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									                                               3d Battalion, 24th Marines
                                                  March 2011 Edition

              From the Battalion Commander                                 is no better time than now to set this battalion up for success for
                                                                           many years to come.
                                                                               I also want to announce that Capt. Curcio will be the India
                                                                           Company Commander once he returns from OEF and Lt.
Ladies and Gentlemen,                                                      Appleby will the Weapons Company Commander upon his
                                                                           return from OEF. Maj. Harper is the new Battalion XO and has
    I want to take this opportunity to welcome back our MCTAG              recently returned with the MCTAG team from CENTCOM. I
team members and commend them on a job well-done while                     have every confidence in the capabilities of these Marines to
being forward deployed in CENTCOM. These Marines are in                    serve your Marines and Sailors well as we continue to get better
the process of completing 400 days of active duty and were                 each day. Thanks again for all that you do for this battalion and
deployed during a very critical time. You all should be proud of           your service to our great country. God bless.
your accomplishments and know that you made a positive
difference in a difficult area of the world. I also commend India          Semper Fidelis,
Company on their outstanding performance of duty while                     LtCol. Chris Watkins
conducting Exercise Tradewinds in Antigua. All who witnessed
their efforts were impressed with their superb instruction and                               Battalion Sergeant Major
overall discipline. This is very commendable and speaks very
well for the senior enlisted and the NCO’s of this very fine
company. Their performance also showcases the capabilities of
our junior Marines who are extremely sharp and capable of
superbly executing any plan—no matter how difficult.                       To the Families and Friends of 3/24,
    This past quarter the battalion was in high gear with the
conduct of Exercise Tradewinds; the continued planning efforts             It feels like just a few weeks ago since I wrote to you last.
of Exercise Sea Breeze, Marine Week Saint Louis, and                       Seems the busier we are, the faster time passes. This past
preparing for and passing several critical inspections along with          quarter has been no exception. One of our companies has even
executing some very well-planned live fire events with Weapons             completed its Annual Training for the year, returning just recently
and Kilo Company. I’m very grateful to our I&I staffs for all they         from Antigua in the Bahamas. These were joint-service training
have done to facilitate correct logistics planning and operational         exercises and as to be expected, India Company represented
excellence—not to mention the heavy lifting they have done to              itself, the battalion and our Corps with distinction. The reports I
be successful during the many inspections. I’m also equally                have heard from their higher headquarters while away were all
impressed with the planning and attention to detail that has been          very positive and they and you should be proud of their
exhibited by our SMCR leadership during training and periods of            accomplishments.
instruction. We truly have some top-notch SNCO’s and officers
who are very experienced and good at what they do. It is a                 Training continues for the balance of the battalion as we prepare
pleasure to see them in action and makes me a better                       for the other scheduled Annual Training periods to take place in
commander.                                                                 the next few months. This has consisted of everything from the
    This past month I had the pleasure of visiting Lima Company            mundane medical and dental readiness to getting out on ranges
in Johnson City, Tennessee. It was very good re-connecting                 in order to polish and refine our weapons and tactics. Some of
with those with whom I had served on this last deployment while            the preparations have been extremely labor intensive and time
also speaking with the newer Marines and observing the periods             consuming and I want to commend the Marines and Sailors (and
of instruction for their upcoming live-fire. I was also able to take       our families for supporting) for their efforts. I understand the
the opportunity and share with them what I know about Exercise             sacrifice required and the time cut away from our families and
Sea Breeze. This is a very cohesive company that prides itself             from civilian employment. Likewise, both the Battalion and
on doing things right. I’m looking forward to serving with these           Regimental Commanders appreciate this and have both
Marines along with those from H&S and Weapons Company                      committed to getting our operational tempo in check after this AT
during Exercise Sea Breeze.                                                season.
    Looking ahead, we will attend the Final Planning Conference
for Sea Breeze in Odessa, Ukraine starting next week. I’m                  On a congratulatory note, LtCol Watkins and I, along with Mr.
looking forward to getting all the details for the exercise in the         Avery and others from our Family Readiness Team, were
box and executing. LtCol. Tomko has been working hard                      honored to represent our battalion at a ceremony held at the
coordinating the vast details for Marine Week Saint Louis. This            Pentagon in our Nation’s capitol. In February, our battalion was
event will begin about the same time as we begin our                       awarded the best Family Readiness Program in all of Marine
redeployment from Exercise Sea Breeze and culminate toward                 Forces Reserve for 2010. This was absolutely your award and a
the end of June. We are also looking at conducting another                 direct reflection of the commitment our families have to one
Corporal’s Course at India Company and another Martial Arts                another in support of the unit and your Marines and Sailors. I
Instructor Course at Lima Company. However, once the events                would also like to extend congratulations to our newly selected
of June are complete, I want to slow things down a bit and take            Marines to the Staff Non-commissioned Officer ranks. While the
hard look inward to ensure we are making the best use of our               promotion schedule for our younger Marines is on quarterly
time as we return to the ―basics‖. We have the talent and there            basis and based on points, the SNCOs are considered only

