Thursday, November 07, 2013

Reserve wing holds enlistment ceremony at Punkin Chunkin

by Master Sgt. Veronica Aceveda
512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

11/7/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- The 512th Airlift Wing conducted an enlistment ceremony during the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Opening Ceremony Nov. 2 in Bridgeville, Del.

On stage at an event, which attracted thousands, the Dover AFB Honor Guard presented the colors, and 2nd Lt. Adara Scholl, 436th AW, sang the national anthem.

The military ceremony featured two recruits reciting the oath of enlistment, signifying the start of their Air Force Reserve career in the Liberty Wing. A reservist already serving in the 512th AW also raised his right hand to re-enlist.

Recruit Zachary Ellis is slated to become a C-5M loadmaster and Recruit Anthony Green will be assigned as an aerial porter. Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hunsiker, is a logistics plans technician, who signed an enlistment contract for six years.

"Even though there is budgetary uncertainty in the Department of Defense, the important mission of the Air Force Reserve at Dover requires that we continue to recruit," said Col. Raymond A. Kozak, 512th AW commander. "There is still plenty of opportunity in the 512th Airlift Wing."

The 1,800-member unit is expected to grow to more than 1,925 by the end of the year. The wing is especially looking to hire for two undermanned career fields, flight engineer and explosive ordnance disposal technician.

Enlisting into the Air Force Reserve is similar to enlisting in the active-duty Air Force. Reservists receive many of the same benefits as the active-duty Air Force but have the flexibility to train and serve near home, attend college full time or maintain a civilian career.

In the Delmarva Peninsula, anyone interested in serving in one of the wing's many career fields, can call Tech. Sgt. Gerale R. Baker Jr. at (302) 677-6912.

Joint exercise paves way for future JBLM war-time capability

by Staff Sgt. Jason Truskowski
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

11/7/2013 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- A month of joint planning between Air Force and Army units at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., paid off when Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing and Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery came together Nov. 4-5 to carry out "Operation Guy Fawkes," a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System live-fire simulation exercise.

During the two-day exercise, four C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departed McChord Field carrying a total of seven HIMARS vehicles and approximately 100 personnel, and travelled to three airfields in the western United States. Once the C-17s were on the ground at the airfields, teams scrambled to offload the vehicles, perform the firing simulation, and quickly reload the vehicles back on the aircraft to head back home.

The airfields used in the exercise - Moses Lake, Wash., Yakima, Wash., and Schoonover, Calif. - allowed the crews to train in a variety of conditions, to include landing on a semi-prepared, dirt runway. The exercise also included both daytime and nighttime operations.

Though the Air Force and Army have their own unique mission capabilities, the exercise demonstrated that together those capacities bring JBLM's war fighting abilities to a whole new level.

"This exercise is a phenomenal opportunity for our unit to train with the Air Force," said 1st Lt. Shannon McDonnell, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, HIMARS fire direction officer. "Being able to bring two branches of service together, each with their own unique capabilities is something that will benefit and support Airmen and Soldiers in future missions worldwide."

One objective of the operation was to broaden JBLM's joint planning abilities and open the door for future coordination between the services.

"Operationally, we would like to take a step toward executing the full spectrum of C-17 operations with an emphasis on command and control during wartime operations," said Capt. Paul Tucker, 7th Airlift Squadron exercise lead. "Tactically, we would like to expose the crews to operational objectives they may never have experienced, while sharpening the skills they already practice on a regular basis."

For some of the exercise participants, working with unfamiliar weapons systems presented unique challenges.

"You won't always have publications stating how to tie down every piece of equipment our C-17s are capable of transporting," said Senior Airman Ashton Taylor, 7th AS loadmaster. "It comes down to the fundamentals that we learn in tech school. Fundamentals are a good foundation for success."

The ability to practice those fundamentals in unfamiliar settings and with unfamiliar equipment is one of the benefits of joint training.

