Military News

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Soldier Missing in Action from Korean War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Master Sgt. Cirildo Valencio, U.S.
Army, of Carrizo Springs, Texas. He will be buried on Aug. 4 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

Representatives from the
Army met with Valencio's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

Valencio was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division then occupying a defensive position near Unsan, North Korea in an area known as the "Camel's Head." On Nov. 1, 1950, parts of two Chinese Communist Forces divisions struck the 1st Cavalry Division's lines, collapsing the perimeter and forcing a withdrawal. In the process, the 3rd Battalion was surrounded and effectively ceased to exist as a fighting unit. Valencio was one of the more than 350 servicemen unaccounted-for from the battle at Unsan.

In 2002, a joint U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a burial site south of Unsan near the nose of the "Camel's Head" formed by the joining of the Nammyon and Kuryong rivers. The team recovered human remains.

Among other
forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

America Supports You: Contest Brings Kudos to Teen, Support Group

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

July 24, 2008 - The founder of a
Texas-based troop-support group proved volunteer work can be glamorous when she was chosen as one of five winners of a contest to honor women involved in their communities. Tania Foster, founder of "Dallas is Love," was flipping through a magazine when she saw information about the contest.

"I have a subscription to Glamour magazine, and about a year ago I applied for a contest listed in the magazine for the Sally Hansen [beauty products company's] 'Best of You' contest," she said. "Sally Hansen sponsored the award and partnered with Glamour to fly all five winners to
New York to participate in a photo shoot and meet representatives from both Glamour and Sally Hansen."

The trip to the "Big Apple" wasn't all business, however.
Foster and her mother took time to see "Chicago" on Broadway and do a little shopping before heading home.

"I would have to say the best part was being able to share the experience with the other four winners, as well as meeting the amazing people from Glamour and Sally Hansen," she said.

That opinion might change once the September issue featuring the winners hits the newsstands.

"Through our trip to
New York, Dallas is Love gained a ... sponsorship from Sally Hansen, and hopefully the article in Glamour reaches many people that don't know about Dallas is Love," Foster said. "[I hope] we will reach our goal of being nationwide."

The sponsorship resulted in a large donation of Sally Hansen products to Dallas is Love, which will get them into the hands of deployed servicewomen. That will be in addition to the organization's regular mission of providing
Army and Air Force Exchange Service gift cards to deployed servicemembers.

The organization is preparing for the upcoming holiday season and is hoping for public support so it can send "tons of AAFES gift cards to troops worldwide,"
Foster said.

The organization is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 24, 2008

Army

SRCTec, Inc., Syracuse, N.Y., was awarded on Jul. 23, 2008, a $159,011,900 firm-fixed price contract for adjunct systems as a result of an engineering change proposal. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jul. 18, 2008. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-05-D-S205).

Canadian Commercial Corp., Ontario, Canada, was awarded on Jul. 23, 2008, a $15,778,311 firm-fixed price contract for MRAP sustainment spare parts. Work will be performed in Guateng, South Africa, Trenton, N.J., and Ontario, Canada, and is expected to be completed by Jul. 5, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 17, 2008. U.S.
Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-C-0514).

BAE Survivability Systems, LLC,
Fairfield, Ohio, was awarded on Jul. 22, 2008, a $15, 301,626 firm-fixed price contract for M1116 and M1114s with gun shield. Work will be performed in Fairfield, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Apr. 10, 2000. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-00-C-S019).

Trevicos and Soletanche, in a joint venture, were awarded on Jul. 23, 2008, an $8,000,000 firm-fixed price best value contract for the construction of a sub-surface seepage wall barrier to address foundation seepage problems. Work will be performed at the Wolf Creek Dam Seepage Project, Jamestown, Ky., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Dec. 10, 2007, and two bids were received. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville, Tenn., is the contracting activity (W912P5-08-C-0008).

