Page 1

Vol. 26

No. 11

March 20, 2014

Walter Reed Bethesda Enhances Preparedness, Conducts Mass Casualty Exercise By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer To enhance preparedness and ensure staff members understand their role in the event of a disaster, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) conducted a Mass Casualty Exercise on Tuesday. The exercise was a collaboration of more than 500 personnel throughout the medical center, along with hospitals and agencies within the community, such as Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine in Bethesda, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, explained Chris Gillette, emergency manager for WRNMMC. “We have to be ready at any time, at any hour, regardless of what the climate is, to respond to any type of emergency,” Gillette said. “It gave us an opportunity to test our mass casualty plan, and how we can prepare for an immediate surge of patients exposed to all types of dangers.” The exercise focused on responding to a scenario, in which there was a mass shooting and a mass explosion, within the community, resulting in multiple mass casualties arriving at WRNMMC, Gillette continued. As a result, the medical center activated Code Green, an emergency code indicating a mass casualty. Roughly 50 nursing students volunteered to act as “victims,” surging the Emergency Department in their tattered clothing and moulaged make-up. Approximately 19 of those volunteers were sent to area hospitals, including Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, which was also played out the same scenario. Area hospitals communicated with one an-

Photos by Sharon Renee Taylor

Physicians assess a mock “victim” in the ER during the Code Green exercise Wednesday. other as they would in a real disaster, informing each other of their available resources, Gillette explained. During the exercise, personnel were quick to set up several locations throughout the medical center where the “victims” were triaged, depending on the severity of their injuries, according to Melissa Knapp, program manager for Emergency Management Plans, Training and Exercises at WRNMMC. “We train so that we can identify gaps and areas that we need to improve upon,” Knapp said. Overall, personnel exhibited strong teamwork and problemsolving skills, she continued.

There was minimal impact to patient care, and logistical and administrative processes that will need to be worked out, such as adding more radios to certain areas, she said, but that is why training is necessary, to identify any gaps. “The better we’re prepared to make that transformation from normal operations, to mass casualty receiving operations, the more efficient we’ll become,” Gillette said. He noted The Joint Commission requires the medical center conduct a minimum of two annual training exercises. WRNMMC conducts far more throughout the year, to continuously enhance readiness and response efforts.

Air Force Maj. Matthew Goldman, left, chief of pediatric gastroenterology, leans in to review an information card on a mock “victim”, read by Navy Cmdr. James Doran, right, anesthesiologist.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Journal

Bethesda Notebook

Senior Enlisted Leader’s Corner

Team Bethesda, Good day. March is quickly coming to a close. Spring is almost upon us and hopefully the cold weather will soon dissipate and warmer weather will follow. This month has provided us the opportunity to recognize and support three vital programs - the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Army Emergency Relief (AER) and the National Observance of Women?s History Month. NMCRS fund drive and Women?s History Month will soon reach their conclusion, while the Army Emergency Relief campaign ends on May 15th. For 110 years, NMCRS has stood the watch, providing financial assistance to active duty and retired sailors, marines and their families. Today’s NMCRS provides a broad range of support beyond interestfree loans and grants to our service members for emergencies. The Society also provides financial education, budget counseling, loans and grants to family members for undergraduate education, budget-forbaby workshops, thrift shops, and even free in-home visits by registered nurses to more than 1,600 combat-experienced Marines and Sailors, who with our help, are successfully adjusting to life with seen and unseen injuries. Their support has had a profound impact. AER was founded in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. Since 9/11, almost $800 million has been distributed to Soldiers and their families in the form of interest free loans, grants and scholarships to children and spouses of active duty and retired Soldiers. In the last four years nine new categories of assistance have been added to include dependent dental care, replacement vehicles, HVAC and appliance repair, rental vehicles, relocation travel, cranial helmets and infant car seats. The NMCRS and AER are private, non-profit charitable organizations that are also volunteerdriven. Taking care of people is their mission. The funds raised directly support our Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and their families. Today’s economic uncertainty, natural disasters and family emergencies may impact our people and their ability to stay focused on the job at hand.. The NMCRS and AER are lifelines of support and financial assistance for those in need. In addition to the NMCRS and AER, March pro-

Published by offset every Thursday by Comprint Military Publications, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877, a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Navy, under exclusive written contract with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. This commercial enterprise newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services. Contents of The Journal are not necessarily the official views of, nor endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Navy. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense or Comprint, Inc., of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without re-

