army veteran Dennis Franz will serve as honorary chairman of the Army Heritage Center Foundation's $20 million campaign to continue development of the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks. 

   "As an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, I witnessed the sacrifices of Soldiers firsthand and take great pride in having served among their ranks," said Franz.  "It is with equal pride that I have agreed to serve as honorary chairman for the campaign to build the world's premier center to honor and interpret the history of the Army as told through the collected memories of its veterans."

   The AHEC was founded in 1999 to bring together for the first time in one national location the letters, diaries, artifacts, and photographs of Soldiers from pre-colonial America to the present with other historical Army documents that will illuminate the heritage of the Army by telling its story - one Soldier at a time!  "Our Soldiers deserve to be recognized, their memories need to be preserved, and their achievements and sacrifices must be told," said foundation president retired Brigadier General Joe McCarthy.  "This Center will combine a state-of-the-art archival research facility with a world-class museum, conservation center, outdoor heritage trail, and visitor education center." 

    Land for the AHEC was donated to the Army by the citizens of Cumberland County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has generously committed $10 million to help construct the campus.  The Army will staff, operate, and maintain the Center, and has already constructed the Military History Institute's Ridgway Hall and Army Heritage Trail. The Army Heritage Center Foundation is rounding out this public-private partnership by raising funds to build two key AHEC facilities, the Army Heritage Museum and the Visitor & Education Center.

   "We are honored that Dennis Franz has agreed to join us in this important endeavor," said McCarthy.  "As an Army combat veteran and one of America's most distinguished actors who has spoken eloquently about the role of Soldiers in defending our country, Mr. Franz was our first choice to lead this effort.  His participation will be invaluable and we deeply appreciate his commitment."

    For more, see www.armyheritage.org.

 

Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Help stop the spread of germs at work

    Dec. 19, 2006 -- Flu season is upon us, so it's a good time to review some thing to help keep you from getting sick this year.

How Germs Spread

Illnesses like the flu (influenza) and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu and colds usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to Help Stop the Spread of Germs

§         Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

§         Clean your hands often

§         Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

§         Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed

§         Practice other good health habits.

§         Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

§         Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

§         Clean your hands often.

§         When available, wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- then rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.

§         When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using a gel, rub the gel in your hands until they are dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in the gel kills germs that cause colds and the flu.

 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

    Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can live for a long time (some can live for 2 hours or more) on surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and tables.

 

Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed

    When you are sick or have flu symptoms, stay home, get plenty of rest, and check with a health care provider as needed. Your employer may need a doctor's note for an excused absence. Remember: Keeping your distance from others may protect them from getting sick. Common symptoms of the flu include:

            . fever (usually high)

            . headache

            . extreme tiredness

            . cough

            . sore throat

            . runny or stuffy nose

            . muscle aches, and

            . nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, (much more common among children than adults).

 

Practice other good health habits

    Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Practicing healthy habits will help you stay healthy during flu season and all year long.

 

More Facts, Figures, and How-To Ideas

    CDC and its partner agencies and organizations offer a great deal of information about hand washing and other things you can do to stay healthy and avoid the germs that cause flu, the common cold, and other illnesses.

See Other Resources (http://www.cdc.gov/germstopper/resources.htm or http://www.cdc.gov/germstopper/materials.htm

Michelle Gordon, Army New Service

Army, Marine Corps unveil counterinsurgency field manual

 

Dec. 15, 2006 - The Army and Marine Corps released a new field manual today to provide guidance to ground forces in order to achieve success in current and future counterinsurgency operations.
    Collaboration on the new manual, FM 3-24, "Counterinsurgency," began in 2004. It had been 20 years since the Army published a formal field manual devoted to counterinsurgency operations, and 25 years since the Marine Corps published its last manual on the subject.
   "When we went into Iraq we had doctrine for counterinsurgency, but it was based on our experiences in El Salvador during the 1980s," said Dr. Conrad Crane, US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks. "It wasn't set for large-scale Army involvement, so in 2004 we developed an interim field manual to fill the gap and we began working on a permanent, updated version."
    Crane described insurgency and counterinsurgency as two sides of an internal war, emphasizing that the terms are not new.
   "They are basically two forces, both fighting for legitimacy," he said. "Insurgents try to seize power and overthrow the government, and counterinsurgents try to hold on to power and order. Both insurgency and counterinsurgency have been around for thousands of years - long before the current conflicts."
    In addition to providing guidance for current operations, the new manual discusses historical approaches to counterinsurgency taken by American forces. It also highlights the importance of continually evaluating the circumstances of a counterinsurgency campaign so forces can adapt their actions.
    "We have to understand the people and culture of the host country to determine the problem," Crane said. "Counterinsurgency is complex and this doctrine only establishes guidelines for forces to apply. It's not a book of cookie-cutter solutions, but it does contain a lot of good ideas, historical lessons and insights."
    The manual notes that although the military's purpose is to fight and win the nation's wars, today's Soldiers and Marines conducting counterinsurgency operations need to be prepared to perform additional tasks - not just kill or capture insurgents, but to be nation builders, assist in the rebuilding of infrastructure, and facilitate the establishment of local governance and the rule of law.
   "There are a number of new, ground-breaking changes between this manual and the previous edition," Crane said. "It doesn't de-emphasize combat operations, but when we're trying to achieve the legitimacy of a host-nation government, our military has to be able to accomplish non-military operations, such as repairing broken sewer lines and building relationships with the local people."
   According to Crane, counterinsurgency operations are a mix of offensive, defensive and stability operations and in order to be successful, our forces need to be to be adaptive and flexible.
    "Our adversaries are constantly watching what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "They're adapting and drawing insights and they're going to make us fight this different kind of war. This manual is not a solution for Iraq or Afghanistan, but it will prepare Soldiers and Marines for where we are going in the future and the enemies we will face."

 

J.D. Leipold, Army News Service

Veterans' cemeteries across America receive wreaths

 