"Having HIMARS crews working with the Air Force benefits the joint operations for JBLM," said Spc. Hunter Campbell, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, HIMARS driver. "I think everyone within my unit needs to have the opportunity to train with the Air Force."

The exercise was the second joint HIMARS exercise performed this year.

Physical Training Leader program keeps Soldiers, Airmen ready

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Blake Mize
JBER Public Affairs

11/7/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Physical fitness is a requirement to enter and remain in the military. As careers progress and metabolisms decline, however, maintaining the standards can become more and more challenging.

To ensure all military members on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson are able to adhere to physical fitness standards throughout their time here and beyond, the JBER Health and Wellness Center offers the physical training leader program.

"The purpose of the PTL program is to provide safe and effective resources for unit PT and fitness assessments," said Leyla Kelter, director of the JBER HAWC. "Commander-driven physical fitness training is the backbone of the Air Force physical fitness program and an integral part of mission requirements. The program promotes aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and optimal body composition of each member of each unit."
The process to become a PTL is relatively simple, but does require members to complete certain steps to be considered and become qualified for the duty.

"A PTL is appointed by their unit commander and must be a military member who has received at least at a satisfactory score on their official fitness assessment," Kelter said.
Once a PTL has been selected by their unit commander, the HAWC offers qualification

"They must be certified in basic life saving techniques and they have to have the training on how to conduct official and practice fitness assessments," Kelter said.

These qualifications satisfy the requirements to become a basic PTL, but to lead group physical training and be designated as a 'PTL-A,' additional training is required.

"To become a PTL-A, you also must have, in writing, a commander-directed unit PT program that's been approved by an exercise physiologist," Kelter said. "In turn, the PTL-A is trained by an exercise physiologist on group exercise techniques."

A passion for exercise and physical fitness is not an official requirement, but could prove to be a vital asset to a PTL.

"There are quite a few Airmen who are into fitness," said John Limon, JBER exercise physiologist. "That's their personal pastime so they're passionate, but the knowledge base is not quite there. They're into it and they love it, so all we've got to do is refine them a little bit, kind of round off the rough edges, and they can then produce pretty good programs."

Although the PTL program is an Air Force initiative, the HAWC's ability to influence fitness leaders is not limited to one branch.

"The HAWC has been an integral part of the overall development of our leaders and Soldiers, specifically in the realm of physical and mental wellness," said Army Lt. Col. Richard Scott, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment commander. "The HAWC is capable of providing a comprehensive nutrition program covering all aspects of optimal health, performance and rehabilitation from illness and injury."

The HAWC has been able to assist the 1-40th Cavalry with their fitness goals in a variety of ways.

"I'd say that at this point we've got our Army brethren utilizing us more than our Airmen are," Kelter said. "They've come to the realization that we have subject matter experts to be able to actually make them fit-to-fight. They're using our gait analysis opportunities where they come and are videotaped while they're running and we're able to give them strength and conditioning training to help better their performance."

Kelter, who is also a Pacific Air Forces consultant for exercise physiology and health promotion, said the various fitness programs have allowed the HAWC to set their sights on loftier goals.

"The goal is to reduce the number of people that are on profile," she said. "We are in the process of becoming a pilot program for the Air Force, specifically for PACAF, called the combat fitness program."

She added the overall goal goes beyond the fitness of individual Airmen and Soldiers.

Being physically fit allows you to properly support ... the mission," she said. "The goal of the fitness program is to motivate all members to participate in a year-round physical conditioning program that emphasizes total fitness, to include proper aerobic conditioning, strength and flexibility training, and healthy eating. Health benefits from an active lifestyle will increase productivity, optimize health and decrease absenteeism while maintaining a higher level of readiness."

National Guard helping America sustain enduring global partnerships

By Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau
Click photo for screen-resolution image
PRISTINA, Kosovo (11/7/2013) - The National Guard State Partnership Program is an invaluable tool for the United States and for the nation's foreign partners, U.S. and foreign leaders said here Wednesday.

