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Operation Santa

IMCOM welcomes new CSM

Generals win title

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Published for Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

Vol. 60, no. 49 December 20, 2013

2014 military housing allowance rates announced


By Terri Moon Cronk American Forces Press Service




United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps’ Stephen Christopher Clark lays a wreath at the grave of his grandfather, Navy Cmdr. Stephen P. Ragan, in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60 at the beginning of Wreaths Across America Dec. 14.

Wreaths Across America stories pull on heartstrings By Jim Dresbach Pentagram Staff Writer

Survivors regularly pay respects to fallen family members inside the stone walls of Arlington National Cemetery from January through November, but the numbers of military family members multiply on the advent of the holidays. Trips are made from near and far. Warm tears flow on cold December days, voices choke with emotion and knees quiver on a walk over the frozen sod to a child’s or spouse’s final resting place.

The second Saturday in December has evolved into an annual trek to Arlington for many brothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives and mothers. Wreaths Across America (WAA) brings them all together on the ANC’s hallowed acreage. For the 22nd year, graves at America’s most recognizable military cemetery were adorned with 143,000 remembrance wreaths by nearly 30,000 volunteers who honored loved ones and heroes during the 2013 WAA mass wreath laying Dec. 14. see ANC, page 6

The 2014 basic allowance for housing rates for servicemembers released Dec. 17 represent an average increase of 5 percent or up to $75 to $80 per month, the Defense Department’s BAH program manager said. The new rates will take effect Jan. 1 at a cost of about $20 billion for the Defense Department program, which will affect nearly 1 million service members, Cheryl Anne Woehr said. The allowance differs by pay grade, location and whether or not servicemembers have dependents. “How each servicemember is impacted is local,” Woehr said, explaining that BAH rates are based on the costs of housing for civilians with comparable incomes in 306 areas in the country with significant military populations. “The program focuses strictly on the rental market and certain types of housing, such as rental prices for townhouses, apartments and single-family homes,” Woehr said. BAH rate adjustments, she said, are based on three factors: data gathered from property managers for existing vacancies in each area, the costs of utilities based on data from the American Community Survey and renter’s insurance costs, based on data collected from insurance carriers in each state. BAH rates are routinely reviewed and are adjusted each year to account for fluctuations in rent, utilities and renter’s insurance in a given location, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman. “BAH is designed to assist servicemembers assigned to permanent duty stations within the United States with acquiring housing comparable to civilians in the same income range at that location,” he added. The largest BAH area increase for 2014 will be in Mobile, Ala., at an average of 14.9 percent, which translates into about $1,500 for BAH per month for servicemembers with dependents, compared to $1,305 per month for 2013. Increases in Honolulu County, Hawaii and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., follow at 14.7 percent see BAH, page 6

Volunteers needed at 2014 tax center By Julia LeDoux Pentagram Staff Writer

Looking for a way to help the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall community in the new year? The tax center is looking for volunteers to prepare federal and state returns throughout the 2014 tax season and might just be the opportunity you’re looking for. “We’re looking for as many people to volunteer as possible; there are multiple positions available,” said Capt. Aaron Matthes, a legal assistance attorney, who will serve as the tax


Community Spotlight p.2 Commentary p.3 Community p.4 News Notes p.4 Feature p.7 Classifieds p.11

center’s officer-in-charge. “Retirees, family members, people who are new to the area, this is a great opportunity for them,” he added. Ten Soldiers from Fort Myer and throughout the National Capital Region have been assigned to the tax center this year, Matthes said. In addition to volunteer tax preparers, other volunteer opportunities at the center include administrative positions and working the front desk. “I don’t think anyone should disqualify themselves. You don’t have to be a tax guru to volunteer

your time and energy at the tax center. We can use everybody,” he stressed. “We’re looking for people who are motivated and ready to learn.” “We are already in the preparation stage right now,” Matthes continued. “The preparation phase has been going on for a number of months now. We’re now in the process of having the special duty Soldiers attach to the tax center.” Volunteers and the Soldiers PHOTO BY RACHEL LARUE who are assigned to the center Sgt. Joshua Murphy of 911th Engineer Company prewill attend a free week-long train- pares the taxes of David Person (right), retired Army, ing session known as Volunteer and Diane Person at the Tax Center on Joint Base Myer-

Rising star

Soldier shines at competition

Pg. 10

see TAX, page 6

Henderson Hall Feb. 29, 2012.

Holiday hours

JBM-HH activities

Pg. 3


Friday, December 20, 2013



Army vs. Navy

Navy Midshipman Keenan Reynolds, sophomore, lunges for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Army vs. Navy game Dec. 14 making the score 17-0. Navy won 34-7.

Community Spotlight •Name (rank): Saint “Kris Kringle” Nicholas •Job title/where do you work: Head of toy making and delivery, headquartered at the North Pole. •Favorite sports team: Well, I do not have a favorite team. But, I do enjoy the annual Reindeer Games at the North Pole. •Favorite book: “Night Before Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express.” •Favorite food: Cookies and milk…any type of cookie! •Favorite Christmas song: “Santa Claus is coming to Town.” •Favorite movie: “Miracle on 34th Street.” •Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to or been stationed: There are too many places to decide. •What do you like most about visiting JBM-HH? Seeing all the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery really chokes me and the reindeer up. •What are your goals for the year? To ensure all the good boys and girls have a special Christmas morning. •What do you like most about visiting the National Capital Region? I get an all-clear landing strip at Reagan National Airport. •What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t shave the beard. •How do you know who’s been naughty or nice? There is an app for that. •What advice do you have for someone getting stationed at JBM-HH? “If you are naughty or nice, I will know.” •Anything else you would like to add? Track me Christmas Eve using North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa Tracker at

Commander, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Col. Fern O. Sumpter’s vision and philosophy: With a team of resource management savvy and technically competent DoD professionals, establish JBM–HH as DoD’s premier provider of consistent, quality services that enhance readiness and the overall well-being of our customers. We must be ... - Experts at what we do … constantly improving our skills and knowledge. - Focused … set priorities and complete the mission. - Committed … to the mission and each other, fostering a community of excellence. - Professional/respectful … remain calm, even when others are not… count on each other at all times, treating everyone with dignity and respect.

