June 2008 • www.army.mil
The Official U.S. Army Magazine
SoldierS i june 2008 i VoluMe 63,no. 6
Reserve Firefighters page 26
Maj. jonathan dunn and his bride, Margaret, pass
under crossed sabers following their wedding at
— Photo by Les Howard
Preparing for Marriage 10
Army chaplains strongly urge that military couples planning
marriage first seek preparatory counselling from their clergy.
Marriage in the Military 4 Honoring Family Support Volunteers 11
Marriage is a joyous event. It’s also an institution the Army Family readiness groups provide a range of services for the
works hard to support and foster through a variety of programs. loved ones of deployed Soldiers.
Family Assistance, Italian Style 14
Vicenza, Italy, held the first Europe-based joint services Family
Army Family Covenant — Keeping Promises 22
The recent signing of the first Army Family Covenant
reinforces the partnership between senior Army leaders,
Soldiers and their families.
Jalalabad’s “Water Dogs” 23
Water-purification specialists help quench Soldiers’ thirst in
Strengthening Army Marriages 12 Afghanistan.
Experts talk about how couples can face, and overcome, the
challenges inherent in military marriages. Army Salutes Last Doughboy 24
The last surviving Army veteran of World War I was
honored at a recent Pentagon ceremony.
Reserve Firefighters 26
Reserve Soldiers battle smoke and flames to keep their
Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future 28
For 250 years the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle
Barracks, Pa., has been educating future leaders.
Down Under Travel Deals 20 Twilight Tattoo 2008 30
Special programs and unique pricing incentives make it easier The Old Guard presents an hour-long musical pageant
for Soldiers and their families to explore Australia’s many honoring the Army and the nation.
departments Army Birthday Message
Focus on People
U.S. Army Magazine
Secretary of the Army: Hon. Pete Geren
Chief of Staff: Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
Chief of Public Affairs: Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III
We Want Your Story
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Soldiers • June 2008 | 3
Maj. Jonathan Dunn, an international relations
instructor at the U.S. Military Academy at West
Point, N.Y., and his bride, Margaret, pass under
crossed sabers following their wedding at the
academy’s Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
Story by Heike Hasenauer
4 | www.army.mil
S couples reminisce about Aviation Bde. “They’re seeking imme-
joining hands, exchanging rings diate companionship before and after
and promising to love, honor deployment.”
and cherish one another “until death do Downey and his wife, Trish, have
us part,” many can only say sorrowfully, been married for 15 of his 17 years in
“We failed.” the Army — from the time he was an
There’s no guarantee that the words enlisted Soldier, through advanced Today many
years and ha uples marry af ter having
of the songs played at wedding recep- military training, to his commission- ving children, liv
by Rutgers U according to ed together for
tions will ring true for any couple after ing, and two recent combat tours to ational Marria a report published
the honeymoon’s over. And the chal- Afghanistan and Iraq.
lenge to couples increases when they “I’m worried about my family when
face long separations. I’m deployed, but when I’m deployed, Sgt. 1st Class Ernest Rabot of the
Chaplain (Maj.) Derrick Riggs, a the mission has to be my main focus,” Italy-based 173rd Abn. Bde. Combat
protestant chaplain and religious-sup- he said. Team has been married to Joy for 20
port resource manager at Fort Myer, That’s why Soldiers depend so years. He echoes Downey’s sentiments.
Va., returned from a yearlong deploy- much on the support available to them “When I’m deployed, I focus on
ment to Iraq in November 2007, where through family readiness groups and the mission, but when there’s time to
he served with the 82nd Airborne Divi- others [see related story]. It’s that sup- relax a bit, I write my wife all about the
sion’s 3rd Brigade. “A lot of marriages port, and the support of other spouses things I’ve been doing or going through
were tested there,” he said. that helps military families cope, during the deployment.
“Marriage will succeed or fail based Downey said. “The first year or two of marriage
on everything you do before a deploy- Deployment, while not easy on a is very hard,” said Rabot, who was 19
ment,” Riggs added. “If you have a family that includes a son and daugh- when he married his then 21-year-
strained marriage, the deployment ter, ages 10 and 13, respectively, didn’t old wife. Besides frequently having to
will have a greater adverse impact. cause any marital problems, Trish leave her, due to training exercises and
Absence will only make the heart said. “I had no feelings of resentment deployments, living from paycheck to
grow fonder if you have a strong mar- when he deployed. I was proud of him. paycheck was initially challenging, too,
riage to begin with.” And our marriage was very strong he said.
“I don’t think younger Soldiers have when he left. His suggestions for a successful
solid expectations of marriage, but, “What makes it strong is his com- marriage? “Be honest with each other,
rather, are driven by emotion,” added mitment to his family,” she said. “And I explore each other’s inner feelings and
Maj. Chris Downey, operations officer know his family comes first when it can know what your spouse wants, physi-
for the 82nd Abn. Div.’s 82nd Combat come first.” cally and emotionally,” Rabot said.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 5
ewly wed r.
ubbles for this n eir lives togethe
ate a field of b as they begin th
hers cre pass through
“Marriage isn’t for kids, and being
in the Army just makes it harder,”
added Chief Warrant Officer 3 Roy
Melebeck, commander of Headquar-
ters and HQS Company, 173rd ABCT
Rear Detachment. “Too many Soldiers
marry as 18- to 22-year-old kids. Wait.
The Army means long deployments,
long hours when you’re not deployed.
I married as a kid, at 19. My marriage
made it because my wife, who was 26,
was the adult for a while.”
How the spouse who’s left behind
handles long separations also has a lot
to do with the success or failure of a
marriage, Riggs said.
Maj. Chris Downey,
with his wife and chi
family reunion upon ldren,
his return from Afghan celebrates a
6 | www.army.mil
for divorce in September 2007, upon
“The first few months after returning from Iraq, his second deploy-
my husband deployed were ment in three and a half years.
“That was it,” Ladisic said of the
miserable,” Samantha said. state of his marriage after being in Iraq
from January 2005 to February 2006.
Spec. Chase Windell, another “My wife and I had grown so far apart.”
member of the 173rd ABCT, deployed On his first deployment to Afghani-
to Afghanistan soon after his wife, stan in 2005, Ladisic was a platoon
Samantha, joined him in Bamberg, sergeant in an 82nd Abn. Div. combat
Germany. The couple’s son was two platoon. “My wife had friends whose
months old at the time they arrived. husbands were deployed with me. They
“The first few months after my called home when they told their wives
husband deployed were miserable,” they would. But sometimes I couldn’t
Samantha said. “I wanted to stay home call because, as a platoon sergeant, I
and his wife, Lor raine, enjoy an
the whole time.” had duties that came up unexpectedly. CW3 Roy Melebeck
Instead, she got involved, spending “The war had just started, and we outing to a local restau
time with other women whose hus- couldn’t call home for four or five days
bands had also deployed, participating sometimes,” he said. His wife called
in Yoga classes, shopping, supervising him a liar. seriously. “But I just couldn’t keep pre-
their respective children’s playtime Nonetheless, he attributes the split tending that they were important.”
and taking trips together. Samantha largely to his own “immaturity” and the Ladisic said matter of factly, “We got
also volunteers as her family readi- facts that he suffered Post Traumatic married too young.” He was 18, she, 21.
ness group’s treasurer. Her advice to Stress Disorder and its subsequent “It’s hard to fight a war and your
spouses of deployed Soldiers is: “Get “anger outbursts” and anxiety attacks. wife at the same time,” Ladisic said.
out there and get involved.” He could no longer tolerate the long- “When people asked me, ‘How’s your
Some spouses have a difficult time standing fights he and his wife had in marriage?’ I’d always say, ‘great’ or
doing that. front of their young daughter, nor his ‘terrible.’ It was never really good. Mar-
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Ladisic, a wife’s attention to what he thought riage shouldn’t be like that.”
scout with the 194th Armored Bde.’s were insignificant things. Although the couple sought coun-
A Troop, 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry “I didn’t have any patience for little seling, it didn’t help. “We both agreed
Regiment, at Fort Knox, Ky., had been things,” Ladisic said. For a while he to things in the counselor’s office that
married for seven years when he filed pretended to take those little things didn’t stick for long when we were back
Soldiers • June 2008 | 7
months. That’s not what a 20-year-old
woman expects when she marries. “The most important thing
And as long as America is fighting you can do to keep a
the war on terror, frequent deploy-
ments will continue, officials said. marriage healthy is
Chaplain (Maj.) Michael King, a to communicate,”
marriage and family chaplain at Fort
Knox, said deployment at his post is in- Downey added.
creasing dramatically. The installation,
formerly primarily a training post, has still going to happen if you wait. Know
gained three U.S. Forces Command yourself before you enter into a lifelong
units that are deployable. commitment.”
