Military News

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is a Hero?

What is a Hero? This collection of short stories indirectly asks the question - what is a hero? Each of the 13 authors wrote about a specific person whom the author identified as an American Hero. Each author had a different take - some heroes were thrust into danger; others were comedic, yet heroic; still others were role models because of their heroic nature. While all different, there is a common thread: heroism.

Veterans job fairs kick off in Madison

March 16, 2010 - Michael Mauermann had a simple reason for making the drive from Appleton to Madison on a slightly foggy, slightly rainy Thursday morning.

"Returning vet needs a job," he said, smiling.

Mauermann, a Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier who deployed twice - most recently with the Onalaska-based Company A, Brigade Special Troops Battalion - was among many veterans to attend a Veterans Job Fair at Edgewood College's Deming Way campus March 11. Some attendees have been out of the service for decades, while others are still serving out their contracts. But all came to see what was available at the first of 18 such job fairs, the result of a collaboration between the state Department of Workforce Development, Department of Military Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion.

"The economy is suffering, but we're seeing signs of recovery," she said. "Having skilled workers ready could not be more important."

Twenty-three employers - many with current job openings - were on hand at the first veterans job fair, and Gassman said they were committed to the employment and well-being of state veterans.

"They have a base of leadership within themselves that, without a doubt, will take us well into the 21st century," said Ken Black, DVA secretary. He added veterans make excellent employees because they are self-starters, culturally sensitive and hard-working.

"They're so dedicated they want to do great things with their lives," Brig. Gen. John McCoy, commander of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, agreed. Keith Miller of Sun Prairie, who retired from a full-time job as an Army Reserve recruiter in 2001, is currently employed but came out to see what opportunities are available.

"The [Veterans Administration] has been my focus," he said. "I think working for them would be worthwhile."

Adam Puhl of Oshkosh seemed optimistic as he visited each station, tucking information neatly into a folder.

"I've gotten a few leads I didn't know about before," he said.

Dan Viesman, an Argyle, Wis. resident who left the Army in 1974, said he was getting plenty of information at the job fair. A few years from retirement, he expressed concern over his chances for a job.

"There are lots of young people here," he observed.

Mauermann - who, with seven years of military experience, would qualify as one of the "young people," - directed his attention to the Madison Police Department and Dane County Sheriff's Department booths. "I'm going to school for criminal justice," he said. "There's lots of good information here."

McCoy said that a job fair of this magnitude had been discussed for some time. Gassman described the effort as an "ambitious plan" to reach out to veterans.

"It's unique," she said, "and we're very proud to do it."

Seventeen additional job fairs for veterans will be held, with the final event at an Army National Guard armory in Superior.

Senior Executive Service Appointments and Reassignments

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced the following Department of Defense Senior Executive Service appointments and reassignments:

Appointments

Thomas L. Allen has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as deputy director for force management, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Allen previously served as project leader, Institute for Defense Analysis, Alexandria, Va.

William K. Lietzau has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Global Strategic Affairs), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Washington, D.C. Lietzau previously served as deputy legal advisor, National Security Council, Washington, D.C.

David A. Mussington has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as senior advisor for cyber policy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Global Strategic Affairs), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Washington, D.C. Mussington previously served as chief of corporate security, National Railroad Passenger Corp., Washington, D.C.

Reassignments

George D. Mulligan has been assigned as director, White House Military Office, Washington Headquarters Services, Washington, D.C. Mulligan previously served as deputy director, White House Military Office, Washington Headquarters Services, Washington, D.C.

Donald G. Diggs has been assigned as deputy director, White House Military Office, Washington Headquarters Services, Washington, D.C. Diggs previously served as director, national leadership command capabilities, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration/Chief Information Officer), Washington, D.C.

Susan A. Yarwood has been assigned as principal director, enterprise services, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy Integration and Chief of Staff), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Arlington, Va. Yarwood previously served as deputy director, enterprise services, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Policy Integration and Chief of Staff), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Arlington, Va.