Pentagram Printed on recycled paper

Holiday recipe

Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe

To the left is an image of the following ice cream recipe hand written by Thomas Jefferson. The original document is part of the Library of Congress’ collection. 2. bottles of good cream 6. yolks of eggs 1/2 lb. sugar Mix the yolks and sugar. Put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla. When near boiling take it off and pour it gently into the mixture of eggs and sugar. Stir it well. Put it on the fire again stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it’s sticking to the casserole. When near boiling take it off and strain it thro’ a towel. Put it in the Sabottiere. Then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served. Put into the ice a handful of salt. Put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere and cover the whole with ice. Leave it still half a quarter of an hour. Then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes. Open it to loosen with a spatula the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere. Shut it and replace it in the ice. Open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides. When well taken (prise) stir it well with the Spatula. Put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee. Then put the mould into the same bucket of ice. Leave it there to the moment of serving it. To withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well till it will come out & turn it into a plate. (From

The Pentagram is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense. Contents of the Pentagram are not necessarily the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, or Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The content of this publication is the responsibility of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs Office. Pictures not otherwise credited are U.S. Army photographs. News items should be submitted to the Pentagram, 204 Lee Ave., Bldg. 59, Fort Myer, VA 22211-1199. They may also be faxed to (703) 696-0055 or e-mailed to Circulation of 24,000 is printed by offset every Friday as a civilian enterprise newspaper by Comprint Military Publications. Comprint Military Publications is located at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Telephone (301) 921-2800. Commercial advertising should be placed with the printer. Comprint Military Publications is a private firm in no way connected with the Department of the Army or Department of the Navy. The appearance of advertisements in this publication, to include all inserts and supplements, does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or Department of the Navy of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard 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. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an advertiser shall result in the refusal to print advertising from that source.

Caption This #46 “You! With the tuba! Pay attention!” Tom Yocklin

Editorial staff Commander Command Sergeant Major Director of Public Affairs Command Information Officer

Col. Fern O. Sumpter Earlene Y. Lavender Mary Ann Hodges Sharon Walker

Pentagram staff Editor Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Photographer

Courtney Dock Rhonda Apple Julia LeDoux Jim Dresbach Rachel Larue

(703) 696-5401 (703) 696-1363 (703) 696-7605 (703) 696-5488 (703) 696-7606


Safety tip A safer you for the new year Tacking up a new calendar in January signifies a chance for change. Last year’s mistakes and shortcomings are over and done. This year is a new opportunity to do things better. With the whole new year stretching out in front of you, what can you do to improve the safety aspects of your working life? First, you can plan to be a better driver. Motor vehicle accidents are still the leading cause of job-related fatalities in this country. Consider what you can do to improve safety on the job. Consider theseareas: • Training: Take advantage of any opportunities for continued training in how to do your job safely and well. If you do not understand the hazards and precautions related to your work, ask until you get satisfactory answers. Take first aid and CPR training. • Awareness: Stay alert and know what you are doing at all times when you are on the job. Tune into your surroundings so you will not be surprised by events such as a moving vehicle or an item falling from above. • Communication: Report any hazards and safety concerns to your supervisor. Warn fellow workers of danger. Follow up to make sure safety problems are corrected promptly. • Personal protective equipment: Use the recommended gear whenever it is needed — even for quick tasks. Learn how to maintain your protective gear so it will continue to protect you. Safety eyewear, gloves, and their protective equipment have proven their value countless times in preventing serious injuries. Look beyond workplace safety and consider some tactics for self-improvement. Improve safety at home and at play: • Pay more attention to home and community safety, which today far surpasses the workplace in accidental death and injury rates. • Focus on fire safety: Get in the habit of checking smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year, with the time changes. Make sure you store your flammables safely. • Improve your driving habits: Put away your cell phone while driving. Be an active participant in teens’ learning to drive safely. • Control your blood pressure: Learn to control unsafe blood pressure with diet, exercise, weight loss and medication as prescribed by your doctor. Visit your doctor for a complete physical before embarking on any change in your current exercise levels. For added personal safety, make sure you have regular checkups. • Eat for health: Reduce your fat and cholesterol intake and increase the fiber in your diet. Avoid food with saturated fats which can contribute to heart disease. Add whole grain breads, cereals such as oatmeal, fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and peas to your meals. Cut down on, or avoid altogether, alcohol and caffeine in beverages. • Be active everyday: Try climbing extra flights of stairs on your way to work; try swimming, gardening or mowing the lawn. Being in good physical condition makes you safer by giving you the ability to respond quickly to a hazard. • Reduce stress: Learn to control your stress with exercise, diet and plenty of relaxation — not drugs and alcohol. At work, get away from your job by taking a ten-minute stress break at coffee time and go for a brisk walk on your lunch break. Treat yourself to a long, warm bath while you listen to good music or read an interesting book. Learn to say no to extra commitments and yes to time with friends and family. • Quit tobacco use: You know why you should quit smoking. You have heard countless times of the health dangers — heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other deadly illnesses. When you open your new calendar to January 2014, resolve to make this a safer year in your home and working life. Take some time now to consider your personal safety resolutions.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall chapel services community events Jan. 5: 4 p.m., Epiphany concert at Old Post Chapel. JBM-HH Protestant Chapel Community (All worship services at Memorial Chapel unless otherwise noted.) Dec. 24: Christmas Eve candlelight service (combined Protestant congregations.) Dec. 24 and 31: No Joshua Generation worship service. JBM-HH Catholic Community (All worship services at Memorial Chapel unless otherwise noted.) Dec. 21: 5 p.m. Vigil Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Dec. 22: 9 a.m. Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Dec. 24: 4:30 p.m. choral prelude – chapel and handbell choir. Dec. 24: 5 p.m. Solemn Christmas Mass. Dec. 25: 9 a.m. Christmas Mass Dec. 28: 5 p.m. Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family. Dec. 29: 9 a.m. Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family. Dec. 31: 5 p.m. Vigil for the Feast of Mary Mother of God. Jan. 4: 5 p.m. Vigil Mass of the Epiphany. Jan. 5: 9 a.m. Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany. Jan. 11: 5 p.m. Vigil Mass for the Baptism of the Lord. Jan. 12: 9 a.m. Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (end of Christmas season.) JBM-HH Gospel Community Dec. 31: 10 p.m. Watch Night Service at Memorial Chapel. Breakfast served in the Memorial Chapel Fellowship hall immediately following Watch Night Service.