“Our population is now composed “The most important thing you
of 40 percent or more of deployable can do to keep a marriage healthy is
fe walk down the Soldiers,” among them members of the to communicate,” Downey added. “If
Husband and wi
233rd Transportation Co. who have you’re going to deploy, talk about some
deployed six times over the past five of the stressors before, during and after
home,” he said. The couple’s divorce years for six months each time, and deployment.”
was final in February 2008. the 19th Engineer Battalion, which Soldiers who are deployed should
He still loves his ex-wife, he said. recently returned from Iraq. try to call as much as possible, he
“She’s a great mom, a perfect house- Based on his experience with Sol- added, even if the calls are short.
keeper, and she’s gorgeous, but I just diers and families, “Most problems have “Just knowing Chris was thinking
couldn’t let our 6-year-old daughter see more to do with lack of communication of me meant a lot to me and the kids,”
us fighting all the time. than with deployment,” King said. Trish said.
“I think divorce is one of the biggest “How you talk to your spouse is “I think marriage in the military is
problems in the military today,” said La- very important. Too many times a mar- a significant challenge for the Army,”
disic, who’s now taking medication for riage is all about ‘me,’” he said. “One Downey added. “But officials are doing a
PTSD and undergoes counseling twice of the people in the marriage thinks very good job at understanding that the
monthly for the ailment. “Many couples everything has to be done his or her family is a combat multiplier — an impor-
get married too young. They haven’t yet way. That’s when arguments begin.” tant part of the puzzle — and is providing
had the chance to develop coping skills. Ladisic’s advice to prospective programs to support the family.”
Every other year they can expect to be couples? “Have patience. Don’t rush The current Reset pilot program,
separated from their families for 18 into marriage. If it’s meant to be, it’s as an example, is one of the Army’s
8 | www.army.mil
we d s
f f as
t h ey
we d d
newest attempts to ease a Soldier’s ing re
n fo r
transition back to his family and his a hon
ey m o
community by minimizing or eliminat- on in
t he t r
ing training requirements for 120 days .
after a Soldier returns from deploy-
ment, Downey said.
Besides communication, honesty,
unselfishness and support, candlelight
dinners and flowers — for no spe-
cial occasion at all — can’t hurt, said
Information about Spc. Chase Win-
dell and his wife, Samantha, was provided
by John Fleshman of the U.S. Army
Garrison Vicenza, Italy, Public Affairs
beach, a happ r vows barefoot on a North
y couple turns Carolina
of their guests to accept the
Soldiers • June 2008 | 9
Chaplain (Capt.) Lane J. Creamer, regimen-
tal chaplain for the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The
Old Guard), counsels Staff Sgts. Brooke
and Mark Metrinko before their marriage.
Preparing for thing differently, you’ll repeat their role designations.”
Riggs also talks about expectations, roles and respon-
sibilities, and about the couple’s respective personalities.
“I see people who I think are not at all suited for each
other,” said Riggs, who recently counseled one young
couple from different religious backgrounds. “During
Story and Photo by Heike Hasenauer the third session, I recommended they not get married,
and they said, ‘Well, we love each other.’
VERY chaplain in the Army is ordained in his “But just loving each other doesn’t mean you should
religion, said Chaplain (Maj.) Derrick Riggs, get married,” Riggs said. “The single most divisive thing
whether as a rabbi, priest or Protestant pastor. in a marriage is your view of religion and God. It will
And each is responsible for developing a pre-marital determine how you make decisions, what your values-
counseling program. base is and what your parenting style will be. If you pair
Couples planning marriage are strongly encouraged a very religious person with someone who doesn’t care
to undergo pre-marital counseling, and to speak to a about religion, they’ll come to an impasse.”
chaplain about such things as finances, wedding-day The couple he counseled is an example, he said. They
plans, the role of religion in the marriage and aspects of got married and were divorced three months later.
intimacy, Riggs said. For couples who are already married and recognize
The Roman Catholic Church provides a six-month some warning signs of trouble in their marriage —
training program for members who want to be married in among them failure to communicate, fighting, name-call-
the church. It teaches doctrine about the sanctity of mar- ing, lack of respect for one another, a low level of sexual
riage and includes several weekend retreats, Riggs said. intimacy, boredom or inability to have fun together any-
Riggs has developed a five-week pre-marital counsel- more, emotional or physical abuse and feelings of relief
ing program for Protestants and has administered the when your spouse is away — there’s help, Riggs said.
training to many couples, he said. He talks about many Besides the post-redeployment couple’s enrichment
things, including family history. program, “Strong Bonds” [see related story], couples can
“I tell couples that they’re reproducing the marriage always speak to their unit or post chaplains, family-sup-
of the families they come from,” Riggs said. “You’ve had port workers and health professionals, and the Inter-
one model, your parents. You’ve learned certain behav- net provides a wealth of information about marriage,
iors through osmosis. Unless you set out to do some- divorce, and preventing the latter.
10 | www.army.mil
FRGs assist families in a variety of ways, not the
least of which is hosting social get-togethers.
“Our Soldiers were out there in harm’s
way on a daily basis.”
Wolhaupter said family readi-
ness groups formed quickly from
volunteers of the deployed Soldiers’
families. Before deployment, they
explained the resources available to
families. Throughout deployment, they
maintained contact with the families
using newsletters, meetings, events and
“We had some Soldiers injured,”
said Wolhaupter. “Family readiness
group members helped the families deal
with that and kept them connected.”
Kerry Mork, family readiness group
leader for Company C and wife of one
of the deployed Soldiers, was among the
H o n o r i n g nine battalion volunteers recognized.
“It’s an honor for me to be that
Family Support Volunteers bridge to the families,” said Mork,
who accepted the award from Hall on
behalf of all the battalion’s volunteers.
By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith
“We had a number of volunteers who
EPARTMENT of Defense leaders There are approximately 700 stepped up to help.”
recently announced the National military family service centers across Mork said their family readiness
Guard and Reserve Family the nation, and 400 of them are in the challenge was to understand the differ-
Readiness Groups considered to be the National Guard. Hall pointed out the ent needs of each family and company.
“best in the nation” at enhancing mili- important role these centers play in “We had a lot of single Soldiers in our
tary readiness through family support retention, among other roles. company, which meant working with
for 2007. “If servicemembers cannot have the parents. But other companies had more
They spotlighted the FRGs at ability to continue with their families spouses and kids, so they would do
a DOD Reserve Family Readiness and also serve, then … servicemembers things toward that.”
awards ceremony at the Pentagon’s are not going to stay,” Hall said. Mork said family readiness is just
Hall of Heroes. This year’s winners Representatives from each of the as important now that the battalion is
included a Wisconsin Army National units were on hand to receive the home, and the groups continue to hold
Guard unit and a California Air Na- awards. Each was presented with an meetings and talk to families during
tional Guard unit. engraved plaque, a signed certificate of their reintegration.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for appreciation and a $1,000 check from During his opening remarks, Hall
Reserve Affairs Thomas Hall presented the Military Officers Association of talked about an “exciting new provi-
awards to Guard FRG representatives America. sion” in the recent National Defense
from 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artil- Among the Guard’s awardees were Authorization Act that would address
lery, Wisconsin Army Guard, and the nine volunteers from the Milwaukee- servicemember and family reintegration
144th Fighter Wing, California Air based 121st FA. in a nationwide effort, through a center
National Guard. The battalion recently returned of excellence.
Defense officials said the awards from a deployment to Kuwait and “The National Guard has volun-
“recognize National Guard and Re- Iraq. Its Soldiers — from five states teered to be part of the group that
serve units … with the best programs and 30 units — escorted convoys helps us establish that,” said Hall. He
to support their families.” throughout Iraq. also stressed a goal to make all family
“We had a very demanding, danger- service centers accessible to all service-
Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith works at the National
ous mission,” said Maj. Brian Wol- members, regardless of their branch of
Guard Bureau Public Affairs Office in Arlington, Va. haupter, the battalion commander. service.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 11
“If for six months you use the skills
you learn this weekend, and it doesn’t
improve your marriage, call me and
I’ll take you out for a steak dinner,
separately if necessary,” Chaplain (Lt.