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 16, 2010

AIR FORCE

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $41,898,184 contract which will provide for the purchase and contractor logistic support of sniper advanced targeting pods to support a foreign military sale customer, Saudi Arabia. At this time, $20,949,092 has been obligated. 448 PKHCB, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8522-10-C-0003).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., was awarded a $6,165,779 contract which will provide for the procurement of required data, support equipment, and spares to stand up five different C-5 avionics modernization program line replaceable units at the respective Air Logistics Center depot. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 716 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (F33657-98-C-0006, P00231).

NAVY

American Rheinmetall Munitions Corp., Stafford, Va., is being awarded a $28,797,243 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the improved flash-bang grenade. Work will be performed in Camden, Ark., and is expected to be completed by March 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities and Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Web sites, with six proposals solicited and four offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-JM31).

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair, Inc., San Diego, is being awarded an $8,284,783 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2300) to exercise an option for the accomplishment of the post-shakedown availability (PSA) for the USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108). Specific efforts include engineering and management in support of the PSA; labor and procurement of material to correct government-responsible deficiencies and accomplish system upgrades; perform specified PSA work items inclusive of tests and post-repair sea trials; and task additional man hours and material in order to complete emergent repairs. Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $5,848,035 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-6288) to exercise an option for information assurance engineering and technical services for the Navy's information assurance solutions and to integrate them into commercial-off-the-shelf-based combat and network systems. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Air Force Pilot MIA From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Maj. Curtis Daniel Miller of Palacios, Texas, will be buried on March 29 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery. Miller was part of a 14-man aircrew, all of which are now accounted-for. Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group that will be buried together in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

On March 29, 1972, 14 men were aboard an AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed. Search and rescue efforts were stopped after a few days due to heavy enemy activity in the area.

In 1986, joint U.S.- Lao People's Democratic Republic teams, lead by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed and excavated the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The team recovered human remains and other evidence including two identification tags, life support items and aircraft wreckage. From 1986 to 1988, the remains were identified as those of nine men from this crew.

Between 2005 and 2006, joint teams resurveyed the crash site and excavated it twice. The teams found more human remains, personal effects and crew-related equipment. As a result, JPAC identified the other crewmen using forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo call (703) 699-1169

Flag Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Navy Vice Adm. David J. Venlet has been nominated for reappointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as director, Joint Strike Fighter program, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Arlington, Va. Venlet is currently serving as commander, Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.

General Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Air Force Col. David W. Allvin has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Allvin is currently serving as the military fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City, N.Y.

Air Force Col. Balan R. Ayyar has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Ayyar is currently serving as the military assistant to the Secretary Air Force Col. Thomas W. Bergeson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Bergeson is currently serving as the commander, 3rd Wing, Pacific Air Forces, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Air Force Col. Jack L. Briggs II has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Briggs is currently serving as the director, inspections, Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Rosslyn, Va.

Air Force Col. James S. Browne has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Browne is currently serving as the commander, 325th Fighter Wing, Air Education and Training Command, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Air Force Col. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Bunch is currently serving as the vice commander, Air Armament Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Air Force Col. Theresa C. Carter has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Carter is currently serving as the director, installations and mission support, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Air Force Col. Scott L. Dennis has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Dennis is currently serving as the deputy director, air operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. John W. Doucette has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Doucette is currently serving as the special assistant to the director of the joint staff for general officer and flag officer matters, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. Sandra E. Finan has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Finan is currently serving as the inspector general, Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Air Force Col. Donald S. George has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. George is currently serving as the commander, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Headquarters Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Air Force Col. Jerry D. Harris, Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Harris is currently serving as the assistant director of operations, plans, requirements and programs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Air Force Col. Kevin J. Jacobsen has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Jacobsen is currently serving as the director, special investigations, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Inspector General, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. Scott W. Jansson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Jansson is currently serving as the vice commander, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Air Force Col. Richard A. Klumpp, Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Klumpp is currently serving as the inspector general, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Air Force Col. Leslie A. Kodlick has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Kodlick is currently serving as the director, public affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. Gregory J. Lengyel has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Lengyel is currently serving as the commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Air Force Col. James F. Martin Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Martin is currently serving as the director, air force budget programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. Robert D. McMurry has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. McMurry is currently serving as the commander, airborne laser program, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