JBM-HH holiday hours Most offices on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day and Wednesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, both federal holidays. Some military activities will have curtailed operations both Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Tuesday, Dec. 31, and many personnel will take leave during the holiday period between Monday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Jan. 3. The following facilities and places of business will have altered hours during the holiday period. Unless otherwise noted, this list applies to Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. This list is not all encompassing. Please check with the facility you wish to visit for more details. • Dining Facility – hours from Monday, Dec. 16 through Friday, Jan. 10 – brunch – from 9 a.m. to noon; supper from 4 to 5:30 p.m. • Headquarters Command Battalion, Fort Myer side of JBM-HH – curtailed operations; closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1; normal operations resume Thursday, Jan. 2. • Headquarters & Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall side of JBM-HH – curtailed operations; closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; open until noon Dec. 24 and Dec. 31; normal operations resume Thursday, Jan. 2. • Memorial Chapel – Open for Christmas Day Mass at 9 a.m. Dec. 25. • Rader Health Clinic – Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. • State Department Federal Credit Union – Closing early Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. • Fort McNair Health Clinic – Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. • Commissary – Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; closing early Dec. 24 at 4 p.m. • Fort Myer Exchange – Closed Dec. 25; open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24; open Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Fort Myer Express – Closed Dec. 25; open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31; open Jan. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Fort Myer Military Clothing Sales Store Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; Open Dec. 24 and 31 from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Marine Corps Exchange, The Vineyard Wine & Spirits – Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 31 • Directorate of Human Resources staff office, Building 203 on the Fort Myer side of the joint base – Closed Dec. 25-30 and Jan. 1. • Administrative Division (Bldg. 203) Closed Dec. 25, 26, Jan. 1; open Dec. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. • Fort Myer Official Mail Distribution Center (Bldg. 203) – Closed Dec. 26, 26, Jan. 1; open Dec. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. • Fort McNair Official Mail Distribution Center (Bldg. 48) – Closed Dec. 25, 26, 30, Jan. 1; open Dec. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. • Military Personnel Division (Bldg. 202, Fort Myer) – Closed Dec. 26, 26, Jan. 1. • ID Card Facility (Bldg. 202) – Closed Dec. 25-27, Jan. 1. • Army Career and Alumni Program (Bldg. 404, Fort Myer) – Closed Dec. 25, Jan. 1. • Army Education Center (Bldg. 417) – Closed Dec. 25, 26, Jan. 1. • Army Substance Abuse Program (Bldg. 230, Fort Myer) – Closed Dec. 25, 26, Jan. 1. • Fort Myer Fitness Center – Open Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gymnasium – Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; open 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24; open 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 26. • Bowling Center – Closed Christmas Day; open Dec. 24 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; open Dec. 31 from 7 a.m. to midnight; open Jan 1 from noon to 6 p.m. • Java Café – Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; open 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24 and 26. • MCCS Henderson Hall Car Wash – Open 24/7. • Fort Myer Network Enterprise Center (NEC) - Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 and will keep normal business hours with minimal staff. For more information see HoursRetail.html and or call an activity you have a question about. Find extensive phone lists at or

News you can use New traffic pattern on Columbia Pike Drivers heading to I-395 from eastbound Columbia Pike in Arlington now have a new traffic pattern. Traffic going to I-395N will now turn left at the signal at S. Quinn Street. Look for the dedicated left turn lane. Traffic going to I-395S will go straight through the light at S. Quinn Street and continue to use the ramp on the right. This new access is part of the $51.5 million project to replace the Washington Boulevard Bridge over Columbia Pike. The project will be complete in the summer of 2015. Scholarship applications available at commissary Applications for the 2014 scholarships program are available at the commissary on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base and online at www Applications must be turned in to a commissary by the close of business Feb. 28. Packages must be hand-delivered or shipped via the U.S. Postal Service or other delivery methods, not emailed or faxed. This year’s award amount has risen to $2,000, and the program awards at least one scholarship at each commissary with qualified

applicants. Applicants should ensure that they and their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database and have a military ID card. For more information, students or sponsors should call scholarship managers at 1-856-616-9311 or email them at Customer appreciation day at Fort Myer PX On Dec. 23 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the Post Exchange on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base will hold a customer appreciation day. There will be cake and refreshments, freebies for customers, make up touch-ups by vendors, demonstrations and sweepstakes entries throughout the store. The Fort Myer Exchange wants to thank the community for all of its support during its renovation. Come and join the fun. CIF temporarily closed The JBM-HH central issue facility, located in Bldg. 313 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base, will be closed from Jan. 13-17 to meet its 100 percent inventory mission requirement for change of custodian PBO hand receipt. For more information, call David Fertig at 703-696-0817/3344.



Friday, December 20, 2013

IMCOM welcomes new command sergeant major By Neal Snyder U.S. Army Installation Management Command

Pledging to “give everything I have” to Soldiers, their families, civilians, veterans and wounded warriors, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey S. Hartless assumed the responsibilities of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s most senior enlisted advisor in a Dec. 13 ceremony at IMCOM’s Fort Sam Houston Theatre. Hartless takes over for departing IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice. Rice is retiring after 32 years of service in the U.S. Army. Formerly command sergeant major of IMCOM’s Europe region, Hartless said the headquarters is to focus on supporting the regions and garrison command teams. The garrisons are “the tip of the spear” in delivering services, he said. His experience in IMCOM-Europe will now benefit the command as a whole, according to Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter, IMCOM commander. “We are blessed to have Command Sgt. Maj. Hartless on our team,” he said, calling Hartless “the perfect leader at the perfect time.” Rice called Hartless a “personal friend and awesome leader. All … who know Jeff Hartless know of his dedication.” Ferriter gave the noncommissioned officer’s sword to Hartless after receiving it from Rice, symbolically passing responsibility in front of a theater filled with garrison commanders and command sergeants major in town for IMCOM’s annual leadership conference, as well as family members, friends and headquarters staff. The role of IMCOM command sergeant major carries great responsibility, Ferriter said. Leading IMCOM takes total dedication to its Soldiers, civilians and their families. “Command Sgt. Maj. Rice carried the load as if it were easy, and when it got hard he would look over and ask me if he could carry some of my load,” he said. Beginning his farewell remarks, Rice stepped




Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey S. Hartless becomes U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s newest senior enlisted advisor. Hartless replaces Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice, who is retiring after 32 years of service.

News Notes Death notices Anyone with debts owed to or by the estate of Sgt. Seth T. Kirkland, WTB, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, must contact Capt. Mathiew N. Ngati, the summary court officer for the Soldier. Kirkland passed away Nov. 29. Call Ngati at 202-456-7890. Anyone with debts owed to or by the estate of Staff Sgt. Landon Leo Henscheid must contact Capt. Sherry L. Hamilton, the summary court officer for the Soldier. Henscheid passed away Dec. 7. Call Hamilton at 301400-0271 or email Anyone with debts owed to or by the estate of Maj. Chad David Wriglesworth must contact Capt. Danielle E. Reid, the summary court officer for the Soldier. Wriglesworth passed away Nov. 20. Call Wriglesworth at 301-400-0287 or email



Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey S. Hartless becomes U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s newest senior enlisted advisor. Hartless replaces Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice, who is retiring after 32 years of service.

to the American flag and touched its fringe. “This is what it’s all about,” he said. “We get to dedicate our lives to defending this great nation. “This certainly isn’t about what we’re doing here [holding a ceremony], it’s about the unfailing leadership shown by our [garrison] command teams,” Rice said. The 82nd Airborne Division, where he spent much of his career, calls itself America’s 911 service, Rice said. Just as the 82nd has to be ready at a moment’s notice to defend the nation, he learned garrison staffs have to be ready to respond on the communities they operate. “Garrison commanders and command sergeants major are the 911 force on-call team on the installation level,” he said. “I am proud to have served alongside each and every one of you.” Hartless was born in Lynchburg, Va., and graduated from Amherst County High School in 1981. He entered the U.S. Army in April, 1983, completing basic training, advanced individual training and airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga. During his 29 years of service, Hartless has served with the 75th Ranger Regiment; Special Operations Aviation Regiment; 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); 173d Airborne Brigade; 503rd Infantry; United States Army Garrison, Fort Polk; Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and United States Army Garrison Vicenza, Italy. He has completed multiple combat tours. Rice assumed duties as IMCOM command sergeant major Feb. 20, 2012. He enlisted in November 1981 and received basic and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga. Rice held numerous command sergeant major positions including XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg and United States Forces Iraq.

