PaYS Partner Shares Impact of Early Army Training with High School Audience at the Talladega NASCAR U.S. Army Strength for the Future (SFTF) Program
Photo right - Tracy Brown, Director Road Operations at Union Pacific Railroad Company speaks at the Talladega U.S. Army Strength for the Future (SFTF) Program
The Talladega NASCAR race always draws record crowds and the SFTF program had another memorable panel. PaYS Partner Tracy Brown, Director of Road Operations for the San Antonio Division, Union Pacific Railroad Company, has participated in several Army panels at motorsport events. Local high school students had the opportunity to listen to Brown share his career path and personal story of success.
Brown received his education in Motor Freight Technology from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has 18 years of railroad experience starting with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, eventually accepting a position with Union Pacific Railroad Company. He has worked in the capacity of train conductor, locomotive engineer, Manager Operating Practices, Manager Train Operations and is currently the Director of Road Operations in San Antonio. Brown told the group that he "directs the process to safely operate over 100 trains per day and the safety of over 1000 employees for the service unit". He credits his nine years in the Nebraska Army National Guard as providing a strong foundation of leadership. He pointed out to the high school audience he was their same age when he went to basic training and AIT at Fort Benning, GA the summer between his junior and senior year of high school.
San Antonio Army Recruiting Battalion and Union Pacific Railroad Company Take to the Rails
Photo left - Union Pacific Railroad Company hosted 60 Future Soldiers, recruiting officials and centers of influence
PaYS Partner Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) treated the Future Soldiers and Army Centers of Influence (COI) to an event on rails as they traveled from San Antonio to New Braunfels, TX. On October 25th a group of 60 participants made the round trip train ride. Future Soldiers spoke with UP personnel and saw firsthand what it takes to run a railroad. SSG David Gonzales took advantage of this rare opportunity and brought the Future Soldiers from San Antonio South Recruiting Station; SFC Ayauna Barnes brought Future Soldiers from the San Antonio Southeast Recruiting Station.
Photo left - SSG David Gonzales shares the ride with Future Soldiers from San Antonio South Recruiting Station.
Union Pacific employees operating the train were available to share their stories, technical expertise, and contributions to the train's safe and amazing journey. On hand to talk to the group were various train supervisors and safety personnel. Martly Bartlett, one of the many Grassroots COI's spent the day learning about how team work is vital to operating a successful railroad. MAJ James Douglas, Battalion Executive Officer and LTC David Grant, San Antonio Battalion Commander, shared with the group how working efficiently as a team is an important skill honed in the Army and valued by civilian employers.
Photo right - SFC Ayauna Barnes with Future Soldiers from the San Antonio Southeast Recruiting Station
Amazon Facilities Manager Shares his Lessons as an Army Officer at the Reading NHRA Race
Photo left - Driver Tony Schumacher, Roger Fenstermacher and SFC Rittel share the stage in prior to the Reading NHRA race.
Roger Fenstermacher a Facilities Manager for Amazon was featured on the Army's Youth & Education Services (Y.E.S.) program panel at the 5 Oct. Reading NHRA race. Fenstermacher shared with the attending high school and college-aged students how the Army positively impacted his life and career. Commissioned into the US Army in May 1997 as a Field Artillery Officer, Fenstermacher served 11 years in the Army at various locations across the world, including Oklahoma, Germany, and New York. He was a Platoon Leader, Assistant Operations Officer, Battery Commander, Operations Officer and Battalion Executive Officer and deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2004 to April 2005. "The Army taught me the skills and leadership principles that I use in my job every day" he told the group.
After leaving the Army in 2008 he started working for Amazon. "In my first 3 years I supervised various shifts responsible for shipping units to more than a dozen other buildings in the network" Fenstermacher said. "I love this fast paced, challenging environment. One of the best things about my job is I get to work very closely with my team to achieve success" he added. Fenstermacher admitted he learned how to achieve success during his time as a leader in the Army.
Photo right - Roger Fenstermacher, a Facilities Manager for Amazon, and Amazon's Project Manager, John Marion
Also attending the race and center of influence (COI) event was Amazon's Project Manager, John Marion. John is a 2004 United States Military Academy (USMA) graduate. He was assigned to 1 / 4 Aviation at Fort Hood and deployed to Iraq. He served as an assistant operations officer, platoon leader, battalion personnel officer, and senior battle captain on several battalion sized task forces covering thousands of square miles. He deployed twice to Iraq (06, 08-09) and once to Afghanistan (10-11). He left the Army after 7 years of service and transitioned straight into Amazon as an Area Manager.
