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SILVER Scimitar Theater Sustainment

FORT DEVENS, MASS.

JAN. 20-FEB. 3, 2012

IN THIS ISSUE: SILver scimitar brings expertise HUMAN RESOURCES TRAINs UP FOR THE FIGHT POSTAL Services, casualty ops Sharpens skills


Silver Scimitar 2012 STAFF 3rd HRSC Director Col. Robert Kay 3rd HRSC Sergeant Major Sgt. Maj. Stan Abney 8th HRSC Director Col. Lynn San Nicolas 8th HRSC Sgt. Maj. Sgt. Maj. Jerome Rice 14th HRSC Director Col. Steve Shea 14th HRSC Sergeant Major Sgt. Maj. Julius B. Prioleau SILVER SCIMITAR PAO Capt. Tracey Frink SILVER SCIMITAR PA NCOIC Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots Managing Editor Sgt. David Turner

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 3 Silver Scimitar Brings Expertise Page 4 Silver Scimitar welcomes VIPs Page 5 Postal Units Maintain Mail Inegrity Page 6 Casualty Operations Evolve Page 7 Troops Instructed on R&R Program Page 8 VSAT Keeps Soldier Combat Ready Page 9 Army National Guard Validates Training at Silver Scimitar Page 10 8th HRSC Sharpens Skills Page 11 OC/Ts Sculpt the Faces of Future Warfighters Page 12 Junior Warrant Officer Brings Unique Experience

Layout And Design Spc. C. Terrell Turner Contributors Sgt. David Turner Spc. C. Terrell Turner Spc. Christopher Jones Spc. Christopher Tobey

The SILVER SCIMITAR Theater Sustainment Magazine is produced by the 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment for the 3rd Human Resources Sustainment Center at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. This publication is printed in accordance with Army Regulation 360-1 and DoD Joint Regulation 3-1.


Silver Scimitar Brings Experience, Expertise complex battlefield environment, and to blend them seamlessly across all levels of operations. It also reflects the changing nature of the Army and its need to adapt to current wartime conditions. FORT DEVENS, Mass. – Human Resources professionals affect every Soldier on the battlefield, whether Begun in the mid-1980s as an annual training event for U.S. Army Reserve personnel units, explained it’s through payroll, awards, casualty reports, movement in and out of theater, or just delivering the mail. Kay, Silver Scimitar has recently morphed into a Silver Scimitar, a U.S. Army Reserve Command-spon- pre-deployment training event that incorporates both doctrine and current operational knowledge for sored, two-week training event held here annually, all components. Major changes in the event began gives HR Soldiers the training and expertise to proaround 2007, when active duty and Army National vide those services so crucial to sustaining the fight. Guard units began participat“There’s no other source ing in the exercise. Under for the [Adjutant General the Army’s transformation, Corps] community to train HR Soldiers became part of a for their wartime mission, larger sustainment community, and that’s what we provide brought closer by prolonged for them,” said Exercise wars in two separate theaters. Director Col. Robert Kay, Col. Steve Shea, commander 3rd Human Resources Susof the 14th Human Resources tainment Center. His unit Sustainment Center, an activehas been tasked this year duty unit based in Fort Bragg, to provide command and N.C., and currently deployed in control for the exercise. Silver Scimitar 2012, prepares Soldiers for tasks crucial To prepare for that to human resources operations in a combat zone. Dur- Kuwait, brought 20 of his Solmission, HR Soldiers are ing classroom training, Sgt.1st Class Maria Feliciano diers to the exercise this year. provided not only with the (center), platoon sergeant with 408th Human Resources They are participating as trainCompany, Ft. Totten, N.Y., discusses administrative pro- ers and sharing their valuable newest doctrine and corecessing issues for Soldiers deploying overseas. (Photo by deployment experience with competency training, but Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs DetachSoldiers who will replace his also with seasoned military ment) units in the near future. Despite and civilian instructors from different DoD and government agencies. It’s that the different components and command structures participating in the exercise, he said, they need to experience which makes the training more relevant, work together closely given the current battlefield said Kay. “We make it tangible; we make it a real-life environment. event,” he said. “Right now it’s really a seamless transition, whether This year, Silver Scimitar brings together over 500 human resources Soldiers from 22 different units with it’s active, Guard or Reserve,” said Shea. “That’s one of the great things about Silver Scimitar … it’s run all by trainers and experts from a variety of backgrounds HR professionals.” Units preparing to deploy can meet and areas of expertise. It’s a multi-echelon, multiand learn from the units they may be replacing soon, component exercise that prepares HR Soldiers to provide theater-level sustainment from the ground up helping smooth the transition to theater. “They’re kind of doing their left-seat, right-seat for troops supporting operations around the world. right now,” said Shea. “When they hit the ground, These Soldiers work at every level of the command they already have an idea who their counterpart is, structure, from companies up to the theater level and who they’re working with, what to expect, and what across components, serving active duty Soldiers, as kind of preparatory work they can do on this side bewell as U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard troops. HR Soldiers learn to use a variety of skills in a fore they actually deploy and hit the sandbox. In the Story and Photo By Sgt. David Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment


HR world, it’s all about relationships and relationship building,” he said. Silver Scimitar isn’t just a chance for HR Soldiers to network and share ideas and experience. After a week’s worth of doctrinal training and focus on collective tasks, HR units participate in a culminating training event, which closely simulates their actual duties on the battlefield. Teams practice processing casualty reports, moving Soldiers on and off the battlefield, handling personnel issues, and even running a mock post office operation. It’s during this time the HR Soldier sees the benefit of this

unique form of training, said Kay, because they apply the doctrine, using the knowledge and advice they gained from the trainers and subject-matter experts. “It’s a ‘crawl-walk-run’ process,” said Kay, and the final event pulls it all together. “That’s part of the beauty of this beast … at the end of the day, they walk away with a better working knowledge.” Up to now, said Kay, Silver Scimitar has been a “handshake agreement” among the active duty, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, and with the close-working relationships developed, they’ve made it a success. Now, he said, the HR

Silver Scimitar Welcomes VIPs to Fort Devens

community is working to certify Silver Scimitar as the premiere exercise to validate training for deploying HR units. Just as combat troops use the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center to validate combat arms and combat support units, he hopes Silver Scimitar will soon do the same. “We would like to see Silver Scimitar go into that kind of a realm as a big Army – not an Army Reserve, not a National Guard – but as a big Army mission,” he said. Shea agreed it would be beneficial for Silver Scimitar to fulfill that role. “This is really the JRTC and the NTC for the HR professionals,” he said. TOP PHOTO: During a briefing with Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry (left), commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Silver Scimitar is discussed with exercise director Col. Robert Kay (center), 3rd Human Resources Sustainment Center. This year, the exercise brings together over 500 Soldiers from around the country with civilian and military instructors from a range of organizations. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) LEFT PHOTO: Brig. Gen. Mark Palzer (Left), commander of the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command visits a mock post office during the second week of Silver Scimitar 2012. (Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, 214th MPAD) RIGHT PHOTO: Major Gina Farrisee (Right), commander of Human Resources Command, talks to Soldiers running the Outbound portion of the Theater Gateway mockup designed to replicate the transportation depot in Kuwait. (Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, 214th MPAD)


Postal Units Maintain Mail Integrity on Battlefield Story and Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

While all Army roles are crucial on the battlefield, postal Soldiers serve a unique role serving all troops in a deployed area. They provide a means to send and receive packages and voting ballots from the mountains of Afghanistan or the deserts of Kuwait, back home to the United States. During this year’s annual, twoweek Silver Scimitar exercise, held at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, human resource and postal Soldiers are taught and advised by military civilians, forward deployed Soldiers on temporary orders back to the U.S., and previously deployed Soldiers who volunteer as instructors. The Military Postal Service Agency is the military wing of the U.S. Postal Service, operated by service members from all branches. These troops follow the same required security parameters that federal postal workers use, with the same reprisals for tampering with mail or absentee ballots. “Before we started using the Automated Military Postal System in 2000, we didn’t have date stamps and things weren’t tracked, and ballots were bundled, but became comingled,” said Maj. May Verdar, Military Postal Service Agency Management Analyst, Human Resources Command, Department of the Army Postal. “Under the old system, information wasn’t flowing to postal personnel. This system revamped the whole process.” May is an individual mobi-

lized augmentee assigned to Silver Scimitar as an instructor. She explained the new absentee voting system took about a year to develop after a new piece of federal legislation required the military to better account for absentee ballots, thus ensuring every service member has a chance to vote.

