The official magazine of Multinational Battle Group East Check out a puppy Feeling down? Soldiers can sign up to walk dogs to help combat stress and give the puppies some well deserved affection.
More than three months of training and years of preparation led to this stage. Read about the ceremonies that officially started KFOR 14â€™s control of this AOR.
Transfer of Authority rings in KFOR 14
Feel the burn Camp Bondsteelâ€™s exercise and health professionals weigh in on fitness techniques, supplements and tracking aids to get great results.
Comedy tour tears through Bondsteel
Fresh Focus KFOR 13 and KFOR 14 participate in the transfer of Authority
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Meet the _______ A monthly introduction of a few soldiers
Fitness and Health Tips Work hard, stay healthy and fit, head home in better shape
Puppy Love Relieve some stress by visiting three local dogs
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MNBG E Commander and CSM
Self defense for self preservation Women learn tactics to fend off an attacker Comedy trio tears through Bondsteel Three comedians visit Camp Bondsteel
Dancing together Final fitness class lead by KFOR 13 U.S. Soldiers support peers U.S., German Contingencies prove readiness Supplements Q&A Health professional weighs in on exercise supplements
A hike of faith Soldiers participate in pilgrimage New team takes on responsibility Transfer of authority for LMTs
Safety Legal Chaplain
LMT 5-4: Day 1 First day on the job for team 5-4
Commanding Officer, MNBG E Col. Michael D. Schwartz
200th Public Affairs Detachment Commander 1st Lt. Casey Staheli
Command Sergeant Major, MNBG E Command Sgt. Maj. Abel Villesca
Editor Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
Public Affairs Officer, MNBG E 1st Lt. Valerie Palacios Front cover: Transfer of authority ceremony between KFOR 13 and KFOR 14 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo on April 2, 2011. Each country within Multinational Battle Group East participated in the ceremony rooted in militvary history transfering the responsibility of leadership from one commander to another. (Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya) Back Cover: C. Company, 1/200th Infantry Brigade, plays the part of Kosovo police during a quick reaction force vaildation exercise at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Wednesday. Alpha platoon of the German Maneuver Company stationed in Novo Selo, Kosovo, was being tested for its abililty arrive at and quell a riot at any location in Kosovo. (Photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
Layout and Design Spc. Evan Lane Photojournalist Spc. John A Montoya, Jr. “ G u a rd ia n Eas t is p ro d u ce d fo r p erso n n el o f MNBG E, and is an authorized publication for members of the Depar tment of Defense. Contents of Guardian East are not necessarily the official views of the U.S. government, the Department of the Army, 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, or MNBG E.”
Broadcast Journalist Pfc. David Sherwood Photo Credits for editorials: Fitness: Spc. Lucretia Wilcox Supplements: Spc. Evan V. Lane Safety, Legal, Chaplain: Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
Bruce Jingles, Chris Simpson and Jennie McNulty sign photos for soldiers following a comedy show performed at the South Town Fitness Center on Camp Bondsteel. story and photo by John A. Montoya
aughter roared through the South Town Fitness Center here on Apr. 16, 2011 when three comedians Jennie McNult y, Chris Simpson and Br uce Jingles performed a comedy show for the Soldiers stationed here. The show gave Soldiers an opportunity to relax, laugh and enjoy themselves as the comedians preformed their routine.
Spc. Curtis M. Poole, a member the crowd a lot,” said Poole. of the 678th Postal Detachment. Comedian Chr is Simpson Spc. Terrie D. Charlie, from has performed over 50 comedy the 111th HHC, Material Man- shows for deployed Soldiers agement Cell, said, “We’re all since 2007, but this was his doing serious business and first time performing comedy we need some time to relax.” in the Balkans and he enjoyed entertaining the Soldiers here. The comedians performed t heir st and up rout ine for “ I had a bla s t , I’m havabout and an hour and a half ing fun and I dig these shows and then signed autographs. more than any thing else. I The Soldiers in at tendance could do these shows for the said they enjoyed the show. rest of my life,” said Simpson.
Spc. Isaiah C. Lujan, a Soldier in the personnel section of t he 111t h Headquar ters “Oh dude, t hey ’re hilar iand Headquarters Command ous,” said Lujan, “next time based in Rio Rancho, N.M., said I’ l l be a l it t le louder a nd he attended the show because maybe t hey ’ll pick on me.” it was something fun to do. Poole thought Chris Simp“I came for some entertain- son was the most entertaining. ment and to relax, because t h e r e ’s n o t m u c h t o d o “He’s just a funny guy. He around here and just to get was real relaxed when he was my mind off of work,” said on stage and he loosened up
The Soldiers in attendance could agree that the MWR should host more shows like these. Poole said they should definitely have more comedy shows and Spc. Stephanie Stock, a 111th HHC Soldier in the signal and communication section said, “I think these shows are good because they boost morale.”
MNBG E Commander CSM
iness Center, Hohenfels, Germany. The training was more demanding than we’d faced previously. The “base camp” living conditions were more constrained than we’d experienced in Indiana. New complexity to our operations was added as we linked up with and integrated multinational partners into our formation. The days were longer and the training more intense. Despite all of that the Soldiers of MNBG E, KFOR 14 maintained remarkable discipline, spirit, motivation and positive attitudes. Once again you came together as a team and exceeded the expectations of the training and validation team charged with ensuring we were ready to move forward into Kosovo. The accomplishments and reputation of KFOR 14 was reported to the highest levels in USAREUR and to the Commander of Kosovo Forces and our arrival here at Camp Bondsteel was eagerly anticipated.
e are finally on the ground in Kosovo and conducting our daily duties. The last month or so has been both exciting and busy. We have accomplished many good things in training and are now set to accomplish even better things in Kosovo. I have only three brief topics to cover so you can spend most of your time reviewing the news stories provided by our fabulous Public Affairs Detachment.
First, I would like to thank all the Soldiers for making this deployment one of the best I have witnessed. Deploying over 700 Soldiers from all over the United States, linking up with our multinational partners in Germany, then moving on to Kosovo to work with still more multinational partners has all gone off without a hitch. Every Soldier has been very hard working, industrious, studious and mission focused throughout the last 90 days. We have had no significant discipline issues and when given the chance to “spread our wings” with a scarce day off, everyone has diligently followed the rules and has made the organization proud. This has not gone unnoticed by our contemporaries and our higher headquarters throughout our training. I very much appreciate the dedication of each and every one of you.