Air Force Col. Edward M. Minahan has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Minahan is currently serving as the executive officer to the deputy commander, U.S. European Command, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany.

Air Force Col. Jon A. Norman has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Norman is currently serving as the special assistant to the vice commander, Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Air Combat Command, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Air Force Col. James N. Post III has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Post is currently serving as the commander, 354th Fighter Wing, Pacific Air Forces, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Air Force Col. Steven M. Shepro has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Shepro is currently serving as the commander, 316th Wing, Air Force District of Washington, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Air Force Col. Jay B. Silveria has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Silveria is currently serving as the commander, 48th Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Air Force Col. David D. Thompson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Thompson is currently serving as the director, Space Forces, Air Forces Central, Air Combat Command, Al Udeid, Qatar.

Air Force Col. William J. Thornton has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Thornton is currently serving as the commander, 412th Test Wing, Air Force Materiel Command, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Air Force Col. Kenneth E. Todorov has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Todorov is currently serving as the executive officer to the commander, U.S. Northern Command, Headquarters U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Air Force Col. Linda R. Urrutia-Varhall has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Urrutia-Varhall is currently serving as the senior military assistant to the under secretary of defense (intelligence), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Air Force Col. Burke E. Wilson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Wilson is currently serving as the commander, 45th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Changes in South Korea Mean New Opportunities for Lodge

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

March 16, 2010 - Most hotel managers would lose sleep over the prospect of losing almost half of their guaranteed hotel guests. But Ed Fagan, general manager of the Dragon Hill Lodge at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan here, sees the upcoming move of most U.S. forces from Seoul as an opportunity for the lodge to claim its rightful place within the military's Armed Forces Recreation Center network.

In a few short years, most of the U.S. servicemembers and their families based at Yongsan and other posts north toward the demilitarized zone will relocate south of Seoul, most to U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys. As a result, troops reporting for duty or wrapping up their tours in Korea no longer will in- and out-process through the centralized center at Yongsan. They'll also no longer automatically spend their first and last nights in South Korea just across the parking lot at the Dragon Hill Lodge.

Gone will be the regular customer base that constitutes 44 percent of the hotel's annual room nights. Also gone will be most of about 17,000 military identification card holders based at Yongsan who frequent its restaurants, fitness center and other services.

But Fagan isn't worried about keeping his 394 rooms filled. In fact, he said, he sees the changes ahead as an opportunity to transform the Dragon Hill Lodge into a vacation destination for servicemembers, Defense Department employees and their families.

"We then become truly an AFRC," he said. "And I would maintain that we are going to become the most exciting AFRC."

Located in the heart of Seoul, the world's second-largest metropolitan city, the Dragon Hill Lodge offers easy access to a wealth of attractions and entertainment. Guests can tour historic and cultural sites, take in professional sporting events, visit museums, galleries and amusement and nature parks, and enjoy world-class shopping.

Fagan recent launched a "Discover Seoul" campaign to get the word out about these opportunities, and others beyond the city limits in the Land of the Morning Calm.

"We are not going to focus on selling the Dragon Hill Lodge. Our focus is on selling Seoul," Fagan said. "Our marketing materials are going to be such that people say, 'I want to take a vacation in Seoul. I want to discover this wonderful city with all it has to offer."

He's confident that when they do so, they'll choose the Dragon Hill Lodge as their base, smack in the middle of land the South Korean government plans to transform into a huge intercity park.

