BLACK DRAGONS BULLETIN BN Commander and Senior FRG Advisor Words BLACK DRAGON Family: Summer has arrived and for those with children they are done with the school year. June has remained a busy month for the Battalion as we continue to train. As I mentioned last month, the Brigade was told to train in preparation for a rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. This preparation has caused us to increase our training tempo for the month of June. However, when we developed our training plan we determined that we could meet our training goals by staggering units to the field and training 3 days (2 nights) a week. So while we must continue to train, we can strive to be less disruptive and mitigate any week-end or long term training. There maybe some of that in the future, but for right now we can meet our training goals/objectives without the consecutive training weeks and week-end training. As I mentioned above, we are training for a one month training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, LA for the entire month of August. While we know that we are going, we still don’t have what our mission set is going to be while we are there. Because of this it is difficult to determine what Soldiers will deploy to JRTC and what Soldiers will stay here at Fort Hood, TX. Please know that everyone from Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps, and higher is working to help us get the information we need so we let those affected Soldiers and families know. Once we have a good idea, we will be able to move forward with some planning considerations and let you know. We also continue to wait for final word from our higher about possible deployment to Afghanistan in the fall. While we continue to work with our higher headquarters on this, we still don’t know if or under what structure we will deploy. Without that input it remains difficult to develop plans which again allows us to inform Soldiers and their families. While neither of the above situations are optimal, please know that everyone at our level is working to get us the answers we need. I appreciate your continued patience on this issue and your support to your Soldier. Block leave is still an issue that we are trying to work for the Soldiers and their families. With all the training we have ongoing, the Brigade is not able to put out a block leave schedule. We have been authorized to take opportunity leave which will be managed by the Batteries and Company with oversight from the Battalion. We know that folks want to take some well earned vacation time in the Summer, especially with the kids being out of school. As we get more guidance about the Joint Readiness Training Center and possible deployment we should be able to determine a leave schedule that allows everyone in the Battalion to get some time off.
The Town Hall Meeting and Family Day are two things that I would like to close with. We want to have a Battalion town hall meeting during the month of June or at the latest July. However, one of the best days to hold the Town Hall Meeting fell on a Thursday before a long week-end so we are currently looking at rescheduling. These Town Hall Meetings are a chance for the Battalion leadership to put out the most current information as we know, but just as important it is your chance to bring up issues or concerns on your mind – dates to follow. Ever wanted to know why the ground rumbles when we go to the field? Or exactly what your Soldier does as part of the Battalion? Well come on out and see! We currently have family days scheduled for 19 and 20 June. The plan is for us to bring you out to one of our field training sites and shoot our howitzers right there in front of you. It is looking like it is going to be a great time. Stay plugged into your FRG for exact dates for your unit and the transportation plan. Again thank you for what you do in supporting your Soldier, we all realize that we could not do what we do without your support and understanding. Stay in touch with your FRGs and follow us on our Social Media sites to keep up with the latest information and opportunities. Will and Jessy Johnson FRG Facebook Group www.facebook.com/#!/ groups/582black.dragons/ Battalion Facebook Page www.facebook.com/ #!/pages/5th-Battalion-82nd-Field-ArtilleryRegiment-Black-Dragons/288593261191191 Twitter Account: @5th82fa
Inside this issue: BN CSM
Current Events and News
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BN CSM Words This month saw some learning and growing pains that proved the Black Dragons are up to any mission. From the Fisters to the Gunline, From the Cooks to Maintenance, outstanding job during the last training exercise. While remaining focused on any mission, if called upon, the Battalion was represented well across the entire Army. Several Black Dragons completed schools that will affect the entire military to include Drill Sergeants, Recruiter, and many other courses. My hat goes off to the new generation that was added to many families. Your family has been blessed with a child and that’s not by mistake.I would like to say Happy Birthday to all whom had birthdays during this past month. I would encourage all to get