Air Force

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, for and estimated $18,495,272. This Foreign Military Sales contract is for the modification of Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S aircraft maintenance trainer and integrated avionics trainer devices to provide for General Electric re-engine training capability. At this time all funds have been obligated. 558 ACSG/PK, Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8223-08-C-0006).

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, requirements contract with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of Herndon, Va., for and estimated $15,156,632. This contract action is for U.S. Coast Guard small boats acquisition program analysis. At this time $1,449,275 is being obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380, DO 0260).

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite-delivery, requirements contract with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of Herndon, Va., for and estimated $6,986,978. This contract action is for submarine exercise and tactical operation analysis for survivability and combat effectiveness. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380, Delivery Order 0256).

NAVY

Aluminum Chambered Boats, Inc., Bellingham Wash., is being awarded a $12,824,070 firm-fixed-priced order no. M67854-08-F-5038 under GSA contract no. GS-07-F-0133M for 42 bridge erection boats, 42 trailers, 42 technical manuals, and 42 warranties. Work will be performed in Bellingham Wash., and work is expected to be completed Jul. 2009. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competed on GSA. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Marksman Soldiers Prepare for Olympics

By Paula J. Randall
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 24, 2008 - Six soldiers of the U.S.
Army Marksmanship Unit are living out their wildest dreams. Maj. Michael E. Anti, Sgt. 1st Class Jason A. Parker, Sgt. 1st Class Daryl L. Szarenski, Spc. Walton Glenn Eller III, Spc. Jeffrey G. Holguin and Pfc. Vincent C. Hancock made the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and will represent the United States at the Olympics Games in Beijing in August.

"The first time I watched the Olympics on TV, I knew I wanted to be an Olympian," said Anti, who won a Silver Medal in the 2004 Olympics. "I have been to three Olympics, all of which have been an amazing experience."

Anti, 43, who joined the
Army in January 1988, is attached to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit through the World Class Athlete Program. The infantry officer, from Winterville, N.C., outshot 48 competitors to make the Olympic Team in prone rifle. Competitors in prone rifle lie on their stomachs and shoot .22-caliber rifles at targets 50 meters away. The bull's eye is 10.4 millimeters wide -- much smaller than a dime.

Parker, 34, is a 2008, 2004 and 2000 air rifle Olympian. This year, he defeated 34 competitors to make the Olympic Team in men's air rifle, in which competitors shoot lead pellets from .177-caliber guns at targets 10 meters away. The bull's eye is a half millimeter wide, the size of the period at the end of this sentence. He finished in eighth place at the 2004 Games and in fifth place in 2000, missing an Olympic medal by seven tenths of a point.

"It has been a goal of mine since I was a kid to be an Olympic gold medalist," Parker said. "The
Army and the Army Marksmanship Unit have provided me with everything I've needed to be successful -- the best coaches, gunsmiths and equipment -- but it also has taken a lot of hard work and dedication."

Parker, who joined the
Army in January 1997, made the Olympic Team in men's three-position rifle, in which competitors shoot the same rifles at the same targets as in prone rifle, except they shoot in three positions: standing, kneeling and prone. The Omaha, Neb., native said he feels confident about his chances for a medal in Beijing.

"I have more experience and better equipment this time around," Parker explained. "My coaches have prepared me for a successful Olympic Games, and the AMU gunsmiths have found the best possible rifle and ammunition for me to use."

Holguin, 29, from Yorba Linda, Calif., joined the
Army in September 2006 along with his friend Eller. Holguin and Eller defeated 12 competitors to get on the Olympic double trap team.

In double trap, competitors
fire their shotguns at two clay targets thrown simultaneously from an underground bunker at speeds up to 50 mph; competitors get one shot per target.

"The hardest part of this Olympic experience is waiting for the day to get here," Holguin said. "I wanted to compete at the highest level of clay target shooting; to do that, I had to commit myself to the sport. The U.S.
Army and the USAMU have given me the necessary resources to compete and win at the level required to win an Olympic medal."