Dec. 18, 2006 -- In 1992, Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine donated 5,000 red-bowed wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. It became a tradition.
    Yesterday, an 18-wheeler bearing this year's wreaths wound its way through the cemetery's fog-laden slopes to be met by throngs of volunteers who turned out to place the evergreens on the graves.
   Worcester was touched by the turnout and support throughout his trip, which started in Maine Dec. 9. Clad in a "Wreaths Across America" banner, the tractor-trailer was escorted south by the Patriot Guard Riders, a nationwide group of motorcyclists who assist families at military funerals.
    "It was just amazing to see the people on the sides of the road cheering and clapping," Worcester said. "We went by one high school in Connecticut, and I bet every student in that school was on the side of the road to greet us. We were shown incredible respect."
    "I'm overwhelmed by all of this," he said. "Every time I come, I'm overwhelmed. It's just tremendous, all these volunteers, the attention along the route ... this is all about giving veterans their due."
    Worcester's wreath tradition was born from a mistake and a childhood memory.
    "We had ordered more than we could sell in '92. They were nice, fresh wreaths I didn't want to just throw away," he recalled. "I happened to think of Arlington because I'd come here when I won a trip to Washington as a 12-year newsboy.
    "I saw the changing of the Guard, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the acres and acres of graves ... it all just struck me ... a memory I've never forgotten," said Worcester. "So, I hoped Arlington would allow me to decorate the graves - they did, and so here we are."
    John C. Metzler Jr., superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery for the last 16 years, remembered how the wreath program began and how it's grown into a major event.
   "I received a call from Maine Senator Olympia Snowe's office asking me if the cemetery could do something with 5,000 surplus wreaths. From that, we entered into what we have today," he said.
    "The first year we had about 50 volunteers, and we were scrambling to get all the wreaths placed by the end of the morning," Metzler said. "I expected about 500 volunteers this year, but we had closer to 1,000."
    Volunteers made short work of the wreath-laying, which was completed just before the late-morning sun burned through the fog.
    Worcester created Wreaths Across America in response to letters and interest. This year, he expanded the program to include wreath placements at 230 national and state veterans' cemeteries.
    At the same time four wreaths were laid at Arlington's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier yesterday, six wreaths, representing the service branches and honoring former prisoners-of-war and those missing-in-action, were laid at the flagpole of each national and state veterans' cemeteries.

 

Army Substance Abuse Office

Is your teen "Robotripping"?

 

    "Robotripping" is the nickname for a new trend that is causing emergency rooms across the United States an increased number of visits from teens. "Robotripping" involves the abuse of Robitussin R cough syrup or any cold and flu pills that contain dextromethorphan, also known as DXM. By overdosing on these over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough suppressants, teens are able to simulate hallucinations similar to the feelings experienced while using PCP (an extremely dangerous hallucinogen). Robitussin R, Coricidin HBP, Vicks NyQuil and Vicks Formula 44 are the most common cold drugs abused because they are legal, easy to get, and inexpensive.

    The use of prescription drugs without a doctor's approval can be very dangerous, and in some cases deadly. However, teens have an erroneous belief that taking a pill or OTC medication is safer than doing drugs from off the streets. Because of this belief, trends like "robotripping" are becoming more and more popular each year.

 

If you think your teen is "robotripping" watch for these symptoms:

* sweating                    

* high body temperature                       

* dry mouth

* blurred vision 

* hallucinations

* delusions

* nausea

* stomach pains                                   

* vomiting

* irregular heart beat                 

* high blood pressure

* numbness in toes and fingers 

* red face                     

* headache

* loss of consciousness

   If you think your teen is abusing OTC drugs, or any other substances get him or her help today. Don't let your teen experiment with drugs, the consequence could be death.

   For addition information contact the Army Substance Abuse office at 245-4576.

   The information used in this story was taken from www.parenthelpcenter.com. The image used with permission from Matthew Bennett.

 

Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, Installation Management Command

Holiday Message from the IMCOM Commanding General

Dec. 18, 2006 -- Lynn and I offer Season's Greetings and a warm wish of happiness to each of you for the holidays. Thank you for everything you do throughout the year to support the Soldiers and family members of our Army. We depend upon your experience, dedication and talent to accomplish the IMCOM and OACSIM mission. The hard work you do every day is vitally important to our Army and our nation.

I ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers those members of our IMCOM and Army team serving overseas during this holiday season. Many will miss the joys of spending the holidays with friends and family as they support our Soldiers and nation in rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, and securing a more peaceful future for our children.

Please be safe and consider Weather, traffic, and holiday festivities that all present increased safety hazards. Consider these risks and take measures to protect yourself and your family. Get plenty of sleep before long drives, plan for delays, avoid driving at night or in poor weather, and use a designated driver if you plan on partaking in festivities involving alcohol.

The New Year promises many new challenges and opportunities for IMCOM and OACSIM. I look forward to working with you to continue accomplishing our vital mission of supporting Soldiers and their families. I hope you share my resolution for the coming year to continue making our Army installations "flagships of readiness."

I extend warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday, and wish you and your loved ones the very best. We look forward to seeing you return safely to take up the mantle of installation support in the New Year.

 

Designated driver program

    Dec. 18, 2006 -- A designated driver is a person in a group of two or more drinking age adults who agrees not to drink any alcoholic beverages and to safely transport the other group members home.

   If it is a large group, more than one Designated Driver may be needed.

    Designated Drivers should not drink any alcoholic beverages and are therefore never the person least drunk.

    Designated Drivers are also important if someone is taking medication that makes them drowsy or otherwise impaired.

Designated driver program on Carlisle Barracks Dec. 1 through Jan. 2

    The LVCC and Strike Zone Bowling Center support the Designated Driver Program. Simply inform the bar tender that you are the designated driver and you will receive FREE non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event. They may give you a button or sticker that will identify you as such, wear it proudly.

     For additional information contact the ASAP office at 245-4576 or Safety at 245-4353.

 

 

 

Sgt. Christopher Fincham, Public Affairs Office

Carlisle Barracks hosts annual holiday tea

 

    Smiling faces, helping hands and singing children abounded Wednesday and Thursday at the Letort View Community Center as hundreds joined together to celebrate this year's holiday season.

    More than 300 elderly residents from local nursing and retirement homes came to Carlisle Barracks to take part in the post's 51st Annual Senior Citizen's Holiday Tea. The visitors were assisted and escorted by countless volunteers from the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks faculty and staff, students, employees and family members who helped them to enjoy the entertainment and holiday refreshments.

 

    For first-timers to the event like Mary Anthony, the holiday tea is a good start to the holiday season.

    "I'm looking forward to hearing the kids and Elvis," she said. "My kids are coming to see me next week so this is a great way to kick off the holidays."

   On the other hand, for regulars like Lisa Webster, who has been coming to the tea for three years, the festivities are an annual highlight of the season.

    "I just love the holidays, and being able to come here and see the decorations and hear the music is the best," said Webster. "My favorite part is hearing the kids sing Christmas songs."

    Originally sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Women's Guild, the first holiday tea in December 1956 brought 50 women from homes around the Carlisle area to the installation's officers club to celebrate the holiday season. The tea has grown vastly over its 51 year history with this year's event being one of the largest.

    And in the future, the tea will surely continue to bring joy to the hearts of the senior citizens and volunteers alike.

 

Walter Reed stops accepting 'Any Wounded Soldier' gifts

Packages sent to specific individuals will still be delivered

WASHINGTON - Officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will stop accepting anonymous holiday gifts and cards for wounded patients there, citing administrative costs and security concerns.

   All packages and cards delivered to "any wounded soldier" at the medical campus will be returned to their senders with a note explaining the program change and suggesting other charities. The change was enacted in the past week.

   Packages sent to specific patients won't be affected.

    Center spokesman Terry Goodman said officials appreciate the donations, but staff simply cannot handle the distribution and monitoring of the packages. Last December, the hospital received more than 500,000 holiday packages and cards.

   "A lot of that was not able to be delivered to the troops until weeks after the holidays," he said. "It's just too overwhelming."

