Military News

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leadership Book

Editor's Note:  One of the co-authors is a former servicemember.


One reader of Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style said, “I write police promotional textbook exams and assessments for a living [...]. I'm always seeking out new and cutting edge books in the fields of police supervision, management and leadership. So, I was very pleasantly surprised after I finished reading this unique leadership book. It presents an impressive amount of information on leadership in a fun and interesting format - with liberal use of relevant and humorous quotes, experiences and analogies. Your retention of the material will be extremely high because of the author's unique writing style and the attention-grabbing format. Both authors are highly qualified and experienced to present this material - but that's not the primary reason you should consider this book. If you are in law enforcement, entering law enforcement or looking to advance your law enforcement career, this book not only covers the basic leadership experience in a way that is lively and interesting, it makes you relate to and almost experience the hardcore, daily struggle all law enforcement supervisors and managers have with how to select, train and "grow" quality law enforcement personnel. It took a lot of guts to write a leadership book in such a unique format. And guts is what you'll need in Poker .. and in Leadership ... and this book, if nothing else, will make you see how you can embody these leadership skills.”

Military Community Loses Pioneer

American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2010 - The first woman appointed to the rank of major general in the Air Force and the Department of Defense passed away Feb. 15. Retired Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm was a driving force in achieving parity for military women and making them a viable part of the mainstream military. The Portland, Ore., native attained the rank of two-star general in 1973 after a career that began 31 years earlier in 1942 when she enlisted in the Army. Holm entered Women's Army Air Corps in January 1943, where she received a commission as third officer, the WAAC equivalent of second lieutenant.

Holm also became the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1952.

She was promoted to brigadier general July 16, 1971, the first female airman to be appointed in this grade. She was promoted to the grade of major general effective June 1, 1973, with date of rank July 1, 1970 - the first woman in the armed forces to serve in that grade.

In recognition of Holm's pioneering career, Air Force officials renamed the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., the Jeanne M. Holm Officer Accession and Citizen Development Center in June 2008. Its mission is Air Force officer recruitment and training within the Air University.

Holm also authored two books about women in the military. "Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution" was published in 1982 and was updated in 1994. Four years later she wrote "In Defense of a Nation: Servicewomen in World War II."

During World War II, Holm was assigned to the Women's Army Corps Training Center at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where she commanded a basic training company and then a training regiment. At the end of the war, she commanded the 106th WAC Hospital Company at Newton D. Baker General Hospital, W.Va. She then left active military duty in 1946.

In October 1948 during the Berlin crisis, Holm was recalled to active duty with the Army and went to Camp Lee, Va., as a company commander. The following year she transferred to the Air Force, when a new law integrated women in the regular armed forces.

Holm served in a variety of personnel assignments, including director of Women in the Air Force from 1965 to 1973. She played a significant role in eliminating restrictions on numbers of women serving in all ranks, expanding job and duty station assignments for women, opening ROTC and service academies to women, and changing the policies on the status of women in the armed forces. During her tenure, policies affecting women were updated, WAF strength was more than doubled, job and assignment opportunities expanded, and uniforms modernized.

Holm retired in 1975. She served three presidential administrations: special assistant on women for President Gerald Ford, policy consultant for President Jimmy Carter, and first chairperson of the Veterans Administration's Committee on Women Veterans for President Ronald Reagan.

(Article courtesy of Air Force News Service.)

Air Force Sergeants Association, USAA announce affinity relationship

USAA is the preferred provider for property and casualty insurance products

February 18, 2010 - SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 128,000 enlisted Airmen and their eligible family members now are able to take advantage of one of the nation’s highest ranked* property and casualty insurance group of companies thanks to an agreement between the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) and USAA.

USAA, a leading financial services provider to the military community, is AFSA’s preferred provider of Property and Casualty products such as auto, home, condo, renters, umbrella, fire, and valuable personal property insurance.

“This is good news for AFSA and our members,” said AFSA CEO John R. “Doc” McCauslin. “USAA takes care of military members, and in many ways, our values and brand are alike. A number of AFSA members already have USAA insurance products and they will be elated that we married this up.”

For USAA, the agreement is a natural evolution of its ongoing effort to help facilitate the financial security of members of the U.S. military and their families.

“USAA and AFSA share a common military heritage and we operate according to the same high standards and core values, so joining forces makes perfect sense,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Joe Robles, USAA’s president and CEO. “USAA provides products and services that are tailored to the unique needs of the military community. We’re eager to welcome Air Force enlisted members and their families.”