Spc. Leslie Royster, a postal clerk with the 444th Postal Company and Staff Sgt. Tiana Ross, Platoon Sergeant, 444th Postal Co., receive instruction on the Integrated Retail Terminal from instructor, Larry Vann, a Branch Chief with the Military Postal Service Agency. (Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

After several hours of training over numerous days, leaders can see how their instruction is sinking in with the Soldiers. “I think [the Soldiers] are in information overload,” said Faye Slater, Deputy Director of the MPSA who is also here giving presentations to Soldiers. “This is good training with knowledgeable instructors. They can’t get this training any other time and I’ve received really positive feedback.” Larry Vann, a former first ser-

gent and current Branch Manager with the MPSA, trains Soldiers on using the Integrated Retail Terminal, the information terminal postal Soldiers use to serve customers in military post offices. While deployed, Soldiers take the postal information from their terminals and send it to the US Postal Service via AMPS. “I first fielded the IRT to the schoolhouse in 1989,” said Vann. “Ideally we want all of the postal Soldiers trained on this machine. It’s important that the machine Soldiers train on is the same one they operate in the field.” The first part of the Silver Scimitar exercise involves training and refreshing Soldiers and leaders on equipment, policies and procedures. The second part, the culminating training event, features the practical application of the lessons in setting up their human resources offices and postal offices in a simulated deployed environment. Soldiers go through a series of mock scenarios operating the equipment as they would overseas. “There is absolutely an effect from Silver Scimitar,’ said Slater. “We will be able to show that effect with the results from evaluations in the culminating training event; how much they’ve grown.” The exercise definitely resonates with Soldiers who have previously attended training. “We have used the IRT since school and at last year’s Silver Scimitar,” said Spc. Alexander Bisson, a human resources specialist with the 806th Military Mail Terminal. “It’s not the newest equipment we use, but it gets the job done, and that’s what matters.”


Casualty Operations Evolve to Meet Current, Future Needs Story and photo by Sgt. David Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment FORT DEVENS, Mass. – In the community of human resources professionals who provide essential services to troops on the battlefield, perhaps none are more critical than casualty operations specialists. They track casualties from the frontlines all the way until they exit theater, and the work they do goes far beyond that. To carry out their responsibilities, they must stay up to date on both Army doctrine and current procedures. For HR Soldiers preparing for upcoming deployments, Silver Scimitar 2012, a U.S. Army Reserve Command-sponsored multi-component training exercise, gives them the chance to hone their skills for an ever-changing environment. “We have a huge responsibility,” said Staff Sgt. Atavis Taylor, a human resources specialist with the 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center based in Fort Bragg, N.C. During Silver Scimitar 2012, he and