   Goodman said officials believe donors will understand the security and logistical reasons behind the decision, and hope it will not affect their generosity. Program administrators are speaking with local charities about receiving some holiday donations for the wounded patients, but no decisions have been made.

    The centerīs medical family assistance center will still distribute some donations both with patients in Washington and at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, he said.

    Meanwhile, officials have offered a list of Web sites of other charities where donors can send their gifts:

   Rules of what can and cannot be donated vary depending on the organization.

    Maj. Gen. George Weightman, commanding general of the medical center, in a statement said the hospital staffers "appreciate everything the general public has done to support our soldiers."

   Walter Reed has treated more than 5,400 patients from Iraq and Afghanistan over the last five years, about 1,700 of whom have been battle casualties.

 

Lt. Col. Ty McPhillips, Holiday Tea coordinator

Senior Citizens' Holiday Tea Thank You

    Dec. 8, 2006 -- I want to take a moment and thank all the volunteers who supported the 51st Senior Citizens' Holiday Tea. The annual event was a resounding success due to the hundreds of volunteers who contributed time and effort. The 300 plus senior guests thoroughly enjoyed the show, the companionship, and care that the Carlisle Barracks Team displayed. These senior citizens have contributed greatly over the many years to our installation, community, and nation and it is very rewarding that we can bring some enjoyment to them at this stage of their lives.

    You brought much happiness to many people over the past few days. Thank You.

 

 

 

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

Bradley scholar recommends new era in civil-military relations

 Dec. 8, 2006 -- A history lecture that promised to compare secretaries of defense Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld broadened into a prescription for changing military behavior in the relationship with civilian secretaries of defense.

    An audience of about 100 attended the Perspectives is Military History lecture, sponsored by the Army Heritage and Education Center Wednesday night. Dr. Richard Kohn offered a sharp assessment of the two men as "arrogant, dismissive, hard-working and aggressive . both willing to dictate tactics and interfere in strategy and operations."  He singled out the two civilian leaders who "both dominated and dismissed uniformed military" in order to argue for change through the military role in the equation.

    "Given our unwavering support in the United States for civilian control, how should the military respond to leadership of this sort?" he asked. Effective civil-military relations is indispensable and the absence of it can be disastrous, can involve us in unnecessary war or lead us to prosecute war unwisely, he said, as he turned the discussion to question military missteps in the last few decades. "The balance of power between the civilians and military shifted over time toward the military while the military's understanding and willingness to comply with guidance has lessened," he argued.

    The solution to the suspicious, contentious relationship is in the behavior of both sides, he said, but Kohn's recommendations singled out five behaviors for the military to rebalance the civil-military relationship. The military has the primary duty in the relationship and should re-set it by building trust with civilian leadership, he said.

   "The military needs to do everything possible to gain trust with civilians," he offered as his first prescriptive to modify civilian control that is suspicious of the military's status in American society, its bureaucratic warfare, and its end runs to Congress to oppose civilian decisions. The American military must, also, insist on its right to speak up and give unvarnished professional advice. They must not speak out publicly unless required by congressional testimony, but rather "speak up and speak in." The military must do what's right for the profession from a moral perspective and not permit civilians to do otherwise, he continued. "If civilians are making mistakes . if they persist in screwing it up, it's not the military's job to stop them by undermining them," said Kohn.

    The military has to get out in front of civilians in terms of transforming the armed forces, seeking what's best for the nation rather than for individual services, he offered as his fourth recommendation. And the last was to advise military officers to resist the pressures that he sees today --  of careerism, of institutional loyalties at the sake of the military force, of politicization over neutrality, of "carrying the water for civilians" by defending political decisions, and, of considering resignation as a tool to counter civilian decisions.

    If the military is considered self-serving and cannot be trusted, that's a problem, concluded Kohn, whose work as the Army War College's Bradley chair of Strategic Leadership focuses on this key relationship in the U.S. system. A professional educator with a long-term relationship with the military himself, Kohn sees the needed rebalancing as both opportunity and duty for the military. "One of the military's primary roles is to teach the client - and the American officer corps in the only group among us who thinks about civil-military.

   A tape of Kohn's Perspectives in Military History lecture will be available at the Military History Institute, Ridgway Hall.

 

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

Regional Panels profile International Fellows' expertise

 

  Dec. 6, 2006 -- International terrorism was identified again and again. Transnational crime was frequently mentioned.  We share interests, but not necessarily priorities and strategies. National security issues are more often linked to geography and the regional 'neighborhood' than with worldwide trends, and internal security challenges often trump external threats, according to the International Fellows in the USAWC class.

     Over the past few months, noontime lectures in Wil Waschoe Auditorium featured a series of regionally-oriented panels. Panel participants  offered detailed insights about their own nation's security threats and priorities.  For USAWC students, the IF panels were an extraordinary resource, as evidenced by regular standing-room-only audiences and overflow audiences watching broadcasts into the seminar rooms.

     A common theme has been nations' priorities to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

    The IF Regional Panels expose all interested students, staff and faculty to the national interests of current and future partners. And, students in the audience have typically asked the fellows, 'How do people in your country view the United States . or, the Russian Federation or China?'  Because the panels are regionally focused, and because the forum is interactive, they widen the scope of student exposure to other national perspectives. They complement the contributions of the two international fellows in each seminar, and the regional elective that each student will take.

     The initiative for IF Regional Panels emerged when last year's fellows recommended that the college take greater advantage of their expertise, according to Amb. Mike Malinowski, the deputy commandant for International Affairs.

     "If the U.S. officers' educational and experiential objectives are to enhance cultural understanding, there is no better plan to stress than with the insights of these fellows who can present regional realities and nuances - presenting them with the lexi con of the U.S. military officers with whom they've shared academic discussions in the past couple of months," said Malinowski.

 

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office 

Garrison civilians preparing now for future NSPS move

     Dec. 7, 2006 -- Spiral 1.3 of the new National Security Personnel System will launch in Spring 2007, and organizations should soon learn whether and when they'll be included, according to the Defense website on NSPS, http://www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps

     Although the picture isn't clear about the start date, Carlisle Barracks and the garrisons of IMCOM are planning for what's coming.  The Carlisle Barracks can point to a transition team, an NSPS portal to help employees and supervisors understand the many new elements of the system, and a roster of employees who have already completed "NSPS 101" training and started their personal plans to get smart about NSPS.

    There are 61 employees in US Army Garrison Carlisle Barracks who know that they are likely to be included when the IMCOM garrisons transition; this list is still subject to change.  There are other USAG civilians who are not likely to move into NSPS yet, in large part because the employees who are in bargaining units, or eligible for bargaining units, will not be included in NSPS while union-related issues with the DoD plan are unresolved. The Defense Dept. web site explains that, "While litigation by some unions representing DoD employees does not prevent the Department from converting bargaining unit employees to the NSPS human resources management system, the Department has elected to implement NSPS to non-bargaining unit employees until the litigation is resolved."

    Karen Perkins, the Human Relations director for IMCOM's northeast region, spoke on December 5 with the employees and supervisors who expect NSPS to become part of their lives.