Second, it is very important to establish a baseline operating tempo within the first 30 days or so in country. There are an overwhelming number of tasks which must be accomplished and a number of “legacy” tasks we must identify and eliminate. This will be a difficult road to travel as we desire to accomplish all tasks we believe are our charter but may no longer be supportable. As we move forward, we must continually ask ourselves if the task we are accomplishing is appropriate given our current mission focus. In general terms, we are here to provide a safe and secure environment in order to provide the opportunity for governing institutions to take on the enormous task of sustainable self governance. Lastly, I would like every Soldier to consider SAFETY. There is no task so important that we
On Mar. 18, the main body of KFOR 14 Soldiers arrived in Kosovo and Camp Bondsteel. We kicked off a whirlwind of activities and tasks as part of our left seat and right seat ride in preparation for the Transfer of Authority from KFOR 13 to us. Individually and as an organization we once again had to adapt to a new environment, new living conditions, new techniques and procedures and minor reorganization. We linked up with and integrated multinational partners and established relationships with our higher headquarters and adjacent units. All of this was accomplished with the same degree of mission focus and discipline that the commander and I have come to anticipate you will deliver and for that we thank you.
Col. Michael D. Schwartz, commanding compromise the safety of our Soldiers. We will surely find ourselves in circumstances which require timely response, but we cannot put ourselves, or the populous, in danger by our actions. Traffic accidents are the most dangerous event we will likely encounter, so please use caution and drive defensively as you conduct your daily operations. Furthermore, keep your work hours and work days manageable. Fatigued Soldiers are less efficient than well rested Soldiers. Therefore, as a general rule, Soldiers and leaders will work six scheduled days per week and limit workdays to not more than 12-14 hours per day. There will be exceptions, but it is up to leaders and Soldiers to monitor Soldier fatigue and modify their daily activities accordingly. In conclusion, I would again like to thank all the Soldiers of Multinational Battle Group East, KFOR 14, on a very successful train up and deployment. Keep up the GREAT WORK and continue to strive to improve each and every day you are in Kosovo!
Command Sgt. Maj. Abel Villesca
n Apr. 2, we executed the Transfer of Authority ceremony between KFOR 13 and KFOR 14. For all of the Soldiers of MNBG E that event was a significant milestone in the journey we all started together in the months prior to mobilization. At every stage of that journey the Soldiers of MNBG E have performed in an exemplary manner.
All of you reported to Camp Atterbury, Ind., with a significant amount of mobilization training already accomplished. The mobilization readiness of each individual Soldier and each of the units was key to our success while conducting post mobilization training and mission readiness certification in Indiana. Your motivation and spirit were noticed by all of our mobilization partners at the installation and by leaders in 1st Army Division East. The positive attitude, mission focus and outstanding discipline of KFOR 14 Soldiers set a standard and established a reputation as a “learning organization” that we can be proud of.
As I write this, the Transfer of Authority was two weeks ago. Together we have embarked upon the next stage of our journey and have assumed responsibility for the mission we have trained for over several months. We started this journey together and it is the intent of the commander and leaders at every level that we all finish it together. To that end, individually and collectively, we must incorporate composite risk management into everything that we do. Until we have become fully acclimated to our operating environment and identified what tasks and activities are critical to mission accomplishment, there is a tendency to elevate everything to unwarranted levels of urgency. It’s during this period more than any previous that we all must exercise the discipline that has contributed to our success so far. Remember that there is nothing the commander and I will ask of you that is so urgent it warrants endangering you, your fellow Soldiers or the people in Kosovo.
Once again I want to thank you for the outstanding performance and dedication that has made the journey from home station to Camp Bondsteel so successful. I am truly proud of each and every Soldier in MNBG E. I have great confidence in you and your leaders and know that there is We moved on together to Joint Maneuver Read- no challenge ahead of us that we can’t overcome.
Under my paw story and photos by Spc. John A. Montoya
amp Bondsteel has a resource available to Soldiers here that provides them with an opportunity to bond with some little four-legged friends. That resource comes through the veterinary office, which takes care of the nonhuman creatures here.
While the primary mission of the veterinary office is vaccinating local wildlife, a secondary mission, and one that has a lot of Soldiers smiling, is the Camp Bondsteel Human Animal Bond Dog Program in the veterinarian’s office. Camp Bondsteel Veterinary Treatment Facility, located in Bldg. 630 suite #6, has three local dogs for Soldiers to play with: Abby, Dante, and Hannah. The office is open to visitors during normal working hours between 0800 and 1700 on weekdays, 0800 and 1300 on Saturdays and requests can be made for other hours. The dogs can be reserved for individual playtime for up to an hour by signing a waiver stating you take responsibility for the animal, said Staff Sgt. Jerome A. Rabanal, Food Inspector.
Spc. Andrew J. Gassner holds Abby, one of the three therapy dogs here on Bondsteel. The dogs are available for Soldiers on Camp B onds teel, Kosovo.
The dogs can be an asset for Soldiers having a tough time or needing to take their mind off of work for a while.
“Working with the therapy dogs is a great stress relief,” said Rabanal, “they can help calm us down when stress levels go up during the day.”
Spc. Andrew J. Gassner, a Soldier working in the personnel section of 111th Headquarters and Headquarters Company, spent a little time walking the dogs and playing with them. “My kids would love these dogs, this is a great program. Everyone should know about these dogs,” said Gassner.
In addition to being great stress relievers, the dogs are really gentle and they have had a lot of Soldier interaction. “Since the program started in July they’ve had over 3,000 Soldier contact hours,” said DeBonis.
Abby, Dante, and Hannah have been vaccinated, groomed, dewormed, and are on preventative medications, making them safe “They’re from the local pop- for Soldiers and civilians ulation, but we work with them to pet and play with. to civilize them,” said Maj. Donna DeBonis, Veterinary “Any animal that comes Officer in Charge. “Soldiers through here– I have the can actually come up here, sit option of micro chipping for down in our ‘living room’ and permanent (identification) just hang out and play with the purposes. I also medicate dogs.” them with flea and tick preventative,” said DeBonis.
Spc. Andrew J. Gassner walks Abby and Hannah, two of the therapy dogs from the vet facility on Camp Bondsteel Kosovo. It’s a chance for Gassner to release some stress during a break from work.
The Human Animal Bond program is unique to Camp Bondsteel in two different ways. First, it is one of the few HABs in a deployed environment. Second, it is the only deployed bond program where local national dogs are used because rabies is almost unheard of in the Balkans region. The last case of human rabies in Kosovo was thirty years ago, said DeBonis. Although the dogs in the HAB program are domesticated and safe to pet and play with, DeBonis cautioned against interacting with local animals.
“Roundworms are a big problem in Kosovo and you can be infested if you touch an infested animal then go off and eat without washing your hands,” said DeBonis.
regulations and doctrinal guidance on how to keep these dogs on Bondsteel. We have our own SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and base policies signed by the prior commander,” said DeBonis.
DeBonis, who spends much of her free time towards developing a training program for local nationals on how to run a humane society here in Kosovo encourages Soldiers to checkout their Facebook page by searching for “Camp Bondsteel Human Animal Bond Program” if they’re interested in getting involved. Soldiers can take a proactive outlook during their deployment by getting involved in such activities as the Human Animal Bond Therapy Program or volunteering to help create a Kosovo Humane Society, said DeBonis.
Conditions here on Bondsteel and installation guidance For now Soldiers can visit have provided the opportunity the new Facebook page: for this program to flourish. Kosovo Humane Society and join the effort virtually. All “There’s a lot of U.S. Army are welcome to participate.