Capt. Chad Vaughn, an instructor from the Soldier Support Institute, teaches casualty operations to human resource Soldiers during Silver Scimitar 2102 at Ft. Devens, Mass. Silver Scimitar is an annual exercise sponsored by the Army Reserve, which trains human resource Soldiers from the Reserve, National Guard and active component theater sustainment. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Chief Warrant Officer Stacy Malloy teach a course in Casualty Operations to human resources Soldiers to all components-- active Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. “We’re [providing quality assurance and quality control for] the reports that are going to basically tell the story for the families as to what happened to their loved ones,” said Taylor. “We have to get that story right,” said Malloy. While the 14th HRSC is currently deployed in Kuwait, 14 of their Soldiers are participating in Silver Scimitar 2012 as trainers, sharing their expertise and experiences. “We always teach schoolhouse doctrine first,” said Malloy. “That’s the baseline; it gets us to war and it get us home. But we also want to teach reality, how it’s really being done on the battlefield.” Over the years casualty operations have evolved, and what doctrine teaches,” said Malloy, “doesn’t look the same downrange.” Both Malloy and Taylor have had multiple tours of duty in combat, and have participated in Silver Scimitar several times over the past few years. By participating as instructors, they not only get to train their future counterparts, they have a hand in developing the exercise itself that, in turn, helps influence the future of HR doctrine. Chief Warrant Officer Cynthia Johnson-Owens, a Casualty Operations Division human resources technician with the 8th HRSC, based in Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, said she appreciated getting such fresh and relevant training. She and her Soldiers are preparing to replace the 14th HRSC in Kuwait. “It’s very beneficial to have them come back and train us on what’s going on,” said Johnson-Owens. “You don’t ever get away from the guidance on how it’s done, but it’s just in how it’s done; that’s what they bring to us.” “We are all sustainers, so we are constantly evolving,” said Lt. Col. David Housh, Chief of Senior Leader Training at the Soldier Support Institute in Ft. Jackson, S.C. For Housh, seeing the Soldiers refresh their knowledge of AG doctrine is satisfying, as it not only reinforces what they’ve learned, but brings it into sharp focus. “It’s amazing,” said Housh. “When we can get to that level, people say ‘I didn’t know that − now I got it.’ That light bulb goes on [and] we love it.”


Silver Scimitar Instructs Troops on R&R Program Story and Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. − The changing face of the Army’s combat mission is leading to overall changes in the execution of policies affecting the spectrum of Soldiers deployed in defense of the nation. Silver Scimitar, the U.S. Army Reserve Command-sponsored training exercise prepares human resource Soldiers from active Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve for deployment. The information they learn here informs the way they administer programs in theater and keeps them up to date on current knowledge. This year, Soldiers attending training on Jan. 21 learned of changes to the military Rest and Recuperation program that affects all Soldiers deploying in 2012. They received the information from subject matter expert Maj. Oyyif Logan, Deputy Chief of Policies and Program Divisions, Third Army/U.S Army Central Command G-1, who briefed Soldiers from the 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center on the specifics of the revised program. “The R&R program has not changed,” Logan explained. “The new changes are based off of the new nine-month deployment. Only Soldiers in a unit with a 12-month deployment will still get R&R.” To date, more than 1.2 mil-

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Astra Williams, Senior Human Resources Technician, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command G-1 (Forward), fields questions from the Soldiers of the 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center out of Fort Shafter, Hawaii, about troop movements and the responsibilities of human resources personnel in theater. (Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, 214th MPAD)

lion Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan have been through the R&R program. “In August 2011, the Secretary of the Army announced that on January 1, 2012, the Army would begin transitioning to a 9-month deployment cycle for General Purpose Forces (Division and below) supporting named operations outside the continental United States,” said Chief of R&R Policy in Army G-1, Lt. Col. Dave Homza in a published statement on the Army G-1 website. “This initiative will improve the quality of life of Soldiers and Families by decreasing the time Soldiers are separated from their Families. Soldiers who are deployed to the combat zone on 365-day orders with a minimum of 270 days boots on ground still remain eligible for the R&R benefit.”

This shortening of the typical combat tour for Soldiers represents a more viable combat or overseas tour for many. “I think it’s rewarding,” said Logan, as he talked about the training. “It’s always good for personnel to understand the issues that pertain to them.” The Soldiers attending the training were engaged with what they were learning from the cadre of experienced instructors. “I’ve learned more in the last couple of months than I have in the last year. ” said Sgt. Guillermo Farias, a human resources specialist with 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center based in Fort Shafter, Hawaii. “This training is making me a much better noncommissioned officer and will make my soldiers better noncommissioned officers in the future.”