Stages of Healing Presentation

vides us the opportunity to recognize the significant contributions that women have made to naval service. The theme for this year’s observance of Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.” Women officially began serving in the navy with the establishment of The Nurse Corps in 1908. The Navy’s first enlisted women, more commonly referred to as “Yeomanettes,” provided clerical support During World War I. However, it was not until the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act on 12 June 1948, that women gained permanent status in the armed services. Over the years the availability and types of assignments for women has increased significantly. On 24 January 2013, the secretary of defense and the Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced the rescission of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and assignment rule. The rescission states the Department of Defense’s commitment to remove gender-based barriers to service. The Navy fully envisions that by January 2016, there will be no closed occupations and a very limited number of closed positions, along with equal professional opportunities for women in every officer designator and enlisted rating. Women continue to influence, impact and make history in our Navy with their spirited and courageous efforts, following the example of the women who paved the way before them. In 2013, many Navy leadership positions were filled for the first time by women; to include VADM Michelle Howard, who was nominated for appointment to the rank of Admiral and assignment as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Upon confirmation, she will make history as the navy’s first female four-star admiral and the first woman to hold this position. Commands throughout the installation are conducting fundraisers and other various events to support and celebrate these programs. I ask that you take part in whatever way that you can - be it through donations, volunteering, organizing an event or participating in a scheduled event. I hope to see you out there. HOO YAH! MACS (SW) Jason W. Rakowski Senior Enlisted Leader Naval Support Activity Bethesda

gard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. Editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the Public Affairs Office, Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Md. News copy should be submitted to the Public Affairs Office, Building 11, lower level, Room 41, by noon one week preceding the desired publication date. News items are welcomed from all installation sources. Inquiries about news copy will be answered by calling 301-400-1381. Commercial advertising should be placed with the publisher by telephoning 301-921-2800. Publisher’s advertising offices are located at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877. Classified ads can be placed by calling 301-670-1700.

Walter Reed Bethesda’s Stages of Healing will host a humor workshop today at noon in the America Building, 4th floor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, Group Room 3. All are invited to attend. For more information, call Lt. Cmdr. Micah Sickel at 301295-2492.

Prostate Cancer Support Group Meetings

The Prostate Cancer Support Group meets at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the third Thursday of every month. The next meeting is today from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the America Building, Shore Conference Room, 1st floor. Spouses and partners are invited. For more information, call retired Col. Jane Hudak at 301-3192918 or email jane.l.hudak.

Women Leaders’ Summit

The Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office is hosting a summit on March 27 in Arlington, Va., to help women in the military understand the skills necessary to be resilient leaders. The event is open to all women in the military. For more information or to register for the summit, go to the website Resilience2014.

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda Commanding Officer: Capt. David A. Bitonti Acting Public Affairs Officer NSAB: John Epperson Public Affairs Office NSAB: 301-400-2488

NSAB Ombudsman Michelle Herrera


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Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder Ryan Hunter Katrina Skinner

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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Office of Media Relations 301-295-5727


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The Journal

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Joining Forces: WRNMMC, Auburn University Launch Project SERVE in Support of Long-Term Care for Veterans By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer

Photos by Sarah Marshall

Recognizing the need for long-term care, which impacts more than 1.25 million service members, Walter Reed Bethesda recently joined forces with Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery to develop Project SERVE. The initiative was launched last week, and seeks to expand the network of civilian nurses, institutions and health care organizations across the nation through educational opportunities.

The students participated in clinical rotations as part of Project SERVE. Clinical rotations included the Military Advanced Training Center, pictured, where nursing students learned about prosthetics and physical therapy.

To enhance long-term care for returning troops and their families, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) recently joined forces with Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery to develop Project SERVE. Commemorating the launch of this initiative, an opening ceremony was held at Walter Reed Bethesda March 10. Recognizing the need for long-term care, Project SERVE was created to expand the supportive network of civilian nurses, institutions and health care organizations across the nation through educational opportunities, explained Cmdr. Michele Kane, executive assistant to the director at Defense Health Agency. Among the hardest hit states with veterans returning home with traumatic brain injuries were Texas and Alabama, home of Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery schools of nursing. Through Project SERVE, a group of 17 Auburn nursing students and faculty received training this week at WRNMMC in the Military Advanced Training Center, National Intrepid Center of Excellence, surgical ward and the Mental Health and Traumatic Brain Injury inpatient and outpatient units. Proud to be involved in this initiative, WRNMMC Director Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Clark said Project SERVE is an innovative, patient-centered collaboration, focused on ensuring the highest quality of care for our warriors. “Project SERVE will maintain that continuum of compassion and comprehensive healing for our heroes,” Clark said. “These heroes and their families deserve no less, for their visible wounds and for those that are less visible.”

