PaYS Celebrates the 500th Partnership with Facebook Inc. at the All American Bowl
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Photo left - Mr. Mark Davis, General Robert W. Cone, Commanding General U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and Ms. Amanda Talbott, Facebook, during the signing ceremony
Photo below right - Mr. Mark S. Davis, SES, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Marketing
The PaYS 500th Partner signing ceremony began with Mr. Mark S. Davis, SES, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Marketing, who characterized "Facebook as a moving force behind how the internet has impacted how we interact and communicate with the world." He continued "The U.S. Army is proud, very proud to partner with the largest on line social network through the Partnership for Youth Success Program." He introduced General Robert W. Cone, Commanding General U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. General Cone is responsible for training and educating Army Soldiers, leaders and civilians, developing and implementing concepts and doctrine and designing and integrating capabilities development for our campaign capable execution.
Photo below - General Robert W. Cone, Commanding General U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, making the presentation to Ms. Amanda Talbott, Recruiter, Veterans Programs and Initiatives, Facebook, Inc.
General Cone told the audience "It is really an honor to be here, this is one of my favorite events across the year. Its sometimes troubling to me to that perhaps our military is becoming more and more separate from our civilian society. And I would point with notable exception organizations like this and events like this." He went on to explain we need to more to help the American people understand that this is their Army. "We live to serve and protect this nation" he stressed. "One of my jobs is looking at the future structure of the Army, and we are going from the active duty side somewhere around 570 thousand, then 490 thousand down to 420 thousand or 450 we don't really know where it is going to stop" he said. General Cone explained how in the last 12 years the Army has created a generation of experienced war-fighters. He asked the crowd to think about the men and women patriots who have supported an all volunteer force in combat. "Clearly the stars of that are the talented young people who came together, swore an oath, went to basic training and paid this nation's debt in terms of combat operations for the last 12 years" he explained.
Programs like the All America Bowl and PaYS demonstrate the appropriate balance between being a civilian and serving your country then having a transition back into civilian society. The General admitted we have not worked hard enough on the mechanism of that transition. He clarified "Certainly the PaYS program as we look at what Soldiers think about when they sign on to that program as an option, their service to the Army recognizing that they are going to go back American society, putting in place those mechanisms with corporate industry and our partners to facilitate that transition, I think is very powerful."
He continued by saying there has been an Army for the history of this country and as leaders the challenge is to let these young Americans know and understand that the Army may become smaller it will remain a great place to serve and have the respect of the American people. In his closing he said "I am really excited to extend this partnership under PaYS, and the potential of this program to move towards the future."
Speaking on behalf of Facebook was Amanda Talbott, Recruiter, Veterans Programs and Initiatives. Ms. Talbott is an Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Public Affairs Specialist for the Washington Army National Guard. "At Facebook we see the extreme value veterans bring to us. Not only are they heroes who have served our country but through their service they come away with experience and knowledge that greatly impacts and brings great benefits to companies" she said. Ms. Talbott was proud of her service in the Army and sees the PaYS program as a way to connect with more veterans.
General Cone and Ms. Talbott signed the official PaYS Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) solidifying the partnership. Ms. Talbott was presented with the certificate of appreciation for making the partnership possible, as well as, an engraved plaque and star note from General Cone.
Mr. Davis closed the ceremony by saying "I think you have heard here today that PaYS is a great incentive for our Soldiers and we are proud to have Facebook join us. I thank you for your service and your continued support of Army Soldiers. We appreciate Facebook's partnership with us as we continue to provide opportunities to our Future Soldiers."
The All American Bowl also provides an opportunity for Center of Influencers (COI's) from around the country to gather together, intermixed with Army leaders, to discuss the Army's outreach best practices. COI's enjoyed the action packed festivities of the premier high school football game, with the U.S. Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG), Army Recruiting Command, Army Reserve Training Command and the Army Cadet Command.
COI's received an official welcome from Mr. Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, AMRG, at the AAB BBQ at the Alamodome. Also speaking was Major Gen. Jefforey Smith, Commanding General U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, Kentucky, Major Gen. Allen Batschelet Commanding General U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and Major Gen. Jimmie J. Wells, Commanding General, 75th Training Division (Mission Command).
COI's were divided by Partnership Zones (PZ) with Army leaders dispersed among them. Together they engaged in working group discussions. Each group shared issues specific to their communities as well as ideas to further engage Army outreach initiatives.