VSAT keeps Soldiers combat ready Story and Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. − Battles can be won or lost in the blink of an eye, making technological connectivity on today’s battlefield more crucial than ever. In a rapidly changing combat environment, the ability for human resources units to establish, maintain and exchange reliable communications with leaders and other units about casualties, personnel issues and other information is vital. During Silver Scimitar 2012 training exercise, human resources Soldiers assigned to casualty operations received training on how to operate the Very Small Aperture Terminal, a portable satellite system that can data-connect with other VSATs and with network architectures established in theater. It provides critical connectivity in an austere environment when other options are not available. “Using VSAT has been a great experience. When our casualty as sistance center communications went out several times in Kuwait, we had communications backup within minutes,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stacy Malloy, Human Resources Technician, Casualty Operations Division, 14th Human Resource Sustainment Center. Malloy is currently stationed in Kuwait and on temporary orders to Silver Scimitar. He’s one of a number of instructors and subject matter experts who have dealt with the technology while deployed and can share valuable lessons learned with Soldiers participating in Silver Scimitar. He recalled the HR mission prior to the fielding of the VSAT and the significance of this technology for his Soldiers. “Before this system, we worked through the G-6 [chief information officer] and they would provide static IP addresses,” he said. “We weren’t able to do it on our own. Now this [technology] allows us to go anywhere and have communications; send emails, send casualty reports and [have] more capabilities through VOIP [voice over internet protocol].” While not all of the Soldiers training at Silver Scimitar have used the VSAT, many are familiar with it. “I was first introduced to this system in 2006,” said Spc. Ronaldo Fajardo, a human resources specialist assigned

to 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center based in Fort Shafter, Hawaii. “I haven’t had a chance to use it and these skills are temporary. If you don’t use the knowledge, you lose it.” Despite not having operating the system, Fajardo was much more comfortable with using it after receiving the training. “I like it,” he said. “It’s like plug and play. Once you follow the instructions, it’s pretty easy to put up.” Soldiers appreciated both the depth of the instruction and the subject matter expertise of the instructors. I think the training was outstanding. They provided detailed information in order for us to perform our job when we are in theater,” said Staff Sgt. Tyra Thompson, casualty operations noncommissioned officer, 8th HRSC. “The HRSC conducted multiple training events on how to set up and tear down the VSAT. I would definitely feel comfortable [with] setting up the system in the field.”

Soldiers from the 8th HRSC take turns assembling and disassembling the Very Small Aperture Terminal system at Silver Scimitar 2012. These Soldiers were instructed by Soldiers from the 14th HRSC on assignment from their deployment to Kuwait. (Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)


Army National Guard Unit to be First toValidate

Deployment Training at Silver Scimitar Story and Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Afairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. – For the 633rd Theater Gateway, an Army National Guard unit training to deploy overseas, the human resources annual training exercise Silver Scimitar 2012 represents important firsts. Not only will they be the first Guard unit to operate a theater gateway for combat operations, they are the first to use the exercise as validation for their mobilization training. As a Theater Gateway, the 633rd is one of three Army National Guard units with the mission of processing troops into and out of theater. Until now, active duty and Army Reserve units have shared the task; the 633rd will be the first such unit from the Guard to take the mission. To make their training as real and relevant as possible, Soldiers from the 9th Theater Gateway, an active-duty unit based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, are instructing the Illinois National Guard Soldiers and serving as subject matter experts. The 9th is currently deployed to Kuwait operating the theater gateway. “They’re bringing their real-world experiences to us and then teaching us everything that’s going on in theater right now, making sure we understand every element of the operation before we get there,” said Lt. Col. Natalie Northern, 633rd commander. Active Army units have used Silver Scimitar as an official validation exercise in the past, said Sgt. Maj. Wood Saunders, 9th Theater Gateway. This year, exercise directors will request that First Army validate the exercise for participating U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard units, he said. Northern explained Army National Guard units can spend up to a month or more in mobilization training before deploying. With most of that time focused on Soldier skills, she said, little remains to prepare for the specific mission in theater. The validation by First Army gets these Soldiers to theater more quickly while the valuable training is fresh. After an intensive first week of classroom training, 633rd Soldiers set up a simulated theater gateway

