3rd Ed., Vol. 2: Sept. 2012
A PUBLICATION FOR THE sOLDIERS AND fAMILIES OF THE 1ST aIR cAVALRY BRIGADE
a l r v y a B C r r i i g A ad t Commanding Officer Col. Cory A. Mendenhall
Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Amagliani
Public Affairs OIC Capt. Joshua Amstutz Public Affairs NCOIC/Editor/ Layout/Design Sgt. Richard Wrigley In accordance with AR 360-1 and the regulations set forth by the U.S. Army Public Affairs Center, the Air Cav Journal is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of Air Cav Journal are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, the 1st Cavalry Division or the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. All editorial content of Air Cav Journal is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs Office. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs Office is located in Camp Marmal, Afghanisian
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Commanderâ€™s Corner Warriors, Families and friends of the part of America's First Team and we 1st ACB, look forward to integrating their organization into the Air Cav Family. First and foremost, I would like to Also this month, we will welcome give a whole hearted welcome to the another four returning Soldiers from 17 Troopers from F/227th "Nomads", F/227th and encourage everyone to our Gray Eagle Company, home from come out and welcome them home at their recent deployment from Af- Gray Army Airfield. ghanistan. While station in AfghaniAs we close the door on the month stan, the Nomads executed multiple of September and ready for a new complex unmanned aircraft missions fiscal year of training starting in in support of the ground commander October, the Soldiers of the 1st Air with exceptional results. The addi- Cavalry Brigade continue to excel in tion of the Gray Eagle Company to every aspect of military and commu1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regi- nity service. We are truly blessed to ment signifies a milestone in Army have some of the best Soldiers in the Aviation and they bring a tremendous United States Army. capability to the First Cavalry DiviThe month of October will be busy sion in providing continuous recon- with individual training events for naissance for the division command- our Soldiers to include a small arms er. It is great to finally have them as gunnery at Fort Hood. Another key
event will be a visit from the Human Resource Command (HRC) to the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. This is a great opportunity for officers and warrant officers to talk about their military career and future assignments with their branch managers. Over the next three months leading up to Christmas holidays, our focus still continues to be individual training, equipment fielding and reset, and preparation for future collective training events starting in January. I wish all a very safe and fun October. Live the Legend â€“ AIR CAV! Col. Cory A. Mendenhall 1ACB, Commanding
Chaplainâ€™s Corner Warriors,
sure free exercise of religion
Chaplains advise the commander on Who is the Chaplain in your unit? the moral and ethical nature of comWhat does he do? Get to know your mand policies, programs and actions, Chaplains. as well as on the impact of command What the Chaplain is known most policies on Soldiers, including: for in your units is the person you can go to that wont judge you, that gives - Religious/ethical issues as they bear you a shoulder to cry on and a place on mission ac-complishment and to vent without provocation. He has m o rale also been known as the candy man, happy-go-lucky or even the great SHAMMER. But beside the above truths, the chaplain also has a different set of responsibilities. The chaplain is a staff officer, who advises the commander and other staff members on the internal and external religious and spiritual factors affecting the command, including:
behind the scene with the commander and other staff members. However, some of the most important things chaplains do are listed in our doctrine below. The Chaplain Corps has three required capabilities and they are executed through three core competencies. First, all chaplains take great pride in making sure our Army's congregations of Soldiers are nurtured everyday by taking the time to put a hand on your shoulder, listen to your grievances and talk you through your disappointments. (Nurture the living) Secondly, we take care of those who are wounded by our 11 years of war. As Chaplains, we believe that there are physical scars and invisible scars and it is our job to ensure we try to heal both to the best of our ability. (Care for the wounded) Lastly, we honor the dead. This is the toughest of our duty to our congregants. We perform memorial services for those fallen in battle whether in combat or at home. Our job is to ensure they are buried and memorialized with dignity and respect. We send them back into Godâ€™s loving hands with words of wisdom and comfort to ensure that their battle buddies and family members know how important they were to our Army family. (Honor the dead) I hope you now know your chaplain and what they can do for you a little better.
