National Guard October 2012 : Page 16

NEWSBREAKS National Guard in ‘Good Hands’: Grass Takes Over as 27th Chief Gen. Frank J. Grass became the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau in a Pentagon ceremony last month. “I’m very excited about the future. There’s hard work to do,” Grass said. “To the men and women of the National Guard: … You’re the most professional, most well-trained and experienced Na-tional Guard our nation has ever had. “I pledge that I will work every day to serve and support you … so that we can continue to be a ready, accessible and essential operational force for our states as well as our nation.” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta hosted the change of responsibility ceremony in the Pentagon Auditorium. “I know our citizen-warriors will be in good hands,” Panetta said. “Today, we entrust General Grass with a na-tional treasure—a force that has been transformed from a strategic reserve to an essential part of the operational mil-itary and whose ranks are now filled with skilled combat veterans.” Grass succeeded Gen. Craig R. McKinley in the position. He also re-ceived his fourth star during the cer-emony. As NGB chief, Grass serves as a military adviser to the president, the defense secretary and the National Security Council and is the Defense Department’s official channel of com-munication to the governors and ad-jutants general in all 54 states and ter-ritories on all matters pertaining to the National Guard. He is the second chief to also serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McKinley was the first, and also the first four-star officer in the Guard’s nearly 376-year history. Grass is the Army Guard’s first four-star general. “The chiefs and I welcome Gen-eral Frank Grass and his wife, Patri-cia, to the team,” said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “This is the right man for the job: a thinker, a learner and one of the most experienced leaders in our military today.” The change of responsibility cer-emony honored McKinley for his ser-vice as the 26th NGB chief. McKinley received both the Defense Department Distinguished Service Med-al and the Department of Homeland Se-curity Distinguished Service Medal. “We honor General McKinley for his remarkable service to the National Guard Bureau, to the Department of Homeland Security and to our nation,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said. “His leadership has been instrumental in helping build the strong relation-ships that we have today among our many federal, state, local, tribal, terri-torial and foreign partners.” Numerous cabinet secretaries, ser-vice chiefs, adjutants general, the di-rectors of the Army and the Air Guard, senior enlisted leaders and foreign representatives, including many from the 65 nations of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, attended the standing-room only ceremony. Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, adding that his or-ganization is rapidly fielding critical counter-IED capabilities. “But let me say up front that I believe the IED and the networks that use these asymmet-ric weapons will remain a threat to our forces and here at home for decades.” IEDs have become terrorists’ go-to weapon worldwide, he said, because they are cheap and easy to make from readily available components. “Since 2007, IED incidents outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have increased to average more than 500 incidents per month around the globe,” the general said. “Since January 2011, there have been more than 10,000 global IED events occurring in 112 countries, ex-ecuted by more than 40 regional and transnational threat networks.” IED Threat Growing, Expanding, General Tells House Committee Expect improvised explosive devices to be the terrorists’ weapon of choice around the globe for the next several decades, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization said last month. “We still need to do more,” Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero told the House Pentagon Event Honors Best: Guard Fetes Top Personnel The National Guard’s best and brightest were honored at the 2012 Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year banquet at the Pentagon in late August. The event honored the top perform-ers in the National Guard for the year in multiple specialties and positions. The soldiers and airmen each earned their title through extraordinary per-formance and individual achievement throughout the year and represent the best from the National Guard. The Army National Guard honored Sgt. Mark Fuggiti of Pennsylvania, the Best Solder of the Year; Sgt. Matthew Howard of Arkansas, the Best Non-com-missioned Officer of the Year; Sgt. 1st Class Craig Wester of Arizona, the Best Recruiter of the Year; and 1st Lt. Nicho-las Plocar of Wisconsin and Capt. Robert Killian of Colorado, sixth place finishers National Guard Casualties The Army National Guard lost one soldier from Aug. 23 to Sept. 22 while supporting overseas contingency operations, according to Defense Department casualty reporting. r 4UBGG4HU&#0f;+FTTJDB.&#0f;8JOH , 42, of Alexandria, Va., died Aug. 16 27, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, in a undisclosed noncombat-related incident. 4IF XBT BTTJHOFE UP UIF .BJOF "SNZ /BUJPOBM (VBSET TU#BUUBMJPO&#0d;