Specialist Cynthia Rivera (left) and Spc. Joshua Alicea, both with the 408th Human Resources Company, Fort Totten, N.Y., practice theater gateway operations as part of the culminating training event during the second week of , Silver Scimitar 2012. The 408th supports the 633rd Theater Gateway, an Illinois Army National Guard unit, moving troops into, and out of, theater. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

during the second week. Observer controllers bombard them with events and scenarios that simulate what they’ll face on the job. They process inbound and outbound Soldiers, coordinate their movements, and provide accountability. To create the experience of working at the highest echelon, they interact with all other units at the exercise. Sgt. 1st Class Tracey Horner has been with the 633rd for two years, and appreciates the experience she’s gaining at Silver Scimitar. “When you go through the first week … it comes out fast and furious. You don’t really see how it works together until you actually see the moving parts. Hands on it’s a little bit different,” said Horner. He explained working so closely with his active-duty counterparts is an added benefit, especially as the National Guard shares more missions with other components. “If I went around right now, I couldn’t tell you who were active duty units; who were guard units,” he said.” They are all here for the same reason. They get the same training out of it as we do. That’s the way it is overseas, too.”


8th HRSC Sharpens Skills with Silver Scimitar Story and Photos by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. – Soldiers from the 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center, an active duty unit from Fort Shafter, Hawaii, may soon be trading their tropical beaches for the wind and sun blasted sands of Kuwait as they prepare for a deployment overseas. At Silver Scimitar 2012, the 8th HRSC is being trained by the 3rd and 14th HRSCs. The 14th HRSC is also providing subject-matterexperts as trainers and observer controllers, many of whom are currently deployed to Kuwait and are on temporary orders to serve as instructors during the exercise. Their knowledge represents the latest in human resources doctrine and practices, and provides the “boots on ground” experiences vital to the training. “This exercise is the Adjutant General’s version of [the National Training Center] and [Joint Readiness Training Center],” said Sgt. Maj. Jerome Rice, Directorate Sergeant Major of 8th HRSC. “I believe all HR Soldiers need to come through this [training] because there is nothing better than getting hands-on assistance or knowing who you’re going to fall in on, or what you’re actually going to do in theater.” Rice noted his repeated visits to Silver Scimitar exercises throughout the years as providing him with the expertise he uses to give his Soldiers tools for success. “This is my third rotation here. It’s definitely given me an insight on what I need to train my Soldiers

Soldiers from the 8th HRSC, an active duty unit from Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, practiced their skills in an exercise to test their ability to track troop movements and coordinate information with other teams. Pvt. Jakeisha Evans (left), Staff Sgt. Sara Morales-Smith (center), and Spc. Cheryl Harper (right) are part of the Replacement, Staging and Onward Movement teams, or RSOs. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

back at home station. Each year we progress. This year is more handson than doctrine, and I think having Soldiers touch a tangible object or system during training makes them retain things a lot faster.” Col. Lynn San Nicolas, 8th HRSC director, has also been to Silver Scimitar before and sees the growth of the event and the inherent value it provides to her Soldiers. “I participated in Silver Scimitar in 2007, when it was at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and that was a very rudimentary exercise,” said San Nicolas. Back then, she said, instruction mostly involved PowerPoint slides and little handson training on the systems. “A lot of classroom slides, and … constant doctrine over and over and over. When they got into the systems training, it was maybe 10-

to-15 people huddled around one computer watching this system worked by a subject matter expert. Fast forward five years to 2012, and each soldier is sitting behind a system, actually working on the system themselves.” The Soldiers have been preparing for their deployment for some time now, and this recent training has put them in a very good position to maintain their success. “At first I didn’t know what my job was going to be downrange,” said Sgt. Loini Paaga, Replacement Staging Onward Movements Sergeant, 8th HRSC. “Here I’m learning what our actual job will be. It was good training coming here, and valuable. After meeting the people from downrange who came here to teach us what they did, I would be interested someday in coming back here and training Soldiers.”