- Moral and ethical decisionmaking - Morale and personal issues - Relational concerns - Pre-and post deployment family concerns -Interfaith - Memorial observances relations among religious groups in the command Chaplains advise the commander - The role of religion local foriegn on religion, morals, ethics and mo- populations. rale, and all things that are affected by religion. Concerns include: - Accommodation of special religious needs/requirements - The quality of life of Soldiers and - Quality of life issues Families - Unit command climate - The impact of indigenous religions on operations The above duties and responsibili- CH (MAJ) Khallid Shabazz - The allocation of resources to en- ties of the chaplain are mostly done BDE CHAP
Soldiers, Families and Friends of 3-227 Spearhead,
improve the battalion as a whole as well as to improve the Soldiers individually. Most recently we participated in VIP missions with foreign dignitaries and senior leadership, really showing our discipline and flexibility. The battalion also provided support to the Air Assault School with their training in sling load operations. During the training, Soldiers rappelled from the aircraft at an 80 ft hover. We lifted 4 soldiers at a time and fifty plus Soldiers took part in the training, as our aircrews once again showed their discipline, flexibility and outstanding airmanship and skills. Aircrews are also going through all of their progressions back into garrison flight qualifications, showing the Soldiers eagerness to bring the unit up to a hundred percent readiness level, putting the battalion on the brink of becoming fully aircrew qualified! With all of the new Soldiers the battalion received since the re-deployment, the more strenuous training being has become. Training the incoming Soldiers that have just finished learning their jobs and are finally getting the opportunity to apply those skill sets in their chosen field of expertise will always be an on-going mission. As we make vast improvements on how we do business in 3rd battalion, we continue to explore every avenue for further improvement. We continue to make our Soldiers aware of the resources they have available to them. As we continue to encourage Soldiers to grow in all aspects (physically, mentally, spiritually), we continue to grow as a battalion. We will always continue to show our outstanding flexibility, airmanship and discipline throughout the entire battalion as we move onward into next month. Upcoming training will be more combatoriented for ground troops as well as our air troops.
As the battalion gets further and further from the day we came home from Afghanistan, we get more and more aggressively into training for future missions and recovery from past missions. We have embarked on variations of mental resilience training, Soldier wellness training, physical training, job training and combat training. With the missions heavily beginning, 3rd battalion Soldiers are displaying outstanding discipline, airmanship and flexibility. The battalion has picked up where it left off pre-deployment, training to make Soldiers mentally and physically stronger. Companies have been working on ensuring Soldiers get the most out of their daily PT program and the PT tests have already begun. The battalion has scheduled several trainings to address the Soldierâ€™s mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Doing so ensures Soldiers know the resources they have available to them and so they can use them to their advantage. The first post-deployment battalion organizational day is September 28 at BLORA. Company-level organizational days have been on the calendar this past month as well. Soldiers have been encouraged to attend either single or married couple retreats hosted by the unit chaplains. Soldiers have also recently participated in the Warrior Adventure Quest at Dallas Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park that hosts rides targeted at triggering adrenaline and quick responses like bungee jumping and free falling. There was also a recent local rock climbing event Soldiers were highly recommended to join. Now that we are back in Garrison we are also putting a great amount of focus on training our Soldiers for the next mission. We are actively participating in all available training to Spearhead 6
WEREWOLVES ASSAULT By: Sgt. Richard Wrigley
S SPEARHEAD EFFORTS
or the first time in a long time, aircrews of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, began training for the repel air assault, here Sept., 14. Pilots and crews of A Company "Werewolves," 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, flew out in support of Fort Hood's Air Assault School in order to certify pilots and crews and to also support the school's training of their students. Despite poor weather, the day's training went along as planned, mainly due to the profes-
sionalism of the 1st ACB, s a i d Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Go- mez, of San Antonio, the repel master in charge of the class. Gomez said he was happy with the results, and that thorough planning, direct communication, and superb c o ordination allowed for the operation to run as smoothly as it did. Spc. Christopher Remakis, a native of Sicklerville, N.J., a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew chief for the Werewolves, was a "firsttime-go" being certified for the repel assault and showed enthusiasm toward the new training. "It was pretty neat seeing [the students] go through their training and to see how proficient the repel masters were, as I was working on my proficiency at the task at hand," Remakis said, who recently returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
Remakis said that the mission set was different for him, as was the pace of the training since he was so used to the speed and efficiency of the real-time mission as opposed to the slower pace of first-time training. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shawn Rodgers, of Charleston, S.C., and an instructor pilot for the Werewolves, was one of the pilots who qualified and helped support the air assault
school. Rodgers talked about what made the repel different to him and what it meant to the unit's mission. "I've never done a repel assault before," Rodgers said. "I've always landed, and the fact that there is someone hanging onto a rope outside your aircraft makes it a very different mission," Rodgers added. "There's more danger, these guys could get hurt, and that's what makes the repel different to
me." Rodgh o w 3-227th what it "A r i s k i e r. ways be and off though is vide more t r o o p e r, who we ers said. "In the fighters best we
ers went on to make clear important this was to the AHB's mission set and could mean for the future. repel operation is always The first option will alto land and to let people on the aircraft; what this does allow us to be able to prooptions to the ground the war-fighters, those call the customer," Rodgend it's all about the warand supporting them the can," Rodgers concluded.
