Military News

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marine Corps Slang


Msgt. Andrew A. Bufalo, USMC (ret.) is the 1236th servicemember joining http://www.military-writers.com/.

The website focuses on servicemembers from all branches of the US Military who have written books and lists the 3939 they have authored.

Master Sergeant Andrew Anthony Bufalo, United States Marine Corps (ret.) is the author of The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday; Christmas in the Corps: Holiday stories and poetry by and about Marines; Salty Language: An Unabridged Dictionary of Marine Corps Slang, Terms and Jargon; Swift, Silent and Surrounded; Not As Lean, Not As Mean, Still A Marine!; Reel Marines: The Fifty-One Most Important Films About the United States Marine Corps; The Older We Get, The Better We Were; To Err is Human, to Forgive Divine: However, Neither is Marine Corps Policy; Hollywood Marines: Celebrities Who Served in the Corps; The Lore of the Corps: Quotations By, For and About Marines; Nor as Lean, not as Mean, Still a Marine! Even More: Views from the Top: Politically Incorrect Ruminations About the U.S. Marine Corps and a Few Other Things; Every Day is a Holiday, Every Meal is a Feast; and, The Marines Have Landed - Famous People in Government and Business Who Served in the Corps.

Dr. Biden Keeps National Guard in Mind

By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 27, 2011 – Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, invited the fiancée of a Delaware Army National Guard member to a Jan. 24 White House news conference to unveil a whole-of-government plan to strengthen military family support.

Biden said she met Jessica Sanders about two weeks ago when she was seeing off Army Capt. Mark Thomas at a deployment ceremony for the Delaware Army National Guard’s 126th Aviation Regiment, which will provide medical evacuations for troops, allies and civilians in Afghanistan.

“I am heartened by the efforts to respond to the challenges facing our Guard and Reserve families -– from helping them sustain their businesses to supporting their reintegration back into their communities after deployment,” she said.

The plan to strengthen military family support, which will begin in the coming months, is a commitment by not only by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, but also on the part of several other federal government entities.

“Today is an important next step in this administration’s commitment to support our servicemen, their families and our members,” said Biden, who also is the parent of a Delaware Army National Guardsman.

President Barack Obama said his administration will focus on four areas: improving the quality of life for military families and veterans, education and development of military children, expanding efforts to help military spouses pursue their education and careers, and increasing child care availability.

"The Agricultural Department is expanding its support for families in rural areas,” he said, citing one example of the whole-of-government commitment. “A disproportionate number of our military families come from rural areas or are stationed in rural communities.”

Obama said his administration is making almost 50 specific commitments to military families. However, he added, the government can’t accomplish the mission alone.

“I want every service member who’s deployed to know that when you’re over there taking care of the country that you love, your country is back here taking care of the families that you love,” Obama said.

This Day in Naval History - Jan. 27

From the Navy News Service

1942 - USS Gudgeon is the first U.S. sub to sink an enemy submarine in action, Japanese I-173.
1945 - Commissioning of USS Higbee (DD 806), the first U.S. Navy ship named after a women member of the U.S. Navy.
1967 - Fire in a command module at Cape Kennedy during simulation countdown. Lunar module pilot Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee and two other crew members died.
1973 - Paris Peace Accords signed, ending U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.

Mrs. Mullen Issues Call to Support Military Families

By Christy Crimmins
Military Health System

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2011 – Though the nature of war changes for service members as weapons get smarter, tactics get sharper and medical advances save more and more lives, the stress and anxiety felt by their families never changes, Deborah Mullen, wife of Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told participants in the Military Health System’s annual conference Jan. 24 in National Harbor, Md.

“Our military families are beginning their day filled with the worry about the safety and security of their loved ones,” she said. “I simply do not believe we fully understand the cumulative effects of stress, anxiety and worry that these families and their loved ones have endured, but we need to try, and we need to do so quickly.”

Mullen discussed fissures and cracks in the family support system and urged members of the Military Health System to help in finding ways to seal them.

Among the most important issues, she said, is secondary post-traumatic stress. Like troops, she noted, families also suffer some of the same anxiety, loss of sleep, panic attacks and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Like their loved ones, many family members suffering from secondary post-traumatic stress turn to alcohol, drugs and even suicide, she added.