The Dragon Hill Lodge opened in 1990 as the crown jewel of the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan compound that's home to the U.S. Forces Korea and Combined Forces Korea headquarters. Fagan described it as "the most elegant AFRC," an upscale contrast to the Quonset huts that surrounded it 20 years ago.

With stately dragons flanking the entrance, an elegant lobby, well-appointed rooms and top-quality food and beverage services, the Dragon Hill Lodge sets the tone for servicemembers and their families moving into South Korea, Fagan said.

"The Dragon Hill Lodge makes a statement that we value you, that we care about our servicemembers," he said. And for anyone arriving with apprehensions about living far from home in unfamiliar surroundings, Fagan said, the lodge provides reassurance that "life in Korea is not going to be too bad."

The lodge set the example for the transformation of the greater Yongsan garrison over the past two decades.

"It kind of set the standard for a lot of the follow-on construction that the U.S. forces did in Korea to really demonstrate that Korea is no longer a one-year hardship tour," Fagan said. "The soldiers who serve in Korea work just as hard as all the other soldiers and perform just as important a mission – and they deserve the same quality of life that exists in other parts of the world."

The Dragon Hill Lodge was modeled after other successful armed forces recreation centers the Army operates. But unlike the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany, and Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu -- Shades of Green opened the following year at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Fla. -- the Dragon Hill Lodge has predominantly served troops pulling one-year tours in South Korea, most without their families.

That, too, is expected to change as normalized, three-year tours are introduced in South Korea and more troops arrive with their families in tow. When they're ready for some rest and recuperation and a base for exploring their new surroundings, the Dragon Hill Lodge is ready for them, Fagan said.

At first glance, the lodge is much like any other luxury hotel, with comfortable rooms, four full-service restaurants, lounges, game rooms and a top-of-the-line fitness center. What's different, Fagan said, is that the lodge's top priority is serving troops and their families -- not making money.

"If one of our servicemembers was to check into the Marriott or the Hyatt to visit Seoul, they would just be another guest," he said. "When they come to the Dragon Hill Lodge, we are here because of them, and to support them."

Room rates are based on a sliding scale according to rank, with the most-junior soldiers on leave or pass paying $59 a night for a single room. For higher-ranking guests, the same room goes for up to $139 a night, with larger rooms available at higher prices to accommodate families.

"We need to make money at the Dragon Hill Lodge to sustain ourselves, but our purpose is not to make money," Fagan said. "Our purpose is to provide quality of life for the servicemembers and their family members. ... We will be geared specifically to support them with programs that are designed for servicemembers, around servicemembers' budgets, and around servicemembers' lifestyles and family sizes."

Although the Dragon Hill Lodge is a bargain for military travelers, Fagan said, its guests are equally attracted to the gateway it provides to Seoul, as well as the familiarity and convenience of familiar surroundings.

While incorporating Asian architectural design and furnishings, the Dragon Hill Lodge represents a piece of Americana -- along with military conveniences -- to its guests. Its restaurants serve up everything from homestyle barbeque cooked all night so it falls off the bone to high-end steak-and-lobster cuisine. A Tex-Mex restaurant on the premises features its own microbrewery with "Amber" the house brew and a tortilla machine that ensures authentic flavors.

The secret, Fagan confided, is that the Dragon Hill Lodge flies all its ingredients in from the United States rather than buying them locally.

But familiarity for guests and their families goes beyond their palates. Dragon Hill Lodge also houses a small post exchange, a U.S. bank, a variety of concessions sanctioned by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, and a desk where guests can ask directions to sites around town, book tours, and buy discounted tickets to local venues.

Guests call these features a winning combination.

"This is great, and it's all strategically based," said Army Sgt. Travon Graves as he and fellow 2nd Infantry Division soldier Sgt. Kiarra Sutton studied the Discover Seoul display in the Dragon Hill Inn's lobby.