E S S AY S F R O M S O L D I E R S , B Y S O L D I E R S
THE WARRIORS’ VOICE T
he Impact of Soldier Diversity By: SGT James Schomer The Army is the strength of the nation and our Soldiers are the strength of the Army. Strength in this case is more than just the projection of combat power. The Army is the one institution in our country that is a mirror image of our great society. Diversity is important because it is the richness and depth of our many different origins that broadens our thinking, that gives us a stronger base of knowledge, and that bring greater support for a common purpose. Active diversity is a military imperative. It assists
in achieving our strategic goals. The establishment of universally valid principles and implementation of our core values reflect our conviction that diversity is crucial to the Army’s success and intend to actively promote it. After all, each individual’s personal strength and experience have their part to play in each unit’s performance. The challenges faced by
today’s Soldiers are met with an adaptability and unique capacity to meet the demands of global change, but the common focus has always been to defend our great way of life. The cohesiveness found in the American Soldier is revealed in a dominate force showcased by a wide range of backgrounds and cultures as the catalyst to innovation, competence, and professionalism. The American Soldier carries the responsibility to sustain the perseverance of its forefathers. The Soldier’s diligence in that accountability is demonstrated through unwavering preparation, effort, and attitude. This, in-turn
empowers the Army to effectively strategize, communicate, and deliver. The Army is energized and nourished by the team approach and promotes contributions from everyone at every level. From the after action review process to the Army Mentoring Program, positive relationships are built and developed routinely. The progressive engagement and utilization of diversity has become a common practice in the Army. The talent and capabilities are endless. As weapons and equipment get better, so do Soldiers. Soldiers have readily become more educated and teachable, offering unique skill sets and abilities that push the envelope of excellence. As the Army accepts and embraces differences and ideals, it holds steady to its core values. It’s in these values unity is cultivated and unites Soldiers in a mutual bond. As these values are coupled with the strengths found in diversity, Soldiers become proactive agents for change, promoting social harmony, and inclusion. Therefore, they ultimately become better Soldiers, citizens, and people. As resourcefulness and improvements produce results throughout the Army, success is shared and recognized. At the functional level, we can see Soldiers developing new ways to complete old tasks. Their creative process stems from their cultural roots. The cultural experiences shared between Soldiers invite an open mind, inspire personal compassion, and strengthens bonds. The unity encouraged by diversity cannot be replicated or simulated. The genuine results are felt, seen, and motivate others to reach out without prejudice or bias. The Army has become a remarkable example and role model
to the world as an industry leader in equal opportunity. As the Army regulates policies, its Soldiers reflect the traditions of its nation. We can see the uncompromising belief in all of its Soldiers exhibiting a conviction in the support of each member standing to their left and right. The unity between the American Soldier could not be as tough and steadfast as it is today without the flourishing diversity the Army represents.