Exchange recognized as top employer for military spouses The Army and Air Force Exchange Service announced that it has earned the 2014 Military Spouse Employer title by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse. Companies competed for the military-friendly employers title via a data-driven survey of more than 5,000 companies with resulting survey data independently tested by Ernst and Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Criteria for the survey included a benchmark score across key programs and policies such as the strength of military recruiting efforts, percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs and company policies on National Guard and Reserve service. The Exchange aggressively seeks to hire military talent and has found that hiring


from the military community is a strategic competitive advantage. “I’m delighted to hear the great news in being recognized for our superb efforts to hire military spouses,”

said Exchange Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward. “Our military spouses play such a huge role in supporting our troops — it is wonderful to see so many companies, to include the Exchange, recognize what

they bring to the fight. Our military spouses truly represent our motto: family serving family.” Now in its 11th year, Military Friendly Employers media is the premier resource for transitioning servicemembers and spouses seeking civilian employment. Each year companies taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an advisory board consisting of leaders in the military recruitment community. A full list of board members can be found at board. The Exchange will be showcased, along with other 2014 military friendly employers, in the January edition of “Military Spouse Magazine” and online at

Tax Center needs volunteers The Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall tax center is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help staff this year’s tax center. The tax center will provide cost-free federal and state income tax return preparation and e-filing for military personnel, their families and other eligible clients throughout the 2014 tax season. Volunteer tax preparers and volunteer administrative staff are needed to help make this year’s tax center a successful operation. If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity, contact the tax center’s officerin-charge, Capt. Aaron Matthes at 703-696-0761 or CSF2 mental games JBM-HH strives to have a ready and resilient community that operates as a team to accomplish the mission. Master resiliency training is open to all. Participants will learn how to take their mind off counterproductive thoughts by using games that are hard and fun. Questions or to register, contact Capt. Paul A. Brown at 703-696-2619 or paul.a.brown128. or Sgt. Avrion Oliver at 703-696-5962 or Temporary change at occupational health clinic For the time being, the occupational health clinic of the Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic will not be able to accommodate any walk-in patients. All occupational health support will be by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 703-696-0068. Rader dental clinic updates All reserve component servicemembers seeking care at the Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic will be required to have a current copy of their orders in their dental record prior to any appointments being made. Orders can be dropped off or faxed to 703-696-0586. All servicemembers seeking treatment at the dental clinic will be required to turn in their dental records to the front desk before any appointments can be made. All exam appointments will now include a cleaning. Because of this, no walk-ins are accommodated. Sick call hours are from 7:30-9 a.m. During the duty day it will be on a stand-by basis. After hours emergencies to report to the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital emergency room. Save your own life Take your life seriously. Make a plan, register at and use the tools available to kick the tobacco habit. Tobacco kills. Inhaling or ingesting tobacco releases harmful chemicals into your lungs and blood stream, sending toxins to every organ in your body. Smoking and tobacco use cause cancer, heart disease, strokes, emphysema, bronchitis and airway obstructions. Talk to the Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic personnel who have resources to help military personnel and their family members. Get an appointment for tobacco cessation counseling by calling the Rader appointment line at 1-855-227-6331. Those not eligible to use Rader, check in at Army wants feedback In support of the Army’s ready and resilient campaign, the office of the chief of public affairs is requesting feedback from across the Army in order to determine better ways we can communicate to Soldiers and civilians about health of the force issues. Take a few minutes to provide your input through a survey on AKO (CAC log-in required) at https://www. We encourage your feedback regardless of whether or not you are familiar with these topics. Note this survey is only for Army Soldiers and Department of Army civilians. Direct any additional questions about this survey to army Zembiec Pool closed indefinitely Due to damage as a result of a power outage, the Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec Pool is closed indefinitely. We regret the loss of a popular workout venue and will be working diligently to reopen as soon as possible. Personal financial management The Marine Corps Community Service financial management program holds classes on financial management topics each month. December’s topics include Continued on next page


Friday, December 20, 2013


News Notes From previous page home buying, investing, planning for retirement and personal credit. For more information, visit www. or call 703-614-6950. EFMP December class On Dec. 26 from noon-1 p.m., learn about the Exceptional Family Member Program reimbursement program at an orientation on the Henderson Hall portion of the joint base. The orientation is available through WebEx. All classes require registration. Call 703-693-5353 for more information. Welcome 2014 at the JBM-HH clubs Ring in 2014 at the Fort Myer Officers Club or Spates Community Club on the Fort Myer side of the joint base. Make reservations for Tuesday, Dec. 31 for the Officers Club from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. in the Fife and Drum Room or Koran Ballroom. For more information and to make reservations, call 703-696-5147 or 703-524-3037. Or, opt for the evening at Spates Community Club from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Get more information or make reservations at 703-527-1300/1302 and see for more information.

Stress management Participants will be given information on identifying stressors in their life and how to create their own stress management plan. Class will be held Jan. 15 from 9-11 a.m. in the ACS classroom in Bldg. 201 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. For more information and to pre-register, call 703-696-3512 or email Monster Jam tickets Witness the excitement of Monster Jam trucks at Verizon Center in January. The MCX Henderson Hall ITT office has tickets available for sale for the following dates: Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The price is $16.25 per person. Call 571-483-1963 for availability. Anger management Individuals will receive information on the basic principles of emotions management, specific information about the impact of unmanaged anger and receive resources on how to recognize and manage the anger