Mullen explained that while medical privacy rules prevent accurate accounting of cases, anecdotal evidence exists of spouses attempting suicide.

“Because we don’t have the same access that we do to our troops, there is a real limit about what we know about their feelings and their fears,” she said. “I am convinced that much of the desperation these drastic measures represent is rooted in the stigma still attached to mental health issues.”

Mullen suggested that some family members resist seeking assistance for mental health issues not only because of embarrassment, but also due to the fear that their request could negatively affect their husbands’ or wives’ military careers.

“In many cases,” she added, “a service member even warns his spouse about getting help.”

While commending the services for their efforts in overcoming the stigma of mental health problems in the ranks, Mullen said she encourages them to work to eliminate it in the home as well. Those who do seek help, she said, often are confronted with other issues, including misdiagnoses, lengthy waiting periods and red tape.

“All of these things discourage, and indeed damage, the healing process for our families,” she said.

Mullen cited two instances in which spouses diagnosed with post-traumatic stress received multiple prescriptions, but no follow-up or referrals for psychological help. She also described the “15-to-1 rule” encountered by military spouses, an unspoken rule that no matter how many symptoms they may be suffering, they are given 15 minutes to discuss one symptom with a health care provider.

The wife of the nation’s top military officer emphasized the need to treat the whole person -- to look at the totality of issues confronting spouses, and to help spouses confront them.

“You do not need to put on a pair of boots and patrol outside the wire to suffer the effects of war,” she said. “If it is keeping you from living your life and loving your family, you owe it to yourself and, frankly, the military owes it to you, to get you the help you need.”

Ten years of war and multiple deployments have affected children of military families, Mullen said, citing evidence of elevated emotional and behavioral difficulties and the rise of the use of psychiatric medication to treat the increase in anxiety and depression in military families.

“In 2009 alone, 300,000 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were provided for military dependents under the age of 18,” she said. “Some are no doubt warranted, but I worry that we don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of these medications.”

Additionally, Mullen pointed out the confusion and stress children face when a parent, who may look the same as he or she did prior to deployment, acts differently due to a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress. And while deployment is a definite stressor on military families, she added, reintegration and reunion also can present challenges add to stressors experienced by spouses, children and military members.

Recent information released by the Army indicates that spouse and child abuse cases are on the rise, Mullen noted.

“We have come to understand that while a combat tour may last a year, the effects of that tour on a service member and family may last much longer,” she said. She stressed that the same suicide prevention training being integrated into the military culture should also be incorporated into the military family culture.

“Building resilient families from the beginning of their military life, hopefully, will provide an underpinning of strength that can carry them through the most difficult times,” Mullen said. One method of building this resilience, she told the group, is home-centered assistance, with a trained counselor or medical professional coming into the home and providing assistance.

“It’s about looking at things through their eyes and trying to find solutions that work for their unique circumstances,” she said.

Programs Aim to Support Military Spouses, Families

By Jian DeLeon
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2011 – A new whole-of-government approach will bring the federal government’s vast reach to help millions of service members and their families, a senior Defense Department official said yesterday.

“This is a very exciting time for those of us who have been working hard to support military families,” said Barbara Thompson, director of the Pentagon’s office of family policy and children and youth, said during a “DODLive” bloggers roundtable.

Thompson said the backing of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, behind the effort to garner the support of every federal agency “is really quite amazing.”

For the past year, numerous federal agencies and the National Security Council have been working on a report, titled: "Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America's Commitment." That 23-page report was released Jan. 24 in response to a presidential directive soliciting agencies for a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to improving federal support for military families.

Now, Thompson said, the next step is getting the word out about these new programs to the people they are supposed to support, noting that several teams and committees are in place to ensure an effective strategic communications plan. One of the teams, she noted, has been set up by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a staunch advocate of social media.

“We are working with a variety of entities to make sure that we have a very solid communication plan to get this information down to the military families,” Thompson said.

Some of the efforts under way include increasing the availability of child care and expanding spouse-employment programs to all military services. To support those stationed overseas, the spouse employment program has partnered with overseas companies in South Korea, Japan and Germany, Thompson said.

