Veteran's History - Center of Military History -

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The Official U.S. Army Magazine

• How to get more magazines delivered to your units!

Veteran’s History Through an Artist’s Eyes The Army’s Floating Brigade

November 2002


November 2002 Volume 57, No. 11

4 First Steps to Recovery Soldiers are helping repair the physical damage that is apparent everywhere throughout postTaliban Afghanistan.

6 The Quick-Fix and Beyond The Coalition Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force helps coordinate the efforts of relief agencies working in Afghanistan.

The Official U.S. Army Magazine

8 Water Works

Secretary of the Army: Thomas E. White Chief of Staff: GEN Eric K. Shinseki Chief of Public Affairs: MG Larry D. Gottardi Chief, Command Information: COL James M. Allen

Providing the Afghan people with wells, pumps and other water-supply facilities helps promote health, farm production and political stability.

Soldiers Staff

9 A Handsome Man

Editor in Chief: LTC John E. Suttle Managing Editor: Gil High Production Editor: Steve Harding Art Director: Helen Hall VanHoose Associate Art Director: Paul Henry Crank Senior Editor: Heike Hasenauer Photo Editor: SSG Alberto Betancourt Special Products Editor: Beth Reece Graphic Designer: LeRoy Jewell Executive Secretary: Joseph T. Marsden

Perhaps the oldest U.S. service member in Afghanistan, COL Narayan Desmukh is also one of the most dedicated.


Printing: Gateway Press, Inc. Soldiers (ISSN 0093-8440) is published monthly under supervision of the Army Chief of Public Affairs to provide the Total Army with information on people, policies, operations, technical developments, trends and ideas of and about the Department of the Army. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army. ■ Manuscripts of interest to Army personnel are invited. Direct communication is authorized to Editor, Soldiers, 9325 Gunston Road, Suite S108, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5581. Phone: DSN 656-4486 or commercial (703) 806-4486. Or send e-mail to [email protected] ■ Unless otherwise indicated (and except for “by permission” and copyright items), material may be reprinted provided credit is given to Soldiers and the author. ■ All photographs by U.S. Army except as otherwise credited. ■ Military distribution: From the U.S. Army Distribution Operations Facility, 1655 Woodson Road, St. Louis, MO 63114-6181, in accordance with Initial Distribution Number (IDN) 050007 subscription requirements submitted by commanders. ■ The Secretary of the Army has determined that the publication of this periodical is necessary in the transaction of the public business as required by law of the department. ■ Use of funds for printing this publication was approved by the Secretary of the Army on Sept. 2, 1986, in accordance with the provisions of Army Regulation 25-30. Library of Congress call number: U1.A827. ■ Periodicals postage paid at Fort Belvoir, VA, and additional mailing offices. ■ Individual domestic subscriptions are available at $36 per year through the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. For credit card orders call (202) 512-1800 or FAX (202) 512-2250. ■ To change addresses for individual subscriptions, send your mailing label with changes to: Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop SSOM, Washington, DC 20402. ■ POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Fort Belvoir address above.

14 Updating the OER System 24

An eight-month review of the officer evaluation system has prompted some key changes.

15 Veterans Day Message The secretary and chief of staff of the Army honor veterans and their families.


16 Personalizing the Past The Veterans History Project is helping ensure that important personal stories are not lost.

22 Fort McHenry: Birthplace of 46

America’s National Anthem A key event in America’s history comes alive for visitors to the fort on Baltimore Harbor.

T urn Your Army Expe r IN

it. d e r C e g e l o C o t i e n c e in


24 The Army’s Floating Brigade

46 Through an Artist’s Eyes

Ships based at an Indian Ocean island carry a potent array of Army combat power.

30 Island Focus

This soldier-artist helped record the Army’s efforts in both peace and war.

49 Thanksgiving Message

Life on isolated Diego Garcia can be both challenging and rewarding for U.S. military residents.

32 Tomorrow’s Classroom A National Guard Bureau-NASA partnership is delivering science and space education programs to students nationwide.

34 Special Assignment: Soto Cano Soldiers at this little-known base in Honduras handle an assortment of important missions.

A holiday message from the Army’s senior leaders.

DEPARTMENTS 2 10 37 38 42 44

Feedback Briefings Around the Services Sharp Shooters Focus On People Postmarks

At 9

Front cover: This month’s cover features Korean War vet John A. Connolly. A member of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 23rd Inf. Regt., Connolly was hit by enemy artillery fire on Nov. 28, 1950, and ultimately lost his left arm. This Veterans Day we salute all those who have served the nation in peace and war, and especially those who have given their lives in that service. — Photo by SSG Alberto Betancourt

Feedback From the Editor FOR many of us, our earliest childhood memories include standing on a corner watching a Veterans Day parade. There would be the town mayor in a convertible from the local dealership (complete with motorcycle escort), the high school marching band and a color guard from the junior ROTC detachment. And then there were the veterans. They were the people who had done their nation’s deeds, and it was their day. They were the people who were there — at the Somme, on Corregidor, at Inch’on, at LZ X-ray. They would march, wearing medals, uniforms and campaign hats, and when the parade was over they would tell stories to the children — the fascinating stories you never read about in history books. And, tragically, when the storytellers passed away, they took their stories with them. Fortunately, this no longer has to be the case. Join Heike Hasenauer for a tour of the Veterans History Project to see how the Library of Congress is trying to preserve these veterans’ stories for posterity. Veterans made history, so they should be history.


Great Issue I JUST looked through the September issue of “Soldiers.” You should all go ahead and retire now, because you can’t possibly top that issue! Wonderful, gorgeous, eyegrabbing art design and layout. Stuart Henderson Via e-mail

Soldier Show Flag THANK you for your wonderful August article on the U.S. Army Soldier Show. It was a very accurate representation of the tour. I really like the sidebars about the technical part of the show and the soldiers’ involvement. That is an aspect that is often overlooked by the media. I know your readers have eagle eyes and find even the smallest error when it comes to displaying the American flag properly. One of the photos used in the article shows the cast in the finale with the American flag in the background. The flag is shown with the stars upside down. We were unaware of the error when the flag was produced for us. It was not until we got more than halfway through the tour that someone in the audience pointed out this error. We have since fixed the flag and it is now being displayed properly. Thank you for producing such a wonderful magazine. Brian D. Essad Army Entertainment Division via e-mail

Perfect Poster I JUST want to tell you how much I like the “Army of One” poster in the September issue. I’m sure there will be some out there who will complain because some of the soldiers in the photo don’t have their Kevlar on, but they’ll get over it. The poster makes those soldiers look larger than life — confident, fearless and ready. It looks like a poster for a movie, and is just the kind of “marketing” we need. Thanks for the great job you all are doing! MAJ Scott D. Ross, U.S. Transportation Command via e-mail I’D like to request two boxes of your excellent poster. In fact, we’d be glad to get three boxes, if you can spare them. We here at the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion — Los Angeles would like to put at least one poster in each of our recruiting stations, as well as presenting the posters to dignitaries. Please know that your poster is an effective recruiting tool, one that our battalion appreciates. And thanks for a great job. Mark G. Wonders via e-mail

Thanks for the kind words about the “Army of One” poster. The photo was coordinated by Photo Editor SSG Alberto Betancourt and shot in Afghanistan by SFC William A. Jones, and the poster was designed by Associate Art Director Paul Crank.

Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. There was one little problem, however. In the large photograph on page 14 a soldier is identified as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, when his shoulder patch — of the 377th Theater Support Command — clearly indicates otherwise. And I should know, YOUR July article “The Other because I’m the soldier in the picture. Afghan Campaign” provided great coverage of the efforts of LTC James J. Gardon the Coalition Joint Civil-Military via e-mail

Wrong Unit

Service Flag AFTER reading “The Return of the Service Flag” in the July issue, I began wondering why in-laws are left out of the list of people eligible to fly the flag. In today’s military, spouses and members of extended families are just as important as the service members themselves. Why not allow inlaws and others to also display this flag with pride? SFC Richard Everett via e-mail Soldiers

inches by 60 inches, thus allowing them to be flown, if desired, beneath the U.S. flag on the same pole. Richard R. Gideon via e-mail

other medals that symbolize equally important things — the Armed Forces Service Medal, The Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Army occupation medals? U.S. military personnel are I WAS pleasantly surprised to putting their lives on the line find my company (or at least every single day to protect and its Web site) mentioned in the IN reading Soldiers over the ensure freedom at home and July article on the Service last few months I have noticed around the world. And at the Flag. the continuing, back-and-forth same time we are providing One interesting point discussions about awarding humanitarian aid by helping concerning full-sized Service new medals in honor of all the move food, supplies and Flags: Regulations call for an equipment into stricken areas aspect ratio of 10:19, which is people who lost their lives on Sep. 11, 2001, and in Operaaround the globe. the same as the ratio for the tion Enduring Freedom. Why, then, shouldn’t we be U.S. flag. However, few It certainly makes sense to recognized for our military and commercially available U.S. award the National Defense humanitarian efforts on behalf flags are made according to I WAS reading your July issue regulation — the most popular Service Medal, since it seems of our own nation and the and ran across the article “The size is the 3 foot by 5 foot flag. to fit exactly what we are doing world? for the defense of the AmeriSince etiquette prohibits Return of the Service Flag.” Name Withheld by Request concurrently flying a flag larger can people, but what about the I didn’t even know about via e-mail the flag until I was at a Legion than the US flag, but to satisfy both the letter and spirit of the Soldiers is for soldiers and DA civilians. We invite readers’ views. Stay under 150 meeting and the people were words — a post card will do — and include your name, rank and address. We’ll Army regulations concerning talking about it. I asked a few withhold your name if you desire and may condense your views because of space. We can’t publish or answer every one, but we’ll use representative views. Write to: the service flag, our outdoor questions. Then in June I Feedback, Soldiers, 9325 Gunston Road, Ste. S108, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060Service Flags are made 32 received the flag. 5581, or e-mail: [email protected]

Our two sons followed their father’s example and chose military careers — one in the Army, and the other in the Air Force. We proudly display a Service Flag with two blue stars to show support of their re-enlistments, dedication and patriotism. I urge all Americans who are eligible to purchase and display a Service Flag during this difficult time of war and hostilities. Joan M. Stehn Highland Falls, N.Y.

November 2002

I’m very proud to display it in my window. Thanks for the article. SSG Kim Banes Marshalltown, Iowa

New Medals


SPC Eric Hughes (both)


The First Steps to Recovery Story by SGT Robb Huhn


HYSICAL damage resulting from the Taliban’s reign can be seen from almost every street corner in and around Kabul, Afghanistan — almost every building shows years of neglect and the consequences of war. The Coalition Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force in Kabul is repairing some of the damage by reconstructing roads, hospitals and research facilities throughout Afghanistan. SGT Robb Huhn is assigned to the 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Afghanistan.