456 - Dee Zee, Inc. - Minneapolis Bn - Dee Zee, Inc. has been a staple
brand in the truck accessory market since 1977. They are trusted to support the biggest names in the auto industry as their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) on a variety of products. Products include accent bars, bed mats, floor mats, front bed caps, grill guards, hood shields, mud flaps, rider trailers, running boards, side bed caps, side moldings, side rails, and tailgate protectors.
457 - Corpus Christi Police Department - San Antonio Bn - Corpus
Christi Police Department is a sophisticated police force with extensive career options in the uniform patrol division comprised of traffic, gang and four patrol districts.
458 - Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc. - Cleveland Bn - Cliffs Natural
Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company and ranks #477 on the Fortune 500 list. The company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high-and low volatile metallurgical coal.
Cliffs Supports the U.S. Army Partnership for Youth Success Program
CLEVELAND, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today it has established a working relationship with the U.S. Army to support its Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program. Through PaYS, the Army provides pre-qualified, trained, and honorably discharged veterans as future skilled employees for the Company.
"I am very pleased to announce our partnership with the U.S. Army as we celebrate Veterans Day across the nation. This is one positive way to thank and give back to our veterans," said Jim Michaud, Cliffs' senior vice president, and chief human resources officer. "Cliffs is proud to support and recruit among some of the most dedicated and patriotic young men and women."
The Partnership for Youth Success Program is a strategic partnership between the U.S. Army and a cross section of nearly 400 corporations, companies, and public sector agencies. The program provides America's youth with an opportunity to serve their country while they prepare for their future. As a PaYS partner company, Cliffs maintains ongoing contact with soldiers identified in the program and provides interviewing opportunities at the end of their military commitment. The PaYS soldier agrees to fulfill their Army obligation and benefits with future hiring preference with a partnership company such as Cliffs. Cliffs intends to utilize this program to recruit employees for its U.S. iron ore and coal mining operations.
Cliffs has over 300 employees who are or have served in the U.S. armed forces or reserves. The Company has a strong history of supporting its military employees and their families and has been recognized for its exemplary corporate citizenship. This includes:
- Northshore Mining, a recipient of the Patriotic Employer Award
- "Yellow Ribbon Company" by the State of Minnesota
- Above and Beyond Award from the Michigan ESGR
- Hire Vets First Award recognized the Company's Michigan Operations in their efforts in helping veterans find employment.
About Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. A member of the S&P 500 Index, the Company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high- and low-volatile metallurgical coal. Cliffs' strategy is to continually achieve greater scale and diversification in the mining industry through a focus on serving the world's largest and fastest growing steel markets. Driven by the core values of social, environmental and capital stewardship, Cliffs associates across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency.
The Company is organized through a global commercial group responsible for sales and delivery of Cliffs products and a global operations group responsible for the production of the minerals the Company markets. Cliffs operates iron ore and coal mines in North America and two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia. In addition, Cliffs has a major chromite project, in the feasibility stage of development, located in Ontario, Canada.
News releases and other information on the Company are available on the Internet at: http://www.cliffsnaturalresources.com
SOURCE Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
News Provided by Acquire Media
Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) - Every Soldier to be 'Career Ready' to Transition
Soldiers crossing the bridge from military to civilian life will soon get improved transition assistance throughout their careers, with implementation of the VOW Act this month. Here, Soldiers are patrolling the Nerkh Valley in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 20, 2012) -- Soldiers will soon get more help transitioning from the Army to civilian life.
On Nov. 21, the Veterans Opportunity to Work, or VOW, to Hire Heroes Act requires every Soldier attend the Transition Training Program, according to Danny Pummill, Department of Veterans Affairs director of VA/Defense Department liaison, speaking to reporters at the 10th Annual Military Reporters and Editors Conference in the Rayburn House Office Building here yesterday.
"This isn't your 'death-by-PowerPoint' TAP from the 1990s," he said, referring to dozens of PowerPoint slides on the Transition Assistance Program that were shown to service members during a one-day seminar. "(The new TAP) is well planned and thought out."