Almost a year and a half in the making, Clark added Project SERVE is breaking ground, as W R N M M C, Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery Schools of Nursing are the first educational institutions leading this particular model in support of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Campaign.

On April 11, 2012, the first lady and Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, announced their campaign charging national organizations and nursing schools with further educating the nation’s three million nurses, preparing them to meet the unique health care needs of service members, veterans and their families. “We are indeed join-

ing forces,” Clark said. “Veterans and their families will benefit from this unique commitment to nursing excellence.” Kane echoed similar sentiments. She said to the students, wearing their orange and white scrubs, “We are opening our doors. We are not limiting ourselves to geography, and we are inviting

See SERVE page 9



Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Journal

TRICARE Service Center Goes Online! By the TRICARE Serice Center of Bethesda The TRICARE Service Center (TSC) in Building 9 at Walter Reed Bethesda transitions to a 24/7 online service and phone assistance on April 1, ending the walkin service provided to date. Beneficiaries will instead be assisted, via 24/7 online support, or by calling 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273). TRICARE officials are citing beneficiaries “increasing access [to] electronic, Internet, and toll-free customer service features,” as a reason walk-in service at TSCs across the United States ends this month. TSCs outside of the United States will continue to offer walk-in service because of “the unique needs of overseas ben-


eficiaries,” officials add. There are 189 TSCs in the United States. Chisun S. Chun, director of healthcare operations at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, explained TRICARE’s online customer support (www. and toll-free number offer beneficiaries the ability to process enrollment transactions online and find

status of referrals, find a network provider and other benefits information, as is done similarly in the online banking services. They can access information around the clock, at their convenience and not have to make a physical trip to the TSC. All application processes, such as PCM enrollment changes, will soon be processed right on the keyboard with a

few clicks. If assistance is needed, beneficiaries can call 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273), where TRICARE agents stand ready to guide beneficiaries online at the computer. Beneficiaries who prefer to talk with an agent can receive personal assistance by phone, make enrollment changes and obtain information, Chun added. The “I want to…” sec-


tion at offers beneficiaries the ability to: • Enroll in or purchase a plan • File or check a claim • View referrals and prior authorizations • Find a doctor • Change a primary care manager • See what’s covered • Compare plans • Manage prescriptions The majority of customer service visits to TSCs concern in/out processing, billing, enrollment, changing a primary care manager, general information on benefits and plans or referrals. All can be resolved through existing Web sites, mobile applications and toll-free call centers, as well as through the U.S. mail. The TRICARE electronic options have been in place for some

time, however, it was not as simple as it is now to access the website. “The site has been completely revamped to make it more user-friendly,” Chun said. “This TSC transition does not affect TRICARE benefits or health care delivery,” TRICARE officials emphasize. Chun added the Walter Reed Bethesda Healthcare Operations staff is also available to assist beneficiaries with any questions, especially during the TSC transition period in April and May. Assistance is available in the DHO Health Benefits Office in Building 9, first floor, next to the information desk, or by calling 301-295-5143. Several patient-use computers will also be available for beneficiaries to use online services for enrollment or referrals.

The Journal

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Faces of Valor WRNMMC Physical Therapist Earns ‘Outstanding Care Provider’ Award Fort Bragg, N.C., supporting the 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers and responsible for neuromuscular evaluation. He also monitored treatment programs for paratroopers with a variety of neuromusculoskeletal challenges. He began his military career as a physical therapist at Womack Army Medical Center, N.C. “I enjoy the one-on-one time I am able to spend getting to know patients and helping them achieve their goals,” said Dolbeer, who earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through the U.S. ArmyBaylor University curriculum at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. A Georgia native, Dolbeer said while there’s a constant challenge providing the highest level of care and maximizing efficiency in a large outpatient clinic, working at Walter Reed Bethesda, the flagship of military medicine, has been his most rewarding experience to date as a physical therapist. “As an outpatient physical therapist,