Those who want to learn more about USAA can call (800) 531-8722 or visit USAA.com. To learn more about AFSA membership, call (800) 638-0594 or visit www.hqafsa.org.

About AFSA
AFSA is the Air Force organization dedicated to all enlisted ranks—Air Force Active Duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves, including retirees, veterans and their family members. Members join AFSA for its well-respected ability to influence and educate legislators on how their decisions affect military members, their families, and their quality of life. Because the enlisted force: are well-educated decision makers; has a long and rich heritage of being the force behind the high-tech machinery; are the people who make procurement recommendations and assist in the research and development for tomorrow’s systems—the enlisted force has evolved over the years as the market of choice. For more information please contact AFSA toll-free at 1-800-638-0594 or 301-899-3500 and on the internet at www.hqafsa.org.

About USAA
USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 7.4 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their families. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com.

USAA's property and casualty insurance companies received the highest possible ratings for financial strength from all three major ratings agencies — A.M. Best, Moody's and Standard & Poor's. A++ (Superior) from A.M. Best Co., highest of 16 possible ratings; Aaa (Exceptional) from Moody's Investors Service, highest of 21 possible ratings; AAA (Extremely Strong) from Standard & Poor's, highest of 21 possible ratings.

Spring to Mark Start of Personnel System Transition

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2010 - The Defense Department is on track to transition the majority of its more than 220,000 civilian employees out of the National Security Personnel System by Sept. 30, more than a year ahead of deadline, the official heading up that transition said today. The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act called for the termination of NSPS by January 2012, bringing an end to a controversial personnel system that's been operational for less than four years.

The majority of employees will transition -- starting this spring -- back to the decades-old General Schedule system, but with an assurance in regard to pay.

"I am committed to ensure, as directed in the National Defense Authorization Act, that employees experience no loss of, or decrease in, pay upon conversion," said John James, Jr., director of the Pentagon's NSPS transition office. "The department believes in that and believes it is the right thing to do."

This preservation of pay encompasses all employees. For instance, NSPS employees who are paid a salary that exceeds Step 10 -- the highest step under the GS system -- of their pay grade will retain their pay upon conversion, James explained.

An employee's grade upon conversion will be determined by classification specialists using the same criteria in use for GS employees, James said.

"An employee's position will be evaluated under the General Schedule system and classified," he said. "If that position classifies out as a GS-13, then that employee will become a 13 when they transition."

While the Defense Department has a goal for transition completion, James noted that each organization and component will make a determination on a timeline based on four factors:

-- No undue interruption to mission or hardship to employees;

-- Established processes to classify NSPS positions into the appropriate non-NSPS system;

-- Existence of a legacy performance management system; and

-- An information technology system capable of handling the transition.

As officials work to ensure a smooth transition, they also are turning an eye to the road ahead. Along with terminating NSPS, the act gives the Defense Department new authorities to look at developing a successor performance management system that incorporates the best practices of NSPS and GS.

"One of the best advantages under NSPS that we saw was the clear alignment between employees and the organization about what their contribution means to the priorities and the direction of the organization," James said. "As we develop the new authorities and transition employees to the GS system, in most cases, we plan to reinforce that directive and that effort to ensure the employees are aligned with the organization."

Officials also will examine the law's requirements for hiring flexibilities and a personnel performance fund that rewards employees or teams for their performance, he said.

These processes will continue to be open and transparent, James vowed. "I envision the transition and development and use of the new authorities to be a collaborative effort with supervisors, management, leadership, union partners, labor partners, the Office of Personnel Management and other stakeholders. I see this as being an entirely inclusive process."

James emphasized the importance of communication throughout the transition process and future personnel system modifications. "You can't overcommunicate a change," he said.

To that end, the NSPS Web site, http://www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps/, now includes transition updates and a training module called GS 101, he said.

"Employees who have never been in the GS system, and there are a few, can go in and walk through that," James said. "It really is informative and tells them how the GS system works." It's also of value to employees who were in the system before, he added.

James encouraged employees to continue to ask questions. "Employees should feel free to ask their chain of command about how that process is being implemented," he said. "GS is very prescriptive in how the process works. They will be informed how their job will be classified and transitioned."

Defense Department Pauses Spouse Employment Program

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2010 - The Defense Department has temporarily halted a popular employment assistance program for military spouses while it conducts a "top-to-bottom" review of its services, officials said today. The My Spouse Career Advancement Account program, also known as MyCAA, offers military spouses opportunities to pursue portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations such as education and health care.