once annually before a board and their entire careers are taken              women in uniform know that while they are taking care of us, we
into account. ―Having special trust and confidence in the fidelity           are taking care of their children and youth.
and abilities of‖ our newly selected Marines, I look forward to all
that each will accomplish with the increased authority and                   Russ Avery
responsibility. With promotion sometimes comes a move. Two                   Battalion Family Readiness Officer
of our First Sergeants have been selected to Sergeant Major this
year, 1stSgt Jacobs of India Co and 1stSgt Wright of Lima Co.                MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT RETREATS
Their contributions to each of their companies and to the                          -   8-10 APRIL, ATLANTA GEORGIA
battalion as a whole have been significant. They will be missed.                   -   13-15 MAY, HARRISBURG PENNSYLVANIA
                                                                                   -   20-22 MAY, AURORA COLORADO
While I typically write to you all about your Marine’s and Sailor’s                -   10-12 JUNE, MINNEAPOLIS MINNESOTA
accomplishments, I do want to mention one up-coming event.                         -   17-19 JUNE, BALTIMORE MARYLAND
Last year many of our battalion participated in Marine Week,                       -   24-27 JUNE, FAMILY WELLNESS (TBD)
Boston. It was a tremendous opportunity for us to show off our                     -   24-26 JUNE, PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA
wares and tell the Marine Corps story to the community. This                       -   8-10 JULY, KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
year will be bigger and better, and will be hosted in our own host                 -   5-7 AUGUST, CHICAGO ILLINOIS
city of St Louis. I would strongly encourage you to consider                       -   12-13 AUGUST, GULF SHORES ALABAMA
spending some of your summer vacation time at Marine Week. I                       -   26- 28 AUGUST, NEW YORK
guarantee you and your families won’t be disappointed.                       * All retreats are tentative based on registration and
                                                                             availability of facilitators.
Semper Fidelis,                                                                     To attend a MARFORRES CREDO Retreat participants
SgtMaj Steven Peck                                                                     need to pre-register:
                                                                                                By Email – forward a request for a
                                                                                                 registration form or schedule to
                                                                                                By Phone - call the MARFORRES CREDO
                                                                                                 Coordinator at 504-678-7751
                                                                                                Registrations are taken as soon as retreats
Unit members, family and friends of 3/24,
                                                                                                 are scheduled
                                                                                                Participants must be with in 350 miles (one
Congratulations to those unit members and guests who attended
                                                                                                 way) of the retreat location for POV
the recent Returning Warrior Workshops in St. Louis and
Washington D.C. The responses were overwhelmingly positive
                                                                                                All Participants should request ―no cost‖ TAD
and the attendees had a great time. Get those travel claims
                                                                                                 orders from their unit to cover their travel to
done, if you haven’t already. On 18 February, I had the pleasure
                                                                                                 and from the retreat.
of attending a ceremony at the Pentagon, along with LtCol.
                                                                             ** CREDO has recently launched a Facebook Page at
Watkins, SgtMaj. Peck, Christina Shilanski, Julio Torres and my
wife, where we were awarded the DoD Family Readiness Award
                                                                                 In the future MFR CREDO will have a link on this page for
for the best Family Readiness Program in the Marine Corps
                                                                             registration, posting of current retreats and feedback from
Reserve. My sincere thanks to our Battalion Family Readiness
Command Team, which includes all of our volunteers and
support teams, for their support and dedication. See the pics at
the end of this newsletter. There have been many personnel
changes in the Family Readiness Program and we are suffering                                      H & S Company
from a brief learning curve, but the best way to stay ―in the
know‖ is to get involved. Contact your Company Deputy Family
Readiness Officer to volunteer. According to ALMAR 008/11,
the week of 10-16 April 2011 marks this year’s Volunteer
Appreciation Week, a week dedicated to recognizing and
celebrating the countless individuals who volunteer their time,
efforts and talents to helping others. Each Company will be
planning their annual Family Day for the late summer, so stand               H & S Company Commander
by for the details. I’d like to remind all unit members that it is           Greetings family and friends of H&S Company,
your responsibility to register you family and friends contacts in
MOL and update any changes accordingly. The system will only                 We have successfully wrapped up another quarter of training
allow us to communicate with your contact via e-mail, so without             and readiness efforts. To recap, January was an off month for
an e-mail address, it’s up to the individual Marine or Corpsman              the Marines and Sailors. I hope this respite was welcomed and
to forward any information.                                                  taken advantage of to spend some quality time with your families
                                                                             who have done so much to support our Company. In February,
April is also the National Month of the Military Child, a time for           the company reconvened with drill to begin preparations for our
our nation to recognize and honor the service and sacrifices                 upcoming mission to the Ukraine. In addition to the larger
America’s military personnel and their families have made, past              exercise to initiate the passport application process, the
and present. This month has been set aside to recognize the                  leadership team was diligently planning staffing and support
sacrifice that the children and youth of our military personnel              requirements to ensure a successful multi-national training
make because when parents serve in the military, their kids are              evolution. In March, we continued these preparations through
heroes too. These children and youth are a source of pride and               the execution of Command Post exercises to build and maintain
honor to us all, and it is only fitting that we take time to recognize       our proficiency regarding command and control operations.
their contributions, celebrate their spirit, and let our men and             Additionally, gear inspections and dental screenings were

