Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Sustaining the Army
By KRISTINE BAILEY Columnist
f all the accomplishments of the U.S. Army, being “green” doesn’t usually come to mind, but now it should. The motivating factors for implementing sustainable projects such as natural resoruces management, energy efficiency, and working with local communities to improve their abilities to meet their own needs are not altogether altruistic. Doing right by the people, planet, and profit margins serve the Army well, too. In the Army, energy efficiency is known as “energy security.” The goals include reducing use of energy, increasing efficiency, and by using more renewable and energy alternatives. Additionally, being able to access energy supplies makes for safer fighting forces and safer bases, and results in reduced environmental impacts. In promotional videos, these changes towards energy security could “reshape the way the Army fights and operates.” If they were adapted to civilian life, these changes, and the innovative developments that come along with them, could reshape the way we live and interact. Currently, the military is experiencing an upsurge in construction. According to United States Army Environmental Command (USAEC), new buildings will have to meet “high standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, materials selection, health and comfort.” Expected savings will come from the estimated 26 percent less energy use, 13 percent lower aggregate maintenance costs, 27 percent higher occupant satisfaction, and 33 percent fewer CO2 emissions. Not only will the buildings repay the investment in a few years, it will also provide an important service to the women and men serving. By building healthy buildings that model energy efficiency and sustainable home innovations, it will allow the Army to “provide Soldiers a quality of life measuring up to the quality of their service.” Improving the quality of life and working on regional solutions have become key points for the Army when it comes to their conservation efforts. Major General Howard Bromburg knows first hand that energy needs can be met in very different ways at a base in Afghanistan versus one in Iceland. “When it comes to energy,” he said in a video interview on the USAEC website, “I think you do have to look regionally.” By looking for regional solutions, the Army hopes to be a national leader in energy security and by finding regional solutions in concert with local communities.
COURTESY OF AEC.ARMY.MIL In the Army, energy efficiency is known as “energy security.” The goals include reducing use of energy, increasing efficiency, and by using more renewable and energy alternatives.
A final example of the Army’s sustainability steps is their approach to developing new weapon systems. While conservation and efficiency don’t usually top the list when thinking about weapons, by looking at the life cycle of the systems from “concept to disposal” the materials can be repurposed into new items. This approach, known as cradle-to-cradle, allows things to have a longer or perhaps unending life as their parts can continually be new parts and new pieces. A waste free construction process could serve the Army, and the rest of society, extremely well in terms of conserving cost as well as resources. What will serve us all well is if the rest of the country will embrace and implement the innovative approaches the Army has taken to managing natural and human resources.
Thanks to our veterans By: SARAH NIXON Staff Writer
eterans Day is among the numerous federal holidays which mark most wall calendars, but it is not like the other federal holidays, celebrated every year on some Monday marking a three day weekend from school or work. This day, while celebrated in a different manner, is wrought with history and signifi-
cance. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect. Although this was not the official end of World War I, this day marks the official end of hostilities between the conflicting nations. In order to honor this day, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 to be Armistice Day, a day to honor “the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.” In 1954 after World War II, Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day, in order to honor all American veterans of all wars. Because of the historical significance of the 11th of November, it was decided to celebrate this day every year regardless of what day of the week it fell on. Every year on Veterans Day a ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery beginning with the laying of a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier followed by a parade and speeches to thank those who served in the armed forces. Communities across the nation hold their own celebrations with parades, the playing of taps at local cemeteries, and Veterans dinners. The Veterans Day National Committee states that every veteran has a story, and it is important that one take the time to listen to these stories. Many times the bravery of those serving in our military, past and present, is overlooked. November 11th is a great day to honor the veteran’s in our community whether that is by volunteering, listening, or just saying thank you. These brave souls fought for the safety and freedom of the nation and deserve to be thanked for their service to America.
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10/18/10 6:29 PM