Volume 58 No. 2 2013
The official Magazine of the U.S. Army Reserve
WARRIOR CITIZEN cstx 91 18
Combat Support Training plays out in the hills of Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.
beyond the horizon: panama 22
One Village, One Voice,
One Health 26
Teaching how the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected in a tiny village in Uganda
Humanitarian and civic help comes to Panama at the hands of â€œThe Outlawsâ€?
engineering a legacy 32
411th Engineer Brigade stamped its legacy in both Afghanistan history and engineering doctrine
2013 best warrior competition 40
Check out this sneak preview of some of the action so far www.armyreserve.army.mil
ARMY RESERVE COMMAND TEAM Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command Chief Warrant Officer 5 Phyllis Wilson Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve WARRIOR-CITIZEN MAGAZINE STAFF Mr. Franklin Childress Director, Army Reserve Communications Lt. Col. William Ritter Chief, Internal Information Branch Melissa Russell Editor-in-Chief, Warrior-Citizen
Submissions • Warrior-Citizen invites articles, story ideas, photographs and other material of interest to members of the U.S. Army Reserve. Manuscripts and other correspondence to the editor should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All articles must be submitted electronically or on disk or CD. Unsolicited manuscripts and photographs will not be returned. Change of Address • Do not write the magazine. TPU Soldiers should notify their Unit Administrator or Unit Clerk. Members of the IRR and IMA should contact their Personnel Management Team at U. S. Army Human Resources Command, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue. Fort Knox, KY 40122. AGRs should contact their PMO/PMNCO. Paid subscribers should forward their address change to the Superintendent of Documents, Attn: Mail List Branch SSOM, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Special military distribution recipients may write the editor directly. Subscriptions • Warrior-Citizen is distributed free of charge to members of the U.S. Army Reserve. Circulation is approximately 320,000. Paid subscriptions are available for $14.00 per year domestic, $19.60 foreign. Single copy price is $5.50 domestic, $7.70 foreign. Mail a personal check or money order payable to the Superintendent of Documents to: New Orders, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, or fax your order to 202-512-2233. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
“It’s been 105 years since the concept of a capabilities-based Federal Reserve force brought about a medical core that, within five years, would effectively quadruple the Army’s ability to care for its sick and wounded. More than a simple augmentation to the force, the creation of a Federal Reserve force allowed for a cost-effective way for the Army to fill its ranks, as needed, with civilian-enhanced skillsets.” — Lt. Gen. Jeffery Talley, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command
he role of the Army Reserve has greatly expanded, but specialized capabilities and civilian-acquired experience continue to define the strength of today’s Federal Reserve force. Engineering a Legacy featured
on page 32, and Sgt. William Parsons’ Young Plumber Saves the Day, on page 17, showcase the unprecedented level of success our Soldiers and
commands can achieve by leveraging civilian professions and skills. The 335th Signal Command recently earned the distinction of being the longest-serving
forward deployed command in the Army Reserve, underscoring their unique capabilities. Check out their story, written by Lt. Col.’s Jan Northstar and Corey Roen, on page 36. The ability to augment Soldier-skills with civilian-acquired experience, advanced education and degrees, provides the Army with a distinct edge in humanitarian missions and at home, as well as in combat. Army Reserve medical Soldiers and engineers honed their skills in recent humanitarian missions; take a look at One Village and Beyond the Horizon on pages 22 and 26. When it comes to highlighting training and readiness, it’s hard to beat the visuals provided by the Best Warrior competition. Don’t miss the sneak preview of the action on page 40! This issue comes with a bonus—a depiction of 105 Years of History—by the Army Reserve’s own Lt. Col Mike Harris, formerly an artist for Marvel Comics. Feel free to hang it up in your unit, your civilian job, or at home—anywhere you see fit to share YOUR role as a proud Citizen-Soldier.
1st Place winner of the 2011 Thomas Jefferson Award (category N) 1st Place winner of the MG Keith L. Ware Award – 2010 and 2011 (category C)
Melissa Russell Editor-in-Chief
Join the conversation with U.S. Army Reserve
Volume 58 No. 2 2013
in this issue
1 Editor’s Note 4 From the Top 6 Blogs + Websites 11 Soldiers Town Hall
communities 8 the leading edge 10 getting a leg up
people 12 14 15 16 17
army reserve nfl player inspires hitting a broadcasting home run mind over mudder lucky 6 young plumber saves the day
plan + prepare + provide 36 335th—3RD Army’s critical link in Theater 38 training the capoc soldier
health + wellness photo By Sgt. Anderson Grant, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
44 life after suicide: a survivor’s story
p l a n + p r e pa r e + p r ov i d e
In the rolling hills of Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., this sustainment-focused, Combat Support Training Exercise, unfolds across the landscape. Real-world military maneuvers and tactics, base security, convoy operations, and battle reaction drills during simulated enemy attacks are just the beginning.
By Sgt. Anderson Grant, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
On the Cover A village boy and Capt. Danielle Diamond, a veterinarian from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell, sit inside a church in Kakute, Uganda, to watch a demonstration of effective water, food and personal sanitation procedures given by healthcare experts from CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, Uganda People’s Defense Force, and their civilian counterparts. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class tom Ouellette, CJTF-HOA Public Affairs.
p l a n + p r e pa r e + p r ov i d e
beyond the horizon: panama
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Walter E. van Ochten, u.s. army south
Sixty-six Soldiers from the 284th Engineer Company, known as “The Outlaws,” 961st Engineer Battalion, 420th Engineer Brigade from Seagoville, Texas, including 3rd Platoon from Santa Fe, N.M., arrived in Panama as March closed out. Their mission? To provide humanitarian and civic help in Panama, all while conducting training exercises like sling loading from a UH-60L “Black Hawk” helicopter. by Sgt. Jeff Daniel, U.S. Army South
p l a n + p r e pa r e + p r ov i d e
one village, one voice, one health
In a tiny village in Uganda, members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion met with Ugandan healthcare specialists to share in understanding how the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected.
by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class tom Ouellette, CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class tom Ouellette, CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
engineering a legacy
Photo courtesy Joint Task Force Empire Regional Command-Southwest/West Coordination Cell
p l a n + p r e pa r e + p r ov i d e
With the completion of its mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the 411th Engineer Brigade stamped its legacy in both Afghanistan history and engineering doctrine. The 411th is the first single engineer brigade to conduct mission command for the entire theatre, replacing multiple brigades and regiments. This is the story of the incredible accomplishments of Joint Task Force Empire. By Staff Sgt. Derek Smith, Joint Task Force Empire, Public Affairs
special section p l a n + p r e pa r e + p r ov i d e
2013 best warrior competition The competitions are under way and heating up as we draw close to the Army Reserves ultimate Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 23-28. Check out this sneak preview of some of the action so far. By Melissa Russell, Army Reserve Communications photo by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz, Army Reserve Medical Command
Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell, 200th MP Command
from the top
army reserve 105th anniversary events
a perfect moment by Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith
RIGHT: Sgt. Ryan Barger stands with Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith at a Baltimore Orioles game, April 23. A training NCO with the 423rd Military Police Company, Barger was chosen to throw out the first pitch as part of the 105th Army Reserve Anniversary. 4
s a General Officer on the Army Reserve Headquarters staff, I often attend outreach events in an effort to educate communities about our great Soldiers. I am proud to be associated with the Army Reserve, and I feel it is important for each of us to recognize our role as leaders in the community as well
as the military. This has never been more evident than on the evening of April 23, when I stepped onto the pitcher’s mound at Orioles Stadium, to the roaring cheers of the fans. As it turns out, the cheers were not for this headquarters brigadier general; they were for the Army Reserve sergeant standing by my side, and rightfully so. It was a perfect moment. An inspiring presence in his Army Service Uniform, Sergeant Ryan Barger squared his shoulders and faced the crowd, all poise and military bearing. On this day, the 105th Anniversary of the Army Reserve, it was Barger representing the Soldiers of his— and our—205,000-strong force. The 200th Military Policy Command’s 2011 “Best Warrior” is no stranger to
photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell, 200th MP Command
Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith looks on as Sgt. Ryan Barger throws the first pitch at the April 23rd Baltimore Orioles game. The attending crowd gave Barger, a Purple Heart recipient and Army Reserve Best Warrior, a standing ovation on the evening of the Army Reserve’s 105th Anniversary. FAR RIGHT: Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day talks with Sgt. Ryan Barger.
“Patriotism by itself is an amazing thing. Patriotism at a baseball game is a whole new level of spectacular.”
performance under pressure. The Purple Heart prominently displayed among his many awards and decorations serves as a reminder of his bravery under fire and his sacrifice in defense of the nation. Barger, preparing for the ceremonial first pitch, paused, calmly waiting for his cue. Then, with a quick glance toward his wife and son, he sent the ball flying toward home plate. I looked up in time to see the fans jump to their feet, cheering loudly as the ball smacked soundly into the catcher’s glove. Patriotism by itself is an amazing thing. Patriotism at a baseball game is a whole new level of spectacular. I am so grateful for the support of communities like Baltimore. But this was just one place, one moment. I know it is the support of towns and cities like this across America that sustains and motivates our Soldiers. That night Barger captured every heart in the stadium. He is a true ambassador for the Army Reserve. I consider it an honor to be associated with everything this day represented. Citizen-Soldiers valued by—and adding value to—a grateful nation.
From the Nation's Capital to Afghanistan: Soldiers and leaders across the Army Reserve celebrate and pay tribute to
photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell, 200th MP Command
Have your cake and eat it, too Brig. Gen. Tammy S. Smith, Director, Army Reserve Human Capital Core Enterprise cuts an Army Reserve 105th birthday cake with Army Reserve Ambassador Howard Mooney Jr., Maryland.
photos by Sgt. Micah VanD yke, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command
105 years of history
— Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith
5K run commemorates 105th Annivers ary
1st Lt. Amber Lawson, born on Apri l 23rd, shares a birthday with the Arm y Reserve and was among the Soldiers joining Lt. Gen. Talley for the Cam p Arifjan, Kuwait Anniversary 5K. The command team joined Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley in an Army Reserve Anniversa ry celebration with Army Reserve Sold iers deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The day started with a 5K run and included promotion, reenlistment and awards ceremonies , in addition to a Town Hall and cake cutting cerem WARRIOR–CITIZEN ony.5
blogs + websites The W eb offers many free, i nteractive resources to help Warrior-Citizens and their Famili es make informed decisions regarding their health, finances, career and education. Here are some of the latest new and useful online tools for Soldiers.
afps.dodlive.mil Lisa Daniel, editor and writer for American Forces Press Services,Â writes the Family Matters blog to provide resources and support to military Families, as well as to encourage a dialogue on topics ranging from deployments and separations to the challenges of everyday life.
With Plan My Deployment you can take some of the stress out of deployment or mobilization, through access to planning tools, checklists, and helpful tips. Whether it’s your first deployment or mobilization or your fifth, you will be able to create a unique checklist for the Pre-Deployment, Homecoming, and Reintegration stages that contains only the information you and your Family need to successfully navigate the process.