conducted to ensure the deployment capability of our team. I               incorporated into the salary scale. An additional Educational
look forward to the months to come, as we will be engaging in              Incentive program is available to applicants with a four-year
some very exciting international exercises, as well as hosting             college degree. Successful entrance into this program will result
Marine Week here in St. Louis.                                             in a higher annual salary.
Warm regards,                                                              Send resume to:
                                                                           Lucy Jensen
Eric Chack                                                       
Commanding Officer, H&S Company 3/24                                       (310)455-2002 Office
                                                                           120 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. #105 -177 Topanga Canyon,
H & S Company First Sergeant                                               CA 90290 <http://www.military-
H&S Company Marines, Sailors, Family & Friends,                  >

It is hard to believe we have been home for more than a year               USO Day at the St. Louis Zoo
since finishing our deployment to Iraq. These past few months              Join other military families at the famous St. Louis Zoo on 14
have been filled with post-deployment adjustments such as                  Mary. We will be on site from 8am to 10am at Pavilion #5, for
returning to family life, college and civilian jobs. This adjustment       breakfast and registration. Breakfast once again will be made
period is not always easy, but for the vast majority of our                by Chris Cakes (the pancake people), Zoo themed giveaway for
Marines and Sailors, they have made the transition with courage            each child, Safari Pass for everyone attending (first 1,800
and commitment. The dedication needed to live with one foot in             guests). Registration will open on our USO of Missouri web site
the Marine Corps Reserve world is truly admirable. I cannot say            ( on April 14th. Pre-Registration is
enough good things about our Marines and Sailors, they                     encouraged, but not necessary. There is free parking on all
continue to excel when the going gets tough! In addition, the              streets in Forest Park, however, the South Lot on Wells Drive
support of our family and friends is an important aspect of our            Parking Lot is $12 per car.
war fighter’s successes.
1 Sgt Nutt                                                                 Marine Week St. Louis
H&S Company 1stSgt                                                         If you haven’t hear about it yet, stand by! MWSTL will be the
                                                                           biggest promotional event for the Marine Corps that St. Louis
UPCOMING EVENTS:                                                           has ever seen. There will be exciting events throughout the
May 14    USO Day at the St. Louis Zoo (Pavilion #5)                       week to include daily parades, static displays under the Arch,
Jun 20    Marine Week St. Louis (June 20-26)                               Cardinals Village and Soldier’s Memorial, concerts, humanitarian
Jul 14    MO Career Fair at Chaifetz Area (UMSL) 1100-1500                 projects and equipment demonstrations. Saturday will feature a
Sep 11    H & S Company Family Day                                         5K run in the morning, followed by a MAGTG demonstration.
Dec 3     USO Santa’s Express at Union Station                             Evening events will include First to Fight boxing with Marines
                                                                           taking on St. Louis police and firefighters, Marine Night at the
                      ID Card Update                                       Ballpark, and on Saturday night a performance by the Albany
To protect your privacy and personal identity information, your            Marine Band and Silent Drill Team. Come and join the fun. St.
Social Security Number (SSN) is being replaced with a DoD ID               Louis will never be the same.
Number on all ID cards.
                                                                           H & S Company Contact Info:
SSN Removal ID Card Changes:                                               FAMILY READINESS OFFICER:
• As of June 2011, SSNs will no longer be printed on any new ID            RUSS AVERY Office: (314) 263-6160, Cell: (314) 225-3022
• SSN removal will occur in three phases.
• Your new ID card will have a DoD ID Number in place of your              FAMILY READINESS COMMAND TEAM ADVISOR:
SSN.                                                                       MRS. CHRISTINA SHILANSKI: (618) 744-9581
• Your DoD ID Number will be used as the Geneva Conventions      
serial number.
• If you are eligible for DoD benefits, there will also be a DoD           H & S COMPANY 24-HOUR DUTY PHONE: (314) 401-0219
Benefits Number printed on your new ID card.
                                                                                                India Company
Contact Russ Avery if you’re looking for a civilian job. I receive
notices frequently, such as production and maintenance
supervisor positions at International Paper in Maryland Heights,
MO. These jobs aren’t posted for long, so act quickly.