Maj. Donna DeBonis poses with one of her puppies, Hannah
Meet the Public Affairs
Each month The Guardian will feature a few soldiers from one of KFOR 14’s units. This month we’re introducing ourselves, so you can see what we do and give you an idea of what to submit.
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas in a Hispanic neighborhood so it wasn’t until I went off to college in Philadelphia, Pa. that I was exposed to other cultures and ways of life. I used to be very judgmental and had a very narrow way of looking at the world because all I knew was the Hispanic culture, so going away was definitely an enlightening experience. The Army has also allowed me to travel plenty and has greatly enhanced my experience with learning more about the world and its diversity. Some experiences have had a strong impact on my life because they have really made me appreciate all the things we, as Americans, take for granted like indoor p l u m b i n g a n d e l e c t r i c i t y. I am very happy to be here in Kosovo because it is a place full of history, culture and beauty that I will be able to share with my friends and family when I return home.
sherwood I am a Broadcast Specialist with 200th Public Affairs Detachment.
I’m writing this in a rush. As I speak, I’m hustling to get the layout done for this first edition of our ‘new & improved’ Guardian East .
I love to read and write, a n d I ’ m a n e w s j u n k y.
During my time in the Army I’ve come to love and respect the men and women who’ve volunteered to become part of the military family. I’ve seen the sacrifice military members make and I’ve seen the dedication they have. Their actions, your actions, have garnered my respect and admiration. When I learned the Utah National Guard had a Public Affairs unit I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to speak up for the military and be a voice for those in uniform. I enjoy trying to define and show the American public what a U.S. Soldier is. We come from different backgrounds, we have different experiences and we perform different jobs. We are a diverse group that works together to accomplish varied tasks. I take pleasure in sharing the individual service members’ story with the U.S. populace. I also love relating to the public the similarities between Soldiers and civilians; that members of the military are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.
What that means is, instead of using a still camera like the print journalists, I use a video camera and make news stories that appear on television (i.e. Armed Forces Network). I also record audio for radio stories.
Fingers flying over a keyboard brings home my check on the civilian side, and I suppose it does here too.
anna doo Currently, I am the non-commissioned officer in charge of the 200th Public Affairs Detachment, a position I’ve held for almost three years. I’ve always held a love and passion for visual creativity; graphic and web design, and photography. In addition, I fear I’ll never be able to satiate my thirst for travel and understanding the unknown-to-me.
Thus, deployments such as this offer me the opportunity to travel, absorb the culture surrounding me, and do it all through the viewfinder and lens of a camera. I look forward to telling the story of our soldiers, multinational partners and people in Kosovo throughout the duration of this deployment.
At home I run a graphic design business; I build logos, brand identities and other things that sound like they belong in an episode of Mad Men. But I volunteered for this deployment because I’d rather be taking pictures and learning than sitting at home playing with Photoshop.
I joked with the other members of the PAD about just throwing a book list up here, and I figure it wouldn’t be that far off. The world seems to unfold a new side of itself to me whenever I read a new book– I’m able to see things in a new light.
I enjoy learning about all the different jobs that have to be accomplished to keep us running, and I love to ‘talk shop’ about my job so if anybody wants to learn how to take better photos I’m always willing to lend a helping hand.
I’ve been in the Army since spring of 2008. I have been studying acting for the past three years.
I’m just a regular guy from a small town. I like the usual redneck stuff, but I enjoy reading and watching old movies as well as hiking, shooting and riding motorcycles. I try to travel as much as possible and this deployment is an opportunity for me to see a part of the world I might not have seen otherwise.
After this deployment I plan to move to Los Angeles to further my education and video career.
Feel free to email me with story ideas, comments, c o n c e r n s , o r c o r re c t i o n s .
for self preservation story by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo | photos by Spc. John A. Montoya
shiver runs up your spine. That little voice deep inside your subconscious says to be careful, be cautious, be aware. You instinctively look around for what may be causing your senses to react and see a large figure loping toward you with ma l ic iou s i nt ent ion s . You automatically react by establishing a solid base with which to fight back as the human figure is already too close for you to run away. The training and repetition of techniques learned in a self defense class unconsciously kick in and you are able to successfully fight off a would-be attacker and run for safety and assistance. The training techniques that coursed through the potential victim’s veins were learned in a women’s self defense class taught on Camp Bondsteel April 12 and 14 by members of Task Force Falcon, Combat Arms Training Company. The highly skilled instructors hold qualifications as military combative instructors as well as a wealth of civilian certifications for martial arts, self defense techniques, and numerous other law enforcement and personal protection training. Females wishing to build a skill set to ward of a potential attacker took the time to attend the training.
During the self defense class instruction, Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson, C AT-C inst ruc tor, began by discussing methods to prevent such attacks by making oneself a so called “hard target”.
T his means walk ing t he streets and alleys of Camp Bondsteel in groups, trekking with an air of confidence, and being aware of the surroundings at all times. Students learned multiple techniques to employ
in order to fight to get away. 3,158 reports of sexual assault involving service members. Johnson ment ioned t hat t her e a r e mu lt iple me t hEmploy ing basic preveno d s o f s e l f d e f e n s e a n d t i ve me a s u r e s a nd b ei n g students need to find tech- prepared if an attack should niques that work for them. occur are two ways that could bring those numbers down. “My way is not t he only way; it’s just another way,” The self defense class is said Johnson. “You need to designed to do exactly that; learn techniques that you can keep the numbers of sexual put into practice should any- assault on Camp Bondsteel t hing bad happen to you.” non- e x i s t ent . T he c ou r s e taught fresh techniques that He added the importance have been proven effective. of lear ning mult iple techniques so that women have “There are quite a few new an arsenal of options with techniques that I had never w h i c h t o f a l l b a c k o n . seen before and some useful awareness tips,” said Sgt. He a l so sa id t hat pr ac- Patricia Salazar, 75th Combat t ice is t he key to success. Support Hospital ground ambulance non-commissioned officer “The more you practice the in charge. “It was helpful that basic skills taught in this class, the male instructors interacted the more confident you should with us. That usually doesn’t feel. You have to be able to sim- happen. But you could get that ply react in a situation instead strength and positioning where of stopping to think about what you could actually see how the you should do,” Johnson said. moves really do work. It’s very helpful. I was very surprised!” According to the “Departm e n t o f D e f e n s e A n nu a l Salazar also recomReport on Sexual Assault in mende d t h i s c l a s s t o a l l the Military” for fiscal year f e m a l e s s t a t i o n e d h e r e . 2010, there were a total of “I think once they came here they’d see it’s not wrestling or ground fighting techniques. I think they would be somewhat surprised,” said Salazar. C A T- C w i l l b e o f f e r ing additional self defense classes t hroughout t he deployment as well as multiple combative style classes.