They came to Seoul for medical appointments, but hoped to check out some of Seoul's attractions the Lotte World amusement park, the zoo, the Korean War memorial and local museums before returning to their base at Camp Casey.

"There's a lot here. We just have to figure out what we want to do," Sutton said.

Army Staff Sgt. Antonio Jefferson, who had just arrived in South Korea for his assignment at Camp Casey, said he already was impressed with the Korean culture and was looking forward to learning more about it.

But before traveling north to his new assignment, Jefferson said he planned to use the Dragon Hill Lodge as a base for another priority. "I'm definitely going shopping," he said. "From what I hear, this is a great place to do it."

Drill Instructor Enjoys Fly-fishing


By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 16, 2010 - He started learning the ins and outs of fly-fishing from his grandfather at age 7. Years later, he'd spend every day on the Gunnison River in Colorado. "My grandfather taught me everything I know about fly-fishing," said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. David R. Brewer, a drill instructor with Platoon 3263, Company M.

Fly-fishing differs from other forms of fishing because the individual stands in a river with waders and uses an artificial bug as bait, using an ancient angling method.

"It gives me an adrenaline rush," Brewer said. "You don't know when the fish will jump out, and then it becomes a fight."

The Gunnison River is Brewer's favorite place to fish because it's in a canyon; the water is incredibly clear. It's a very peaceful place and few people know about it.

"I'd fish with my grandfather and usually my two younger brothers as well," Brewer said. "We are all best friends."

Brewer's grandfather once showed his grandsons how to catch trout using a cookie.

"One day my brothers and I were making fun of my grandfather, telling him he wasn't going to catch anything that day," Brewer recalled. "Well, then he put [a cookie] in his mouth and casted his fly 15 feet ahead." Within a minute, his grandfather reeled in an 11-pound brown trout -- a large-sized fish to catch in a river -- and his grandfather had the last laugh, Brewer said.

More recently, Brewer's grandfather celebrated his birthday with his son and Brewer on a deep-sea fishing charter boat in San Diego. Although he didn't keep his catch, Brewer's grandfather caught a 350-pound hammerhead shark. "He put him back. It's all about the thrill," Brewer said. "Besides, what is someone going to do with 350 pounds of meat?"

Brewer had a fish story worthy of telling for years when he caught a 14-pound rainbow trout on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, Colo.

"My brother and I were fishing one day and I was standing on a rock in the center of the river," he said. A fish grabbed his fly and unraveled all the line off his reel.

"I had to get off my rock and follow him," Brewer said. "He dragged me into a strong current, and the water was up to my neck, so I had to hop on another rock." But then he slipped.

"All my gear went down river, and I had to swim at this point," he said. "But I never let go of that fishing pole."

Two hours later, Brewer finally won the fight, but with a price. Although he lost all of his fishing gear, it was well worth catching that rainbow trout, he said.

"I don't eat fish; I just snap a picture and let it go," he said. "It's just for the experience and the competition between my brothers on who can catch the biggest fish, that's all."

It's also a good time on the river and nice bonding with family, he said.

Brewer will be home on leave soon, fishing with his brothers. He and his grandfather plan to go fly-fishing in Alaska someday, he said, because they look forward to the challenging fight the 50-pound salmon there would bring.

"I'm going to be catching big fish for the rest of my life. I guarantee it," Brewer said.

(Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont serves at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.)

Wisconsin Guard places among the best in the National Guard and U.S. Army media contests

March 16, 2010 - The Wisconsin National Guard earned four top spots in the 2009 National Guard media contest and took first in the U.S. Army's Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition for its' web-based publication.

The contests recognize military and civilian-employee print and broadcast practitioners for journalistic excellence across several categories including best print, web and video products.

At Ease, the official newsletter of the Wisconsin National Guard, earned first place in the Army's Keith L. Ware competition and will now compete against the other military services for the Department of Defense's Thomas Jefferson Award. NGB announced top finishers Friday (March 12), while Keith L. Ware recipients were released Monday (March 15). DoD winners are expected to be named in May.

