Military News

Monday, March 28, 2011

Summit Seeks to Improve Nonmedical Care

By Chad B. Holmes
Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2011 – A summit to improve the coordination of nonmedical care for wounded warriors and their families will draw leaders and experts from several federal agencies, the services and the private sector to Leesburg, Va., tomorrow through 31.

The Wounded Warrior Care Coordination Summit is hosted by the Defense Department’s wounded warrior care and transition policy office, and will feature as a keynote speaker Holly Petraeus, who heads the Office of Service Member Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“This summit builds on significant improvements in nonmedical care coordination over the past few years,” said Robert Carrington, director for the Recovery Coordination Program in the wounded warrior care and transition policy office. “There is plenty of room to grow.”

While medical case management is a well-established field, Carrington explained, coordinating all of the nonmedical aspects of recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration on behalf of wounded, injured or ill service members and their families is an emerging field.

“We have learned a significant amount over these last few years,” he said.

Working groups at the summit will develop recommendations to improve care coordination in four key areas: collaboration between Defense Department and Veterans Affairs Department recovery care coordination programs, wounded warrior and family education and employment, wounded warrior family resilience, and standardizing best practices in recovery care coordination.

“Working group leaders and facilitators have been collaborating with key members of their groups for several weeks in advance of the summit to identify key challenges and opportunities so they can maximize productivity during the summit,” said John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy. “Each working group will report out to the larger group with actionable recommendations at the end of the summit. We’ll incorporate these into a final report, working with the directors of the military service wounded warrior programs, the Defense Department Recovery Coordination Program, and Veterans Affairs Federal Recovery Coordination Program.”

Campbell will present the report to the Wounded, Ill and Injured Senior Oversight Committee, co-chaired by the deputy secretaries of defense and veterans affairs.

The Defense Department Recovery Coordination Program helps seriously wounded, ill or injured service members and their families understand and make use of the large number of unfamiliar programs and benefits that become available to assist them. It assigns recovery care coordinators to act on behalf of the service member and family to coordinate the efforts of the many nonmedical specialists supporting them, ensuring they are not overwhelmed, and maximizing their benefit.

The recovery care coordinator works with service members and their families to develop a comprehensive recovery plan that empowers and guides them to succeed in their reintegration to military duty or civilian life. It identifies their needs, outlines specific actions, connects them with the resources they require based on their unique circumstances, and aligns the efforts of the recovery team, which includes the primary physician and medical case manager.

Developed jointly by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the Federal Recovery Coordination Program, administered by the Veterans Affairs Department, provides clinical and nonclinical care coordination services for the most severely wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans and their families.

A joint Defense Department and Veterans Affairs committee will use the summit as one of several planned events to gather input and ideas from experts and those who coordinate nonmedical care for wounded warriors on a daily basis. More immediate recommendations by this working group will be incorporated in the summit final report, officials said.

“For our nation's wounded warriors and their loved ones, navigating the complex care and benefits systems of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, while simultaneously working to recover from serious injury or illness can sometimes be unnecessarily challenging,” said Dr. Karen S. Guice, executive director of the Federal Recovery Coordination Program in the Veterans Affairs Department, who leads the working group. “It is our collective responsibility to continue to improve our systems of care to provide the very best support possible for these brave men and women.”

The education and employment working group will develop plans for service members to proactively prepare for their post-injury or post-illness career while in recovery and rehabilitation, and while awaiting a determinations of fitness for continued military service or a disability rating. The working group also will also examine ways to expand the use of the GI Bill, military tuition assistance programs, and vocational rehabilitation counseling by wounded warriors to better prepare for the next stage of their lives.

“In January, the unemployment rate for veterans of our current wars reached 15.2 percent, while the national unemployment rate fell to 9 percent,” said Koby J. Langley, special advisor to Campbell for strategic planning and leader of the education and employment working group. “For disabled veterans, the unemployment rate is even higher. These men and women left civilian life and volunteered to go into harm’s way on our behalf. We have to give them all possible assistance to re-enter civilian life and thrive at least as successfully as their counterparts who didn’t step forward to serve their nation.”

Because the spouses of service members often sacrifice career opportunities through frequent moves, and spouses of wounded warriors sometimes very suddenly become the primary bread-winner, the summit also will explore ways to ensure these family members have the education and employment opportunities they require to be successful.