Soldiers should ask their unit’s training non-commissioned officer for dates, or check out the MWR boards in the South Spc. Anastasha Fox, as a team mem- Town and Medal of Honor Hall ber of a Liaison Monitoring Team, gyms for upcoming training. practices knee kicks while Staff Sgt. Eric Solano, CAT-C instructor, holds a cushioned pad.
A hike of Faith story and photos by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
rom the vantage point on the balcony of a local restaurant a half dozen tour buses could be seen piling into the narrow streets of Gornja Stubla / Stubëll e Epërme, Kosovo on Apr. 9. The tour buses released their contents of passengers into a multi-hued mass of families young and old, gaggles of friends and devout religious persons in the dress of their worship. Fashionable women were seen swapping high heeled shoes for practical sneakers. Picnic lunches were clutched in one hand with the other occupied by the hand of a small child. The hundreds of people arriving in town by bus mingled with residents and those who arrived by automobile to participate in a mass movement up the hillside above the small town.
A zigzagging trail cutting across and up the mountain could be seen from Stubëll e Epërme dotted with markers along the way. The markers are tablets depicting the scenes of the Stations of the Cross, a
religious remembrance hon- the hilltop standing below an oring the passion of Jesus. erected cross at least 15-feet tall. The brightly shining sun The Stations of the Cross trail was covered momentarily by up the mountain is visited daily skittering clouds, however the by some, said Robert Martini, a mood remained stoic yet festive. local shop owner. Martini said there was a time when it was After the service and nourforbidden, but now that there ishment of the soul, it was is freedom of movement; wor- time to nourish the body with shippers frequent the steep lunch at a local establishment trail especially during par- that has been part of the face ticularly holy times. Martini’s of Stubëll e Epërme for many wife, Suzanna and two of their years. Lunch began with fresh young sons participated in the tomato, cucumber, olive and Apr. 9 pilgrimage. Their voices local mozzarella cheese salad. mixed with the hundreds of other worshippers in response This was followed by cold to readings by the religious meats and cheese platters. The leaders at each of the stations. main course consisted of serving It was as though the prayers dishes filled with meats grilled spoken by the devout were and fried in numerous fashions. carried up and away by the breeze that accompanied them. The Soldiers and interpreters from Liaison Monitoring At the top of the mountain, Team 4 munched happily away and the end of the Stations of on the flavorful food and remithe Cross, a mass was held for nisced about the day spent those who had made the sacri- with the people in Kosovo fice to walk the steep distance. and relished t he fac t t hat Catholic leaders dressed in many more days were to folwhite vestments with deep pur- low during the deployment. ple stoles offered the service on
Soldiers with Liaison Monitoring Team 4 participate in a pre-Easter pilgrimage up a mountain flanking the city of Gornja Stubla/Stubell e Eperme. The pilgrimage stopped at monuments along the way denoting the fourteen stations of the cross in Catholicism.
Camp Bondsteel gains new leadership
Lt. Col. Kevin Bricker, left, commander of KFOR 14 Task Force Aviation, uncases the company colors along with Command Sgt. Maj. Troy Johnson, KFOR 14 Task Force Aviation sergeant major. (Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
HHC The transfer of authority ceremony from the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company, KFOR 13, to KFOR 14's 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company took place Mar. 24. Commanders from both rotations offered congratulations on a job well done, and expectations for the current rotation. (Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
KFOR 13â€™s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Teamâ€™s commander helps Col. Francisco Neuman detonate a charge during the EOD Transition of Authority ceremony. The cloud may be seen in the background. (Photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
Fresh Focus Responsibility of MNBG E transferred to new leadership
story by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo | photos by Spc. Evan V. Lane
undreds of service members representing ten countries, participated in the official transfer of authority ceremony of Multinational Battle Group East from Col. Francisco J. Neuman to Col. Michael D. Schwar tz here, Apr. 2. The MNBG E sector of responsibility, including all of Kosovo, supports the NATO mission to maintain an environment of protection and wellbeing as well as allowing for freedom of movement for the people in Kosovo.
The transfer of authority is rich in history and ritual, dating back to the eighteenth century during the reign of Frederick the Great of Prussia. During that time, flags were created with symbols and colors unique to each unit. To the flag as a representation of the unit, and to the commander, soldiers would dedicate their loyalty and trust. During a transfer of authority or a change of command, the flag would be passed to the individual taking command showing a shift of authority.
aspect of the NATO mission here was apparent. A U.S. Soldier, 2nd Lt. Christopher Tebo, a platoon leader of the Maneuver Contingency, and French soldier, Sgt. Quillien, a patrol leader in the French Contingency were discussing their duties in their respective formations. Both Tebo and Quillien lead patrols and missions and both are looking forward to the deployment as a way to gain more experience. “I w ill lear n a lot; f rom my Soldiers, f rom my chain of comm a nd , a nd f r om o t her f r iend l y Soldiers who are around,” Tebo said.
Quillen added the same sentiment of gaining experience for his fellow sergeants, and for himself while here in Kosovo. Tebo and Quillien are both glad to have the opportunity to meet soldiers from many parts of the world adding to the overall experience of the deployment.
Transfer of authority ceremony between KFOR 13 and KFOR 14 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo on Apr. 2. Each country within Multinational Battle Group East participated in the ceremony rooted in military history transfering the responsibility of leadership from one commander to another.
his ac t ion was performed with the unit present so all could see who was assuming responsibility of the group. The allegiance of the troops belonged to the flag and the leader who held it. This tradition is still in practice today.
Schwartz, of Clovis, New Mexico, commander of t he 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and the soldiers under his command, officially accepted responsibility of MNBG E from Neuman, Ponce, Puerto Rico, commander of the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement BriAs part of the transfer of gade, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and authority ceremony, the com- the soldiers in his battle group. mander performs a review of the troops’ condition and state “It is an honor to assume of readiness prior to battle. the KFOR mission, and I look During the Apr. 2 ceremony, forward to continuing to build the Kosovo Forces commander, on t he work accomplished Maj. Gen. Erhard Buehler was by my predecessors,” said afforded the opportunity to Schwartz. “It is apparent that review the incoming MNBG KFOR has proven its ability E Kosovo Forces 14 soldiers. to maintain a safe and secure Standing in front of him were environment as well as ensursoldiers from France, Germany, ing f reedom of movement Greece ( Hel la s), Morocco, for all residents in Kosovo.” Poland, Turkey, United States of A mer ic a a nd U k r a i ne . More than three months of T h e s e n a t i o n s c o m p r i s e training and years of prepaMNBG E now led by Schwartz. ration led to this stage of a
year-long deployment for the U.S. Soldiers representing 22 st ates and U.S. territories. Home station training began in January for many of the Soldiers which led to collective training at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and then to the Joint Maneuver Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany, before arriving at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, in late March. “We have come together from all over the United States and have built a strong, cohesive organization,” said Schwartz. “As commander of Multinational Battle Group East I look forward to building a strong relationship with all our multinational partners. Together we are a more mobile and deployable battle group, able to respond on a moment ’s notice anywhere at any time.” Pr ior to and dur ing t he ceremony, the multinational
The ceremony itself was a multinational affair with the Greek (Hellas) Band playing the sharp resounding notes of all the ceremonial music and marches, and each nation standing in formation responding to the commands of their respective leaders with crisp movements. The multihued uniforms aligned in front of Buehler, Schwartz and Neuman were all different, yet when mixed together in the melting pot of the NATO mission create a force focused on providing a sense of security for those in Kosovo. “It’s an honor for me to lead Multinational Battle Group East as we represent the best of the international community,” said Schwartz. “We come from many areas of the world and from many different cultures with a shared goal of maintaining a safe and secure environment with freedom of movement throughout Kosovo.” As the soldiers of KFOR 14 wish those who comprised KFOR 13 farewell, they look to the months ahead and the mission set forth before them. The professionals will spend their time here maintaining the liberty of movement for those in Kosovo, allowing for the people to conduct their daily business with a sense of safety and working with the institutions in Kosovo to continue to grow and strengthen.