The following four entries placed among the best in the National Guard:

First place, television news category goes to Staff Sgt. Mary Flynn, 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, for her broadcast story on Rhythm n' Booms 2009.

The In the Zone newsletter, produced by the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat team during their recent Iraq deployment, placed third in the newsletter/field newspaper category. The Wisconsin Guard also played a role in producing the first place field newsletter, The Wire, a Joint Task Force - Guantanamo publication produced by the 112th MPAD from March 2007 - March 2008. The Florida National Guard assumed editorial control in March 2008.

Spc. Meghan Phillips earned third place in the deployed television news report category for her broadcast story on a Coast Guard post security unit returning for another deployment to JTF-Guantanamo. Phillips also won third place in this category in 2008. She produced both reports during her 2008-2009 JTF-Guantanamo deployment with the 112th MPAD.

The At Ease earned second place in NGB's web-based publication category. Dating back to 2001, At Ease has earned three first place finishes for NGB and two first place Keith L. Ware awards. First Sgt. Vaughn Larson, At Ease editor, transitioned the award winning hard-copy publication to the web-based publication in 2009.

In depth information about both contests, including winning entries, can be found online at: 2009 National Guard media contest - and Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition.

DOD Releases Annual Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Report

The Department of Defense today released the fiscal 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military.

In fiscal 2009, a total of 3,230 restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault were filed, involving military members as either victims or subjects, which is an 11 percent increase from fiscal 2008. There were 714 restricted reports filed in fiscal 2009. Under the restricted (confidential) reporting option, service members may choose to obtain medical, mental health care and other services without becoming involved in the military criminal justice process. This year, 123 victims converted their reports from restricted to unrestricted, which is included in the overall total of 2,516 unrestricted reports.

"One sexual assault is too many. As such, the best way to combat sexual assault is to prevent it," said Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

To advance the prevention of sexual assault, the department provided its DoD Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy to the senior leaders of each military service and the National Guard Bureau in fiscal 2009. Each military service held leadership summits in fiscal 2009, keynoted by their service secretary, chief of staff and commandant of the Marine Corps, to emphasize the importance of command's role in prevention. The department also deployed a multimedia prevention campaign, "My Strength is for Defending: Preventing Sexual Assault is Part of My Duty," across the military services.

The full report is available at: http://www.sapr.mil. For service specific information, contact the individual military services at 703-697-2564 for Army, 703-697-5342 for Navy, and 703-695-0640 for Air Force.

Know Your Rights: Returning Service Members with Disabilities

By Tracy Russo

Tremendous sacrifices are made by the brave men and women who serve our nation in the military. When they return home, veterans often face new challenges.

For those men and women who are wounded in combat, barriers can be even greater. A returning service member may have new disabilities resulting from the loss of a limb, hearing or vision loss, traumatic injury or post traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Justice wants to ensure that those who return home from war with new disabilities know they are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other federal laws. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in American civic life.

The Department’s Civil Rights Division has created an easy-to-follow booklet designed to provide service members who have been seriously wounded with a general understanding of their rights.

The booklet also includes information about where to turn for additional information and assistance. An electronic version of the booklet can be viewed here and downloaded here.

The ADA uses different standards than the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs in determining disability status. It is critical that returning service members know their rights under the ADA.

To order individual print copies of the Returning Service Members with Disabilities brochure, please call the ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY). Those organizing a national or regional conference related to service members wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom can contact the ADA Speakers Bureau to request a expert speaker who can discuss these laws.

Defense Department Notes Rise in Sexual Assault Reporting

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

March 16, 2010 - Reports of sexual assault involving servicemembers rose by 11 percent in fiscal 2009, a senior Defense Department official said yesterday. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 3,230 reports of sexual assault were filed.

An increase in reporting was a goal for the department, said Kaye Whitley, director of the Defense Department's sexual abuse prevention and response office.