Human Resources Command’s mission is to execute career management, sustainment, distribution and transition of personnel in order to optimize Army personnel readiness, enable leader development and strengthen an agile and versatile Army that can Prevent, Shape and Win.
www.gibill.va.gov/ THE G.I Bill® Web Site IS Home for All Educational Benefits Provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
By Col. Jeffrey D. Greb, Chief Regional Emergency Planning Liaison Officer, 76th Operational Response Command/U.S. Army NORTH/ FEMA Region 1 and Master Sgt. Richard Lambert, 76he ORC
Photo by Col. Bob Hoaglund, EPLO, ARNORTH
First responders immediately took security evacuation measures following the bombing at the Boston Marathon. 8
Coordinating Federal Response to terror attack
the leading edge Coordinating DoD response to the Boston Marathon bombings Boston, Ma. — The response to the Boston Marathon attack was immediate and all-inclusive. Army Reserve Lt. Col. David Yasenchock, Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer, was one of the first to receive the call that he was needed to coordinate any required federal support for the Army. “I grew up in the New York City area and I felt like we were back to 9-11,” said Yasenchock. “I would do anything I could to support this operation. I just got out of command, and our unit motto was ‘Whatever it takes,’” said Yasenchock. “I thought this was still a fitting motto for my new duties as an EPLO.” As an EPLO, Yasenchock is the Massachusetts Department of Defense subject matter expert in Defense Support to Civil Authorities. His job is to assist in writing mission assignments allowing Title 10 federal forces to operate and perform their missions in the continental United States during emergencies. Initial response efforts in the Region One EPLO community were focused on a rapid accountability
for all assigned Army Reserve EPLO personnel, as many local Soldiers volunteer to attend, or participate annually in the Boston Marathon and other Patriots Day celebrations. “Key units that were considered were EOD, bomb-sniffing dogs and MP,” said Yasenchock. “Luckily, we have a good database of units in the area and could reach out if this event escalated,” he said. “We also assisted with querying other National Guard units in others states with the assistance of our EPLO team in Region One.” The most tense moments were the ‘what if's?’ and coming up with contingency plans if this event escalated, with more loss of life, according to Yasenchock, who was in the joint operations center when the bombing suspect was eventually captured. “We felt relieved,” said Yasenchock. “Having served a tour in Iraq, and recently in Afghanistan, the close of an operation like this with minimal loss of life was a good feeling.” Yasenchock deployed to the JFHQs MANG on the morning following the bombings to represent
Runners and spectators filled the streets at the 117th Boston Marathon prior to the bombing, April 15, 2013.
“The duties of a bomb sniffing dog are very intense and they need ‘crew-rest’ just like pilots.” the Army and provide any requested DOD assistance, working alongside Massachusetts Army National Guard Joint Operations Center personnel. Army Reserve EPLOs from the new 76th ORC are operationally controlled to the Army North Defense Coordinating Element and the Defense Coordinating Officer that supports each of the ten FEMA Regions. Yasenchock was actively involved with the interagency groups that formed the potential DOD response. He dealt with the dual status commander, the Northern Command (NORTHCOM) liaisons, the other Joint Service EPLOs, and was in constant communication with the DCE and DCO that were operating out of the FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center. The Boston bombings underscore the vital nature of the EPLO program in support of the DCO and the DCE. EPLOs are critical enablers in Defense Support to Civil Authorities that help facilitate the inter-agency response and will play a critical future role in helping prepare other Army Reserve units to respond under DSCA.
— Lt. Col. David Yasenchock, Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer
Army Reserve bomb-sniffing dogs were prepared to respond in the search effort that followed the Boston Marathon bombings.
Photo by Maj. Michelle Marie Faucher, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center
Lt. Col. Yasenchock, Massachusetts EPLO, briefs in the Joint Operations center of the Massachusetts National Guard during the response to the Boston bombings. Army Reserve EPLOs are assigned to each state National Guard Joint Force Headquarters and serve as the Defense Coordinating Officers representative and subject matter expert on all things DSCA above the state level for Title-10 assets, policies and procedures.
Ready Access to Non National Guard Reserve Forces
in the future… Tactical-level Army Reserve units can expect to play an increased role in DSCA during the response phase of a disaster. The 25 Feb, 2013 Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities calls for three critical changes regarding the employment of reserve forces.
Immediate Response Authority Department of Defense will explore methods to leverage “immediate response authority” to provide life-saving and logistical capabilities to a broader geographic area.
Geographically Proximate Force Sourcing Department of Defense will explore new concepts of operations to leverage the relative proximity of defense installations to a disaster area to provide life-saving capabilities to local, state and federal authorities.
Department of Defense will develop rules to execute its authority for involuntary Reserve mobilization for response to emergencies in the United States, including natural disasters. These three changes, combined with the significant capabilities resident in the USAR, clearly point to an increased role for the USAR in DSCA. The 76th ORC is currently working with the USAR leadership to define the way ahead for the greater involvement of USAR units and will undoubtedly involve an increased role for state and regional EPLOs in engaging with local USAR units. WARRIOR–CITIZEN
Photo by Lance Cpl. Tabitha Bartley, Marine Corps Base Quantico
photo by Sgt. 1st Class James C. Lally, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs
future changes to disaster relief
Career Management support
By Capt. Tania Wilson, Adjutant General Career Manager, Army Reserve
Photo courtesy Col. Gary Bullard, commander, Army Reserve Careers Division
“Twenty five branchspecific career managers facilitate career awareness, emphasize educational requirements, provide assignment opportunities and assist our officers with their career-path progression.” Lt. Col. Timothy J. Washington, strategic planner, Army Reserve Careers Division
ABOVE: According to Col. Gary Bullard, commander of Army Reserve Careers Division, the effectiveness of the CMO program is evidenced by the increase in promotion eligibility of junior officers. 10
getting a leg up Empowering officers on their road to success Morrow, Ga.— The path to greatness isn’t always easy. Whether you’re a junior officer learning the ropes in the Army Reserve or just considering continuing service outside of the active component, a little help from experts in your field can make all the difference when striving for career progress. Capt. Cynthia Lenley calls the gratitude in a Soldier’s voice the intrinsic reward of being a career management officer. According to the Medical Service Corps career manager at Army Reserve Careers Division headquarters, “I truly enjoy helping officers learn to manage their careers.” The Career Management Office is part of a pilot program that provides one-on-one counseling to drilling Troop Program Unit officers who have been identified as needing military education for promotion eligibility, thereby giving young officers a leg up in their professions. “Helping officers with their individual needs makes me feel like I’m making a difference in an officer’s career progress, especially junior lieutenants and captains,” said Maj. Robert Rogers, a military police career manager at Army Reserve Careers Division headquarters.
Since the establishment of the Career Management Office in Jan. 2012, the small team of 27 officers has completed more than 250,000 actions. And as word gets out, said Col. Gary Bullard, commander of ARCD, the team expects more officers to take advantage of this innovative and proactive program. “The latest report shows that, in just one week, a total of 528 Soldiers contacted the Career Management Office, primarily relating to promotion requirements. In the same time frame, more than 1,000 personnel actions were completed by the CMOs,” said Bullard. “As awareness increases, I expect a dramatic boost in the number of Soldiers reaching out for career assistance.” The Army Reserve established a comprehensive career management office to ensure that Army Reserve officers receive a level of career management support equal to their counterparts across military components. The goal of the CMO is to help as many officers as possible by preparing their files for promotion boards, assisting them in locating key developmental military positions and empowering them to manage their own military careers. “Twenty five branch-specific career managers facilitate career awareness, emphasize educational requirements, provide assignment opportunities and
assist our officers with their career-path progression,” said Lt. Col. Timothy J. Washington, the strategic planner for ARCD. “In layman’s terms, their job as career managers is to help Soldiers get promoted and to assist them in finding key positions in order to create a well-rounded officer corps.” The effectiveness of the program is evidenced by the increase in promotion eligibility. In 2012, 20 percent more majors met the qualifications to compete for promotion to lieutenant colonel than did in 2011. The second component of the program is the Army Reserve TPU career management forum. According to Washington, these events are conducted by CMOs and average 50 attendees, ranging from warrant officers to colonels. “These seminars are designed to develop a more proactive officer corps, by educating participants on new and relevant information that will allow them to more effectively manage their careers,” said Washington. “Attendees are also given the opportunity to review and update their files to ensure they are ready, armed and dangerous for the upcoming board.” The career forums provide an opportunity for officers and career managers to interact. A recent CMO forum held during Soldier Readiness Processing at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, gave the participating career managers an opportunity to assist a large concentration of second lieutenants through captains and numerous Army Medical Department officers. First Lieutenant Louis Zemek, the operations officer for the CMO team, has conducted forums from Houston to Honolulu. “Building the career management program from the ground up has been a challenging experience,” said Zemek. “My most rewarding experience is having had the privilege of assisting officers in their career progression.” The CMO program provides comprehensive career management to TPU officers in order to facilitate career awareness, meet education requirements and assist with locating position vacancies and making career path progress. Information regarding upcoming promotion boards, career manager contact information and useful links for Department of the Army photos, position vacancies, benefits and other frequentlyasked-for information can be found on the Career Management Web site.
Check out the CMO website and contact a career management officer today at: stayarmyreserve.army.mil/cmo/cmo.html
S o l d i e r s
Town Hall with Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, Army Reserve Command
Will the Army Reserve merge with the National Guard? It’s a great question. I get asked this about every day—recently in testimony before the House. My response might surprise you. In my opinion, the answer is yes. There have been six studies since 1948 and they’ve all had the same conclusion. There are efficiencies in putting the National Guard under the Army Reserve, because we’re one command and one component, and it wouldn’t make sense to take one command and one component and put it across 54 national guards. I’ve commanded Guard battalions in combat and Guard Soldiers are just like Army Reserve Soldiers—if they are properly led and resourced, they perform magnificently at home and abroad. But a lot of people don’t realize that there are very few similarities between the National Guard and the Army Reserve. We’re Citizen-Soldiers and the Army National Guardsmen are Citizen-Soldiers, but their culture, their organization, their capabilities are 180 degrees from us. The Guard’s focus is first to their state or territory as state militia, and secondarily as a strategic reserve to the federal army, sometimes a de facto operational reserve because you get the brigade combat teams. But the Army Reserve is the federal reserve (force); it is the operational reserve for the Army. The Army Reserve is very, very efficient and effective, and it looks like the outcome will be along the lines of similar studies. I don’t think you’ll see a combining of the National Guard and the Army Reserves in the near term because again, their cultures and capabilities are very different, and they were established for very different reasons. But, having said that, we need to make sure that we always recognize the value of the National Guard and how important they are as our brothers and sisters in the Army and in the total force.