    "The take-away is that we're all in this together, and the key to success is knowledge and communication," she said.  For more than two hours, she reviewed language and policies that will change the way employees and supervisors think about their careers. NSPS, she said, "is about posturing our system for the workforce of the future." But her insights will help prepare the workforce of today at Carlisle Barracks.

     The first NSPS impact that most will experience is when they learn what pay band be placed into. According to Perkins, this will be based on your current position and there will be no loss of base pay. Some will see a pay bump, because the system will pro-rate the next within-grade, or step, increase an employee would have received if there were no NSPS.  If a GS09 employee goes into NSPS in April, for example, and had moved to step 3 the prior October, that employee would see about a quarter of the increase between step 3 and 4 since a quarter had passed of the two-years between steps 3 and 4.

    Ironically, the toughest thing for some is to let go of the terms of the current system - for there is no automatic within-grade, or step, pay bump. Rather, there are opportunities for awards and pay raises based on performance.

    The performance focus trickles into every conversation about NSPS.  Employees will focus their work on a set of performance objectives; awards and promotions will be directly linked to success in meeting performance objectives. Those performance objectives will be linked to the supervisor's objectives, and that supervisor's supervisor, and ultimately to the Army's objectives; NSPS calls that linkage "alignment."  IMCOM has set broad performance objectives for all garrison employees, and local missions and priorities will drive the subordinate details for every employee's objectives.

   Future columns about NSPS will feature the multiple pieces of the new pie - and offer explanations and examples - to aid the workforce efforts to understand,  What does NSPS mean to me?

 

 

Sgt. Sara Wood, American Forces Press Service

Report: Iraq Situation Serious, But Not Lost

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2006 - The Iraq Study Group released its findings today in a report made available this morning to President Bush and Congress, and later to the general public.

    "We believe that the situation in Iraq today is very, very serious," former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, co-chair of the bipartisan panel commissioned by Congress to examine the way ahead in Iraq, said at a news conference following the report's release.
    "We do not know if it can be turned around, but we think we have an obligation to try, and if the recommendations that we have made are effectively implemented, there is at least a chance that you can see established a stable government in Iraq and stability in the region," Hamilton said. "The task ahead of us is daunting -- very, very difficult -- and we recognize that, but it is not by any means lost."
    Members of the study group agree with the administration's goal in Iraq: to create a country that can govern, sustain and defend itself, former Secretary of State James Baker, co-chair of the group, said at the news conference. However, the group believes a new approach is needed in Iraq, he said.
    "As a matter of humanitarian concern, as a matter of national interest, and as a matter of practical necessity, it is time to find a new way forward, a new approach," Baker said.
    The report recommends a five-fold increase in the number of U.S. forces training Iraqi troops, he said, but does not endorse a large-scale increase in U.S. forces overall, a "stay the course" solution, or a division of Iraq into three autonomous regions.
   The Iraq Study Group included a total of 79 recommendations in its report, Baker said. These recommendations cover military, political and diplomatic issues, as well as criminal justice, oil, reconstruction, the U.S. budget process, the training of U.S. government personnel, and U.S. intelligence, he said.
   The group's three most important recommendations are equally important and reinforce each other, Baker said. The first is a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the U.S. to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. The second recommendation is prompt action by the Iraqi government to achieve milestones, particularly on national reconciliation. The third is a new and enhanced diplomatic and political effort in Iraq and in the region.
    "The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations," the group's report states. "By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.
   "At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams, and in training, equipping, advising, force protection, and search and rescue," the report states. "Intelligence and support efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al Qaeda in Iraq."
   It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance from the United States for some time to come, especially in carrying out security responsibilities, according to the report.
    "Yet the United States must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the United States could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if the Iraqi government did not implement their planned changes," it states. "The United States must not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq."
    "Our group offers and supports each and every one of our recommendations unanimously," Baker said. "We of course recognize that some people will differ with some of these recommendations; we nevertheless hope very much that in moving forward, others will wish to continue to broaden and deepen the bipartisan spirit that has helped us to come together."
   Hamilton and Baker both said that if the group's recommendations are effectively implemented, the chances for success in Iraq will be greatly improved.
    After receiving the report this morning, President Bush pledged to take the recommendations seriously and act in a timely fashion. "This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq," Bush said. "It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every proposal seriously, and we will act in a timely fashion."

 

 

 

Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

Senate Confirms Gates as 22nd Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2006 - The Senate confirmed Robert M. Gates in a 95-2 vote today to be the 22nd U.S. secretary of defense.

   Gates will succeed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who will retain the job until Gates' official swearing-in ceremony. President Bush has not yet announced when that will occur.
   As part of his confirmation procedure, Gates testified yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The war in Iraq dominated the hearing and Gates told the senators he will consider all options in Iraq. Gates said the U.S. is not winning in Iraq, but not losing either. He told committee members the U.S. will need to maintain a presence in Iraq for a long time, but that the presence may not be as heavy in combat troops as it is today.
   Gates told the senators he believes he can maintain an independent voice as he runs the Defense Department. "I don't owe anybody anything," he said. "I've come back here to do the best I can for the men and women in uniform and for the country in terms of these difficult problems that we face."
   Bush nominated Gates to be secretary Nov. 8, the day after the national elections that moved control of both the House and Senate to the Democrats.
    "The election has changed many things in Washington, but it has not changed my fundamental responsibility, and that is to protect the American people from attack," Bush said during a White House press conference that day.
   Rumsfeld was serving as defense secretary when terrorists hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. He personally ran to the courtyard of the Pentagon to help those injured in the attack to safety.
    He went on to lead DoD as it began fighting back against terrorism, first in Afghanistan, where a small number of American special operations personnel helped the Northern Alliance overthrow the repressive Taliban regime. Rumsfeld also led the department through Operation Iraqi Freedom when 150,000 U.S. and coalition personnel overthrew Saddam Hussein and liberated 25 million people.
    Rumsfeld is slated to speak to the Pentagon workforce at a town hall Dec. 8.

 

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency release

New identity theft prevention site promoted in Pennsylvania

    Dec. 6, 2006 -- The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is reminding consumers about a new resource to help them fight back against identity theft. The innovative IdentityTheftActionPlan.com Web site is designed to help citizens prevent, detect and respond to America's fastest growing crime.
    The Web site includes information on how identity theft occurs, prevention tips, steps to take if you become a victim, statistics, and information for law enforcement agencies that investigate these types of crimes.
    In addition, IdentityTheftActionPlan.com provides a downloadable identity theft action plan to help citizens better manage their personal and financial information and be prepared to respond effectively should they become a victim.
    According to the 2006 Identity Fraud Consumer Report:

  • During 2006, nearly 8.9 million Americans, or 4 percent of the population, will become victims of identity fraud.

  • The average fraud amount per victim is $6,383.

  • The average out-of-pocket expense to consumers is $422.

  • The average time to resolve the situation is 40 hours.

  • The faster fraud is detected, the lower the fraud amount and consumer costs.

  • Forty-seven percent of cases are detected by the victim and self-detection results in lower consumer costs.