"The National Guard State Partnership Program is our most productive relationship," said Akim Ceku, minister of the Kosovo Security Force.

U.S. Ambassador Tracey Jacobson said the 20-year-old program that pairs state National Guards with more than one third of the world's countries also is hugely useful in building enduring partnerships both with Kosovo and regionally.

Ceku and Jacobson told Army Gen. Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, that National Guard processes are being emulated overseas.

For example, Balkan leaders are discussing using the National Guard's Emergency Management Assistance Compact between states as a model for regional cooperation between nations facing natural or manmade disasters.

General Grass also has heard similar observations during an ongoing trip to multiple countries to meet with troops, combatant commanders, other leaders and foreign partners. Grass said that the SPP is a critical tool in reassuring America's partners about the nation's continued commitment to enduring partnerships during a time of fiscal constraint and budgetary challenges.

With an annual cost in the $9 million to $13 million range, the SPP sees more than 600 events successfully executed between U.S. states and foreign countries each year.

"It is a reciprocal partnership that is just phenomenal," Grass said.

In the Kosovo example, Minister Ceku cited a litany of benefits for his country: Iowa National Guard members are helping Kosovo improve firefighting and hazardous materials capabilities; professionalizing its noncommissioned officer corps; and advancing Kosovo's goal to become a security provider by one day contributing to overseas peacekeeping and other operations.

The Iowa Guard is helping "make us become a force for good," Ceku said. "You are a model for our society in many areas - the U.S. in general, and the Iowa Guard in particular."

Ambassador Jacobson said the relationship has also been a catalyst to non-military activities separate from the National Guard's involvement, such as student exchanges and business investment.

Some of the SPP's success lies in the National Guard's unique dual mission supporting the Army and the Air Force in federal missions while serving as America's first military responder at home. This construct also has the added benefit of attracting recruits who are professional Soldiers and Airmen with accomplished civilian skills.

During his trip, Grass and his senior enlisted advisor, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mitch Brush, have heard from Guard members about their multiple overseas deployments - in one Soldier's case, eight and counting - in the last 12 years. They also heard first-hand accounts of Guard members responding to domestic state active duty missions ranging from support to national security special events to defense support to civil authorities after hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, snowstorms, flooding and the Boston bombings.

"We bring an extraordinarily rich tapestry of skills and experience to our overseas partnerships that our partners value tremendously," Grass said, "and Guard members benefit in return. Iowa Soldiers and Airmen, for example, have brought home strengthened skills and an invaluably enriched geopolitical perspective."

Indiana National Guard hosts multiagency explosives training

By Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lowry
Indiana National Guard Public Affairs
Click photo for screen-resolution image

INDIANAPOLIS (11/7/13) - Consider the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.; the Boston Marathon bombing and Friday's shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport.

All were terrorist acts. All involved first responders.

National Guard Airmen and Soldiers are America's military first responders, and its members are sometimes called into action to support civilian authorities.
To be prepared, they train.

On Monday, the Indiana National Guard hosted explosive-detection training for local, state and national first responders. They included members with the FBI, Transportation Security Administration, Indiana State Police, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County Sherriff's Department.
"One of the threats that is still out there now, in addition to al-Qaida, is home-grown terrorists. And their weapon of choice is this type of explosive, which is homemade," said John Beckius, an assistant federal security director with the Transportation Security Administration.

During training at the Indiana National Guard headquarters in Indianapolis, the FBI provided two types of homegrown explosives - triacetone triperoxide and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine.

These peroxide-based explosives are turning up more often, and are new threats post-9/11, said Tim Carpenter, FBI special agent and bomb technician.

While terrorists use these explosives more frequently, the first responders have to be ready to combat these new techniques. The first-response agencies rely on explosive-detecting dogs to find harmful substances.

"For most K-9 programs, it's the first time they've been exposed to these explosives," said Carpenter.
This is what the dog handlers called imprinting. Now that the dogs know the substances as explosives, they will be able to recognize them when working too.