“We're looking at providing more user-friendly information on how to acquire a federal job with [the Office of Personnel Management],” she said, “and we'll be tracking how many spouses are employed by the federal government to see if all of the federal agencies who have committed to employing of military spouses see an increase in that availability.”

In addition, the Interior Department will open up national parks to wounded warriors to aid in rehabilitation and recovery and will offer more conservation jobs to military youth.

The main focus of the communication plan will be communicating the availability of these new programs and initiatives to the military families they are intended to support, Thompson said.

“We realized how important the strategic communication plan is going to be,” she said, “because while we have this wonderful opportunity for the federal government to get behind military families, the military families need to know what is available now to them. So that is going to be the work of the next few months.”

This, Thompson said, will save military families from having to go to every federal agency's website to figure out what they're doing to support military families. The concept of having one website has been discussed, she said, but officials realize that people access information differently and have their favorites.

While a dedicated website to these new programs is still up in the air, Thompson said, it’s evident that social media and blogs will play a big part in making sure the right people see the information.

“Social networking is the way to go, and we know that,” she said. “And I think that it's going to be really important for this to be enduring -- that our families have to take advantage of the programs that are going to be available to them.”

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Fort Jackson

By Susanne Kappler
Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office

FORT JACKSON, S.C., Jan. 27, 2011 – First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit here today to learn from Army leaders about how childhood obesity and physical inactivity affects military readiness and what the Army does to combat these effects.

The first lady's first stop was the Drill Sergeant School, where she was briefed by Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s initial military training, and the command’s health and fitness programs. Obama founded the Let's Move campaign, which focuses on overcoming the challenge of childhood obesity.

Before the briefing, Obama said she was excited to learn how the military deals with those challenges.

"The military can model so many wonderful solutions," Obama said. "And I am excited about making the rest of the country aware of not just the challenges we face, but the work you do to get these young recruits and trainees back on track, because a lot of people around the country could use the same kind of support."

Hertling said that 75 percent of America's youth are ineligible to join the military for a variety of reasons. Out of those ineligible, 17 percent are disqualified because of obesity.
He outlined the problems obesity creates in recruiting new soldiers and the challenges physically unfit recruits face during basic training.

"Our challenge is to fix it quickly," Hertling emphasized.

Last August, the Army introduced new physical training guidance, which aims to improve physical conditioning while reducing the risk of injury. In addition, the Army has started the soldier fueling initiative, which emphasizes healthful nutrition habits for soldiers.

Hertling told Obama the new program has been effective.

"What we're seeing is, the choices of the soldiers are changing in basic training and they're feeling better, and we get a lower attrition rate," Hertling said.

Obama observed the results of the nutrition initiative first hand, when she visited the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment's dining facility. As part of the program, dining facilities changed their menus with a focus on performance-focused menu items and healthful beverage options. In addition, a new labeling system at the dining facilities helps soldiers identify optimal food choices.

Obama also met with drill sergeants and soldiers before speaking at the graduation of 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, on Hilton Field.

"I'm especially thrilled [to be] with the extraordinary men and women who are graduating today," Obama told the audience. "On behalf of myself and my husband and a grateful nation, I want to start off today by saying congratulations on all that you've achieved, and, of course, 'Hooah!'"

Obama also praised Army initiatives that ensure new soldiers are physically fit to serve.

"You've learned something that is also near and dear to my heart -- and I know that some of the moms here would probably agree with me on this one -- through the new Fueling the Soldier initiative here at Fort Jackson, you learned how to make better choices about what you eat," she said.

The first lady also praised the families of friends of the graduating soldiers for encouraging their loved ones to serve.

"Thank you for holding these men and women tight for all those years, but most of all, thank you for letting them go, so that they can serve this country and protect and defend this great nation that we all love," Obama told the families. "In these soldiers -- your sons and daughters, your spouses, siblings and parents -- we see the very best America has to offer.”

Responding to environmental threats

Posted by: LTJG Stephanie Young
Post written by Lt. j.g. Stephanie Young and Petty Officer 3rd Class Pamela J. Manns

The reunion of a rescued mariner and their family is an image that often comes to mind when you think of the end of a search and rescue mission. But, as the family embraces and the rescue is complete, only half of the Coast Guard mission is accomplished. While saving lives is the primary goal of search and rescue, what often remains is a sinking vessel or aircraft that can pose a threat to the environment.