This dovetails with family resilience, the focus of a third working group, led by Mary Campise of the Family Advocacy Program in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy.

“Families and communities provide the context within which wounded warriors ultimately heal,” Campise said. “By bringing together a talented and committed group of diverse, family-focused individuals who have years of experience working with military families, we hope to identify and seize opportunities to integrate and embed effective and meaningful family support across the continuum of care.”

Campise said many innovative best practices already exist, and her group plans to identify them and give them visibility so others can build on what already is working well.

“We've also learned that families of the wounded, ill, and injured can be immensely creative in building their own networks of mutual support,” she added. “We want to figure out how to facilitate, and eliminate roadblocks to, what families and communities do naturally.”

A fourth working group will look for ways to standardize recovery care coordination best practices among all military and Veterans Affairs practitioners. The team will identify ways to better assess compliance with legislative and policy requirements and review entrance, exit and handoff criteria between the services and Veterans Affairs.

“A lack of common definitions and practices has prevented some of our efforts from reaching their full potential,” said Carrington, who leads the best practices working group. “We don’t individually have to come up with all the best answers but as a group and looking at what other smart, innovative people are doing we can ensure our programs reflect the excellence that our wounded warriors deserve.

“We just need to ask the right questions and look for best practices across the various programs with input from our wounded warriors and their families,” he added.

CNO Announces Flag Officer Assignments

From Department of Defense Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced the following assignments March 28:

Rear Adm. Edward G. Winters will be assigned as deputy chief, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq. Winters is currently serving as commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, San Diego, Calif.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Earl L. Gay will be assigned as commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Millington, Tenn. Gay is currently serving as commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Three/commander, Amphibious Group Three, San Diego, Calif.

Navy Moms Website Earns Top Award for Social Media

By MC2 (SCW) Michael B. Lavender, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy Recruiting Command's (NRC) "Navy For Moms" website was awarded the Optimas Service Award for 2010, at a ceremony held in Chicago, Ill., March 24.

Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commander, Navy Recruiting Command; accepted the award citing the benefits of using the web as a platform for people to share their Navy experiences.

"Our families are passionate about the pride they have in their sons and daughters serving in America's Navy," Faller said. "This passion shared through social media has grown beyond anything we could have imagined. Families of current Sailors sharing information with families of future Sailors really helps answer many of the questions about life in the Navy. Our recruiters are always available to answer questions, but when parents or even grandparents share their own experiences, it's really powerful."

The service award is given to the organization whose workforce management leaders have created an initiative to help another constituency within the organization meet its business goals. The U.S. Navy won for an outreach program to mothers, to help recruiters meet their enlistment goals.

The Optimas Award was created by Workforce Management and recognizes initiatives that create positive business results for organizations.

Since March 2008, when it was established, the website has attracted a network of 36,000 mothers who talk about subjects ranging from fear and loss to birthday gifts.

NAVYForMoms.com was created for the mothers (and loved ones) of those who are currently serving or considering serving in the U.S. Navy. Since its establishment in March 2008, more than 36,000 members have used the website to discuss issues with others who share common concerns.

The content on the webpage is member-driven. Questions are asked and answered. Moms share with fellow moms their fears, dreams, personal experiences and even birthday gift ideas. The ultimate goal is to provide an environment of understanding, comfort and belonging to all involved.

"I am overwhelmed by how much this website has meant to me," wrote one Navy mom. "It carried me through boot camp … and most importantly, stood in my shoes when my son was seriously hurt last March, in Florida. I went on the site and put out an SOS for moms to be with him until I could get there from Connecticut. The response was unbelievable. I am forever grateful to the moms and dads who rushed to his side. This forum is what has been needed for so long. We've had our group on Yahoo for about 19 years, but this is the type of thing that was needed most."

"I'm proud of what we've been able to do with this social media community, because it's an important part of our global force for good," Faller said. "In this case, the 'good' comes from shared experiences by our Sailors and their families. We often hear about Sailors helping Sailors throughout the Navy. Well, NavyforMoms is literally families helping other families."

NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy recruiting regions and 26 Navy recruiting districts which serve hundreds of recruiting stations across the country.