Baltimore Police Department
                                                                           India Company Commander
The Baltimore Police Department is the 8th largest in the
                                                                           The Marines and sailors of ―Mighty I‖ just completed a very
country, and is in the process for hiring over 350 officers by the
                                                                           successful A/T on the Caribbean Island of Antigua. The 137
end of 2011. They are looking for looking for highly qualified
                                                                           Marines and sailors of India participated in EXERCISE
individuals who can think quickly on their feet, clearly articulate
                                                                           TRADEWINDS 11, which is one of SOUTHERN COMMANDS
their observations, and have the highest integrity.
                                                                           (SOUTHCOM) annual events where they bring together nations
                                                                           from all over the Caribbean, Latin and South America to train
The starting salary for a Police Officer Trainee is $41,290. At
                                                                           together. Your Marines were the star of the event regardless of
graduation from the police academy, the salary increases to
                                                                           whether they were training the host and partner nation students
$42,290. Regular raises based on years of service are
or training alongside of them. With our A/T successfully                Marines hit the ground running and were able to successfully
completed we will take a well deserved rest in April and then           conduct three static and one live fire and maneuver range.
travel to Fort Campbell in May and June for field training. June
will prove to be a very busy month for our Marines and sailors as       Greetings to all. My name is Major Reggie Jackson and I just
we also support Kilo Company with Marine Week St. Louis and             took command of Kilo Company in December. I was able to
send some of our Marines to the makeup A/T being held at                meet a good portion of the Kilo Marines prior to their two months
Camp Atterbury in Indiana.                                              off of drill. I am very excited and honored to have earned this
I want to personally thank the wives and family members that            opportunity to lead your sons and future leaders of the Marine
have supported us as we have spent the first part of this year in       Corps. I was very impressed with the hard work and tenacity
preparation for our A/T and then in executing our overseas A/T.         that the Kilo Marines displayed during the first live fire field
It has indeed been a very busy time and my hope is that your            training exercise since Mojave Viper prior to deploying to Iraq.
Marine or sailor is now safely back with you for some well              The Marines did an outstanding job and received some excellent
deserved time to reconnect with friends and family.                     training.

Maj Byron Lawson                                                        As we step into spring and summer, Kilo Company will be in the
Company Commander                                                       field continuing to build on the training as we prepare for our
                                                                        Annual Training period in June. I would like us all to remember
India Company First Sergeant                                            we are warriors and must focus on our warrior mentality. Come
Hello again India family and friends.                                   to drill prepared to train and to train our Marines.

Much has happened since our last newsletter, the company has            Semper Fidelis
just returned from our Annual Training in Antigua. Your Marines         Major Jackson
and Sailors, as always, did an outstanding job! The training they
provided the Partner Nations was outstanding and received               Kilo Company First Sergeant
many accolades from our supporting unit. Our next few drill             On behalf of the SNCO’s and the Marines of Kilo Company, we
weekends will focus on marksmanship and fire team/                      would like extend a warriors welcome to our NEW Commanding
maneuvering skills. We also have Marine week coming up very             Officer Major Jackson. Welcome aboard Maj Jackson!!!!
quickly which takes place in June as well, and we will close out
the final Annual Training at Camp Atterburry for any of the             Kilo Company is once again back in the groove of training hard
Marines and Sailors that did not attend the A.T. in Antigua. The        and leading from the front, setting the example. March’s Drill
Corporals course is also just around the corner and the                 we took a little trip minus the C-130 to Camp Atterbury, IN.
instructors are gearing up for another great training opportunity       Where the Marines of Kilo continued to excel in all training
for these fine young leaders. Enjoy the great weather to come,          challenges the Marine Corps has to offer. They demonstrated
and spend some much-deserved time with your family and                  both technical and tactical proficiency’s with buddy team Fire
friends. We would also like to recognize the following Marines          and Maneuver, 240 Machine Gun/249 SAW shoot, effectively
who have been promoted over the past several months, SSgt               engaging targets down range with well aimed rounds. They also
Ketner, LCpl's Baker, Bates, Beasley, Boatman, Bradford,                continued their martial arts sustainment training, as well as re-
Bryson, Clayborn, Collazo, Currin, Effler, James, Rayzor,               familiarizing themselves with the Marine Corps tried and true
Sellers, Whitefield, and PFC's Glenn, Parks, Smotherman,                primary means of transportation; the multiple three+ mile hikes
Takalo, and Woodford.                                                   afforded the many new leaders the opportunity to assess their
                                                                        Marines and for the Marines to gain valuable knowledge on the
1stSgt Jacobs                                                           does and don’ts of humping. Kilo Company took advantage of
Company First Sergeant                                                  the field environment to promote their Marines; congratulations!
                                                                        The Marines of KILO Company will be ready for the call!!
India Company Contact Info:
FAMILY READINESS COMMAND TEAM ADVISOR:                                  1 Sgt Howard J.K.
       (931) 381-7243 (HOME NUMBER)                                     Congratulations to our newly promoted Marines:
I&I FIRST SERGEANT:                                                           E7   POPP            RICHARD            J
        (615) 267-6335 (OFFICE)                                               E5   RUSK III        DAVID              G
        (615) 509-0280 (24 Hr DUTY)                                           E4   BARKMAN         CHRISTOPHE         C
                                                                              E3   DAVIES          SETH               E
                       Kilo Company                                           E3   WILSON          TYLER              R
                                                                              E3   COOPER          TYLER              L
                                                                              E3   EWERS           CODY               R
                                                                              E3   RHOADES         BRENNAN            L
                                                                              E3   SANDS           MATTHEW            R
                                                                              E3   BARNETT         DERRICK            S
Kilo Company Commander
                                                                              E3   GILBERTI        MATTHEW            J
The Marines from Kilo Company just returned from being off for
two months to conduct live fire ranges at Camp Atterbury. The                 E3   LOWE            KELLEY             J
                                                                              E3   WILSON          STEPHEN            L