rom One WOJG to Another By: WO1 Mike Griest As a new WO1 in an aviation unit, there are a number of things you can do to make a good impression and pave the way for a successful career. In this editorial, I hope to give you some ideas of what you can do to be an asset to your unit, and save you from making some common mistakes. Your first job is the same as it was in flight school. You are a student. Studying will not only make you a better pilot, but it will save valuable time for your Instructor Pilots. Simply put, IPs do not have time available to reiterate the lessons that you learned in flight school. No one expects you to know everything, but people will be more inclined to help out those who help themselves. There are a number of publications unique to Fort Hood that you should familiarize yourself with. One in particular is FH 95-1. It is available online at http://www.hood.army. mil/21cav/pilot_tools/ , along with many other pilot tools courtesy of the 21st Cavalry BDE. Additional duties are a great way to help carry your weight in the company. There are several jobs, many of them fairly simple, which
your Commander needs someone to do. Ask your Commander what he needs. Odds are there will be an opening for you somewhere. It most likely will not be a job that you aspire to. No matter how bad it sounds, you’re the man for the job. One day you may be able to hand it off to a new WO1. Until then, use it to build your OER. People will appreciate you doing the job, if only because it means that they don’t have to. Help out your crew members, they work hard. If they are unloading a trailer and you are not busy, you should be helping them. If they are tying down an aircraft in the rain, run out and help them get it done faster. Do not assign details for work that you can do yourself. These are the people that make sure you have working aircraft to fly. These are the people who will extract you from the cockpit in an emergency. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Even though you’re a hotshot pilot now, the basic rules of the Army still apply. Be in the right place, at the right time, in the right uniform. Show up for PT and maintain your physical fitness. Do not miss formations. Being responsible for yourself makes life easy for those who are responsible for you; your platoon leader and your Commander. They may not remember it when it comes time to write your OER because it is expected of you, but they will remember those who don’t. Lastly, find the senior Warrant Officers in your company who set the standard and look to them as mentors. They know what is expected of you and will set you up for success. Do what they tell you to do and you will not go wrong.
WELCOME HOME NOMADS T
he first group of â€˜Nomadsâ€™ finally returned stateside and joined the ranks of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade as F Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, here Sept. 25. The Soldiers of F Co. returned from Afghanistan where they provided ground commanders with reconnaissance utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles. As a whole 1st Attack was very happy to see some of their bretheren return, and were eager to incorperate them into their formation.
E S S AY S F R O M S O L D I E R S , B Y S O L D I E R S
THE WARRIORS’ VOICE N
o One to Blame but You
By: SPC Nicole Krampitz In our Army today we have a lot of problems with Soldiers doing the wrong thing and blaming everyone but themselves. Soldiers fail their physical training (PT) test then say, “Well our PT program doesn’t do anything for me.” Soldiers eat poorly and drink too many caffeinated beverages, they gain weight and fail their height and weight standards or incur health problems and say,“Well no one told me I couldn’t drink this many energy drinks a day” or “The Army provided me with these soda’s” or “No one taught me to eat healthy.” Soldiers are becoming more and more reliant on being told how to do things, how to eat, what to drink, how to exercise, how to live. We are becoming lazy and accusatory unto others for our mistakes. The physical training program in the United States Army is not designed to be the only means of exercise a Soldier receives; it is designed to maintain already healthy Soldiers. If you feel like you’re being smoked doing the bend and
reach it is probably time you learn to exercise. There are millions of programs out there; each one tailored to different things you’d like to do (i.e. improve sit-ups, improve push-ups, gain muscle, tone muscle, slim fat, etc…). There are also programs that the Army has for Soldiers to improve themselves; to include but not limited to – Zumba, Yoga, Cross-Fit, and a Weigh to Live program that teaches you how to exercise and how to eat healthier. You could even go as far as to ask your NCO’s for help, most of them are more than willing to help a Soldier who is willing to ask for help. The Army allows soda for Soldiers consumption in the dining facilities as well as most buildings are equipped with soda machines. However, in those machines normally there are other healthier options. If you notice in the dining facilities they tell you not to take more than two sodas, contrary to popular belief this is not just for conservation of funds, this is also for your health. The American Health Association recommends no more than three 12-ounce cans of soda a week, according to a re-
port from CNN. Just like with exercise, the Army offers you ways to learn about nutrition. You just have to want to learn about it. No one is going to take control of your health, it is up to you. No one will tell you what to eat, how to eat, what to drink, or when to stop eating and drinking so much and start exercising. These things in your life are up to you to fix. The Army is moving towards being healthier as a whole. If you’re overweight or can’t pass a PT test, there is a very good chance the Army will stop helping you soon. Regulation states that if you fail two consecutive PT tests it is most likely to result in discharge from the military. There are also regulations for height and weight. If you fail the standards for height and weight you are then “taped” to determine if you’re in an acceptable size range. Consecutively failing tape can result the same as consecutively failing your PT test, unless you are in the Army Weight Control Program and making a viable effort. Soldiers, it is time to take control of our health. The Army is not going to tolerate Soldiers that make an organization look bad-
ly. Fix yourself before the Army catches up and fixes you in a way that you don’t want.