Editor’s note: The response has been edited and condensed to fit. To listen to the CAR’s town hall meeting in Afghanistan, go to
Army Reserve NFL Player inspires story and photos By Lee Elder, Nashville Recruiting Battalion
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Army Reserve Soldiers have diverse careers, but only one of them is an NFL fullback. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Collin Mooney signed with the Titans in May, after serving three years as a field artillery officer at Fort Sill, Okla., and transitioning into the Individual Ready Reserve. Before starting his second season with the Tennessee Titans, Mooney, 27, spent his annual training period with the Nashville Recruiting Battalion, embarked on a two-week tour of area schools to support Army recruiting.
photo courtesy Tennessee Titans
“He was somebody they could relate to.… He’s put in that dedication and knows what it takes to get to that [next] level.” — Capt. William Sharpe, Clarksville, Tenn., recruiting company 12
“I think the students were very impressed with Collin,” said Amie Chaney, a counselor at Franklin-Simpson High School in western Kentucky. “They were amazed at the fact that he was part of the military and played professional ball.” Mooney told students and faculty that he made some serious choices in high school, including the choice to pursue his dream of playing football, while some classmates wanted to use drugs, drink alcohol and live a party lifestyle. “He also talked about making good choices for himself and having to lose friends over it,” Chaney said. “And that is a sad reality for
a lot of people. The kids really enjoyed his positive message.” A soft-spoken man, Mooney talked about his football career from high school to the NFL. Many were impressed with his military career. The West Pointer broke several academy records as a running back before being commissioned in the field artillery branch. He spent the remainder of his active duty service as an executive officer for a Fort Sill training battery before transferring to the IRR. Mooney’s quiet confidence and boyish charm were a hit, said Capt. William Sharpe, who commands the Clarksville, Tenn., recruiting company.
It was a quick win for 1st Lt. Collin Mooney, a fullback for the Tennessee Titans, as he took on senior Ladarian Allison’s challenge at Lebanon High School in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Titans fullback visited 13 high schools across western Kentucky and middle Tennessee during his annual training period.
“I saw his arms. He’s big, and I wanted to test my strength.” —Ladarian Allison, student at Lebanon High School, Tennessee
“He was very put-together, and he talked about his high-school career, college and pros,” said Sharpe. “He was somebody they could relate to.” Teachers and administrators joined the students to hear how the Katy, Texas high school youth came to play football at West Point and serve three years in the active Army—all the while training and preparing for a chance to make the big league. It was his performance at a scouting combine held at the University of Oklahoma that garnered the interest of four NFL teams. Following a tryout in Nashville, Mooney signed with the Titans in May 2012. Students and teachers alike crowded around him to get an autograph or take pictures with their camera phones. Mooney’s message carries a lot more weight because he’s a pro athlete, Sharpe said. “He’s put in that dedication and knows what it takes to get to that level. He struggled in high school with some things, and he knows where they (the students) are coming from.” WARRIOR–CITIZEN
Employer Partners program
hitting a broadcasting home run By Sgt. Monte Swift, 207th Public Affairs Detachment
Photo by Melissa Russell, Army Reserve Communications
Sgt. Dennis DePrisco (left of center) and Spc. Christopher Tobey (right of center) join Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley in thanking members of the MLB team for their “Boots to Suits” program, which gets returning veterans into the broadcast workforce. Sgt. DePrisco, 207th Public Affairs Detachment, was hired by Major League Baseball as part of a collaborative effort between the Army Reserve’s Employer Partnership Office and MLB’s “Boots to Suits” initiative.
“…this is one of the biggest investments I have ever made. Joining the Army Reserve was a complete game changer for me. I have found so much opportunity through the Army Reserve, even more than I have — Sgt. Dennis DePrisco, 207th found with a degree.” Public Affairs Detachment Secaucus, N.J. — Opportunities are few and far between in the world of television broadcasting, especially in the highly sought-after field of professional sports broadcasting. Sgt. Dennis DePrisco, 207th Public Affairs Detachment out of Denver, was surprised to learn he was being offered a design apprenticeship at Major League Baseball Network’s creative services department. “I was excited, I was proud, but at the same time I was scared out of my mind,” DePrisco recalls. “I didn’t know what to think—I almost turned it down.” DePrisco was attending the University of Colorado as a digital design student when he learned of the one-year paid apprenticeship program, a partnership between 14
the Major League Baseball Network and the Army Reserve Employer Partnership Office. Launched in 2008, EPO’s mission is to connect military-friendly civilian organizations who have employment opportunities to reserve- or veteran-status job seekers. With only hours to submit his application and resume, DePrisco was not optimistic. “My resume was chosen from a phone book-size stack of applicants,” said DePrisco, who began his career as a combat photographer. “I never thought in a million years I would be chosen.” DePrisco, who is currently completing his apprenticeship in Secaucus, N.J., has a ten-year background in graphic design and began his career creating promotional videos and commercials for
local gyms and mixed martial arts fighters in Denver. “When I started this job, I was thrown right into the deep end, but the people I work with are so good at teaching and I am learning by the minute,” said DePrisco. “MLB is so military friendly and patriotic. They are so glad to have me, and I am so glad to be here.” The “Boots to Suits” program was formed by the Sports Video Group’s Veterans in Production initiative and uses a combination of unique civilian and military skills to help Soldiers more easily begin a career in sports television. “This is the first official apprenticeship program in the sports broadcasting industry that focuses on hiring Soldiers who serve in the Army Reserve,” said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, Chief of Army Reserve. “Veteranhiring initiatives that allow organizations to share great talent are good for the Soldier and good for America.” “It’s tough being away from my Family,” admits DePrisco, “but this is one of the biggest investments I have ever made. Joining the Army Reserve was a complete game changer for me. I have found so much opportunity through the Army Reserve, even more than I have found with a degree.” DePrisco has continued his work as a broadcast journalist and plans to build on his career in the military and civilian broadcasting fields following his apprenticeship in New Jersey. “I feel like I am going to be in sports for a career, and I would like to stay in MLB,” says DePrisco. “In my unit, I want to make sure we create award-winning products and serve as a mentor for other Soldiers.”
strength and endurance challenge
mind over mudder By Lt. Col. Kelly Lelito, Strategic Integration Directorate
Capt. Rob Behrman, a strategist and Ph.D. candidate in engineering and public policy, catches his breath between obstacles.
Fort Belvoir, Va. — Navigating a gauntlet of more than 20 obstacles across 10 miles of mud-slicked mountain trails may seem somewhat unrelated to building the Army Reserve of the future, but according to Capt. Rob Behrman, a strategist with the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, it was a natural extension of their team dynamic. “As strategists and integrators, most of our work is done collaboratively.” said Behrman, “We rely on each other’s strengths, and produce the best outputs for the Army Reserve by working together.” Maj. Joshua Darling, a veteran Tough Mudder with the Strategic Integration Directorate, recommended the event as a way to build cohesion and contribute to a good cause. According to its website, Tough Mudder participants have raised more than $5 million to support the Wounded Warrior Project, which benefits thousands of injured warriors. The Strategic Integration Directorate is made up of analysts, or “59”s, all with prerequisite masters degrees. They focus on developing
“To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip.” — Tough Mudder website British royalty and sickly pallor of shut-ins, but since when has that stopped you from meeting a challenge?” An aggressive campaign leading to the “2013 Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder” included an MWR-sponsored functional fitness training program. “Getting away from the office as a team helps relieve stress and achieve balance,” said Darling. “We spend days strategizing over things like Army Total Force Policy imperatives and ensuring Army Reserve equities are considered in the Quadrennial Defense Review —this helps clear our heads.” The training and preparation leading to the challenge proved successful, with the team completing the course with no injuries sustained. “It’s all about teamwork,” said Behrman. Fair added that the teamwork and collaboration they rely on to achieve success extends across directorates. “We work across directorates and with our Army Reserve Communications and Legislative Affairs team to support the CAR’s
“Tough Mudder” was first introduced to the team by SID strategist and veteran “mudder” Maj. Joshua Darling.
photo courtesy Angela Darling
photo courtesy Erin Behrman
strategies related to planning, policy, resourcing, budgeting, congressional testimony and strategic communication—anything that would assist the Chief of Army Reserve in developing and integrating initiatives. Not exactly the crew you’d expect to find scaling cargo nets, submerging themselves in freezing water, and crawling through electrified wires. Col. Dale Fair, SID director, shared words of encouragement. “This team is so much more than cerebral staff weenies,” he said. “Sure, you all have the smooth, uncalloused hands of
vision,” said Fair. “Products like the 2020 Vision and Strategy document and Rally Point 32 establish the foundations for operational concepts and strategies required to remain an enduring operational force—this requires a very cohesive effort.” Strategists are drawn from a variety of branches and military occupational specialties—designated as “functional area 59,” grouped by technical specialty or skill. “Functional area 59 attracts a diverse spectrum of education and experience,” said Behrman, who is himself a PhD candidate in engineering and public policy. “Currently Our SID team includes everything from combat arms to logistics and medical.” SID is looking to recruit future strategists for the Army Reserve and for the next challenge.
“We have high standards, but we’re always looking for new talent,” said Fair. “Any candidate would have to have a real passion for collaborating, problem solving… and mud, of course.” Editor’s note: For more information about becoming a Strategist, visit https:// www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/strategist WARRIOR–CITIZEN
RIGHT: Maj. Hope Gooch, 360th Civil Affairs Brigade, a 23-year veteran with the nickname “five-jump chump,” finally gets her sixth jump on a German C-160 aircraft. She is seen here getting inspected by Jumpmaster Col. Terrell Parker, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne). Gooch was among the Army Reserve paratroopers who received German airborne wings after a successful jump from a German C-160 aircraft under German jumpmaster commands during Operation Federal Eagle in Fort Bragg, N.C.
redemption for a paratrooper
Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Andy Yoshimura, USACAPOC (A) Public Affairs
Photo by Sgt. Joseph Moore, 50th Public Affairs Detachment
By Sgt. 1st Class Andy Yoshimura, USACAPOC (A) Public Affairs
“…when I jumped out, it is so serene and quiet and pretty. And it gave me the chance to thank the good Lord for the opportunity and be able to see something from a different perspective.” — Maj. Hope Gooch, 360th Civil Affairs Brigade 16
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — It’s no secret that earning your way into the Army’s elite Airborne Corps requires strength, endurance and grit. It may be less well known that a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. For 23 years, Maj. Hope Gooch, an Army Reserve logistics officer for the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade endured the nickname “Five-Jump Chump.” As a cadet and a freshman at the University of Houston, Gooch graduated the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1989, earning her paratrooper wings with the minimum required five jumps before—through no fault of her own—her military career took her in a different direction. After graduation, Gooch received her commission with Air Defense as her basic branch and was assigned to a Patriot unit in Germany, a non-airborne unit. After nearly five years of active duty, and five more years in the Individual Ready Reserve, Gooch entered the Army Reserve as a logistics officer and was assigned to non-airborne units. With excuses having a maximum effective range of zero, her fellow paratroopers had little sympathy
upon discovering that she had not participated in a single airborne operation since graduation. After two decades, Gooch finally got her big break. “As luck would have it, there is this position. I knew it was an airborne unit,” said Gooch. With her supervisor’s blessing, she joined the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade out of Fort Jackson, S.C., in 2012. As a 23-year veteran, the only retirement Gooch was planning for was the “Five-Jump Chump” moniker. It had to go. “Finally, said Gooch, “I have the opportunity to have all the fun that was promised to me when you get into the Army.” On April 17, 2013, under the commands of the German jumpmaster—courtesy of Operation Federal Eagle—Gooch exited a German C-160 aircraft, dropping into the open sky for the first time in decades. “Something I did remember is, when I jumped out, it is so serene and quiet and pretty. And it gave me the chance to thank the good Lord for the opportunity and be able to see something from a different perspective.” Number 6 has never been so sweet.