out and vote. The right to vote and voice your opinion is why we must love America, because there are many places that do not allow you to have this right. Several Soldiers have reenlisted and at this day and time, it is a privilege with all the downsizing of the Army. Soldiers should press on with college. The new promotion systems will promote the educated a little faster, and besides education is the key! You should always set the example for the younger generation. The most important idea is to identify the primary reality of our lives. Some of the things I say may be repetitious, but it comes from the heart if you have read it before. Most Soldiers hear voices shouting about changes in the economy and the United States Army. Reality should only be a teardrop away as we receive new Black Dragons and old Black Dragons join other units or depart the military. Genuine concern and pride for your unit and your Battle buddy should be shown now! Team closeness is very necessary and relevant. Unification from the newest Black Dragon Private, to the BN Commander is a must. Every Soldier in the BN has a critical role and is a piece of the pie. As we ramp up for the BDE FTX, JROTC, gunnery and ranges, we must be prepared to scrap at any given notice. We must continue to take care of Soldiers and their family members. FRGs you are doing a magnificent job! We also have a lot of Black Dragon “Babies” that we have added to our ranks. Also a lot of spouses have been added to our realms. Congratulation to all, to include the NCO and Soldiers of the month and quarter. It’s cyclical!! Throughout my 26 years of service, I have seen many trials and tribulations. Soldiering cycles are not based on expanding markets or that unquestioned good that we are taught to call progress. It is based on Soldiers and Leaders. Indeed we have those types of Soldiers in the Black Dragons formation. The only definitions of progress that will finally matter are the testing of our skills during our upcoming training. Congratulation to all Soldiers whom have completed any school during this quarter. I would like to especially congratulate SPC Thao (Bravo Battery) for becoming the Brigade Soldier of the Quarter, and SSG Samudio (Golf Co.) for becoming the runner-up for Brigade NCO of the Quarter. This is just another example of the quality Soldiers that we as leaders aspire to see advance. Also to SPC Taylor (Golf Co.), I and the Black Dragons wish you well as you become attached to the III Corps food service department after excelling in the Culinary Arts competition. Hooah from Black Dragon 9
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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER Chaplain's Corner—FRG Newsletter – 29 May 2012 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) In an age of parent-bashing, it honors our father and mother to remember their positive qualities. A friend named Kevin Miller told me a story that teaches a powerful lesson about the example of a godly father: When I was a teenager, Dad would come in my room and say, "C'mon, kid, let's go." "Where to?" I’d ask. His answer was always the same, "Lucy's." Once a month he would visit Lucy Butchko, a woman whose body was twisted and pinned into a wheelchair by arthritis. He would reach his big arms around her frail body and lift her out of the wheelchair and place her in the front seat of our brown station wagon. Then he would fold the wheelchair, throw it in back, and drive Lucy to the monthly Communion service for shut-ins. Here was a vice-president of a publishing company, shuttling shut-ins. Later, while in the hospital, trying to recover from a massive heart attack, Dad found out that a family down the street didn't have enough money to buy groceries. So he wrote them a check. It was the last thing he ever wrote, and a lasting lesson in giving. Like Kevin’s dad, my own father taught me many of the same lessons through his godly example of fatherhood. However, I know not everyone had such a positive experience. Still God calls us to “honor your father and mother.” Whatever your experience growing up, the best way to honor your parents is to be a godly example to your own children. Whatever lessons you teach your children will be the way they remember you. Make it a godly lesson.
Personal Challenge What positive lessons did your parents give you? • If your father and mother are still alive, how could you honor them? CH (CPT) Robert D. Patterson Battalion Chaplain 5-82 FA, 4BCT, 1st Cavalry Division
SPIRITUAL FITNESS CENTER Marriage 101 – 1ts Wednesday each month, 0900 thru 1530 (Soldiers get $50.00 off Marriage License for attending and a barrage of good marriage information) Children In The Middle – 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month, 0900 to 1300 (Mandated by the courts for those going through divorce who have children) 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player– Tuesdays at 1145 to 1245. Lunch provided. Join us each Tuesday at the Spiritual Fitness Center for a light lunch and time of discovery. Started 22 May 2012. Discover what a great team player looks like and the tools to become one yourself. 8 week course.