UI"WJBUJPO&#0d;GSPN#BOHPS&#0d;.BJOF&#0f; | Na tional Guard

Newsbreaks

National Guard in ‘Good Hands’: Grass Takes Over as 27th Chief <br /> <br /> Gen. Frank J. Grass became the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau in a Pentagon ceremony last month.<br /> <br /> “I’m very excited about the future. There’s hard work to do,” Grass said. “To the men and women of the National Guard: … You’re the most professional, most well-trained and experienced National Guard our nation has ever had.<br /> <br /> “I pledge that I will work every day to serve and support you … so that we can continue to be a ready, accessible and essential operational force for our states as well as our nation.” <br /> <br /> Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta hosted the change of responsibility ceremony in the Pentagon Auditorium.<br /> <br /> “I know our citizen-warriors will be in good hands,” Panetta said. “Today, we entrust General Grass with a national treasure—a force that has been transformed from a strategic reserve to an essential part of the operational military and whose ranks are now filled with skilled combat veterans.” <br /> <br /> Grass succeeded Gen. Craig R. McKinley in the position. He also received his fourth star during the ceremony.<br /> <br /> As NGB chief, Grass serves as a military adviser to the president, the defense secretary and the National Security Council and is the Defense Department’s official channel of communication to the governors and adjutants general in all 54 states and territories on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.<br /> <br /> He is the second chief to also serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McKinley was the first, and also the first four-star officer in the Guard’s nearly 376-year history. Grass is the Army Guard’s first four-star general.<br /> <br /> “The chiefs and I welcome General Frank Grass and his wife, Patricia, to the team,” said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “This is the right man for the job: a thinker, a learner and one of the most experienced leaders in our military today.” <br /> <br /> The change of responsibility ceremony honored McKinley for his service as the 26th NGB chief.<br /> <br /> McKinley received both the Defense Department Distinguished Service Medal and the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.<br /> <br /> “We honor General McKinley for his remarkable service to the National Guard Bureau, to the Department of Homeland Security and to our nation,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said. “His leadership has been instrumental in helping build the strong relationships that we have today among our many federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and foreign partners.” <br /> <br /> Numerous cabinet secretaries, service chiefs, adjutants general, the directors of the Army and the Air Guard, senior enlisted leaders and foreign representatives, including many from the 65 nations of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, attended the standing-room only ceremony.<br /> <br /> IED Threat Growing, Expanding, General Tells House Committee<br /> <br /> Expect improvised explosive devices to be the terrorists’ weapon of choice around the globe for the next several decades, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization said last month.<br /> <br /> “We still need to do more,” Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, adding that his organization is rapidly fielding critical counter-IED capabilities. “But let me say up front that I believe the IED and the networks that use these asymmetric weapons will remain a threat to our forces and here at home for decades.” <br /> <br /> IEDs have become terrorists’ go-to weapon worldwide, he said, because they are cheap and easy to make from readily available components.<br /> <br /> “Since 2007, IED incidents outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have increased to average more than 500 incidents per month around the globe,” the general said. “Since January 2011, there have been more than 10,000 global IED events occurring in 112 countries, executed by more than 40 regional and transnational threat networks.” <br /> <br /> Pentagon Event Honors Best: Guard Fetes Top Personnel <br /> <br /> The National Guard’s best and brightest were honored at the 2012 Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year banquet at the Pentagon in late August.<br /> <br /> The event honored the top performers in the National Guard for the year in multiple specialties and positions. The soldiers and airmen each earned their title through extraordinary performance and individual achievement throughout the year and represent the best from the National Guard.<br /> <br /> The Army National Guard honored Sgt. Mark Fuggiti of Pennsylvania, the Best Solder of the Year; Sgt. Matthew Howard of Arkansas, the Best Non-commissioned Officer of the Year; Sgt. 1st Class Craig Wester of Arizona, the Best Recruiter of the Year; and 1st Lt. Nicholas Plocar of Wisconsin and Capt. Robert Killian of Colorado, sixth place finishers Of the Best Ranger Competition.