"We recognize that the military lifestyle calls for portable careers, and that military spouses need access to education and training for careers that are portable and high-growth nationally," said Tommy T. Thomas, deputy under secretary of defense for the Pentagon's office of military community and family policy. "This short-term break will allow us to better assess the program to ensure we are achieving that goal."

Officials said they will use the time to review procedures, financial assistance documents and the program in general. The review was prompted by a need to ensure the program is meeting its intent, which is to provide spouses with additional opportunities for portable careers.

Military spouses who already have been approved for financial assistance won't be affected, and spouses who have an account can continue to use the Web site for career counseling and planning, officials said. However, during this review time, spouses won't be able to create a new account and new applications won't be accepted.

The review will be conducted as quickly as possible, officials said, while still ensuring a comprehensive look at the program.

Nearly 133,000 military spouses have applied for the program since it launched last March, officials said. To date, about 98,000 spouses are enrolled in courses or have been approved for financial assistance.

The program offers spouses assistance with training, job readiness and employment and career services. Through the program, spouses can receive financial assistance to pursue education and training, free career counseling and access to military-friendly employers.

During the review process, officials encourage spouses to explore other government options such as the transfer of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other programs available on installation and program Web sites. Spouses also can visit Military OneSource, http://www.militaryonesource.com, for free consultations on education and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career-search assistance.

Better Conventional Arms Will Allow Nuclear Drawdown

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2010 - Plans to strengthen conventional U.S. military equipment and warheads will allow the United States to draw down its nuclear arsenal while maintaining deterrence, Vice President Joe Biden said today. Biden outlined the Obama Administration's nonproliferation and nuclear security plans at the National Defense University here to an audience that included National Security Advisor retired Gen. Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

Biden noted that the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which Gates released two weeks ago, call for further strengthening of the military's preeminent conventional forces with capabilities such as an adaptive missile defense shield and conventional warheads that have worldwide reach.

"With these modern capabilities, even with deep nuclear reductions, we will remain undeniably strong and in a position to defend our interests against all our enemies," he said.

Until then, Biden said, "We have to do everything in our power to maintain our arsenal and make sure it's reliable. At the vanguard of this effort, alongside our military, are our nuclear weapons laboratories."

President Barack Obama has proposed $7 billion over five years to reverse years of declining budgets for maintenance of the nation's nuclear stockpile and related facilities, which are becoming a national security threat, Biden said.

The administration is reviewing its nuclear posture and has come to "broad and deep consensus" on strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that soon will be sent to Congress, Biden said. The "basic bargain" of the treaty is that nuclear powers will pursue disarmament and non-nuclear states will not acquire such weapons while gaining access to civilian nuclear technology, he said.

Now 42 years after its initial signing, "the consensus is fraying" among world leaders to sign on, Biden said.

"It's time," he said, "for us to reinforce this consensus and to strengthen the treaty for the future."

At the same time, Biden said, the administration is increasing sanctions against nations like North Korea and Iran for attempting to procure nuclear weapons. The administration also is calling for a ban on the production of fissile material that can be used to produce nuclear weapons, which the vice president said, "won't be done easily."

A third piece of the administration's nonproliferation agenda is a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons testing, which Biden said "is designed to keep emerging states from perfecting arsenals and preventing others from getting there."

Nonproliferation policies are as important today as they were during the Cold War, Biden said. "It's very easy to recognize the threat posed by nuclear terrorism," he said. "But we must not underestimate how proliferation to a state could be destabilizing in an entire region regions critical to us, to our security and may very well prompt the neighbors in that region to feel that they have to garner nuclear weapons themselves."

Speaking of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Biden said, "We're absolutely confident that all reasonable concerns raised about the treaty..., concerns about verification and reliability of our own arsenal, have now been addressed."

Obama is to host a national security conference in April to discuss eliminating nuclear waste material in four years, Biden said. Obama also is slated to host a nonproliferation treaty review conference in May.

"As both the only nation to have ever used a nuclear weapon, and as a strong proponent of nonproliferation, the United States has long embodied a stark but inevitable contradiction," Biden said. "The horror of nuclear conflict may make its occurrence unlikely, but the very existence of nuclear weapons leaves the human race ever at the brink of self-destruction, particularly if the weapons fall into the wrong hands."

Speaking to the government and military leaders in the room, Biden said, "The awesome force at our disposal must always be balanced by the weight of our shared responsibility. Every day, many of you help bear that burden with professionalism, courage and grace. Together, we will lead this world toward a world of less reliance ultimately, no reliance on nuclear weapons."