OCTs Sculpt the Faces of Future Warfighters Story by Spc. C. Terrell Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. – Mastering one’s job skills takes time. Mastering those skills while deployed can be quite difficult, but fortunately the Soldiers attending Silver Scimitar have the luxury of being trained by some of the best. Silver Scimitar 2012, prepares Soldiers for tasks crucial to huAs the final week of Silver Scimitar 2012 begins, man resources operations in a combat zone. Master Sgt. Porter Soldiers participating in the training move from the Washington, of Huntington, W.V., a trainer with the National classroom to applying what they’ve learned. The CuGuard Bureau in Arlington, Va., gives advice to human resources mulative Training Event during the second week is a Soldiers, Jan. 21. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Pubdry run involving various real-world scenarios guided lic Affairs Detachment) and controlled by Observer Controller/Trainers. This type of instruction ensures Human Resources Soldiers, Soldiers and, if they respond too well, I might change the parameters of a scenario. So far, I have been quite whose actions affect every Soldier on the battlefield, impressed with several of the Soldiers here.” receive the best training possible. “The evaluators are trying to reel in the Soldiers Some of the OC/Ts are currently stationed in Kufrom the classroom in order to torque [them] in the wait or Afghanistan and returned just for this exercise, right direction,” said Master Sgt. Porter Washington, bringing vital information and experience to share noncommissioned officer in charge, G-1, Human with the Soldiers. The OC/Ts apply the “Crawl, Walk, Resources Management, National Guard Bureau. “The Run” training principle, where they provide intensive OC/Ts use the ‘virtual’ method to try to get Soldiers guidance during the first one-to-two days, and graduin the right mindset.” ally step back to see how the Soldiers react to real-life The “virtual” method refers to the role-playing scescenarios. narios Soldiers are put through during the Cumulative Evaluators from the active duty and Department Training Event by the OC/Ts. of Defense civilians are also participating. “The evaluThe insight and training from these professionals ators are there for assessment,” said Maj. Damian has been invaluable to the Soldiers attending Silver Cunningham, commander, 101st Human Resources Scimitar. Company, currently running the Theater Gateway in “This is my first visit out here. So far, the trainKuwait. “During the walk stage, we are giving them ing has been outstanding,” said Chief Warrant Officer a small piece of what operating a theater gateway is Taryn Dinsmore, a human resources technician with like in terms of pushing through personnel. The next 43rd Sustainment Brigade in Fort Carson, Colo. “I phase gives them more events and then finally, in the came here from the HROB [Human Resources Operarun phase, we give them more challenges that actually tions Branch] after being stationed there for almost a occurred in theater.” year now, and felt like I knew a lot of what was going Both evaluators and OC/Ts ensure Soldiers maxion. After coming here, I realized there’s a lot more mize their training but evaluators take it one step than what I’ve been doing. It’s been a great experience further. and a lot of lessons learned.” “I’m an evaluator during this exercise,” said Sgt. The OC/Ts also recognize the opportunity to share 1st Class Darius Ramos, an active duty subject mattheir knowledge with other members in their field. ter expert with the 1st Sustainment brigade in Fort Riley, Kansas. “The scenarios are pre-determined. If I Continued on page 13 see an opportunity for training, I will present it to the


Junior Warrant Officer Brings Unique Experience to Silver Scimitar Story and Photo by Sgt. David Turner 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. – Silver Scimitar brings together Soldiers from many backgrounds and components, but Warrant Officer Christina Colby adds her unique experience to the annual training event. Colby is the first chairperson of the Junior Warrant Officers’ Action Committee, a newly created organization sponsored by the U.S. Warrant Officer’s Association. After 12 years as an enlisted Soldier, she was appointed as a warrant officer and quickly got involved in the association to help her peers. “We bring any issues for junior warrant officers forward for action, so they are supported and have a voice,” said Colby. Unlike most of the Soldiers, who attend Silver Scimitar 2012 as a unit, Colby is the lone representative this year from the California National Guard. Her involvement in the Warrant Officers’ Association was, in fact, what brought her to Silver Scimitar. She found out about the event through the association, and since she’s scheduled to deploy soon with her Guard unit, the exercise presented a perfect opportunity to prepare for the upcoming mission. Colby has spent her entire military career in the Active Guard Reserve program, working fulltime in Sacramento as a battalion administrator for the California National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Command. Recently, however, she decided to leave that