Maj. Gen. Erhard Bühler, right, commander of Kosovo Forces, congratulates Col. Michael D. Schwartz on his assumption of command of Multinational Battle Group East.
Charlie Co. Liaison Monitoring Team Military Police Sgt. Bradley Kalbinger raises the 126th MP Co. Forward Guidon. (Photo courtesy of Puerto Rico National Guard)
Capt. Sergio Hands unrolls C. Company 1/200thâ€™s guidon during their Transfer of Authority. (Photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
Task Force Medical
The Liason Monitoring Team Soldiers receive their patches during the LMT Transfer of Authority. (Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
Col. Mary Bolk, commander of Task Force Medical, and 1st Sgt. James Lawrence prepare Task Force Medicalâ€™s guidon. (Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
New team takes on responsibility story and photo by John A. Montoya
Staff Sgt. Andrew L. Quesada, a member of Team 4 on the 717th Liaison Monitoring Team based in Roswell, N.M., places his monitoring team patch under the N.M. National Guard patch as they take over operations from the Puerto Rico National Guard.
he transfer of authority ceremony between t he 192nd L i a i s on M o n i t o r i n g Te a m , from Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and the 717th Liaison Monitoring Team, from Roswell, N.M., took place at the theater here Mar. 26. The 717th is now responsible for LMT operations and will be working alongside soldiers and units from other NATO and allied countries.
The teams have an important mission here in Kosovo of ten acting as a resource to the people and keeping t rack of what nor mal life is like in the villages, cities and municipalities throughout their respective areas of responsibilit y.
“Their mission is to feel the pulse of Kosovo and to get to know the people and listen to their feelings and opi n ion s ab ou t d i f f er ent issues,” said Lt. Col. Daniel M. Stark, Deputy Joint Regional De t ach ment Com m a nder/ L ia i son Mon it or i ng Te a m Commander. “They are also a resource for the communities that they serve, to help facilitate communication between i n s t i t u t i o n s i n K o s o v o .”
With KFOR 14 taking over t he Mu l t i n a t ion a l B a t t le Group East’s monitoring team operation, a new command structure is being implemented throughout MNBG E’s area of interest which is called the Joint Regional Detachment or JRD. As a result of this command restructuring, the JRDs will impact how the battle group works with the monit or ing t ea m s, sa id St a rk . “At gate two, the JRDs are t he landow ners, it ’s t heir area of operations. The battle groups have areas of interest, so it’s important that the battle groups keep the JRDs informed of their activities,” said Stark.
“JRD East is a very unique JR D w it hin t he overall structure because the JRD commander is Col. (Michael D.) Schwartz (MNBG E commander) and the battle group commander is Col. Schwartz.”
A lt houg h t he com ma nd structure has changed for the monitoring teams, their mission has not. The teams are still structured as they were in prior KFOR rotations, said Stark.
In addit ion to t he comm a nd r e s t r uc t u r i n g , t he monitoring teams also have the challenge of working with a mindset many Americans may not be accustomed to. “When we see a problem or see something that needs to be fixed, our inclination is to go fix it,” said Stark. “Now LMT’s are having to retool, re-learn and be more diplomatic and facilitate people in Kosovo helping t hemselves . So I ac t ua l ly think it’s more challenging.” Some aspects of the monit or i n g t e a m’s wor k w i l l remain the same. As in the past, they will still be an open resource for local communities to use and speak with.
“We’re available and we maintain office hours and we have discreet field offices in many of the municipalities, so citizens, officials and anybody can come visit the LMT’s,” said Stark. “We’re available for them to do that, but we also go out and initiate contact and meet with people and solicit their views and opinions.”
Task Force Aviation pilots land an UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to offload German soldiers during the Germans’ QRF validation exercise.
U.S. Soldiers support peers
story and photos by Spc. Evan V. Lane
h a r l i e C o m p a n y, 1/200th Infantry Brigade, played the part of Kosovo police during a quick reac t ion force validation exercise at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo on Apr. 6.
German riot control unit tested at Camp Bondsteel
for immediate suppor t , which brought in t he German platoon from Camp Novo S elo i n nor t her n Kosovo.
Up on l a nd i n g , t he G erman soldiers reinforced 4th Platoon and allowed t hem The exercise tested the Ger- to pull back from the riot. Spc. Joseph Serna, of C. Company, man Contingency’s ability to plays the part of a Kosovo policeman react rapidly and appropriately During the exercise, mock during the validation. to quell disturbances that may rioters tested several facaffect safety throughout Kosovo. ets of the German platoon’s response. Each soldier had to for a si mu l at e d c a s u a lt y. 4th Platoon of C Co. was respond accordingly to verasked to put its own riot quell- bal taunts, frontal attack and During each part of the valiing skills to the test during the thrown projectiles. The con- dation, multinational forces multinational exercise. They tingent was also required to worked together to provide formed ef fect ive lines and appropriately call for medical an env ironment t hat t ruly rebuffed the rioters until Maj. support of injured comrades. tested the soldiers’ abilities. Omar Ruiz, the exercise planner for Multinational Battle Task Force Medical’s Sgt. The soldiers of t he GerGroup-East, decided it was time Bud Cordova aided the Ger- man platoon succeeded at to test the Germans’ abilities. man team leader in this task, all tasks presented to them helping him call in a airborne a n d a r e c u r r e n t l y v a l i Ruiz called in a request medical evacuation request dated t hrough September.
tors and teachers in person. They wanted to get an idea of what the non-governmental organizations were doing and how they were helping the locals, said Loyafierro.
Loyaf ierro also said t he center was sponsored by an organization called Caritas, which is a Catholic based charities organization designed to reduce poverty through education and by providing basic health care. This particular community center provided the local children with an additional resource to help them with their schoolwork and it also provided them with medicine and immunizations.
Sgt. 1st Class William Rosado, the team leader of Liason Monitoring Team 5-4, and Spc. Socorro G. Loyafierro discuss the activities of the Ashkali Community Center on Mar. 28. They find out what role the center fills for the children who use it and what resources the center is lacking.