Col.) Mark Sachs, deputy staff chap-
lain for the 99th Regional Readiness
gArhy Ma iage
Command, told the Arlington group.
Sachs added that he’s facilitated some
15 retreats and has yet to receive such
e a phone call. He has, however, heard
y Eli zabeth from couples who cancelled their ap-
Stor y b ert J. Str
Sgt. Rob pointments with divorce lawyers.
“The core of the program is com-
munication styles, how to communi-
cate well when it counts most, when
you have something very sensitive to
talk about or when the topic is risky
or highly emotional,” Sachs said. “We
GT. 1st Class Pernell Mabry’s already evident — most husbands and teach our participants about com-
wife, Wanda, gave birth to twins wives began to sit a little closer, share munication patterns that are toxic to a
the day before he deployed to glances and hold hands. marriage, how to avoid them and what
Iraq. Like many other Soldiers, Mabry The Strong Bonds training program to do when you find yourself in one of
missed the childrens’ first Christmas is run by both active-duty and reserve- those patterns. We talk about problem
and their first steps, and he didn’t know component chaplains. It originated solving or conflict management, how
if they would bond with him when he in 1999 with the Hawaii-based 25th to approach things that you differ on,
came home. Infantry Division, but has become in- and how to come to conclusions and
The separation and reunion, he and creasingly popular as more couples seek find solutions that are productive and
his wife said, came with many chal- to maintain or rebuild communication consider each partner’s needs.
lenges and unexpected adjustments. and intimacy that have suffered because “When couples fight, it’s often be-
So in November the couple joined of repeated deployments. cause an event in the course of everyday
other Army Reserve couples — officer “We’ve seen the Strong Bonds life has sparked an issue for them,”
and noncommissioned officer, newly- program building strong families,” Sachs said. “Couples tend to discuss
wed and those married 30 years — at said Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas L. the issue in the context of the event and
a Strong Bonds weekend in Arlington, Carver, the Army’s chief of chaplains. because of that it never gets resolved.
Va., for a retreat intended to strength- “A strong Soldier, as he prepares for How do you separate issues from
en their marriages. And as the weekend or goes to combat, will be strong if his events and work through them in a way
progressed, positive changes were family’s strong. It’s based upon building that’s productive?”
strong communication, strong rela- The weekend includes a “date
Maj. Daniel E. Herrigstad, the public affairs officer
tionships and maintaining that strong night,” and couples must leave their
for the 104th Training Div., contributed to this article. intimacy that couples need to have.” home city and stay in a hotel in order
12 | www.army.mil
to spend quality time together. The of trained chaplains and chaplain’s
Army pays for everything, even the assistants. Sachs pointed out that it
spouse’s travel. was easy to tell they were working.
“This is critical, because if your mar- Instead of chatting with other couples,
riage isn’t healthy, something’s going to the husbands and wives were sitting
happen to you as a Soldier,” said Chap- closely, touching and leaning toward
lain (Lt. Col.) Peter J. Frederich, family one another.
ministries officer at the Office of the The 99th RRC added the Army’s
Chief of Chaplains. “We don’t charge Battlemind training to the retreat, to
Soldiers to train on their weapons so ensure that the Soldiers, some of whom Staff Sgt. Sam
we shouldn’t charge them to train on had recently returned from deploy- . Str yker
their marriages.” ment, and their spouses knew the
The key lesson is the “speaker- symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress
listener” technique, which can eliminate Disorder, including isolation, aggres- Hockett, an acting command sergeant
arguments by forcing couples to slow sion, alcohol abuse, flashbacks and major, then also deployed for 18
down and really listen to each other. nightmares. months.
The speaker has the “floor” — it can be “I think most of us got messed up They’ve been married for three
something as simple as a piece of paper down there and we don’t see it until years, but have only lived together for
or a pen. The speaker can only make a our wives say, ‘I’ve got one foot out the a few months. They attended a Strong
few short statements before stopping door. Do you want to do something Bonds weekend in Oregon and said it
and letting the listener paraphrase, to about it before the other one’s out?’ helped them deal with the stresses of
ensure both parties understand each That’s what my wife told me a couple of two Army careers.
other, and then the roles reverse. weeks ago,” said one Soldier, emphasiz- “It’s really good for couples to come
The goal is understanding, not ing the importance of programs like to these things after a deployment, to
fighting or agreeing or finding a solu- Strong Bonds in helping marriages re- know that they are not alone in what
tion. Most of the time, all couples cover from or prepare for deployment. they are going through,” Marks said.
really need is a great conversation. Mabry, who returned from Iraq in “The year after my husband came
Once they understand each other, the September, said the retreat was the back was the hardest. We had a lot of
problem often resolves itself. When first opportunity he’s had to spend time issues we had to work through and they
the speaker-listener technique isn’t alone with his wife since his return. “I would have been easier to deal with if
enough, Sachs said, it’s important that think this is really helpful, and I thank we had been able to do this sooner,”
couples try to find solutions as a team, the chaplain’s section for coming up agreed Stacie L. Fredenburg, who also
and not look at each other as the prob- with the idea. Soldiers really need attended the Oregon program. “If
lem. The idea, he said, is to brainstorm something to get them back into family you’ve been deployed, this is something
solutions together, compromise and orientation, and this is really good. This to do. You will benefit.”
follow up later to see if the solution is is something that really helps.” According to Frederich, Strong
actually working. “It’s been very helpful to both of us, Bonds has been so successful that the
If the couple can’t find a solution, because we’ve had our challenges since National Institutes of Health gave the
there may be a deeper, hidden issue at he’s been back,” Mabry’s wife added. chaplaincy a grant for a five-year study
work. A knock-down, drag-out fight “With us having different parenting to see if the program makes a difference
about orange juice probably isn’t about ideas and thoughts and opinions —and in the amount of time Soldiers stay in
orange juice, for example. It may be for him, being a new parent all over the Army, whether they get PTSD,
about love, or control or acceptance. again — and then different back- and whether the family issues affect
That’s why the speaker-listener tech- grounds, I think this has helped us to such other aspects of their careers as
nique is so crucial, he said. have a common ground.” promotion rates.
To keep on-going issues, such as They both said they would recom- New versions of the program are
money, from flaring up over everyday mend the program to other Soldiers now geared toward single Soldiers and
occurrences, one important Strong and plan to use the techniques. In fact, another involves entire families. The
Bonds suggestion is a weekly couple’s 95 percent of couples say they would one for single Soldiers focuses on how
meeting, a time when couples will have recommend the program, Sachs said. to choose the right partner, and the
a safe opportunity to address any on- Master Sgt. Carri R. Marks, a version for families focuses on parent-
going concerns. full-time staff training specialist with ing skills.
Couples at the Arlington event the 70th RRC, deployed to Iraq for 18 For more information or to find an
had several opportunities to practice months right after marrying in 2004. upcoming retreat, visit www.strong-
the techniques under the guidance Her husband, Master Sgt. Donald M. bonds.org.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 13
A Defense Department family assistance team traveled
to Vicenza, Italy, to provide information to personnel
there about programs for Italy-based families.
y Assi stance
Ital Story By Dia
na Ba hr
14 | www.army.mil
HEN the Vicenza, Italy,
military community hosted
the first Europe-based joint-
services Family Assistance Workshop
for service providers recently, a team of
subject-matter experts from the Office
of the Secretary of Defense focused on
relocation assistance, children, youth
initiatives and counseling.
Maj. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, com-
mander of the U.S. Army Southern
European Task Force, who had earlier
met members of the team in Wash-
ington, D.C., felt they had valuable in-
formation for the Vicenza community
and invited them to come to Italy, said
Renee Citron, deputy to the garrison
Besides talking about new programs
and providing updates on current ones,
the discussion groups generated valu-
able ideas and provided networking
opportunities in many areas of family
assistance, Citron said.
“Each day of the workshop was a
day of learning and enrichment for at-
tendees,” Citron added. “Not only did
the team conduct the workshop, but
its members held one-on-one meet-
ings with many staff members of the
Vicenza military community.
“As a result, we will be able to better
use the many Defense Department
resources available at the installation
level,” she said.
