Sunday, July 06, 2008

America Supports You: Secretary of State Visits Servicemembers on the Links

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

July 5, 2008 - Instead of participating in rounds of Gulf diplomacy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spent part of the day here observing a round of golf. The nation's top diplomat joined a group of Marines at the AT&T National PGA golf tournament, hosted by Tiger Woods, to watch pro players go toe-to-toe here at Congressional Country Club.

Woods, whose father Earl Woods was an
Army special forces soldier for 12 years, has infused the annual event, now in its second year, with tributes to troops. Organizers this year distributed 30,000 free tickets to servicemembers.

"I love coming out to this tournament, and I love the fact that it is doing so much to honor our men and women in uniform," Rice said. "It's really a great way to remind ourselves that the people of America really appreciate what our troops do."

The PGA Tour was one of the first organizations to partner with America Supports You, a Defense Department program that connects citizens and corporations with
military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. Since then, the Tiger Woods Foundation and AT&T have become supporters of the homefront network.

"This America Supports You movement is just growing and growing, and it ought to grow because everybody serving in uniform is a volunteer," Rice said, alluding to last week's anniversary that marked 35 years of America's all-volunteer
military force.

One token of America Supports You today was a kiosk near the golf course entrance, where fans could write notes to deployed troops and drop the letters in a lockbox, the contents of which will be delivered to servicemembers abroad.

Asked what sentiment she would send to troops on the frontlines, Rice delivered a message of gratitude.

"I would say, 'Thank you for serving this country, and thank you for serving this great cause,'" she said. "And thank you for remembering that America is fortunate – our independence was won more than 200 years ago – but that there are countries and people all over this globe that are still struggling for freedom.

"And whenever America has stood on the side of freedom," she continued, "America has stood on the side of right."

Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and public liaison, and the architect of America Supports You, said the secretary's visit at the event helps demonstrate the nation's backing of American servicemembers.

"It's great when somebody like Dr. Rice makes the time ... to not only show support the troops, but to AT&T and the Tiger Woods Foundation," Barber said, calling the overall
teamwork the "perfect partnership."

Woods and his father established the Tiger Woods foundation in 1996 with the mission of young people achieve thier dreams through community-based programs, according to the foundation's Web site. To date, the foundation has helped more than 10 million children.

Marine Col. Dave Lapan, the acting director of Marine Corps Public Affairs and one of the Marines to spend time today with Rice, said the tournament celebrates both deployed troops and those at home.

"A lot of us are here today because we can be, [while] our brothers are serving overseas in difficult places [and] they can't be," he said. "So it honors not just us, but all of us."

Petraeus Re-enlists 1,215 U.S. Troops July 4 in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

July 5, 2008 - Servicemembers from all over Iraq gathered here today in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America's Independence Day. All 1,215 servicemembers celebrated by raising their right hand and pledging to continue defending the 'land of the free' in what is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973, according to the Multi-National Force – Iraq Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt, Maj. Marvin L. Hill.

"Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed – is both noble and inspiring," said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force – Iraq. "It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our
military services."

Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.

"We recognize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families and communities make as they serve in Iraq," Hill said. "These servicemembers know the cost of war and they are still re-enlisting."

All together, the servicemembers pledged more than 5,500 years of additional service to their country.

"It makes me feel proud to serve this great nation," said Spc. Zackary Cunningham, mechanic, 602nd Maintenance Battalion, Tactical Base Balad, who plans on making the
Army a career.

The re-enlistees have every right to feel proud, according to Petraeus.

"You and your comrades here have been described as America's new greatest generation, and, in my view, you have more than earned that description," Petraeus said. "It is the greatest of honors to soldier here with you."

President Thanks Nation's 'Brave Defenders' on Independence Day

American Forces Press Service

July 5, 2008 - In his weekly radio, President Bush thanked America's men and women in uniform, past and present, for defending freedom from Bunker Hill to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said preserving the nation's independence "has required brave defenders, and every generation of Americans has produced them. From the soldiers who fought for independence at Bunker Hill and Yorktown, to the Americans who broke the chains of slavery, liberated Europe and Asia from tyranny, and brought down an evil empire, the people of this great land have always risen to freedom's defense."

"Today, the men and women of America's Armed Forces continue this proud tradition of defending liberty," he said. "In places like Afghanistan and Iraq, many risk their lives every day to protect America and uphold the principle that human freedom is the birthright of all people and a gift from the Almighty."