young plumber saves the day FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. — Soldiers were ankle-deep in foul water. The expanding pool of filth being dumped by laundry machines was well on its way to becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The only thing clear at Base Camp Ward was that the wastewater drainage problem could no longer be ignored. The Soldiers of the 304th Engineer Company from Bryan, Ohio, needed a solution fast. After several days of hard at work, doing everything from infrastructure reconnaissance to construction, all they wanted was a hot, comfortable shower after a long day. Enter private first class Brandon Dummitt. “My squad leader came in and said, ‘Dummitt, get up! You’re the only plumber we got. You need to get out there and help us.’” Growing up in a small town, the 20-year-old construction worker said he has always enjoyed building things for friends, such as a giant
A good day to be a private: Pfc. Brandon Dummit earns the respect and gratitude of his fellow Soldiers and receives recognition for his ingenuity by the commander 91st training division, Brig. Gen. Jon Lee.
bunk-bed-balcony made out of spare materials. Within 30 minutes of inspecting the drainage system, Dummitt had identified the source of the crisis that had stumped at least a dozen officers and noncommissioned officers. He explained that there were three pressurized shower drains feeding into a Y-valve, and three
washing machine drains all feeding into a four-inch drainage pipe. “So the problem was, with the pressurized ones, they would squirt into that Y-valve, and it would shoot back into the showers, making them smell like dirty water,” he said. In fact, the pressure was so strong it would actually dislodge the Y-valve completely, flooding a large section of the base camp with dirty water, Dummitt added. There was simply too much water being funneled into such a tiny drainage pipe. To complicate matters, the original solution created by Dummitt’s platoon was denied. “We came up with an initial plan and we submitted our bill of materials. Then we were told more than likely we weren’t going to get what we needed,” said Sgt. Matthew Jenkins, Dummitt’s squad leader. Unable to get the requested plumbing materials, the engineers were left with only their wits and whatever was lying around the base camp. “We scoured the camp for anything we could find,” said Jenkins. “As our platoon leader was leaning up against one of the Jersey barriers, Dummitt just looked at it and was like, ‘Use that.'” With Dummitt’s guidance, the engineers drilled three holes on each side of the barrier to fit the shower and laundry pipes. The spout on the bottom was fitted with PVC piping and connected to the drainage pipe. After tilting the barrier so that it drained properly, the crisis was averted. “It was serious initiative on his part . . . also just great ingenuity,” said Jenkins. “With a lack of appropriate resources, he was able to come up with a solution and fix the problem.” With the drainage issue resolved and Base Camp Ward in his debt, Dummitt then drew the attention of someone special. “I was told to go out and speak with Brig. Gen. Jon Lee, commander 91st training division, and get a coin from him,” said Dummitt. “When I came back inside, my squad leader said, ‘Hey you made me really proud today. I’m glad to be your squad leader.’” Despite the accolades, the young troop was humble about his invention. “I let my platoon leader take a little credit, because he was the one leaning up against it,” Dummitt laughed.
story and photos By Sgt. William Parsons, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Pfc. Brandon Dummitt, 304th Engineer Company, of Bryan, Ohio, checks the piping of his improvised drainage system made from a jersey barrier.
“My squad leader came in and said, ‘Dummitt, get up! You’re the only plumber we got. You need to get out there and help us.’” — Pfc. Brandon Dummitt, 304th Engineer Company
Sgt. Nathan Anderson, 339th MP Co's 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad leader, of Indianapolis, IN, stays alert after performing a building search during a mission. The 339th is attending CSTX 91 acting out notional scenarios based on real-world activities.
Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.
Combat Support Training Exercise 91 is a sustainment-focused exercise that
gives commanders an assessment of their unitâ€™s deployment readiness, providing Soldier, By Sgt. Anderson Grant, 214th Mobile
leader and staff training in a multi-echelon, multi-functional, distributive training environment. The Combat Support Training Exercise 91 is planned and coordinated by the 91st
Training Division (Operations) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. CSTX 91 gives participating
units an opportunity to rehearse military maneuvers and tactics such as base security,
Spc. Tyler Neier, 346th MP Co., 3rd Platoon, 3rd Squad (gunner), of Dodge City, KS, mans a M240B machine gun while his convoy clears a bridge of improvised explosive devices. The M240B is high-powered and fires 7.62mm rounds.
463rd Engineer Battatlion Commander, Lt. Col. Kent J. Lightner (left) tours Cedick Village with Mayor Fahran Sahar (right), during a real world mock scenario. Lightner and his team successfully conducted a S.W.E.A.T. assessment of the village to support coalition efforts in promoting stability in and generating trust in foreign governments.
story and photos By Sgt. Anderson Grant, 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
convoy operations and battle reaction drills during
339th MP Co’s 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad’s Sgt. Nathan Anderson, Pfc. Elaina Johnson, Spc. Jason Johnson, and Sgt. Steven M. Springer are performing a building search during a mission. The 339th is attending CSTX 91, acting out notional scenarios based on real world activities.
simulated enemy attacks. It also provides them an opportunity to apply their military occupational specialty skills in a theater of operations. The exercise provides realistic training to units to successfully meet the challenges of an extended and integrated battlefield. WARRIOR–CITIZEN
Among the Army Reserve units participating were the 339th Military Police Company, 346th Military Police Company, 463rd Engineer Battalion and the 779th Engineering Company. The 339th maintained a 72-member quick-reaction police force and a total of 21 armored security vehicles and up-armored Humvees. On call 24 hours a day, they responded to various mock disturbances or attacks, learning how to best respond to real-world scenarios. The 779th’s training involved a fictitious foreign village in the Middle East, known to be an insurgent hideout lacking security, running water, and economic stability. Their mission was to coordinate with the mayor on redefining the village’s infrastructure with a S.W.E.A.T–M.S.O. (Sewer, Water, Electric, Academics, Trash-Medical, Safety, Other) assessment. Each decision the unit made had to be accurate and precise, as a real mission such as this could possibly end in bloodshed. The 91st conducts Warrior Exercises, Combat Support Training Exercise Rotations and other requirements for brigade headquarters, subordinate down trace units and staffs on collective tasks, ensuring they are trained and prepared for deployment. They are one of the Army Reserve’s premier organizations assisting operational and functional commands in training and assessing unit readiness for enabling forces.
CSTX aid station supports 4,000 Soldiers
oldiers of the 5502nd U.S. Army Hospital are getting reacquainted with their fundamental medical skills at the Fort Hunter Liggett Combat Support Training Exercise. These medical Soldiers from Aurora, Colo., normally provide emergency and intensive care for injured Soldiers during wartime or deployment. They are accustomed to working in major hospitals, applying their emergency response skills at the highest echelons of care on a daily basis, so this training is giving them a whole new perspective. “Sprains, bumps and colds,” laughed Capt. Tanya Cannon, a registered nurse with the 5502nd and officer in charge. “We have a doctor here that can see you, but it’s simple sick call stuff.” “Our mission here at the CSTX is different from what we’re used to doing,” explained Cannon. “We did not deploy as a full hospital.”
1st Lt. Christopher A. Swanson (front), acting Commander of the 779th Engineering Company from Pahersburg, W.V., restructures his mission plan before leading a mock exercise during CSTX 91. Swanson, a Southwest, Washington, D.C. native with the 299th Engineer Company from Fort Belvoir, Va., recently volunteered for a deployment with the 779th in hopes of maturing his leadership abilities.
(Left to right) 2nd Lt. Mathew Wisniewski, 339th MP Co. 2nd Platoon Leader and Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Walters, 339th MP Co. 2nd Platoon Sgt. speak with a roll player acting as a village mayor and his translator (blue jacket) as Sgt. Nathan Anderson, 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad Leader stands watch.
Sgt. Nathan Anderson (standing), 339th MP Co’s 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad leader, and Pfc. Elaina Johnson exit a building after performing a building search during a mission while Spc. Jason Johnson(front) and Sgt. Steven M. Springer (rear) stand guard. The 339th is attending CSTX 91 acting out notional scenarios based on real world activities.
The 5502nd set up a small aid station on Base Camp Schoonover and will be providing “level one” care, which is aid not requiring higher echelons of care at another facility. There will be no mass casualty intake, no surgery and no intensive care, said Cannon. Cannon’s staff is trained in emergency medicine, and they are comfortable enough with it to handle any emergency that happens, she said. If patients come in with serious or life-threatening problems, they will be cared for and stabilized until an ambulance arrives to transport them to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, Calif. But according to Cannon, the CSTX objective is primarily real-world injury relief. Army observation teams will be grading them in an effort to reveal how successful they will be in support of mass casualty simulations and other combat scenarios. First Lieutenant Joseph Poore, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, said that working with the 5502nd as a staff nurse during the CSTX is actually very beneficial training,
especially having been in the Army Reserve for only two years. “I’m an OR (Operating Room) nurse in the civilian world and here. But we’re not dealing with the OR, so pretty much everything as far as Army medicine is going to be all new to me,” explained Poore. “I start IVs (intravenous therapy) all the time and basic nursing skills. So anything that comes in is going to be an experience.” Cannon said, so far, sinus issues and stomach problems seem to be the most common complaints from Soldiers. “People are just not eating and taking care of themselves…coming to a new climate.” Cannon said she plans on helping Soldiers take care of these issues by providing education about preventative medicine in a community outreach initiative. “We are talking to the Soldiers about hand hygiene. And we are making sure that if there is an outbreak we are catching it early, isolating it so that we are not having everybody running around sick.”
OPPOSITE: First Lt. Joseph Poore (left), a staff nurse with the 5502nd U.S. Army Hospital, of Aurora, Colo., prepares to insert an IV into Pfc. Spencer Ottley inside the 5502nd USAH tent on Base Camp Schoonover. The 5502nd USAH set up a small aid station on Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif., to care for Soldiers attending Combat Support Training Exercise 91. The exercise provides realistic training to units to successfully meet the challenges of an extended and integrated battlefield.
B e y o n d t h e H o r i z o n:
STORY AND PHOTOS by Sgt. Jeff Daniel, U.S. Army South*
Army Reserve Soldiers lent support to Beyond the Horizon, a joint humanitarian and civic assistance exercise that provides construction and medical assistance to partner nations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Members of 3rd Platoon measured, sawed and hammered their way through another annual training. However this year most of them are much farther from home than usual. Sixty-six Soldiers from the 284th Engineer Company, known as “The Outlaws,” 961st Engineer Battalion, 420th Engineer Brigade from Seagoville, Texas, including 3rd Platoon from Santa Fe, N.M., arrived in Panama as March closed out. They are conducting their annual training as part of U.S. Army South’s Beyond the Horizon training exercise. Beyond the Horizon provides humanitarian and civic assistance programs in Panama. Several of the programs slated for completion include construction projects at schools and health centers in Escobal and Achiote. BTH-Panama runs from March to June. The 284th is starting projects at schools in Escobal and Achiote, as well as working on projects around the former Army base, Fort Sherman. Fort Sherman is now partially used by Aeronaval, the Panamanian coast guard.
* PHOTOS by Sgt. Jeff Daniel, U.S. Army South unless otherwise noted.