LMT 5-4: Day 1
Ndrek Augustini, one of the directors of the Disbave/Lisnaje Community Center, said, “We check all the kids to make sure they are not spreading disease.” Aug u s t i n i a l so sa id t he clinic in the community center can treat 50 to 60 patients a day and t he medicine is
supplied by the government. Karmeta said, “Our primary goal is to instill educational The community center has awareness in t he st udent s severa l cla ssrooms where and we have a strateg y in children were eng aged in place to facilitate that goal.” a variet y of act iv it ies and lessons, one of which was readAfter the discussions coning. The classes ranged from cluded, the team decided to preschool to four th grade. break for lunch and do some local reconnaissance of their Children in Ferde Ze Goli- a r e a of op er at ion s . T he y gi’s class were reading books d i sc u ssed what had been written in Albanian and were accomplished that day and attentively studying. Gatlimete prepared for the nex t day. Asllani’s preschool class was circled around as she held “It was a good day, we got their attention for her lessons. some really good information, spoke with some NGO’s (nonA sllani said, “ T hey (t he governmental organizations) preschooler s) a re div ided and we went to go visit the cominto smaller groups, so it’s munity center,” said Loyafierro. easier to work with them.” W hen the day came to a W hen t he team was f in- close, L oy a f ier r o de c ide d ished reviewing the facility, he had a good first day and they spoke with the directors w a s l o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o to discuss the impact of the the rest of the deployment. center on the city of Ferizaj. “I can say it was a good expeDuring the monitoring team’s rience and I’m going to enjoy meeting with the directors, the this mission,” said Loyafierro. coordinator of activities, Burim
story and photos by Spc. John A. Montoya
he first day running a new mission can be harrowing or difficult, but the Soldiers of Liaison Monitoring Team 5-4, fell into their new roles as monitoring team members with ease and skill. Their affable and inviting personalities allowed the team members of 5-4 to quickly take on their roles as facilitators of resources between those who need assistance and the variety of organizations and government agencies who provide it.
After the morning briefing and daily vehicle inspection, team 5-4 rolled out of Camp Bondsteel with their translator in tow. Team leader Sgt. 1s t C la ss Wi l lia m Rosado was ready to meet the challenges of the day. He said, “The most important thing you need is confidence and the
ability to speak with people.” very nice experience working w it h A mer ic a n s, t hey On the way to Ferizaj, Rosado are all ver y professional.” and team member Spc. Socorro G. Loyafierro stopped at the When team 5-4 arrived in Task Force Hellas Camp to pick Ferizaj they linked up with one up another member of the team, of their local points of contact Greek Master Sgt. Aris Tsam- and proceeded to discuss what peris, a native of Kavala, Greece. was happening in the area. Rosado found out about the “He makes our team kind Disbave/Lisnaje Community of cool, because we are one of Center on the outskirts of the the few teams that are mul- city which is geared towards tinational,” said Loyafierro. helping t he et hnic minor“He (Tsamperis) brings a lot to it y Ashkali/Roma children the team with his experience in Ferizaj. Team 5-4 was also and years of military service.” informed of the fact that many of the teenaged youth were Ts a m p e r i s s a i d w o r k- going to participate in activities ing with U.S. Soldiers was a celebrating International Envigood experience and he had ronment Day on Apr. 1 in Ferizaj. great rapport with his team. After their meeting, Moni“ We u n d e r s t a n d e a c h toring Team 5-4 decided to other and we are friends,” pay the community center a said Tsamperis. “It’s been a visit and speak with the direc-
A student at the Ashkali Community Center takes a quick break from his studies. The children receive education and healthcare at the community center.
CPT Jason D. Barber, fitness expert and personal trainer, speaks to Soldiers on how to stay fit while deployed.
Soldiers from the 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade join Pristina locals in a dance-fitness class led by Spc. Emilio Rivera.
Dancing Together story and photos by Spc. Evan V. Lane
jumped at the opportunity.”
Rivera, a Soldier attached to Multinational Battle Group East for KFOR 13, has been leading dance exercise classes here for the majority of his deployment.
All ages were welcome to dance at the University, and the audience clapped along as the participants worked out . R ivera said he would miss teaching the class when he returns to Puer to Rico.
oldiers at t ached to the Puerto Rican 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade joined locals in dancing for fun and exercise on Mar. 26 at the University of Pristina gymnasium. Over 100 people of all backgrounds were in attendance for the last class led by Spc. Emilio Rivera.
“I started offering Zumba™ classes to Soldiers when I got to Camp Bondsteel,” he said. “A f ter a few mont hs, several people in my chain of command approached me and said, ‘This is great. How would you like to teach it to the communities as well?’ I
R ivera said he has been instructing Zumba™ in Puerto Rico for four years. Zumba™ is one of many types of fitness programs that focus on high-energy dance in an effort to make exercising more fun.
Rivera jumped at the chance to lead dance classes in Kosovo during his deployment.
keep the dancing , exercise and fun going for both Soldiers and local communities.
KFOR 13 is being succeeded “I teach two messages at these by KFOR 14 Soldiers in its classes: everyone enjoy and mission to ensure a safe and everyone dance,” said Rivera. secure environment in Kosovo. “I’ve loved it . It ’s wonRivera is planning on hand- derful to watch all kinds of ing over the reins of instruction people and ethnic groups comto a member of KFOR 14 to ing together just to dance.”
less damage to muscle. For example, running every day for an inexperienced runner can really cause some problems. Instead, ride the bike on your days off or the elliptical. Both of these are non-weight bearing exercises, and much less damaging to your body, but still train the heart. If you are an outdoors person, then spend 30 minutes walking up and down Radar (aka “Cardiac”) Hill. Your heart rate will be elevated but walking is easier on the joints.
t is amazing what can be accomplished while we are away from our friends and families. Some Soldiers on this Kosovo Forces rotation will finish up a lot of school, some will progress their military careers and most will find time to get back in shape again. Of course, the mission is first and everything else is secondIn regard to resistance trainary, but the operational tempo ing, you can elicit a certain in Kosovo allows for some response by how you do your ex tra-curricular activ ities. workout. If your goal is to get purely stronger then doing a Fitness is an important part of resistance training workout operational readiness, mission with weight that only allows accomplishment, and indi- you to accomplish 6-8 repetividual readiness. As “Citizen tions is where you want to be. Soldiers” we aren’t necessar- If muscle building is your goal ily afforded 90 minutes every then the 8-10 repetition range is day for physical training like where you want to be. If muscuour active duty counterparts. A lar endurance is your goal then deployment is a perfect oppor- 15-20 repetitions will elicit that tunity to spend time getting response. My recommendainto shape. This article will tion is that you incorporate all help you in getting started. facets of strength by doing one of those workouts per week. If you are just getting started For example, take a strength in your exercise regimen, here work-out plan with 6-8 repetiare some tips you might want tions and lower the amount of to consider. Avoid over-doing weight used and work on musit, this is called over training. cular endurance by doing 15-20 If you have gone from sitting at repetitions of each exercise. your desk back home, to exercising for an hour every day, Changing your workouts frethat may be too much. This quently will avoid falling into may cause some muscle sore- a rut. Change up your workout ness, which is an easy mark of every 6 weeks (the body adapts over training, or you may have in about this amount of time). It some joint pain, which could could be as simple as going from be a sign that you are causing flat bench with bar to dumbsome damage to your body. bells, or leg press to squats. With cardiovascular exerEnsure to keep track of what cise, try not to increase time you are doing weekly. Your by more than 10% a week. program may be simple enough that you have remembered your It is also important to look lifts and weights in your head. at other forms of exercise that If your program is more comcause less strain on joints and plicated, jot your workout down
Capt. Jason D. Barber: Certified Physician’s Assistant and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
and then track it. This helps you look back and see your progress.