“We received information on a
variety of new resources, along with
potentially more effective ways to reach
Soldiers and family members,” said workshop were the Web sites for “We received information
Kent Thompson, manager of the Army Military Homefront, www.military-
Community Service Financial Readi- homefront.dod.mil, and Military One-
on a variety of new
ness Program. Source, www.militaryonesource.com. resources, along with
“I will be changing some of my “The two sites can help you with
methods of delivery to better reach the just about anything,” said Franny Pack-
potentially more effective
entire community. I want to determine ard, manager of Vicenza’s Exceptional ways to reach Soldiers
what days and times are most conve- Family Member Program.
nient for people to attend events, and Another fan of the Web sites was
and family members,”
I encourage our community to let me Rose Holland, who manages both said Kent Thompson.
know what types of financial coaching Army Family Team Building and
they want, and when they want it.” Army Family Advocacy programs. college-search tools. The other tool
Many attendees said two of the “The resources available to our that I would encourage everyone to use
most valuable takeaways from the Soldiers and families through both is the ‘plan-my-move’ tool. This helps
sites is astonishing,” she said. “As a you connect to resources to ensure you
Diana Bahr is assigned to the U.S. Army Garrison
parent of three teenagers, I was espe- have what you need as you get ready to
Vicenza Public Affairs Office. cially interested in the scholarship and PCS.”
Soldiers • June 2008 | 15
16 | www.army.mil
Dressed in protective suits, Sgt. Mark Warren (left) and
Sgt. Austin Ryan of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s
54th Civil Support Team transport equipment to a simulated
decontamination site during Exercise Viking Shield ‘08 .
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell
Soldiers • May 2008 | 17
BNCOC Offered at Transition Brigade
SIX Soldiers graduated recently from the Basic NCO
Course at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washing-
What makes the graduation unique is that the course was
held for wounded warriors and cadre assigned to the center’s
Warrior Transition Brigade.
Due to the nature of the brigade’s mission, neither Sol-
diers assigned as “warriors in transition” nor brigade cadre
are able to go on temporary duty to attend professional
military-education courses such as a Phase I BNCOC. The
BNCOC course at WRAMC was undertaken as a pilot pro-
gram to bring the schoolhouse to Soldiers at the brigade.
Sgt. 1st Class Barry Nelson, one of the BNCOC instruc-
tors, said the course was designed like every other BNCOC.
It is academically heavy, and focuses on such issues as
motivating subordinates, developing a cohesive team, troop
leadership and cultural awareness.
Nelson also said training and evaluations during the
course were conducted to the high standards set by the Army,
just as if the students were attending a traditional academy.
In addition to providing important and required profes-
sional-development education, attending the Phase 1 BN-
COC at Walter Reed helped remind Soldiers assigned there
that they are part of the Army, said Staff Sgt. Shad Lorenz, a
member of the transition-brigade cadre.
“Being in this environment, away from the traditional
Army, can be hard,” Lorenz said. “This course put things
Staff Sgt. Renee Deville displays her Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course
shirt after graduating from the first class in the Warrior Transition Brigade BNCOC back in focus. It puts you where you need to be.”
pilot program at Walter Reed. — Carrie McLeroy
DOD Releases Sexual-Assault Report completed investigations. There were 181 courts martial,
201 nonjudicial punishments, and 218 administrative actions
DEFENSE officials have released the “Report on Sexual and discharges. Some 75 percent of the reports were labeled
Assault in the Military” for fiscal year 2007. It reveals that unfounded or lacking in sufficient evidence.
in about 2,000 of 2,688 reported cases the victims opted to Army Chief of Public Affairs Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo
share information with law-enforcement officers. III said the Army has a culture of reporting, but senior lead-
In June 2005 the military created “restricted” reporting, ers believe the numbers are too high, and Army Chief of Staff
under which victims receive medical help and counseling, and Gen. George Casey has still directed all commanders to evalu-
evidence is collected, but no investigation is started. There ate their prevention programs.
were 705 restricted reports in 2007, but 102 victims later Carolyn Collins, manager for the Army’s sexual assault
changed their reports to unrestricted, at which time the cases and prevention response program, said training and aware-
were handed over to law-enforcement personnel. ness of the problem is crucial at all levels.
Some 6.8 percent of women and 1.8 percent of men expe- The Army’s sexual-misconduct rate during deployment
rienced unwanted sexual advances, according to the survey. is lower than for Soldiers in garrison — 0.83 reported sexual
About 60 percent of all reports concerned alleged rape, and assaults per thousand in Central Command versus 2.6 percent
72 percent of the victims were servicemembers. Of the 603 Armywide, Collins said, which Cucolo attributed to strong
“restricted” reports, 69 percent were alleged rape cases. unit cohesion, limited free time and the absence of alcohol.
Action was taken against about half of the accused in the — Dennis Ryan, Fort Myer, Va., Pentagram
18 | www.army.mil
MIA’s Remains Recovered
THE remains of Staff Sgt. Keith Matthew
Maupin were recovered March 20, northwest of
Baghdad, Iraq, by elements of the 2nd Stryker
It was the culmination of a four-year search for
the Army Reserve Soldier from the 724th Trans-
portation Company, Army officials said. And Sec-
retary of the Army Pete Geren reiterated that the
AER Doubles Aid to Meet Needs Army will never stop searching for missing Soldiers.
SINCE 2005 the Army Emergency Relief program has The recovery was the result of an intensive effort
increased by about 40 percent the financial assistance it by Multi-National-Division-Baghdad Soldiers
provides to Soldiers and families in need, according to the and multiple joint and interagency organizations.
program’s director. The Soldiers of the 2nd SCR recovered Maupin’s
Lt. Gen. Robert F. Foley (Ret.) said that in 2005 AER pro- remains by approaching the recovery as a criminal
vided about $44 million in emergency interest-free loans and investigation and employing appropriate investiga-
grants, as well as need- and merit-based academic scholarships, tive techniques.
and by 2007 that number increased to almost $74 million. The “Since beginning operations in Abu Ghraib, we
2008 fundraising campaign lasted from March 1 to May 15. made finding Staff Sgt. Maupin a top priority, to
AER lets Soldiers help Soldiers, and it is primarily funded clearly demonstrate to every servicemember and ev-
by Soldiers through donations or repayment of AER loans. ery family that we will never leave a fallen comrade,”
The 2007 campaign raised $10.9 million. Foley said about 85 said Col. John RisCassi, 2nd SCR commander.
percent of AER assistance goes to staff sergeants and below. — ARNEWS
Foley attributes the rising success in helping active-
duty, reserve-component and retired Soldiers, families and
survivors to increased education and awareness among Army
leaders, and to the Command Referral Program, launched in
2006. Under the program, company- and battery-level com-
manders and first sergeants can authorize $1,000 in interest-
free loans for their Soldiers.
Each Soldier’s case is different, Foley said, so there are no
strict rules about what AER will or will not cover, and there
are no limits on the amount of the loan or grants Soldiers can
receive or the number of times they can apply to AER.
AER also has other specific programs. Every Soldier who
has been medically evacuated from a combat theater is entitled
to a $200 grant from AER. Foley said AER is in the early
stages of partnering with the 35 warrior transition units and
Soldier family assistance centers around the Army.
Spouses and children of active-duty and retired Soldiers
are also eligible for need-based undergraduate scholarships of
up to $2,900 a year (family income must be below $88,500),
academic scholarships of $1,300, and achievement and lead-
ership scholarships of $1,000.
AER offices are located at the Army Community Ser-
vice building on Army installations, and can also be found
through the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Air
Force Aid Society, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance and Red
Cross chapters nationwide. To find an AER office or for
more information, visit www.aerhq.org. Staff Sgt. Keith Maupin of the Army Reserve’s 724th Transportation Company
is shown in his vehicle sometime before April 9, 2004, when his convoy was
— Elizabeth Lorge, Army News Service ambushed en route to Baghdad International Airport.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 19
“People have to get away
from the ‘Green Machine’
every once in a while,
no matter how dedicated
they are to their careers
Army Family and Morale, Welfare and
Recreation Command in Alexandria, Va.
“We have this great booking tool
that they can use to plan an itinerary
and get all kinds of information by go-
ing to OffDutyTravel.com and click-
ing on the Great Travel Deals link.
“They can sign in and start play-
ing around and do multiple itinerar-
ies. When they’re ready, they simply
contact their designated ITR or ITT
office, which will then coordinate with
the staff in Perth, Australia, to get the
price for a particular itinerary and pro-
vide information to the individual.”
Some of the most affordable Aus-
tralian vacation packages available in-
clude the Australia Zoo, Captain Cook
Cruises, Accor Hotels, Quantas Air-
lines, Costello’s Opals, Tropic Wings
Tours, Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife
World, Australian Day Tours, Sun-
lover Great Barrier Reef Tours, Cairns
Tropical Zoo and Bridge Climb.