ucceeding with a Smaller Force
By SPC Christopher Barrett To succeed with a smaller force will take a concentrated effort at all levels. From selecting the best new recruits, to higher education, implementation of new technologies, effective leadership, and cutbacks to existing Army programs. None of these choices alone will accomplish this goal; however careful thought must go into any decision that is made to ensure that while working towards this goal our overall military strength does not become compromised. Better recruits, does not mean better scores on a standardized test, nor does it mean recruits who can score highly on the PT test. A well rounded approach should carefully balance the two. A one dimensional Soldier is neither a benefit to themselves, nor to the Army. Keeping up, both physically and mentally, is paramount to accomplishing the mission, and to ensure the safety of all of the Soldiers involved. Once all efforts have been made
to ensure that only the best recruits are making their way into the ranks of the armed forces, focus will have to shift into high gear to train and educate these Soldiers. Education should be multi-faceted to give as much military occupational training, as well as mission specific training as possible. Higher education in the form of a college degree, vocational training, and certification will benefit the military as well as the individual. Learning opportunities are all around us every single day. You can learn something from just about everyone. Technology can impact nearly every endeavor the military is involved in from storing and gathering information, to personal protective equipment and weapons. An integrated, almost seamless transition of today’s Soldier with their technology needs to be achieved. This is already the case with the widespread use of the Smartphone, incorporating what used to be many different gadgets into one easily useable device. Further development of a military network and Smartphone like devices that could be issued to deployed Soldiers would be an asset to a smaller ground force. While there is no substitute for boots on
the ground, technology has done a great deal to increase the effectiveness of those Soldiers wearing the boots. Improving the effectiveness of leadership deals with ensuring that today’s Soldiers are carefully guided through a comprehensive process to develop leadership potential at an early point in their military career. The current practice of “baby-sitting” junior enlisted Soldiers not only wastes the time of Non-Commissioned Officers, but discourages Soldiers from making the right choice simply because it is the right choice to make. Personal responsibility can be fostered without a loss of overall accountability. The subject of cutbacks to military programs is an extremely delicate issue that needs to be looked at on many levels before any decision can be made. This is not something where an across the board rash decision will work. A program that may not be necessary at one installation may be essential at another. No Soldier wants to lose a program that has helped to enhance their quality of life; however cuts will have to be made. Cost will be a factor, but need not be the only one. In summation I believe that it is possible to reduce the overall number of Soldiers in today’s armed forces without a negative impact on military strength. This will not be an overnight change, or an easy one. A competent, thorough, and fluid course of action will need to be followed to achieve successful outcome.