  E2      DAVIS II         JERALD              B                         As we approach annual training, it is important that our Marines
                                                                         maintain their individual readiness and keep their command
  E2      YOUNG            DANIEL              V
                                                                         informed of any changes in status.

Kilo Company Contact Info:                                               Thank you all again, for your continued support and the work
I&I FIRST SERGEANT:                                                      you do behind the scenes in order to ensure your Marine’s or
1stSgt Anthony Loftus                                                    sailor’s success.
(760) 500-7713                                                  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns
                                                                         regarding your Marine or Sailor.
                      Lima Company
                                                                         Semper Fidelis,

                                                                         Captain Carl Martinez
                                                                         Company Commander
                                                                         417-869-2857, x2474
Lima Company Commander                                                   Weapons Company First Sergeant’s Rant and Rave
Dear Families,                                                           Dear Families of Weapons Company,
The past few months have been extremely busy, but very                   We will be in the field again next drill shooting mortars, machine
productive. In January and March we accomplished training and            guns, and demolition! There is a lot of planning for this
paperwork to get the company ready for Sea Breeze 11 in the              summer’s annual training in Ukraine. As we learn more about
Black Sea. We look forward to this upcoming event and the                our mission in Ukraine, we will pass it on to your Marine.
training we will receive during it.
                                                                         Semper Fidelis,
I would like to congratulate all of the Marines promoted and
recognized during this previous quarter. I would like to                 First Sergeant Dolan
personally recognize Captain Michael McCloud for his promotion           (417) 869 - 2857 (ext 2473).
to his current rank. Additionally, the company promoted five   
lance corporals and five private first classes. Well done on your
hard work.                                                               The following are announcements deserving of congratulations:
                                                                         Selection to GySgt:
As a company, we are looking forward to continuing our                   Zachary Smith
preparations for our upcoming annual training. The next quarter
will be field training exclusively to allow the company to conduct       Selection to SSgt:
numerous live fire ranges in April and May.                              James Gladwell
Major John Hughes                                                        Promotion to SSgt:
                                                                         Aaron Shastid
Lima Company Contact Info:                                               Jonathon Coats
Questions or concerns please contact your Family
Readiness Assistant or:                                                  Promotion to Sergeant:
1stSgt Michael Hensley                                                   Michael Kelsay
(423) 467-2195                                                 Promotion to Corporal:
                                                                         Dwayne Oberbeck
                  Weapons Company                                        Russell Roby
                                                                         Joshua Safranski
                                                                         Bradford Shroup
                                                                         Brian Tyner
                                                                         Alex Walker
                                                                         Michael Winters