With 70 percent of the world covered in ocean, 80 percent of the world's population living near coasts and 90 percent of the world's commerce traveling by water, America's Navy is very much a global force for good. NRC's mission is to recruit the best men and women for America's Navy to accomplish today's missions and meet tomorrow's challenges.

Navy Stops Non-Essential Civilian Deployments to Japan

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) directed the immediate stop of movement for all Department of the Navy non-emergency essential civilian personnel to the island of Honshu, Japan March 26.

Due to the damages as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan, it has been determined that the movement of non-emergency essential civilian personnel to commands and activities on the island of Honshu will be stopped effective immediately.

Emergency essential positions are designated as such in the civilian position description. Employees are typically notified of this determination in the "DOD Civilian Employee Overseas Emergency-Essential Position Agreement."

Non-emergency essential employees with permanent change of station (PCS) or temporary duty (TDY) authorizations to the island of Honshu, Japan, who have not yet commenced travel, are directed to stay with their current activity. Personnel who are already in transit, should contact their gaining activity's Human Resources Office (HRO) for guidance.

Department of the Navy civilian employees affected by this stop movement may be eligible for entitlements such as temporary quarters subsistence and other allowances. For questions regarding these entitlements, employees should contact their nearest HRO.
Personnel who have additional questions or circumstances should contact their servicing HRO or the Department of the Navy Human Resources frequently asked questions box at donhrfaq@navy.mil for further guidance and assistance.

For more information from the Department of the Navy, Office of Civilian Human Resources, visit www.donhr.navy.mil.

Statement by the Army on Photographs Published by Rolling Stone

“The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army.  Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologizes for the distress these latest photos cause.  Accountability remains the Army’s paramount concern in these alleged crimes.  Accordingly, we are in the midst of courts-martial, and we continue to investigate leads.  We must allow the judicial process to continue to unfold and be mindful that the government has distinct obligations to the victims and to the accused, which include compliance with the court's protective order to ensure a fair trial.  That said, the Army will relentlessly pursue the truth, no matter where it leads, both in and out of court, no matter how unpleasant it may be, no matter how long it takes.  As an Army, we are troubled that any soldier would lose his ‘moral compass’ as one soldier said during his trial.  We will continue to do whatever we need to as an institution to understand how it happened, why it happened and what we need to do to prevent it from happening again.”

Naval Submarine School Hosts Senator

By Submarine Learning Center Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Naval Submarine School (NSS) on board Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., hosted Senator Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, March 22.

Staff and instructors showed Blumenthal how students are taught in high-risk trainers to fight fires and to escape from a submarine.

"I was impressed by the intensity of the senator's interest in every aspect of the training in both areas," said Cmdr. Thomas Kraemer, Naval Submarine School executive officer. "He appreciated the emphasis on safety that everyone in the high-risk training department uses."

The visit was Blumenthal's first since his election to the U. S. Senate in November, and provided him an opportunity to see recently completed base improvement construction projects, as well as familiarize himself with how Naval Submarine School trains the Navy's submarine force.

Afterward, during an outdoor press conference, Blumenthal said submarines are "an essential component of our national security future."

Sailors Tryout for All-Navy Women's Basketball Team

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David J. Hooper, Naval Base San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- Sixteen female Sailors from various commands throughout the Navy reported to the Admiral Prout Field House aboard Naval Base San Diego, Calif., beginning March 23 to compete for a spot on the 2011 All-Navy Women's Basketball Team.

Candidates ranging in rank from E-1 to O-4 have to undergo an extremely competitive tryout process.

"We're evaluating them on everything...their dribbling, their shooting, their basketball IQ, and the main thing is the person that they are," said Head Coach James Washington. "This is not 'rec-yard' basketball, this is a competitive basketball atmosphere likened to college and we try to push it to that level."

During the tryout period, players practice three times a day, with the first practice beginning at Each practice is three hours long, with a strong emphasis on coordination and physical fitness.

"It's fun, but at the same time it's hard work," said Information Systems Technician Seaman Laquisha Walker, a Sailor assigned to Naval Station Norfolk, trying out for the team.

With 45 original candidates, 16 were selected and only 12 players will travel and compete with the team.

"When we go play we can only take the twelve best players and that's what we're looking for," said Washington.

Washington said he wants a physical, fast team but at the end of the day it's all about camaraderie and building those lasting relationships.