The Outlaws will be on ground in Panama for a month during BTH. They will have two teams of Soldiers come for two weeks each. “These are great missions, and the overall meaning is good,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bruce Adams, a 284th training operations noncommissioned officer. “This is the most opportune training these Soldiers get.” Adams explained that they usually have the equipment but not the real estate on which to operate during regular weekend drills. “Not only is this technical, but its tactical training,” said Adams, who hails from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. “The opportunity to use your skills is great.”
The Soldiers used the opportunity to train in areas where they have little experience. “I don’t have much training in carpentry, so I am learning about that,” said Pvt. Olibama Maestas, an electrician with 3rd Platoon, who is from El Rito, N.M. Spc. Michael Pennington, a carpentry and masonry specialist assigned to 1st Platoon, said that he also received driver’s training on the different types of heavy equipment used at the construction site in Escobal. “I also received sling load training,” said Pennington. Sling loading is the method used to move large heavy objects around by helicopter. Spc. Krashella McQuirter, a carpentry and masonry specialist assigned to 1st Platoon from Dallas, said she learned
a lot about rebar and was impressed with the quality of training. “It’s awesome training,” said McQuirter. “I even learned a little Spanish.” Another opportunity to learn, according to Adams, is allowing the younger Soldiers to take charge. First Lt. Michael Mast, 1st platoon leader and project manager with the 284th, said that this training gives him a chance to develop young Soldiers into leaders. “They are taking on tasks and leading squads that they would not normally do in a garrison environment,” said Mast who is from Stone Lake, Iowa. Second Lt. Ben Zilka, 3rd platoon leader and project manager at the Escobal site
“What gives me more satisfaction is the fact that I was involved in building for the Panamanians. If I’m going to go somewhere and not take anything back, then what’s the point of being there?” — Spc. Michael Pennington, 284th Engineer Company
The Outlaws," from the 284th Engineer Company, dig in to their mission at the Beyond the Horizon training exercise. 24
photo by Sgt. 1st Class Walter van Octen, U.S. Army south
Soldiers from the 284th Engineer Company, 961st Engineer Battalion, 420th Engineer Brigade, an Army Reserve unit from Seagoville, Texas, work alongside members with the Colombian army engineers to dig foundation footing trenches for new latrines at a school construstion site during Beyond the Horizon in Achiote, Panama.
with the 284th, explained that they are on alert for an upcoming deployment, so this type of training is vital. “There are plenty of opportunities for the lower enlisted to lead,” said Zilka, a Little Falls, Minn., resident. BTH-Panama and the Outlaws’ effects will be lasting. At the end of BTH-Panama, Escobal’s health clinic will receive additional exam rooms and a dormitory for the workers, along with a cover for the basketball court at the secondary school. Achiote will receive a new health clinic and lavatories for the school. “The Soldiers are excited to have a great impact on the village,” said Capt. Michael Coyle, 284th company commander, who is from Dallas. “This is a great opportunity for the Soldiers to work with other nationalities,” said Coyle of his Soldiers, who are working with the Panamanians and an engineering team from the Colombian military. Working to improve the lives of the locals and the chance to improve their skills were important to many of the Soldiers. “I think it’s great that we got a chance to come here,” said Pennington who hails from Corsicana, Texas. “What gives
me more satisfaction is the fact that I was involved in building for the Panamanians. If I’m going to go somewhere and not take anything back, then what’s the point of being there?” Beyond the Horizon is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-planned and led annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise. The exercise provides construction and medical assistance to partner nations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Pfc. Adam Wakeland, a nuclear biological specialist and unit photographer with the 961st Engineer Battalion, talks to a Panamanian man at a market during Beyond the Horizon at Escobal in Colon, Panama.
The exercise generally takes place in rural, poverty-stricken areas and is a major component of the U.S. military's regional engagement efforts. It affords a unique opportunity to train U.S. service members alongside partner-nation personnel, while providing needed services to communities throughout the region. Pfc. Anthony Cerami, a carpentry and masonry specialist with 3rd Platoon, 284th Engineer Company, 961st Engineer Battalion, gets some hands-on experience with a circular saw while making a difference in the lives of the local population.
Members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion; Uganda People’s Defense Force Health Services; and Ugandan civilian healthcare specialists share best practices at Nyimbwa Health Clinic Four in Nyimbwa, Uganda. The briefing was part of a military and civil health partnership program named One Health, which recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems, like their nations, are interconnected. During the briefing, attendees also sought to improve communication between village health teams and clinic staff to strengthen Uganda’s healthcare system.
Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, examines a child with the help of U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew A. Herman, a medical planner in the CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell, in Kakute, Uganda. Legendre conducted examinations as part of One Health, a two-week series of events that unites health professionals from human, animal and environmental fields to eradicate the spread of disease.
Capt. Courtney Legendre, a physician assistant with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, gives a deworming tablet to a girl in Kakute, Uganda. The tablets control parasitic infections, common in Kakute, often caused by poorly sanitized water or food. Healthcare experts from Uganda People’s Defense Force, CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell and 411th CA BN dispensed the tablets along with vitamins and taught effective water and sanitizing procedures.
he girl was suffering from Ebola, a highly contagious, often-fatal virus transmitted from wild animals. It spreads through the human population through human-to-human transmission. Because early stages of Ebola have influenzalike symptoms, it is not easily recognizable. Once it was determined the girl had Ebola, panic in the village soon followed—for good reason. There is no Ebola treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals, and the disease has a 91-percent fatality rate. After the infected girl's arrival at the clinic, the disease spread to a nurse who treated her and to some villagers. According to Nalweyiso, this single case of Ebola claimed the lives of at least three people. “I was scared,” said Nalweyiso, “My first instinct was to run away from the clinic, so I wouldn't get Ebola, but I couldn't. I had to stay to help people.” “She was brave,” said Army Reserve Col. (Dr.) Richard Birdsong, a physician with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. “There was concern that she could catch the disease herself or take it home to her family, but her care and compassion led to the successful treatment of Ebola.” Nalweyiso’s story, and many other similar accounts throughout Uganda, was the reason more than 50 healthcare professionals gathered at the clinic on April 19 to hear the nurse speak.
The guests were part of One Health, a whole-of-government program coordinated by the Ugandan government, Uganda People’s Defense Force, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Uganda, and CJTF-HOA, in order to strengthen military, civilian and animal health. The clinic visit was one of many events held by One Health members.
Overall, One Health recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected. According to USAID, 61percent of emerging infectious diseases are caused by the transmission from animals, and 74 percent of those are wild. “One Health is a good concept we need to advance,” said UPDF Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for the UPDF. Previously, medical professionals, veterinarians, environmental specialists and wildlife scientists would work separately, he said, “but because the high percent of diseases challenging mankind are coming from animals, we need to work together.” After hearing Nalweyiso’s testimony, members of the UPDF, 411th CA Battalion, and CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell toured the clinic’s campus and discussed best practices to prevent future outbreaks of disease. Birdsong, a Jackson, Miss. native, said everyone should be concerned about preventing disease in Uganda, including Americans.
ABOVE: (Left to right) Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) Vector Control Officer Lieutenant Julius Igga, Makerere School of Public Health (Kampala) medical student Bernadette Basutta, African Field Epidemiology Network epidemiologist Habert Kazoora, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion (Dr.) Maj. Daisy Wilson and Col. (Dr.) Richard Birdsong share best medical practices at Nyimbwa Health Clinic Four in Nyimbwa, Uganda. TOP LEFT: U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew A. Herman, a medical planner with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell, and Maj. (Dr.) Godwin B. Bagyenzi, director of medical research for Uganda People’s Defense Force Health Services, gives a deworming tablet to a villager in Kakute, Uganda. TOP RIGHT: Members of the Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion with Uganda People’s Defense Force Health Services and Ugandan civilian healthcare specialists attend an informational briefing.
“Basically, anyone can travel anywhere in the world and get there in less than 24 hours by air,” he said. “If a person were to travel to Uganda and contract a disease, they could potentially carry a disease that could become an epidemic, even pandemic, in the U.S.” At every site visit, One Health participants reviewed the sanitation procedures and made recommendations. Like many diseases, Ebola is transmitted from close contact with the blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids of infected people. By employing correct infection-control precautions, such as frequent hand- washing and the use of gloves and masks, transmission can be prevented. “It’s important for all healthcare providers to use universal precautions to prevent the spread of disease,” said Maj. Daisy Wilson, a publichealth nurse with the 411th CA Battalion. “Unfortunately, the clinic’s lack of funding for basic medical supplies is an obstacle.” In addition, One Health participants seek to improve communication among all levels of local and regional medical and veterinary healthcare providers. “Each village has animal and human healthcare providers,” said Wilson, who’s from Wagram, N.C. “Our goal is to help them network, build relationships and increase their knowledge of the clinic’s capabilities to improve their healthcare system.” For the Nyimbwa health clinic event, USAID arranged for clinic staff to meet members of Ugandan village health teams, who serve as first responders. The health team members
commonly refer patients to the clinic, but have never met the clinic’s staff. “They are the first people to be contacted,” said Nalweyiso. “If we don’t share knowledge, we cannot be effective.” Furthermore, USAID arranged for students from the Makerere University-Kampala College of Medicine to visit the Nyimbwa event. “It was important to have them attend,” said Birdsong. “The students are the leaders of Uganda for tomorrow, and they are the ones who will someday steer its healthcare system.” For Nalweyiso, One Health and its collaboration between UPDF and U.S. service members is encouraging. “If we all put our hands together, we can save the world,” she said.
Maj. (Dr.) Godwin Bagyenzi, director of medical research for Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) Health Services, and U.S. Army Maj. Thamus Morgan, a veterinarian with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, discuss best practices for preventing infectious diseases in cattle with civilian and UPDF animal healthcare specialists at a farm in Luwero, Uganda. WARRIOR–CITIZEN
BELOW: Maj. Thamus J. Morgan, a veterinarian from the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion and Col. (Dr.) Richard Birdsong, a physician with the 411th CA BN, use song and dance with their civilian human and animal healthcare counterparts to help educate residents about disease-prevention methods. Kakute suffered an outbreak of Ebola in November 2012, claiming 20 lives. BOTTOM: Capt. Danielle Diamond, a veterinarian from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell, sits with village children to watch eductational performances inside the Kakute Church of Uganda.
Villagers of Kakute, Uganda, watch a dramatized, live performance of effective water, food and personal sanitation procedures inside the Kakute Church of Uganda. Human and animal healthcare experts from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Surgeon Cell and 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, Uganda People’s Defense Force, and their civilian counterparts sang, danced and acted out skits to remind villagers that diseases, often viruses from wildlife transmitted into water or food, can be prevented by safe handling procedures.
Villagers gather at the Kakute Church of Uganda to see theatrical presentations of proper food, water and personal hygiene sanitation procedures. High illiteracy rates in Kakute make acting out the information an easy way to share that knowledge.