Weapons Company Commander                                                Promotion to Lance Corporal:
Family and Friends of Weapons Company,                                   Darren Criner
                                                                         Ronald Herda
The company has continued improving its readiness and                    Michael Hudson
preparation for annual training. During January, we completed            Joshua Karns
dental examinations and administrative audits in addition to the         Michael Kohlmeyer
Commanding General’s Inspection (CGI). More recently, the                Brandon McDaniel
company conducted live-fire training with our crew-served                Maxwell Pena
weapons and demolition training at Ft. Chaffee. We will again            Jordan Thibidoux
conduct a live-fire drill in April as we continue to enhance our         Mark Young
crew-served weapon proficiency.
                                                                         Promotion to Private First Class:
                                                                         Daniel Berrun
                                                                                  Day camps are typically organized in one- or two-week
Letter of Appreciation for training H&S Co 24            Marines on            sessions. Some camps allow children to sign up for as
machine guns:                                                                  many sessions as they wish while others limit enrollment to
Cpl Sitzes                                                                     make the day camp slots available to as many children as
LCpl Rutherford                                                                possible.
                                                                                  The cost of day camps varies widely. The average day
Reenlistment with a $15,000 bonus:                                             camp fee is $43 dollars a day compared with $85 a day for
SSgt Brice                                                                     a residential camp, according to the American Camp
                                                                               Association (ACA), an industry group. Many camps cost
Weapons Company Contact info:                                                  less. And some, especially those run by community groups
Questions or concerns please contact your Deputy Family                        and nonprofit agencies, offer sliding-fee scales,
Readiness Officer:                                                             scholarships, or financial aid to cover part or all of the cost.
1stSgt Dolan (417) 869-2857 x2473 or                                                  Finding the right camp
                                                                          Finding the right camp begins with thinking about your child's
                       RESOURCES                                          interests, experiences, and personality. Does your child feel
                                                                          more comfortable in a small group or a larger one? Would she
                                                                          feel more confident in a setting that emphasizes sports or one
                                                                          that focuses on crafts?
                                                                          If your child is 3-, 4-, or 5 years old and enrolled in a child care
                                                                          center or family child care home, you'll need to weigh the
                                                                          benefits of attending a day camp for part or all of the day against
                                                                          the disruption in the relationships that your child has built with
                                                                          staff or providers and other children. But if your child is usually
                                                                          cared for at home or by a relative, a brief day camp experience
                                                                          can be stimulating.
                                                                          Before you make a decision, it's a good idea to do the following:
                Call Now: 1-800-342-9647                                          Consider a summer program organized as a half-day or
                TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794                                        a part-week "mini-camp." This kind of program can be
           En español, llame al: 1-877-888-0727                                especially good for a child who hasn't been to day camp
                                                                               before and may not be ready for a full-time program.
MILITARY ONESOURCE is a key member of your military
                                                                                  Learn as much as you can about any camp that you
                                                                               are considering. Some camps provide detailed brochures
community support team. Military OneSource is provided by the                  that describe the setting, activities, and staff. Many hold
DoD at no cost to Service members and their families.                          open houses (as early as the winter before) so that parents
                                                                               and children can visit the camp, meet staff, and ask
If it’s Spring, Summer Camp’s Not Far Behind
Use our Summer Camp Locator to find day and overnight camps
                                                                                  If your child has special needs, find out if the camp can
in your area. You can also explore Operation Purple Camps                      offer the necessary supports, adult attention, and
(registration begins March 31). Then check out our articles to                 accommodations to ensure a positive experience.
learn how to choose a camp that’s right for your child.
                                                                                  If you know that a school-age child will need to attend a
                                                                               day camp program for at least part of the summer because
Summer day camps and recreation programs can provide safe                      of your work schedule, tell him that. Then you can both
care for your child while you work. They can also give your child              focus your energy on talking about what kinds of programs
a chance to try new activities, learn skills, and make friends. The            might interest him and find out what is available in your
following tips can help you decide if a camp fits your family's                area.
schedule and budget as well as your child's needs.
                                                                                  If possible, explore programs with your child. You might
                                                                               take your child with you to a camp fair or exhibition at
Kinds of camps
                                                                               which a number of camp providers may be available to
Day camps are offered by a variety of organizations, including                 provide information. Or get brochures and look at them
schools, parks, Ys, community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs,                   together.
and scouting organizations. Most day camps provide programs
                                                                                  Remember that each state sets its own requirements
for children ages 6 through 13. A smaller number offer a                       for day camps. Some states require all day camps to be
preschool program for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. Here are some                   licensed. You can find out about the requirements from
facts about the types of camps that may be available to your                   your state Department of Public Health or Department of
child:                                                                         Health and Human Services, listed in the government
                                                                               pages of the phone book. Be sure to choose a program
        If your school-age child is already enrolled in an after-             that has a current license if this is required. Ask to see the
     school program, check to see whether it has a summer                      license if you have questions.
        Some day camps offer a combination of summer
                                                                          You and your child can even develop a list of camp features that
     activities; others specialize in one or more areas. Non-
                                                                          each of you values. You might review some of the questions in
     specialty camps may offer a mix of activities such as                the following section with her to help her think about what is
     swimming, crafts, and games. Others may focus on one                 most important to her.
     activity, such as science, art, drama, computers,
     basketball, or tennis.