Earlier this month, responders from Sector San Francisco were faced with just such a case. After it was determined that three fishermen aboard a grounded vessel were safe, what remained was a vessel with a 2,000-gallon capacity fuel tank beached ominously in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Home to sea otters, elephant seals and rare birds such as the Western Snowy Plover, this had all the makings of an environmental disaster.

That is when Coast Guard pollution investigators converged on scene to prevent oil and other hazardous materials from impacting the marine environment. As assistant chief of the Incident Management Division at Sector San Francisco, Lt. Renee McKinnon was one of the first to be alerted of the pollution hazard resting on the beach. She went directly into response mode.

“I wanted to know how much fuel was on board, has any pollution been detected yet, and have our partners been notified,” said McKinnon.

Partnerships are indispensable when responding to potential environmental threats. McKinnon and her IMD team were joined by the California Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks, the Monterey Bay National Marine Fisheries and a dive contractor. Together, they worked with the boat owner, who was ultimately responsible for the pollution clean up, to ensure what started as a typical search and rescue case didn’t escalate into damage to the environment.

The 65-foot crabber was on its side, and the fuel hatch was inaccessible as it faced the crashing waves of the incoming surf. The pollution responders would have to wait until the tide subsided before they could remove the pollution threat. When the tide ebbed and dusk neared, more than 2,000 gallons of marine diesel and hydraulic oil were removed, as were four batteries, preventing any threat of pollution to this pristine area. A crisis was averted.

As a search and rescue mission ends, a pollution responder’s work is often just beginning. Pollution investigators are faced with transitioning from the safety of life to the safety of the environment, where the stakes remain high. The training and ability of responders to make this transition is a testament to their ability to respond to all threats and all hazards.

Flag Officer Announcements

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. Donald P. Quinn will be assigned as commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla.  Quinn is currently serving as commander, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Margaret A. Rykowski will be assigned as deputy fleet surgeon, U.S. Fleet Forces Command/deputy director, Nurse Corps, Reserve Component, Norfolk, Va.  Rykowski is currently serving as fleet surgeon, Third Fleet, San Diego, Calif.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Troy M. Shoemaker will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine, Everett, Wash.  Shoemaker is currently serving as assistant commander, Navy Personnel Command for career management, PERS-4, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Update

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley and Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright will conduct a press briefing at on Friday, Jan 28, in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to discuss the progress of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal implementation effort.

Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event, have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

Pentagon Officials Monitor Protests Overseas

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2011 – Defense Department officials are closely watching protests that have flared over recent days in Egypt and Lebanon, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today.

“These are ... separate, fast-moving situations that the secretary and others here in this department, and … obviously others throughout the government, are monitoring closely as they evolve,” Morrell told Pentagon reporters in a briefing here.

“We have a long-standing military-to-military relationship with Egypt, and we have an evolving military-to-military relationship with Lebanon,” he said.

Since Syria pulled its forces out of Lebanon in 2006, Morrell said, the United States has pursued a closer military relationship, providing assistance “upwards of $600 million” to Lebanon in that time.

“In the case of Lebanon, we’re monitoring the situation as the constitutional process plays out. We will need to see what the final makeup of the Lebanese government looks like before we make any decisions regarding our relationship, including military assistance,” he said.

A Hezbollah-controlled government would “obviously have an effect” on the U.S-Lebanon relationship, Morrell said.

“I think [the State Department] should take it from here, in terms of the ultimate impact that may or may not have on military-to-military relationship and financial assistance,” he added.

The White House has addressed the protest situation in Egypt at length, Morrell said. A White House statement on Egypt released yesterday urges all parties to refrain from violence.

“We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly,” the statement reads, in part. “The Egyptian government has an important opportunity to be responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people, and pursue political, economic and social reforms that can improve their lives and help Egypt prosper. The United States is committed to working with Egypt and the Egyptian people to advance these goals.”

Defense officials are hosting senior Egyptian military leaders this week for their annual bilateral defense talks, Morrell said.

“That’s just an example of how engaged we are with the Egyptians, even as these developments have taken place on the streets of Cairo, and elsewhere,” he said.