“For years we conducted surveys,
and Australia kept coming up as a
dream vacation,” Yount said. “We have
been able to make it affordable.”
Story by Tim Hipps A five-night stay in Melbourne and
Photos courtesy Tourism Australia
Sydney, with roundtrip airfare from
Los Angeles or San Francisco, has been
Sydney’s famed Opera House is one of the many HE joint-services Australia available for as little as $898 to active-
sights visitors to Australia can see during a trip
“Down Under.” The Opera House operates 24 hours
Military Tours Program might duty, Reserve and National Guard
a day, every day except Christmas and Good Friday. encourage folks inclined to vaca- Soldiers, retired military and Depart-
tion “Down Under” to take the plunge. ment of Defense civilian personnel, and
“This is an opportunity for people family members.
who have ever considered travel to “This program is unique in that after
Australia to get firsthand information people come back, we have not had one
and an idea of what they might want to complaint. It is absolutely first class
do if they book a trip,” said Dan Yount, all the way. Australia’s reputation for
director of Army Leisure Travel at the hospitality is not going to suffer from
Tim Hipps works in the FMWRC
“People have to get away from the
Public Affairs Office. ‘Green Machine’ every once in a while,
20 | www.army.mil
no matter how dedicated they are to Kata Tjuta National Park is the home of Ayers Rock/Uluru, the world’s largest monolith. The sacred Aboriginal
site is Australia’s most famous natural landmark.
their careers and missions,” Yount
said. “We can get them to almost any-
where in the world they want to go.”
With this travel package, the idea of
a trip to the other side of the world does
not seem so far-fetched. Additional day
trips can be added to itineraries.
From Sydney to Melbourne to
Brisbane to Cairns and the Great Bar-
rier Reef, Australia offers sun-drenched
horizons, white sandy beaches and
sophisticated, modern cities. Aside
from its natural beauty, Australia’s
hospitality and friendliness are rivaled
by few countries, Yount said.
He suggested Soldiers interested in
visiting Australia depart from tempo-
rary-duty assignments on the West
Coast, which would save them even
more out-of-pocket expenses.
Vacationers are urged to pay for
their packages as soon as possible.
“Like just about every other cur- Built for speed and strength, the kangaroo is an Australian icon and easily recognizable as one of the coun-
try’s national symbols. Visitors can see the animals throughout the country.
rency in the world, the U.S. dollar is
dropping like a rock against the Aus-
tralian dollar,” Yount said. “We’re do- anywhere. But when people get a price, the dollar dropped 14 percent against the
ing our best to keep trips to Australia they need to make a quick decision and Australian dollar. That meant if some-
affordable, and the prices being offered try to pay it as quickly as they can. body had a trip for $1,000, it would be
through the joint-services program are “Every couple of weeks, the rate is go- $1,114 if they waited until the end of the
the cheapest prices you’re going to find ing to go up. In the month of September, month to pay for it,” Yount said.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 21
Army Family Covenant — “We are placing family
Keeping Promises Story by Carrie McLeroy
assistants at the battalion
level of deployable units
to assist commanders
HE Army committed $1.4 billion funding existing family programs and
this fiscal year to improving services; increasing accessibility and and family readiness
quality of life for Army families. quality health care; improving Soldier groups throughout the
A partnership was forged between and family housing; ensuring excellence
senior Army leaders, Soldiers and their in schools, youth services and child deployment cycle,”
families with the signing of the Army care; expanding education and improv- Wilson said.
Family Covenant in the fall of 2007. ing employment opportunities for
Since then, more than 174 Army family members,” Bohannon said.
Family Covenant signings have taken IMC commander Lt. Gen. Robert
place worldwide to demonstrate the Wilson said successful execution of Wilson said. “We are reaching out
Army’s commitment to providing Sol- the Army’s four imperatives (sustain, to geographically-dispersed Soldiers
diers and families a quality of life that prepare, reset and transform) is para- and families, of all components, by
is commensurate with their service and mount in maintaining the force and building the Army Integrated Family
daily sacrifices, said Dennis Bohanon, supporting families. Support Network. This network will
director of strategic communications He also stressed the importance of connect all families with face-to-face
for the Assistant Chief of Staff for ensuring that the best resources are assistance and an information network
Installation Management. available to families, and he emphasized not previously available outside our
The Army’s leaders officially recog- the role families play in overall Army military population centers.”
nized the strength and commitment readiness. Wilson added that the Army
of Soldiers and their families, and are “We are placing family readiness Family Covenant promises to take
working to affirm that partnership by support assistants at the battalion exceptional care of Soldiers and their
focusing on four key issues. level of deployable units to assist com- families as the Army prepares for
“We are making the Army Family manders and family readiness groups future challenges. “We are the Army’s
Covenant a reality by standardizing and throughout the deployment cycle,” home,” he said.
22 | www.army.mil
forward-operating base are two locally
constructed wells approximately 140
feet deep. Two submersible pumps
bring raw water up to the surface at
a rate of 114 gallons per minute, and
pump it into 3,000-gallon storage bags
called “onion skins.”
A 42,000-gallon brick-and-mortar
storage container is available for non-
The raw water coming from the
well can “make you very sick,” said Pfc.
Christopher M. Bullard. “I think we’re
doing a great job purifying the water
and keeping everybody safe.”
From the onion skins, the raw water
is turned into clean, potable water with
the help of one of two new, $1.2-mil-
lion reverse-osmosis water-purification
units that push out contaminants.
Previously, the water dogs were limited
by two 600-gallon-per-hour ROWPUs
and had to work around the clock to
keep up with the base’s water demand.
The water flows from the ROWPU
into two 5,000-gallon sealed tanks,
from which it’s piped into the dining
facility and coffee shop.
Ten additional 5,000-gallon stor-
age tanks are scheduled to be delivered
“We’re going to have 120,000
gallons of potable water stored on
gor y A rg the base, and before the 173rd leaves,
c. Gre servicemembers will be taking showers
a nd Photo using potable water. They’ll no longer
have to worry about signs that read:
‘Nonpotable water. Don’t use as drink-
FOUR-man team of water- the team provides water for construc- ing water or to brush teeth,’” said Sgt.
purification specialists from tion and aircraft maintenance, unit 1st Class Sean L. Carter.
the 173rd Brigade Support officials said. Water is a key consideration for safe
Battalion’s Company A produces more “We provide Soldiers with the cooking and for preparing tasty food,
than 40,000 gallons of water daily water they need to enjoy many of the Carter said. “Too much chlorine in the
for servicemembers, contractors and creature comforts they have back in the water will turn vegetables brown. It can
local national employees at Jalalabad rear,” said 1st Lt. Nathan C. Miatech, a also cause skin irritations, such as hives.”
Airfield, Afghanistan. Co. A platoon leader. Weather conditions can also pose
Known as “water dogs,” the “A lot of Soldiers who are forward challenges for the team, Bullard said.
Soldiers’ main mission is to produce deployed appreciate what my water Water runs through the ROWPU more
32,500 gallons of nonpotable water dogs do, because they don’t have a lot slowly when the temperature drops.
for sinks, showers, toilets, urinals and of nonpotable water,” Miatech said. Sometimes water production is up,
washing machines, to support personal “They have to grab a couple of water sometimes it’s down, said Sgt. Edward
hygiene and sanitation. Additionally, bottles and do field hygiene, scrubbing D. Haynes, a Co. A section sergeant.
down their essential areas, and that’s But the team’s number-one priority
Spc. Gregory Argentieri is assigned to the 173rd
about all they can do.” will continue to be providing a steady,
Airborne Brigade Combat Team. The primary water sources on the healthy supply of water to the troops.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 23
Cpl. Frank Buckles
shor tly after he arrived
nd, on his A Second Look
Winchester, Engla 1917.
way to France in During a recent Pentagon ceremony,
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
praised Buckles’ service and noted that
while World War I lacks a national
memorial and has failed to capture the
American consciousness the way later
conflicts have, it set the stage for much
of the history that has followed.
“The 20th century truly began with
an archduke’s assassination in Sarajevo
on June 28, 1914,” Gates said. “The
war, which started as a fight over Bal-
kan independence, left in its wake a re-
drawn map of Europe and the Middle
East — including the demarcation of a
land in Mesopotamia called Iraq. From
Baghdad to Belgrade, the places that
mattered then are in the forefront of
our consciousness today.”