Bibliotherapy Book Reading Club – last Tuesday of each month, 1330, Spiritual Fitness Center. Sign up at the Library, call 287-4921, or e-mail Erica Stiner, Public Services Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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HHB Newsletter Written By: CPT Scott Hastings The month of May has been very busy for the HARDCORE Battery. We started with the almost frantic prep as everyone was working hard to ensure that we were all prepared to spend the following 2 weeks in the field. Numerous hours were spent on vehicle load plans, Soldier equipment checks, and, of course, individual and team level training. The next 2 weeks in the field were just as busy for the Soldiers as HARDCORE was spread in multiple directions. We had Radar Soldiers certifying on their systems for the first week of the field exercise and then tracking the live fire missions from the Batteries in the second week. The Medics established the Battalion Aide Station and ran sick call in the field, as well as supported the Firing Batteries during the live fire week. The Staff set-up and monitored all training from the TOC which was in a separate training site for the first week, and then joined us for the second week. And last but not least, there were the Soldiers that manned the HARDCORE Command Post. Everyone worked toward one set of goals: To certify on all systems and work as a team that can accomplish any mission given to us in a safe and efficient manner. This is something that we will continue to strive for as HARDCORE Soldiers. The last two weeks of May have seen the HARDCORE Soldiers conducting Recovery Operations. As always, the Soldiers of the HARDCORE Battery make these task look easy, but in fact it takes us over seven days of hard work to get everything back to a ready state. With all of this on-going, 2nd Platoon still found the time to conduct the Leaders Reaction Course. This course is used to train junior leaders on team work. Training was conducted in five man teams which allowed everyone to be in a leadership position, to formulate a plan to successfully navigate the obstacle, and then to execute the plan. Soldiers navigated numerous obstacles, many of which included water hazards.
Soldiers from HARDCORE emplace the Q-37 Radar System
PV2 Cazare leads SPC Banks and SPC Vasquez over Obstacle number 8 at the Leaders Reaction Course.
HARDCORE Radar Soldiers running test after troubleshooting the Q-37.
FRG Newsletter for HHB, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery
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Apache Newsletter Written By: CPT Martin Piecuch
I would like to start off this month’s newsletter by thanking each family member that showed up to the recent FRG Meeting, Family Run, and Ladies Night. We understand that family members are a huge part of the team in Apache Battery and we look forward to conducting more fun events like this in the future. The month of May was a busy one for the Soldiers of Apache Battery. Over the span of two weeks, Apache Battery successfully executed “Operation Dragon Thunder” and certified all eight of its howitzer sections and both fire direction centers. Soldiers received outstanding training on live firing their howitzers as well as conducting Field Maintenance, Tactical Road Marches, a Refuel on the Move (ROM), and a Refuel, Resupply, and Survey Point (R3SP). Upon completion of the training, each Soldier in the battery executed an elaborate recovery process which was followed up by successful inspections from the Battalion Leadership. This recovery process will set the conditions for future FTXs in June and July. Although Operation Dragon Thunder was a huge success, there is still much more to follow. The Soldiers in Alpha Battery will continue to spend time in the training areas of Fort Hood in June as they continue to train for future missions. GREAT JOB APACHES!! Upcoming Events -Artillery Live Fire Exercises (June 6th-8th, June 11th-13th, June 18th-22nd ) -July TBD -August JRTC
Apache Battery fires “Priority Target Black Dragon” to complete the FTX on a successful note.
Part of the training exercise included a 60KM road march which included stops for a ROM and R3SP.
The Field Maintenance Team and each Howitzer Section Crew did a great job ensuring each howitzer successfully made it through the entire gunnery.
Welcome to the Newest Members of the Apache Team! SPC and Tearon Flaningan from Fort Bragg, NC.
FRG Newsletter for Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery
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Bulldog Newsletter Written By: CPT Chad Fitzgerald
Hello Bulldog Families! You may have noticed the windows in your home shaking throughout the month of May. The Paladins of Bulldog Battery conducted live fire missions with high explosive rounds for the first time in almost two years! Eight crews of Soldiers and NCOs successfully qualified by firing all rounds safely and to standard. Two fire direction sections also qualified by successfully providing accurate firing data to the guns. The qualification effort started mid month as training began in earnest. Soldiers trained very hard to master crew drills and prepare for live fire operations. The Bulldogs battled rain, mud, and heat to accomplish the mission. The Bulldogs validated the training by conducting Table V and Table VI. The tables were a way for Bulldog Soldiers to demonstrate their skill, while concurrently being evaluated by the BN master gunner. The Bulldogs did very well with all sections qualifying. All told, the battery fired over 100 rounds safely during the field problem. The month of May finished with the Battery coming out of the field to conduct recovery. The Battery also conducted Combat Water Survival on the 31st. June promises to be fast paced. The Battalion is getting ready to go to JRTC during the month of August. No official dates have been published, but it will happen. In order to prepare, the Battery will go to the Field to fire more complicated missions over three cycles in three weeks culminating in a weeklong field problem from the 18th-22nd. A family day occurs on the 19th. Families will have the opportunity to see the Battery shoot Direct Fire on the 19th. This is a wonderful opportunity to see what your Soldier do best! If you would like to attend please notify the Battery to allow time for the unit to obtain ear plugs. None of this would be possible without the outstanding support of families!!! Thanks for what you do.