  • The most common way that identity theft happens is through lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks, credit/debit cards.

 

New Years Eve celebration at LVCC sold out

    The Letort View Community Center New Years Celebration is sold out. Those wishing to be placed on the stand by list in case there are any cancellations should call 245-3991.

 

Public Affairs staff report

AHEC plays hosts to rare "double eagle" ceremony

 

Nov. 8, 2006 -- On November 8, 2006, the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, played host to a "Double Eagle" ceremony. 

    More than 90 guests witnessed the award of Boy Scouts highest rank, Eagle Scout, to David Weigle of Boy Scout Troop 173 and the promotion of his father, Brett Weigle, to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army.

   David, 14, was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Bahrain, Germany, Turkey, Spain and South Korea as his father's Army career has taken his family around the world. 

    Brett, age 45, is also an Eagle Scout and was born in Jerome, Idaho. He received his commission into the Quartermaster Corps through Army ROTC at the University of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in 1984.  Brett is also an alumnus of the Pennsylvania State University, where he received a master's degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, and is currently a student at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle.

    For his Eagle Scout service project, David organized the painting of parking space numbers assigned to 60 houses on Camp Walker, located in Daegu, South Korea.  He enlisted the help of eight other Scouts and Scout leaders from Boy Scout Troop 81, who spent 84 hours hand cutting 60 individual stencils, sweeping and measuring each parking space, and painting its number on the asphalt.

    Maj. Gen. Timothy McHale, U.S. Army, assigned to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G-4, officiated the promotion ceremony and to serve as guest speaker at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. McHale also served as the Troop Committee Chairman for Troop 81 during David's two years of Scouting in Korea.

    Three elected representatives attended the ceremonies. U.S. Congressman Todd Platts (19th Congressional District of Pennsylvania), State Senator Patricia Vance (Pennsylvania Senate District 31) and State Representative William Gabig (Pennsylvania House District 199) presented David with certificates and U.S. or Pennsylvania flags. 

    Scoutmaster Mark Fetter presented David with his Eagle badge and neckerchief while Scouts and other Scout leaders from Troop 173 acted as escorts, color guard, readers and participants in a candle-lighting ceremony symbolizing "The Trail to Eagle."   

 

Public Affairs staff report

Get ready, winter's coming!

 Nov. 7, 2006 -- The recent drop in temperature, the changing of the tree colors and the shorter days mean one thing, winter is on its way. The harsh winter weather can be hard on your home, pets, plants, car and your health.  Are you ready?

   Preparing your home

    Start to prepare your home for the winter cold, snow and ice now so it will be ready when the bad weather arrives. There are several things a person can do to make sure their home is ready for winter weather.

    "The first thing that needs to be done is to walk around the outside of the house to make sure vents are clear," said John Jones, said on the FEMA website. "Also, remove any water hoses, they will freeze and possibly break pipes."

    According to the FEMA website, dead branches should be removed from trees.  Ice and snow could cause weak branches to break and cause damage to structures. Also, as days become shorter, make sure your outdoor lighting is in good working order.  Good lighting can protect you against crime and falls.

    According to the Case Handyman website, you should check smoke and Co2 detectors to make sure they are working properly. Replace the batteries if they are not hard-wired to your electrical system.

    "It's a good idea to get into the habit of changing your smoke detector batteries when the time changes for daylight savings," said Jim O'Connell, fire chief, Carlisle Barracks fire department. "When you change your clocks, just make a point to change the smoke detector batteries, too."

    Always make sure you have a snow shovel and salt on hand to keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice. This can prevent injury from falls, says the FEMA website.

    If you have a weather related emergency this winter contact the Carlisle Barracks Fire Department.  For all other issues call the Department of Public Works order desk at 245-4019.

Home preparation check list

q       Make sure exterior vents are clear.

q       Remove exterior garden hoses and shut off faucets.

q       Remove weak trees and branches.

q       Check outdoor lighting.

q       Check and change batteries in fire and Co2 detectors.

q       Make sure you have a snow shovel and salt for sidewalks.

  

Preparing your car

    A well running car in the winter can be the difference between making it home and sitting in the cold, said Sam Johnson, who works for Car and Driver magazine.

    "You will want to change your oil and check all your fluid levels, especially your coolant," said Johnson. "Make sure your belts, hoses and  windshield wipers are in good condition, make sure your tires are not to worn and that your thermostat is in good condition."

    It is also a good idea to let your car warm up for a while before driving it on cold mornings, said Thompson.

    According to the FEMA web site you should place a winter emergency kit in each car, which should include a shovel, windshield scraper, battery powered radio, extra batteries, water, snack food, extra hats and mittens, a flashlight, chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables and emergency flares.

Car preparation check list

q       Keep oil changes up to date.

q       Check radiator fluid/flush.

q       Check fluid levels.

q       Check all belts.

q       Check all hoses.

q       Check or replace wiper blades.

q       Check tire tread.

q       Check or replace battery.

q       Check or replace thermostat.

q       Lubricate working parts.

q       Make sure you have an emergency kit.

Winter driving tips

    Ice, snow and slush on the roads in the winter can create a very hazardous situation. Planning ahead can make your road trips much safer.

    Icepack.org says that you should always plan ahead with safety in mind.  Be sure to check the forecast; if a winter storm is predicted for the area in which you will be driving, think twice, (or) ask yourself if the trip is necessary.  Also, check road condition reports on the television, radio or Internet.

    When driving in the winter, always wear your seatbelt; remove ice and snow from windows, license plates and lights; reduce your speed while driving; watch for slick spots under bridges and on overpasses and keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing.

Winter driving check list

q       Watch weather reports.

q       Watch road condition reports.

q       Wear seatbelts.

q       Clear ice from windows and lights.

q       Reduce your speed.

q       Watch for slick spots on the road.

q       Keep gas tank at least two-thirds full.

    Start preparing for the winter months now so you're ready when harsh weather strikes.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

What to know when the snow starts to fall

Nov. 6, 2006 -- Winter weather is on the way - know your responsibilities when bad weather strikes.

Call 245-3700 for post information and refer to the following TV and Radio stations for post closure information: WGAL-TV 8; WHP CBS 21; ABC 27; WHTM-TV; WHYL (960 AM); WRKZ (Z102.3 FM); WHP (580 AM); WITF (89.5 FM); WRVV (97.3 FM); KISS (99.3 FM); WCAT (106.7 FM); WQXA (1250 AM); WCHA (800 AM); WQCM (94.3 FM); WCBG (1590 AM); WAYZ (104.7 FM); WGET (1320 AM); or WGTY (107.7 FM)

Don't call the
DA Police desk sergeant for post closure information!

 

ALL employees, military and civilian, are responsible for snow removal around the buildings they work. Soldiers are only required to clear areas they live and/or work in. The post has shovels and ice melt available to assist with clearing areas. Call 245-3547 for information and see your building manager for the plan of action

 

Snow Clearing Responsibilities

 DPW/FSSI

· Placement of snow markers

· Removal of snow and ice on roads, parking lots and designated public sidewalks

 

Housing Residents

· Clear driveways

· Clear sidewalks to include in front of the house

 

 Building Occupants

· Clear sidewalks to building entrances and exits

· Clear exterior building steps

 

 See your building manager for your areas of responsibilities and plan of action.