<br /> <br /> Staff Sgt. Matthew Madiar of Illinois and Sgt. 1st Class Zachery Philips of Oregon, third place finishers in the Best Ranger Competition, could not be present, but were honored for their outstanding achievements.<br /> <br /> The Air National Guard honored Senior Airman Michael McCaffrey of Washington, the Best Airman of the Year; Tech. Sgt. Jacob Scott Curtis of Illinois, the Non-commissioned Officer of the Year; Senior Master Sgt. Luke Thompson of Oregon, the Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year; Master Sgt. Fred Hudgins Jr. Of Arizona, the First Sergeant of the Year; Master Sgt. Jeffrey Lamarche of New York, the Best Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year, and Staff Sgt. Carrie Kline of Indiana, the Best Honor Guard Member of the Year.<br /> <br /> Army Plans Major Changes To Officer Evaluation System<br /> <br /> New rating forms will be adopted next year as the Army implements significant changes to its officer evaluation system.<br /> <br /> The new system will include profiles for raters (not just senior raters), and enable senior raters to better identify the very best officers in a competitive environment.<br /> <br /> Army officials said last month that changes are instead aimed at instilling rater accountability, more accurately identifying elite performers and synching the report with current leadership doctrine.<br /> <br /> Leadership doctrine has changed since 1997, officials said, when Department of the Army Form 67-9 was first adopted.<br /> <br /> The new DA 67-10 will eliminate the 16 boxes for “attributes, skills and actions.” Instead raters will be required to write statements about an officer’s attributes, specifically “character, presence and intellect,” along with how the officer “leads, develops and achieves.”<br /> <br /> The new form requires raters to be “more descriptive” and not just check blocks, officials said.<br /> <br /> There will be three versions of the new officer evaluation report: one for Captains and below, another for field grade officers and chief warrant officers in the three highest grades and a third for colonels and brigadier generals, dubbed “strategic leaders.” <br /> <br /> The new form is scheduled to be adopted in December 2013 throughout the Total Army. To prepare the force, officials plan to provide mobile training teams and online tutorials.<br /> <br /> Study: Military Unaffected By ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal <br /> <br /> The repeal of the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” has had no negative impact on the military’s readiness or recruitment and retention, according to a study.<br /> <br /> Reported last month in USA Today, the study says, “The repeal of DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.” <br /> <br /> The study was conducted by the Palm Center, a University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law-affiliated research center that focuses on sexual minorities in the military. The study team included representatives of the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the Marine Corps’ War College.<br /> <br /> The repeal of DADT became effective in September 2011 after being in effect nearly 20 years. It barred homosexual men and women from serving openly in the armed forces.<br /> <br /> “In balance, DADT repeal has enhanced the military’s ability to pursue its mission,” the study says. Recruitment and retention were unaffected and repeal did not lead to “any new wave of violence or physical abuse.” <br /> <br /> No wave of sexual disclosures followed the repeal, according to the report.<br /> <br /> The only verifiable resignations linked to the repeal came from military chaplains.<br /> <br /> Names of Silver Star Recipients Added to DoD’s New Valor Site<br /> <br /> Officials have added the names of those who have received Silver Star awards to a website listing recipients of the nation’s highest awards for valor.<br /> <br /> The site launched in July with the names of those who have received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, since Sept. 11, 2001.<br /> <br /> Officials have since added the names of those who have received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross or the Silver Star.<br /> <br /> The site—at http://valor.defense.gov— is designed to raise awareness of service members’ heroism and to help in deterring those who falsely claim military honors, officials said.<br /> <br /> ‘Bending Metal’: KC-46 Tanker Enters Design Review Phase <br /> <br /> The Air Force KC-46A program director described the critical development phases of the next-generation refueling aircraft during the 2012 Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C., Sept. 18.<br /> <br /> Maj. Gen. John F. Thompson, the program executive officer for Tanker Programs, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, said that while KC-46’s preliminary aircraft design review is complete, additional steps must be taken to develop a final aircraft design that meets system requirements.