"These brave Americans make it possible for America to endure as a free society," Bush concluded. "So on this Fourth of July, we owe all those who wear the uniform of the United States a special debt of gratitude. And we thank their families for supporting them in this crucial time for our Nation."

Construction of The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Begins

Department of Defense officials participated in a ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda today.

"Our warriors are our country's most important resource and when they return injured or ill from war, we must care for them without fail," said Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. "This new joint facility will provide
America's heroes and their families the most advanced medical care in the world."

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the relocation of certain WRAMC activities from D.C. to Bethesda. The new medical center will provide tertiary, sub-specialty and complex medical services. The $970 million project will add or renovate 2.5 million square feet. Also, a new 120-bed community hospital at Fort Belvoir, Va., will provide non-tertiary care services to the Northern
Virginia area. The Base Realignment and Closure law requires construction of the two facilities to be completed by Sept. 15, 2011.

"The exterior design of the new Walter Reed medical center will be in keeping with the design President Franklin Roosevelt sketched in 1937 for the Bethesda
military medical campus," said Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical Commander Rear Adm. John Mateczun. "However, while the walls on the outside reflect the Medical Center's historic look, the inside will house the most state-of-the-art the medical resources in the world."

The Commander National Capital Region Medical is chartered to oversee, manage, and direct all inter-service actions between the
Navy, Army, and Air Force to accomplish the BRAC actions in the National Capital Region, and implement an efficient, integrated health care delivery system bringing the "best of the best" together to work in concert on behalf of warriors, retirees and their families.

For more information on the integration of NNMC and the new WRNMMC, visit:

Become a Police Officer

June 13, 2008, 2008 (San Dimas, CA) On July 11, 2008, Conversations with Cops at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Lieutenant Barry Baker, Baltimore Police Department (ret.), on how to become a police officer.

Program Date: July 11, 2008
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Become a Police Officer
Listen Live:

About the Guest
Detective Lieutenant
Barry Baker retired from the Baltimore Police Department in 2004. During his thirty-two year career, Barry Baker served as a patrol officer, sergeant, and lieutenant, as well as a special operations lieutenant and detective lieutenant. Lieutenant Barry Baker is the author of Becoming a Police Officer: An Insider's Guide to a Career in Law Enforcement.

According to
Barry Baker’s book, Becoming a Police Officer: An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Law Enforcement “is a serious examination of police work that is directed toward young people who are contemplating a career as a police officer. Author Barry Baker draws on over thirty-two years of experience from some of the most violent streets of any city in the United States to show you the unembellished truths of law enforcement.

Barry Baker describes the self-satisfaction that can be found in police work while identifying its pitfalls and how to avoid them. Before ending his career as a detective lieutenant, Baker spent his first twenty years on the force as a patrol officer, making him uniquely qualified to speak from a breadth and depth of experience.

Becoming a Police Officer: An Insider’s Guide to a Career in
Law Enforcement covers topics a newly trained police officer must appreciate—and master—to ensure success and safety, including the following: Self-evaluation for a police career; Recognizing and ignoring bad advice; Rapid advancement toward self-sufficiency; The immeasurable importance of integrity; and, Matters of life and death.

Becoming a
Police Officer: An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Law Enforcement is a valuable insight for those seeking a career in the honorable and important profession of law enforcement.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the
Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Face of Defense: Sergeant Mentors New Troops

By Army Pfc. Terence Ewings
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 3, 2008 - One of the most challenging things soldiers in
leadership positions can face during a deployment is maintaining their soldiers' readiness for combat. Army Staff Sergeant Steven Roode, a Skowhegan, Maine, native and squad leader assigned to Troop A, 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, is using his previous deployment experience to prepare his troops for combat.

"As a squad leader, I have the freedom to teach and train these soldiers, and I get to give them my experiences from when I deployed," said Roode, a former drill sergeant stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C.

The majority of his squad hasn't deployed before and is fairly new to this infantry unit.
Army Pfc. John Burgess, a squad team leader, is one of Roode's squad members.

"I help teach my fellow soldiers what I know, and I'm also learning at the same time," Burgess said. "My squad needed a team leader, so I stepped up to do the job."

After teaching a
tactical combat course, Roode and his squad discuss the course during an after-action review. If a demonstration is involved, he walks the troops through it, then pulls one of the soldiers from the group to teach it to the squad the exact same way.

"It's motivating to see these privates go from training to doing their job out in the field," Roode said. "These soldiers are learning just that fast, and I enjoy seeing them grow."

Army Pfc. Terence Ewings serves in the 1st Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)