Henderson Hall Christmas hours Marine Corps Community Services announces holiday hours for Christmas Day, Dec. 25. All MCCS activities are closed, except the car wash, which is open daily 24 hours. Some activities will have modified hours Dec. 24 and Dec. 26 and 27. The Marine Club will be closed Dec. 25 through Jan. 1. Visit www. for complete hours during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Transparenting This two-part seminar is designed to provide parents who are separated and/or divorced with the tools to ensure that they are able to continue supporting and encouraging their children despite the breakup of the family unit. The process of developing an effective co-parenting plan with your ex is challenging but essential to healthy growth and development of young children. You must attend both sessions to receive a certificate of completion. Class dates are Jan. 6 and 13 from 9-11 a.m. in the Army Community Service classroom in Bldg. 201 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. Pre-registration is required. For questions or to register call 703-696-3512 or email karen.a.stpierre.ctr@ New dining facility charges Effective Jan. 1, food service charges at Department of Defense appropriated fund dining facilities and military academies are: Breakfast: $2.55 standard rate; $2.15 discount rate. Lunch and dinner: $4.65 standard rate; $4 discount rate. Brunch: $5.35 standard rate; $4.60 discount rate. Supper: $6.55 standard rate: $5.45 discount rate. Holiday: $7.70 standard rate: $6.55 discount rate. Night snack: $3 standard rate: $2.55 discount rate. For more information, call 703-696-3671. Anger management workshops resume in January Marine and Family Programs offers anger management workshops beginning Jan. 8. The weekly sessions are held Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and are designed to teach eight tools for managing anger. Participants may start at any time, but must attend all eight sessions to receive a certificate of completion. Sessions are in Bldg. 12’s conference room on the Henderson Hall portion of the joint base. The workshops are open to active duty personnel, their family members and military retirees. To register, call 703-614-7204. Survival 101 Missing the tools to survive in this world? In this four-part series, you will learn how to use your strengths to improve your personal and professional life. Lean how to manage difficult emotions, effectively communicate with others and enhance conflict resolution skills. Class dates are Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the ACS classroom, Bldg. 201 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. For more information and to pre-register, call 703-696-3512 or email Bench press competition Registration is now open for the bench press competition, to be held Jan. 10 at the Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gymnasium on the Henderson Hall portion of the joint base starting at 5:30 p.m. Registration closes Jan. 7. For more information on the competition, call 703-6939440. Prepare for the bench press every Friday through Jan. 3 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Appointments are available with Cliff by calling 703-614-7214. Stress workshops offered in January Marine and Family Programs offers workshops on coping with work and family stress beginning Jan. 14. The 12-session, evidence-based series, designed to teach strategies for dealing with stressors, is held Tuesdays from 2:30-4 p.m. in Bldg. 12’s conference room on the Henderson Hall portion of the joint base. Topics include identifying stressors, deep breathing and muscle relaxation, assertive communication, changing your self talk, eating right, exercise and developing a personal stress management plan. The workshops are open to active duty personnel, their family members and military retirees. To register, call 703-614-7204.


triggers in their own lives. Class will be held Jan. 22 from 9-11 a.m. in the ACS classroom in Bldg. 201 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. Pre-registration requested. For more information and to pre-register, call 703-696-3512 or email karen.a.stpierre.ctr@mail. mil. Baby bundles Prepare your home and relationship for the changes that are needed when your baby arrives. A brief overview of the labor and delivery process, newborn care and baby-proofing your home will be discussed. Upon completion of the class, you will receive a bag of free baby care and safety items. Class will be held on Jan. 31 from noon-2 p.m. in the ACS classroom in Bldg. 201 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. Preregistration is requested. Call 703-696-3512 or email Please send your news notes to the Pentagram at


Friday, December 20, 2013


ANC, from page 1 While family members of lost servicemembers also volunteer, many annually give of their time to remember Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen buried at Arlington. Among the VIPs at the Arlington event was Barb Benard, national president of American Gold Star Mothers. Her Dec. 14 destination was Section 60 on the behalf of two mothers who lost sons in battle. “I have two mothers who called the national headquarters and wanted information [on Wreaths Across America] and Gold Star Mothers,” Benard explained. “I said I was going to Arlington, so I got their names and their [sons’] grave marker numbers, and I told them I would put a wreath on their sons’ graves. “I don’t know them at all — all I know one mother is from New York and the other is from Colorado,” Benard continued. “Remember, we’re not just placing a wreath — we’re stopping to read that name, and we are realizing that this is an individual who had a family at one point or the other and actually gave the ultimate sacrifice.” By the afternoon courtesy of Benard, Navy Seal and Purple Heart recipient David M. Tapper and Persian Gulf veteran Navy Lt. Tax, from page 1 Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, put on by the Internal Revenue Service from Jan. 6-10 at Fort Belvoir. “The purpose of the class is to teach people who want to learn how to prepare taxes how to do that,” he said. “You’re going to be learning some of the basic things about the tax code.” The class is also set up to help people learn a tax software program called Tax Wise, which will be used BAH, from page 1 and 14.5 percent, respectively. The areas with the largest BAH decreases are Sacramento, Calif., where a 7.7 percent BAH reduction translates into $1,998 monthly for servicemembers

Patrick Kelly Connor — both eternally resting in Section 60 — had remembrance wreaths on their respective headstones. Catie Serex also visited Section 60 the morning of Dec. 14 and openly reminisced about her father, Navy Lt. Ricky Alan Serex and his relationship with the cemetery and Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall. Her reflections were both sweet and somber as her voice cut the freezing air following her personal WAA wreath-laying. “My mom grew up in Falls Church, and they both picked out Fort Myer’s Old Post Chapel when they were getting married,” Serex said. “They had the whole wedding on the base — the wedding reception was at the O [Officers] Club. At that time, my dad told my mom if anything ever happened to him, he wanted to come back here, so when he was killed [in an aircraft accident], she said Arlington is the only place he can go. We had the funeral service at Old Post Chapel, and he’s been buried here for over 20 years.” After the 2006 passing of her husband, Army Brig. Gen. Gerald C. Brown, Falls Church’s Jean Brown kept her spouse’s passion and devotion toward Wreaths Across America alive. “I took up his mantle after he passed away,” Brown said from her husband’s Section 60 gravesite. “My husband and my father — as

at the tax center. “We’re going to have people who are trained there to identify issues that may come up with taxes, to process [returns] timely, efficiently and properly,” he said. Matthes urged those who will use the tax center to bring in all their documentation – W-2’s, social security numbers, and a power of attorney if your spouse is not coming with you to the center. The tax center will be located on the

with dependents, compared to $2,132 in 2013; Yuma, Ariz., sees a 6.1 percent decrease in 2014; and BAH rates will drop by 5.9 percent at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The BAH rate decreases will apply only to servicemem-



well as my sister — were very active in the very early days of Wreaths Across America. In those days, they had a single [convoy] truck and coffee and doughnuts. I’ve been out here every year since he passed away. I spend a couple hours here with my husband and lay a couple other wreaths. This is important; it is a great way to recognize that people have laid down their lives for us.”

second floor of Bldg. 205 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base and will officially open Feb. 3. The center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays the center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We’re doing extended hours this year because we wanted to be open for people who may not be able to get down during the duty day,” Matthes explained. Beginning Feb. 8, the center will be

bers who are newly reporting to those locations. Service members already assigned to an area where BAH decreases in 2014 are grandfathered by the program’s individual rate protection, and their rate will not go down. In areas where


Catie Serex visits Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60 to honor her father, Navy Lt. Ricky Alan Serex, with a remembrance wreath during the morning hours of Wreaths Across America Dec. 14.

open every other Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “We’re hoping with our extended hours that we’ll be able to reach out to more people,” he said. For more information on how to volunteer, contact Matthes at 703-6960761 or via email at aaron.r.matthes “Get your documentation ready now and when the tax center is open, come and see us as early as possible,” he urged.