The All-Navy Women's Basketball Team will represent the Navy in the Armed Forces Sports Championship, where they will compete against the other services.

"It's a great opportunity to get to play basketball and serve my country," said Hull Technician Fireman Morgan Petite, a Sailor from USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) and veteran of the team.

Who has what it takes to be Wisconsin Army National Guard's best Soldier & NCO of the year?

By Wisconsin Army National Guard Command Sgt. Major George E. Stopper

At the end of this week, five Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and 10 noncommissioned officers (NCO) will gather at Fort McCoy to compete for the title of 2011 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier or Noncommissioned Officer of the Year — but more importantly, this four-day competition showcases our best and brightest Soldiers.

To be selected as the top Soldier or NCO from nearly 7,000 Soldiers is an honor that very few Soldiers get to experience. This annual event actually began months ago at each of our Wisconsin Army National Guard major commands (32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 64th Troop Command, the 426th Regional Training Institute and Joint Force Headquarters) with Soldier and NCO of the Year competitions at the company level. Winners advanced to the battalion competition, and then to the brigade level.

At each level, Soldiers competed against each other in events including an Army physical fitness test, written exam, written essay, hands-on warrior tasks, weapon qualification, stress fire, land navigation (day and night), combatives level 1, obstacle course, personal appearance board, and a road march.

Those men and women will converge from March 31 through April 3 to compete in many of the same events, along with a modified combat water survival test and a nine-mile road march.

The events will not only test their physical strength and endurance, but also tests their mental toughness and desire to succeed.

But the competition won’t end here — winners will go forward to the regional competition at Camp Dodge, Iowa May 9-12. Regional winners from across the United States will then compete at the national level later this year.

Our Soldiers are our most important asset and these competitions allow them to strut their stuff among their peers. More importantly, having to accomplish these tasks in a stressful and fast-paced environment hones their skills and refines them as warriors.

What do you think it takes to be the top Wisconsin National Guard Soldier or NCO of the year?

MCPON: Happy 118th Birthday CPOs

Special from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SS/SW) Rick D. West

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West released the following Chief Petty Officer birthday message to the Fleet March 28.

"My fellow chief petty officers,

On April 1st, our entire Mess will pause to celebrate 118 years of the United States Navy Chief Petty Officer, and we're not just celebrating another year of chiefs serving the Navy, we're celebrating everything it means to wear the fouled anchors we all cherish.

Those anchors are the symbol of a culture and a way of life, representing character, loyalty, a strong commitment to leadership, our core values, and Navy ethos. Our anchors carry with them a responsibility to live up to the tradition of selfless service, while remembering our proud heritage that we've spent 118 years building as we look toward our future.

Thank you Chiefs! Through your leadership of our Sailors, you continue to keep our heritage alive and our Navy strong — and as you know our Navy is the best it has ever been. Continue to make a positive impact on your command, your Sailors, yourself and our Mess.

Remember those who have gone before us and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation.

Happy birthday Shipmates! I truly appreciate your leadership and the hard work you do every day.

Anchor Up and Hooyah Navy Chiefs!"

USS Constitution Sailor Gives Caps to Kids During Austin Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald, USS Constitution Public Affairs

AUSTIN, Texas (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to USS Constitution gave Navy ballcaps to children during a Caps for Kids visit at Dell's Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, March 25.

Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Benjamin Hanson participated in the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO)-sponsored visit, giving ballcaps to children dealing with chronic and severe health issues as part of Austin Navy Week, March 19-26.

"It gives the children something to aspire to grow up to be," said Sara Bridges, Dell's Children's Medical Center, child life assistant. "For example, you want to be in the Navy and the opportunity was given to meet someone in the Navy. That is a very positive and unforgettable experience for a child to have."

Sailors assigned to NAVCO, USS George H.W. Bush and Navy Recruiting District San Antonio, also participated. In total, Sailors passed out 30 ballcaps.

They also played board games with children and interacted with them as one-on-one mentors.

"It was a very heart-wrenching experience," said Hanson. "I was asked to talk to one of the children in the hospital; it was very close and personal. I really hope by talking to him I had a positive effect on him and his well-being."

Caps for Kids became a national outreach effort in 2000. Since then, more than 300 commands and thousands of Sailors have donated ballcaps to more than 500 hospitals across the United States.