When it comes down to the difference between life and death, Soldiers of the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion are willing to employ some unconventional tactics to achieve mission success. With no electricity or running water, the villagers of Kakute live off the grid—and on what nature and their own resilience allow. Lack of good health and hygiene is an ongoing challenge that leaves the population vulnerable to the spread of disease. “We are standing within the very bull’s-eye of the world’s last Ebola outbreak,” said Maj. Thamus Morgan, a veterinarian with the 411th. According to Morgan, Ebola is an often-fatal virus with a short incubation period that, if left unchecked, could cause a deadly worldwide epidemic. “People here mean well,” said Charles Ssemugabo, a Ugandan environmental health
official, “but they just aren't aware of modern techniques that can help stave off disease and parasites.” “The only way we get public health done in the United States is to team up,” said Maj. Daisy Wilson, a public-health nurse also with the 411th. “That’s what we need to do here, too.” According to Wilson, the unique Kakute mission required unorthodox methods in delivering the message. With low literacy rates among villagers, no television or computers and many cultural barriers, members decided to develop theatrical skits, or living theater, to get their findings across. A village boy sits inside the Kakute Church of Uganda to watch live theatrical performances designed to teach the villagers how to avoid the spread of disease.
Maj. Thamus J. Morgan, a veterinarian from the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion greets children from Kakute Primary School.
With high illiteracy rates among villagers, no television or computers and many cultural barriers, members decided to develop theatrical skits, or living theater, to get their findings across.
“You can’t do a PowerPoint in the villages, so you have to deliver something they will understand,” said Major Wilson. “It’s a teaching technique we used successfully in Afghanistan.” Just 48 hours later, on a makeshift stage in the standing-room-only parish church, villagers attended the only show in town, where service members and civilian One Health members performed song-and-dance routines with their civilian human and animal healthcare counterparts to teach effective water, food and personal procedures to help prevent the spread of disease. Garnering belly laughs and raucous applause from a crowd culturally used to passing on knowledge through oral tradition, the Soldiers never lost perspective on why they were there. “The time is now that we should all come together to address problems affecting our communities,” said Maj. (Dr.) Godwin Bagashe Bagyenzi, a research scientist. “We can have a better place to live in—together we can.” WARRIOR–CITIZEN
Photo courtesy Joint Task Force Empire Regional Command-Southwest/West Coordination Cell
With the completion of its mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the 411th Engineer Brigade stamped its legacy in both Afghanistan history and engineering doctrine. The 411th is the first single engineer brigade to conduct mission command for the entire theatre, replacing multiple brigades and regiments.
During its nine-month deployment, Joint Task Force Empire—lead engineer force assigned to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, headquartered at Bagram Air Field—maintained technical representative staffs throughout Afghanistan to execute sustained, multifunctional engineer operations. They also developed capable Afghan Engineer Forces, protected the population, and constructed critical infrastructure while continually consolidating military engineer assets in line with force drawdown. Their transition to a single brigade engineer command for the entire Joint Operations Area —Afghanistan ultimately made them the fourth-largest NATO Command element in theater.
Each step is part of the journey JTF Empire began its mission May 17, 2012, establishing its operations as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, assuming responsibility of engineer operations Photo by Staff 1st Lt. David Watts, Joint Task Force Empire
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
Engineering a A route clearance patrol of Joint Task Force Empire vigilantly works to keep routes clear for coalition and Afghan traffic. JTF Empire staff identified the operational need of RCPs being moved from one regional area of operation to another. This coordination better addressed regional requirements as well as overall theater operations throughout Afghanistan.
in Regional Commands—East, Capital and North. The brigade managed engineering oversight, planning, and conducted combat, construction and partnership operations throughout the northern and eastern engineer
regions of Afghanistan. Successfully enabling Afghan partners to operate independently was a key component of their mission. JTF Empire assumed control of all engineer task forces in the entire CJOA-A by the end
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Armano, Joint Task Force Empire
RIGHT: Engineers of Joint Task Force Empire construct a bridge in southern Afghanistan. Bridging operations were a major concern for the JTF partnered with IJC assets throughout the country to maintain bridge crossings for coalition and Afghan traffic.
Legacy of October. The JTF consisted of 46 distinct units and more than 5,300 Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. The JTF also provide tactical command of over 200 supplemental engineers conducting construction projects in various areas of the country. “The biggest part of putting this together was realizing the magnitude of the mission and putting Soldiers in the mindset of the complexity of it,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Weeks, commanding general of the 411th Engineer Brigade. “The mission is huge, but it’s something we have trained for.” JTF Empire provided synchronized combat and construction engineer effects through combined actions in support of ISAF Joint Command operations to improve security, development, and governance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. With 55 route clearance packages under its command and control, JTF Empire’s combat engineer assets cleared roads of explosive hazards daily.
By Staff Sgt. Derek Smith, Joint Task Force Empire, Public Affairs
Photo by Staff Sgt. Derek M. Smith, Joint Task Force Empire Public Affairs
LEFT: Staff Sgt. Michael Cush, technical engineer noncommisioned officer, 411th Engineer Brigade, Joint Task Force Empire, conducts a site survey in southern Afghanistan. JTF Empire’s mission was to provide synchronized combat and construction engineer effects through combined actions in support of IJC operations to improve security, development, and governance of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghan National Army engineers attend class at the ANA Engineer Schoolhouse in Regional Command-north, Afghanistan. During the course of the deployment, Joint Task Force Empire concentrated partnership efforts with 38 ANA units. The brigade units partnered with approximately 3,600 ANA soldiers.
The only engineer command element in theatre, the 411th leveraged multiple assets to achieve success. “The 411th has always been delegated as a theater engineer brigade, and that’s the exact role we are serving in right now,” said Weeks. “Essentially, we are the only engineer brigade—one of 17 in the Army Engineer Regiment—in combat.
Working toward Afghan success JTF Empire concentrated partnership efforts with 38 Afghan National Army units. The brigade units partnered with approximately 3,600 ANA soldiers in route clearance companies, engineer companies, the ANA Engineer Schoolhouse and other organizations
to effectively train Afghan soldiers in independent engineer operations. Members of JTF Empire developed a Professionalism Campaign to standardize training tasks, specific required tasks, and a quantitative method of evaluating ANA engineers. Within three months, the campaign resulted in a marked increase in task and process effectiveness and 67% of the ANA units were postured for independent operations. The task force conducted more than 1,000 training events as well as 1,120 combined operations across all six RCs —fielding, deploying, and training the first-ever WARRIOR–CITIZEN
403-man ANA engineer battalion—the only organic vertical construction capability in Afghanistan. Their efforts and capabilities set the groundwork for future ANA engineer success, setting conditions for five more ANA engineer battalions, seven mobile strike forces, and the Afghan National Engineer Brigade, as well as assisting with field testing of alternate counter-IED equipment that will equip approximately 200 ANA units across the country. “We have had an aggressive training program that, to date, has resulted in seven out of the 24 units being validated. They have achieved an independent operation status,” said Lt. Col. Jon Brierton, chief of operations and ANA development officer. “More than 90 percent of the remaining RCCs (route clearance companies) and engineer companies are at an ‘effective with advisor’ status. They can conduct operations with limited advisement and are on the glide path to achieve independence by the end of March.” “We’ve changed the scope of the landscape in terms of building ANA engineer capability,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Warne, operations officer. “When you look at how the elements come together, that allows the Afghan National Security Forces to be successful. That’s why we were here.” “Ultimately, we provided a lasting foundation for the ANA engineers to continue to support their army and the people of Afghanistan,” Warne added. “That will help provide the construction effects and develop and support their infrastructure, and enable them to continue to grow not only as an army, but as a society.”
Challenge was the Norm Unlike its predecessor, the 411th reported directly to IJC as a theater asset, allowing greater authority in prioritizing efforts and capabilities throughout Afghanistan. 34
Photo by Staff Sgt. James Evans, Joint Task Force Empire
JTF Empire published the Engineer Campaign Support Plan to effectively consolidate engineer efforts and serve as a baseline for conducting engineer operations in support of IJC. As their responsibility increased, the ECSP was continually expanded to meet mission requirements and improve cooperation between the engineers and the battle space owners. “As our efforts increased, so did our situational awareness and understanding,” said Brierton. According to Warne, the skill sets resident in the JTF enabled them to prioritize and synchronize the construction effects, exceeding their operational requirements. Throughout the 411th En.Bde.’s deployment, there was constant change in its force flow. For some duration, the JTF had enough professional engineers to make an engineering firm. JTF Empire saw six battalions, 22 companies and four detachments redeploy, requiring ongoing training, mentoring, and validation efforts to ensure the success of incoming battalions. Contributing to that success, JTF Empire Intelligence set historical precedent as the first non-battle space owner in the OEF’s 11 years to have a seat representing its TFs at the IJC level for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection requirements, previously afforded only to regional commands and higher entities. As part of JTF Empire, the 558th Explosive Hazards Coordination Cell oversaw multiple facets of route clearance support to include a mobile observation team, intelligence reports and explosive hazards tracking, and oversight of the Blow-in-Place Theater-Specific Training Course. The MOTs studied route clearance patrol data and distributed more than 75 weekly and monthly analysis products showing the IED trends and emerging tactics, techniques, and procedures. The BIP-TST course certified over 404 engineers, better enabling them to clear routes of IEDs.
Diverse Operations on a Kinetic Battlefield The operations under JTF Empire were as diverse as the engineers conducting them. Ongoing base expansions and retrograde kept task force elements busy throughout the country. Route clearance vigilantly worked to keep routes clear for coalition and Afghan traffic. Engineers of the 841st En. Bn. were integral to ISAF’s retrograde plan. Camp John Pratt will serve as an alternative egress staging area as the stream of troops and equipment being removed from the country increases. This project consists of over 23 separate construction efforts and is the largest troop-based construction initiative underway in the region. Approximately 300 JTF Empire engineers from numerous units conducted more than 200 acres of cutting and levelling operations moving more than 687,000 cubic meters of material, and constructed more than 500 structures. Bridging operations were a major concern in the CJOA-A. JTF partnered with IJC assets throughout the country to maintain bridge crossings open for coalition and Afghan traffic. A signature example of these was Operation Military engineers emplace one of two 17-bay Acrow bridges during Operation Golden Gate.
Graphic courtesy Joint Task Force Empire Regional Command Southwest/West Coordination Cell
A convoy stages outside the Salang Tunnel during Operation Mountain Blade, an emergency road repair effort to the Salang Pass section of Highway One in the Parwan province, Afghanistan, recently. The operation improved the road surface of the pass in preparation for winter.
Photo courtesy Col. John Elam, Joint Task Force Empire
Photo by Staff Sgt. Derek M. Smith, Joint Task Force Empire Public Affairs
Joint Task Force Empire engineers survey their designed and built ford site at Ghormach in Regional Command-North, Afghanistan. The crossing provides freedom of movement in the western portion of RC-North and ensures effectiveness of military operations and Afghan economic conditions in the area would not be hindered through improving strategic mobility and commerce traffic.
Artist’s rendering showing the intended scope of Operation Golden Gate, a mission to construct a bridge complex spanning the Helmand River in southwest Afghanistan.
to coordinate road closures, improving force protection measures and provided technical assistance and training to MoPW. JTF Empire assisted the MoPW emplacing a stronger road surface along the route and ensured the Afghans are postured to maintain the Salang Tunnel after the departure of coalition forces. This 2.4 km tunnel enables approximately 9,000 trucks per day that travel unhindered with cargo valued at $104 million per month. JTF Empire engineers designed and built a ford site at Ghormach during October to
provide freedom of movement in the western portion of RC-North. The old ford site used by both civilian and military traffic was susceptible to impassability during the March to May snowmelt and rainy seasons. In the course of construction, the ford was elevated and armored to provide continuous mobility, improving effectiveness of military operations and Afghan economic conditions in the area.