The CJCMOTF identifies quick-fix humanitarian projects throughout the country that are not being accomplished by the greater humanitarianassistance community. It then coordinates its efforts with Afghan agencies and international and nongovernmental organizations in the country. “We seek out the projects that will have the greatest impact on the Afghan people,” said MAJ Jeff Coggin, chief of the task force’s public-health department. These are referred to as National Impact Projects. Once a NIP is identified, the CJCMOTF ensures that the project meets certain criteria. First, it must comply with Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Civic Aid guidelines. And the project must support the Afghan Transitional Authority, the recently elected government. Lastly, the CJCMOTF coordinates its efforts with various ministries to ensure that the project is “good for them and Afghanistan,” Coggin said. One of the

most important of the task force’s missions is to support the transitional government and the choices it makes for the rebuilding of Afghanistan. After the approval process is complete, the Army solicits contractor bids for the project. Immediately after a contract has been awarded, laborers begin working to complete it. To support the local economy, contractors employ Afghans and purchase materials locally. “The Afghan workers take a great deal of pride in their work. They realize that what they’re doing is for everyone,” said Coggin. During the construction phase, coalition engineers, public-health professionals and local contractors periodically meet to ensure that the projects are being completed according to U.S. government standards, and that any unresolved questions can be answered. “Everyone involved has a vital role,” Coggin said. “If one link in the chain fails, then

the project fails,” added lLT Timmy King, a CJCMOTF engineer from the 37th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C. All of the NIPS are located in Kabul. They range from a power and water complex that was destroyed during decades of war to pharmaceutical companies that provide medication to hundreds of sick and injured local citizens. Because Kabul is the hub of Afghanistan, Coggin said, “whatever we do here will affect the rest of the country. A good example of that is the soon-to-be-restored Teachers Training College. If fixing a school for children helps one community, then fixing a school that trains teachers will help an entire nation.” Ten NIPs are currently underway throughout Kabul, including the Teachers Training College and the restoration of the Kabul Dental Hospital. Several additional projects are in various stages of approval. Currently, $1.9 million has been allocated for Afghanistan’s NIPs.

(Far left) The rebuilding of the Bagram Bridge is an Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civil Assistance project conducted under the auspices of the Joint Coalition Civil-Military Operation Task Force. (Left) MAJ Alex Reidey of the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion from Knoxville, Tenn., discusses the work on the Bagram Bridge with a local Afghan contractor.

SPC Eric Hughes

(Right) Afghan contractors — supported by soldiers of the 489th Civil Affairs Bn. and 37th Engineer Bn. — completed this classroom at the Kabul Medical Institute. It is one of six such classrooms that will provide a better learning environment for Afghan medical students.

November 2002


Afghanistan PH2 Eric Lippmann, USN

Elders representing the 92 villages of the Bagram district assemble to hear the details of a recent agreement to share work contract opportunities made available by coalition forces at Bagram Air Base.

The Quick — Fix and Story by SSG Zelda Thomas-Gates


EPT. 11 dramatically changed the lives of American and Afghans alike. Combat troops went out in search of al Qaeda and Taliban forces, and the Coalition Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force was created to help rebuild the war-torn country. Headed by COL Cassel J. Nutter

SSG Zelda Thomas-Gates is assigned to the 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Kabul, Afghanistan.



Jr., of the 122nd Rear Operations Center, Georgia Army National Guard, the CJCMOTF is the first of its kind in the U.S. military to be created and deployed, he said. Headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan, it has subordinate civil-military operations centers in Karshi, Khanabad and Bagram, Afghanistan, and in Uzbekistan. The CJCMOTF was initially given

the primary mission of providing humanitarian assistance through coordination with more than 24 international and nongovernmental organizations and the Afghan government. “We’re not just a civil-affairs organization,” said Nutter. “We may have conventional and special-operations forces assigned, but we work to coordinate humanitarian efforts with Soldiers

SPC Marshall Emerson

“We may have conventional and special-operations forces assigned, but we work to coordinate humanitarian efforts with many organizations in order to relieve suffering.”

MAJ Dave Young (left) of the 401st CA Bn. and a coalition civilian talk with an Afghan village elder about his community’s needs.

The task force has employed some 18,000 Afghan workers and benefited 50 schools serving some 62,000 many organizations in order to relieve students; 15 medical facilities serving suffering.” some 526,000 people; one veterinary The task force’s augmentees facility; 12 water projects benefiting include some 250 service members an estimated 260,000 people; and 12 from six countries, five branches of the other building projects that provide U.S. military and 25 units. life support and shelter to about The CJCMOTF also has civil 300,000 people, Nutter said. humanitarian liaison cells in Kabul, Since its inception, the CJCMOTF Bagram Air Base, Konduz, Mazar-eSharif, Herat, Khandahar Airfield, Afghan workers put the Khowst, Deh Rawod and Bamian. finishing touches on Each CHLC has four to seven new windows installed people who conduct area assessments in the Kabul Medical and coordinate with international and Institute under a CJCMOTF contract. nongovernmental organizations and local Afghan leaders. They also nominate overseas humanitarian disaster and civil-assistance projects, and the team members to participate in those projects. To date, the CJCMOTF has spent $6 million on humanitarian projects. Of 116 approved projects, 53 have been completed, 60 are nearing completion and three have been transferred to other agencies for completion. November 2002

has participated in numerous humanitarian aid programs in conjunction with the Nahrin earthquake; Operations Anaconda and Condor; the Muslim pilgrimage; the Afghan grand council meeting; the opening of flight routes over Afghanistan; assessments of the threat of hemorrhagic fever in Tiawara province; and support of International Women’s Day in Kabul.

SPC E ric E. H ughe






(Above) A well repaired by members of the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion provides clean water for members of a Bagram neighborhood. (Left) MG Robert B. Ostenberg, commander of the Army Reserve’s 63rd Regional Support Command, looks on as the well is dedicated.


Story by SSG Zelda Thomas-Gates Photos by SGT Sean A. Terry Houston, a project engineer for the CJCMOFT. Many of the wells are in poor condition, and those that operate EAR Kabul, Afghanistan, continuously eventually run dry. The home of the Coalition Joint villages that have water therefore Civil-Military Operations Task attract a disproportionate number of Force, Afghan villagers refugees, which eventually creates migrate in search of water for drinking, another problem — overcrowding. bathing and growing crops. To prevent this, the CJCMOFT is They’re among the thousands of working with local and national Afghans in desperate need of irrigation government representatives throughout systems and drinking water as a result Afghanistan to ensure water projects of years of war and drought. are distributed equitably and that their Since the defeat of the Taliban, locations don’t pose security risks to their nation’s economy has begun to coalition forces. stabilize, and more and more people “Because of our work, the Afghans are returning to the homes they had are getting better medical care, chilabandoned, said CPT Benjamin H. dren are going back to school and they have access to clean water,” said 1LT SSG Zelda Thomas-Gates and SGT Sean A. Terry are assigned to the 300th Mobile PA Det. in Kabul, Afghanistan. Carolyn Harris, an engineer project



manager at the CJCMOTF. Since early spring the CJCMOTF has helped the people of Herat through the completion of two irrigation projects. Additionally, the task force has provided Bagram with six wells; Khost, 13 wells; Kabul, two wells; and Kandahar, 81 wells. The CJCMOTF is currently working on 18 more wells across the country. By providing the people of Afghanistan with new wells, pumps, auxiliary generators and water storage and pump houses, the task force has made it possible for farmers to increase their crop production, hospitals to treat more patients, and the general population to have enough water to drink, cook with and maintain their own personal hygiene, Harris said. Soldiers

COL Narayan Deshmukh examines a patient at the Army hospital in Kandahar.


HILE most people his age are contemplating the “golden sunset” of retirement, COL Narayan Deshmukh ponders the golden sunsets at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. A surgeon with the 1980th Forward Surgical Team, 64-year-old Deshmukh may be the oldest U.S. service member in Kandahar. But he has little trouble keeping up with his younger coworkers in one of the harshest and most desolate places on earth. “I really don’t feel as though I’m the oldest person,” he said. He’s comfortable and at ease in his operating room-turnedoffice. He looks fit and trim. His eyes are bright. And he has a quick wit. The streaks of gray in his dark hair give him a look of distinction, and suggest experience and wisdom rather than age. He has no complaints, except for the heat. Deshmukh requested and received an extension of his Mandatory Removal Date from the Army to serve in the war against terrorism. “I feel that the biggest sacrifice one can make is to serve with the military during wartime and be prepared to die for one’s country,” he said. Deshmukh came to the United States in 1969, after completing studies at the Osmania Medical Center in his hometown of Hyderabad, India. Oddly, a stamp collection he had at the time influenced his decision to study and practice advanced medicine in America rather than Australia or Great Britain. The stamps contained quotes from various leaders referencing American values. In 1984 Deshmukh joined the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve and began his career as an Army surgeon with the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Augmentation Detachment at Fort McPherson, Ga. The detach-

A Handsome

SGT Calvin Williams is assigned to the 300th Mobile PA Det. at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

November 2002


ment is a temporary agency for military physicians and other medical personnel, placing them with units that need their expertise. Today Deshmukh is also the president of the surgical staff at the Guthrie Clinic, a multidisciplinary teaching hospital in Sayre, Pa., where he teaches surgical residents and supervises the medical staff. He has earned the expert field medical badge, air assault badge and flight surgeon Badge, after receiving age-limit waivers to undergo the tasks required. “The only time my age bothers me is when I see jump wings,” Deshmukh said. Airborne School was the only training Deshmukh applied for but was unable to enroll in because of his age. “I was very disappointed,” he said. Deshmukh, who has been in Afghanistan since July, earlier deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to assist American forces there. “The

Story and Photo by SGT Calvin Williams Army was able to find another surgeon for Kandahar, but not a linguist to go to Guantanamo Bay,” said Deshmukh, who speaks five languages. In Kandahar, he stays in shape by working out in the weight room. And while he doesn’t run, because of a leg injury, he consistently scores 300 on the Army Physical Fitness Test. “In one APFT, I did 150 pushups in two minutes,” he said proudly. “It was part of a competition between medical personnel.” “I love getting mobilized,” Deshmukh said, “and I always make sure that I’m fit and ready to go. “I want to inspire young people and motivate older ones,” he continued. “I want them to know that even if you’re 64, you can come to Afghanistan, serve your country and return home to your grandchildren as the handsomest man in the world to them — because you’re in uniform.” 9

Briefings Compiled by Gil High and the War on Terrorism

U.S. Northern Command was activated Oct. 1, and is “responsible for land, aerospace and sea defenses of the United States,” said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The NORTHCOM commander will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities and will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters.

SGT Sean A. Terry

At press time more than 38,000 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers were on active duty in support of the partial mobilization. The total number of reserve-component personnel for all services on active duty as of October was 72,269, including both units and individual augmentees.