"Research in the civilian community shows that sexual assault is widely underreported, and we believe that is the same in the military," she said in an interview. "As a result, increasing reporting has been one of our key goals. We want people who are victims of sexual assault to come forward so they can get the help that they need." The department's goal is to create a "climate of confidence" so that people will come forward to report, she added.

One aspect of the program is a confidential reporting option called "restricted reporting," which lifts some of the barriers that can deter military personnel from reporting sexual assault. Unrestricted reporting means the victim's command is notified and an investigation initiated. Under the restricted reporting option, the command is not notified and an investigation does not follow. Still, the victim can receive medical, mental health and all other services without becoming involved in the military criminal justice process.

Whitley said the number of sexual assaults in the military probably is comparable to the civilian community, but that direct comparisons are hard to make. The overall rate for the Defense Department was two reports of sexual assault per thousand servicemembers. In the Army, the rate was 2.6 per thousand. In the Navy it was 1.6 per thousand, in the Air Force 1.4 per thousand, and in the Marine Corps 1.3 per thousand. Service-specific data, including the total numbers of reports, is included in the annual report.

"Our total number includes both perpetrators and victims," Whitley said. The data covers eight categories of sexual assault ranging from the least-egregious wrongful sexual contact to rape.

"We need to keep in mind that these are reports where the victim or the perpetrator was a military member," Whitley said. The reports include sexual assaults reported that involved a military member against a military member, a military member against a civilian or a civilian against a military member, she explained.

Last year, Whitley said, 123 victims converted their restricted reports to the unrestricted category. "What we find are those people who are victims of sexual assault, they feel a loss of control," Whitley said. "Then, when we meet with them and give them these reporting options, they get a little bit of that control back. So often, they will go home and if they feel supported and start feeling comfortable with reporting it, they will change it to an unrestricted report, in which case we can investigate and prosecute."

The restricted reporting option has been in place since 2005, and it fills a need, Whitley said. "We've had over 3,600 people use that option since then, so that tells me that over 3,600 people wouldn't have come forward otherwise," she said.

Whitley said she would like to think the rise in reported cases has resulted from the emphasis the department is putting on sexual abuse prevention and the department's efforts to tell people about the program.

Last year, the theme of the awareness and education campaign was "My Strength for Defending: Preventing Sexual Assault Part of My Duty." This year's theme -- "Hurts one. Affects all. Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty" -- builds on that and concentrates on readiness, Whitley said.

Police Chaplain

Editor's Note: Both the host and the guest are former servicemembers.


On April 8, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Police Chaplain C. Grant Wolf.

Program Date: April 8, 2010
Program Time: 1700 Hours Pacific
Topic: Police Chaplain
Listen Live: www.americanheroesradio.com/police_chaplain.html

About the Guest
After more than years as Executive Director and a work career spanning six decades, C. Grant Wolf will retired from the Fellowship of Christian Police Officers on December 31, 2009. An ordained pastor, Grant has served the Chattanooga Police Department as Chaplain for many years. One of his great delights is teaching in new academy classes and conducting weekly sessions in the department’s chapel. He also conducts funerals, weddings, and provides financial and pre-marital counseling. An experienced organist, Grant plays each Sunday in his church as well as theater organ at Chattanooga’s Tivoli Theatre. He began playing dinner music professionally in a Wichita KS restaurant in December, 1949. In the 60 years since then he has continuously been employed, including Military service and in school. His undergraduate studies in psychology were at Wichita State and graduate work in communications at Boston University.

While in the Army he was assigned to Tokyo in Psychological Warfare. In that capacity he wrote news and news commentary, traveled in several countries interviewing top civilian and military personnel and taught “English as a Second Language” to Japanese high school teachers in night school. He also played dinner music on weekends at the Tokyo Plaza Hotel.

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 Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety 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:
www.americanheroesradio.com/police_chaplain.html
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530