By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer

Photo by Bernard S. Little

Army Capt. Jeffery A. Dolbeer, officer-in-charge of Outpatient Physical Therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, is board certified in orthopedics and sports medicine. ity, evidenced-based care to all his patients,” said Army Lt. Col. Shannon Lynch, chief of Physical Therapy Service at WRNMMC. “As a board certified physical therapist in orthopedics and sports medicine, he brings to the clinic a rich background of various treatment regimens that has greatly improved our patients’ functional outcomes. He is also very inspiring and motivating to [patients], and as his supervisor, I constantly

receive compliments regarding his professionalism and expertise.” For his part, Dolbeer said, “While it is always nice to be recognized for assisting our patients in the recovery process, I know that I am one piece of our patients’ recovery process. Without the previous outstanding medical care and support patients receive leading up to their time with me in the outpatient PT clinic, the outcomes would be very different,” he added.

Dolbeer, who received Operation Homefront’s Outstanding Care Provider award during the Feb. 6 event at the historic Decatur House near the White House, has been OIC of outpatient PT clinic at WRNMMC for a little more than two years. He came here from deployment in Afghanistan, where he provided care to service members in combat theater. Prior to that, he provided physical therapy at Robinson Health Clinic at


Army Capt. Jeffery A. Dolbeer, officer-in-charge (OIC) of Outpatient Physical Therapy (PT) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), recently earned the “Outstanding Care Provider” award, presented during Operation Homefront’s 2014 Faces of Valor Recognition Dinner and Reception in Washington, D.C. “I was selected by a patient as the medical provider he felt made a significant impact on his rehabilitation and recovery process,” Dolbeer said, explaining how his name was submitted for the award by then Army Spc. Igor Titovets. Titovets, of the 101st Airborne Division, was injured on patrol in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan in 2010. He lost his footing and fell more than 100 feet, breaking his spine and completely shattering two of his vertebrae. He also suffered nerve damage in his spine, posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. When he returned to the United States, Titovets was an inpatient for eight months and underwent numerous surgeries and rehabilitation. After receiving care in Florida for rehabilitation, he was eventually moved and became an outpatient at WRNMMC with Dolbeer as his physical therapist. Although doctors estimate Titovets will need at least two more years of recovery time, he can now walk short distances with the help of a brace, thanks in part to the care he received at WRNMMC and from Dolbeer. “Captain Dolbeer is a dedicated and compassionate physical therapist who provides qual-


helping patients return to full activity, exercise and duty status without limitations, is rewarding. “Being part of the treatment team to help our wounded warriors not only recover from traumatic injuries, but return to independent performance of daily tasks, duty status and even excel in athletic endeavors at the Warrior Games, is incredibly fulfilling professionally,” the physical therapist said. Dolbeer will soon be leaving WRNMMC, selected as one of three physical therapists Army-wide to attend the U.S. Military-Baylor University Doctoral Residency in Sports Physical Therapy, an 18-month Doctor of Science program, which he begins later this year. Board certified through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist as an orthopedics and sports specialist, Dolbeer and his wife, Traci, currently live in Rockville, Md.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Journal

Walter Reed Bethesda Celebrates Irish-American Heritage Month By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer Celebrating IrishAmerican Heritage Month, the Bethesda Multicultural Committee hosted the Hurley School of Irish Dance for a performance in the America Building at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) on March 5. Navy Capt. Sarah Martin, WRNMMC chief of staff, said the monthly events hosted by the Bethesda Multicultural Committee honoring the various cultures and heritages represented at the medical center, “are extremely important.” Walter Reed Bethesda Director Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Jeffrey B. Clark said it is good for the medical center staff to pause and gather in order to celebrate the diversity at WRNMMC, in addition to celebrating “all of our contributions to this great country we are privileged to live in.” In tribute to all Irish

Photos by Bernard S. Little

Students from the Hurley School of Irish Dance perform during Members of the Bethesda Multicultural Walter Reed Bethesda’s Irish-American Heritage Month celebra- Committee at Walter Reed Bethesda and tion on March 6 in the America Building. the Hurley School of Irish Dance cut cakes celebrating Irish-American Heritage Month.