Photo right - Major Gen. Jefforey Smith, Commanding General U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, Kentucky
Representing PaYS was Eastman Chemical Company's Principal Staffing Recruiter, Mr. Jerry Bush. Seated at the table were Ms. Angela Byrd, PaYS Program Manager, Ms. Shae Warzocha, Senior PaYS Marketing Analyst, Mr. Phillip Mucker, Northwest PaYS Marketing Analyst, and Ms. Maria Hernandez, PaYS Marketing Coordinator. Together they reviewed how Mr. Bush uses the PaYS program to find quality veterans to fill key positions at Eastman. Currently Eastman Chemical leads the Program in hiring PaYS soldiers. Mr. Bush explained, "As soon as I see they are a veteran I contact my PaYS Marketing Analyst (Mr. Danny Free) to determine if they are a PaYS Soldier." Mr. Bush admitted he knows how to download the on-line Soldier Report that could identify the potential candidate as a PaYS Soldier but said "Danny and I have a close working relationship and we both get excited at the prospect of another PaYS hire."
Photo left - Mr. Phillip Mucker, Northwest PaYS Marketing Analyst, Ms. Maria Hernandez, PaYS Marketing Coordinator, Ms. Angela Byrd, PaYS Program Manager, and Eastman Chemical Company's Principal Staffing Recruiter, Mr. Jerry Bush
Mr. Bush said he is very involved with the Army's outreach initiatives and has participated in the Army Motorsports Youth and Education Services (YES) program. He attributes his success with hiring PaYS Soldiers to the fact he has taken ownership of Eastman's internal processes. "I am a veteran myself, I see what veterans bring to Eastman, and we are delighted with our PaYS Soldiers all of whom have been very successful here. He continued, "I used to email Soldiers but found that they are busy and therefore, hard to reach, so now I rely on the Soldiers to contact me. When they do I know they are interested and ready to go."
COL John Keeter, Deputy Director, AMRG, encouraged each working group to share their best practices and in turn the group provided the Army leadership with several areas of future coordination and outreach.
Photo below - Marching Bands from across the nation provided their best talent to participate in the half-time show.
--U.S. Army photos in "The Game" section by Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation's premier high school All-American game, featuring the best 90 players in a classic East vs. West match-up every January in San Antonio's Alamodome. The Army Bowl enjoys a worldwide television audience, thanks to a live broadcast on NBC. The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl took place on January 4, 2014. Building upon the extraordinary players and incredible moments featured during each of the previous U.S. Army All-American Bowls, this year's game provided the thousands in attendance, (40,017) and millions watching on NBC around the world, an unforgettable look at the future of college and professional football.
The history and tradition of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is unparalleled, highlighted by Heisman Trophy winners and more than 200 NFL players counted among its alumni. Throughout the years, the game has featured the nation's most elite football players, providing a launching pad for college and NFL stars such as: Andrew Luck, Jamaal Charles, Percy Harvin, Eric Berry, Patrick Peterson, AJ McCarron, De'Anthony Thomas, and hundreds more.
Here's a short recap of the game. The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl game saw the West team take an early lead by way of the run. Royce Freeman capped a 4 minute drive with a 3-yd TD. West scored with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter, as RB Joe Mixon scored from 3 yards out. West would score again with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter on a Royce Freeman 1-yd run. East would finally get on the board with a Sony Michel 1-yd run just seconds into the 4th quarter. To tap the game off, Royce Freeman ran his 3rd touchdown of the day in from 9-yds out with 30 seconds remaining. The West claimed their victory with a 28 to 6 win. This win made an even seven wins for both the East and West legacy, making the 2015 All-American Bowl the game that will break the tie, and a game not to miss.
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company Insures They Will Hire More Veterans
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Photo left - Mr. Joseph Self, IT Director, Progressive, and LTC Scott Bartley, Cleveland Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, sign the PaYS agreement
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company recently joined the Partnership for Youth Success program to find great employees. They believe the same qualities that helped veterans in the military will help them succeed at Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, Mr. Joseph Self told the audience at their signing ceremony on 17 January 2014. "We've always made it a priority to support those who support us" Mr. Self said. Progressive currently has over 1,200 employees who've served their country proudly and in some cases –still do in the reserves.
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company boasts that their culture and company objective complements the military training that veterans are used to; with strong leadership and discipline, veterans find Progressive Casualty Insurance Company to be a natural fit after serving in the military. G.I. Jobs recognized Progressive Casualty Insurance Company as a leading military-friendly employer for three consecutive years, 2010-2012. Active duty Reservists at Progressive Casualty Insurance Company receive 100 percent differential pay, meaning the company makes up the difference between the regular salary and the amount they earn while on active duty. In addition to this honor, earlier this year, Military Times EDGE named Progressive Casualty Insurance Company to its Best for Vets 2011: Employers list and CivilianJobs.com named Progressive to its 2011 Most Valuable Employers for Military.