Helping America Remember
In 2006 photographer David De-
Jonge set out to help America remember
a war that was neither great nor ended
all wars, by documenting remaining
World War I veterans. By the time he
could finance the project, four had died.
Five more died within weeks of their
sessions, and today only Buckles and
Canadian John F. Babcock are alive. The
collection of nine portraits will remain
on permanent display at the Pentagon.
“For those of us here today, we
will forever put the face of Corporal
Buckles and the nine faces so master-
fully captured by David DeJonge on
Army Salutes the Great War,” said Secretary of the
Army Pete Geren. “And when we put
a human face on a heretofore faceless
war, we are reminded and convinced of
the personal debt that each of us owes
to those who have secured the blessings
of our liberty.”
Story by Elizabeth M. Lorge
N 1917 the first of some 4.7 million the trenches. The first few who made Wearing the Legion of Honor he
Americans marched off to fight the it home received tickertape parades, was awarded by French President
Kaiser, filled with naïve optimism but little by little, America forgot this Jacques Chirac, Buckles simply thanked
that “the Great War” would end inter- generation of veterans. the people in attendance on behalf of
national conflict forever. Now only one is left. Former Cpl. his fellow World War I veterans. He
Instead they saw the horrors of Frank Woodruff Buckles, now 107, received a standing ovation from the
modern warfare for the first time, is the only living American known to standing-room-only crowd.
and more than 257,000 were killed have served in France in World War I, He never expected to be the last
or wounded in a year and a half in and his life mirrors the 20th century. WWI veteran, Buckles said during an
24 | www.army.mil
interview at his farm in West Virginia,
Elizabeth M. Lorge
but since he is, he will serve his genera-
tion as best he can.
Only 16 when the United States
declared war on Germany in 1917,
Buckles had to lie about his age several
times to enlist — although he insists
“lie” is too strong a word — and was
rejected by the Marines because he was
too small and by the Navy because he
had flat feet.
An Army recruiter in Oklahoma
finally took him after Buckles said the
only record of his birth was in the family
Bible in Missouri. After training in Kan-
sas he sailed for Europe aboard RMS
Carpathia, the ship that had rescued the
survivors of the Titanic in 1912.
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren (far right) looks on as a portrait of Buckles (seated at lower left) is unveiled
Anxious to Reach Frontlines during the Pentagon ceremony. Portraits of nine World War I veterans, including Buckles, will remain on
permanent display at the Pentagon.
Buckles went to all that effort to
serve, he said, “because it’s an impor-
tant thing. The whole world was inter-
Elizabeth M. Lorge
ested in this. Why shouldn’t I be?”
An old sergeant had told Buckles
that the fastest way to get to the action
in France was to join the ambulance
corps, since ambulance drivers were
desperately needed at the front. But to
Buckles’ dismay, his unit was rerouted
and he found himself in Winchester,
England, chauffering officers in the
sidecar of a motorcycle.
Buckles eventually made it to
France, but never near the trenches. As
an ambulance driver, he saw plenty of
casualties, but never any combat.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
After the war, Buckles began a career
in shipping. He traveled frequently to
the Germany of the Third Reich — he Buckles relaxes at his home in West Virginia. He holds the the meal cup he used for three years and two
months at a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines during World War II.
remembers a German officer telling him
they were preparing for another war as
early as the 1920s — and in a terrible starved the prisoners and, as the Ameri- “Today young men and women from
example of being in the wrong place at cans got close, they planned to murder our generation … are joined in a war
the wrong time, was in Manila when them. Rescuers arrived just in time, and in a far-off land that will shape their
Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941. Buckles recalled being so happy to see future and the world’s future for de-
He had turned down a job in Buenos them that he dressed up in the starched cades to come. As with Frank Buckles’
Aires, expecting to be in the Philip- shirt and pressed pants he had saved for war, some day this war will end and
pines only six months. Instead, during 38 months. all will come home with their lives and
three years in a Japanese prison camp the world forever changed, and with
he nearly starved and lost more than 50 Vets Shape Future vivid and searing memories of their
pounds. He said that toward the end “This nation called and a country war that will live with them through-
of the war the Japanese intentionally boy from Missouri went,” Geren said. out their days.”
Soldiers • June 2008 | 25
Soldier-firefighters assigned to the Army
Reserve’s 468th Engineer Detachment
attack a simulated aircraft fuel fire during
training at Westover AFB, Mass.
Firefighters Story and Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Mayra O’Neill-Dalton
N a cool autumn day the heat weeks of training at the Department of their specialized skills with their civil-
was intense for Army Reserve Defense Louis F. Garland Fire Train- ian co-workers.
firefighters geared up to confront ing Academy at Goodfellow Air Force “Every time I learn something new
a simulated aircraft crash at Westover Base, Texas. from the Army, I teach it to my co-
Air Force Base in Chicopee, Mass. At the academy Soldiers earn all workers in the fire department, so they
While the men and women battling the necessary firefighting certifications, can also be prepared for things they’ve
the mock blaze that day were assigned including Firefighter I and II, Haz- never encountered,” McLaughlin said.
to the 368th Engineer Battalion in ardous Material, Emergency Medical
Londonderry, N.H., they were drawn Technician Certification and Airfield Females Fighting Fire
from detachments based both in that Operations. The 339th’s Spc. Erin Marie Leary,
state and in Massachusetts. The fire- The training reflects the differences who’s also a civilian firefighter in Re-
fighting units are the 468th Engineer between civilian and military firefight- vere, Mass., shares McLaughlin’s senti-
Detachment which is the headquarters ing, McLaughlin said. Civilian depart- ments about the Army and its training.
element, the 287th, 356th, 339th En- ments respond primarily to structure “Learning how to attack the fire
gineer Detachments of Danvers, Mass., fires, while their military counterparts using the fire trucks, deploying hand
and the 530th Engineer Detachment of must be ready to respond to such other lines, and practicing interior attacks
Somersworth, N.H. threats as aircraft, ammunition and by shutting down a plane and fighting
Sgt. James M. McLaughlin, the fuel fires. fire in the cockpit is training that helps
339th Engr. Detachment’s team chief, Once academy graduates reach their me brush-up on skills I don’t use every
said the battalion includes many young units, it’s up to senior firefighters like day,” she said.
Soldiers who recently completed 13 McLaughlin to ensure that they con- “It’s also good because it allows me
tinue to polish their skills. And since to work with different people — new,
Sgt. 1st Class Mayra O’Neill-Dalton is assigned to
many Reserve firefighters also belong young troops as well as older, more
the 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. to civilian departments, they also share experienced Soldiers. Because many of
26 | www.army.mil
them are also civilian firefighters, we protective equipment and self-con- and check local streets to make sure
get to exchange ideas and techniques.” tained breathing apparatus. The latter fire trucks can get through. They also
includes a one-hour bottle of oxygen handle electrical problems, immedi-
Best of Both Worlds and is a critical component of a fire- ate medical services and tent fires, and
Pfc. David Anthony Grace of the fighter’s gear. In a fire, the firefighters conduct fire-prevention training and
287th Engr. Det. always wanted to be need to know how to use it properly, building inspections.
both a firefighter and a Soldier. An and how to make it last by controlling Soldiers from the 287th and 356th
electrician by trade and a volunteer their breathing and the air flow. Engr. Dets. deployed to Camp Taji and
firefighter with Massachusetts’ Malden Al Anbar Air Base, Iraq, while other
Emergency Center, he didn’t hesitate to Deployed Firefighters elements remained in Kuwait. Once
enlist in the Reserve when he found out Army firefighters establish fully they report to their forward operating
he could do both. functioning fire departments during base in theater, they can be assigned to
“I got a two-for-one deal,” he said. deployments, McLaughlin said. They an Army division, the Marines or to
“It took more than a year to get a slot at set up stations, track water supplies coalition forces.
the firefighter academy, but once there
I learned skills that will be very helpful
when we’re deployed.”
Grace said he appreciates the fact
that many of the firefighters in the unit
are also civilian firefighters, and he
draws on their knowledge and experi-
ence to bolster his own skills.
Grace is on a waiting list for several
city fire departments, but for now he
continues to volunteer. The civilian
firefighters he works with respect him
as an experienced Army firefighter,
even though he’s a relative rookie. He
shares his knowledge from the Army’s
training with his co-workers and they
share their knowledge with him.
A Second Career
Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Belcher is
the senior NCO and first sergeant for
the 468th Engr. Det. He has been with
his current unit for only a year, but is
a former combat heavy engineer and
a 21-year Army veteran. As a civilian,
Belcher is a truck driver.