Gates to Meet with Canadian Defense Minister

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2011 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates travels to Ottawa, Canada, today to meet with Defense Minister Peter MacKay, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

The meeting, which was supposed to be the first trilateral meeting of the North American Defense Ministers, becomes a U.S.-Canada bilateral meeting because Mexico’s defense minister has fallen ill, Morrell said.

“This session was originally planned for last July, but had to be postponed due to an outbreak of violence in Mexico,” he added. “Now, unfortunately, we’ve received word that due to illness the Mexican secretary of national defense, Gen. Guillermo Galván Galván, will not be able to attend tomorrow’s session as he had hoped, and the trilateral meeting will have to be postponed once again.”

Gates and MacKay will discuss U.S.-Canada defense issues and areas of cooperation, including mutual efforts in Afghanistan, Morrell said, adding that Gates will look for future opportunities to engage with defense leaders in Mexico.

From Ottawa, Gates will fly to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb., to participate in a Jan. 28 change-of-command ceremony for U.S. Strategic Command.

“This event will give the secretary a chance to thank [Air Force] Gen. Kevin ‘Chili’ Chilton for his decades of service in the military,” Morrell said, “and welcome his successor at Stratcom, Gen. Bob Kehler, who has most recently been commander of Air Force Space Command.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also will participate in the change of command, Morrell added.

Mullen will fly to Nebraska from Brussels, where he arrived today to attend the NATO Military Committee’s chiefs of defense meeting. The chairman also met with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Nikolay Makarov, as part of the NATO-Russia Council session that took place today.

Center Provides Advice on Post-deployment Intimacy Issues

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 27, 2011 – In the list of problems that can confront service members after a combat deployment, few can be harder to talk about or more devastating than the inability to resume intimate relationships.

Couples who have survived multiple combat deployments know the situation all too well.

“The first few years of the war, everybody thought they’d get off the plane and the honeymoon would start,” Rebekah Sanderlin, an Army wife at Fort Bragg, N.C., and “Operation Marriage” blogger, told American Forces Press Service. “The first two weeks are good, then it’s downhill for several months.

“We had a hard time just feeling like we knew each other,” Sanderlin said of her husband, who has deployed several times. “It was like there was a stranger in the house. Even if we were physically intimate, we really didn’t feel connected.”

The Sanderlins are far from alone. “I haven’t met anybody who just bounces right back,” she said of redeployed couples.

While it’s hard to quantify the problem, it is common enough that psychiatrists with the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences here, are reaching out with information to health care providers, counselors and military families to help troops re-establish deep connections -– both emotional and physical -– upon returning home.

“Intimacy is an important part of post-deployment health care,” Dr. Stephen J. Cozza, associate director of the center and professor of psychiatry at the university, told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel. Any couple separated for many months needs to be patient and give extra attention to their relationship after a deployment, he added.

But for those suffering from the current wars’ signature wounds of post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury, “those conditions can have a profound effect on relationships, and especially intimacy,” Cozza said.

People with post-traumatic stress sometimes experience personality changes, become emotionally distant or avoid people and feelings, he explained. TBIs can further complicate relationships, and especially sexuality, depending on the injury, which may leave the person in physical pain and cause their partner to double as caregiver, he said.

Add to that possible side effects of medications, impulsive or violent behavior, or substance abuse, and many post-deployment problems can hinder intimacy, Cozza said.

All of this can be devastating to couples and seeking help can be difficult. “How do you bring that subject up?” Cozza asked. “Often, we just don’t even have the words to express it.”

The center has developed fact sheets and guidance for health care providers and families on issues of reintegration and intimacy. They cite intimacy as an often neglected area of care and urge people to talk about their problems -- and for providers to bring up the issue.

Other guidance for health care providers includes:

-- Educate patients and partners about implications of brain injuries, especially in areas that control sexuality, inhibitions and impulses;

-- Encourage communication to work through redeployment changes, including self-image; and

-- Urge creativity in finding solutions to intimacy challenges.

“It’s really important for people to have a sexual relationship that doesn’t have to be all about sex,” Cozza said.