Members of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, pose with some of the RPG rounds they discovered cached in Gangikhel, a town in Afghanistan’s Malikasay province.

As world attention turned to discussion of Iraq as a terrorist base, U.S. forces continued to come under attack in Afghanistan. A firebase near Lwara was attacked on Sept. 20, and U.S. personnel responded with mortar fire and strikes by Air Force A-10 attack aircraft. Also in September, special-operations forces conducted searches near Orgun-e and in one compound found a large arms cache that included 107mm rockets, smallarms rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds, and anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition.

SFC Fred Gurwell

The Army has published a revised deployment and mobilization policy on operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. The Personnel Policy Guidance, which is online at, outlines requirements for deploying and redeploying troops engaged in the war on terrorism, and delves into equipment, medical and dental issues, and family assistance for deployed troops.

Other members of the 505th Inf. take time at the end of the day for a little recreation — an impromptu game of touch football — at Camp Harrimon in Afghanistan’s Orgun Province.

National Guard military police soldiers and an 82nd Airborne Division field artillery battalion with howitzers are among recent arrivals in Afghanistan. Battery C, 1st Battalion, 309th Field Artillery Regiment, from Fort Bragg, N.C., arrived in Kandahar Aug. 29. Members of the 772nd Military Police Company, from Taunton, Mass., began arriving in Kabul Aug. 14 to support the 1st Bn., 3rd Special Forces Group, which is responsible for training the new Afghan National Army. The 49th Military History Detachment, from Forest Park, Ill., is in Afghanistan documenting the planning, execution and significant events of Operation Enduring Freedom. The team is conducting interviews and is collecting artifacts, including photographs and documents, weapons and objects that may have been significant or unique to activities in the region. 10


SFC Fred Gurwell

Linda D. Kozaryn

SMA Jack Tilley speaks with enlisted soldiers at Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base during his tour of the region.

Soldiers from the 307th Engineers Fort Bragg, North Carolina pull security and prepare to explore certain caves in the area of Keyki, Afghanistan. These caves were suspected of housing munitions and ordanance as well as Taliban fighters.

November 2002

Active duty and Army National Guard military police soldiers who had provided security at the Pentagon since Sept. 11, 2001, stand in formation during a redeployment ceremony on the building’s River parade field.


Briefings Harriet Rice

Army Knowledge Online News Fort Belvoir, Va.

Free Training Enhances Performance

The Army recreation destinations available to service members include the Seward Resort on Alaska’s beautiful Kenai Peninsula. Alexandria, Va.

ALL members of the Army’s active and reserve components, including civilian employees, can train in more than 1,500 information-technology, business and interpersonal skills subjects — from any location and at any time — at no cost to themselves or their organizations. The computer-based training is available through Army e.Learning’s partnership with SmartForce, and can be accessed by using an Army Knowledge Online user name and password. To browse the SmartForce catalog or to register, visit Army e.Learning online at eLearning/smartforce. — AKO

Finding Your “Paths Across America” FROM the desert to the seashore, from Alaska to Hawaii, some of the most beautiful vacation spots in America are available only through the Army and its sister services. The trick is finding them. “Paths Across America,” an interactive Web site provided by Army morale, welfare and recreation, is your travel map to these “best kept secrets” that in most cases are accessible only to Department of Defense personnel. And it’s an address that’s easy to remember: The site opens with a map of the United States that will, with a few additional clicks, lead the visitor to military campgrounds, beaches and other recreation facilities in each state. The spots listed range from the most rustic tent sites to well-appointed cabins and lodges. Perhaps the best feature of the Web site is that it allows visitors to discover lodging and recreation facilities in unexpected places. What soldier would know, for example, that the Cape Henry Inn and Travel Camp is a very popular resort on the water, offering rooms, cabins and RV sites just minutes away from Virginia Beach, Va.? Or that Hawaii has seven different recreation centers that provide cabins and camping sites near some of the best beaches on the islands? Many of these recreation centers also offer equipment rentals and have programs and staffs to help visitors take advantage of other MWR activities and local area attractions. Only parks and recreational areas are listed at the Paths Across America site, but the Armed Forces Recreation Centers link takes visitors to information and help related to MWR’s more well-known major recreation centers around the world. — U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office 12

Fort Irwin, Calif.

a Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said COL Mike Rounds, commander of the 3rd Bde, 2nd Infantry Division, from Fort Lewis. “A primary advantage of THE newly introduced Stryker wheeled infantry carrier vehicle the SBCT is its ability to deploy rapidly,” Rounds said. “We proved to be a battlefield enabler in the Army Transformation Experiment and Exercise Millennium Challenge 2002, both conducted at the National Training Center this summer. “The Strykers exceeded expectations,” said 1LT Nathan A. Molica, executive officer for Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry, from Fort Lewis, Wash. “I think they impressed everyone.” Millennium Challenge, which ended in August, was the first tactical deployment of

Strykers Pass the Test at NTC

Soldiers of the Fort Lewisbased Stryker Brigade Combat Team found their vehicles to be fast, maneuverable and highly capable on NTC’s vast “battlefield.”


Lewis in February or March, read of where the enemy Ground, Md., for further tests. officials said. — Army News forces are, and can see the The vehicles will then head to Service terrain both on a map and in the Stryker Brigade at Fort real time.” Variants of the Stryker family are making debut rollouts on a continual basis, and the medical variant will be the fifth of the nine to arrive at Fort Lewis early next year. The reconnaissance variant was expected to arrive at Fort Lewis in October of this year, BEGINNING Aug. 1, all soldiers who successfully complete officials said. The infantry the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course will be awarded carrier, commander’s vehicle 40 promotion points instead of the previous four points per and mortar carrier have already course week. Personnel officials said they are making the touched down at Lewis. The change to reduce administrative mistakes and create a fair other variants are the fire valuation of the training for BNCOC graduates with similar support vehicle; anti-tank military occupational specialties. missile-guided vehicle; Some soldiers may at first believe they are losing points engineer vehicle; the nuclear, under the new system because their particular BNCOC is biological and chemical longer than 10 weeks, said SGM Gerald Purcell, the reconnaissance vehicle; and Department of the Army’s personnel policy integrator. But the mobile gun system. that’s not true, he said, because soldiers compete for The medical variant of the promotion within the same MOS. Stryker Interim Armored The soldiers most greatly affected by the change are Vehicle was scheduled to roll those in MOSs that have merged, and those that will be off the assembly line at merged, to consolidate MOSs with similar functions, Purcell Anniston, Ala., at the end of said. “We’re treating BNCOC as an equal element. So as we September 2002, to be merge similar MOSs, no one is at a disadvantage.” — delivered to Aberdeen Proving ARNEWS

Career News BNCOC Grads Receive Equal Promotion Points

SPC Marc Loi

now have a force that is light enough to quickly move into the theater and mobile enough to take on almost any enemy.” The Stryker is an improvement over heavier, slower vehicles because “it’s very agile, it moves well over difficult terrain, and provides more space for personnel and equipment,” said SPC Todd Lezier, an infantryman from Fort Lewis. One of the major advantages the Strykers give soldiers is a much-needed ride to the battlefield, said infantryman SPC Coby Schwab. “We can move farther and faster and not waste any energy doing it,” he said. “We’re able to get onto the objective as fresh as we can be.” Another big advantage comes from the Stryker’s technological capabilities, Rounds said. “Inside is a system that gives soldiers total situational awareness. They know where the friendly forces are; they have a near-perfect

Sergeant-major Board Tests Automated System THE ARMY’s sergeant-major board, meeting in October, tested a new automated selection system that will eliminate hardcopy files. The board reviewed hard-copy records for NCOs in all career management fields except CMF 91, the medical field, which was selected as the test population, officials said. In that group, all records (official military personnel file, photo, enlisted record brief, and letter to the board president, if submitted) were viewed as electronic files. The next officer files that will test the automated selection process will be the Army Medical Command colonel selection board, which takes place in January, and the February AMEDD promotion selection board for captains. George Piccirilli, the director of the Management Support Division in U.S. Army Personnel Command, said that in future boards soldiers will be notified to review their electronic files through Army Knowledge Online, and they will be able to validate their own promotion files online. — ARNEWS

November 2002


Updating the

OER System

Story by Joe Burlas


HOUGH the latest version of the Officer Evaluation Report “accurately assesses officers’ performance and potential” — according to personnel managers — refinements are being made as a result of an eight-month review of the system, Army officials said. The OER is doing what it was designed to do — assess an officer’s performance and potential, so that officials can more aptly identify, assign and select the best-qualified officers for promotion, training and command duties, said George Piccirilli, the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command’s officer evaluation system chief. He should know that first-hand; he briefs each officer board on the OER and reviews selection results and board surveys when the board adjourns. Over the past year Piccirilli’s had a lot of feedback indicating that board members find it difficult to separate the rater’s remarks about the officer’s performance from remarks about his or her potential, as both are entered in the same section of the OER. To eliminate the confusion, PERSCOM will soon direct all commands to request raters to doublespace between the “performance” and “potential” entries until the actual OER form can be revised and fielded. The OER review was prompted, in part, by the officer Army Training and Leader Development Panel study, released last May, which reported a perception in the field that Army

Joe Burlas works for the Army News Service at the Pentagon.

goals, Piccirilli said. culture expected a “zero-defects” For rated lieutenants and warrant performance from its leaders. Following the results of the study, officers 1, quarterly development counseling is required and includes the Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric K. use of the Junior Officer Development Shinseki directed a further review of Support Form. the OER system. “We’ve found the best units The officer ATLDP also found schedule appropriate counseling and that many officers believed that a “center-of-mass” check on the OER by mark it on their training calendars in the senior rater meant no possibility of advance,” he said. “It’s a visible mark on the wall, so everyone knows what’s promotion beyond captain. expected and when it’s supposed to be “Center-of-mass ratings are not a done.” ‘killer,’” Piccirilli said, “and promoPiccirilli advised rated officers who tion board results bear that out.” are not receiving the mandatory Promotions are based on Army requirements, Piccirilli said, and those counseling to seek appropriate opporrequirements often dictate the selection tunities to ask for rater feedback. Counseling doesn’t need to be a line between “promote” and “do not formal sit-down session. It can be a promote” to be drawn somewhere in frank discussion at the motor pool or the center-of-mass population. on the training range, Piccirilli said, as As part of the OER review, surlong as it covers the performance veyed senior leaders and junior officers were offered alternatives to the bases. Those bases include what the officer has been doing right, what he’s senior-rater portion of the current OER. Almost all chose to remain with been doing wrong, what improvements can be made and how he stacks up the current system, Piccirilli said. against others. “It can be tough to look Counseling is another area of someone in the eye and tell him he’s at concern identified by the ATLDP the bottom of the totem pole,” Piccirilli study. The subsequent OER system said, “but every officer deserves to review found mixed results in field know where he stands before an OER interviews. Some units conduct is filed.” counseling very well, others don’t, Piccirilli said. By regulation, raters must For more information on the conduct a face-to-face initial OER system and officer promocounseling session with all rated tion rates visit PERSCOM Online at officers within 30 days of the start of the rated period. Periodic follow-up counseling should be and select the Officer Information link conducted, as needed, to make under the Soldier Services section. adjustments to agreed-upon

veterans day

2002 Message “The Army remains the world’s preeminent warfighting land force — the most esteemed institution in the Nation, and the most respected Army in the world.”


N Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the American men and women who have served in our Nation’s Armed Forces. Through their sacrifices, they have purchased for us the privileges of freedom, democracy, and unmatched opportunity that we enjoy in the United States today, and they have set the conditions for the United States’ place as global leader, with the world’s strongest economy, and the most respected and feared military in the world. And as we celebrate the contributions of our veterans, we also take this opportunity to salute and to honor you, the Soldiers serving in the Army today. Your determination and your readiness to go where you are needed whenever you are called are potent symbols of liberty, justice, and hope for freedom-loving people the world over. Today, Soldiers build upon the 227-year legacy established by veterans who have gone before. From the first battle of the American Revolution to our ongoing war against terrorism, in conflicts around the globe and in humanitarian missions at home and abroad that have saved countless lives, Soldiers have provided the sword and shield that protects our Nation. And they are doing so today—over 190,000 Soldiers deployed and forward stationed in 120 countries around the world. Each day you serve, you voluntarily forego comfort and wealth, willingly facing hardships and deployments away from family and loved ones. Sometimes you confront danger and face death in defending the Nation’s security. To all of you on point for the Nation, whether far from home or here in the United States, thank you for your contributions and your countless sacrifices. It is an honor to serve with you. And so on 11 November, a day of reflection and tribute, we salute you, and we pledge to you our tireless efforts to ensure that The Army remains the world’s preeminent warfighting land force—the most esteemed institution in the Nation, and the most respected Army in the world.

Eric K. Shinseki General, United States Army Chief of Staff

November 2001

Thomas E. White Secretary of the Army


THE VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT Personalizing the Past Story by Heike Hasenauer


UST as every war has its top generals, its celebrated heroes, renowned landmarks and major battles, it has its countless individual stories of survival, valor, even humor. Those stories reveal the intimate feelings that separate one person’s experiences from another’s. Realizing the significance of those personal stories, and knowing that many of the stories are lost as thousands of veterans die each year, President George W. Bush signed legislation in October 2000 authorizing the Veterans History Project. Now those individual stories — which pull heartstrings, evoke pride in country and military service, and introduce “ordinary” people who were swept by the tides of their times and lived as best they could — will live for generations to come, said Ellen McCullochLovell, who directs the project for the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C. The project will preserve the stories of war veterans, service members who supported the war from the home front and the civilian war-industry workers — without whose invaluable service America’s efforts to protect freedom around the world would not have been possible, she said. The national, ongoing effort to preserve their stories


will result in a valuable resource to teach all Americans, including those of future generations, about the rich legacy of military service, said Kelley Curtin, a spokeswoman for Fleishman-Hillard, the advertising company that’s working to raise awareness of the project. The company is among some 250 project partners, including veterans’ service organizations, historical societies, libraries, museums, military archives, colleges and universities, and military historical groups, Curtin said. The American Association of Retired Persons is encouraging its 35 million members to contact veterans whose stories have yet to be recorded, said AARP president Jim Parkel. “We’re creating a well-trained volunteer force to conduct oral-history interviews. And we’re continuing to create public programs across the country that will allow veterans, and those who served them, to share their personal experiences,” Parkel added. These volunteers will conduct audio and video interviews, and collect letters, diaries, photos and other documents, from both civilian and military veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, said McCulloch-Lovell.


“After 365 days in Vietnam, I went from war to peace, from childhood to irrevocable adulthood. I had changed, but, I thought, I’d never be able to explain it to anybody.”


ndividuals such as Janis Nark, a motivational speaker and retired Army officer, are also contributing to the project by encouraging veterans to come forward. Nark was a registered nurse at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and served 23 years in the Army Reserve. She was recalled to active duty for nine months during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. “In Vietnam I cared for the sick and wounded, and those that would die,” Nark said. “We treated everything you can imagine, and lots of things that would never occur to a ‘normal’ person. We



Janis Nark served at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and was recalled to active duty during the Gulf War.

worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week. I was there late in the conflict, and it was obvious there was no winning that war. Morale was abysmally low and drug use predictably high. Towards the end of my tour, the hospital where I worked was turned into the Drug Detoxification Center of Vietnam. “We detoxed around 500 heroinaddicted soldiers a week,” Nark said, as she remembered enduring threats to her life because she held the keys to the narcotics cabinet and refused to let them out of her sight. “After 365 days in Vietnam, I went from war to peace, from childhood to irrevocable adulthood. I had changed, but, I thought, I’d never be able to explain it to anybody.”

Participants in the Vietnam War are among those being urged to share their military experiences as part of the ongoing Veterans History Project.

November 2002



eorge Soto, an Army corporal from January 1952 to January 1954, stayed behind at Camp Chaffee, Ark., after completing 16 weeks of infantry basic training. Out of a graduating class of 28, 27 got orders for Korea. “I was like a displaced person,” Soto reflected. “I remember going to the hospital one day with a buddy of mine whose wife had just had their baby. The next morning, he was on his way to Korea, and I, ironically, who was single, with no attachments, remained at the camp as part of the 5th Armored to Division.” o S ge Geor An instructor of military subjects, Soto taught such common soldier skills as map- and compass-reading to inductees. It’s not the exciting stuff most authors write about in their depictions of war, Soto said. “But, I want people to know that there were others who were important to the war effort because they did stay home to teach the soldiers who went to the front lines.” His story, as written by a professor at Rutgers University in New York for one of the Spanishlanguage newspapers in Queens, will be incorporated into the Veterans History Project. It touches on Soto’s life during the 1950s. “As a New Yorker, a Northerner, who was born in Spanish Harlem, I experienced a great deal of racial inequality,” Soto said. Because he’s Hispanic and was often mistaken for a member of other ethnic groups, he was able to empathize with blacks, who were discriminated against in those years before the civil rights movement gradually righted some of America’s wrongs, he said. “I remember sitting in the waiting room at a bus station, and a constable told me I was in the wrong place. He told me I shouldn’t be sitting with the ‘coloreds,’” Soto said. “I thought: ‘These are the


George Soto posed for this photo outside a 5th Armored Division classroom.


men who are waiting to go to war, they should certainly be afforded the respect due all soldiers.’” Soto attended the New York kick-off event for the Veterans History Project because he’s actively involved with AARP in his home state, he said. “I bring AARP’s programs to elderly Hispanics, many of whom don’t speak English.” At the same time, Soto has asked them to share their stories. At the time of this writing, some 1,000 veterans had contacted AARP to tell their stories, Parkel said. And eight short video clips and one audio clip were available at the Veterans History Project’s Internet site, according to McCulloch-Lovell.


renne Jerry B


mong the developing archives are 1,261 letters exchanged between Jerry Brenner and his wife during World War II. Brenner was a radio operator and repairman in the 740th Field Artillery Battalion. After seeing an article about the Veterans History Project in the Washington Post a year ago, he called the information number provided to see if anyone would be interested in the letters. “They were thrilled to get them,” Brenner said, “because letters that are part of historical collections typically don’t include the replies.” The letters are now part of an exhibit “that will be available to the public between now and forever,” said Brenner, who wrote a forward to the volume of letters, to indicate that they “show World War II from the perspective of a G.I. fighting in Europe, as well as a young wife and mother on the home front. “Most histories of war are about big battles, admirals and generals and landmark events,” Brenner said. “They rarely highlight the experiences of ordinary people.” Included in the correspondence is a letter to his wife, which still contains the flower Brenner was given by a little French boy in one of many towns the Americans

Brenner sent this cheerful photo to his wife in one of the many letters the pair exchanged during the war.

November 2002


“Most histories of war are about big battles, admirals and generals and landmark events,” Brenner said. “They rarely highlight the experiences of ordinary people.”


Brenner’s wife and young daughter were among thousands of loved ones who daily awaited news from the front lines.

liberated from the Germans. Many of the letters are his wife’s updates on their daughter’s growth, said Brenner, who was 24 in December 1943, when he left New York for England, and, ultimately, the Battle of the Bulge. His daughter was three months old. “The letters are full of information about the conditions people on the home front had to contend with, and about the feelings of people very much in love,” Brenner said. U.S. News and World Report reprinted one of the letters in its June 10, 2002, issue. It’s a letter his wife wrote on pink stationery that contained little lip imprints. “My wife thought the lips were too small, so she redid them with her own lips,” Brenner said. On another occasion, because she’d heard that all the guys carried pinups of beautiful women in bathing suits, she had a seductive photo of herself taken in a bathing suit and enclosed it in a letter. There was also something called the “blue letter,” Brenner said. It was a very personal letter that a soldier didn’t want his immediate commanding officer to read, as was the typical procedure to censor soldiers’ mail to prevent breaches of security. “If you put your letter in a blue envelope, it went instead to corps headquarters, where some lieutenant you didn’t know read it.” Brenner wrote such a letter on May 7, 1945, the day the war in Europe ended. “There’s some really personal stuff in that letter,” Brenner said. “I poured my heart out in that one.” McCulloch-Lovell said some of the material that will become part of the Veterans History Project will be reviewed for historical accuracy, but it would be impossible to review everything. “Most people will


Brenner and hundreds of thousands of other soldiers sent photos home to reassure their loved ones.

be as accurate as they can be, and those who access the material will be doing so with the knowledge that these are individuals’ accounts of their own experiences.” As the world’s largest library, and the national library of the United States, the Library of Congress’s mission is to make its holdings available to Congress and the American people, and preserve knowledge for future generations, said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 to document, preserve and present all aspects of traditional culture and life in America. It currently boasts some two million items. There’s no cut-off date for submissions to the Veterans History Project, McCulloch-Lovell said. “We’re just now beginning to really get the word out.”