"(TAP) is an adult, interactive learning environment similar to college with small group (discussions), as well as one on-one-counseling. It used to be we had a classroom of upwards of 350 people," he said. "Now, our max is 50, and spouses are encouraged to attend."
A number of pilot studies were conducted over the past year, including with the Army National Guard and Reserve, said Susan S. Kelly, director, DOD Transition to Veterans Program Office.
"We found that the needs of singles separating from a first tour were different than, say, a career Soldier with a family getting ready to retire," she said. "We also found that each of the services have different cultures and 'personalities. For example, Soldiers and Marines respond to (information) differently than a roomful of Airmen."
So, what can Soldiers expect to see when the VOW Act is implemented?
The initial TAP will feature pre-separation classes ranging from health care, life insurance and disability to higher education, vocational training and home loans, according to Kelly. She said the other parts of the VOWS Act will be implemented in phases from then until the end of 2014.
By the end of 2013, Transition Goals-Plans-Success, known as GPS, will replace TAP, Kelly said. She explained that GPS is a classroom and one-on-one session with service members and their spouses to formulate a plan, including a detailed budget.
The plan could be vocational training or college, in which case the service member would meet with a representative from that institution and begin the paperwork process. She said those service members wanting to start their own business would meet with a representative from the Small Business Administration to go over the feasibility of their business plan and funding resources.
For those wanting to enter the private or government sector workforce, she said career planners would assist with resume writing and job searches and meetings could be arranged with subject-matter experts in the targeted occupational fields. She said service members would also have a plan B in place in case something didn't work out.
Other aspects of the plan include meetings with counselors to focus on the social and psychological factors, which she said are just as important to Soldiers transitioning. These factors are important, she said, because Soldiers are used to living in a structured environment and they need to be better prepared to be on their own.
Kelly said special efforts are being made to reach out to the Army Guard and Reserve to ensure they are getting all of the assistance too. In the case where Soldiers are living far from installations, transition teams would be sent out and some of the training that would otherwise be in a classroom could be done in a "virtual classroom" setting.
By the end of 2014, Soldiers will prepare for transitioning "across their military lifecycle," she said. In other words, training programs with timetables will be formally instituted as soon as a service member enters the military, she explained. "In addition to being 'military ready,' they will now be 'career ready.'"
The transitioning effort established by the VOW Act is a joint effort of the Defense Department, Department of Labor, VA, Department of Education, SBA, the Office of Personnel Management and the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Pummill, who served 34 years in the Army before his current duties, said "if someone told me six government agencies would come up with a plan, I wouldn't have believed it would work. I've been meeting with them for a year now and we're working things through. It's a model for how government agencies can get together and share manpower and resources and do the right thing, in this case for service member; and, this is best plan possible to take care of our service members."
Army Secretary Calls For Tighter Integration of Active, Guard, Reserve Forces
By Yasmin Tadjdeh
National Defense Magazine
Photo Credit: Yasmin Tadjdeh
Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced a new "total force policy" which seeks to promote integration of active and reserve forces.
"Under this directive, we will man, train [and] equip active and reserve components in an integrative and operational force," McHugh said at the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting & Exposition, in Washington, D.C.
"The purpose of it all is to provide predictable, recurring and sustainable capabilities," he said in a keynote speech. The Army expects to reduce its active duty force by about 80,000 over the next five years, as the war in Afghanistan winds down. That would leave the service with a force of 490,000 active duty soldiers.
Photo right - Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Secretary of the Army John McHugh
The directive will look at the force structure, establish uniform processes for deployment, look at procurement programs for a total force and examine professional development, McHugh said.
"We've been an operational force for over a decade now, and this effort will ensure that we will incorporate the lessons learned in the last 11 years and make certain that everyone, everyone, is trained and ready regardless of the mission," McHugh said.
The Army Reserve is essential to the national security of the United States, McHugh said.
"Since America was first attacked in 2001 one of the most important things we learned is how critical an operational reserve is to our ability to do mission requirements," McHugh said.
It is "paramount" to keep the reserve well trained in order to keep the nation secure, McHugh said.
As the Army faces potential budget cuts from sequestration, McHugh said he is worried about the possible impact.
"What keeps me up at night is our nation's economy and how it already has and will continue to impact our budget," he said.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, who spoke to reporters alongside McHugh, said the service will adapt to the fiscal situation. "If we get additional cuts it will probably affect all of the components [active and reserve]. But we don't know that, because we don't know how deep the cuts are," he said. "We'll have to work that as we go. We always want to maintain a balance between readiness, modernization and end strength force structure."