Founded in 1937, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company continues its long history of challenging the insurance industry with shopping tools and services that save customers time and money, like Name Your Price®, the Snapshot Discount®, and a concierge level of claims service. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company offers insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles and homes. It's the fourth largest auto insurer in the country, the largest seller of motorcycle insurance and a leader in commercial auto insurance.
Photo right - Mr. J. C. Jones, Business Leader, Compensation and Benefits, Mr. Joseph Self, IT Director and LTC Scott Bartley, Cleveland Army Recruiting Battalion Commander during the ceremony
"We are proud to be the 491st partner in the US Army's PaYS program. Here at Progressive, we value the skill sets developed during the military and are fully committed to helping veterans succeed in their civilian careers. We look forward to continuing this relationship." J.C. Jones said.
ZipRealty Partners with the U.S. Army to Help Veterans Find Employment in Real Estate
Through the PaYS program, former Soldiers receive career opportunities as ZipRealty agents.
Media Contact: Stacey Corso
EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 5, 2014 – ZipRealty, Inc. (http://www.ziprealty.com) (NASDAQ: ZIPR), the nation's most prominent online technology-powered residential real estate brokerage firm and real estate marketing solutions provider, has partnered with the U.S. Army to help former soldiers find employment in as real estate agents. The program, Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS), provides honorably discharged soldiers with a job interview and possible employment after serving in the Army.
"At ZipRealty, our business is all about finding people a home that's right for them, much like PaYS helps soldiers find a workplace 'home' that's right for them after they've served their country," said Lanny Baker, CEO and President of ZipRealty. "We're proud to provide returning soldiers with a career option in the booming real estate sector, which offers limitless opportunities for success to outgoing professionals."
"We are excited to now offer our soldiers future career opportunities as real estate agents at ZipRealty," said Dr. Richard A. Lundin, Army Reserve Ambassador for California. "The Army benefits by gaining valuable industry partners like ZipRealty, who acknowledge the Army as a quality producer of skilled professionals. By committing to this partnership, ZipRealty gains access to individuals who have developed professional work habits and have been held to the highest standards of conduct in the military."
PaYS has more than 500 partners, including corporations and public sector organizations.
Hiring More Agents a Top Priority for ZipRealty in 2014
ZipRealty stepped up its agent hiring and recruiting efforts in 2013 as the real estate market continued to improve nationwide, according to Mr. Baker. As of year-end 2013, ZipRealty's agent count increased 13% compared to 2012.
Photos above - Adam Lerman, National Director of Recruiting at ZipRealty, and Dr. Richard A. Lundin, the Army Reserve Ambassador, sign the PaYS Memorandum of Agreement. Lanny Baker, CEO and President of ZipReality, and Major Willie Harris III, East Bay Company Commander, observe.
"Whether just coming out of the Armed Forces, fresh from college or switching careers, we are searching for talented and hard-working people who are ready to benefit from one of the best real estate markets in years," said Adam Lerman, National Director of Recruiting for ZipRealty. "People who join ZipRealty as agents gain access to an incredible amount of qualified leads, along with the best technology tools in the industry. Namely, they will have access to our intuitive CRM platform, which is tied directly to those leads."
About ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers who increasingly want control, choice and a seamless, customized service, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via their website and mobile applications, which real estate professionals can combine with their own local knowledge and personal expertise to offer an exceptional start-to-finish client experience. For real estate professionals who seek more productive ways to conduct business, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools to enhance their online sales channel, including lead generation, conversion and service of their clients. ZipRealty's technology and online marketing products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 19 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in 20 markets.
PaYS Partner Vision Service Plan (VSP) Recognized for Outstanding Support to Job Corps
By Catherine Pauley
Sacramento Recruiting Battalion
Photo right - The Community Relations Council honors VSP. Pictured are
Center Director Erica Evans, left, CTS Manager Quinn Gregory; Karen Graser,
director of VSP; Mark Briglia, finishing manager; June Watson, operations
manager; and Dale Holzhausen, surfacing and technology manager.
The Sacramento Job Corps Center's Community Relations Council (CRC) recently recognized one of its partners for outstanding support of the center and of the
Job Corps program. The center recognized Vision Service Plan, (VSP), for outstanding, on-going support of the Sacramento Job Corps Center. VSP has hired 15 students for employment from various career, technical training programs from the center.
Attending the meeting, in addition to CRC members, were Christopher Flores, senior field representative for Congresswoman Doris Matsui; Brandon Ida, field representative for Senator Barbra Boxer; Russell Collins Stiger, district representative for Senator Darrell Steinberg; and Jonathan Glatz; representative from Assemblyman Ken Cooley's office.