THEN RIDE! Story By: Staff Sgt. Joseph Armas Photos By: Sgt. Richard Wrigley
ore than 30,000 Soldiers in the United States Army are registered as motorcycle riders, according to the Army’s Motorcycle Safety Guide. With that fact in mind, the Army has made an effort to emphasize the importance of motorcycle safety to help reduce the number of accidents and injuries that can occur onboard a motorcycle. Motorcycle safety was the main focus for more than 100 Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, who took part in a mentorship ride Sept. 21, here. During the ride, the Soldiers were joined by professional stunt riders Nick Brocha and Ernie Vigil. The organizer of the event, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Holliday, the brigade’s senior safety noncommissioned officer and motorcycle mentor, talked about why motorcycle safety should be a priority for all riders. “Riding a motorcycle provides a sense of freedom on the road and it’s an incredible feeling, but there’s no denying the fact that motorcycles are dangerous,” Holliday said. “There are numerous aspects of motorcycle safety that Soldiers need to know about, so that’s why we’re out here riding as a group today,” Holliday added. Holliday cited a few events
the day centered around; the importance of protective equipment, knowing how to maneuver a motorcycle in the advent of a crash, and overall awareness on the road. “Ultimately, the main goal is obviously for everyone to stay alive,” Holliday added, who has been riding for 18 years now. Staff Sgt. Shan Samansky, a platoon sergeant assigned to D Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, has logged roughly 110,000 miles as a motorcycle rider. He said the event gave everyone involved the chance to swap ideas and experiences and ultimately learn from one another. “Events like this allow us riders to come together as a team,” Samansky said. “As a group, we got together after the ride and we identified some minor shortcomings that will hopefully allow all of us to improve our skills and become better riders overall,” he added. Samansky said he thinks that Soldiers who ride motorcycles carry a huge responsibility in American society. “As Soldiers, we need to set the example for all riders out there on the road,” Samansky explained. “Our job is to keep America safe, and if we can’t be safe on the roads, then we can’t perform the task that we are ultimately called to do.”
jUSTICE LeAGUE Hi there, 1st ACB! I am CPT Daniel Larson, and I am your new Brigade Judge Advocate. I’m excited to finally arrive at Fort Hood with my wife, Colleen, and our two children, Aiden and Kinley, and to start working here for the Air Cav! I am a native of the North Side of Chicago (Go Cubbies!), and graduated from Maine West High School in 2000. Following graduation I attended the University of Northern Iowa, where I majored in English Literature. During the Summer of my Junior year I
worked as a member of Camp Adventure at Camp Zama, Japan. While employed by Camp Adventure, I taught swim lessons and helped run a Summer Camp for the children of deployed servicemembers. At this time, I decided I wanted to join the military. Due to my experience in Camp Zama, and after graduating from school, I enlisted in the Iowa National Guard as a 91W (Medic). Approximately a year and a half after returning from AIT I
was accepted into Law School, and enrolled in the ROTC program. I also worked at my school’s Veterans’ Legal Assistance Program to help disabled veterans appeal their disability ratings from the VA, and to help Vietnam Veterans receive disability payments for their inju-
ries sustained during their time of service. During my third year of law school I submitted an application to the U.S. Army JAG Corps, and in December of that same year I was accepted,
pending the results of my Bar Exam. Since the time of my acceptance into the JAG Corps I have served as a Legal Assistance Attorney, Trial Counsel, Instructor at the U.S. Army Military Police School, and now as the Brigade Judge Advocate for the1st Air Cavalry Brigade. As your BJA, my goal is to provide timely and accurate legal advice to our command teams concerning Article 15s, Separations, Investigations, and Ethical Issues (fundraising, FRG questions, etc.). A d d itio n a lly, our paralegals are regularly available to provide basic legal assistance services such as drafting and notarizing Powers of Attorney, and other legal documents for our Soldiers, at no charge. The Brigade Legal Office is located on the second floor of Building 7042, across from Brigade Headquarters, and is available for any inquires you might have from 09001700, Monday through Friday. You can reach me, or any of our outstanding paralegals, at 254 553-7586, and we’ll be happy to help fulfill your legal needs.