"It's a worthwhile training scenario set up by the FBI and TSA," said Craig Patton, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer and K-9 training supervisor. "It's a chance to re-familiarize the dog with these particular odors. It's very beneficial."

Patton said the last time IMPD dogs encountered the peroxide-based explosives was in training prior to 2012 Super Bowl.

Other dog handlers agreed about the training's benefits.

For Sgt. Bill Carpenter, an officer with the Indianapolis Airport Police who works with a German shepherd named Aston, it's a chance for Carpenter's dog to hone his skills.

"It's good training," said Carpenter. "It's been six months since he's been exposed to the odor. He's good, but I need him to refine his techniques."

Carpenter wanted Aston to hunker down when he smelled the explosives.

Besides playing host to the first-response organizations, the Indiana National Guard has a part in the training, if only theoretical.

"If they find it, we’ve got to go get it," said 1st Sgt. Jason Wootten, as he watched the training. Wootten is the top enlisted Soldier for the 53rd Civil Support Team. The Airmen and Soldiers of the CST identify, assess, assist and advise the civil authorities - like the ones at this training - that request them to respond.

"We have a great working relationship with fire and police departments throughout our great state," Wootten said.

Beckius summed up why this multiagency training was so important.

"We are all supportive of each other," said Beckius. "When there are large events - Final Four, Super Bowl, the 500 --no department can handle them by itself."

Seawolves, Team Denali share day of training, fitness

by Army Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Smith
4-25 IBCT Public Affairs

11/7/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Collegiate athletes with the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves men's hockey team were up before dawn and ready to train with U.S. Army Alaska paratroopers in a day filled with tests of physical endurance Oct. 25 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The event was designed to foster mutual respect between the paratroopers and athletes as they found similarities in shared values and attributes.

The busy schedule was designed to enhance leadership and teamwork skills while focusing on physical and mental fitness.

The Seawolves broke into small teams with each team assigned one paratrooper as a guide and teammate.

The first event on the agenda was a grueling cross fit workout session consisting of six rounds of 40 pushups, 30 goblet squats with a 20-pound kettle bell, 20 box jumps, 10 pullups, five lunges per leg with a 45-pound plate lifted over the head, and a 200 meter run carrying a medicine ball.

One team's guide, Sgt. Rick Henry, with the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, said he was impressed by the hockey players' efforts.

"I thought they were beasts," he said. "They are definitely top collegiate athletes for sure."
Henry was happy to host the hockey team for the day at JBER.

"It's a great opportunity to network with the community. It's good for building esprit de corps and camaraderie with local players from the Anchorage area, and I think it's just a good opportunity to for a little friendly competition, to kind of pit some military athletes with some college athletes," Henry said.

"This is a good opportunity for us to do a team building exercise," said Steve Thompson, the director of hockey operations for UAA. "Obviously the military is a great standard of leadership, so we want to try and role model from you guys and learn some life lessons out here, and it's also a great opportunity for you guys to kick our butts and get us whipped into shape for the season."

"We appreciate everything that you guys do for us," Thompson said. "My dad was in the Air Force, so I grew up on Elmendorf, and we have a lot of Canadian guys, and they always think it's really awesome to see how our country is based off the military and how much pride we take in being American."

After the Crossfit exercises, the teams showered and headed to the Wilderness Inn Dining Facility for lunch and a leadership and teamwork presentation led by the commander of the 1-40th Cavalry, Army Lt. Col. Richard Scott.

Scott, a former collegiate athlete starring in soccer at the University of Washington, said there are many commonalities between Soldiers and collegiate athletes.

He said people who grew up in an athletic environment do extremely well in the Army, because their attributes easily transfer. Organized sports learned at youth, regional, national, Olympic, and college teams share Army values and standards of competitiveness, sacrifice, commitment and fitness.

"A lot of the things that you guys are doing right now, I am for the same things here in this organization," Scott told the team. "That's where the similarities come in to play."