Multi Partnership Zone Conferences Include PaYS
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
PaYS Northwest Marketing Analyst, Phillip Mucker, provided a PaYS overview to the Columbus Ohio Army Reserve Troop Program Unit’s (TPU) leadership during the annual Partnership Zone Conference in Columbus, OH. Phillip was fortunate to engage COL Alphonso Holt, the Army Reserve Group Commander for the 310 ESC, in a discussion outlining ways to include PaYS partners into their reserve calendar of events. “It’s always good to talk to the leaders about their vision for ways to help reservists, COL Holt really understands the PaYS program and will share our talk with his leaders and hopefully filter down to the Soldier level soon” Phillip explained.
Ted Groholske, the Southwest PaYS marketing analyst, represented the PaYS Program to the Houston Area Reserve Partnership Zone Conference. Ted’s goal was to place emphasis on increasing Army Reserve and ROTC participation. He urged the importance of learning who their local partners are and engage them. “Partners need to know who they can contact at the unit and within the ROTC Departments” Ted told the audience. Using best practices he provided examples of PaYS partners getting involved in unit battle assemblies, career and organizational days. He explained the PaYS data base of Soldiers to the Unit Administrators and how they can access the data base to verify a PaYS Soldier’s information and access the partner contact information. Mr. Gregory Stuart, Enrollment Officer- University of Houston ROTC and MG Ret. Henry Ostermann, Army Reserve Ambassador-Texas learned more about Houston area partners and discussed potential new partners they believed would offer quality positions to graduating Cadets.
These events present an opportunity for the PaYS Program to filter down to the Army reservist. This will help begin the dialogue between the leaders and their Soldiers, and the Soldiers and their PaYS partners.
Lee E. Phillips -
PaYS Software Development Analyst
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Lee was born in Alexandria, Minnesota. He graduated with a BS degree in Computer Science and Japanese from Indiana University Bloomington in May of 2007.
He is currently a Software Development Analyst for the PaYS Program, responsible for maintaining the PaYS Information Exchange-PIX database, the Reserve Officer Training Corps Reservation system, and data transfers. He works on many of the numerous internal processes used by PaYS partners and recruiting officials. Lee is the go-to guy for the marketing team and the PaYS webmaster when partners have special requests, website production updates, or when problems appear. He is currently working on the complete overhaul for the Lead Manager on-line tool.
Previous to working on the PaYS Program, Lee worked for SonyDADC as a Web Developer in Terre Haute, Indiana. SonyDADC was the first manufacturer of Compact Discs in the U.S. as well as producing game discs for PlayStation.
An avid computer and video game player Lee takes his hobby so serious he studied Japanese so he could play on the world stage. "Some of the best games are Japanese" Lee remarked. When he's not gaming Lee enjoys travel, NHL, and has a goal of visiting all 50 state capitals---18 down, 32 to go.
#500 Facebook, Inc. - Fresno Bn - Facebook, Inc. is an on line social media site with over 1 billion users. Users register before using the site, create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Job vacancies exit nationwide and include admin, IT, finance, communications, sales, business development, marketing and data analytics. Facebook also has a dynamic college recruiting focus. Ranked #482 in the 2013 Fortune 500 rankings.
#501 NTT DATA, INC. - Baltimore Bn - NTT Data, Inc. is the 6th largest global IT services company with more than 40 years of business experience. They provide information systems and services that align with requirements and challenges of society, including systems for public administration and businesses engaging in the financial, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors. Positions in network administration, project managers and business analysts. The parent company, NTT Group, ranks #29 on the Global 500 list.
#502 City of Springfield, MO. - Kansas City Bn - Springfield, MO metro area includes five counties and a population of 444,000. Their economic influence reaches 27 counties and 1,024,870 people with a workforce increase of 18% in the past 10 years, the fastest growing in Missouri. Career areas include finance, HR, parks & recreation, public safety, inspections, transportation, and public works.
#503 Garden Ridge, LP - Dallas Bn - Garden Ridge is a privately held home decor retail chain based in Plano, TX. The company owns and operates nearly 50 stores, mostly located in about 20 states from FL to MI. Garden Ridge underwent major reorganization in 2004, all stores are corporate owned. They're interested in supply, logistics, accounting, and leadership positions.
#504 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company- Dallas Bn - Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is a global company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Subsidiaries specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Facilities are in OH, MS, AK, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. Positions sought include engineers, tax analysts, assistant warehouse operators, electricians and database administrators.
Changes to Enlisted Separation Policy aim to Provide Soldiers Options
By David Vergun
The Enlisted Voluntary Early Separation Program is designed for Soldiers who have employment offers and want to separate prior to the expiration of their term of service, or ETS. They can now request getting out up to 180 days prior to their ETS.