Warrant Officer Christina Colby (middle) plans to deploy to Kosovo with her unit soon, and training at Silver Scimitar is preparing her to provide support for her Soldiers overseas. “If I had not come to Silver Scimitar, I basically wouldn’t know what to fall in on,” said Colby. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

post for the chance to deploy with the 3rd Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, based in Stockton, Calif. It was an opportunity she wouldn’t have had with her previous job. “They’re non-deployable, so you don’t get that option to go,” she said. “So when I was asked; when they needed this position filled, I was really excited to be able to do it.” The California Guard unit is scheduled to deploy to Kosovo as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission there, and now that she’s a member of the 3/140th, Colby is eager to use her skills as a human resources professional to help her team in that mission. “I’m completely focused on taking care of my Soldiers and my unit,” she said. Silver Scimitar has given Colby a unique opportunity to work alongside other HR Soldiers, and to see how they work as a team.

And having trainers who bring their knowledge straight from the battlefield makes it practical and relevant, she said. “That’s the great part about Silver Scimitar, it’s the fact that we’re all sharing different experiences,” said Colby. “The subject-matter experts have been invaluable. We sit down and we have a ‘lessons learned’ block of instruction where we just got to ask questions and share stuff that wasn’t necessarily in the regulations or in the books.” Colby said attending Silver Scimitar has both increased her knowledge of the HR field, as well as connected her to a growing network of junior warrant officers. It’s an opportunity she might not have experienced anywhere else, she said. “This is the best training I’ve ever received in my 14 years of service in the military, with all the schools that I’ve been to,” she said.


Soldiers meet with AG CORPS Sergeants Majors

Junior enlisted Soldiers participating in Silver Scimitahear from a panel of sergeants majors representing the active Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Adjutant General Corps. The sergeants majors chose to meet during the exercise, highlighting its importance as the only multi-component, multiechelon training event that prepares Soldiers for overseas missions. The Soldiers attending the panel heard from the top of their enlisted chains of command and asked questions about the changing face of the Army and their career fields. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th MPAD)

Sgt. Maj. Thomas S. Gills, Army G-1 Sergeant Major (right), offers advice to Spc. Jermaine Lattimore, 912th Human Resources Company. “For us, it’s so powerful to engage and hear what’s on our young [non-commissioned officers’] minds,” said Gills of the meeting. “There is nowhere else that we have the resources in the Army to put this together and execute it with the kind of expertise that we have for our Solders,” he said. Silver Scimitar is the only exercise for the Adjutant General Corps that tests all aspects of HR operations from the company to theater level. (Photo by Sgt. David Turner, 214th MPAD)

OC/Ts continued from page 11

“This is really good training,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Yineso Adeoti, HR Technician with the 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center, and an instructor at Silver Scimitar for several years. “The training has grown and the word has gotten out. Everyone wants to come here and train up. We need to continue to send troops here. This is the only HR training that solely focuses on HR.” Adeoti explained his role as an OC/T is to train the Plans and Operations sections at the HRSC level and the Soldiers working in the Human Resources Operations Branch to establish and maintain good relationships with their units. “I attended Silver Scimitar in 2010 as a student,” said Chief Warrant Officer Somjai Ashford, Human

Resources Technician, Human Resources Operation Branch, 7th Sustainment Brigade. “I requested to attend this to see if I could provide my subject matter expertise. Even as an OC/T, Chief Adeoti has been as a mentor and really receptive to my questions.” This mentoring method and receptive instructor method with visiting units was well received and overall, the Soldiers were very positive in their reception of the training. “The instructors and trainers were professional,” said Sgt. Harold Votzke, 912th Human Resource Company. “They knew what they were talking about, and the training was very hands on. I ran a post office when I was on active-duty years ago. They were very helpful explaining the new systems.”


The 214th Mobile Public A participating units, instructo their support an during Silver S


Affairs Detachment thanks ors, leaders and civilians for nd cooperation Scimitar 2012.


Silver Scimitar 2012

Silver Scimitar 2012  

The army magazine for the exercise

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