dOCTER’S ORDERS “Why Getting the Flu – Vaccine, That Is – Is So Great” Nobody wants the flu. Body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever – and generally feeling like you’ve been hit by a speeding soccer mom’s SUV – do not sound like anybody’s idea of a good week. While merely a nuisance for most folks – never mind the lost week of productivity at work, the hit your PT score will take, or having to deal with your young children who don’t actually care that mommy or daddy are sick (“I want milk!”) – the flu can prove deadly for young children, the elderly, or people that are otherwise ill. Influenza – the formal name for the flu – is a highly contagious airborne virus. The flu’s symptoms are similar in many ways to other upper respiratory infections (think “the common cold,” also caused by a virus), but generally causes more severe symptoms. While nobody dies from “a cold,” different strains of influenza viruses appear periodically throughout the world that can actually lead to death. There were times in our history – three, as a matter of fact in the past one hundred years – where flu pandemics killed as many as 20-50 million people. The avian influenza (“bird flu”) strains of the past few years have unfortunately reminded us again how dangerous a disease this can be. Fortunately, people far smarter than me (and there are many if you ask my wife and children) developed ways to help us avoid many illnesses – to include the flu - that previously caused terrible health problems for huge sections of our population. We have a weapon in our battle against the flu, the vaccine. One of the greatest achievements of modern medicine is the vaccine. Vaccines “help our bodies make protections against life-threatening infectious diseases,” per the Centers for Disease Control. A vaccine gives your body a glimpse at germs that can invade and cause particular illnesses. This, in turn, helps to set off a series of events that provides a shortcut to immunity against the
illness. With this shortcut, our body remembers the similar vaccine germ when the real germ attempts to invade and is ready to fight it off as soon as it shows up. The infection should either not occur or will be less severe. The vaccine not only keeps YOU from getting ill, but with fewer people carrying the virus, fewer people will pass it on to others. This is particularly important around the very young and the very old. This phenomenon is referred to as “herd immunity,” and it is the main reason we want EVERYONE (not just Soldiers, but their spouses and children as well) to get immunized. Most vaccines come in the form of a shot. Fortunately, we have an alternative to a needle when it comes to the flu vaccine. FluMist is an intranasal liquid that we squirt in each nostril. It contains live influenza virus and, while sparing us a painful shot, may also help to better protect us from illness than the flu shot. Before you tell us that “I always get sick after I get the flu vaccine,” you should know this – we believe you! You should feel reassured by feeling achy and run-down for a day after getting the vaccine. Remember that in developing immunity, your body is getting a glimpse at a potential enemy. Our cells are releasing the same chemicals that it would if we were fighting the actual flu – just in significantly scaled down amounts. Unfortunately, FluMist is not for everyone – some of us will still need a shot. Under two, over 50, pregnant or allergic to eggs? Sorry, you need a shot. If you have chronic underlying medical problems, are immunocompromised in any way – OR, live with somebody who does – you are not eligible for the FluMist and will need the shot. As we approach the peak of flu season this fall, Fort Hood will be providing flu vaccines to all Soldiers. We encourage everyone to make sure their spouses and children are immunized as well. MAJ Massimo Federico, MD Brigade Surgeon 1ACB
Students from Trimmier Elementary School wave American flags during a celebration of freedom Sept. 11 in Killeen. During the event, Soldiers from the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division took part in the event as well. The Soldiers marched, displayed how to properly fold an American flag, and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Hank Perry was the guest speaker. By: Staff Sgt. Joseph Armas
2-227 lobos September has been a busy but rewarding month for the Vultures. Alpha Company continues to perform high visibility VIP mission and realistic training in preparation for future contingency operations. This month the Vultures performed water bucket training in preparation for any forest fires or other missions that may need the Vultures expertise. The VIP mission continues to be the core mission for Alpha Company. As we approach the beginning of autumn the "Blackcats" of Bravo Co. welcomed our new Command Team, CPT Michael J. Moyer and his wife Kristin Moyer. We also wished CPT Efrain Reyna and his new wife Kelly a fond farewell and best wishes for the future. Meanwhile, we continued to train and conduct our stateside mission in preparation for our upcoming training rotations to the National Training Center (NTC) and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) next year. This month we began conducting pilot and crewmember Bambi Bucket (water dropping) training in order to support the Brigade’s upcoming gunnery. Our maintenance test pilots continued to work diligently alongside our maintainers to support our aircraft reset plan and keep our aircraft fully mission capable. Our instructor pilots and crewmembers continued to work hard to ensure all our pilots and crewmembers are fully trained and proficient for our upcoming training rotations. The “Witchdoctors” of C Company 2-227th AVN REGT are charged with the primary mission to rapidly deploy by air or sea anywhere in the world and conduct medical evacuation training for natural disasters and combat operations. Whether on deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom 2011-2012 or conducting