A Katy,
Texas, native, Eller, 26, will be competing in his third Olympics in double trap. He finished in 17th place in 2004 and in 12th place in 2000. He joined the Army in September 2006.

"Growing up, I had always wanted to be an Olympian," Eller said. "The Olympics were greater in every aspect than I had anticipated, both in highs and lows. The emotions involved are so great because of the years of
training that go into that one day of competition.

"I joined the
Army to better myself as a person and as a soldier," Eller continued. "It is my way to serve the country in a time of war and to continue my Olympic career."

Hancock, of Eatonton, Ga., joined the Army Reserve in June 2006. As a junior in high school, he went through basic
training and then returned to school to finish his senior year. After he graduated, Hancock went to his advanced individual training and then joined the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

The 19-year-old triumphed over 65 competitors to make the skeet Olympic Team. In skeet, competitors fire their shotguns at clay targets thrown from high and low houses at 55 mph.

"I wanted to be an Olympian because it is the pinnacle of all competition in sports," Hancock said. "The
Army and the Army Marksmanship Unit have given me the opportunity to do what I love and the means to do it. They have made me more determined to achieve my goal of a gold medal.

"I joined to be part of a team of soldiers helping to bring our country medals and wins," Hancock continued. "The shotgun team has the best marksmen in the world, and being a part of that team helped me to become the best I can be."

Szarenski, 40, also competed in the 2004 and 2000 Olympics. He finished in 13th place in air pistol and 15th place in free pistol in 2004, which was a great improvement over his 25th place finish in free pistol in 2000.

"The high point of my Olympic experience was just being able to shoot at the Olympics, and the low point was the disappointment of not getting a medal when I thought I shot a good performance," Szarenski said. "I felt that I had the ability to win the Olympics, but things had to go right; unfortunately they didn't."

The Saginaw, Mich., native joined the
Army in October 1991. After three days and 200 shots of grueling competition at the Olympic trials last month, it came down to the last shot, but Szarenski prevailed to beat 25 competitors and make the Olympic Team. In free pistol, competitors shoot .22-caliber pistols from 50 meters away at bull's eye targets with a center about 50 millimeters in diameter.

"Staying focused on the competition and not being carried away with the hype of the Olympics will be the hardest part of the Games," Szarenski said, "but the
training, mindset and events that I have won are what is going to help me in this Olympics. I have always loved shooting, and winning the Olympics is the pinnacle of the sport."

(Paula J. Randall works at the U.S.
Army Marksmanship Unit, Accessions Support Brigade.)

Historian Charts Six Decades of Racial Integration in U.S. Military

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2008 - July 26 marks the 60th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman's executive order that integrated the U.S. armed forces. Conrad Crane, director of the U.S. Army
Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., said the order recognized a basic tenet of warfare.

"When your life depends on your buddy, the color of their skin tends to become less important; it's how good they are," he said.

The order came five years before the Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education that struck down the idea of "separate, but equal" and ushered in integration of American schools.

Looking back on the order after 60 years, one might think it was a slam-dunk decision, but it was not. In fact, Truman and Defense Secretary James Forrestal were about the only two U.S.
leaders who favored the proposal.

"Everyone expected Truman to lose the 1948 election," Crane said in a telephone interview from his office. "The
Navy and Air Force already had plans to integrate, but the Army maintained a rigid policy of segregation."

The executive order didn't really change much at first, Crane said. It took a war for integration to become a reality.

"Both the
Army and Marine Corps integrated because of the Korean War," Crane said. "That's because in combat they became desperate for troops, and they found that black soldiers fight better in integrated units. The pressures of combat and the need to find people to fight is what really pushed the Army and Marine Corps into it."

The
Army integrated in Korea before it did in noncombat areas. Fort Benning, Ga., and other posts in the United States still were segregated, as were units in Europe and areas of the Pacific, Crane said.

But the war changed that, and by 1953, 95 percent of African-American servicemembers were serving as members of integrated units.