<br /> <br /> Thompson added that 18 months into the aircraft development program the KC- 46A is on track for critical design review in the fourth quarter of next year.<br /> <br /> The aircraft configuration will advance, he explained, from the commercial Boeing model 767-200ER aircraft to a Boeing model 767-2C Provisioned Freighter variant before final modification into a military- certified KC-46 tanker.<br /> <br /> Select design features will allow the aircraft to carry out its “multirole capabilities,” which also include cargo transportation, passenger transportation and patient transportation, Thompson added.<br /> <br /> “We are actually bending metal on this aircraft—it is not just a paper design anymore,” Thompson said.<br /> <br /> The KC-46 is scheduled to begin replacing the KC-135 Stratotanker in the fleet in 2017, with 179 new tankers slated for delivery by 2027. One yet-to-be-determined Air Guard wing will be among the first to receive the KC-46, however, fielding plans don’t include a second Air Guard unit until 2026.<br /> <br /> The Air Guard currently operates 43 percent of the Air Force KC-135 fleet.<br /> <br /> Shinseki Notes Strides in Serving Nation’s Veterans <br /> <br /> The Department of Veterans Affairs has made great strides in meeting the challenges posed by a decade of war, and cooperation with the Defense Department is crucial to continued progress, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said recently.<br /> <br /> In a Aug. 28 speech at the American Legion convention in Indianapolis, Shinseki said repeated deployments over the last decade have created “issues that don’t show up right away.”<br /> <br /> “More [service members] are surviving catastrophic injuries, but higher survival rates also mean complex casualties,” he said.<br /> <br /> By next summer, Shinseki said, VA will have increased funding for treatment of veterans with spinal cord injuries by 28 percent since 2009.<br /> <br /> He added that funding for traumatic brain injury treatment will have increased by 38 percent, mental health funding by 39 percent, long-term care funding by 39 percent and prosthetics funding by 58 percent. Funding for female veterans’ health issues will have increased by 123 percent, with a potential total increase of 158 percent by 2014.<br /> <br /> In the face of these challenges, he said, VA has decided the compensation claims of 2. 9 million veterans in the past three and a half years. In 2012, he expects that for the third straight year, VA will decide 1 million.<br /> <br /> The secretary acknowledged that a backlog of claims exists.<br /> <br /> “This is a dynamic process. When you push 2.9 million claims out the door and 3.5 million come in, … we have to find ways to dominate those numbers.” <br /> <br /> VA also is working with Pentagon officials to establish a single, common integrated electronic health record by 2014, Shinseki said.<br /> <br /> —Compiled from staff and Pentagon reports<br /> <br /> Troops Test New Female Body Armor<br /> <br /> Female soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., preparing for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan are getting a chance to weigh in on the latest innovation in personal protective equipment: body armor designed specifically to them.<br /> <br /> Any woman who has deployed to the combat zone can tell you what’s wrong with wearing standard body armor—it’s designed for a man’s body.<br /> <br /> “The size extra-small was too large for 85 percent of the females, so they weren’t getting a good fit,” said Lynn Hennessey, the lead designer for the female body armor prototype being tested. “It was too loose and too long.”<br /> <br /> That left vulnerabilities where the body armor left gaps, particularly under the arms. Women also reported bruising on their hip bones because the side plates dragged down to their hips, she said.<br /> <br /> This kind of feedback led the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Mass., to launch a program to design female-specific body armor.<br /> <br /> The program kicked off in January 2011, with prototypes now undergoing testing by members of the 101st Airborne Division.<br /> <br /> To design the new vests, the design team studied anthropometric data—a series of measurements to reflect the size and shape of women’s bodies, with a particular focus on the bust, torso length and shoulders.<br /> <br /> “Females are not small males,” said Beverly Kimball, the project engineer for female Army aviation combat uniforms also being developed at Natick. “We have specific proportions that require designs for fit and function for uniforms as well as equipment.” <br /> <br /> The Natick team came up with eight different sizes of female body armor, in two different lengths, to accommodate the force.<br /> <br /> During the initial fit tests, 120 female soldiers at Fort Campbell and other installations gave the prototypes a resounding thumbs-up, Hennessey said.<br /> <br /> The project team will assess feedback from the deploying soldiers to determine if the female body armor is ready for fielding throughout the Army.