 

Winter Weather Dos and Dont's

DO

· Shut off external faucets

· Remove portable basketball courts from roadside

· Have an emergency survival kit in your house

· Wear the right clothes for current weather conditions

· Report property damages to the DPW work order desk at 245-4019

· Report weather related emergencies to the Carlisle Barracks Fire Department at 911 or 245-4419

DON'T

· Drive in hazardous conditions        

· Walk or play in the street while snow removal equipment is operating

· Allow children to play on or near snow piles

· Call the MPs for non-emergency issues - call 245-3700 for post closure information

 

 

 

GMH Town hall meeting on Dec. 18 cancelled

    Dec. 13, 2006 -- The GMH Military Housing town hall meeting originally scheduled for Dec. 18 has been cancelled due to the holidays.

 

Dunham Flu Fair dates set

    Nov. 29, 2006 -- Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic has received the remainder of its supply of flu vaccine. Five days in December have been reserved at the Post Chapel in order for all enrolled beneficiaries age 10 and up and Carlisle Barracks civil service employees to receive immunizations. 

    The scheduled dates are:

  • Friday, Dec. 8

  • Monday, Dec. 11

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

  • Monday, Dec. 18.   

    Immunizations will be given from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Intranasal flu mist will be available for healthy people age 49 and under. All others will receive the flu vaccine by injection.  Please make every effort to attend on one of the scheduled dates.  No additional dates will be scheduled.

    High risk individuals with diseases such as asthma or diabetes or who are immunocompromised are welcome to walk in to the Dunham Allergy and Immunization clinic any weekday during duty hours. No healthy adult walk-ins will be immunized until after the final flu fair date on the Dec.18.

    Children ages 3-9 may also be walked in to the Allergy and Immunization clinic any weekday during duty hours. Children under three must be seen by appointment by one of Dunhams pediatricians prior to being immunized.

 

Post exchange holding holiday specials

    Dec. 7, 2006 -- Friday nights are Moonlight Madness at the  Carlisle Post Exchange from 7-9 p.m. now through Christmas.

 

    "On Friday Dec. 15th, we will hold our regular Moonlight Madness Sale from 7-9 p.m. and then we will REOPEN at the stroke of midnight for our "Shop Till You Drop" sale which goes on all night long," said Jack Scott, the Carlisle Barracks PX manager. "The first 100 customers at our 'Shop Til You Drop Sale' will receive a FREE $20 gift card, there will be hourly specials, giveaways, and incredible deals all night long."  Incredible savings as well as our Chips and Change Discount Game where you choose which item to discount.

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

USAWC leadership visit Afghanistan and Kuwait

Nov. 24, 2006  --  "It's our mission to communicate continuously with senior leaders in the field to make sure we remain relevant to their challenges, and are properly educating our students for the demands of the 21st Century," said Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, USAWC commandant, while discussing a recent six-day trip to Afghanistan and Kuwait. 

    "This trip really gave us an excellent opportunity to see how well we are doing," said Huntoon. "We were able to see first hand how much of what we teach is being applied." On the trip were Huntoon, Col. James Helis, chairman of the Department of National Security and Strategy and Capt. Chris Paone, the aide-de-camp.

    The trip began with a visit to Kuwait, and the US Army Central Command headquarters there.

    "We were able to meet with a former graduate, Col. Bruce Hain, who was the class president of the USAWC Class of 2006, and is now the chief of staff at USARCENT" said Huntoon. "We had the opportunity to sit in at their operations center update, and get a sense of what is going on across the theater of operations.  It was a great opportunity to see how our former students and faculty are executing their strategic level missions."

    From there, the group traveled to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

    "It was a great experience to visit the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in Afghanistan and to see so many War College graduates serving in key command and staff positions," said Huntoon.  

      One of the highlights to the trip was flying to see a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Sharona, Afghanistan. Sharona is located in the Paktika Province, which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of State is traditionally the lead civilian agency within the PRTs.

    "A PRT includes a military component (U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marines), aid agencies (such as USAID), civilian contractors, and civilian police advisors," said Huntoon They operate from small operating bases from which a group of sixty to more than one thousand civilians and military specialists work to perform small reconstruction projects or provide security for others involved in aid and reconstruction work.

    From there, the group traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan to meet with Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the Commanding General of Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan.

    "We had an opportunity to talk to him about the role of his command, and also to discuss the quality of War College graduates he had on his staff," said Huntoon. "He expressed strong support for the professional competence of Army War College graduates."

     The trip was part of a larger, on-going evaluation of the War College curriculum.

    "This was a small aspect of what we do to make sure that we are remaining relevant and responsive to the needs of the senior leaders of our nation's military," said Huntoon. "By meeting directly with recent gradates who are now serving in key positions, we see for ourselves if the education they received here properly prepared them for the challenges they currently face.

    Huntoon said he thinks that the War College staff and faculty have done a superb job based on this trip

    "I think we're doing very well in that respect,' said Huntoon. "We make sure that we measure and evaluate every aspect of the curriculum to make sure we are preparing our students the best we can. We use student surveys, as well as feedback from the field." 

    Helis said that students he spoke with also thought highly of the War College program.

    "The students were very positive in their views of how well their U.S. Army War College experience helped prepare them for their duties," he said. "Themes the students cited were our focus on senior leadership skills, including creative and critical thinking, negotiating, and consensus-building, as well as strategy and dealing with interagency and multinational environments."

    Trips like this also help to enrich the experience of the faculty as well.

   "The trip confirmed for us that we need to continue to focus on the development of senior leaders who can think and operate at the strategic level in complex and ambiguous situations," said Helis. "The trip allowed us to interact directly with recent graduates so we could hear from them how well the curriculum prepared them for their assignments. I think we also gained a somewhat better understanding of our students' experiences in theater having been there, however briefly. I became much, much more knowledgeable about the war in Afghanistan as well as the role of 3d Army as the CENTCOM Army component command.  All of this will shape how we look at future curriculum development."  

    Making sure the faculty members are able to remain connected to current operations is also very important.

    "If you look at the make-up of this year's class alone, you'll see that 69% of our students have operational experience in Iraq or Afghanistan," said Huntoon. "So we owe it to our students to make sure we have a curriculum and faculty that is current. I know the faculty is equal to the task." 

    While the trip served as an opportunity to see how the education received at the War College was now enabling former students, it also served as a reminder of the hard work and sacrifices exhibited by the Soldiers in theater.   

    "It was an incredibly humbling experience," said Huntoon. "I am constantly impressed by the professionalism, competence and confidence of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians who work very hard in not only Afghanistan and Kuwait but all over the world."

   Huntoon also expressed confidence in the success of the operation in the CENTCOM area.