Engaging in activities you like will help you stay motivated. T ry to find someone with similar interests and goals so that you can keep each other accountable and motivated. Sometimes it is discouraging to have a workout partner that is at a completely different level of fitness than you might be. Staying motivated is the most important part of all. It is important to try to create a habit that you can continue once you return home. You will find that after the first week or two of exercising you will feel better throughout the day. Your mind will be clearer when you are working. Your clothes will fit better and your outlook will improve.
Exercising is a powerful medication but just remember they haven’t figured out how to bottle it yet so you have to get out there and do it. Good Luck!!
Maj. Ethan Gallery, officer in charge of the Camp Bondsteel pharmacy, answers soldiers’ questions regarding the efficacy of workout supplements.
Question: What are supplements? Answer: They’re basically anything that hasn’t been approved by the FDA that people take for some kind of therapeutic use. There are several different categories of supplements, one being those that are used mostly in the body building realm. Question: What does “not being approved by the FDA” imply about a pill? Answer: Well, the FDA sets two criteria that a manufacturer has to meet if it wants its product to be approved by the FDA: “does it work?” and “is it safe?” When manufacturers don’t send their products through the approval process, you have to question why. They’re either lacking on the safety issue or they’re lacking on the effectiveness. And when you read the over-thetop claims that these supplements make, they’re probably lacking in efficacy. Question: Which claims are excessive? Answer: Anything that deals with massive muscle building without work is typically not factual. You have to work to build muscle. The same thing is true with tremendous weight loss. There are people who are so desperate to lose weight that they will take
these claims at face value. Many of the products I’ve seen claim steroid-like effectiveness. Most of those products are either not recommended by the FDA or have been banned by the FDA. They’re pretty bad news. They can cause all sorts of issues with the liver. Hydroxycut™ and S-Drol™ are both examples of products that the FDA has recommended against using because they’ve been linked to liver damage. Andro ™ as well. Question: A few years ago, ephedra-based products were banned for weight loss, despite being considered effective. Why was that? Answer: Several medical studies proved that those pills caused heart problems and liver problems. Question: What about the safety of “ephedra-free” weight loss pills? Answer: The things manufacturers use instead of ephedra - ma huang, green tea extract, psuedoephedra, bitter orange - they all basically get converted to ephedrine or ephedra like products in the body. So even though they don’t have ephedra in them, they can still be dangerous just like ephedra-based pills. Question: So far this has been mainly what NOT to take. Are there any supplements that can be useful during working out? Answer: Working out isn’t so much a supplement thing as it is a nutritional situation. Most doctors recommend a decent
As Soldiers, we all have an individual responsibility to ensure that we are physically conditioned and prepared to perform when called upon. This means that we must work to stay physically fit to go beyond routine or administrative functions as our mission dictates. It also means that we need to keep ourselves healthy and free from injuries that take us out of action and render us unable to perform the full range of duties required of us. Striking that balance is where the challenge lies.
Maj. Ethan Gallery, pharmacy officer in charge multivitamin supplement. If your goal is to build muscle mass, I’d also suggest whey protein. To get the amount of protein you need to build muscle mass, you’d need to eat a lot of meat. With that comes a lot of fat as well and whey protein is a good way to avoid the extra fat. Question: Any recommendations for the weight loss side of things? Answer: Not for supplements. Honestly no. I’d say eating smaller meals more times a day and at least three to five servings of fruits and vegetables. Couple that with regular exercise and that’s about it. Question: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Answer: Proper nutrition and a good workout plan are far more important than the wide variety of supplements available. They’re not the wonder drugs people make them out to be.
Injuries can occur when conducting physical training. The worst of these types of injuries over the years here at Camp Bondsteel have been the unfortunate result of Soldiers participating in extracurricular sports activities. Some of these past injuries include fractures, sprains, strains, hernias, dehydration, and even cardiovascular events. The good news is that these accidents can often be prevented. Here are a few tips for what you can do to prevent injuries when conducting PT:
potential for injuring ourselves and our fellow Soldiers. Here are a few things we can do to avoid serious sports related injuries:
1 Wear protective gear (i.e., basketball shoes, eye protection, helmet, pads, weight lifting belt) 2 Avoid hard impacts and unnecessary roughness 3 Know the rules of your sport before playing 4 Set limitations to avoid unnecessary injuries (i.e., no sliding into base, play “flag” football; not Maj. Harvey Johnson, MNBG E “tackle” football) safety officer 5 Ensure that games are officiated (i.e., basketball, soccer) • Ice – Applying ice both limits 6 Don’t play if you’re already inswelling by reducing blood flow jured; let yourself heal to an area and controls pain by activating temperature receptors The most common injuries thus overriding pain receptors resulting from physical activi- • Compression – Wrapping an ties are musculoskeletal in injured joint in an elastic bandage nature. The most severe of these helps limit swelling and stabilizes types of injuries, such as frac- injured tissues; if you feel throbbing pain, the bandage is too tight tures and dislocations require and should be loosened immobilization (splinting) and • Elevation – Raise the injured body emergency medical treatment. part above the heart to limit swellFrom DSN dial “911” or ”3778” ing. For example, place a cushion under your sprained ankle while on Camp Bondsteel or if using a cell phone dial “038-5133- lying supine
3778” for emergency response to these severe injuries. Other musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains/strains, pulled muscles, or joint injury (ligament, 1 Dedicate time in your workout cartilage, or meniscus damto stretching, warm up, and cool age) can be mild, moderate, or down 2 Include exercises that strengthen severe. When these injuries do happen, taking the right the core of your body 3 Balance your workout with both actions quickly can help to cardio and muscle strengthening begin the healing process. Seek exercises medical care for proper diag4 Gradually build on your conditioning over the course of weeks and nosis and treatment of injuries. When applying first aid, the months 5 Set realistic goals and reach new objective is to limit inflammaplateaus to avoid overexertion tion and prevent actions that 6 Drink water to replace loss due to make your condition worse. sweating Think of the acronym PRICE: 7 Maintain a nutritious diet to re-
Other musculoskeletal injuries can have an insidious onset and generally result from overuse, such as different forms of tendinitis or frozen shoulder. First, if it hurts to do something, then stop doing it. Seek medical care for situations that don’t resolve in a r e a son able t i me f r a me .