Share Your Stories of WWI, WWII . . . and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, or record the stories of others, by calling toll free (800) 315-8300 or visiting the project’s Web site at Information is also available at AARP’s Web site,, and at project partner and MilitaryLifestyle at

November 2002


Fort McHenry Birthpla Story and Photos by SSG Alberto Betancourt


AILBOATS glide lazily over the tranquil waters of Baltimore Harbor. And on a nearby hillside is a starshaped brick fort, above which a huge 18th-century American flag proudly flies. Fort McHenry is the birthplace of the American national anthem. The valiant defense of the fort and the harbor by American forces during the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner.” “The site is full of history,” said Paul Plamann, a park ranger who’s worked at Fort McHenry for more than 35 years. “We’re not only considered a national park, but also a national monument and historic shrine. Of America’s 385 national parks, we’re the only one with this special designation.” “Surprisingly, most people who visit the fort don’t realize our national anthem was written during the 1800s,” Plamann said. “Most think it dates to the Revolutionary War or even the Civil War.” It was, in fact, a battle that took place Sept. 13 and 14, 1814, and the flag flying over the fort at that time, that inspired the young poet-lawyer to pen his famous words. “Key didn’t know at the time that he was writing his country’s national anthem,” Plamann said. “In fact, he never knew. He died before the words became the anthem.” Today silent cannons guard the fort’s exterior walls, and living-history volunteers are re-enactors and tour guides for the more than 600,000 people who visit the 43-acre park each year. Wearing an 18th-century uniform, Wayne Cofiell stands at attention in front of one of the barracks inside the fort. Cofiell has been a living-history volunA replica of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key flies over Fort McHenry. The original flag is being restored at the Smithsonian Institution.



of the


American National Anthem Re-enactors sit inside the enlisted men’s barracks while a colleague talks with visitors.

teer for more than three years. The University of Baltimore history major and local firefighter said he volunteers as part of a school research project, and also because of his family’s historical connection to the war. “A cousin on my mother’s side was in the Maryland militia and fought the British,” he said. Cofiell said Americans have to understand the country’s past in order to understand its present. “We represent soldiers of the past, and by doing that show respect for soldiers of today,” he said. Both Plamann and Cofiell encourage soldiers everywhere to visit the fort or any national park associated with an historic battlefield. “You can read about them, see them on TV, but when you visit one of the historic sites it leaves a lasting impression,” said Plamann. “It allows you to visualize events that took place hundreds of years ago and helps you understand how those events continue to shape our lives.”


















Fort McHenry living history volunteer Nicholas Ross demonstrates the loading of one of the fort’s large cannons.

Americans have to understand the country’s past in order to understand its present.


Living history volunteers such as Monty Phair (left) and Nicholas Ross give visitors a glimpse of how life once was at the fort. November 2002


The Army’s


Story and Photos by Steve Harding

At 950 feet APSRON 4’s Watsonclass LMSRs (main photo) are the second-largest ships in the Navy’s inventory. Yet despite their size, the squadron’s vessels fit easily within Diego Garcia’s huge lagoon (inset photo). 24



November 2002


U.S. Navy photo

Diego Garcia’s well-protected lagoon — some 13 miles long and 6.5 miles wide — is an ideal anchorage for APSRON 4.


IDING calmly at anchor in the wide lagoon, the huge Navy cargo ships don’t look at all menacing. But packed within them are enough armored vehicles and other equipment to equip an entire Army heavy brigade. The vessels — collectively known as Afloat Prepositioning Ships Squadron 4, or APSRON 4 — are based at the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia [see page 30]. Among the newest and most advanced ships in the nation’s inventory, they are the key component in a vast force-projection partnership among the Army, Navy, civilian contractors and merchant mariners. The goal of that partnership is to be able to put two armored battalions and two mechanized battalions — plus support elements — ashore anywhere in the world within 15 days of notification to do so. It’s a tall order, but one that APSRON 4 was specifically created to handle.

Army’s ability to preposition the necessary materiel ashore,” he said. The establishment of APSRON 4 Positioning the equipment aboard and its basing at Diego Garcia resulted fast ships at a forward location was the from a post-Gulf War strategic mobil- logical solution, Zurey said, because it ity study that examined in detail the eliminates reliance on relatively slow problems which arose during the sealift deliveries from the continental deployment stage of that conflict, said United States to overseas theaters, Navy Capt. Edward C. Zurey, the while also avoiding the high cost of the squadron’s commander. large airlift required to quickly deliver “The study determined the types of vital equipment. And it was an alequipment the Army would need to ready-proven concept, he added, have forward-deployed. While some of because the Marine Corps had been this equipment could be stored on land, prepositioning vehicles and equipment the study noted that the continuing aboard ships for several years. closure of U.S. bases overseas would The study ultimately resulted in the have a detrimental effect on the creation of Army Prepositioned Set 3, b



Because the LMSRs’ crews live aboard the anchored-out vessels, mail and other items are delivered by small craft and winched aboard.

or APS-3, the afloat component of the larger Army Prepositioned Stocks program. APS-3 encompasses a staggering range of materiel, including combat and tactical wheeled vehicles; trucks and Humvees; Army watercraft; portopening and cargo-handling equipment; artillery; ammunition; quartermaster and mortuary-affairs assets; and thousands of cargo containers packed with tools, spare parts, and medical and food supplies. All of this materiel is currently stowed aboard the 15 ships of the Combat Prepositioning Force, a component of the Navy’s Military Soldiers

Each of APSRON 4’s ships is packed with materiel, including hundreds of vehicles chained down within a series of cargo holds.

APS-3 encompasses a staggering range of materiel, including combat and tactical wheeled vehicles; trucks and Humvees ... Sealift Command. While the watercraft and most of the sustainment materiel are carried aboard leased civilian ships based on Guam, in the western Pacific, it is the Diego Garcia-based ships of APSRON 4 that carry APS-3’s combat power, Zurey said.


b HE

APSRON 4 is built around a class of advanced cargo ships known as Large, Medium Speed, Roll-on/rolloff, or LMSR, vessels. Seven are currently on hand, with an eighth to be delivered this fall, and all are named after Army Medal of Honor recipients. November 2002

At 950 feet the Watson-class LMSRs are only about 90 feet shorter than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and, except for that type of vessel, are the largest ships in the Navy’s inventory. Each LMSR can carry some 1,100 pieces of rolling stock, including Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Paladin self-propelled howitzers, Humvees, trucks and trailers, all of which are chained down in a series of cavernous holds. The vehicles are loaded and unloaded via large stern and side ramps, while two large deck-mounted cargo cranes are used to dispatch other materiel. “These are the most advanced ships

in the Military Sealift Command,” said Capt. George W. Hynes, the civilian master of the USNS Watson, which was the first of the LMSRs built and is now APSRON 4’s flagship. “They’re fast and very maneuverable, despite their size and huge cargo capacity.” Just as important, Hynes said, is the fact that the LMSRs are highly automated. “Each ship has state-of-the-art electronics for navigation, engine operation, communications, and fire detection and suppression,” he said. “That means that each ship, despite its size, can operate with a crew of just 28 people.” 27

protection, for example — our main job is to ensure that the ships are ready to sail when called on,” he said. The civilian mariners on each of “Our charter is to be ready to get the Diego Garcia-based LMSRs work for the Maersk Line Ltd., the Virginia- underway and go anywhere within 24 based contractor tasked with operating hours, and we’re expected to be able to get there at maximum speed,” Zurey the ships. The mariners work a four-months- said. “We test our ability to do that in a number of ways, including getting the on, four-months-off schedule. When ships underway once a month for they’re on, they work set watches, seven days a week, and handle every- about four days at a time. That allows thing from navigation to engine-room us to conduct engineering trials, at-sea training and so on. operations to food service. “The bottom line for APSRON 4 is While the mariners operate the LMSRs, Zurey and his 12 military and to deliver the embarked equipment where it needs to go, when it needs to civilian APSRON 4 staff members ensure that the ships are always ready be there,” Zurey said. “The troops then just have to meet us at the off-load to deploy. “The Navy personnel handle all the location and ‘marry up’ with the many details involved in planning for, equipment. They don’t have to bring and executing, APSRON 4’s mission,” much with them beyond their personal gear, since we carry virtually all the said Lt. Carmelo W. Nicastro Jr., the equipment they’ll need.” squadron’s operations officer. “While that encompasses all the day-to-day details common to any bMAINTAINERS AND SOLDIERS military organization — coordination While it’s up to APSRON 4’s with other commands, logistical sailors and civilian mariners to get the planning, personnel actions and force




LMSRs’ vital cargoes to the appointed place quickly and efficiently, ensuring that the equipment is ready to roll when it gets ashore is up to contract maintenance teams and soldiers. Each LMSR has an assigned contractor team of seven mechanics and a supply specialist, all of whom are on renewable one-year contracts with Texas-based DynCorp. “We ensure that the equipment runs properly and is safe when it is turned over to the Army,” said Gary Ridley, Watson’s lead DynCorp mechanic. “We inspect the vehicles frequently, and every one gets started up about every six months. We maintain the equipment and do any repairs that are required.” The job can be challenging, Ridley said, given that the vehicles are packed very closely together within each ship’s seven vast parking decks. “The way some of the vehicles are stowed, it’s difficult to visually inspect certain areas,” he said. “And though we do a lot of minor fixes, we simply can’t do the major repairs that are done Soldiers

“The whole idea is that this equipment has to be ready for war soon after it rolls off the ship, and we help guarantee that.” “We think we have one of the most important jobs in the Army,” Fick said. “We’re taking care of more than 8,000 pieces of rolling stock valued at more than $6 billion. The whole idea is that this equipment has to be ready for war soon after it rolls off the ship, and we help guarantee that.”

“We also work very closely with the Army’s Central Command and Military Traffic Management Cmd., and with the Bahrain-based 831st Transportation Battalion,” Zurey said. “And, of course, we work arm-in-arm Though large vessels by any standards, with the U.S. Army Materiel APSRON 4’s LMSRs are highly autoCommand’s Combat Equipment mated and can thus be operated by Group-Afloat, at Goose Creek, S.C.; relatively small crews. they’re the people who are ultimately in a motorpool ashore. bA TEAM EFFORT responsible for taking care of the cargo Though the ships of APSRON 4 But we know how we carry.” are painted Navy gray, the squadron’s important this mission The success of the team approach is, and we do whatever it mission is to project Army combat to APSRON 4’s mission has been power quickly and efficiently over vast validated in the real world, Zurey said, takes to make sure this equipment is ready when distances. The organization’s success most recently when the squadron’s in that role, its members say, is the it’s needed.” USNS Watkins deployed from Diego result of close coordination. Validating the equipGarcia to Kuwait. There it offloaded “This has been a team effort from ment’s readiness is the its cargo of vehicles and equipment to prime mission for the sold- the beginning,” Nicastro said. “The support Exercise Vigilant Hammer, cooperation among the Army, the iers of the Combat Equipafter which the ship took aboard other ment Detachment, Diego Garcia, who Navy, the mariners and the contractors vehicles for return to the United States. is fantastic. We’ve been able to perform Care of Supplies in Storage, “All the people who have a stake in quickly find common ground, and or COSIS, functions for the cargo. APSRON 4’s mission — Army, Navy, “We go aboard the ships frequently we’ve been able to fill gaps in each merchant mariners and contractors — other’s knowledge or experience.” to inspect the vehicles, and provide are focused on one goal: ensuring that And that same close relationship whatever technical and logistical the Army combat power embarked on also exists with the other members of assistance the contract maintainers these ships is ready when and where the team outside Diego Garcia, Zurey might need,” said SFC Larry Fick, it’s needed,” Zurey said. “That’s the added. contracting officer representative for whole reason we’re here.” the LMSRs and one of four soldiers on the COSIS team. The Army requires the embarked equipment to be at the highest possible state of readiness, Fick said. “Contractors can’t always fix everything aboard ship, but as long as they have the necessary parts on hand and ready to go when they download the ship, they can fix most problems very quickly,” he said. “The cargo should be close to 100 percent mission-capable within about a week of the ship’s arrival in port.” Overseeing the care and maintenance of the varied equipment embarked on the LMSRs is a job the Capt. George W. Hynes studies a naviCOSIS soldiers obviously take very gation aid as he takes the Watson out of the lagoon and into the open sea. seriously. November 2002


Diego Garcia’s isolation helps protect its natural beauty, which is a major benefit of life on the remote Indian Ocean island, residents say.