    "The Soldiers, NCO's and civilians at all levels exhibit a pride in and maintain a high quality of work conducting this Global War on Terror."

    Helis echoed those sentiments, and also felt the work done at the War College directly affected those Soldiers.

    "I'll remember the tremendously positive attitudes displayed by all of our Soldiers as they perform extraordinary service in very challenging circumstances," he said. "We have to keep in the front of our minds that our work here at the Army War College is a critical component of the preparation of the senior officers who are challenged with leading our Armed Forces in a time of war. How well we at the Army War College perform our duties ultimately contributes to winning and helps save lives."

 

Staff Sgt. Marelise Wood, Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan Public Affairs

SCSC enters partnership with USAWC

Nov. 29, 2006 -- In a signing ceremony Nov. 8 at the Afghanistan Command and General Staff College, Dr. Yusuf Nuristani, 1st deputy minister of defense, and Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, commandant of the U.S. Army War College, signed a partnership agreement between the war college and the Senior Command and Staff Course.

   The first Afghan SCSC class started less than three weeks ago, with the goal of offering high-quality training to senior colonels and general officers in an intensive six-month training cycle held semi-annually.     This visit and event will be a great boost to the program.

    "This is a very important moment for us," said Nuristani. "We welcome General Huntoon here and appreciate his validation of our course. In time, this will be one of the most elite in Afghanistan."

    In addition to the signing ceremony, the visit included a tour of the facilities and an unexpected reunion.  Lt. Col. Abdul Ghias made history as the first Afghan graduate of the USAWC, and was reunited with Huntoon for the first time since his graduation earlier this year. Ghias is currently the SCSC deputy director.

    With Ghias being a shining example, it's likely that there are other Afghans who would want to take advantage of this opportunity.

     After an address to the current class by Huntoon, 209th Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Baz Mohammad Jahid commented, "I'm very happy to have you here. I would like to be able to attend your war college one day."

   

 

 

 

Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs

National Drunk and Drugged Driving prevention campaign 2006                    

Nov. 29, 2006 -- December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month. 3D month is a time when communities join with the National 3D Prevention Month Coalition to conduct public awareness and enforcement campaigns to prevent impaired driving. The Coalition, a public-private sector partnership, provides a focus for communities interested in Participating in National 3D Prevention Month by sponsoring national campaign activities.

    Community support for National 3D Prevention Month has grown dramatically since 1982 when President Reagan signed the first proclamation designating December 9 - 15 as 3D Awareness Week.  Since that time, the National 3D Prevention Month Coalition has witnessed increased resolve among communities to expand existing programs and launch new initiatives.

    This year, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) continues their annual "You Drink & Drive - You Lose", campaign in conjunction with National 3D Prevention Month.

   The goal of the campaign is to enhance national awareness about the deadly toll impaired driving exacts on America's communities and to generate a greater national urgency to stop the senseless killing and injury on our nation's highways. Impaired driving can be deterred by participating in this national campaign and through education as those people you reach will realize that the costs and risks of driving under the influence simply isn't worth it.

   Once again, The Army Substance Abuse Program will team up with the Installation Safety Office, in providing the Carlisle Barracks community with Safety and Prevention information.  Each week during the month of December we will publish important information that will assist you, your family and work site to have a safe and happy holiday season. 

The Designated Driver Program on Carlisle Barracks: "You Drink - You Drive - You Lose". LVCC and The Strike Zone support the Designated Driver Program

  • A designated driver is a person in a group of two or more drinking adults who agrees not to drink any alcoholic beverages and to safely transport the other group member's home.

  • If it is a large group, more than one Designated Driver may be needed.

  • Designated Drivers should not drink any alcoholic beverages and are therefore never the person least drunk.

  • Designated Drivers are also important if someone is taking medication that makes them drowsy or otherwise impaired.

 

LVCC - inform the bar tender that you are the designated driver and you will receive FREE non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event. They will give you a sticker that will identify you as such. (Wear it proudly).

Strike Zone Bowling Center- inform the staff that you are the designated driver and you will receive FREE non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event. You will receive a sticker that will identify you as such. (Wear it proudly).

    Additional information can be found on the NHTSA website (www.nhtsa.gov), or contact the Army Substance Abuse Office at 245-4576.

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Heritage Tree begins next phase of Carlisle Barracks history

Nov. 20, 2006 - Disease, insects and fungus were finally able to do what weather, construction and time were unable to do, destroy the Carlisle Barracks Heritage Tree.

    "The tree was dying and becoming very hazardous and the root system no longer was functional and the tree was not getting the nutrients that it needed," said Keith Bailey, Carlisle Barracks Engineering and Environmental Division. "The main trunk was in decline and fungal growth began to deteriorate making it unsafe. With out the roots function it is like the heart stopping in a person." The tree was taken down starting Nov. 14.

    The tree was approximately 222 years old, and this species of tree, European Beech (fague sylvatica) typically lives about 250 years. According to the plaque that stood in front of the tree, the tree was approximately 10 years old when General George Washington used Carlisle Barracks, then called Washingtonburg, as a rallying point of approximately 13,000 state militia troops to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion.

    "We will know for sure the age when we have the tree cross section aged," said Bailey.

    The tree was also weakened by insects and fungus.

    "The fungal growth worked its way up into the limbs, and different insects infested the wood," said Bailey.

    Carlisle Barracks has worked feverishly in recent years to try and preserve the tree.

     "We've had a professional arborist do an inspection of the tree, we've loosened the soil under the tree so moisture would reach the root system that was still working, and put mulch under the tree to hold moisture in the soil," said Bailey. "We treated the tree to kill off the secondary infections that were infesting the upper parts of the tree. All the external efforts were not enough to stop the root decline."

    Carlisle Barracks also worked with Penn State University and a local horticultural services company that specializes in preserving and improving a tree's condition. The post even took samples from the tree in an attempt to re-root or plane seeds in a effort to preserve a living legacy of the tree.

    "There were attempts to get some limbs to re-root so we would have a descendent from the original tree, this did not work and we sent away thousands of seeds to a nursery in Florida that specializes in tree propagation and again, the seeds would not grow," said Bailey. "There have been live cuttings taken from the tree and placed in a rooting solution to see if we could get it to root. So far I'm not sure if that will be successful."

    There have been plans made to preserve parts of the large portion of the tree for future visitors to Carlisle Barracks.

    "The intent is to track the history of Carlisle Barracks on the life rings of the cross section," said Bailey. "This finished product may then be relocated at the original sight of the tree with history of the post provided. Also the MWR craft shop has received some large sections to make items like plaques, coins etc."

    The decision to take down the tree wasn't an easy one, but it was something that was determined to be necessary.

    "The Carlisle Barracks Tree Board was sorry that this tree had to be removed but in the interest of safety it needed to be done," said Bailey. "This species of tree has a history of decaying quickly when it dies."

 

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Changes coming for post email users

Nov. 21, 2006 - Changes are on the way to help make the Army email system more secure, and this will impact users at Carlisle Barracks.

    Effective at the close of business Nov. 22, there will be major changes that will affect the way we send and receive emails using the post email system.