Constitution Sailors gave more than 90 ballcaps to children during Navy Weeks in 2010.

Constitution participates in more than 50 volunteer projects annually. The ship is the recipient of the 2009 and 2010 President's Volunteer Service Award and Commander, Navy Region (COMNAVREG) Middle Atlantic (MIDLANT) Good Neighbor Flagship award for small shore commands in 2010.

COMNAVREG MIDLANT presents the award to commands that have the best year-round community service program or special projects that provide humanitarian assistance to the less fortunate.

The ship is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year.

Disabled Veterans Inspire All Americans, Biden Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo., March 28, 2011 – Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance last night at the opening ceremonies of the 25th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, thanking the participants for their service and sacrifices and for the inspiration they give their fellow Americans.

“You are a remarkable group of people, … the most tested of all Americans,” the vice president told about 400 disabled veterans participating in this year’s five-day clinic.

“Collectively, the generations of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have served and sacrificed as you have are the heart and soul, … the spine of this nation,” Biden added. “You have given more than any but those who we have buried.”

The vice president thanked the veterans for “the incredible service you have all rendered,” but especially for “the service you continue to render.”

The participants may not realize how much they do for other people in their situation, Biden told the veterans, or how much they inspire millions of Americans who look to their example.

“So don’t underestimate what you continue to do for your country and what you continue to do for so many people … who aren’t warriors like all of you, but they look at you and they take strength from it,” he said.

Biden, who brought his family along to the opening ceremonies and introduced them by name, said he frequently takes his children and grandchildren along when he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visit military and veterans hospitals.

“I want them to see the incredible courage,” he said.

Biden shared stories of wounded warriors who, despite their own struggles, want nothing more than to return to their units and family members who stand by them.

“You are an inspiration to your country,” the vice president said. “You have given so much and you ask for so little. You … have never feared the future and you have never been deterred from the notion of being able to make every day a little better than the day before. That’s what brings you all here.”

Biden said he, President Barack Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki share a firm belief that the United States has many obligations, but “only one sacred obligation: to prepare those we send into harm’s way and to care for those who come home.”

“It is they first –- not second, not third, not fifth,” Biden said. “It is the only truly sacred obligation we have.”

Misawa Air Base

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (March 23, 2011) Sailors assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 wash the exterior of an SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to HS-14 following an Operation Tomodachi humanitarian assistance mission. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow/Released)

Passing of Colonel (retired) Stuart Stultz

COL (Ret) Stuart Stultz had been Wisconsin National Guard Association Insurance Administration and had been the Commander of the 132d Support Battalion.

Stultz, Stuart G. Passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family on March 27, 2011, at age 72.

Stuart fought proudly as he battled ALS for over 3 years. He was born in Minnesota on May 18, 1938. His dedication to his family and country throughout his life was obvious, revealed by the commitment, love and energy he put into them both.

Stuart proudly served his country for 41 years as a Colonel (Ret.) in the Wisconsin National Guard.

Stuart worked at K-Promotions / Carlson Company for many years. He also held the position of State Insurance Administrator, working for the Wisconsin National Guard Association, Inc., proudly for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, Mary (nee Tisler) and children, Susan (Steven) Schneider, Timothy

(Angela) and Kevin (Nicole). He was a wonderful grandpa, and is greatly loved and respected by his grandchildren Ryan, Dominic, Chelsea, Chloe, Cora and Evin. He is also survived by his sister, Jackie Kurvers and brothers, Richard and Thomas Stultz.

We would also like to thank the many amazing friends, neighbors and family, including the ALS Association and Hartland Hospice, who wonderfully supported Stuart and his family throughout the illness. We will miss you Stuart / Dad / Grandpa. Thank you for leaving us with so many happy memories. You set up base camp in Heaven, Col. We'll all be along soon enough.

A Celebration of Stuart's Life Memorial at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 29, from 4-6:45 PM, with a Prayer Service at 7 PM. Visitation also at, ST. MATTHIAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 92nd and Beloit Rd., Wed.,

March 30, . Mass of Christian Burial to follow, . In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Matthias Food Pantry or ALS Association.

Online obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/obituary.aspx?n=stuart-g-stultz&pid=149746601&fhid=5709