A high explosive round frozen in time as B 14 conducts a fire mission
PVT Campos ditches his gear as part of combat water survival training.
SSG Nichols and SGT Rodriguez prepare a .50 Caliber to fire.
1st PLT FDC conducts manual fire mission processing as part of Table V.
Two Guns fire as part of a Battery Time on Target Mission.
UPCOMING EVENTS 6-8 JUNE- CYCLE 1 GUNNERY (FIELD) 13-14 JUNE- CYCLE 2 GUNNERY (FIELD) 15 JUNE- TRAINING HOLIDAY 19 JUNE- DIRECT FIRE FAMILY DAY 18-22 JUNE- CYCLE 3 GUNNNERY (FIELD) 4 JULY- INDEPENDENCE DAY TNG HOLIDAY
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GOLF FSC, 5-82 FA
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JUNE 2012 Special points of interest:
Ghostrider 6 Ghostrider 9 Greetings, I am CPT Juan G. Martinez, the new Ghostrider 6. I travel a little over an hour to get into Fort Hood everyday from the town of Goldthwaite that I have called home for over 30 years. I am married to Alma, my wife of over 14 years. We have three children, Leslie 12, Juanito A. 8, and Brandon 6. I am proud to call my self a Ghostrider and a member of the Black Dragon Team. As LTC Johnson so eloquently states at his end of work week formations, “I am always proud to be a Black Dragon” is a motto that the leaders and Soldiers of the Battalion proudly sound off with much pride. Ghostrider 6 signing on.
Greetings, Ghostriders family and friends it has been an exciting month with preparing and deploying to the field here on Fort Hood. The training and planning for that FTX paid off immensely. We learned from our mistakes and improved on skills we possessed. I would like to say Great Job Ghostriders for a job well done. As Ghostrider 6 stated in the key events, I will be departing soon (5June 2012) to be come the 1SG of a Signal Company in 4BSTB which is still within the Brigade foot print. I enjoyed my time here in the Black Dragon Battalion and I will miss you all especially my Ghostrider Soldiers! Take care, Ghostrider 9 out!
5-82 Gunnery Support The Ghostriders went out to the field beginning on May 7 and culminating on May 18. During that time frame, the Ghostrider cooks provided outstanding food service for the entire battery. This was a true field motivator. The Distribution Platoon played a critical
part keeping track, issuing, and properly giving the Batteries their fair share. The Maintenance Platoon kept all the vehicles moving keeping training time on target. The Headquarters Platoon did an outstanding job refining their skills that will pay dividends.
Key Events This last month we had a change of command and we begin preparing for the departure of 1SG Bryant as we transition responsibility to 1SG Carlos Lewis, the former 1SG of HHC, 27BSB. We also begin a new week in training in the field to sharpen our skills.