Coast Guard Stands Ready For Challenges, Commandant Says

By Ian Graham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2010 - The U.S. Coast Guard stands ready to confront current and future challenges, said Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the service. Today's Coast Guard is a strong, resilient force, Allen said during a DoDLive blogger's roundtable Feb. 16. The Coast Guard, he said, plans to restore and refurbish some of its aging fleet with the $1.4 billion contained in this year's proposed federal budget.

Yet a tight budgeting process brought about by a down economy poses potential challenges for the Coast Guard, the admiral said.

"When you're operating in a constrained budget environment, it's very, very difficult to make tradeoffs. But in this case, we have to focus on recapitalizing and rebuilding new ships," Allen said. "Otherwise you create what they would call a hollow force."

The problem in explaining the Coast Guard's funding requirements Allen said, comes, in part, from its national presence across maritime domains and many agencies' jurisdictions. While the service falls under Homeland Security, the Coast Guard also partners in operations involving the Defense Department and performs tasks across every branch of the government.

The Coast Guard, Allen said, is a multi-mission organization that performs both military and law enforcement duties.

"I think we're the exact type of agency the government needs right now, but in a constrained budget environment we're the hardest to explain," he said. "We have cutters that can do a number of missions. But they can't do them all at once."

Consequently, Allen said, there's "an inherent risk-management process that takes place, in how we allocate our resources now."

Allen thanked President Barack Obama for his support and also thanked First Lady Michelle Obama for her work on behalf of military families. The Coast Guard, the admiral noted, has received $14 million to build new family housing for its servicemembers. The proposed budget, he added, also would support acquisition of additional cutters, aircraft, fast-response cutters and funding to begin the design process for the new medium-endurance cutters.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. has been nominated to succeed Allen as the new Coast Guard commandant. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Papp would relieve Allen in May 2010.

"The challenges I see that are going to kind of transcend across my tenure and Adm. Papp's tenure; pending his confirmation are going to have to do with really clearly defining what we do within the Department of Homeland Security," Allen said.

(Ian Graham is assigned to Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media Directorate.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 18, 2010

NAVY

CACI, Inc., Federal, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $41,462,505 level-of-effort, cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contract for management, engineering and technical support services for various business information technology support systems. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $218,988,868. Work will be performed in Tidewater, Va. (98 percent), and military shore/fleet OCONUS (2 percent). If all options are exercised, work could continue until October 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and the SPAWAR E-commerce Web site, with an unlimited number of proposals solicited and two offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-10-C-2843).

Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada, London, Ontario, is being awarded a $29,196,463 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-07-D-5028) delivery order #0006 for procurement of 127 independent suspension system (ISS) kits and associated support. Installation of the ISS will be at the MRAP sustainment facility in Kuwait. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and is expected to be completed by May 1, 2010. This contract modification was a sole-source procurement. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

HBA-H&A, JV, Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded a maximum $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for Marine Corps projects located in North Carolina. The work to be performed provides for architect-engineering and engineering services including DD Form 1391 documentation; plans; specifications; preparation of requests for proposals for design/build projects; cost estimates; related studies; surveying; soil borings; hazardous material identification; energy computation; life safety code studies; interior space planning/design; other associated engineering services; shop drawing review; as-built drawing preparation; operation and maintenance support information; sustainable engineering design practices; and construction inspection and engineering consultation services during construction. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (80 percent), and Cherry Point, N.C. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed by February 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 46 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-D-5301).

AIR FORCE

ITT Corp., Clifton, N.J., was awarded a $24,900,000 contract which will provide an integrated demonstrations and applications laboratory. This program will conduct applications research and operational assessments through unique/specialized digital models and real-time man/hardware in the loop simulators. At this time, $3,709,468 has been obligated. AFRL/PKKA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-10-D-7015).

Clark County Water Reclamation District, Las Vegas, Nev., was awarded a $24,177,588 contract which will provide utility service contract for wastewater treatment services at Creech Air Force Base. At this time, no money has been obligated. 99 CONS/LGCB, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is the contracting activity. (FA4861-10-C-B005)

United Launch Services, Littleton, Colo., was awarded a $6,300,000 contract which will provide for phase two of the enhancement of Delta IV launch operations capabilities for FY 10. At this time, $4,725,000 has been obligated. SMC/LR, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8816-06-C-0002).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

CFM International, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $8,670,720 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for engine compressor cases. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is January 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency (DSCR-ZBAB), Tinker AFB, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8104-08-G-0002-UNW6).