Since he became an Army fire-
fighter, he has developed an interest in
“I caught the bug, and that is what I
want to do now,” he said.
His job during training is to ensure
that team chiefs are training the Sol-
diers to standard and developing unit
cohesiveness. Simulation and scenario
training is conducted three times a year.
During training, the firefighters
used the M1142, the newest tactical
fire truck, as well as hoses, personal
Crew chief Sgt. Michael S. Foley monitors a fire
hydrant during a “pump-and-roll” drill.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 27
Col. John Stanwix in 1757. Located
at the intersection of Indian trails
Honoring the Past, along Letort Creek, the post became
the jumping-off point for traders and
Shaping the Future
settlers heading into the Allegheny
Mountains on their way west.
“Stanwix had been ordered here to
Story by Tom Zimmerman establish a fortified camp, which at the
time meant tents, redoubts and small
defensive positions,” Giblin said. In
1801 the land became U.S. federal prop-
erty when it was purchased from heirs of
William Penn. The post became known
as Carlisle Barracks around 1807.
While the Continental Army estab-
lished its School for Artillerists at Carl-
isle Barracks in 1778, the first perma-
nent Army school to take up residence
on the post was the School for Cavalry
Practice in 1838. The school stayed at
Carlisle until the beginning days of the
After that conflict the post went
through a period of change, and in
1879 was transferred to the Depart-
ment of the Interior to become the
Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Its
mission was to prepare young Ameri-
can Indian students for life in a growing
The school’s first superintendant,
Brig. Gen. Richard Pratt, designed an
environment intended to help young
American Indians develop self-respect,
self-reliance and personal responsibility.
During its time at Carlisle, the school
attracted nationwide attention due to its
OU can almost feel the hun- “Ever changing, always remember- athletic programs led by Coach “Pop”
dreds of years of history at ing, Carlisle Barracks embodies the rich Warner. Two world-renowned ath-
Carlisle Barracks, Pa. What military tradition of the last 250 years letes, multi-sport and 1912 Olympian
other installation can bring you more and promises to lead the way into the Jim Thorpe and baseball great Charles
than two and a half centuries worth of Army’s next 250 years.” Bender, were students at the school.
history with just a few simple steps? In 1920 Carlisle Barracks became
For 250 years Carlisle Barracks has Evolution of a Post home to the Medical Field Service
been a leader in Army education. Carlisle Barracks’ size and shape School. Established under Col. Percy
“Today it remains a place that have changed some over the past two Ashburn’s command, and drawing on
molds future leaders and educates them and a half centuries, but the post’s basic the lessons of World War I, the school
to adapt to the rapidly evolving strate- footprint is the same as it was at the developed medical equipment and doc-
gic environment,” said Lt. Col. Sergio turn of the 18th century. trine suitable for the battlefield.
Dickerson, garrison commander. Jack Giblin, director of visitor and “The school was here until 1946,
education services for the U.S. Army and was responsible for developing
Tom Zimmerman works in the Carlisle Barracks Public
Affairs Office. Staff Sgt. Christopher Fincham contributed to
Heritage and Education Center, said the Carlisle bandage and other things
this article. the post was founded by British Army we know today as traditional medical
28 | www.army.mil
practices for Soldiers in the field. Car- programs, displays and guest lectures,
lisle had a very important place in the
“The Army Heritage and the center helps to teach contemporary
development of medical field schools Education Center lessons through historical examples.
and graduated almost 30,000 medical Visitors from all over the country come
Soldiers,” said Giblin.
is the public face of to Ridgway Hall in order to gain a
Though the Medical Field Service Army history,” said historical perspective on the issues and
School eventually relocated to Fort Sam conflicts of today.
Houston, Texas, educational innovation
Col. Robert Dalessandro,
continued at Carlisle Barracks. Between AHEC’s director. Other Assets
1946 and 1951 the post briefly hosted Carlisle Barracks also includes
no fewer than six Army schools. The operating environment,” said Lt. Gen. the Center for Strategic Leadership’s
Army Information School arrived first, David Huntoon Jr., the director of wargaming, simulation, conferencing
followed by the School for Govern- Army Staff at the Pentagon, and the and experiential education center. The
ment of Occupied Areas, the Adjutant college’s former commandant. “We are CSL hosts more than 100 educational
General’s School, the Chaplain School committed to developing agile, adaptive events annually, with an estimated
and the Military Police School. and innovative leaders who will succeed 7,000 attendees.
Finally, the last of the six, the Army in this era of persistent conflict at the The Strategic Studies Institute
Security Agency School, began its clas- strategic level of war and peace.” focuses on geo-strategic and national
sified operations in 1949, and stayed The college provides senior-level edu- security research and analysis, and
for two years before being displaced by cation for lieutenant colonels and colonels leads the collective effort to meet the
the War College. through three concurrent classes — the War College’s research and publication
10-month resident education program mission. National security and strategic
The U.S. Army War College and the first- and second-year phases of a leadership research and analysis pub-
Originally established in 1901 in two-year Distance Education Program. lished by SSI is available free of charge
Washington, D.C., the U.S. Army War Graduates of both programs cur- at www.strategicstudiesinstitute.
College suspended classes in 1940 dur- rently receive Joint Professional Mili- us.army.mil.
ing the mobilization for World War II, tary Education Phase I certification, Another important organization
and resumed at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and earn the Army’s Military Educa- preparing tomorrow’s leaders is the
for the 1950-1951 academic year. Lt. tion Level 1 identifier or equivalent, a U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stabil-
Gen. Joseph Swing relocated the college master of strategic studies degree and a ity Operations Institute, established
to Pennsylvania in July 1951. War College diploma. in 2003. The Army’s authority on
The Army War College grew Each resident class typically has 340 stability operations at the strategic
steadily at Carlisle, soon outgrow- students and is composed primarily of level, PKSOI shapes the development
ing its main academic building (the U.S. military officers, but also includes of policy for peace-and-stability op-
current Upton Hall). It transferred to civilians from various government erations, advises senior leaders on the
its current home, Root Hall, in 1967. agencies and 41 international students conduct of peace and stability opera-
Two specialized agencies evolved into from allied nations. tions, and develops pertinent concepts
integral parts of the Army War Col- and doctrine.
lege: the Strategic Studies Institute, Heritage and History The Army Physical Fitness Research
first formed in 1954, and the Military Though it may be the most famous Institute, founded in 1982, specializes in
History Institute, established in 1967. Army school, the War College is not the health and fitness disciplines focused on
The Center for Strategic Leader- only institute at Carlisle focused on edu- the over-40 population, with emphasis
ship, a state-of-the-art wargaming com- cation. The Army Heritage and Educa- on nursing, psychology, nutrition, physi-
plex that opened in 1994, contributed tion Center is dedicated to preserving cal therapy, and exercise physiology.
another dimension to the college. the heritage of the Army, but also serves The post is also experiencing major
The War College educates the an important role in education. housing improvements as a result of
future senior leaders of the Army, as “The Army Heritage and Educa- the Residential Communities Initiative.
well as members of the joint services, tion Center is the public face of Army While the initial development phase
interagency, intergovernmental and history,” said Col. Robert Dalessandro, will bring the post 277 new housing
multinational communities. AHEC’s director. “Our sacred trust is units, many historic homes will also
“Behind the 19th century facades to tell the story of the American Soldier be renovated to ensure the installation
of Carlisle Barracks, the U.S. Army to the public by bringing the historic retains a character that is true to its
War College is responding every day deeds of American Soldiers to life.” 250-year history.
to the 21st century’s volatile, uncertain, The AHEC collection spans all eras For more information on Carlisle
complex and ambiguous contemporary of military history. With educational Barracks, visit www.carlisle.army.mil.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 29
Sgt. Brian K. Parker
Master Sgt. Joshua Dukes, a drum major
with The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps,
leads the group through a performance
during a Twilight Tattoo.
2 0 0 8
RADITIONS are a part of almost The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps Fort McNair can be reached by trav-
every individual, group and and The U.S. Army Drill Team; The eling south on 7th Street N.W. until
community. Traditions enable U.S. Army Band jazz ensemble; and it intersects with Maine Avenue. Turn
us to recall the past, understand the vocalists from The U.S. Army Chorus left on Maine and follow it to M Street
present and prepare for the challenges and The U.S. Army Chorale. and make a right turn at 4th Street. The
of the future. As part of the Army’s annual Metro station will be on the left.