"We take the same approach in our organization in the Army," Scott said. "With leadership comes great responsibility, shared hardship, commitment, dedication, hard work, sacrifice. ... Collegiate athletes know about winning. They know sacrifice and commitment, and hard work and what that leads to. They know about team work."

USARAK's command team, Army Maj. Gen. Michael H. Shields and Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard Knight, were also in attendance at the luncheon.

Shields provided valuable advice to the athletes.

"Preparation, preparation, preparation," Shields said. "Bottom line is, a lot of people want to win, but they don't have the will to prepare to win.

"That's what's going to make the difference between the great teams and probably good or average teams," Shields said.

Replenished and rested, the Seawolves and paratroopers moved out for more scheduled physical endurance and team-building exercises including a Humvee push, a several-mile run which included a grueling uphill climb wearing protective masks, a casualty litter carry, a room clearing mission including tussles against foam-padded enemies to locate sensitive material, then a run to the finish line carrying Army inflatable

"It was awesome," said Seawolves captain Matt Bailey, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. "It was a good experience to get a feel for what you guys go through, and learn about some of the training stuff you guys do."

Like Scott, Bailey also said there are similarities between collegiate and Soldier athletes.

"A lot of the same teamwork stuff we do on a daily basis is huge for you guys too, so there is a lot of correlation between the different aspects and values you guys have and the ones we have in hockey," Bailey said.

Bailey said the workout was tough, but fun and rewarding.

"It was a good workout for us. I really like doing different things, so it was a good change," Bailey said. "It was good camaraderie working out with you guys and working with our team leaders."

Capping the day off with a little more fun, the Seawolves played floor hockey with children at JBER's Two Rivers Youth Center.

Final Doolittle Raider toast to be broadcast live at 2 p.m. Saturday

11/7/2013 - DAYTON, Ohio (AFNS) -- When the last surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raiders make a final toast to their fallen comrades Nov. 9, the world can witness the historic moment.

Although the final toast ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is not open to the public, The Pentagon Channel will host a live broadcast beginning at 2 p.m. Alaska time. The live stream will also be available at and

On April 18, 1942, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off from an aircraft carrier on a top secret mission to bomb Japan. Led by Lt. Col. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, these men came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. Today, just four of the men survive: Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, co-pilot of Crew No. 16; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 15; and Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7. At this time, Cole, Saylor and Thatcher plan to participate on-site and Hite hopes to watch the ceremony from his residence due to health concerns.

In 1959, the city of Tucson, Ariz., presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of silver goblets, each bearing the name of one of the 80 men who flew on the mission. At each of their past reunions, the surviving Raiders would conduct their solemn "Goblet Ceremony." After toasting the Raiders who died since their last meeting, they would then turn the deceased men's goblets upside down.

For more information on the Doolittle Raid and its historic significance to the nation in World War II, visit

(Editor's Note: this article is localized and edited based on an Oct. 25, 2013, piece by Rob Bardua, National Museum of the Air Force, published on Air Force Link)

Medic has a knack for being on scene of emergencies

by Chris McCann
JBER Public Affairs

11/7/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- It was hour 12 of a September convoy, about an hour from Glennallen, Alaska, when the vehicles slowed and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Wahler mentally cursed - another vehicle down during a trip which had already been plagued with Humvee repairs.

Then the reason came over the radio - a civilian motor vehicle accident. Someone was injured.

Wahler's vehicle, one of the last in the convoy on their way to Donnelly Training Area near Delta Junction, moved up, and Wahler, the senior medic, was ready when they stopped.
"It was a civilian truck," he recalled. "I assessed the casualty on the ground; he was conscious. I took the shirt on his head off, and it looked like maybe an open skull fracture."

The man had been a passenger in a vehicle driven by his son. The son, mostly uninjured, had gotten his father out of the truck.

Wahler called Spc. Randy Sickles, another medic with the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and gave directions.