Soldiers can request the separation through their local commanders, if they can show adequate salary or compensation from their potential civilian employers, and that the separation won't hurt their ability to support their families, said James R. Bragg, branch chief for Retention and Reclassification - Involuntary/Voluntary Separation program, Human Resources Command, at Fort Knox, Ky.
Bragg added that of that 180-day maximum period, the Soldier would need a minimum of 90 days for normal transition/separation processing.
The previous voluntary separation policy was for Soldiers planning to attend college. That policy allows them to separate up to 90 days early, so they can begin their semester work, Bragg said. That policy remains in effect. Nothing has changed with that policy.
The new policy allowing for early separation for a job opportunity can be "good for the Soldiers and their families" as they transition, Bragg said.
Further details of the changes can be found in All Army Activity message 340/2013.
The Enlisted Involuntary Early Separation Program has been in effect for some time for Soldiers whose units are deploying and their ETS date is during that deployment.
In those cases, Soldiers would be offered the chance to re-enlist, extend or choose a different unit or military occupational specialty, said Bragg. If they didn't, they would be involuntarily separated up to one year before their ETS. That remains in effect.
The big change is that besides deploying units, the policy now also covers units that are going to be deactivated, he said.
For Soldiers in units that will be deactivating, they'll be given 45 days to extend or re-enlist from the time they're notified, Bragg continued. If the Soldier chooses not to extend or re-enlist, the Soldier's ETS would be reduced up to a year's time -- depending on the date his or her unit is deactivating -- but not less than 90 days for the transition/separation processing.
The policy would not apply to units that are deactivating but are then reactivating as a different unit, at the same location. In that case, the Soldiers would remain with their unit until their ETS dates, he added.
Although no Soldier has yet been affected by the change, Bragg said he expects there will be involuntary separations for those in units deactivating as the drawdown continues.
"We always give the Soldier the opportunity to stay with the team first," he added.
The policy for involuntary early separations can be found in All Army Activity message 339/2013 and Military Personnel 13-375.
Whether nor not Soldiers choose the voluntary separation route or the involuntary, they are afforded, as always, the opportunity to speak with a reserve-component career counselor for possible offerings in the National Guard or Army Reserve, said Col. Charles A Slaney, program manager for reserve component career counselors, HRC.
"We want to ensure all Soldiers are treated with dignity and respect, and that when they leave the service, they're ambassadors for the Army," he emphasized.
Nine Soldiers Named to 2014 US Olympic Team
by Tim Hipps
American Forces Press Service, Jan 28, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nine soldiers in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program are members of the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, scheduled for Feb. 7 through 23 in Sochi, Russia.
The U.S. Olympic Committee officially announced the team today.
The soldier-athletes named to Team USA are 2010 Olympic gold medalist in four-man bobsled Sgt. Justin Olsen, 26, of San Antonio; 2010 Olympic bobsledder Capt. Christopher Fogt, 30, of Alpine, Utah; 2010 Olympic bobsledder Sgt. Nick Cunningham, 27, of Monterey, Calif.; bobsledder Sgt. Dallas Robinson, 31, of Georgetown, Ky.; 2006 Olympic luger Sgt. Preston Griffall, 29, of Salt Lake City; and luger Sgt. Matt Mortensen, 28, of Huntington Station, N.Y.
Three WCAP coaches also will represent the U.S. Army in Russia. Team USA luge coach Staff Sgt. Bill Tavares, 50, of Lake Placid, N.Y., will be making his sixth appearance in the Olympics, including once as an athlete and five times as a coach. Team USA skeleton coach Sgt. 1st Class Tuffield “Tuffy” Latour, 45, of Saranac Lake, N.Y., will make his fourth trip to the Olympics. He has coached U.S. and Canadian men’s and women’s bobsledders to Olympic medals. Team USA assistant bobsled coach 1st Lt. Michael Kohn, 41, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a two-time Olympic competitor who will make his Olympic coaching debut at the Sochi Games. He won a bronze medal in four-man bobsled as a WCAP athlete at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
USA-1 bobsled driver Steven Holcomb, 33, of Park City, Utah, is the reigning Olympic champion in the four-man event. He spent seven years in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
The 230-member team is comprised of 105 women and 125 men – the largest athlete delegation for any nation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. The United States will be represented in all 15 disciplines across seven sports, and up to 94 of the 98 medal events that will be contested in Sochi.
“We are thrilled to announce the 230 athletes who will represent Team USA in Sochi,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “This is the largest team we have ever sent to an Olympic Winter Games, and I’d like to commend all of those who helped support our athletes in the pursuit of their Olympic dreams.