BAH is increasing, servicemembers who already live there will receive the new rate. “We do want to make sure we’re fair to the servicemembers regardless of where in the country they’re stationed,”

Woehr said. A BAH primer on the Defense Travel Management Office website lays out the data collection process and has a table that links housing types to pay grades, she added.

Pentagram break This is the last edition of the Pentagram in 2013. The Pentagram will ring in the new year Jan. 10 with its annual year-in-review edition. If you have suggestions or photo submissions for the special edition paper, please email them to




Friday, December 20, 2013


Social media gives Wreaths Across America a whole new meaning By Jim Dresbach Pentagram Staff Writer

The phrase support and defend fits Jennifer Adcock to a tee. During the weekend of Arlington National Cemetery’s Wreaths Across America, the North Carolina WAA Arlington ambassador was the classic civilian soldier. Doing her own reconnaissance and mapping, the North Carolinian came to Arlington armed with her walking shoes, a list of hand-printed names, a smart phone camera and a whole bunch of determination. Her battle plan was simple: To turn social media requests for wreath layings for faraway military families into reality. Adcock was on the ground for

three days serving as the legs and eyes for those not able to walk the rows of graves or personally see a wreath on a loved one’s headstone. Her mission started by visually scouring through a Wreaths Across America Facebook post of requests for in absentia wreath layings. “I have 50 requests I’m trying to fulfill,” she said Dec. 16, her last day of volunteering inside ANC. “[The Facebook outreach] is way bigger than last year. I see to it that a wreath is on a grave, take a photograph and post it on Wreaths Across America’s Facebook page.” Two days following the Dec. 14 WAA event, the volunteer thread of requests was liked by 771 people and 498 comments were left on the Maine nonprofit organization’s social media page.




Following the mass wreath laying, volunteers uploaded pictures and fulfilled the requests by posting photos on the page. Due to the convergence of volunteers and survivors, the Wreaths Across America’s social media footprint has strengthened and become highly visible over the past 12 months. “In years past, it was random,” Wreaths Across America Social Media and Communications Coordinator Tobin Slaven said about volunteer/military family connections via social media. “It has picked up, and people connecting is a new thing for us. Our volunteer post has received over 400 responses and over 24,000 have seen our page since Thursday afternoon. Social media has



become a big driver for us.” While her pictures of military gravestones and wreaths went semi-viral at the WAA site, Adcock visited 21 sections of Arlington the following Monday snapping additional pictures and continually forwarding them to military families across the country. She has granted the wishes of servicemember families from California to Illinois and points around the globe. Slaven has seen new relationships develop and blossom due to electronic timelines, likes and shares. “Because of the fielding requests, picture taking and online posting, they are making friends for life,” he said of the volunteers’ work in Arlington.


The truck caravan containing thousands of wreaths Volunteers unload a truck and place wreaths on headtravels on Memorial Drive toward Arlington National stones in section 13 of Arlington National Cemetery Dec. Cemetery’s main gate to kick off the Wreaths Across 14 as part of Wreaths Across America. America mass wreath laying Dec. 14.




Lilly Pishvaian of Herndon, Va., holds a sign outlining Wreaths Across America’s mission as the truck caravan rolled past the gates of Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 14. Pishvaian was one of thousands who volunteered to lay wreaths at ANC.




Volunteers wait in line to receive wreaths to be placed in their designated areas during Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Dec. 14.


Friday, December 20, 2013


Generals wrap another Operation Santa Tournament basketball title By Jim Dresbach Pentagram Staff Writer

Two hot starts in Dec. 15’s semi-final and championship rounds helped the Fort Myer Generals men’s varsity basketball team to the 2013 Operation Santa Basketball Tournament championship. The Generals never trailed during the final day of play at the Fort Myer Fitness Center gymnasium and defeated the Fort Belvoir Eagles in semi-final play 66-55 before knocking

off the National Capital Region Marines in the championship contest 105-88. Leading scorers for Fort Myer in the semifinal contest were Terrell Moorer with 8 points, while Corey Perriman added 6. During the final day of the tourney, the Generals opened up a lead as large as 27 against Fort Belvoir and gained an early 15-1 advantage during the first 4 minutes of play against the Marines. “At the beginning of the games, we try to run [opponents] off the court, so they can throw the

white flag up by halftime,” said the Generals’ Ernest Hassell about his team’s quick starts. “With the type of ball we play and the type of defense we play, we eventually press the whole game, so we know we are tiring people out. We know that didn’t help the Marines because they played back-to-back [semi-final and championship] games [Sunday].” In opening evening and Saturday pool play rounds, the Generals defeated Joint Base Andrews, 56-47; PATS 63-52 and Camp Lejeune 66-61.







The Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Generals won the Operation Santa Toy Drive tournament over the Dec. 13-15 weekend. The tournament was played at the Fort Myer and Fort McNair Fitness Centers. PHOTO
















Friday, December 20, 2013


JBM-HH employee reflects on 42 years, 11 months of service as she approaches retirement at the end of the year By Rhonda Apple Pentagram Staff Writer

Hattie Maiden, branch chief of network and transmission at the Network Enterprise Center on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, will start 2014 much differently than she has for the past 42 years and 11 months. Maiden will actually turn off the lights in her office at the NEC in Bldg. 205 for the final time Dec. 20, when she departs JBM-HH on holiday leave 11 days ahead of the official end date of her career in government service. Her journey began in 1969, when the Columbus, Ga. native enlisted in the Air Force, after growing up in the home of her grandparents. “My grandfather served in the Army during World War II and retired after 27 years of enlisted service,” Maiden said. Instead of following him and wearing an Army uniform, Maiden said she chose Air Force blue. “I liked the blue uniforms,” she said with a smile. There were a lot of first-time events in Maiden’s young career. “My first flight was when I left home to go to basic training in August 1969, at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas,” she said. Following basic training, she reported to Wichita Falls, Texas for teletype training school prior to her first assignment on Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. “Now [the job title] is called a telecommunication specialist, but back then I was a teletype operator. I worked in a telecommunications center sending and receiving messages by teletype and AUTODIN (Automatic Digital Network System),” Maiden explained. In 1972, Maiden was transferred to Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon. “I thought the [National Capital Region] was so big and open,” said Maiden, remembering living in the area and being so far from her native