<br /> <br /> —By Donna Miles<br /> <br /> Sound Bites<br /> <br /> RIGHT CHOICE <br /> <br /> “You stepped forward to serve our nation in its time of need. You could have chosen another, easier path. But you didn’t. You chose the harder [life]. And America is better off for you having done so.” <br /> <br /> —Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander, U.S. Africa Command, <br /> 134th General Conference and Exhibition,<br /> Reno, Nev., Sept. 10<br /> <br /> IN THEIR BLOOD <br /> <br /> “Today’s Guardsmen and women share the same DNA as a long line of fighters and survivors.”<br /> <br /> —Gen. Frank J. Grass, National Guard Bureau chief,<br /> 134th General Conference and Exhibition,<br /> Reno, Nev., Sept. 11<br /> <br /> SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT <br /> <br /> “These days, it’s often women in uniform—moms, wives, even grandmothers—who deploy and leave their families behind.”<br /> <br /> —Capt. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii National Guard, candidate for Congress,<br /> Democratic National Convention,<br /> Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4.<br /> <br /> LIFE LESSON <br /> <br /> “One of the things I have learned after 24 years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, 35 years in uniform and service on numerous boards and commissions is the Pentagon is not always right.”<br /> <br /> —Arnold L. Punaro, chairman, Reserve Force Policy Board,<br /> 134th General Conference and Exhibition,<br /> Reno, Nev., Sept. 10<br /> <br /> OLD NORMAL <br /> <br /> “There are no Virginia Army or Air Guard units serving on federal active duty.”<br /> <br /> —Open letter from Gov. Bob McDonnell to Virginia National Guard,<br /> “Virginia Guard Troops All Home For First Time In 10 Years,”<br /> Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Sept. 4<br /> <br /> GREAT GENERATION <br /> <br /> “More than 5 million members of the 9/11 generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of good will towards our military, veterans and their families.”<br /> <br /> —President Barack Obama,<br /> weekly presidential radio address,<br /> Sept. 8<br /> <br /> Magazine Archives<br /> <br /> Below is an excerpt as it appeared in the October/November 1977 issue of NATIONAL GUARDSMAN, as the magazine was known then. It’s part of a series of relevant articles from the publication’s more than 65 years of archives.<br /> <br /> NGAUS Endorses Governors’ Backing<br /> <br /> During its recent New Orleans conference, the NGAUS strongly endorsed a National Governors’ Conference resolution which demanded that governors be consulted before any decisions are made which would change the size, location or mission of Guard combat units.<br /> <br /> The nation’s governors, meeting at their 69th annual National Governors’ Conference in Detroit on Sept. 8, viewed with great concern two of the three alternatives presented in a Defense Department briefing. The DoD briefing covered a Presidentially directed study to examine the roles and missions of the Guard and reserve. <br /> <br /> DoD’s first alternative would retain current structure and readiness requirements, and add the resources needed to produce that required readiness. Alternative number two discussed continuing to depend on the early deployment capability of only the support type units in the Guard.<br /> <br /> This option was felt to include probable reduction or reorganization of large combat units in the Guard, with the resulting loss of higher headquarters staffs necessary for command and control function. The final alternative would de-emphasize early deployment of Guard and reserve units, with Army or Air Force units providing the early deploying force.<br /> <br /> The governors viewed alternative number two with particular alarm because it appeared to impact directly on the Guard’s state mission. They felt their ability to respond quickly and fully to natural disasters and other state emergencies would be seriously affected by the elimination of higher Guard headquarters normally used to plan and direct civil emergency assistance.<br /> <br /> Apprehension that the DoD would reach decisions without the counsel of the governors led to immediate action. The NGC’s Subcommittee on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, headed by Gov. Otis R. Bowen of Indiana, quickly developed a resolution to counter that prospect.<br /> <br /> Aimed at insuring that the governors’ advice and input are obtained by DoD before final decisions are made, the resolution was approved unanimously by the full conference. … <br /> <br /> Less than a week after the governors met in Detroit, the National Guard Association unanimously endorsed their action through a resolution commending and supporting the NGC for demanding consultation with the DoD before decisions are made about the National Guard.<br /> <br /> Did You Know?<br /> <br /> The National Guard Memorial Museum’s long-anticipated 9/11 Era Gallery is under construction and set to open in November.

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