Odierno echoed McHugh's message that integration of active and reserve forces is critical to the future of the Army. "We need both. It is not one or the other, we need the right combination of both the active and the reserve components as we go forward," he said.
Corps of Engineers Helps Pump NYC Floodwaters
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 2, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is helping pump water out flooded New York City and providing generators to temporarily restore electricity to areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in both New York and New Jersey.
Photo left - Water pours into New York Harbor from pumps displacing water flooding the Battery Park underpass in lower Manhattan in New York City, Nov. 2, 2012. The 249th Engineer Batalion (Prime Power) is continuing its work of alleviating flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The Corps of Engineers has more than 500 people engaged to support the response mission and has received a total of 35 mission assignments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The 249th Engineer Battalion and other power response teams have been deployed to provide assistance, along with other technical experts from the Corps.
The Corps of Engineers has provided 96 truckloads of water to New Jersey and 80 truckloads of water to areas hit by the storm in West Virginia.
Corps teams are clearing debris from ports and waterways in both New Jersey and New York. Other teams remain on alert for additional debris management, commodities distribution, infrastructure assessment, temporary roofing, critical public facilities, water planning, and temporary housing, officials said. They said additional temporary power teams have also been placed on alert status.
Photo right - Maj. Gen. Kendall P. Cox, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deputy commanding general for military and international operations, boards the drift collection vessel Driftmaster and thanks its crew for cleaning up New York Harbor, Nov. 2, 2012.
The Corps is concentrating its pumping efforts to help with flood mitigation at 11 critical locations as determined by New York City officials:
-- Battery Underpass/West Street Underpass
-- Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
-- Queens Midtown Tunnel
-- Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant
-- Passaic Valley Sewage
-- South Ferry Station
-- Jersey City PATH train station
-- World Trade Center site
-- 14th Street Tunnel
-- 53rd Street Tunnel
-- Montague Street Tunnel.
One large Navy salvage pump was transported by barge to assist with the Battery Park Tunnel Underpass. The Corps will be pumping an estimated 10-million gallons of water out of the Battery Park Underpass, estimated to take 24 hours to complete.
The Corps has shipped 12 eight-inch pumps and 13 six-inch pumps from New Orleans in order to support the flood mitigation mission assigned by FEMA. A team is coordinating with the Navy to determine availability and capacity to transport other large pumps, officials said.
More than 25 Corps team leaders or assistants have been alerted or deployed to provide public works and engineering expertise to include damage modeling, storm surge modeling, and coastal preparations.
(Information provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Office.)
Army ROTC Steadily Grows on College Campuses
By Jenna Johnson, Washington Post
BLACKSBURG, VA. — The number of college students in the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) has grown 50 percent since the 2005-06 school year, with the Army outpacing its goals for minting new officers as it sees a surge of patriotism at schools across the country.
The Army is in the waning stages of war and has largely stopped growing, yet its ROTC program is reaching near-historic highs for enrollment. Partly the result of increased scholarship and recruitment efforts of years ago, the Army has been welcoming the new officer candidates and funneling them into active duty and the Reserves and National Guard. College campuses, some of which spurned ROTC for years, now are embracing the military programs, as students look for leadership opportunities, financial help and the chance for service.
The phenomenon is especially noticeable on Virginia Tech's campus. Normally, yearly Army ROTC enrollment is about 110 to 120 students. This year, about 150 showed up to end-of-the-summer training, making it one of the largest classes the university has seen since the Vietnam War.
Col. David W. Chase, who oversees the program, was stunned. There was no clear reason for the increase, so when Chase had everyone gathered in an auditorium, he asked: Why? Why are you here?
There wasn't just one answer: Many students have parents or relatives in the military, and some came here after not getting into a service academy. Others were enticed by the possibility of scholarship money and a job after graduation. Some were looking for leadership training that could bolster their résumés, or they wanted the structure and rigor of Virginia Tech's Corps of Cadets.
And then there were a lot of students looking for a way to serve their country.
" 'Serve' is a word that kept coming up," said Chase, who spent more than 20 years in the Army and has been at Virginia Tech since 2010. "This generation we are getting in here is so patriotic. . . . They were 6, 7 years old on 9/11, and they have grown up during the war on terror. They've seen the unbelievable support for service members."