    "In accordance with Army regulations, the DOIM will configure Outlook Web Access to only accept a CAC to access the OWA site," said Ed Otto, the director of the Directorate of Information Management.  "The user will then access the site via username and password like they always have.  Users that have a government laptop/tablet and use Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the network will still be able to get their e-mail via the Outlook 2003 client as usual."

    This means those that wish to access their emails while TDY will need to have a CAC reader installed on their PC.

    "We have a limited supply of CAC readers available for issue," said Otto. "We're asking that users who don't need to access OWA, to not sign for a CAC reader." The priority list of distribution is:

· USAWC and Garrison Command/Priority users who have been pre-identified by name and prioritized by directorate. 

· Faculty that conduct official business from home

· USAWC Students and all other

    If you have a government issued Dell laptop, you do not need a CAC reader.  The government laptops can access e-mail via Virtual Private Network (VPN) and the Dell  laptops have CAC readers already installed in them.

     The next change for users deals with the formatting of their email messages.

    "Also starting on Nov. 22, the DOIM will disable NIPRNet E-mail html formatting," said Otto. "Our guidance is that "No Rich Text Format (RTF) or html based messages are sent out of the organization, or rendered on any client machine when received in the organization." This setting will be pushed automatically to all Outlook 2003 clients.  Users will not need to manually apply any setting.  

   This means that for Carlisle Barracks users:

· Plain text will be the only method of sending and receiving e-mail 

· E-mails from vendors will appear as plain text. Nice html pages will look very bad, but links to web pages will still work

· Pictures and images will not show up in your inbox

· You will not be able to send an e-mail with html formatting

Users will still be able to send links to web pages.

Users will not be able to:

· Use fonts/font sizes

· Use colors

· Use bold/italic/underline

· Insert images/pictures/screenshots in the message body.  You will have to attach images as an attachment.  

New 'e-banner' to emphasize information security

    During the average duty day, Carlisle Barracks employees send and receive a lot of email.  Some installations process more than 70,000 messages per day!
    PowerPoint presentations, memorandums, Excel spreadsheets, flyers and PDF files are just some of the routine attachments zipping between Outlook inboxes and off to distant servers at other installations or in the private sector. The text discussions include plans for routine meetings, coordination for special events or upcoming exercises, and regular chats about projects and/or ongoing training requirements.
    "There is a lot of information out there, and it's accessible to anyone with the right equipment and know-how," said Otto. "That's why it makes sense to have a little message classification reminder pop up each time you send an email."
    Otto is referring to the "Outlook Message Classification Banner" which has been mandated by the Department of Army for all government workstations service-wide by Nov. 30. The classification banner software will be installed on CBKs workstations Nov. 27-28.
     "There's not much to it; you just click a couple of buttons and the message is on its way. After that, the only difference is the classification banner it adds to the top and bottom of your email."
    In fact, it's so simple it may seem trivial, Otto noted. But the whole idea is to make the sender pause and think about the information they're transmitting.

    "No sensitive or classified materials should be conveyed via regular email, or the "NIPRNET" in DOIM-speak," said Otto. "Thus, the new classification software offers two labels - "unclassified" or "for official use only (FOUO)." The latter selection also allows the sender to specify whether the information is close hold or should be limited to a specific agency or working group."

    When you have information that's FOUO or "personal in nature," to include attachments, it should be encrypted. 

     "Keep in mind that this system was designed to make the user more aware of security classifications on all documents and attachments he or she sends via email," Otto said.
    "If the information you're transmitting requires more than the 'unclassified' label, or contains more than FOUO or PIN information, then it probably deserves a higher classification stamp and must be sent through the SIPRNET (secure email). If you have any doubt, talk to your security manager or supervisor. Again, that whole thought process is the primary reason behind this new requirement."
    As for the threat to email security, Otto said the problem is very real despite the many safety precautions that his agency has in place "24/7". 

    "Email software security protection is multi-layered and updated on a daily basis to safeguard the system," said Otto. "Nonetheless, the threat is still there."
    "Actually, our security begins with the end users," he said. "Every member of our network must adhere to an acceptable use policy."
    On a final note, Otto said the new classification banner will not affect the overall performance of Outlook or the CBKs network in general.
    "If you are experiencing problems with the performance of Outlook, the first thing you might want to do is empty your deleted messages and get rid of the outdated correspondence in your Sent Items, Deleted Items and Inbox. That's normally the first thing we look at during a service call. You can avoid quite a few delays and lock-ups if you empty those files on a regular basis. That also applies to Blackberry (wireless, hand-held computer) users."    
             

    Question concerning these changes may be addressed to the Service Desk at 245-3000.

 

Fall and holiday events featured on community calendar

    For more information on Carlisle's Fall and upcoming Holiday events, visit the Carlisle Barracks Community Calendar

 

 

Carlisle Barracks Installation Holiday Party Dec. 15   

    Dec. 12, 2006 -- Carlisle Barracks will host its Annual Installation Holiday Party from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Letort View Community Center. This is open to all military, civilian, and contract employees of Carlisle Barracks and their adult guests (over age 18).

    Various organizations throughout the post have identified individuals to sell tickets for the party. Please see one of these folks to purchase your ticket. Checks may be made payable to "IMWRF."

    Tickets will be available at the door. For more information contact Susan Wise at 245-3520.

 

 

Holiday open house at Quarters One Dec. 8 for ALL employees

    Nov. 29, 2006 -- Maj. Gen. and Mrs. David Huntoon, Jr., will host a Holiday Open House for all Carlisle Barracks employees on Friday, Dec. 8. Drop by between 1-4 p.m. and enjoy the beautiful decorations and delicious snacks.

 

Public Affairs staff report

Carlisle Barracks recognizes achievements,  accomplishments during awards ceremony

 

Among those recognized were the following:

Mary Anne Turnbaugh, DMWR - Civilian Employee of the Quarter

Jared Warner, DES - Achievement Medal for Civilian Service

Bolivar Leon, Letterkenny Army Depot - USAG Certificate of Appreciation

Judith Seville, Letterkenny Army Depot - USAG Certificate of Appreciation

 

Army Emergency Relief Campaign Expression of Appreciation:

Staff Sgt. Mark Lewis, CSL

Sgt. Charles Herzog, HRD

Spc. Brian Wilson, DOIM

 

"Make a Difference Day" Certificate of Appreciation:

1st Sgt. Joanne Cox, HHC

Sgt. First Class Richard Hall, CSL

Nickie Hall

Anne Hurst, ACS

Sgt. First Class Kingsley Thomas, EO

Sgt. First Class Lolien Toombs, PJA

Mary Anne Turnbaugh, DMWR

 

Length of Service Awards:

Larry Foote, DCLM - 40 Years

Susan Wise, CEA - 30 Years

Nathaniel Wright, DMWR - 30 Years

Cindy Durling, CSL - 25 Years

Allen Campbell, DMWR - 15 Years

Bruce Miller, DMWR - Five Years

Taek Thompson, DMWR - Five Years