Americans, in 1991 the U.S. Congress designated March as “Irish-American Heritage Month, which it did again for 1995 and 1996. The U.S. president has also issued a proclamation for Irish-American Heritage Month each year since 1991. The heritage month is in March to coincide with the Irish national holiday on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. Each year in March, the Irish Taoiseach (head of the Irish government) visits the United States

for St. Patrick’s Day, participating in a shamrock ceremony at the White House where a crystal bowl containing shamrocks, a traditional symbol of Ireland, is presented to the president in the Oval Office. In his 2014 proclamation for Irish-American Heritage Month, President Barak Obama states, “centuries after America welcomed the first sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle to our shores, Irish heritage continues to enrich

our nation. This month, we reflect on proud traditions handed down through the generations, and we celebrate the many threads of green woven into the red, white, and blue. “Irish Americans have defended our country through times of war, strengthened communities from coast to coast, and poured sweat and blood into building our infrastructure and raising our skyscrapers,” the president’s proclamation continues. “Some

endured hunger, hardship, and prejudice; many rose to be leaders of government, industry, or culture. Their journey is a testament to the resilience of the Irish character, a people who never stopped dreaming of a brighter future and never stopped striving to make that dream a reality.” In brightly colored costumes, students from the Hurley School of Irish Dance performed

a number of energetic, synchronized routines to traditional Irish music in soft and hard shoes for the Walter Reed Bethesda community. Dancers, who ranged from first graders to those in college, performed a variety of dances including Irish reels and jigs. For more information, call Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Melvin Rolon at 301-400-0089.

“Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment” in the U.S. Navy By Chief of Naval Personnel, Public Affairs The Navy joins the nation in celebrating Women’s History Month during March. Currently more than 59,000 active duty women and more than 9,000 Reserve women serve in the Navy. Making up 18 percent of the total force, women make numerous contributions to our Navy’s mission and readiness. Additionally, more than 54,000 women serve in a wide range of specialties as Navy civilians. Women leading in the Navy total force include: 32 active and Reserve flag officers, 69 Senior Executive Service members, 48 command master chiefs and three command senior chiefs. In 1908, Congress established the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. The first 20

Navy nurses were women, who became known as the “Sacred Twenty.” As one of the “Sacred Twenty,” Lenah S. Higbee was one of the first women to serve formally as a member of the Navy. In 1909, Higbee was promoted to Chief Nurse at Norfolk Naval Hospital, and in 1911 she became the Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps, serving throughout the duration of World War I. The Navy recognized Higbee’s distinguished service as Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps, awarding her the Navy Cross for service in the line of her profession and unusual and conspicuous devotion to duty. In 1944, the Navy commemorated Higbee’s naval service, naming a ship in her honor. USS Higbee (DD 806) was the first combatant ship to be named after a woman. The Navy’s first enlisted women, more com-

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Collin Turner

Capt. Synthia Jones, far right, addresses the Women’s History Month Symposium at Naval Support Activity Naples. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” monly known as yeomen (F) or yeomanettes, provided clerical support during World War I. Capt. Joy Bright Hancock initially enlisted as a yeoman (F), serving until the end of

World War I, by which time she had risen to the rank of chief petty officer. In 1942, during World War II, she was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Women Accepted

as a permanent part of the Navy. Master Chief Yeoman Anna Der-Vartanian entered the Navy through the WAVES. She was not only the first woman to hold the rank of master chief in the Navy, but also across all armed services. Reflecting on her service, Der-Vartanian noted that most of the personnel she led treated her with respect and professionalism. The few exceptions where her authority was challenged, she maintained her professionalism with the saying, “fall in and pipe down!” Upon her retirement after 21 years of naval service, Der-Vartanian continued serving her country by joining the Central Intelligence Agency. Darlene Iskra was one of the first female line officers to graduate

for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program. Hancock rose to the rank of captain and led the WAVES through the 1940s and 1950s, facilitating the addition of women See WOMEN page 10

The Journal

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Air Force Top Officer Commissions Four-Legged Lieutenant

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody pin second lieutenant bars on Goldie’s uniform. Photos by Bernard S. Little