The program                                                                        Does the camp provide transportation? If it does, where
        What is the daily schedule at the camp? Is there a                     and when are children picked up and dropped off? Will a
     balance of structured, organized activities and free time?                 staff member be at the pickup and drop-off sites? What
        Does the daily schedule have quiet and active times?                   adults will be on the bus with the campers?
     Are there plenty of opportunities for younger children to                     What does the fee include? Are there any extra
     rest?                                                                      charges? Are children expected to bring spending money?
        How competitive are the camp's activities? Will your
     child have many chances to succeed?                                   Parents
        Are there activities children can do alone as well as in a               May parents visit the camp at any time?
                                                                                  Does the camp schedule special activities that include
        Will these activities be interesting to your child? Are                parents?
     there different choices every day? Do campers have to                        What are the rules about communication with children
     take part in every activity? What can they do if they choose               during the day?
     not to participate in an activity?                                           Does the camp encourage questions and comments
        Will your child have a chance to work on new skills as                 from parents?
     well as old ones?
        Is there a difference between the activities offered to
     older and younger children?                                           Planning ahead
        Will your child be happy here?                                    Many camps fill up quickly, so it's a good idea to start planning
                                                                           well ahead of when your child will enroll -- as early as December
                                                                           or January.
The staff
        Does the staff have experience working with children?
     Have they received specialized training? How are they                         Watch for camp announcements in a local newspaper,
     selected? Are credentials and background of all staff                      in a parents' newspaper, or on community Web sites or
     members (and the director) easily available to parents?                    electronic message boards.
     Does each staff member have an up-to-date first aid and                       Call local community organizations such as the Y,
     CPR certificate? If you are a parent of a child with a                     scouting groups, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Find out when
     disability, has the staff had experience with children with                the groups begin to accept applications and enrollments
     special needs?                                                             for their summer day camp programs.
        How many adult staff members are in the program?                          Use online resources. You might start with the Web site
     How many high school students are working in the                           for the American Camp Association at
     program as helpers or counselor's aides?                                   or call 800-428-CAMP (800-428-2267). The Web site has
        How many children does each adult counselor                            an online database of day and resident camps nationwide
     supervise? Are there enough counselors to adequately                       that lets you look for a day camp by Zip code, activities,
     care for the number of children?                                           cost, age and sex of the children, and other aspects.
        Is more staff added for field trips and other activities                  Attend meetings of the parents' organization at your
     that call for extra supervision (swimming, for example)? Is                child's school, and use the social time before a meeting to
     there a lifeguard on duty at all times when campers have                   talk with parents about camps. Ask other parents if they
     access to water activities?                                                know about day camps and what their experiences have
        Will someone be supervising your child at all times?                   been.
        Who on the staff is trained to handle medical                              
     emergencies?                                                                                 Call 1-800-342-9647
        Are there written health, safety, and emergency rules                                You name it.....We can help!
     and procedures?
        What procedure does the camp follow when a child is
     sick or injured?

The facility
        Is the camp safe, well-maintained, and clean -- inside
     and out?
                                                                            Soak Up Spring Break with TRICARE
        Is the outdoor area large enough for sports and other
     activities?                                                            By Kristin Shives
        Is the indoor space large enough for all the children in           TRICARE Management Activity
     bad weather?                                                           FALLS CHURCH, Va – Spring break is quickly approaching.
        Do the activity areas have enough materials and                    For many beneficiaries this means hitting the pause button to
     equipment for interesting play and projects?                           weekly     routines       and     play       to    traveling.
        Is there enough space for children to work in groups as
     well as by themselves?                                                 Before hitting the road, TRICARE beneficiaries should take
        If food is served during the day, is the kitchen area              some time to plan ahead. To reduce the chance of health
     clean and neat? Who plans and prepares the meals? Do                   problems while traveling, a beneficiary should see his or her
     the menus provide healthy and nutritious food? What                    doctor before leaving town to take care of regular office
     happens if a child has special dietary restrictions or doesn't         visits, receive treatment for ongoing conditions and get
     like the food that is served?                                          prescriptions                                          filled.
        If parents are required to send food from home, is fully
     refrigerated storage provided for the food until it is time for        Vacationers looking for some fun in the sun at a beach or
     the children to eat?                                                   pool should remember to protect their skin and eyes.
                                                                            Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible forms of radiation that
 penetrate skin and damage skin cells. The Centers for                                      SCHOLARSHIPS
 Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several                          Harvard University Announcement
 options:                                                             Think about it: No tuition and no student loans! Harvard
                                                                      University announced over the weekend that from now on
 • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or               undergraduate students from low-income families will pay no
 higher                                                               tuition. In making the announcement, Harvard's president
 • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin                              Lawrence H. Summers said, "When only ten percent of the
 • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears          students in elite higher education come from families in the
 and neck                                                             lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough.
 • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block close to                We are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to
 100% of both UVA and UVB rays                                        the lower half of the income distribution." If you know of a family
 • Seek shade, especially during midday hours                         earning less than $60,000 a year with an honor student
                                                                      graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants to
 If drinking alcohol is part of this year’s spring break, it’s        pay the tuition. The prestigious university recently announced
 important to limit consumption. Sun and heat both increase           that from now on undergraduate students from low-income
 the effects of alcohol. Forgetting sun block, combined with          families can go to Harvard for free... no tuition and no student
 dehydration from consuming alcohol in the heat, can lead to          loans! To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for
 severe sunburn and even heat-related illnesses. Extreme              families making less than $60,000 a year, visit Harvard's
 heat, such as soaking in a hot tub, combined with alcohol            financial aid website at: or call
 consumption, can cause the body to lose control of its               the school's financial aid office at (617) 495-1581.
 temperature and impair sweating, leading to a rapid rise in
 body temperature.                                                          Saban Military Wife Educational Scholarship
                                                                      Operation Homefront and the Saban Family Foundation have
 Some signs to be aware of include hot, red, dry skin (with no        begun accepting applications for the 2011 Saban Military Wife
 sweating), high body temperature, nausea, dizziness,                 Educational Scholarship. The scholarship award is offered to
 headache, confusion or unconsciousness. Anyone showing               wives of uniformed service members to attend vocational
 these signs should be brought into the shade, immersed or            training programs in the medical field. Fifteen $8,500
 sprayed with cool water and given immediate medical                  scholarships and five $10,000 scholarships will be awarded for
 attention. Beneficiaries who need emergency care should              tuition for vocational training in one of the following fields: dental
 call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.               assistant, medical assistant, medical billing and coding
                                                                      specialist, medical insurance technician, patient care assistant/
 This spring break, before travelling home or to the nearest          technician, nurse assistant training program, or medical
 vacation hotspot, beneficiaries should make sure their               transcription. Two $30,000 scholarships will be awarded for
 Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)              tuition for vocational nursing programs.
 information is accurate by visiting
 The last thing a beneficiary needs to worry about is getting         Applications will be accepted from now until May 1, 2011. The
 healthcare while travelling on vacation. For more spring             scholarships will be awarded to recipients in July 2011.
 break health and safety tips, visit                                  Selection for the scholarships will be made by a panel of judges,                                       and the award will be scored in two areas: the applicant’s
                                                                      response to the essay question and her commitment to
The DSTRESS Line is a pilot program in the western U.S.,              ―Operation Homefront is committed to providing assistance to
                                                                      the families of military service members, and our partnership
Hawaii, and Alaska, and is the Corps' main effort to help
                                                                      with the Women’s Self Worth Foundation gives us another
Marines and family members deal with stress and mental                opportunity to help military wives reach for their dreams to
health issues. DSTRESS Line gives West Coast Marines--                improve themselves and provide a better life for their families,‖
                                                                      said Jim Knotts, President & CEO of Operation Homefront.
active duty, Reserve, veteran and retiree, as well as their
families and loved ones--a place to call and speak with 'one of       ―Military wives face challenging circumstances – many are
their own.' Callers will speak with veteran Marines, our former       forced to relocate frequently and raise children with little support
                                                                      while their spouses are deployed,‖ said Cheryl Saban ―these
corpsmen, and other licensed behavioral health counselors             scholarships will provide women with the opportunity to develop
who have been specifically trained in Marine Corps culture and        careers in a highly in demand field and in doing so, will make a
                                                                      major impact on their lives and the lives of their families and
ethos. Call 1-877-476-7734 or log           communities.‖