“Most of all,” he continued, “this is a time to celebrate our athletes, who have made countless sacrifices and dedicated themselves to being their best, both on and off the ice and snow. I am very excited to watch them compete as they represent our nation with excellence and distinction on the world stage.”
The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team features 106 returning Olympians – including one five-time Olympian, two four-time Olympians, 10 three-time Olympians and 23 two-time Olympians. Returning from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where the U.S. finished first in the overall medal count with 37 medals, are 99 U.S. Olympians. Overall, among the veterans are 49 Olympic medalists, 13 of whom are Olympic champions.
Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick becomes the first American to compete at six Olympic Winter Games. The two U.S. Olympians headed to their fifth Olympic Games are Billy Demong (Nordic combined) and Bode Miller (alpine skiing). Only four other athletes in U.S. Olympic history, including Lodwick, have competed in five or more Olympic Winter Games.
Additionally, women’s bobsled push athletes Lolo Jones – a two-time Olympic hurdler – and Lauryn Williams – a three-time Olympic sprinter – become the ninth and 10th Americans to compete at both the winter and summer editions of the Olympic Games.
Highlighting this list of accomplished U.S. men’s athletes are Miller and long track speedskater Shani Davis. A five-time Olympic medalist, Miller needs three medals to match U.S. short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno as the most decorated U.S. Olympian in history on the winter side.
Davis is making his fourth Olympic appearance after winning consecutive Olympic gold and silver medals in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter events in 2006 and 2010. Both Davis and snowboarder Shaun White will have the opportunity to become the first American man to win three gold medals in the same event at consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
Headlining the list of U.S. women’s athletes are three-time Olympic medalists Julie Chu (ice hockey) and Julia Mancuso (alpine skiing). Mancuso already is the most decorated U.S. Olympic female alpine skier, with one gold medal and two silver medals, while Chu is looking to help Team USA reclaim the top podium spot for the first time since women’s ice hockey debuted at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
“This distinguished group of athletes represents the largest delegation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, which is a true testament to the growing number of winter sport opportunities across the United States,” said Alan Ashley, chief of the U.S. mission and USOC’s chief of sport performance. “With 106 returning Olympians, this year’s team is an exceptional blend of youth and experience, and represents the finest our nation has to offer. During the Games, we will continue to support our athletes, coaches and National Governing Bodies in every way possible to succeed.”
The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team roster may still be adjusted due to injury, illness or exceptional circumstances up to the technical meetings for each sport.
Changes for foreign-born recruits, undocumented family members
By Andrew Tilghman
A push is underway to make the military friendlier to immigrants. In an effort to draw the most qualified recruits, both lawmakers on Capitol Hill and policymakers inside the Pentagon are pushing changes to make it easier for foreign-born U.S. residents to join the military.
Evidence suggests that foreigners are eager to join and U.S. military and perform exceptionally well once in uniform. That's fueling a belief that opening up opportunities for immigrants-legal temporary residents with visas-could save money in the long run.
Photo right -
Senior Airman Pawel Jarosz, a Polish national, enlisted in the Air Force through Military Accessions Vital to National Interest. The program allows legal noncitizens with certain skill sets to join the services and receive citizenship.
“The cost savings if you recruit these highly educated, highly motivated folks is great. You don’t have to do a lot of marketing; you don’t have to offer a lot of bonuses. They just show up and want to enlist,” said Margaret Stock, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who practices immigration law in Alaska.
The push comes at a time when some recruiters fear their job is getting more difficult. As the economy improves, prospective recruits have more options. The percentage of young Americans who are healthy enough and qualified for military service is shrinking. And some studies suggest today’s youth have less interest in the military as a career.
That’s prompting lawmakers to consider expanding the pool of recruits, which is limited to citizens and full-time residents who have green cards.
“I’m worried that the future pool of recruits may not be able to maintain the elite standards that we’ve established, “Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., told military recruiting officials at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill.
Coffman introduced a bill to allow recruiters to target anyone who has been living in the United States on a legal visa for two years. “Including this group of potential applicants will broaden our enlistment pool in preparation for any future engagements, help recruiters maintain high standards, allow the processing of fewer waivers and minimize the need for bonuses and other financial incentives,” Coffman said.
Coffman’s bill is drawing bipartisan support but has not been formally adopted by the House Republican leadership, which is often resistant to expanding immigration opportunities. Some Defense Department officials are supportive of the idea.
A study by the Center for Naval Analysis in 2011 concluded that noncitizens are significantly less likely to drop out of service during the first four years following enlistment compared to native-born Americans.
Inside the Pentagon’s personnel office, officials are making some incremental changes allowed under the current laws.