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, the highest ranking enlisted member in the U.S. Air Force, pats Goldie, held by Patty Barry, coordinator of the facility dog program at Walter Reed Bethesda, before the Golden Retriever’s commission as a second lieutenant by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III (left) on March 12 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer The Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III visited Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) to commission a new second lieutenant March 12. Welsh, the highest ranking Air Force officer, described the ceremony as special, explaining he does not often commission lieutenants, and never a four-legged one. Goldie, a rich, lustrous, wavy-coated Golden Retriever, is the newest Air Force officer honored with the commissioning. By Welsh, who brought with him to the ceremony, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, the highest ranking enlisted member in the Air Force, was also in attendance. Welsh and Cody pinned second lieutenant bars on Goldie’s uniform during the event,

attended by other high ranking military officials including Dr. William LaPlante, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition; Maj. Gen. Timothy M. Ray, director of global power programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; NSAB Commanding Officer Capt. David A. Bitonti; wounded warriors and their families; and Goldie’s colleagues, other therapy dogs and their trainers. Describing those in attendance as “distinguished,” especially the wounded warriors and those who care for them, Welsh said. The WRNMMC therapy dog program which welcomed Goldie into its ranks, is “a fantastic example of how all of us understands the need for taking care of people when they need it most.” He added after more than a decade of war, a lot has been learned about what people need when they are in trouble or recovery. “You have been the teachers – [wounded

warriors] and those of you who care for them,” he said. “I think the story out of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, when we look back on it more than 50 years from now, is going to be a medical story,” Welsh continued. “This is all part of it, and I’m really excited after just saying, ‘Hi’ to Goldie and talking to the people who have been training him.” With his right paw raised, Goldie was administered a special officer’s oath to “support and defend the wounded warriors of the United States against all unhappy feelings, foreign and domestic; bearing unconditional love and allegiance to the same … and faithfully discharging the duties of love, caring and comfort for America’s heroes.” Welsh also presented Goldie a Certificate of Meritorious Service, stating, “he is a highly trained, intelligent and friendly asset for the Department of the Air Force. Goldie’s

keen knowledge, unique abilities and personality made him the perfect choice to represent the Air Force to support the wounded warrior efforts at Walter Reed [Bethesda].” The WRNMMC therapy dog program, Goldie became a member of, has been in existence since 2007. The dogs live with therapy program staff members who provide care, feeding and spend a number of days each week visiting wounded warriors or other staff members. Going bed-to-bed, in occupational and physical therapy areas or offices, they spread cheer and improve morale. The dogs wear service uniforms tailored by Walter Reed Bethesda’s inhouse seamstress. Bitonti described the importance of the therapy dog program at Walter Reed Bethesda, explaining, “[it] is one additional asset in our ability to provide patient-and-familycentered world class care to our beneficiaries while at the same time, assisting our staff resiliency programs so that our members can better care for themselves and our patients. “This is absolutely at the core of our mission and essential to our success,” Bitonti

continued. “These dogs have a unique way of reaching and touching patients and staff in ways that no human can. Their unconditional love and support, the ability to bring a smile to the face or just provide a brief minute of respite from an otherwise strenuous and emotional day, is their niche, and I truly believe they are the best at it.” Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Aaron Lance, leading petty officer (LPO), orthodontic/pediatric/OFP Dentistry Department, is the also the LPO for the active duty facility dog handlers. He said Goldie will live with Patty Barry, coordinator of the therapy dog program and Navy Rear Adm. Laura Lee, another Golden Retriever in the program. “The active duty handlers escort the facility dogs around the hospital to various clinics, wards, departments, etc.,” Lance added. “Our job is to ensure that the facility dogs go around and visit patients, their family members and even the staff. Canines Marine Staff Sgt. Archie, 2nd Lt. Goldie, Army Command Sgt. Maj. Susie, Adm. Laura Lee and Adm. Bobbie contribute to the well-being of everyone and boost their morale.”


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Journal

Secretary of the Navy Announces Career Sea Pay Increases

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Todd C. Behrman

Quartermaster Seaman Michael Cardenas, from Vail, Ariz., and Quartermaster 3rd Class Sean Smith, from Louisville, Ky., assigned to the amphibious dock transport ship USS Denver (LPD 9), plot the ship’s location while standing watch on the bridge.