Photo right - Cadet Forrest Rush, 20, of Christiansburg, Va., right, receives a report outside Virginia Tech's Lane Hall in Blacksburg. The Corps of Cadets enrollment is at its highest levels since the Corps became optional.
Ryan Stone / For The Washington Post
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Army saw national ROTC enrollment jump from 28,470 during the 2000-01 school year to more than 30,800 two years later. But as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq waged on, the number steadily dropped to a low of 24,312 in 2005-06.
About that time, the Army increased its goal for the number of new officers and pumped more money into scholarships and recruitment. Enrollment has been steadily ticking up since, reaching a high of 36,474 the past school year.
The Army says it is now outpacing its mission after years of falling short of meeting its commission goal or barely beating it. During the 2011-12 school year, the Army commissioned 5,880 officers and reservists, surpassing its goal of 5,350. That number is expected to increase in coming years as large incoming classes mature.
Meanwhile, the number of commissions from the Navy and Marine Corps ROTC has increased, but enrollment is steadily dropping. Air Force ROTC enrollment has fluctuated, but the number of commissions has held fairly steady.
Cadet Command Exceeds Commissioning Mission
By Steve Arel (ROTC)
Photo left - Cadet Kenneth Aronhalt from Marion Military Institute watches the graduation of the 9th and 10th regiments this summer at the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, before being commissioned on the parade field.
The organization responsible for producing most of the Army's officer corps commissioned 5,880 second lieutenants in fiscal year 2012, the second straight year for mission success, according to final totals released this week. The Army-mandated goal was 5,350.
In surpassing the mark in 2011 and 2012, Cadet Command has reversed a several-years' drought in which it missed the target.
"We're at the peak of the best quality cadets we've seen," said Maj. Lucas Wilder, senior analyst for Cadet Command's operations analysis division. Those commissioning represent "the upper crust of the officers we look for."
From a raw numbers standpoint, the fiscal year 2012 total was the most commissionees since 1990. Among this year's 5,880 students from across the country who took the oath of office between October 2011 and Sept. 30 were 226 nurses -- a field considered critical and one that has historically teetered on shortages.
The overall mission accomplishment also was a boon to the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, which benefited from the over-production as hundreds of cadets were designated for service in those forces.
Cadet Command has emphasized science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, majors in its recent recruitment efforts to meet the needs of an Army that becomes more high-tech. The class of 2012 included 1,163 graduates with those types of degrees, accounting for 19.8 percent of the commissionees. With a continued push, that number could be higher next year, said Lt. Col. Tim Borgerding, chief of Cadet Command's operations analysis division.
Cadet Command hit the 2012 commissioning mark in early August, almost a full month ahead of its pace in 2011, with a host of end-of-course commissionees this summer at the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Wilder said.
The Citadel, a senior military college in Charleston, S.C., led all schools in total commissions with 88. In fact, the top five producers of second lieutenants were senior military colleges.
Campbell University in North Carolina commissioned 58 cadets to pace non-military campuses and was sixth overall.
Cadet Command produces more officers for the Army than any other commissioning source. In fact, it commissions more officers annually than the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Officer Candidate School and direct commissionings combined.
Even as the Army restructures and looks to downsize in the coming years -- moves triggered by the end of combat operations in Iraq and the pending withdraw in Afghanistan -- Maj. Gen. Jefforey A. Smith, Cadet Command's commanding general, has said he doesn't anticipate a change in the total number of second lieutenants the organization is required to produce.
"Based on what I'm seeing and the direction of the downsizing and potential restructuring of some of our combat formations, there is still going to be a high demand for junior officers, even if there is some reduction in brigade combat teams," he said. "There will be additional units form inside those brigade structures, which will require lieutenants."
Among fiscal year 2012 commissionees, 69 percent received some form of Army ROTC scholarship assistance -- a four-, three- or two-year financial award. It's uncertain specifically how downsizing might impact future scholarships awarded by the command.
There are cadets who will pursue a commission without an ROTC scholarship -- about 1,500 did so this year -- but there is a direct correlation between financial awards and program membership, statistics show. As scholarships increase, so do the number of students committing to serve in the Army.
"Fewer scholarships make recruiters' jobs more difficult," Wilder said. "Scholarships are the biggest incentive."