Overlooking the bottom line During its deployment, the JTF tracked and synchronized 6,303 combat route clearance patrols, locating and clearing approximately 899 IEDs, making the roads safer for coalition forces and the Afghan populace. The brigade maintained and tracked the status of culvert denial and crater repair operations in addition to route sanitation and the status of critical bridges. “It’s proven that fact that we can do it with a capable staff and I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” said Weeks. “We actually made history.” “Our ability to command the full spectrum of engineers in a very difficult and challenging theater is showcased through the professionalism of our Soldiers every day,” said Warne. “That’s an overall accomplishment we take a lot of pride in.” “What sets us apart from anybody else is that we had mission command over combat effects, construction effects and ANA engineer development,” said Brierton. “We are in the process right now of establishing a mobility cell that will prioritize and ensure the success of the retrograde. There will be a single source for route clearance and that’s going to be the theater engineer brigade. In the 11-plus years of operations in Afghanistan, not one other command has been able to do this…and that’s history making.”
The sun sets behind the mountains in eastern Afghanistan.
By the numbers 411th Theater Engineer Brigade / JTF Empire had mission command over combat effects, construction effects and ANA engineer development: n 1st Engineer Brigade to conduct mission command for entire theater n 46 distinct units n 5,300 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen n 200 supplemental engineers conducting construction projects n 209 named operations
Route Clearance Operations 57 route clearance packages under its command and control n 6,303 combat route clearance patrols n 899 IEDs found and cleared n
Training 900 Soldiers for route clearance operations 38 ANA units, and… n 3,600 ANA Soldiers trained for independent engineer operations n 404 engineers certified for route clearance n n
Retrograde support— Camp John Pratt 23 separate construction efforts 300 JTF Empire engineers from numerous units n 200 acres of cutting and leveling operations n 687,000 cubic meters of material moved n 500 structures built n n
Roads, Bridges and Tunnels Partnered to construct a bridge complex spanning the Helmand River n 9,000 trucks per day with cargo valued at $104 million per month enabled by partnership to maintain the 2.4 km Salang Tunnel n 350 kilometers of road n
Construction 840 structures 120 construction missions
* Approximate numbers
Photo by Staff Sgt. Derek M. Smith, Joint Task Force Empire Public Affairs
Golden Gate, a RC-Southwest combinedjoint engineering mission to construct a bridge complex spanning the Helmand River. Designed to improve mobility at a strategic crossing that links three districts in southwest Afghanistan, it was the largest bridging operation of the JTF’s command. JTF Empire partnered with the Afghan Ministry of Public Works to conduct Operation Mountain Blade. Engineers and partners completed emergency repairs for the Salang Tunnel and provided technical training to ensure crucial passage between Kabul and northern Afghanistan through the winter. JTF Empire worked closely with the MoPW
plan + prepare + provide photo by 1st Lt. Eric Connor, 335th Signal Command (Theater)
Spc. Brandon Gumabon, a satellite system operator-maintainer for the 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, switches out the feed horn on a satellite transportable terminal.
photo by Col. Garrett Yee, former 505th Signal Brigade Commander, Las Vegas.
335th—3rd Army’s critical link in Theater By Lt. Col. Corey Roen, PAO/ ARCENT Signal University Commandant, Kuwait and Lt. Col. Jan Northstar, 335th Signal Command (Theater)
Children are part of the scenery in Afghanistan.
East Point, Ga. — The 335th Signal Command (Theater) has never made a more significant impact to the Army and Total Force than in the last decade, recently earning the distinction of being the longest-serving forward-deployed command in the Army Reserve. The 335th, composed of signal and chemical units, as well as specialized skills such as chaplain, military history, combat camera and public affairs, has been providing mission command for 3rd Army/ARCENT and signal assets throughout the U.S. Central Command’s combined and joint area of operations in Southwest Asia since the end of 2001. Maj. Gen. Wayne Brock, commander of the of the largest multi-functional signal command in the Army Reserve, said the combined support of the nearly 8,000 Army Reserve, Active and National Guard assets of the 335th are a proven success story for the Total Force.
“The specialized capabilities provided by the 335th are fundamental to the support of regional combat operations, disaster response, humanitarian support and peacekeeping missions,” said Brock. “Secure communications in theater provide a crucial strategic advantage to our warfighters, allowing them to leverage information vital to the safety of every Soldier, civilian and coalition partner. “Combined with our forward-deployed chemical forces from the 335th, the full scope of the command’s capabilities is being realized in theater,” Brock added. “I couldn’t be more impressed with the accomplishments of the men and women who have enabled our forces to achieve unparalleled success over the past decade.” Their mission continues. Detachment 33 recently deployed to theater to continue vital operations, and ongoing demand for Army Reserve Soldiers from Kabul to California has placed a new emphasis on the command’s ability to provide continued access to their unique skill sets. Commanded by Maj. Gen. Steven W. Smith and supporting direct combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 335th (Theater/Provisional), Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, is responsible for developing signal communications structures to support military activities in the region. This includes ensuring
more than a decade of CENTCOM support Photo by Maj. Daryle Sewell, 335th Signal Command (Theater)(Provisional)
BELOW: Soldiers transport the Joint Airborne Communications Center Command Post, “JACKPOT” to awaiting aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla. JACKPOT consists of three to four pallets on a transportable platform, which can be rolled onto a C-130 or C-17. It works seamlessly with DoD and civilian radio IT networks.
IT services to the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, which coordinates closely with the State Department. In Afghanistan, requirements continue to evolve as the Army draws down and installations close. The communications structure and architecture is being adjusted to support the reshaped footprint of coalition forces and ensure continuity of operations throughout the country. The 335th Signal Command (Theater) also counts the 4th Joint Communications Squadron Element, located in Tampa, Fla., as a vital communications asset. The unit operates the Joint Airborne Communications Center Command Post. The system, “JACKPOT,” enables key leaders to make critical decisions in the air and relay them to any ground or air unit. It consists of four pallets loaded with secure satellite data and voice equipment and has capability similar to “WiFi” on a commercial aircraft. Key to all of the operations the 335th Signal Command (Theater) is tasked with is providing manned, trained and equipped Soldiers. However, with its unique capabilities, the 335th is a dynamic operational force, smartly aligned with combat commands, ready to deploy wherever needed.
“This Army— Third Army, would not be at all ready if we didn’t have you providing us communication and keeping us connected every day. — Lt. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, ARCENT commander
Photo by Spc. Andrew Baba, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
appropriate design and implementation of the full range of information technology capabilities for Soldiers and coalition partners. The 335th is essentially functioning as a cable company, providing tactically secure communications and data services, but the critical nature of the operations, combined with the work environment, can make some of the tasks particularly daunting. The migration to Enterprise e-mail was a challenge across the force, and significantly more complex in theater, but all e-mail in theater has been migrated, and the process of collapsing all of the Southwest Asia domains is in progress. According to Smith, while the detail-oriented nature of their jobs can sometimes be tedious, their role is important to the mission. “The days are long, but the weeks go by fast; the efforts we are now undertaking will have dramatic effects for years to come.” Camp Arifjan’s Main Communications Facility, completed in 2011, is a state-of-the-art 9,000 square-foot facility currently undergoing an IT build-out. Upon completion, it will replace existing, outdated communications structures and function as a command, control, communications and turnkey network-centric hub serving Southwest Asia. “The MCF plays a pivotal role in the Southwest Asia data center consolidation initiative,” said Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Corcho, the projects noncommissioned officer, “and has been a high priority project for the 335th command during our deployment.” Although combat operations have ended in Iraq, the 335th’s mission there continues, as the communications support efforts are now focused on providing
LEFT: Project Non-Commissioned Officer Sgt. 1st Class Maurice Corcho, Projects NCO, 335th Signal Command (Theater)(Provisional) G35 operations section discusses server-rack planning with a contractor at the Camp Arifjan, Kuwait Main Communications Facility (MCF).
plan + prepare + provide
Sgt. 1st Class Greg Burgenstock, 436th Civil Affairs Battalion, deals with a female role player whose son was killed during a simulated scenario. Burngenstock was evaluated on communication skills during the CA reclassification course in Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
Sgt. Amy Brown, learns how to communicate with a militia leader role player during the Civil Affairs reclassification course. Army Reserve Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Soldiers attend the reclassification course taught by the 80th Training Command.
training the CAPOC Soldier By Sgt. 1st Class Andy Yoshimura, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)
Spc. Roger Jongewaard, 1st Training Brigade, sets up a Next Generation Loud Speaker System during the Psychological Operations Specialist reclassification course. 38
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIXLAKEHURST, N.J. — There is a group of Army Reserve Soldiers that is composed of military occupation specialties such as ammunition specialists, infantry and finance who all have one thing in common. They are all here in New Jersey attending one of two courses: the civil affairs and the psychological operations reclassification courses. The Army Reserve maintains the majority of the Army’s civil affairs and psychological operations capability. More than 90 percent of CA and PSYOP enlisted Soldiers of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) have attended the 80th Training Command’s reclassification course. Both 29-day courses are composed of classroom activities, a tactical situational training exercise and a final week-long field training exercise that combines Soldier tasks along with MOS tasks. The FTX has also created the opportunity for CA and PSYOP teams to work together in various simulated scenarios. According to Sgt. 1st Class Vaid Sadiku, the 37F PSYOP course manager with 80th Training Command, CA and PSYOP Soldiers aren’t always aware of each other’s complementary capabilities.
“Combining CA and PSYOP allows both groups to get a better understanding of each other’s MOS,” said Sadiku. “They can learn how to integrate and work with each other for future exercises and deployments. For Sadiku, training at this level is crucial before they return to their unit. “The standard needs to be increased, and we want to create a higher caliber of Soldiers,” said Sadiku. “We have the personnel in place to ensure that standards are adhered to.” Students such as Sgt. 1st Class Sonya Lundy of the 448th Civil Affairs Battalion had the opportunity to experience the school on both sides. Lundy, a PSYOP Soldier, is attending the CA course to learn the critical task training of all ranks. Lundy is joining her husband as the new CA Soldier in the Family. “I am learning a lot. It’s a very interesting perspective to see the difference between PSYOP and CA,” said Lundy. “I see that the PSYOP and CA are encouraged to work together, which is something you see in a community, and I really like that part.” As Initial Entry Training Soldiers attend the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School of Fort Bragg, the seasoned experienced Soldiers have attended schools taught by the
Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations training Spc. Aaron Ybarra, 304th Tactical PSYOP Company (left) and Spc. Eric Bowman, 353rd Tactical PSYOP Company set up a Next Generation Loud Speaker System during the Psychological Operations Specialist reclassification course.