But while the posts were integrated, going off post meant going back to a segregated world. In the 1950s, blacks and whites used separate drinking fountains and bathrooms. Schools, transportation systems, theaters and sporting events all were segregated.
The education system worked against African-Americans when they were drafted or enlisted in the
military. The Army classification system sent soldiers with the highest scores to service units and those with lower scores to combat units.

"African-Americans did not have the educational opportunities in the civilian world," Crane said. "We know now that the tests themselves were culturally unfair, and these educational inequalities continued through Vietnam."

African-Americans took a slightly higher rate of casualties during the Vietnam War than their percentage of the U.S. population – 13.5 percent of casualties, 11 percent of the population – and this became a bone of contention.

From the 1960s through the early 1970s, race relations in the
military mirrored those of society in general. Race riots occurred in the streets of America and on military bases around the world.

But the advent of the all-volunteer force in 1973 helped break the cycle, as all members of the
military wanted to be in the service. The military offered many African-Americans a way out of poverty, Crane said.

"In the 1970s, there were all kinds of racial problems," he said. "But as society settled down, the situation in the military improved. You can't break the link between the
Army and the society it serves.

"Having said that, the
military should get credit for its integration policies," he continued.

The
military instituted orders forbidding discrimination. All servicemembers went to classes, and as a new generation of African-American commissioned and noncommissioned officers rose to positions of responsibility, it became commonplace for white servicemembers to serve under black leaders.

"When the
military puts out orders for racial awareness programs, everybody does it," Crane said. "And there is immediate and nasty retribution for anyone who breaks the tenets, as well. The military maintains discipline."

By the 1980s, the public viewed the U.S. military as a true meritocracy, where integration actually worked, Crane noted.

"And that perception reinforced the reality," he said. "And when [
Army Gen.] Colin Powell becomes chairman of the Joint Chiefs, it's a pretty amazing statement to the world at large and the military specifically." Today, it is accepted in the military that "you will work for black officers or NCOs," Crane said.

African-Americans make up roughly 17 percent of today's
military. In addition to serving their country, black servicemembers see the military as a place to gain an education and learn skills.

The
military is not perfect, and there are ugly racial incidents occasionally, but the problem is not systemic, Crane said. The military simply does not tolerate discrimination.

"The
military is quick to respond to problems," he said. "Prejudice is far more prevalent outside [the military] than in."

Today, platoons patrolling in Mosul or Kandahar show Iraqis and Afghans the benefits of diversity and the ability of many different people to work together.

The lesson of the history of integration in the military really comes down to individuals of all races making moral decisions, Crane said.

"If you force people together, they figure out how to get along," he said. "It's as true on the streets of Baghdad or the mountains of Afghanistan as it was on the frontlines of Korea."

President Truman Championed Military Integration

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2008 - The idea that President Harry S. Truman would integrate the armed forces in 1948 was counterintuitive. Truman, after all, was the product of a segregated society in
Missouri. He served as an artillery captain in the segregated World War I Army. He had a reputation as a machine politician who didn't rock the boat.

There was really nothing in his biography to suggest he would champion integration.

Yet less than four months before the 1948 presidential election, Truman signed Executive Order 9981.

"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the president that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin," the July 26, 1948, executive order read in part.

The sweeping change virtually guaranteed that Truman would not win the so-called "Solid South" in the elections. The Southern states were reliable wins for Democratic politicians at the time. Truman's stand on race relations caused many politicians to bolt the Democratic Party and run as "Dixiecrats."

Strom Thurmond -- who later would represent
South Carolina in the U.S. Senate for almost a half century -- opposed Truman in the election, garnering 39 electoral votes as the candidate for the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party.

New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican nominee, was considered a shoo-in for election. Thurmond took four states that normally would have voted Democratic in the November election, but Truman still won.

Through the next four years, Truman battled with
military and civilian leaders to ensure they carried out Executive Order 9981. The Truman order was a landmark in American history. It intimated that separate was not equal five years before the Supreme Court agreed.