The 2013-2014 Pocket Recruiter Guide Now On-Line
The Pocket Recruiter Guide was developed to outline Army programs and incentives in a shirt-pocket format. It serves primarily as a ready reference for recruiters and other members of U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Partnerships for Youth Success (PaYS) Program partners often use the pocket guide to match their hiring requirements to Army military occupational specialties (MOS). Information contained in this guide is current as of October 2012, but is subject to change and is not a guarantee of the availability of these programs at a given time.
In past years, the Pocket Recruiter Guide was printed and distributed to PaYS partners and was not available for on-line use. The on-line version eliminates printing and shipping cost while allowing partners on-line access. The guide is a useful tool when determining initial job associations and when expanding to new jobs in the PaYS job database.
Soldiers, Civilians to See Results of Army Profession Campaign
By Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Piper
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 24, 2012) -- Soldiers and Army civilians will start to see the implementation of the Army Profession Campaign beginning in January, senior Army leaders said, Oct. 22.
"It's important that all Soldiers master their profession, whatever it might be," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. "We depend on you to understand what you do, because for us to be successful, we must trust that each and every Soldier understands what their job is and how it is interrelated."
To gather the information needed to establish how the Army should move forward following more than 10 years of persistent conflict, several assessment tools were employed by a "community of practice."
This community was formed with designated leads from Army Civilian University, Army Capabilities Integration Center, Center for Army Leadership, Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, Initial Military Training, Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development, U.S. Army War College and the Warrant Officer Career College.
"We came to these conclusions, in regards to the Army profession, not as a result of a top-down directed process, but more importantly, the largest study on the subject of the Army profession that has ever been conducted," said Gen. Robert Cone, commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command.
The Army Research Institute distributed two Army-wide surveys. These surveys were designed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of the essential characteristics of the profession. More than 41,000 Army professionals responded to these surveys.
Five installations conducted multiple focus group sessions organized by cohort. These focus groups solicited candid feedback from more than 500 Soldiers and Army civilians on the profession's concepts, strengths and weaknesses. These focus groups also presented numerous recommendations for how the Army might possibly shape the future of the profession.
Dialogue was captured and analyzed from 15 forums on the Army profession. These forums included hundreds of attendees from across the Army, academia and other services. During these forums senior leaders were presented with findings of the campaign and were able to share their perspectives.
The campaign also engaged the profession extensively through social media, and numerous topics were discussed in these venues. These discussions were monitored, captured, and analyzed for common themes, resulting in thousands of observations and comments being added to the campaign's body of knowledge from the social networking effort.
The TRADOC G-2 "Red Team" provided an analysis of possible threats to the profession and the professionalism of its membership.
Each community of practice member researched and reviewed prior Army studies to inform and compare to current findings. In total, over 35 studies were considered and 15 studies were thoroughly analyzed in support of the campaign.
Cone said the items and major concepts that arose from the Army Profession Campaign will be foundational to doctrine, ranging from leader development, training, and command and control.
"One of the things we know is that as a profession we must have certifications and standards," he said. "It repeatedly came back that we were not keeping up in regard to ensuring our subordinates (had) the professional military education that is commensurate with the rank they were wearing."
The study also identified there were a number of different erosions of leader responsibilities to subordinates, such as coaching, teaching and mentoring.
"These things are out there and they helped us find a plan of action," Cone said.
In all, he said, there were nearly 60 specific recommendations that came out of the Army Profession Campaign report and about half of those reside under TRADOC in terms of implementation within the institutional Army; the remainder are carried over to the operational Army. The full report can be found at http://cape.army.mil/repository/CY11ArmyProfessionAnnualReport.pdf.
"It all starts with doctrine," Cone said. "It's one of the things that repeatedly came back that as a profession the Army has to be based on standards, discipline and a unique body of professional knowledge."
To that end, the largest release of new doctrine recently occurred, and central to that, in each of the 30 manuals are the fundamental precepts of the Army profession, Cone said.
Cone explained that with the rewrite and release of the new doctrine, TRADOC was able to incorporate the lessons learned and then create a common terminology between the manuals and the ideas inside the pages. Once that was finished and released, the question remained on how to inculcate the doctrinal concepts into the operational force.
The easier part will be through the institutional training that takes place during a Soldier's career, Cone said. Both officer and enlisted courses are going through major revisions to rebalance them from preparing Soldiers to go downrange to Iraq or Afghanistan, to a broad set of competencies consistent with the larger profession.