Georgia. Maiden fondly remembered going out with a group of friends into Arlington or Washington, D.C., during those years. She also recalled how the base had changed. “My barracks was Bldg. 402, which was where Bldg. 417 is now located. It was an all-female barracks with Army, Navy and Air Force women living there,” Maiden recalled. “The post exchange was in Bldg. 242, which is now The Old Guard [Regimental] Headquarters. I’ve seen a lot of changes from when I first came here in the early seventies.” She also remembered bus transportation between Fort Myer and the Pentagon. “There was an underground bus transport back in those days,” Maiden said. In the mid-seventies, Maiden decided to change her job specialty to dietician, and returned to Lackland for training. Her assignment at was at the hospital on Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. “I worked both as a dietician and teletype operator, because there was a shortage in my former field and the Air Force requested me to return to work doing that,” she explained. Maiden met her [future husband], a tech controller in the Air Force, in 1970. “We were both at Maxwell together. We continued to stay in touch and got married 36 years ago – on June 13, 1977,” she said. “When I returned to work at the Pentagon in 1976, he was assigned to a site in Brandywine, Md., then was transferred to Korea – and I joined him about six months later.” The couple spent their first year of marriage living and working on the Army post, Camp Red Cloud, Uijeongbu, Korea. “It was very exciting – our first year of marriage, we were overseas learning new things and meeting new people,” said Maiden, remembering two-hour trips to Seoul and to visit other military posts for

shopping. “The people there were so nice and accommodating – it was something totally new for me.” Other assignments in Maiden’s 13-and-a-half-year Air Force career included Scott Air Force Base, Ill. and Andrews Air Force Base, Md. “Our first child, daughter Briana, was born at Andrews,” Maiden said. “I stayed there for work until I left active duty in 1983. My husband left the service before me, and went to work for a major credit card company and is retired now.” In 1983, Maiden studied information technology for computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College. “I went to school for about a year-and-a-half, and in 1984, started working for the government [as a civilian],” she said. “I began federal service working as a communications clerk with the U.S. Army Information Systems Command,” Maiden said. “Our second daughter, Taryn, was born in 1988,” said Maiden Maiden joined the Air Force Reserve in 1988, working as a telecommunications field operator, retiring from 20 years of service in 1995. She also left her civilian job with the Army in 1988, to work for the Defense Mapping Agency as a security specialist. She returned to the Army in 1993 to work with the 1101st Signal Brigade at Fort McNair for 20 years. “During this time, the organization moved back to Fort Myer and went through several name changes, including the U.S. Army Information Systems Command; the U.S. Army Signal Activity; Southern Information Technical Operations Center; the


National Capital Region Directorate of Information Management; the Fort Myer Military Community Directorate of Information Management, and the U.S. Army Signal Network Enterprise Center,” said Maiden. Recalling all the changes experienced over her career, Maiden pointed out the major shift in modern technology. “When I first started [my career], the secretary had the typewriter. You had to draft everything in ‘long-hand,’ and give it to her. Now you do your own typing, and there’s a computer on every desk,” she said. “I remember we’ve supported the Army Ten-Miler, we provided the telephone lines for telecommunication support. We got out there with the local phone company and ran the lines from trailer to trailer,” said Maiden. “We’ve supported the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee for different U.S. presidents. It’s just been a whirlwind of exciting jobs.” Job security was a key factor for Maiden’s longevity in government service. “Knowing I would have a pension was a big thing,” she said. Maiden said she considered retirement earlier in the year, but was not ready to leave government service yet. “I’m so looking forward to retirement and not being on a time schedule – not having to wake up at 4:30 a.m.,” said Maiden, who said she enjoys gardening, baking pound cakes and spending time with her eight-year-old grandson, Lorenzo. “I’ve really enjoyed the people I have worked with over the years, both coworkers and customers,” Maiden said.


Friday, December 20, 2013


Drill sergeant wins 2013 Operation Rising Star competition By Robert Dozier FMWRC

Sgt. Christiana Ball from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., has been voted Army Entertainment’s 2013 Rising Star. Ball was chosen from a field of 12 vocalists from Army garrisons around the world. She edged out family members Joyce Severino from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and Sarah Hopkins from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., in the final round of competition. “I want to thank everybody who voted for me. I’ve had just untold amounts of support from my family, people at my installation, my unit, the combat veterans motorcycle association, the VFW,” Ball said. “Just tons of people, that is what is overwhelming me: the amount of support and love I’ve received. And the judges, you all are great. Thank you.” Ball was one of seven finalists from garrisons in the continental U.S. The other six included Hopkins and Severino, as well as family member Charrie Mae Riggs from Fort Campbell, Ky., 2nd Lt. Derrick Bishop from Fort Irwin, Calif., Sgt. Scott Harris from the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., and Pvt. 1st Class Kiari Mhoon from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Finalists from overseas garrisons included Sgt. Oscar Bugarin from Camp Lomonnier, Djibouti, Spc. Ikilya Davenport from Camp Humphreys, S. Korea and from Germany, 1st Lt. Matthew Gabriel from Wiesbaden and family members Christina Lewis from Kaiserslautern and Raquel Sargent from Stuttgart. “I am so happy and excited, and I appreciate the votes I received from everyone,” said Severino. “The advice we received from the judges about proper breathing, how to perform and connect with the audience was priceless.” “I’m very grateful and excited for having made it to the top three,” said Hopkins. “I entered with no expectations and never pictured myself performing here in Texas. At Operation Rising Star, I’ve had the time of my life.” Operation Rising Star gives performers a unique opportunity to entertain their comrades around the world and fulfill their own personal musical ambitions. The 12 finalists competed against each other in three elimination rounds, first narrowing the




(From left to right) Sarah Hopkins, Sgt. Christiana Ball and Joyce Severino share a moment backstage during rehearsals for the 2013 Operation Rising Star production.

field to six finalists: Harris, Ball, Lewis, Severino, Hopkins and Sargent, then the top three: Ball, Severino and Hopkins. “I’ve been the front man in cover bands, but I’ve never been with a more talented group of performers,” said Harris. “I can’t believe the sprint to the finish line.” “A dream is like a Christmas present,” said Bishop. “You can hope and hope to get it, once you receive it; you have to take care of it to make it last a lifetime. I’m happy to have had the opportunity here with these great singers.” “The show, the audience and the support was overwhelming,” said Lewis. “It validated questions I’ve had about my talent growing up... It took a while to find my voice. and I’m glad I had a chance to show it here at Fort Sam Houston Theatre.” Each round of competition was recorded and was made available online for viewing. “I did my best to use the talents God has given me to represent who I am and who He is to me,” said Sargent, one of the top six. “To be able to be on a platform and put on something so much bigger is an honor for me. Now I really feel that I am a part of the military family and I realize I can follow my dreams. This is a part of my life now.” The competitors were mentored and judged by professionals in the industry. Returning this year to Operation Rising Star were vocalist and vocal coach Debra Byrd (from television’s The Voice), vocalist and recording country artist Michael Peterson and 12th Sgt. Maj. of the Army (Ret.)