Traditions and customs are birthday celebrations, the U.S. Army Follow 4th to P Street, southwest.
particularly important to military Military District of Washington Follow P Street to a right at the installa-
organizations, in which morale, will conduct Twilight Tattoos each tion entrance just before 2nd Street. The
leadership and caring for each other Wednesday, from May 7 to June 28 at military police at the gate will direct you
are important parts of everyday life. 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held to the parade field for the presentation.
The U.S. Army Military District of at historic Fort Lesley J. McNair. If the weather looks threatening, call
Washington is carrying forward one Fort McNair is in Southwest (202) 685-2888 for a recorded message
Army tradition through its presenta- Washington, D.C. Its northwest about the status of performances.
tion of “Twilight Tattoo.” corner is located at 4th and P streets Visitors are asked not to bring food.
The event is an hour-long military southwest, near the Waterfront/Ma- Bottled water is permitted, though
pageant that features Soldiers of the rina and approximately three blocks large bags and backpacks are not. —
3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) from the Metro’s Green Line station at U.S. Army Military District of Washing-
troop and ceremonial units, including Waterside Mall. ton Public Affairs Office.
30 | www.army.mil
Ride Smart, Ride Safe
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Steve Kurtiak (Ret.)
the helmet and meets or exceeds ANSI org/downloads/Riding_Tips.pdf)
Safety Code Z87.1. and refer to the Motorcycle Skills Test
• Sturdy footwear, such as leather Practice Guide. Follow the instructions
PRING is in the air. The geese boots or over-the-ankle shoes. Mo- in this guide and continue to improve
are returning from their winter torcycle-specific boots work best and your riding skills. Constant practice is
hiatus, and there’s a motorcycle won’t come off in a crash. They typi- necessary, because the skills involved
sale at the local bike shop. cally provide protection for your ankles are perishable.
If you’re a Soldier, before you lay and shins.
down your hard-earned cash you • A long-sleeved shirt or jacket, Plan Your Ride
must have a motorcycle endorsement long trousers, and full-fingered gloves Plan your rides the way pilots plan
on your driver’s license and must at- or mittens designed for use on a their flights, and tell someone where
tend an Army-approved motorcycle motorcycle. you’re going and when you expect
safety course. • The outer upper garment must be to return. Look at the routes, check
Motorcycling is not inherently brightly colored for wear during the the weather and plan stops along the
dangerous. But, like flying, it is terribly day and a reflective garment should way. If you have an accident or other
unforgiving of any carelessness, inca- be worn at night. If your riding gear is mishap, people should know where to
pacity or neglect. not reflective, consider a reflective vest look for you.
Army pilots become proficient in designed specifically for motorcyclists.
basic tasks before they are allowed to Search, Evaluate and Execute
get behind the controls of the Army’s Bigger is Not Always Better It’s vital that you position yourself in
most advanced aircraft. Motorcyclists Once you have the proper gear, traffic so that other travelers can see you.
should take the same approach, and the the next consideration should be the Always anticipate what other vehicles
decision to buy should be made only size of the bike. Most bikes range in might do, and use the “search, evaluate
after they receive proper motorcycle- engine size from 250cc to 1800cc. You and execute” process you learned in the
safety training. Such training is avail- should start out on a motorcycle with basic riders’ course. Check your mirror
able at many installations throughout less horsepower. Many of today’s 600cc frequently, and always turn your head to
the Army, and if you’re stationed at a motorcycles have more than 100 horse- check for traffic when you change lanes.
sister-service installation, chances are power and can exceed 140 miles per
they also have training available. Con- hour. Don’t be misled into believing Mentorship
tact your installation safety office for that a 600cc motorcycle is a small bike. If your unit or installation has a
details on signing up for and attending Does the bike fit your body? If you motorcycle mentorship program, join
a motorcycle-training class. can’t reach the ground or controls it. Such programs allow riders to learn
comfortably, you are setting yourself up from those with varying experience
The Right Helmet for failure. levels. Group riding also provides rid-
Once you’ve successfully com- ers greater visibility in traffic and allows
pleted your training, you’ll be ready to Practice Makes Perfect them to share a common interest. Visit
purchase protective equipment. Ask an You’ve made solid choices concern- https://crc.army.mil/mmp for more
experienced rider and the motorcycle ing your gear and motorcycle, now information.
dealer what they recommend. Don’t what? Practice is the key. Your first
skimp on personal gear. Look for: ride shouldn’t be through downtown Perishable Skills
• A helmet that meets Department traffic at rush hour, nor should it be at It takes six months or more before a
of Transportation standards and fas- 70 mph on the expressway. The skills rider can be considered “experienced.”
tens properly under your chin. you learned in the basic riders’ course The experienced-rider course builds on
• Impact- or shatter-resistant are just that — basic. the basic course and provides addition-
goggles, wrap-around glasses, or a You may ask, “Where do I prac- al road-safety skills for riders. A task
full-face shield that properly attaches to tice?” or “What do I practice?” Down- performed frequently becomes second
load a copy of “Motorcycle Tips for nature, so if you are riding only once a
Sgt. 1st Class Steve Kurtiak (Ret.) works at the
U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at
Riders” from the Motorcycle Safety week or so, your skills aren’t improving,
Fort Rucker, Ala. Foundation Web site (www.msf-usa. they’re diminishing.
Soldiers • June 2008 | 31
Focus on People By Pfc. Monica K. Smith
Support Battalion, was with her grandparents until she re-
Amegble’s now 4-year-old
daughter, Isabella. reunited with his now ceived her passport and visa.
4-year-old daughter, “It was hard for us to leave our
Isabella. daughter in Africa,” Amegble said.
Four years ago “She was too young, but we didn’t
Amegble and his family have a choice.”
lived in the West African Amegble found it hard to support
nation of Togo. There, a his family, so he enlisted in the Army
lottery system determines in March 2006. Soon thereafter he be-
who will receive travel gan to make progress toward re-uniting
visas to the U.S. Isabella with her family in America.
“If you win, you have Amegble arrived at his unit in July
the opportunity to go 2006, and was encouraged to become
to America and have a a U.S. citizen. His chain of command
green card and a Social became aware of Amegble’s family situ-
Security card so you can ation and began to assist in reuniting
work,” Amegble said. him with his daughter.
At the time Amegble “He got his citizenship before we
entered the lottery, he deployed, and we started the process
attached paperwork of reuniting him with his daughter,”
for his wife and their said 1st Sgt. Spencer Davis of Co. A,
3-year-old son. By the 603rd ASB. “We made some calls, and
time Amegble won the worked with the Department of Hu-
lottery a year later, his man Resources back at Fort Stewart.”
wife had given birth to Almost a year after beginning the
their daughter, Isabella, process, Amegble became a citizen
who was not listed in the and Isabella was granted a visa. When
application. Amegble took his mid-tour leave from
“When we went to Iraq at the end of September 2007, he
the U.S. embassy to took out an Army Emergency Relief
interview for a visa, we loan for $4,700 to purchase the plane
talked to the consulate ticket that would fly him to Africa to
about our daughter,” bring Isabella home.
Amegble said. “They “That was a wonderful day for me,”
told me I had the oppor- Amegble said. “That was the most
tunity to get a visa for important day of my life. I cried. I
her, but she had to have couldn’t believe it. My wife is the hap-
a passport. “ piest of anyone, though. It is hard for a
While trying to get mom to be apart from her child.”
a passport for Isabella it Amegble went back to Iraq a few
came time for Amegble days after returning from Africa. His
to leave. Unable to af- wife, Essivi, is taking English classes
ford a ticket for his wife while their son, Matthias, now 6 years
and son, Amegble left old, is in first grade. Isabella is in day-
his family in Togo in care to learn English.
T had been more than three years May 2004, bound for New York. Amegble says he is thankful for all
since Spc. Koma Amegble and his He stayed there for two weeks while the help he received.
family left their baby daughter be- applying for a Social Security card and “I’m very proud of myself,” Ameg-
hind in Africa. Last October, Amegble, then moved to Philadelphia where he ble said. “I’m grateful to my Lord that
of Company A, 603rd Aviation got a job on a vehicle assembly line. I can have my family together. My
Though Amegble’s wife and son were commander, my first sergeant, they
Pfc. Monica K. Smith is assigned to the Combat
Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Public
able to join him a few months later, helped me a lot. All of my platoon
Affairs Office. 8-month-old Isabella had to remain gave me moral support.”
32 | www.army.mil
Soldiers • June 2008 | 3