Ghostrider 6 Welcome
Ghostrider 9’s Corner
Training Calendar updates for Both June & July 2012
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Missoula Theatre Camp
Auditions! Monday, June 18 1000-1200
The popular Missoula Theater Camp will be at Fort Hood June 18-23 Free to Military Youth! Auditions are June 18 from 10001200. The youth that are selected will have a short lunch break and start rehearsals that day. The selected youth must be present for their rehearsal times (1000 1430) throughout the entire week. For more information please go to www.webtract.mwr.army.mil/webtra/hoodcyms.html
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BLA UPCOMING EVENTS
"The Murder of Noah Boddy" Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is an upbeat show that caters to those who enjoy savory dishes storylines... Club Hood • June 29 • 6 pm Cocktails • 7 pm Dinner & Show Menu: London Broil and Mango Chicken, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans Almandine, Coffee & Iced Tea & Strawberry Shortcake $37 per person, OPEN TO ALL 18 years of age and older
Laughter, Love & Fiddle Tour Featuring Natalie Stovall and Comedian Paul Varghese June 13 Backbone NCO Lounge Free and open to all Doors open at 6 pm Show begins at 7 pm A performer in the truest sense of the word, Natalie Stovall is a perfect example of what happens when natural talent intersects with true perseverance, and she possesses a poise and dedication not often found in an artist her age. Whether on stage with the Opryland Kids Club, her fiddle playing, or singing to anyone who would put her on stage, she has been keeping audiences on the edge of their seats for two decades. Paul Varghese's act includes a number of observations about being Indian, providing outsider-looking-in and insider-looking-out commentary, while also exploring an array of topics and issues outside that realm. He was named by the Dallas Observer in 2007 as the "Best Stand-up Comic in Dallas" and recently won the 2009 "Funniest Comic in Dallas" competition. Varghese has performed at the HBO Comedy Festival, the Montreal and Toronto's Just For Laughs Festivals and the TBS Comedy Festival. His TV credits include Telemundo 2's "Loco Comedy Jam", NBC's "Last Comic Standing," Comedy Central's "Live At Gotham" and he can be seen this October 17th on Showtime's "Russell Peters Presents". Backbone NCO Lounge 37th Street, Bldg. 194 254-286-5342
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MWR Local News and Activities
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Local News Killeen Public Libraries Both the Killeen City Library and Copper Mountain Branch Library are hosting summer reading programs. The program kicks off Monday, but parents and children can sign up to receive reading logs at any time in their chosen library. The program runs through July 27 with different activities for children and teens. Parties for those who accomplish reading goals are on July 30. For more information, visit the Killeen City Library at 205 E. Church Ave. or call (254) 501-8990. The Copper Mountain Library is at 3000 S. W.S. Young Drive and can be reached at (254) 501-7871.
Harker Heights Public Library The Harker Heights library's summer reading program starts Wednesday with an opening party from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The sign-up can be done at the library or online at www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/library. There is no age range for participants, and many major programs will take place on Wednesdays. For more information, the Harker Heights library is at 400 Indian Trail and can be reached at (254) 699-5008. Copperas Cove Public Library Signup for Copperas Cove's summer reading program is from Monday to July 12. Separate programs are held for children 1 to 3 years old, 5 to 11 years old, and 11 to 16 years old on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting June 19. All-ages shows will be on Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Copperas Cove Public Library at 501 S. Main St. Copperas Cove Branch, or call (254) 547-3826. Lampasas Public Library Summer reading programs in Lampasas kicked off Friday, but residents can still sign up. Programs are geared toward 4-to-10 year olds and each week has a different theme. Mondays are movie days, Wednesdays are speaker or performer days, including hands-on science presentations and a magician, And Fridays will include story times and crafts. For more information on Lampasas' summer reading opportunities, visit the library at 201 S. Main St., or call (512) 556-3251. To better serve the residents of Killeen and surrounding communities who have medical needs, the Greater Killeen Free Clinic will add a new, daytime clinic beginning Tuesday. The new clinic will be every Tuesday, with check-in at 9 a.m. This is in addition to the Monday and Thursday clinics, which begin at 3:30 p.m. The Greater Killeen Free Clinic, a nonprofit, United Way agency, is at 718 N. Second St., Suite A. It provides acute medical care to residents of Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties. For more information, call (254) 618-4211 or email email@example.com NACCRRA and the United States Military Services Supporting Our Nationâ€™s Military Families and Strengthening Child Care What is the NACCRRA Military Fee Assistance Program? NACCRRA is working with the U.S. Military Services to help those who serve in the military find and afford child care that suits their unique needs. Through the fee assistance program, families are eligible to receive a monthly subsidy to help offset the cost of child care in their communities. Please feel free to contact the NACCRRA Military Fee Assistance department toll-free at 1-800-424-2246 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have regarding our fee assistance programs. http://www.naccrra.org/military-families
News Letter for Soldiers of the Black Dragon Battalion and their families.