Sometimes service members return home more intense and aggressive than when they left, and they may have different attitudes about sex, Cozza said. Counselors can help them work through those changes, he added, and partners should refrain from sex until it’s mutually enjoyable.

Many couples can work out their post-deployment intimacy problems within a few months of being back together, and even in the case of serious injuries, intimacy usually returns over time, Cozza said.

The center’s tips for improving intimacy include:

-- Find ways to be close that do not involve sex, such as showing affection in other ways;

-- Spend quality time together;

-- Talk about your feelings, hopes and desires when you’re both calm and ready to listen;

-- Respect your partner’s need for space; and

-- Schedule intimate time.

Sanderlin and her husband discovered that a little professional counseling can go a long way.

“I recommend counseling for everybody,” she said. “TRICARE pays for it, and all you have to do is call Army OneSource.” But no matter how many times her husband deploys, Sanderlin said, reintegration always is a challenge.

“It seems to take several months to feel normal again,” she said.

Makin Island, NCPACE Offers Sailors College Opportunities

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kellie Abedzadeh, USS Makin Island Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Nearly 100 Sailors aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) registered for college classes during Navy College Program for Afloat College Education's (NCPACE) first visit to the ship, Jan. 18-20.

NCPACE is a tuition-free program offered through the Navy College Office, which provides shipboard Sailors the opportunity to take both instructor-led and distance-learning courses.

Lt. j.g. Eric Smitley, USS Makin Island education services officer, said NCPACE courses are especially convenient for Sailors because the classes are offered on board the ship.

"This is really a great opportunity for our Sailors to advance their education given their busy schedules," he said.

Makin Island will be hosting three instructor-led classes during the ship's first pre-deployment term: psychology, biology and speech.

"NCPACE instructors will also be offering classes during deployment, so Sailors will be able to continue their education program even when the ship is underway," Smitley said.

Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Robert Dupree said he signed up for the NCPACE courses to catch up on general education classes. Dupree plans on pursuing a degree in human resource management, which he hopes will one day help him become an officer.

"It's great because it (NCPACE) gives us an opportunity to get an education at no cost," Dupree said. "This will allow us to work on our personal goals, even while we're underway."

For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.

Navy Announces New Uniform Components and Rules

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations approved Navy Uniform Board recommendations Jan. 25.

The recommendations include a new cutlass for chiefs, an overblouse for female officers and chiefs, updated rules for portable communication devices and clarification on the manner of wear for flight suits.

"Whether addressing new proposals or updating old regulations to the current operating environment, the Uniform Board has taken input from the fleet and provided the best recommendations and proposed solutions for CNO's approval," said Capt. William Park, head, Officer Personnel Plans and Policy, who also oversees the Uniform Matters Office. "The result is a set of adaptive uniform regulations that maintains the professional appearance of our Sailors."

Designed to be worn by members of an official party during ceremonies requiring officers to wear swords, the chief petty officer (CPO) cutlass may be the most visible of the announced uniform changes. With a twenty-six inch stainless steel blade and four laser engraved CPO anchors (CPO, SCPO, MCPO and MCPON) on the base, the new cutlass is expected to be available for purchase in August. As an optional uniform item, the Uniform Board sought to ensure uniformity in appearance by directing the cutlass to be worn only when all members of an official party are wearing swords.

The next change was the approval of an overblouse option for female officers and chiefs when wearing the poly/wool service khaki uniform. Since the roll-out of the service uniform for junior enlisted, the Office of Women's Policy had received regular feedback from the fleet, requesting a similar overblouse option for female officers and CPOs to wear with their service khaki uniform. When this change takes effect in sixty days, female officers and CPOs will be able to wear the overblouse with slacks or skirts.

Portable electronic devices were another topic of concern for Sailors, which prompted the Uniform Board to make several noteworthy changes. Effective 60 days from the announcement, Sailors will be authorized to use these devices while in their service or working uniform, to include when walking. Although authorized, the device must be conservative in color and design, cannot distract from the appearance of the uniform, must be worn on the belt aft of the elbow and cannot interfere with the rendering of military courtesies and honors.

The final set of changes announced in the update were regarding the manner of wear for the aircrew flight suit. While in the continental United States, the green flight suit will be worn with a black undershirt, while overseas, aircrew may wear tan flight suits with brown undershirts as determined by the Navy component commander.