“The standard needs to be increased, and we want to create a higher caliber of Soldiers.” — Sgt. 1st Class Vaid Sadiku, Psyop course manager, 80th Training Command
80th Training Command in three locations: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Fort Knox and Fort Hunter Liggett. Integrating and adapting to a new MOS has challenged the seasoned veterans. “It is a challenging course,” said Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Stubenvoll, 38B CA course manager, 80th Training Command. “Having the students think outside of their prior experiences and tying it into civil affairs scenarios can bring difficulty.” “Because most of the senior noncommissioned officers have already gone to the advanced and senior leader course for their prior MOS, it is harder for them to understand the more advanced portion of the CA and PSYOP skill sets.” added Stubenvoll. For Lundy the transition was easy. “I know what those guys are doing. A lot of things that they do is what we do as civil affairs,” said Lundy. “It’s
easier when you understand what the people you are supposed to be closely working with are also up to.” The FTX at the end of the course has helped students who are not accustomed to the verbal and nonverbal ways of communication. Spc. Ian Macleith, a former ammunitions specialist and now with the 315th PSYOP Company, felt the FTX was an important part of the training. “This gives us the chance to exercise what we learned” said Macleith, “and the FTX portion of the course is perfect, because it is the culmination of all of the events of classroom and all of the exercises that we have done.” The Soldiers will now go back to their unit understanding their new roles, and at the same time strengthen the unit’s capability in completing its mission.
Sgt. David Oliver, 351st Tactical PSYOP Company, gets evaluated as a PSYOP team leader during the field training exercise portion of the PSYOP reclassification course.
2013 best warr competiti
Army Reserve Medical Command photo by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz,
The only guarantee is bruises, blisters and mental and physical exhaustion. But since the competition’s inception in 2002, the lure of claiming the Army’s ultimate title, “Best Warrior,” has been more than enough to compel thousands of the best and brightest across commands and components to subject themselves to grueling months of pain and prerequisite benchmarks for the chance to achieve this prestigious honor. A cadre of tactical and technical experts from U.S. Army Reserve Command dedicates time and resources across all commands to ensure Army Reserve Soldiers maintain a competitive edge in a series of events designed to challenge Soldiers’ ability to lead and perform individual warrior tasks in a realistic battle environment. 40
LEFT: Spc. Daren Thompson, a combat medic assigned to the 7226th Medical Support Unit, Fort Jackson, S.C., climbs a timed rope event during the obstacle course at the Best Warrior Competition hosted by the Army Reserve Medical Command at Camp Blanding, Fla.
9th the 8 t of ’s 2013 ch r a p , ea : As igade RIGHT inment Br mpetition to o d a C e t r s r i u o u S Warri s req arch. Best cipant wa m road m 245th k parti ete a 15 ow of the d of his l compl Ethan Wad ed the en r Spc. mpany nea d time. o OD Co lap in go first
photo BY Spc. Kathleen Embrey, 89th Sustainment Brigade PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
Described as the “Super Bowl” of Army competitions, the Best Warrior will celebrate its twelfth anniversary this year.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION photo BY Spc. Kathleen Embrey, 89th Sustainment Brigade
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT:
cal Command Reserve Medi witz, Army rnie Jacobo aff Sgt. Ma photo by St
Best Warrior evaluates critical and adaptive thinking, challenging Soldiers through urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, warrior tasks and battle drills. In addition to proficiency in tactics and techniques, Soldiers are evaluated on their resiliency and ability to respond to ever-changing conditions.
Several live fire events were held as part of the 89th Sustainment Brigade’s 2013 Best Warrior Competition. Spc. Ethan Wadlow of the 245th OD Company fired from the crouching position during the M9 pistol qualification event.
photo BY Spc. Lindsey A. Schulte, 364th Public Affairs Operations Center
ade ey, 89th Sustainment Brig photo BY Spc. Kathleen Embr
By Melissa Russell, Army Reserve Communications
As part of the 89th Sustainment Brigade’s 2013 Best Warrior Competition, each competitor was tested on several basic Army warrior tasks. Spc. Travis Bates of the 1011th Quartermaster Company pulled a casualty to safety during the combat lifesaver portion of this event. Spc. Mitchell R. Fromm representing the 428th Engineer Company out of Wausau, Wis., leads the way right off the bat in the 2-mile run for the Army Physical Fitness Test event of the 372nd Engineer Brigade’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis. Spc. Ashlie Diggs,a paralegal specialist from headquarters and headquarters company, Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Fla., competes in the hand to hand combatives during the “Best Warrior Competition” at the C.W. “Bill” Young Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park, Fla.
DIVING INTO The Competition Warriors for Soldier of the Year include the ranks of private through specialist, and warriors for NCO of the Year include ranks corporal through sergeant first class. The two Soldiers selected at the Army Reserve Best Warrior competition held at Fort McCoy, Wis., will go on to represent the Army Reserve at the Department of the Army competition at Fort Lee, Va. The Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the Year will receive prestigious honors and cash awards in recognition of their achievements and represent the Army at special events throughout their tenure. But win or lose, competitors will take away the training, knowledge and discipline to become mentors and combat multipliers when they return to their units and commands. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
photo by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz, Army Reserve Medical Command
Command photo BY Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jones, Army Reserve Medical
ABOVE: Spc. James Freitas, a combat medic assigned to the 5010th US Army Hospital, Fort Gordon, Ga., low crawls after completing a road march during the 2013 Best Warrior Competition hosted by the Army Reserve Medical Command at Camp Blanding, Fla. LEFT: As part of the 8th Sustainment Brigade’s 2013 Best Warrior Competition, two land navigation events were held. Spc. Billy Chanthivong of the 387th AG Company familiarized himself with his equipment before beginning the night land navigation course.
ustai 89th S mbrey,
le . Kath BY Spc
from Army Reserve ABOVE: Spc. Ashlie Diggs, a paralegal specialist off a high Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Fla., practices jumping U.S. Coast Guard dive during combat water survival training at the Army Reserve Air Station in Clearwater, Fla., for Phase I of the tion.” The jump Medical Command’s prestigious “Best Warrior Competi a high altitude prepares her for the helo-cast insertion which is jump out of a helicopter into a body of water. 42
photo BY Spc. Kathleen Embrey, 89th Sustainment Brigade
LEFT: Soldiers of the Army Reserve Medical Command test their endurance during a road march at the Best Warrior Competition hosted by AR-MEDCOM at Camp Blanding, Fla.
photo by Staff Sgt . Marnie Jacobowit z, Army Reserve Med ical Command
BELOW: Sgt. Blayne A. Peterson, a combat medic for the 7203rd Medical Support Unit from Hobart, Ind., reacts to movement to contact during the Best Warrior Competition hosted by Army Reserve Medical Command at Camp Blanding in Starke, Fla. Peterson is one of four noncommissioned officers selected by their commands to compete in the 2013 Best Warrior Competition.
Medical Command photo by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz, Army Reserve
The 2013 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition will be held at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 23-28.
Competition winners will be announced during the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, Monday, Oct. 22, in Washington D.C.
Good luck to this year’s competitors!
Go Army Reserve! Spc. Mitchell R. Fromm, representing the 428th Engineer Company out of Wausau, Wis., aims at a target down range during the the Weapons Qualification event at the 372nd Engineer Brigade’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis.
To follow the Army Reserve competition, go to
photo BY Spc. True Thao, 364th Public Affairs Operations Center
health + wellness
coping with suicide
life after suicide a survivor’s story
t was a cool, fall day when Erin Thede walked onto the back porch of the home she shared with her husband, Juan Thede, and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “It’s complete and total chaos,” Thede recalls, as she talks through the events at her home after finding her husband and calling 911. “It seemed like a split second that my house was full of people—detectives, police officers, medical examiners, photographers taking pictures of every room.” As she discussed the various things that occurred that tragic day, there’s one thing that stands out most in her mind, “I was supposed to know this was gonna happen. I know what to look for. I know the signs, and I didn’t see it.” Thede has served in support of Soldiers and their Families for more than a decade. Though she is currently the U.S. Army Reserve’s director for the Employer Partnership Office, she previously served as the chief of Soldier and Family Support Services at the National Guard Bureau, where she faced the subject of suicide head-on, both as a trainer for its prevention and by providing programs that help with resiliency and coping with loss. “We were like any other couple. We fought, we laughed, we cried, we had great vacations, we had difficult car rides—just like everyone else,” she said, while acknowledging the lack of indicators that would have helped her to intercede in her husband’s desperate decision to end his internal struggle with pain. “It’s not unlike any other deaths, with the exception that you’re still trying to find answers. On top of everything else, you’re trying to understand ‘why?’” The most important message she wishes to share with those who are survivors is one backed by years of experience, training—and now—hindsight.
“It is not your fault,” she said. “This happens, and if you didn’t see those signs? It’s OK, because you probably didn’t see all of them, or enough of them to have been able to stop it,” she said.
PHOTO OF Erin and Juan Thede, COURTESY ERIN THEDE
by Maj. Angel Wallace, Army Reserve Command Public Information
her husband, but on those that are left behind to pick up the pieces. When asked if the Army is effectively engaging, through its various resiliency initiatives, an enemy that many military leaders are now calling an epidemic, Thede’s response is immediate and clear. “I think the Army message is a good one,” Thede said. “It’s one I support one-hundred and fifty percent, or I wouldn’t be here talking about this. …Resiliency doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge pain or you can’t say you need help. Resiliency is about knowing enough about yourself to acknowledge you need help and that it’s OK.” Thede described her husband as someone who was larger than life, bulletproof even. As a retired Gunnery Sergeant with over 21 years of service in the Marine Corps, his record reaffirms her characterization of him. “There was no way that he was ever going to let anyone see [weakness],” she said. Thede has one more message for those considering suicide. “Talk to whoever it is that makes you feel comfortable—a spouse, a Family member, a priest or member of the clergy. Your commander or maybe even your battle buddy,” she said. “Being resilient means you don’t have to be bulletproof.” As for how Thede is coping with the loss of
“Resiliency doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge pain or you can’t say you need help. …Resiliency is about knowing enough about yourself to acknowledge you need help and that it’s OK. Being resilient means you don’t have to be bulletproof.” — Erin Thede As Thede conveyed her lack of understanding over her husband’s decision to take his life, she wished that he would have considered the effects of that decision—not only on their shared life together, but also the effect of that decision on other important people in his life. “His daughter got married on the first of February and he didn’t walk her down the aisle. . . . His youngest son is going to be graduating from college, and he’s not going to see that,” Thede said, alluding to not only the impact on
her partner, she acknowledges her faith has helped her through a very difficult time. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I’ll come to grips with it. I will never understand it,” Thede said. She concedes that she takes everything one day at a time, “Starting back on Nov.13, they were all bad days. Eventually, I had a good day. Then, I had a couple more good days.” She looks forward to the day when those good days finally outnumber the bad ones.
EDITOR’s NOTE: If you are currently struggling with life after someone you care for has committed suicide, if you have knowledge of someone considering suicide that has confided in you, or if you have had thoughts of dealing with your own pain by taking your life—please, talk with someone. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) / National Crisis Help Line 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) U.S. Army Reserve Fort Family Outreach and Support Center 866-345-8248
Editor Warrior-Citizen 6075 Road Building 1908, Ofc 302 Fort Belvoir, Va 22060-5231
Presorted Standard US Postage
Paid Louisville, KY Permit #336