Island Focus Story and Photo by Steve Harding


T first glance, Diego Garcia might seem too remote to be an important U.S. military installation. Lying some 900 miles southwest of the southern tip of India, and about halfway between Africa and Indonesia, the island seems a long way from anywhere. Yet its location is one of Diego Garcia’s best features, officials say, for 30

it’s well within aircraft and ship range of several regions that are strategically important to the United States — including the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia. b

An Ideal Location

Shaped like a horseshoe and said by many residents to look from the air like a large human footprint, Diego

Garcia is a coral atoll stretching about 34 miles from tip to tip. The low-lying island covers about 10.5 square miles, is covered by coconut palms and other tropical vegetation, and encompasses a lagoon that is some 13 miles long and 6.5 miles across at its widest point. Discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century, since 1815 Diego Garcia has been governed and policed by Great Britain as the British Indian Soldiers

Ocean Territory. The United States leases space for an airfield and other military facilities, and uses the lagoon as a harbor for the 15 ships carrying prepositioned equipment and supplies for the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. The lagoon is an ideal harbor for the LMSRs and other vessels, said Navy Capt. Edward C. Zurey, commander of Afloat Prepositioning Ships Squadron 4. “The squadron was initially based in the Arabian Gulf, but moved to Diego Garcia two years ago because the atoll offers excellent anchorage and great force protection, and because its location allows us to get to any part of our area of operations within a fairly short time,” he said. “And on top of all that, this island is a very interesting place to live.” November 2002

“If you make the effort to get out as much as possible, to see things and meet the other people on the island, your tour here can be a really positive experience.” Not Your Average Base


Given Diego Garcia’s remoteness, residents say that living on the island has both its ups and downs. “The fact that it’s so isolated is actually one of Diego Garcia’s best points, in terms of outdoor activities,”

said SFC Dale Buck, one of the technical representatives assigned to the island’s Army COSIS team. The nearby waters teem with marine life, he said, and the lagoon and uncrowded beaches are ideal for sailing, swimming and snorkeling. “In terms of off-duty time, things don’t get much better than here on Diego Garcia,” agreed CPT Jacob H. Freeman, commander of a Japan-based 599th Transportation Group Deployment Support Team working on the island at the time of Soldiers’ visit. “The facilities and the morale, welfare and recreation programs are great, and there are so many different events to keep you occupied when you’re not working.” Though some Air Force and Army Reserve personnel temporarily assigned to the island to support Operation Enduring Freedom activities are housed in a vast tent city near the airfield, most permanent-party military members live in standard dormitoryand barracks-style buildings. There are several dining facilities on the island, as well as clubs, chapels, a bank, a library, a small hospital and a post exchange-like “ship’s store” open to all residents. “I’ve been on Diego Garcia for 15 months, and I wish they’d let me stay here until I retire,” said SSG Dhana Belding, another COSIS team member. “The island is very nice, and most of the services — like haircuts, cleaning and laundry — are free. The only real downside is that it’s an unaccompanied tour.” For most island residents, the quality of life on Diego Garcia is what they make of it, said Navy Lt. Carmelo W. Nicastro Jr., APSRON 4’s operations officer. “If you make the effort to get out as much as possible, to see things and meet the other people on the island, your tour here can be a really positive experience,” Nicastro said. “And if you make the most of your time here, you’ll really miss it when you leave.” 31

TOMORROW’S Classroom Classroom

Story by MAJ Stephan Pacard


UPILS from Thornburg Middle School in Spotsylvania, Va., sat at rapt attention, staring at the images of Earth being shown on the monitor at the front of their classroom. “Many people say Earth from space looks like a big blue marble,” a voice said. “How would you describe it? “Come on, Thornburg. Let’s hear from you,” the voice cajoled when there was no response. “A ball?” one student ventured. “Yes, it does look like a ball,” the voice responded, and now the speaker’s image came onscreen as she asked for other descriptions. One by one, the children responded, and Cheri Jurls, a distance learning education teacher working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, continued to encourMAJ Stephan Pacard is the National Guard Bureau’s policy and liaison officer. Tech. Sgt. Gerold Gamble is assigned to the NGB.

Photos by Tech. Sgt. Gerold Gamble

age participation. Then students from Hebrew Day Institute of Silver Spring, Md., joined in the conversation, from a facility several miles away. “I think it looks icy — like a snow globe,” said 12year-old Hebrew Day student Daniella Bardack. “That’s great,” Jurls said. She worked patiently with the children at both locations, and her audiences responded with enthusiasm, notwithstanding the fact that she was more than 1,500 miles from either classroom. The hour-long interactive session, conducted in April, was a test of an emerging partnership between NASA and the National Guard Bureau to deliver space and science educational programs nationwide. The session marked the first time pupils at different locations simultaneously participated in NGB-distributed NASA educational programming, opening the way to reaching thousands of students across the country in the near future.

A New Way to Learn

Virginia and Maryland schoolchildren were the first to try out an emerging National Guard Bureau-NASA partnership program intended to increase children’s interest in science. 32

The students confessed they were a little nervous at first, having left their comfortable school environments to work in unfamiliar classrooms equipped with computers, microphones, and headsets — and the video cameras the children would look into when it came time to respond to a question. Before long, however, they were eagerly raising their hands to interact with the NASA instructors — and with students at other locations.


Proofs of Concept A Wider Reach One of NASA’s missions is to share knowledge gained from its space programs with U.S. citizens, particularly the nation’s young people. Working closely with the space agency’s scientists, engineers and astronauts, NASA educators have created a variety of educational materials and programming for live interactive sessions and television broadcasts. What they lacked, though, were mechanisms to permit direct, face-to-face interaction with larger audiences at multiple locations. “NASA’s education division has been developing programs to generate interest in math and science among middle- and highschool students, and to attract them to careers in these fields,” said Susan Anderson, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center Office of Education in Houston, Texas. “The National Guard Bureau, through its Distributive Training Technology Project, will enable us to reach a much wider audience — including students without access to technological resources, who might not otherwise be able to participate in these programs.” DTTP is a distributed-learning initiative that has revolutionized how the Guard promotes military readiness, providing training for soldiers while simultaneously reducing costs and improving morale. The DTTP network consists of more than 300 classrooms, located in state-designated areas such as armories, schools and libraries. Plans call for more than 450 classroom installations by 2003, with the goal of maintaining a classroom within 50 miles of virtually every soldier in the country.

The three demonstrations of the system that have so far been conducted have engaged students in different parts of the country, and more such exercises are being planned. The first demonstration took place in March. Working from the DTTP classroom at the Regional Training Institute in Austin, Texas, students from Kealing Junior High explored “Space Farming” with educators from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the program originated. The second demonstration, involving Thornburg, Hebrew Day and Austin’s Bartlett High School, took place in April and had students discussing “Imagery from Space.” Using satellite images and interactive graphics, the educators led the students through discussions about Earth’s geological history, cataclysmic events such as volcanic eruptions and meteor strikes, and the long-term effects of human activity on the planet. In the third demonstration, held in May, fourth-grade students from Springwoods Elementary School in Woodbridge, Va., explored “The Effects of Space on the Human Body,” covering topics such as bone and muscle degradation, cardiovascular system changes and space sickness, and exploring ways to prevent or mitigate such problems. “This is definitely the direction to go for future education,” said 12-year-old Rachael Picard from Thornburg. “Talking live with someone who’s actually ‘been there and done that’ makes it so much more fun to learn.”

The children viewed images of Earth from space and could ask questions during a one-hour, interactive session with a NASA distance-learning teacher.

November 2002


Special Assignment:

BELIZE Belmopan


HONDURAS Tegucigalpa

Guatemala San Salvador





Story and Photos by Tech. Sgt. G. A. Volb, USAF


UCKED away among banana trees and iguanas, in the northwest corner of Honduras, is one of those “special” Army assignments. It’s where a small contingent of soldiers juggle an eclectic assortment of real-world missions and exercises under the auspices of Joint Task Force Bravo. Based at little-known Enrique Soto Cano Air Base — just outside Comayaqua, the third largest city in the country — JTF-Bravo routinely participates in multi-national exercises and humanitarian-aid and drug-interdiction missions.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. G. A. Volb is assigned to the JTF-Bravo public affairs office.

Roatan Island off the Honduran coast is a popular travel destination for service members assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo at Soto Cano. 34




w Maca n a p Co


n Jos


The recipe for success here is as varied as the mission itself, calling for a mix of about 550 soldiers, airmen and marines. Most of them arrive at the “outpost” wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into. Quickly, they learn the challenges are well complemented by a vast array of off-duty programs and a thriving social life. As an added benefit, the dollar still goes a long way in Honduras. And though Soto Cano is considered remote — one reason being that there is no fixed plumbing in the living facilities — most of the service members don’t seem to mind the short trek to the showers and latrine. “We’re called ‘a nonpermanent force,’” said CSM Andre Booker. “Among the reasons is the lack of permanent structures and plumbing on base, in keeping with an agreement between the United States and Honduras.” “Not too many people know about Soto Cano, but once they hear about it, they’re intrigued,” said JTFBravo commander COL Michael Okita. Honduras offers colorful wildlife, historic buildings, the ruins of lost civilizations and virtually untouched wilderness.