By Chief of Naval Personnel, Public Affairs Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced an increase in Career Sea Pay (CSP) and Career Sea Pay Premium (CSP-P) for eligible Sailors and Marines serving aboard ships whose primary mission is conducted at sea March 4. “Those Sailors and Marines on sea duty, deployed away from home around the world, are the backbone of the Navy and Marine Corps, and enable us to provide and maintain our global presence,” said Mabus. “This change to Career Sea Pay will both improve critical sea-duty manning and reward those who take these challenging seagoing assignments. This increase is long overdue and is meant to reward our Sailors and Marines for their continued sacrifices as part of ‘America’s Away Team’.” CSP and CSP-P are funds earned by Sailors and Marines on top of their base pay, to compensate them for time at sea. CSP rates are based upon a member’s pay grade and cumulative years of sea duty. CSP-P is an additional incentive for members who ex-

ceed 36 consecutive months at sea. By law, CSP and CSP-P may not exceed $750 and $350 respectively. All pay grades with at least three years of cumulative sea duty will receive a 25 percent increase in regular CSP, while service members who exceed 36 months of consecutive sea duty will receive an increase in CSP-P from $100 to $200 per month. Consistent with current policy, in lieu of receiving CSP-P, Sailors and Marines in grades E5-E9 with eight years of cumulative sea duty receive a higher CSP rate, equivalent to receiving CSP-P whenever assigned to a ship regardless of consecutive sea time. This is the first increase of CSP and CSP-P since 2001. Approximately 100,000 Sailors receive CSP and approximately 13,000 receive CSP-P; this special pay increase is expected to cost $66 million per year. Pending final coordination with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, it is expected that the new CSP and CSP-P rates will take effect early this summer. An announcement on the exact date is forthcoming.

For more news from other bases around the Washington, D.C. area,

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The Journal

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Photo by Bernard S. Little

To enhance long-term care for returning troops and their families, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recently joined forces with Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery to develop Project SERVE.

SERVE Continued from 3 you in to help better visualize and understand, firsthand, successful evidencebased treatment modalities [used in the] care of our brothers and sisters, that we hold so dear in our hearts.” A key leader in launching the initiative, Kane added she hopes the program continues to expand, transcending to other states where long-term care for


veterans is also needed. Dr. John Veres III, chancellor of Auburn University Montgomery, expressed his gratitude for WRNMMC’s support. “[Project SERVE] will immediately enhance our students’ abilities to serve our wounded, by providing incomparable opportunities to better understand their special needs,” Veres said. “The bottom line is we shall produce better nurses as a result of this program. Both of our schools, at both campuses, will produce better nurses.”

Several of the nursing students were excited about their opportunity to expand their skills, to better serve veterans and their families, including Evan Deveny, a senior at Auburn University School of Nursing. “I signed up for this program because I want to learn more about how to serve those who protect us, and how to better care for them,” Deveny said. “I’m most excited to learn more about therapeutic communication, and how to talk to those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families.”

Emily Dawson, another senior from Auburn University School of Nursing, expressed interest in learning more about PTSD and gratitude for the chance to participate in the program. “It’s a great opportunity to learn and acquire the skills to better serve our veterans … I hope to be able to bring those skills to civilian hospitals,” Dawson said. “I’m hoping I can better reach out to those veterans and their families and connect them with resources to get them the care they need.”


Thursday, March 20, 2014

WOMEN Continued from 6 from the Naval School of Diving and Salvage in Washington, D.C. Looking back, Iskra said, “Dive school was the most physically challenging thing I had ever done to that point in my life. Had it not been for the support of my fellow classmates, especially my roommate and diving partner [present day] Rear Adm. Martha Herb, I would have probably quit.” As a lieutenant commander, Darlene Iskra became the first Navy woman to command a ship when she assumed command of USS Opportune (ARS 41) in 1990. Iskra took her ship, a Bolster-class rescue and salvage ship, to patrol the Suez Canal during Operation Desert Storm, ensuring the canal remained clear for commerce. Reflecting upon her time as the first female commanding officer of a naval ship, she now understands that being a trailblazer means opening new ground for others to follow and that sometimes there are hazards along the way. Iskra retired in 2000 as a commander, with 21 years of service. Most recently, Vice Adm. Michelle Howard was nominated for appointment to the rank of admiral and assignment as vice chief of naval operations. Upon confirmation, she will make history as the Navy’s first

The Journal female four-star admiral, and first African-American and first woman to serve as the vice chief. The character, courage, and commitment shown by Higbee, Hancock, Der-Vartanian, Iskra, and Howard paved the way for women serving in the contemporary Navy. Today, women in the Navy, both officer and enlisted, hold leadership positions aboard warships, of carrier air wings and squadrons, recruiting districts, training stations, and shipyards. As we continue to progress forward, previously closed billets will open to women and the Navy will continue to witness women making history and new “firsts.” Commands are strongly encouraged to increase their knowledge and awareness of the contributions of women to our Navy and nation by celebrating the National Women’s History Month theme, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment,” through programs, exhibits, publications, and participation in military and community events. For more information about the history of women and their numerous contributions to the Navy, visit For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Navy Office of Women’s Policy, visit mil/AboutUs/BUPERS/WomensPolicy.