Camp Bondsteel has much to offer us in the way of gyms and recreational sports activities. This is a great place for each of us to improve our individual physical fitness before our tour of duty is complete and we head back home. We place body salts • Protection – Stop playing and can also create memorable putting weight on the injured body experiences in the spirit of comExtracurricular sports are a part that can make the injury petition which is what many of great way to relieve stress and worse build unit cohesion. When com- • Rest – Torn muscle, tendon, and/ us are looking for as part of our military life. We can do all of peting we need to keep things or ligament fibers need time to repair themselves these things and stay safe too! in perspective and consider the
ou ’r e g o i n g t o d i e . Maybe not today, and probably not tomorrow, but someday you will die. You’ll leave everything you own behind: the house, the car, the book collection, the fine china, the sparkling jewelry. All of it will linger long after you’re gone. And that’s why you should consider an estate plan.
Many of us do not underst and t he impor t ance nor reason behind estate planning. Estate planning is important because what you do now will help spare your loved ones from additional responsibilities in the future, especially when they should not be expected to make difficult decisions. While no one is required to draft an estate plan, a good estate plan will help you navigate complicated state and federal laws and provide for those people as you choose, not as the government decides. An estate plan typically incorporates the basic principles of asset protection and control. A good estate plan incorporates insurance planning, family planning, health and welfare planning and even retirement planning.
A last will and testament is a guiding document often included in an estate plan. A last will and testament is one of the best ways to ensure your estate is settled and distributed according to your wishes. A properly drafted last will and testament designates specifically who will receive your assets. It can be used to create a trust for the benefit of your children or even make charitable donations upon your death. It may even prevent unanticipated disagreements after your death. A will created ten years ago,
however, may no longer hold the protections it did at the time it was drafted. It is important to regularly update your last will and testament to verify its applicability with current law.
For those who choose to draft a will, there are many options available. Basic pre-printed and ready-to-fill-in wills are available, but quite often these documents will not provide you with the needed level of customization. Your last will and testament is an opportunity for you to decide upon the disposition of your assets, and a properly drafted will allows more f lexibilit y. A properly draf ted last will and testament should incorporate who should be guardian of children. Capt. Donnial Hinds, legal assistance & claims officer Often times single people with no children do not think estate plan, documents should they need to have an estate be prepared in the event that plan but this is simply not the you cannot make decisions on case. Without an estate plan, your own behalf. These docuyour property will go by opera- ments include: a living will, tion of the laws of the state in health care proxy, and on many which you are a resident at the occasions, a springing power of time of your death. This often attorney. A springing power of times may lead to both parents, attorney is a specialized power regardless of whether they were of attorney which only becomes involved in your life, being enti- effective when you are incapacitled to your property and assets. tated, so it is very limiting as far This in some cases is not what as when it can be used, unlike the individual wants to happen. a general power of attorney.
Besides a last will and tes- After creating these docutament being an integral part ments and keeping them current of your estate plan, you need with varying laws, there is to have mechanisms in place still one more common reason to protect your personal well to update these documents being. Always ensure that — changes in your life. Maryou have enough life insur- riages, children, divorces, and ance and disability insurance major increases or decreases to provide for the lost income in your net worth are all reathat would not be available sons to revisit and possibly if you were no longer able revise your existing documents. to provide for your family. Drafting and maintaining your estate plan is time well spent Also, when considering your both for you and your family.
Chaplain C amp Bondsteel… f i n a l l y ! We ’ v e p u t Camp At terbur y, Ind., a nd Joi nt Ma neu ver Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany, behind us – thank GOD! Though both had their moments, we’ve all learned valuable, unforgettable lessons.
turns, sudden starts and stops, both uphill and downhill grades and often much waiting. If you travel the road, you know the bumps, yet at times, we may find ourselves charting a course we have not yet traveled. Much of King David’s life is recorded in several Old Testament books of the Bible. He experienced celThe Army has seven excellent ebration and heartache, joy and values to guide our actions as sorrow, victory and defeat. His Soldiers: loyalty, duty, respect, sins are recorded, but God forselfless service, honor, integ- gave and restored him. David rit y and personal courage. concluded t hat God work s These values guide our behav- through all times in our lives. ior as we serve our command “By day the LORD directs his love, and interact with staff sections at night his song is with me—a and units to fulfill missions. prayer to the God of my Life.” Life based upon Army values is important at the lowest, high- Back home our families await est and all levels. Living the us as we focus on completion Army values is the minimum of our mission here. Several standard and aligns our efforts holidays have passed while with our commander’s vision, apart from our families and mission, goals and objectives. several lie ahead. As always, let us communicate often with Two individuals, among many, our families and friends with remain perpetual reminders optimism, faith, hope and love. of living the Army values with an attitude of optimism. “… As a Soldier, I base my life In 1776, the Continental Con- upon faith in the Savior, Creator gress picked this untested and Sustainer and incorporate officer to be the general of the the Army values. Both work Continent al Army—George simultaneously to guide and Washington,” our first Com- order the course of my life activmander-in-Chief. Washington ities. “He has made everything and his troops lived the Army beautiful in its time. He has values in the midst of severely also set eternity in the hearts adverse conditions. This Army of men; yet they cannot fathom adapted and overcame to form what God has done from beginour United States of America. ning to end.” May we live each day by the Army values, Jose Quintero, a native of New from an eternal perspective, Mexico and an American POW with the bigger picture in mind! in a Japanese Prison Camp dur- Be Blessed and Stay Strong! ing WWII, lived the Army values – CH (CPT) Jeffrey A. Hicks in the face of horrible and dire conditions. His actions led to American lives being saved and to their subsequent freedom! Our lives are f illed with obst acles and test s, sharp
Chaplain (Capt.) Jeffrey Hicks, Deputy Chaplain Unit Ministry Te a m ( UMT ) Con tac t info: CH ( Maj.) Michael L i nds ay / DSN 50 0 8 / c el l # 0 4 9 -7 74 - 6 4 6 , M N B G E Task Force Falcon Chaplain CH (Capt.) Jeffrey Hicks / DSN 5007 / cell # 049-774-660, M N B G E Ta s k Fo r c e Fa l c o n D e p u t y C h a p l a i n CA (Spc.) Heath Wragge / DSN 3538 / cell # 049-774-557, M N B G E Ta s k Fo r c e Fa lcon Chaplain A ssist ant CA (SPC) Michael Aton / DSN 5009 / cell # 049-774-542, M N B G E Ta s k Fo r c e Fa lcon Chaplain A ssist ant
1 General Richard B. Myers (RET.), USAF. USO: On Patrol: Spring 2010, pp. 60-61. 2 Holy Bible, Psalm 42:8 3 Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:11