November 2002


An assignment to the base offers soldiers the chance to work with the other services. And most personnel leave with a better understanding of how the different services work together to accomplish a mission, he said. “That’s the real value of coming to Honduras. “One of the reasons most people don’t know about Soto Cano until they’re assigned here, is because we’re not making headlines,” Okita said. “But we continue to be a support base for American military operations in the theater, with primary responsi-


Chur ch o f Co pan

ruins n a y a M

Yajoa Waterfalls 35

“One of the reasons most people don’t know about Soto Cano until they’re assigned here, is because we’re not making headlines.” BELIZE





Guatemala San Salvador




San Jos

Soldiers check each other’s gear before rapeling from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during training at Soto Cano.

bility to our joint operations area, which includes six countries in Central America.” Soto Cano supports the commander of U.S. Southern Command in carrying out any military operations in Central America. The broad range of missions includes responding to natural disasters, other crisis situations and humanitarian-aid contingencies. Additionally, units at Soto Cano participate in scheduled engineering and construction programs, and medical-readiness training exercises that provide care to local villagers. Besides Honduras, Soto Cano’s area of responsibility includes Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. “That’s 172,000 square miles of territory and some 30 million people. It’s an impoverished region of the world, but rich in history,” Okita said. “Our presence provides many things to the commander in chief responsible for the Central America area of operations,” he added. “We support training, operate the only military airfield in the region capable of 36

accommodating a C-5 transport, and are a valuable transition point for people and supplies. “This has really been an eyeopener for me,” Okita said. “My first 21 years were primarily involved with battalion-level operations. Here you have the opportunity to work with other services and agencies, especially during disaster responses.” JTF-Bravo has recently been involved in such missions as New Horizons, a program to build schools and other basic infrastructure in Nicaragua and El Salvador; Central Skies, providing counter-drug support to local law-enforcement agencies; and medical readiness training exercises. Day-to-day



training events for the Army focus on common soldier skills, and include marksmanship training and rappeling. “For the average soldier, the challenges of an assignment to Soto Cano can be cultural as well as mission-oriented,” said Booker. “You really have to know your job, be able to work in a multi-service environment and, more importantly, a multinational atmosphere. Most soldiers quickly learn this is one of those unique assignments where they’ll actually get the chance to do their jobs. And they leave here glad they had that chance.” “We may be a temporary unit, technically, but we’ve been here 20 years and have a proven track record,” Okita said. SPC M. William Petersen (both)

Tower rapeling (left, above) and parachuting from a CH-47 Chinook (main photo) are among the types of training Soto Cano-based soldiers undertake. Soldiers

by SSG Alberto Betancourt Around the Services Compiled from service reports

Navy SECRETARY of the Navy Gordon R. England ordered all Navy ships to fly the “First Navy Jack” in place of the Union Jack for the duration of the war on terrorism. The First Navy Jack is commonly known as the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag because it depicts a moving rattlesnake on a field of 13 horizontal red and white stripes.

PH2 David A. Levy, USN

Air Force

General Dynamics

THE Air Force women’s softball team scored a 9-0 win in this year’s Armed Forces Women’s Softball Championship. Led by head coach Master Sgt. William Hardy of Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., the team stripped last year’s champion, Army, of its crown.

November 2002

Coast Guard THE Coast Guard proclaimed Morgan City, La., a “Coast Guard City.” The designation recognizes cities that have demonstrated a longstanding and enduring relationship with, and commitment to, Coast Guard members and their families.

Marines MARINES from the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, tested the new Mk-47 40mm advanced lightweight grenade machine gun at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The weapon is an advanced version of the Mk-19 grenade launcher. Some of the weapon’s features include a lightweight video-sighting system, laser range finder and electronic elevation mechanism.


Sharp Shooters Photos by Jonas N. Jordan T

HE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Savannah District’s mission includes military construction, civil works, regulatory oversight and real estate management. The district serves 13 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North and South Carolina, building training facilities and other projects ranging from schools, hospitals and clinics to housing, commissaries, airfields, hangars, equipment shops and runways. Jonas N. Jordan, the district’s photogra(Above) Work crews harvest timber at Fort Stewart, Ga. pher, captured some of those projects in the following images.


(Below) A Corps of Engineers dredger works in Savannah Harbor.


(Left) The Savannah District’s jackup barge Explorer does geological sampling off the Georgia coast. (Below) Boats participating in a sailing regatta catch an afternoon breeze at Lake Hartwell, Ga.

Standard photo submissions for Soldiers Sharp Shooters can be mailed to: Photo Editor, Soldiers, 9325 Gunston Road, Ste. S108, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5581. Photo submissions of digital images should be directed to [email protected] All submissions must include an introductory paragraph and captions.

November 2002


Sharp Shooters (Left) A 200-ton replacement rotor is moved into place at Georgia’s Hartwell Power Plant, one of the Corps of Engineers’ few external powerplants.

Water thunders through the spillway gates at Hartwell Dam. 40


Photos by

Jonas N. Jordan

Container ships crowd Savannah Harbor. November 2002


Focus on People Compiled by Heike Hasenauer

“I am the most ‘waivered’ person ever to wear an Army uniform,” DeVries said. “I had an age waiver and a health waiver. They went through all this stuff to make it happen.”




an ate th tter l e B : s eVrie



FTER a career as a world-renowned, pioneer heart surgeon, one would think Dr. William C. DeVries could kick back and enjoy some golf. On the contrary, DeVries decided to serve in the armed forces. At 57, the doctor who implanted the first permanent artificial heart, in Seattle dentist Barney Clark, signed on at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a Defense Department contractor — and then joined the Army Reserve. On Dec. 29, 2000, DeVries was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel. And on Jan. 18, 2002, he became one of the oldest officers to graduate from the Army Medical Department basic officer course. “The story goes back to when I was born at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital in 1943,” DeVries said. “My dad was a physician and surgeon, and a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. “Right after I was born, he went to sea,” DeVries said. “Six months later, he was killed in the Battle of Hollandia in the South Pacific.” DeVries was “a sole surviving son” in military terms, but he didn’t know it until he

tried to join the military during the Vietnam War. But he was not destined to serve his country at that time. As a sole surviving son, military officials said, he couldn’t be deployed to an active theater. Because of an influx of draftees, they told him, they didn’t need him. The young doctor’s subsequent medical career involved breakthroughs in modern medicine. In the early 1980s, he was instrumental in creating the artificial heart dubbed the “Jarvik 7.” Between 1982 and 1987 he implanted the Jarvik 7 in four patients who collectively lived more than 1,300 days. DeVries returned to traditional cardiovascular surgery in 1988 and retired a decade later. Two years ago DeVries golfed with MG Evan Gaddis, then commander of the Army Recruiting Command. “I was 56, had a nice home near Fort Knox, Ky., and was cutting back my practice,” he said. “I was kind of disillusioned with medicine. Everybody was worried about their retirements, and the fun had gone out of it.” Gaddis invited DeVries to accompany him to Washington, D.C., where he introduced him to the WRAMC commander. On the return flight, Gaddis made his pitch. “He said, ‘Someone with your talent and ability really could help the Army.’ “I started feeling guilty,” DeVries said. In October, DeVries joined Walter Reed’s Department of Surgery as a consultant. Still, Gaddis wasn’t satisfied. The general told the doctor: “There’s one more thing you need to do. You need to wear green.” “I am the most ‘waivered’ person ever to wear an Army uniform,” DeVries said. “I had an age waiver and a health waiver. They went through all this stuff to make it happen. I didn’t really appreciate it too much until I went to the Officer Basic Course and it became a major deal. They didn’t quite know how to handle me.” — Linda D. Kozaryn, American Forces Press Service Soldiers


GM Julius W. Chan of the 82nd Airborne Division Support Command’s Headquarters and HQs. Company at Fort Bragg, N.C., has been performing magic for more than a decade. Although many of his shows are directed toward young orphans and children who are hospitalized, Chan, who has two sons of his own, performs shows for adults and military units as well. He currently gives one magic show on the first of every month at Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center, during payday activities. When Chan is on stage, he’s humorous and warm, said SGM Charles J. Chan, the magician’s older brother and chief medical NCO of HHC, XVIII Airborne Corps. “He helps put the audience at ease and encourages them to participate.” The best thing about performing magic is the resulting expressions on the children’s faces, Julius Chan said. “I like to make a difference in the kids’ lives. And, I think I do; when I finish a performance, they don’t want me to go.” Once Chan hosted a magic show during a unit Christmas party to benefit the homeless. In return for the show, he asked members of the audience to donate an old toy or clothing item. “Not only did he make the Christmas party a success, but he also made many homeless people happy on Christmas day,” Charles Chan said. — PFC Heather Boyne, 82nd Abn. Div. Public Affairs Office

Chan: Performing magic. November 2002

Easley: Mrs. Hawaii.


ara Easley has a very specific outlook on life: “I want to be a dedicated wife, committed to a lifelong relationship in marriage.” It was good enough to convince a panel of judges that she should be crowned “Mrs. Hawaii International” for 2002. The 24-year-old wife of 1LT Brian Easley, executive officer of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Pacific Ocean Division, represented Hawaii in the national competition in August, in Tennessee. A second-grade teacher at Lanakila Baptist Elementary School in Waipahu, Easley hopes her victory will help set an example for other military wives who are considering getting involved in the community. She selected arts education in Hawaii as her “platform” area of emphasis as the reigning Mrs. Hawaii. Easley will work with pageant administrators to take the message to the classroom when she visits other schools to help host art appreciation days. Easley feels fortunate to have been selected to represent the state, since she was the only contestant who is a military wife. “There is a tremendous feeling of acceptance to receive such an honor,” she said. “I take my selection very seriously and will try to give something back to the community.” — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Ocean Division, PAO

Easley feels fortunate to have been selected to represent the state, since she was the only contestant who is a military wife.


Postmarks Compiled by SSG Alberto Betancourt Paula J. Randall-Pagan

From Army Posts Around the World

Fort Hood, Texas

Hood’s USO Supports Troops SINCE 1941 the USO has been supporting U.S. troops by entertaining them while they’re deployed, or by providing a “home-away-from-home” feeling at one of hundreds of USO hospitality centers worldwide. The recent opening of a USO facility at Fort Hood, Texas, marks the beginning of a new era for the organization, which typically has placed its facilities in civilian airports. “Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our country, hundreds of troops have deployed from Fort Hood,” said Dan Green, president of the installation’s USO and a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army. “It was important to create a support element for

Fort Benning, Ga.

The “van” is actually a 28foot-long trailer pulled by a commercial truck, both of which are adorned with eyecatching Army graphics. And SOLDIERS in the U.S. Army although the ASAP showcases Marksmanship Unit are usually the Army’s best shooters, known for their ability to bring members of the public can also home gold medals for the Army test their skills by shooting at in shooting competitions. How- targets using specially modified ever, the world-class shooters pistols or rifles. have been helping the Army The ASAP van is essenwith a different mission. tially a mobile shooting arcade During the recent National that provides a safe venue for Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, USAMU members and Ohio, several team members prospective recruits to interact took time away from the firing in a fun environment, Pullins range to support the Army’s said. Toledo, Ohio, Recruiting CPT Michael C. Wise, Company by using the Army commander of the Toledo Shooting Adventure Package Recruiting Co., said the van to provide marksmanship Delayed Entry Program training to more than 40 members really enjoyed the Delayed Entry Program event, and that several of them members. seemed very interested in SFC Steven V. Pullins, getting more marksmanship USAMU Recruiting Command training. liaison, said the ASAP van is “The marksmanship team the unit’s premier recruiting showed them something new tool. and different that we can’t pro-

Marksmanship as a Recruiting Tool


vide,” he said. “I would definitely recommend that other recruiting stations use the ASAP van. It’s a great way to familiarize recruits with the Army’s weapons in a safe, fun and challenging way.” Earlier this year, Georgia recruiters brought more than 35 DEP members to meet the team at its home station at Fort Benning and use the ASAP. “They really loved it,” said SFC Kelly Price, a recruiting station commander. “They said they couldn’t wait to fire real weapons and felt that this training would help them in marksmanship in Basic Combat Training.” Pullins said USAMU’s recruiting-assistance events help recruiters expand their markets and reinforce the contacts they’ve already made. — Paula J. RandallPagan, USAMU Public Affairs Office

SSG Alberto Betancourt

SFC Theresa E. DeWitt of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit gives pistol marksmanship tips to Delayed Entry Program member Jameelah Logan at Camp Perry, Ohio.