In 2012, the Pentagon opened the door for 1,500 foreigners with visas to enlist in the military. Known as the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, the 1,500 slots are limited to people with critical skill, mainly medical professionals and foreign-language speakers.
Those recruits are a great bargain for the military because they do not require any schooling. They arrive with the medical education licenses or language skills that make them valuable from their first day in uniform, said Army Major Carol Stahl, senior analyst for recruiting and retention at Army headquarters.
So far, about 600 of those positions have been filled, said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. That program was recently approved for reservists. The military prohibits undocumented immigrants from enlisting. For noncitizens who have temporary visas, including students, high-tech workers, health care workers or children of green-card holders, military service offers a fast track to becoming an American.
Since 2001, the Defense Department has offered expedited citizenship, usually within one year of enlisting, to troops who want to avoid the painstaking bureaucratic process of obtaining it through traditional channels, which can take more than 10 years.
Since then, about 90,000 foreign-born troops have become U.S. citizens, according to the Homeland Security Department. The response from some immigrant communities has been particularly strong, including Koreans, Chinese, Indians and Nepalese, Stahl said. The Army has caps for the number of recruits needed for each foreign language, so many immigrants from those countries are turned away, Stahl said in a recent interview.
Beyond the language skills, these immigrants bring to the military a cultural knowledge that can be a tactical asset for ground troops working in an unfamiliar country. “Culture is very difficult to train in a classroom or read out of a book. The nuances of situations, unless you are from that culture, you just don’t get it,” Stahl said.
Stahl said the Army is developing a proposed law that would expand the MAVNI program and make it permanent. The program could potentially be expanded to help fill other shortages in the military, such as chaplains, Stahl explained.
Yet security-clearance requirements might limit immigrants’ opportunities in some areas. For now, immigrants on temporary visas are only permitted into jobs that do not require an immediate security clearance, making jobs such as cyber-security more of a challenge, Stahl said.
Beyond the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department has taken steps to limit deportation of military family members. In November, the office of Citizenship and Immigration Service issued a new rule that grants a special “parole in place” to illegal immigrants who are the children or spouses of military service members. That means those individuals who have no legal status can remain in the United States while they apply for legal residency. Otherwise they have to return to their home country and wait for approval.
The rule was changed to ensure that troops do not have to worry about their family members being deported while they are serving in uniform. In practice, it means that if a service member marries an immigrant who does not have legal papers, the immigrant spouse can stay in the U.S. while applying for legal residency.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department is considering a forcewide policy for handling dependents who are undocumented immigrants.
The Navy currently prohibits accession of recruits who have undocumented dependents due to the challenges involved in conducting background checks, issuing base identification cards and providing military benefits.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
The Army invests in educational initiatives that support and further STEM. By looking at the jobs in the Army that rely on STEM skills our PaYS Partners can see firsthand how Soldiers are exposed and ultimately gain STEM proficiencies. This month we will highlight the Engineering proficiencies that PaYS Soldiers in these fields bring to their post Army civilian employers.
Enlisted Technology Military Occupational Specialties
Combat Engineer 12B - Combat engineers primarily supervise, serve or assist as a member of a team when they are tackling rough terrain in combat situations. They provide their expertise in areas such as mobility, counter-mobility, survivability and general engineering. Job training for combat engineers requires 14 weeks of One Station Unit Training, which includes Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field with on-the-job instructions.
Geospatial Engineer 12Y- Geospatial engineers are responsible for using geographic data that supports military/civilian operations for Disaster Relief and Homeland Security. They collect, analyze and distribute geospatial information to represent the terrain and its possible effects. Job training for a geospatial engineer requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 20 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field with on-the-job instructions, including on-the-job instruction for geographic information systems.
Horizontal Construction Engineer 12N- Horizontal construction engineers use bulldozers, cranes, graders and other heavy equipment to move tons of earth and material to complete construction projects for the Army.
They are also responsible for operating tractors with dozer attachments, scoop loaders, backhoe loaders, hydraulic excavators, motorized graders and scrapers. Job training for horizontal construction engineer requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and nine weeks of Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field with on-the-job instructions.
Technical Engineer 12T- The technical engineer supervises or participates in construction site development in areas such as technical investigation, surveys, drafts and construction plans/specifications. They conduct land surveys, make maps and prepare detailed plans for construction projects. Job training for technical engineer requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 17 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field with on-the-job instructions.
Watercraft Engineer 88L- Watercraft engineers are primarily responsible for supervising or performing maintenance on Army watercraft and auxiliary equipment on marine vessels. Job training for a watercraft engineer requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 10 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field.