"The operational force largely comes in on how things operate in a unit on a day-to-day basis; how they are adapting doctrine, and how they are adapting the new training procedures," Cone said.
The civilian work force plays a crucial role in Army operations, since 60 percent of the generating force within the Army is made of civilians, said Karl Schneider, principle deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs.
"It seems to me it is vital that our Army civilians be incorporated into the Army profession," he said. "We have to invest in the training, the education and the experience of our Army civilians if we want them to be part of the Army profession."
The Army Civilian Workforce Transformation is the first step. Every Army civilian now belongs to a career program and in that career program they will see a path of training, education and experience that will allow them to progress within their career program.
Schneider said that in the past, only 40 percent of Army civilians had a career program.
"We are working with the Army G-3 and TRADOC to make sure we have the ability to educate and train our Army civilians and to give them the experience to do well as members of a profession," Schneider said.
Army Drawdown to Include 25K Involuntary Separations
By Jim Tice - Staff writer
About 40 percent of the looming drawdown to 490,000 soldiers will be accomplished through involuntary separation programs and policies, according to the Army's chief personnel officer. "When we look at the drawdown, we want to be as responsible as possible and use natural attrition as much as possible," said Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, the Army G-1 and deputy chief of staff for personnel. "Right now, it appears that 20,000 enlisted soldiers and about 5,000 officers potentially will have to depart the Army through something other than normal attrition.
"This would be for the four years of the drawdown, beginning in 2014 and going through 2017," Bromberg told Army Times in a Oct. 9 interview at his Pentagon office. As of Oct. 1, there were about 551,000 soldiers on active duty, some 61,000 more than the target drawdown end strength of 490,000. Although Congress has reauthorized several of the voluntary separation incentives used during the post-Cold War reductions of the 1990s, Army leaders have not elected to reinstate those programs, with one exception: Temporary Early Retirement Authority, a force-shaping tool that allows early retirements for select categories of soldiers with at least 15, but less than 20, years of active service.
Although TERA was used as a major voluntary force reduction incentive in the 1990s, its use for the coming drawdown is limited to passed-over officers and noncommissioned officers who fail a Qualitative Service Program retention review.
"We want to shape the Army of the future with precision and the right grades, skills and military occupational specialties, Bromberg said. "Right now, we do not plan to use any voluntary force reduction incentives.
"We can use tools we already have, such as retention boards, reduced promotion rates and reduced accessions," he said. "It would be nice if everybody could leave through natural attrition, but we won't be able to do that, and there will be some very tough calls made in the coming years, not only by the Army but by the junior leaders in the field."
Bromberg said one of his major challenges as personnel chief is to oversee a drawdown at the same time the Army is deploying soldiers to combat. "This is something we have never had to do before," he said.
One of his priorities will be "to make sure that we treat the people who have supported the war effort with the dignity, respect, care and compassion they deserve as we reshape the Army for the future."
Bromberg said that in his trips to the field, "it is clear there is a lot of angst out there." "We can help alleviate some of that by telling soldiers and their families as much about the future as we can," he said. "We need to communicate every stop along the way so that soldiers not only understand what we're doing but why and how we're doing it."
Bromberg said major components of the drawdown strategy are the retooled transition assistance services available to departing soldiers through the Army Career and Alumni Program. "We owe it to the young men and women who have served us so well to help them through an orderly, organized and well-thought-out transition to the future," he said. "We are making very good progress on this, but one area where we can improve is our partnership with industry.
"We have a lot of firms coming to us each week saying they have hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of jobs that could be filled by veterans," Bromberg said. The challenge is linking up those departing soldiers with those jobs."
Another priority area for Bromberg and his staff is oversight of an integrated disability system for injured, ill and wounded soldiers.
That population has grown over the past few years, and is getting larger. "Today, there are about 24,000 soldiers in this category, but that total will grow over the next year or two," Bromberg said. Of that total, about 75 percent are in regular units, not Warrior Transition Units, and thus are available to perform some types of duty. Bromberg said it is important for the Army to improve on the processing of these soldiers because the large backlog could lead to readiness issues with the size of the Army decreasing, and the size of disability population increasing.
"Our goal is to give these soldiers the just care and service they need to properly transition from the Army," he said.