PFC Heather Boyne

a lot about each other, which builds confidence on both sides that we can successfully fight together.” Soldiers on both sides said they look forward to training together again. “We appreciate the United States giving us this opportunity to train with them,” said Sanchez. “And we look forward to American soldiers visiting us so we can share some of our training with them.” — PFC Heather Boyne, 82nd Abn. Div. An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper receives Ecuador- PAO an jump wings during a wings-exchange ceremony following the coalition jump. Fort Bragg, N.C.

Coalition Jump at Fort Bragg THE motivating yell “commando” echoed through the sky above Fort Bragg, N.C., as Ecuadoran special forces soldiers leaped from a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft onto Sicily Drop Zone during a recent airborne coalition exercise with 82nd Airborne Division troops. The exercise was part of the Small Unit Familiarization Program, which is geared toward establishing coalitiontraining events between the Army and Latin American countries. “The program promotes an understanding between foreign troops,” said 2LT Todd Willert, scout platoon leader in the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment. “We can exchange tactics, so if we ever have to fight together we can integrate more easily.” The training program, which takes place during the Dean Burkett, a USO volunteer, offers doughnuts to Fort Hood family members who were saying good-bye to deploying soldiers.

November 2002

second quarter of each fiscal year, allows Latin American forces to train with soldiers in the United States and U.S. soldiers to train in Latin America. Willert said that besides two airborne operations, the soldiers honed their skills in troop movement and link-up operations, and completed obstacle courses and weapons familiarization. Although the Ecuadoran soldiers participate in similar training events at home, they cited many differences in the way they trained with the Americans, said Ecuadoran Lt. Wilson Sanchez. “We train in a jungle environment,” he said. “We prepare ourselves to fight in guerilla fashion with an enemy who is not very organized.” He also said they jump out of smaller aircraft and with fewer people than Americans do, and primarily perform freefall jumps, which is jumping from higher altitudes with no static lines hooked up to the aircraft. “The fact that each army trains differently is the best part of this exercise,” said SSG William J. Colon of Company C, 3rd Bn., 325th Inf. “We learn

PFC Heather Boyne

them. Now, we’re the only USO on a military installation.” With only one paid employee, the Fort Hood USO depends on community volunteers for support. “This is an opportunity for our community to show its support for the troops and their families,” Green said. Rich Ross, director of Fort Hood’s USO, said it’s been pretty busy, but everyone has lent a hand. “Whether they’re serving hot dogs during the day or doughnuts in the early morning, community volunteers have really reached out and supported us,” Ross said. “We’re here to help in any way we can,” said Green. “Fort Hood is our community, and anyone coming through here will receive a hearty welcome or a warm goodbye.” — SSG Alberto Betancourt

1SG Raymond Cabacar of HHC, 3rd Bn., 325th Inf., watches Sgt. 2nd Class Juan C. Huerta of the Ecuadoran army jump from a 34-foot tower at Fort Bragg.



Through Artist’s Eyes Story by Beth Reece Art by MSG Henrietta M. Snowden (Ret.)

“Taking the Point”

H MSG Henrietta M. Snowden (Ret.) was the Army’s first female combat artist. She used watercolor and color pencils to share with others her appreciation for soldiers’ dedication.

enrietta M. Snowden can freeze time. And during her tenure as the Army’s official artist, it was a talent she used to pay creative testimony to soldiers’ experiences in both peace and war. “My art is influenced by a deep appreciation for soldiers. They are so committed in all they do. I hope my paintings inspire others to value soldiers’ dedication,” said Snowden, who until her retirement last month was assigned to the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. Uniformed artists began documenting U.S. military missions during World War I, after the British had already discovered that using military artists aided morale. “Plus, it was a good form of advertisement,” said CMH art curator Renée Klish. CMH selects one new artist every three years to record soldiers’ endeavors through various media. Snowden favors watercolor and colored pencils, and occasionally adds oil pastel or ink for highlights and dimension.

Paul Disney



“Waiting to go to War, 2002”

“The General in the Desert”

“Waiting to Phone Home” “South of Ch’orwon”

xThe Whole Story Like a reporter, Snowden gathered soldiers’ stories by following them on deployments, during field exercises and in garrison environments. In early 2000 she spent 30 days lugging camera gear and sketchbooks around Kosovo before committing brush and ink to one of her first CMH projects, titled the “Kosovo Collection,” which can be viewed at Snowden/kosovo.htm. “I jumped on every available convoy so I could talk with soldiers about their parts of the mission,” Snowden said. She came home with 10 rolls of film, a stack of sketches and a diary of her observations. November 2002

“An Army of One”

“This is how I develop the story that will come through in my art,” she said. “I actually get to see the loneliness that soldiers sometimes experience, as well as their hard work, teamwork and pride. It inspires me.” A painting titled “Basic Training” is among Snowden’s latest works. Created in honor of women in uniform, it shows a young recruit lowcrawling through barbed wire with a rifle in her arms. “You can see the determination in her eyes, even though she’s obviously struggling,” Snowden said, explaining

“Peacekeeper” 47

Paintings by MSG Henrietta M. Snowden be somebody who asks, ‘Where’s the rest of the story?’ or ‘When are you going to finish this?” Refusing to let bad feedback block her creative flow, Snowden tells critics that her creations are products of “Early Morning Light” personal perception. how the painting focuses on Army artists are referred to the girl’s eyes. “I knew that as multimedia illustrators by if I had the eyes right, occupational specialty. They’re everything else would fall trained to develop and enhance into place.” graphic presentations. Because While many soldiers commanders are sometimes deployed to Saudi Arabia in “Basic Training” unaware of illustrators’ capaearly 1991 for Operation bilities, the artists are occasionDesert Storm, Snowden worked as a ally pushed aside or underused Secure the firing line. graphics manager for the Joint Chiefs in auxiliary jobs, Snowden said. of Staff at the Pentagon. Wanting to “Most illustrators extend their contribute to the war, she delved artistic abilities to the units they supthrough the photos that arrived daily port, such as designing T-shirts for a from combat photographers in the war unit run, or a caricature for a hail and zone. An overexposed image of GEN farewell,” she said. “This is the sort of Colin Powell caught her attention. job that requires soldiers to find their “The photograph was so incredown opportunities, to seek ways they ible. To me, it depicted what the desert can contribute — even if it means must have been like — red hot. I working on their own time.” wanted to convey this overexposed The titles “soldier” and “artist” may “New York Welcome” heat in my painting,” she said. seem contradictory to some. But if an The finished product shows Powell but an artist continues to define that artist’s creativity is influenced by grimacing from light so bright that his moment.” experience, who better to paint soldiers image fades off the canvas. CMH than a soldier, Snowden said. officials liked it so much, they added it “I was judged by the same stanto their permanent Army art collection dards and went through the same and invited Snowden to join a team of training as other soldiers, so I underMost artists fear criticism and cen- stood what they do and how they feel. I artists that would complete artworks sorship, but Snowden’s supervisors depicting soldiers returning home had an insider’s view,” she said. supported her desire to project the from Operation Desert Storm. Snowden retired in October after 20 truth. Even the blood she painted in Snowden believes art offers a years of illustrating and painting for some of her Kosovo works went ungreater freedom of expression than the Army. In the final phase of her challenged, she said. photography. Artists, she said, have career, she said, her artistic “flow” was “I wasn’t sure how that would be the liberty to expand a photograph’s just beginning to run smooth and conreceived, though blood was a very real stant. But a new artist, she said, will emotion through their choices of element of the deploymedium, color, brush stroke and help further enrich the ment,” she said. “That overall composition. collective image of the CMH owns more than everyone was supportive “The background I paint may not Army’s past. says a lot about the value 15,000 historical artworks, have been in the original photograph, “Henrietta should be some of which for example. Or I may choose to focus placed on the program.” very, very proud of her art,” “Still, everyone is an on just one part of the photograph,” Klish said. “It will help us can be viewed at she said. “A photographer can capture art critic,” she added. always remember where the only what occurs at a specific moment, “There’s always going to Army has been.”





2002 Message “Families have long provided strength and values to our Soldiers, our Army, and our Nation. We know we do not soldier alone.”


HANKSGIVING is a time for the Army Family to pause and enjoy a day of rest, relaxation, and fellowship. As families and friends gather, Thanksgiving also provides an opportunity to show our gratitude for the blessings we enjoy in a free and prosperous Nation. Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, veterans, retirees, and all of their families can take pride in the fact that their service and sacrifices preserve the privilege of living and working in a free society characterized by the highest ideals of liberty. Almost 140 years ago, Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.” Those words were spoken in 1863 during the Civil War. Our Nation emerged from that conflict stronger than ever before. And today, as The Army fights the war on terrorism as part of the joint team, those words still ring true as we enjoy the privileges and unparalleled freedoms that Soldiers have helped secure for over 227 years. And so on this special day, we offer our appreciation to you, the Soldiers and civilians of The Army, who serve our Nation with a level of devotion and selfless service unequalled in any other profession. You walk point for our Nation 24 hours a day, uphold freedom’s torch as you willingly step forward to defend the American people from all enemies and animate the values and principles that we hold dear— loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Thanksgiving is also a time for families to join in celebration and reunions. Families have long provided strength and values to our Soldiers, our Army, and our Nation. We know we do not soldier alone. For just as Soldiers sacrifice and dedicate themselves to honorable service, their families also sacrifice and make invaluable contributions to the Well-Being of our Army and our Nation. We give you our thanks, and a grateful nation thanks you as well. We are proud of The Army Family. And so to all of you, the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Army—uniformed and civilian—we offer special thanks for the difficult and dangerous work you are doing for the citizens of our great Nation. We wish all of you and your loved ones a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Eric K. Shinseki General, United States Army Chief of Staff

Thomas E. White Secretary of the Army

Robert F. Foley ROBERT F. Foley was a three-year letterman in basketball at the academy and the captain for the team during the 1962-1963 season. A Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, he retired in 2000 as a lieutenant general.


West Point — 200 Years of Athletic Excellence