reintegration, reset, and training operations in garrison as the 1st Cavalry Division’s sole medical evacuation company, our main focuses are on safety, maintenance, leadership, and training to support this primary mission. Building a cohesive unit that is tactically and technically proficient, while also developing an environment that fosters expert airmanship, engaged leadership, and exceptional maintenance oversight are the keys to success that this company strives to achieve every day. September has been a busy month for the Outlaws of Delta Co 2-227th AVN. Delta Company worked hard in preparing for its FTX which took place from 1 Oct. thru 4 Oct. We looked forward to this opportunity
to train and were excited to be a part of the first Aviation FTX on Hood Army Airfield since returning from the deployment. The FTX not only allowed us to prepare our equipment and Soldiers for the upcoming NTC and JRTC rotations, but allowed us to focus on the training of individual Soldier Tasks. The FTX placed focus on four Objective tasks: Conduct a non tactical Convoy, Occupy an Assembly area, Perform Downed Aircraft Recovery and Conduct a dismounted tactical road march. The Soldiers of Delta Company continued to exceed the standard both in and outside of the workplace. The Outlaws received a “No-Notice” Arms Room Inspection in which
we received a Commendable rating. This is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of SGT Moreno and SGT Mitchell, both of which will be recognized by receiving Company Coins. SPC Sykes participated in the in the Phantom Warriors Bodybuilding competition on 22 Sept. Not only did he win first place in his individual event, but he also won first place overall and was presented a Battalion Coin. With these accomplishments Delta Company continues to lead the way in the battalion. Around the LOBOS Battalion Fox Company continued to set the standard by winning the coveted Battalion Commander’s Cup at the Organizational Day hosted at BLORA. The Ravens went to the organizational day prepared to win. The smallest company in the battalion competed with the most heart resulting in a tremendous victory for the Ravens. Family and friends rallied behind as the Ravens refused to accept defeat, and provided the motivation to these fine Soldiers for them to win and have a great time doing it. Everyone agreed this was the best Org Day yet. Congratulations to SSG Conkling, SSG Williams, and SPC Hughett for reenlisting this month. Their decisions to stay in the Army during a time of war shows their patriotic colors, and their actions fully encompass the meaning of the words service, duty, and selflessness. Fox Company welcomed CPT Elmo and 1SG Macko to the Command Team during the company’s change of command, as well as 10 new Soldiers to the Raven Team. The Soldiers and officers of Fox Company send a special thanks for a job well done to CPT Hayward and his family as they embark on their next adventure and meet the needs of this great Army.
615 coldsteel 615th Headquarters Support Company Soldiers and NCOs have taken the lead in reorganizing over 140 containers and ground maintenance equipment, making the Battalion Motorpool the standard across Brigade. Maintenance also supported Alpha Company in towing an NMC forklift to the turn-in yard which is located on the other side of Fort Hood. In the month of September Soldiers of HSC had some major accomplishments. SGT Soliz (Maint), SGT Gorham (S6), SPC Landry (SPO), and SPC Rickman (Cook) successfully graduated WLC last week. We also had the privilege of reenlisting SPC Barrett, SGT Summers, SPC Romano and promoting SPC Alvarez, SPC Brennan, and PFC Ferguson. HSC was also hap-
py to congratulate SPC Wajda and PFC Bushee on their marriages this month. Along with making the mission happen, HSC helped build the team by having 21 soldiers attend the Warrior Adventure Quest. â€œThe paintballing was a release of stress, and I hope the military continues these programs," stated SPC Charles, a Soldier within HSC. HSC also has a strong presence in the BN Intramural football team who is currently 2-0 and plans on taking the Title. HSC proudly welcomed CW2 Goodman, SGT Blount, SSG White, PFC Short, and SPC Willis to the Highlander Team and said Farewell to SPC Peterson, SFC Villarreal, and CPT Roman. In September Alpha Company be-
gan Operation Clean Sweep in order to organize and consolidate 27 containers within the company footprint. Several of these containers were moved from the former 615th ASB motor pool and from West Fort Hood over the last year. While opening one such container several Soldiers immediately noticed the smell of skunk leaking out when the seals were cracked. SGT Johnson and SPC Asher immediately called DOL Pest Control to come inspect the container. DOL arrived within 30 minutes and upon inspection of the container found a skunk carcass. The Soldiers reported that their rabies awareness training from Afghanistan was the reason they knew what steps to take when dealing with wildlife and how to protect themselves.
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