              CAREER DECISION TOOLKIT                                 Detailed information on eligibility and application requirements is
The Department of Defense today announced the launch of an            on     Operation      Homefront's        Facebook       page     at
online Career Decision Toolkit that allows service members to
explore an array of transition-related subjects such as: career
exploration, financial planning, job search success, effective                                  BE AWARE
resumes, interviewing and cover letters, and negotiating your         An organization called Veterans Affairs Services (VAS) is
ideal compensation.            providing benefit and general information on VA and gathering
Career Decision Toolkit :                            personal information on veterans. This organization is not

affiliated with VA in any way. Websites with the name                       Mental Health of America (MO)
                                                                            Military HomeFront
―vaservices‖ immediately after the ―www‖ are part of the
Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are warned not to visit            United Concordia (Dental)  
the sites, or to share any information concerning themselves or
                                                                            NACCRRA (child care referral)
data on other veterans.                                                     Military Community Awareness
                                                                            MOTO Mail (in-country use only)
VA does not randomly call veterans, nor does it ask veterans for
                                                                            Marine on Line (USMC only) 
information which it does not already have, such as Social                       
                                                                            Gold Star Family Support
Security numbers. If you have not dealt with the VA previously
and in person – and all of a sudden, you receive a call from                Military Child Education Coalition
                                                                            Military Families United
someone saying they are with the VA or something similar
sounding – hang up the phone. Also, do not respond to e-mails               Military Spouse Corporate Career Network
                                                                            Operation: Mom             
which suggest that they are from VA, which never conducts
                                                                            Sgt. Mom’s                 
official business nor asks for personal information by e-mail.              Veterans and Families    
                                                                            RecruitMilitary (jobs)     
VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their
                                                                            Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces
close resemblance to the VA name and seal. VA’s legal counsel     
has requested that the department coordinate with the
Department    of   Defense    to   inform   military   installations,
                                                                               Congratulations to the 3/24 Family
particularly mobilization sites, of this group and their lack of
                                                                                 Readiness Command Team!
affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services.

In addition, VA’s general counsel is requesting that anyone who
has examples of VAS acts that violate Chapter 59 of Title 38,
U.S. Code, such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the
preparation and presentation of claims for benefits, please pass
any additional information to Michael G. Daugherty, Staff
Attorney, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of General
Counsel (022G2), 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington,
DC 20420

The Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces for assists
Reservists, Guardspersons, Veterans, Military Retirees, their
spouses and dependants in finding employment. Their website, currently has over 630,000 jobs
listed on it and over 1,440 military friendly Employer Partners.

Check Out These Useful Websites:
U. S. Marine Corps      
Marine Forces Reserve   
24 Marine Regiment

Marine Corps Family Team Building
Military OneSource      
MY PAY                  
Marine Corps Community Services
Red Cross               
Veteran’s Administration
Managed Health Network  
National Military Family Assoc.
Marine Parents          
Military Spouse         
Military Family         

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