Tuition Assistance Program Funds Awaiting Sailors’ Use By Susan D. Henson, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) is asking Sailors to submit their Navy Tuition Assistance (TA) requests - and now would be good -- said the director of Navy Voluntary Education (VOLED) March 3. According to Ernest D’Antonio, CPPD’s VOLED program director, the expenditure rate for TA funding is currently below normal levels, which means there’s more funding available than usual at this time of the year. “We use historical ‘burn rates’ as a guide for allocating TA funding throughout the year,” he said. “We plan really well for routine years. After furloughs and a government shutdown, Fiscal Year 2014 (FY-14) hasn’t been a routine year,” he said. Lt. Cmdr. Mark Wadsworth, director of CPPD Support Site Saufley Field in Pensacola, Fla., leads the team that monitors CPPD’s Navy TA spending. He said FY-14 TA execution is currently trailing FY-13’s execution rate by just over $6 million year-to-date. “We think a variety of things influenced our being below the TA budget right now,” said Wadsorth. “Our execution rate dropped in October with the government shutdown and that’s carried through the year. The usage rate steadily increased in November and December. But then it dropped back down in January, probably due to uncertainty with the federal budget. Although we have funding now, the usage rate hasn’t increased significantly since then. Sailors need to understand that their education benefits reset each year, and unused amounts don’t carry over.” D’Antonio said, “We want Sailors to continue to pursue their education and submit their TA requests - we work hard to allocate every TA dollar available to give Sailors the most opportunities to use their TA funding allotment for each fiscal year.” He said more than 25,000 Sailors have used TA benefits so far this fiscal year and emphasized that a Sailor’s command is an important part of TA authorizations because they’re the first step in the process after a Sailor submits a request. “It’s each command’s responsibility to ensure their Sailors are aware of and meet all relevant TA policies, are comfortable with their Sailors’ ability to complete a requested course, and process each Sailor’s TA request promptly,” said D’Antonio. “A command approver can review a Sailor’s request and deny it if all Navy requirements aren’t met, if the Sailor’s performance isn’t up to standards, or if the command’s mission might not per-

mit the Sailor to complete the course. Ultimately, it’s the commanding officer’s decision,” said D’Antonio. D’Antonio also recommended each command approver continually review the Sailor’s education progress. “Our biggest reason for disapproval of TA requests is they aren’t received from the Sailor’s command approver prior to the course start date, as required by Department Of Defense instruction. Often when we review a TA request, a Sailor may be missing some of the TA prerequisites such as a current education counseling by a Navy College Office (NCO) or Virtual Education Center (VEC) counselor, or an individual education plan or degree plan on file, or missing a grade from a past course,” he said. VOLED professionals work with Sailors to get the requirements in on time, but if the Sailor’s account is incomplete or not updated before the course start date, they are unable to fund the TA request, D’Antonio said. “So I repeat this message constantly: 30 days prior to the course start date is not too soon for Sailors to submit their TA request. In fact, a TA application can be submitted a year before the actual class start date, which will help ensure the Sailor’s TA request is funded and allows us to better manage expenditures.” D’Antonio also stressed that Sailors should work closely with an NCO or VEC counselor to help them reach their educational goals. “The VOLED team is here to help, bottom line. Our job is to work with Sailors, inform them about options, provide impartial counseling and point out avenues for Sailors to pursue their life-long educational and credentialing goals.” According to CPPD Commanding Officer Capt. John Newcomer, Navy leaders are committed to providing Sailors with voluntary education opportunities. “We know that educated Sailors are strong performers with well-developed critical thinking skills and the ability to make informed decisions,” said Newcomer. “A college degree is an investment in a Sailor and a contributing factor in Navy mission accomplishment.” For more information about the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), visit: https:// For more news from the Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit: Find CPPD on Facebook at https:// and on Twitter @ CENPERSPROFDEV. CPPD: Where Mind Meets Mission

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Thursday, March 20, 2014




Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Journal

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