To support the Centennial of Naval Aviation, CNO is allowing flight suits to be worn at designated events in calendar year 2011. A list of these approved Centennial of Naval Aviation events will be released quarterly by Commander, Naval Air Forces.

To learn more about these uniform changes, read NAVADMIN 025/11, at http://www.npc.navy.mil/NR/rdonlyres/713FA622-A1A1-46FE-9CB5-3DAF854ECAD5/0/NAV11025.txt

For information on obtaining uniform items contact NEX Uniform Support Center toll-free at 1-800-368-4088, or by going to https://www.navy-nex.com/command/about_us/p-uniformsupport.html.

For more information from the chief of naval personnel, visit www.navy.mil/cnp.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.

San Diego 'Parade of Flight,' Open House Honor Naval Aviation Centennial

By Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) will kick off the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CONA) at the 100th Anniversary Parade of Flight and North Island Open House, Feb. 12.

The Parade of Flight is the first of several events happening nationwide celebrating 100 years since inventor and aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss taxied his "hydroaeroplane" to the cruiser USS Pennsylvania (ACR 4), anchored in San Diego Bay, Feb. 17, 1911.

It was hoisted aboard the ship, lowered back into the water, and then Curtiss returned to North Island. This historic event, more than any other, prompted the secretary of the Navy's decision to purchase the Navy's first aircraft, the A-1 Triad.

NASNI will host an open house event welcoming military and civilians aboard. Guests will be able to stroll the runways to view historic static aircraft displays, witness the Parade of Flight, and tour the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and the guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91).

The event will include a performance by the "Metal Mulisha" motorcycle stunt show, viewings of antique cars, sponsor and vendor booths, live entertainment, food and beverages, and children's activities.

Static displays will include naval aircraft from all eras and all three sea services. In addition, "Heritage Garden" will host a large number of the "retro" aircraft painted in "throwback" naval aviation paint schemes, as well as modern Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft. During the morning, a replica of an A-1 Triad will taxi in San Diego Bay, courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

In the early afternoon, more than 200 naval aircraft from pre-World War II to the present, will take to the sky and participate in the aerial Parade of Flight over San Diego Bay.

This parade of flight is the first of its kind since July 1932, when 420 aircraft flew over San Diego in honor of visiting members of the National Editorial Association and other news reporters on the West Coast attending the opening of the 10th Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

"This event promises to be something that the entire San Diego region will not soon forget," said Capt. Tim Wilson, director, CONA Task Force. "It will also mark the beginning of numerous other centennial events and activities taking place all year long, nationwide."

Gates at NASNI will open at on Saturday, Feb. 12. Parking is limited by the physical size of the island, so car pooling and ride-sharing is encouraged. Additional public transportation is also in planning. This Celebration of Naval Aviation kickoff event is open to the public. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, please visit www.mwrtoday.com/cona.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.

BUPERS Leaders Discuss Fleet Ride, PTS, CMS/ID at Pearl Harbor

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul Honnick

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Leaders from the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) hosted a Fleet Ride/Perform to Serve (FR/PTS) brief aboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 25.

The BUPERS representatives discussed the ins and outs of Fleet Ride, Perform to Serve and Career Management System/Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID), and addressed concerns over the record retention numbers and decreasing quotas.

"Our main goal is to educate Sailors and their chains of command on how they can best compete for the limited amount of quotas that are going to be available in the future as we try to meet our end strength demands," said Capt. Hank Roux, the head of the enlisted community management shop for BUPERS 32. "Our primary tool that we'll be using is to discuss the Perform to Serve program, which will impact all Sailors 14 years or less in the Navy. They will have to compete at a minimum once, if not three times for a quota in their future, and so what I'm trying to do is give them all of the ammunition they need to be best suited to get one of those coveted quotas."

Many concerns came from Sailors in overmanned ratings.

"There are some real concerns for whether they will be able to get one of those quotas," he said. "Their concerns are valid, and they should be looking at the health of each one of their rates and they should understand where their rate is currently, which is available on our BUPERS webpage."

Rank is a major factor when comparing Sailors in a specific year group requesting to reenlist.