Officer Careers in Science
Engineer Officer 12- An engineer officer is responsible for providing full support to the wide range of engineering duties in the Army. They can help build structures, develop civil works programs and even provide combat support. Job duties include:
• Sapper — Emplace demolitions, conduct reconnaissance and support maneuver units with mobility, counter-mobility and survivability
• Bradley — Destroy, neutralize and suppress the enemy using the Bradley Fighting Vehicle
• Construction — Construct roads, buildings, military bases, airfields, etc.
• Bridge — Construct, emplace or assemble numerous bridges
• Training — Train the force, write new policy and research alternative engineering technology
Environmental Science/Engineering Officer 72D- Environmental scientists supervise the scientific research for environmental health and industrial hygiene. As an officer on the U.S. Army health care team, their knowledge helps prevent illness and injury for military personnel. Job duties include:
• Identify, evaluate and recommend the course of action to control potential health hazards
• Assess weapons, equipment, clothing and material systems
• Promote policies, programs, practices and operations for the prevention of disease, illness and injury
'Arrowhead' Lieutenant Paves Way for Female Soldiers
By Staff Sgt Christopher McCullough
FORT IRWIN, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2014) -- Every generation has its pioneers, its trailblazers; persons who pave the way for the next generation. The Army is no exception.
In the predominately male discipline of field artillery, there have been a few firsts for females. They have been female Fire Direction Officers in Mobile Launch Rocket System teams and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System crews before, but never have they been in a M777A1 Howitzer Cannon unit.
That is until 2nd Lt. Taylor Cardosi arrived at 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Cardosi, 22, a native of Stillwater, Mass., is a fire direction officer, or FDO, working in the 1st Battalion, 37th Artillery Regiment Battalion Fire Direction Center, and the first female to do so.
"We get fire missions from our battalion, which come from the maneuvers section," said Cardosi. "We process the data and send it to the guns."
Cardosi's appointment as FDO is hot on the heels of the Department of Defense's decision to eventually open all military jobs to females. However, while some positions remain closed as the Department of Defense works out details, the job of FDO opened up only days after Cardosi's entry into active duty, Dec. 27, 2012.
"I was 100 percent surprised when I got here," said Cardosi. "I just showed up and I immediately went to the field."
Cardosi's admission into the largely male-dominated field is no surprise to those who know her. All her life Cardosi has worked hard to succeed in activities not usually associated with young ladies, beginning with her decision to quit ballet.
"I told my mom I hated it and wanted to do karate like my brother was," said Cardosi. "My parents let me choose whatever I wanted."
Her perseverance continued into college, where she not only earned a double major in political science and women in gender studies, but she also enrolled in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps.
"When I kind of heard about the ROTC aspect I knew that it was perfect for me," Cardosi said. "Then I went to school, I got a scholarship and tried to enter the Army. At the time I didn't even know what I would be doing in the military. I didn't have any idea of the jobs that were available or ones that I would be interested in doing either. I really didn't decide until my junior year that I wanted to do field artillery."
While at Bucknell University, in Bucknell, Penn., Cardosi was an essential member of her row team, something she compares to the Army.
"I had a strong team and the Army is like that," Cardosi said. "You have your squad or your team, your teammates or your buddies. In rowing, there are eight people in a boat; you have to combine them to do your best. Same thing (in the Army). Your guys have to watch each other or people get hurt."
Her sense of teamwork has won over the Soldiers in her unit; especially those in her platoon. That's been easy to do when Cardosi repeatedly excels at getting her platoon online and firing first such as when at National Training Center her platoon was last on the line and first to finish shooting, said her platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Guerard, a native of Worchester, Mass.
"I think he's probably one of the best platoon sergeants in the Army," Cardosi said. "He knows his job and he pretty much took me under his wing, because I really didn't know anything about artillery units that much. He just treats me like any other officer. It's not really a male or female thing. He treats me with the same respect."
Guerard said his platoon was a little apprehensive at first because the idea of a female artilleryman was something new to them, but Cardosi's work ethic at Yakima Training Center, Wash., during the brigade's training exercise there in October, showed him and his Soldiers that there was no difference between Cardosi and her male counterparts.
"She strives to do great things," Guerard said. "She's already setting herself apart from her peers. Absolutely there is no difference. She's just another one of the team."
While there are sure to be detractors from Cardosi's successful assumption of duties as a FDO, her perseverance has helped her join the likes of other female firsts such as Sally Ride, the first U.S. female in space, Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice, and the countless others who came before her. Now it is her turn to pave the way for those who will follow in her footsteps.
"I like to think that I want this as a career," said Cardosi. "I'm patient enough to wait and when that time arrives prove that I should have been there all along. For now that's the plan; make it a career. Become a battalion commander, a brigade commander, a general."
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