Other priority issues for the chief of personnel include:
"The current Officer Evaluation Report system has been out there since 1997, and it has served us well," Bromberg said. "It is just time to look at the OER and put it more in sync with our leadership doctrine."
Key features of the new system include different forms for specific grade plates — junior officers, midgrade officers and senior officers.
"We've also changed the block checking for senior officers, so that now there are five, rather than four," blocks for the senior rater evaluation, Bromberg said. "We're also going to be asking for more discussion from senior raters on broadening assignments for rated officers.
"We want them to tell us what type of assignments will help develop an officer into a strategic leader," he said.
Training for the new system will begin in January, and the first reports will be filed in December.
It will take about a year for these new reports to populate files throughout the officer corps, Bromberg said.
"The proposed system has been through one level of general officer review but will not be ready for fielding at the same time as the new OER," Bromberg said. "I don't think it will be ready until fiscal 2014."
Similar to the OER, the design of the NCOER will be linked to leadership doctrine, and likely will provide raters with opportunities to suggest developmental assignments for their NCOs.
The Army's goal is to give all officers an opportunity to receive intermediate level education early in their career, at about the 10th year of service, and after selection for promotion to major, Bromberg said.
"The idea is that they will receive this education before they receive key developmental assignments as majors," he said.
Under the new system, officers either will attend a 10-month resident command and staff course, a 14-week resident course at several satellite campuses or a distributed learning course.
"Right upfront, I want to tell officers that these changes will not affect promotion rates," Bromberg said.
"The Officer Record Briefs (seen by selection boards) will not indicate where an officer received his or her intermediate level education," he said.
The personnel chief also noted that special instructions will be provided to boards in the next few years regarding officers who were unable to attend ILE at the optimum time in their careers because of deployments and the pace of operations.
Some 4,600 officers in year groups 2003 and earlier are in the training backlog.
Gabe Named 2012 Hero Dog
By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson Leader
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Oct. 11, 2012) -- Gabe, a retired military dog who completed more than 200 combat missions in Iraq, was named American Hero Dog of 2012 last weekend at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in Los Angeles.
The retired military dog spent several years sniffing out insurgent bombs, guns and ammunition in Iraq with his handler, Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Shuck, a drill sergeant leader at Fort Jackson's Drill Sergeant School.
"Winning the award was an amazing feeling because I knew that many Soldiers were going to benefit from the $15,000 we just won," Shuck said. "Looking out at the crowd, who gave Gabe a standing ovation, was also amazing. Seeing Betty White and many other celebrities honor Gabe was a moment I will never forget. Having the support of Fort Jackson and Gabe fans in all 50 states and 22 countries was the key to victory. Every vote counted and we surely appreciate it."
Gabe won $5,000 for his charity in the previous round of competition, and another $10,000 from last weekend's win. When the contest began earlier in the year, there were 359 dogs competing in eight categories, including therapy dogs, law enforcement dogs, emerging hero dogs, service dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, military dogs and search and rescue dogs.
The pool of contestants was eventually whittled down to eight finalists, who appeared at last weekend's awards ceremony at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
Gabe's charity is the United States War Dogs Association, which provides care packages for deployed Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and their K-9 partners. These packages include ear muffs and dog booties for the paws of the dogs. They also help with the expenses of military working dog adoptions.
The winner was selected by a panel that included Whoopi Goldberg, Kristen Chenoweth and the handlers and owners of last year's eight finalists. The seven runners-up each won $5,000 for a designated charity.
The ceremony, hosted by Chenoweth, will be broadcast Nov. 8, on Hallmark Channel.
"We will be visiting all the Fort Jackson schools in November and December with Gabe's medals and trophy so the kids can get some pictures with him," Shuck said.
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PaYS Program on Twitter
As the Army PaYS Social Media Division continues to ascend, in the hopes of bringing better awareness of the Army PaYS Program to a larger social media audience the program initiated a Twitter account. The Army PaYS Facebook Page has seen tremendous growth and outreach in the past year with over 6,000 fans. We are hoping for a similar response to our Twitter account, a consistent following. The Army PaYS Facebook page remains the premier outlet for recruiters to inform their Soldiers about how the program works, and to highlight the kind of interaction we maintain with our Partners. However, with a venue such as Twitter a new, yet similar and diverse audience, should respond well to the program! Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArmyPaYS !
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