Jack Tilley. The judge’s scores were combined with online votes from fans from around the world to determine who moved ahead in the competition. “It feels incredible, we are the top 12 singers in the Army,” said Harris. “And the experience to get expert advice from these industry leaders, this is just great.” “I feel honored and humbled,” said Ball. “Right now, my husband and I are going to celebrate a little, but soon it will be time to get back to the drill. My team back home needs me.” Many Soldiers in the competition are hoping their performances at Operation Rising Star will help them secure a position in the 2014 Soldier Show, also sponsored by Army Entertainment. “My New Year’s resolution is to join the Army Soldier Show,” said Harris. “I want to live out my dream as a Soldier and a performer.” Tim Higdon, the Soldier Show executive producer, explained that they’re already one step closer. “The six Soldiers in the top 12 already have a bye straight to the live auditions [for the Soldier Show] in February,” Higdon said. “The encouraging thing is that talent and success of season nine is a direct result of the ongoing continuation of the program and highlights the difference MWR makes in the whole community.” Thirty garrisons participated in preliminary rounds leading to the top 12 live competition. The 18 not represented in the finals have been contacted to encourage their active-duty, Guard and Reserve performers to submit audition packages for the Soldier Show. All performances have been recorded and are available online at The Installation Management Command’s G9 Division — Family and MWR programs — is home to Army entertainment. G9 also operates and manages non-appropriated child-care facilities, bowling and fitness centers, golf courses, clubs, cafes and restaurants across the Army for the benefit of Soldiers and their families. Operation Rising Star similar to, but not affiliated with, the popular television show American Idol, and is one of many programs designed to bolster morale among troops and deliver positive reinforcement to Soldiers, military civilians and family members. More information about Operation Rising Star, the contestants and how to view the finals can be found at

DoD adds synthetic marijuana to random drug testing By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. American Forces Press Service

The Defense Department has expanded its zero tolerance for the use of illicit drugs to include synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, the director of DoD’s drug testing and program policy said Dec. 13. In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the

Pentagon Channel, Army Lt. Col. Tom Martin said that in addition to the broad range of drugs for which the military already randomly tests servicemembers, synthetic marijuana will also be included. “The message we’re getting out now is that when you participate in our random urinalysis program, synthetic marijuana products or synthetic marijuana will now be tested along with our other drugs,”

he said. “It’s been known in the general population, both in the medical community and various media reports, that synthetic marijuana drug use is a serious health concern.” Martin noted that while the military typically has a much lower level of drug use than in society at large, synthetic marijuana “still poses a significant risk to both the safety and readiness of our force.” “Prior to synthetic marijuana being banned,” he said, “the

department went out and did a random study looking at a sampling of military urine specimens from all the different services to see if synthetic marijuana was being used by our members. At that time, the positive rate, or the number of servicemembers who tested positive, was about 2.5 percent.” To put that in perspective, he said, in 2012, the overall positive rate for all the drugs tested for in the urinalysis program was 0.9 percent.

“In 2012, synthetic marijuana products were banned through legislation,” Martin said. “So we went back and did a similar study, and what we found is that the actual numbers went down.” However, he added, a high number of servicemembers are using synthetic marijuana. In addition to testing for synthetic marijuana, Martin said, the military also randomly tests all servicemembers for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines

December 27, 28 & 29 Westminster Presbyterian Church 2701 Cameron Mills Rd., Alexandria, VA

Holiday Services Saturday, December 21

7:30 p.m. Longest Night Service, Chapel

Sunday, December 22 Festival Sunday 8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. Worship in the Sanctuary Special Music with the Commonwealth Brass

“Silver and Gold for the Holidays,” a must see collection of domestic and foreign decorative firearms including Colts, Rugers, Walther PPK pistols and a set of elaborately embellished Near Eastern “rat tail” flintlock pistols with carved filigree silver stocks.

Tuesday, December 24

Christmas Eve 11:00 a.m. Worship 5:00 p.m. Family Christmas Eve Service 8:00 p.m. Candlelight Worship with communion Westminster Choir with harp (7:45 harp prelude) 11:00 p.m. Christmas Vigil Service

Handicapped accessible; ample free parking 703-549-4766



and other drugs in the amphetamine class, including methamphetamines and the drug known as ecstasy. The test also looks for codeine and morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, Vicodin, and different diazepines, such as Valium and Xanax. Martin said even deployed troops are subject to random drug testing. “They are still mandated to be tested under the military’s random urinalysis program; however, the frequency is determined by the operational tempo,” he said. If a random drug testing detects the presence of illegal drugs, Martin said, troops are subject to punishment under military law guidelines. “Any servicemember who tests positive for either an illicit drug or misuse of a prescription drug falls under any actions deemed appropriateundertheUniform Code of Military Justice, as well actions that are appropriate as deemed by their commander,” he said. With the addition of synthetic marijuana to an already stringent drug testing policy, Martin reiterated the department’s commitment to zero tolerance for the abuse of illicit drugs. “All servicemembers participating in our urinalysis program will be tested for cannabinoids,” he said. “And if they do test positive, they will be dealt with according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”


Friday, December 20, 2013

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Adoption Services


Adoption Services

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M M M M M Popular College Counselor M M M & School Admin., Travel, M M Sports, Museums Await M M 1st Baby. M M M M M Expenses Paid.M M M 1-800-513-0931 M M M Annie & David M M M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM




(703) 521-3000

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9-5 • Call for Saturday hours Please refer to ad when calling All prices subject to change.

BARCROFT APARTMENTS 1130 South George Mason Drive • Arlington, VA 22204 At Columbia Pike and So. George Mason Drive


Some Restrictions Apply


Daycare Educational Program is on a Pre-K & Kindergarten Level, Ages 3 - 5 Contact Mrs. Brunson 301-605-4864 Email:

For more information please visit


Pharmacy/ Phlebotomy Tech Trainees Needed Now Pharmacies/ hospitals now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-240-4524 CTO SCHEV

Dental/ Medical Assistant Trainees Needed Now Dental/Medical Offices now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-234-7706 CTO SCHEV



Friday, December 20, 2013




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Pentagram 122013  

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