"Sickles is the one that got me the stuff I needed from our [field litter ambulance]," Wahler said. "We got him bandaged and put him in a cervical collar. It was damp out and misting, only about 50 degrees outside, so we got him into the FLA. Specialist Sickles - when everything happened, he was the kid that really worked hard. ... We put [the victim] on oxygen, kept him warm, and waited for the civilian ambulance."

Due to the remote location, civilian medical help took about 25 minutes to arrive.
"They put him on their ambulance and took him to an airfield," Wahler said. "Then he was on a Learjet to Anchorage."

Once the patient was in good hands, the convoy continued to DTA.

For some, saving a life on the spur of the moment might be grounds for a little boasting.
"I guess I have a unique ability to look at the job differently," Wahler said. "It's just another call - I don't get upset or excited; it's just a call."

An Army brat, Wahler wanted to join the military police. His father, a recruiter, was the son of an MP himself, Wahler said.

He was well aware of the demands of the job, and was having none of that.

"I went to the [military entrance processing station] and said I wanted to be an MP. But Dad said no, so I decided to be a medic."

While not his first choice, Wahler has made the most of his career.

"I enjoy it. There are days when it's the worst job in the world, but mostly I enjoy it."
The worst part?

"Putting someone you know in a body bag. That's the worst thing to do. Telling his guys he didn't make it."

And the best?

"Watching the medics you taught do the things they're supposed to do. Saving someone, that's just part of my job. But to see a medic do something they're supposed to do and save a life, and see their reaction to that - those are the best days."

Wahler has deployed to Bosnia once, Afghanistan thrice, and once to Iraq.

"I've seen my medics succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan ... a lot of my guys were fresh out of [Advanced Individual Training] in Iraq; in Afghanistan I had opportunities to go out and watch them. I could just watch them, and let them do it until they finished or asked for help."

Sickles has worked closely with Wahler for the last year.

"He's a good leader," Sickles said. "He's personable and easy to talk to.

There are some [noncommissioned officers] you can't talk to, and then there are
NCOs like Sergeant Wahler. He has no problem answering questions."

Wahler seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, said Headquarters and Headquarters Troop 1st Sgt. Jerry Bronson.

"Just yesterday, there was an incident with a Soldier at the motor pool," Bronson said. "[Wahler] ran down there and evaluated him and called an ambulance. It was serious enough that he was taken directly to Providence [Hospital].

"He's one of my best NCOs - there are a few people who really love what they're doing in the military, and he's one of them. He's very passionate about it."

Recently, he was in midtown Anchorage when he found a vehicle stopped at Seward Highway and Northern Lights Road.

"There was a gentleman having a seizure," he said. "I stopped and sat there in the truck with him, and two seconds later, Anchorage Police showed up. The fire department showed up not even five minutes later.

"I love the fact that I'm around sometimes; it feels pretty good. But I don't brag about it," Wahler said.

"The job has its difficulties, but I don't find it as hard as people think it is.

For the most part, I see the bleeding, I make it stop. That's the critical point. Stop the
bleeding, keep him breathing ... it's not brain surgery."

Since a combat medic generally deals with trauma and passes off the casualty to a better-equipped doctor, he said the job isn't terribly complicated.

"I fell into the job; it's just one of those things I figured out," Wahler said. "It's not a job for the fainthearted; you need to have a resiliency in combat. But it's not a "higher calling" for me.

"I did know I wanted to be a Soldier - as far back as I can remember."

When he's not saving lives or teaching subordinates, Wahler fishes - for "anything that will hit on a bobber and a worm" - as much as he can in the summer, if the weather is good.

"I'm a temperate dude; only if it's sunny," he said. While he moved a lot growing up, many of his father's assignments, and later his own, allowed him to hunt deer and other game, a hobby he continues, with a caribou hunt slated for this winter.

His secret to resiliency, after five deployments, is to talk about the hard things.

"I use my experiences to tie into teaching, or what my guys are teaching. If someone asks me about the bad stuff, I can go down the list. I don't bottle it up. I care about Soldiers with all my heart, but at the end of the day, it's just a case."