"If you're an E-6 in year group 2005, and another Sailor is an E-3, that E-6 of course is going to compete better and will probably get that quota, so the E-3 should be looking at things like where are some undermanned ratings that I may be able to convert to; and you get three choices every time you submit your application to do that, so our recommendation is that you look to convert if you can; second option is to look at the selective reserve option, which is available to you up to 90 days prior your EAOS," said Roux.

Roux said the best way Sailors can help themselves is to advance in a timely fashion.

"They should be studying for their advancement exam," he said. "I cannot emphasize that point more. If they are studying and they are advancing on time, they should have no problem gaining an in-rate quota within the Perform to Serve program."

Roux also suggested that Sailors in an overmanned rating who are considering cross rating, take a second look at their ASVAB score to ensure they have plenty of options available.

"If you are in a very over manned rating, review your ASVAB scores ahead of time," said Roux. "If your ASVAB scores are not what they should be, you should be looking at retaking the ASVAB. You should be looking at exactly where your ASVAB stacks up, and if you have to retake them it will give you more options to convert if you can't get an in-rate quota."

The next step for Sailors who have received a PTS quota and approved to reenlist is to negotiate orders on CMS/ID.

Master Chief Quartermaster Andy Millar, BUPERS senior enlisted advisor of enlisted distribution, discussed CMS/ID and outlined some recent changes to the system.

"NAVADMIN 249/09 made some significant changes to CMS/ID, the biggest one is that it shortened that window that the Sailors have from five months to three months to negotiate orders," said Millar. "Part of the reason for that was because Sailors were waiting until the last minute to detail themselves anyway because they're always kind of wondering was is the next billet that is going to be available, so we kind of reduced the window for that; it also gave Sailors an opportunity for those that are deploying overseas, if they're going to take that billet, in order to screen for that," said Millar.

He also said Sailors can apply for up to five sets of orders each month.

"We want Sailors to know they have three opportunities; three months of a negotiation window and we want them to apply for the maximum number of billets available; they have five [billets] per cycle, and we want them to maximize that in order to give themselves the best potential to get the set of orders that they want," said Millar.

Millar stressed the importance of applying for PTS early.

"You can start applying for PTS 15 months out and we definitely want people to be applying for PST at the 12 month point so they will actually have that PTS quota by the time they come into their detailing window," said Millar. "Apply for it early, continue to apply for it and if they have to, look at other ratings that they may be qualified for in order to maximize their opportunity."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.

USS Ronald Reagan Hosts Sports Stars

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Groesch, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) hosted NBA Hall of Famer, Jerry West, and professional golfer, Bryce Molder, for a putting challenge aboard the carrier, Jan. 25.

"PLAY for LA" an 18-day promotional event leading up to the Northern Trust Open, is led by Northern Trust Open Executive Director Jerry West.

West participated in the challenge alongside Molder, USS Ronald Reagan Commanding Officer Capt. Thom Burke, and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Joseph Rivera.

"It's just great to come aboard this great ship and have the chance to visit and interact with the crew," said West. "It was an absolute pleasure to be here."

"I was never a Lakers fan, but I'm certainly a fan of the man [West]", said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Andre Thercy. "He was real, friendly and definitely a people person. It was great for the ship to be able to get a man like him on our ship before we deploy."

Molder, an Arkansas native, turned pro in 2001.

The golf challenge included a 60-foot putting green laid out on the ship's flight deck. Burke and Rivera competed with Molder and West to sink putts as dozens of Sailors observed from the deck.

In the end, pros and amateurs alike ended up on an even playing field as a three way tie between Burke, Rivera and Molder never set anyone atop of the leader board.

One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity for the crew to shake hands and talk to the sports heroes.

"It was an honor to meet him [West]," said Lt. Oscar Flores. "I grew up watching him on TV, and he was an icon for kids in my day."

The Northern Trust Open is one of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA Tour, debuting in 1926. The 2011 tournament will be held Feb. 15-20, at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

USS Ronald Reagan is currently in its homeport of San Diego.

For more information about USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the Ronald Reagan Strike Group, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/cvn76, or visit the official USS Ronald Reagan Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/USS-Ronald-Reagan/212147332020.

For more news from USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Ronald Reagan Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.