National Guard February 2012 : Page 16

NEWSBREAKS National Guard Leaders Say Budget Offers Risk, Opportunity The overall strategy behind the pro-posed fiscal 2013 Defense Department budget was unveiled last month, de-picting a smaller force with new pri-orities. The details are to be released this month and National Guard leaders and others have been saying they ex-pect the nation’s first force to come out of it with some damage, but in a good position for the future. “I will tell you as a proud National Guardsman that the National Guard was built to help in this new emerging strategy,” Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, Fla., a few days after President Barack Obama released the general strategy Jan. 5. “For the next several years, we be-lieve we are the answer to our nation’s security needs,” he added. In Delaware, Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wy-att III, the director of the Air Guard, told senior leaders of the Delaware National Guard that his force will get smaller. He’ll know how small, he said, when the budget details are released Feb. 6. “It’s going to be ugly when it comes out, but it’s not going to be hopeless,” he said according to a report in T he News Journal in Delaware. The budget plan for the Pentagon cuts $487 billion in defense spending over the next 10 years as the nation grapples with a growing debt of nearly $14 trillion. The size of the force sta-tioned in Europe will shrink as the na-tion puts more emphasis on the Pacific region. Gone, too, from the strategy is the language saying the nation must be prepared to fight two simultaneous wars. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said people shouldn’t make too much of that, saying the military was shack-led by the “tyranny of language.” Without that verbiage, he said, “what we can actually allow ourselves to do now is to think differently about how we achieve the outcome.” In a statement after the Obama strategy was released, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a co-chairman with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of the Senate National Guard Caucus, applauded the new direction and pushed for more dependence on the Guard. “If the Pentagon unwisely moves to cut the Guard and Reserve compo-nents in order to maintain a smaller and much more expensive active com-ponent, Senator Graham and I will work to correct such missteps,” he said in the statement. Meanwhile, an ally came from the retired ranks of the Air Force. Retired Gen. Ron Fogleman, a former Air Force chief of staff, wrote in Defense News that a return to the militia model outlined by the nation’s founders is a solution to the budget woes. “Simply put, it means we should return to the constitutional construct for our military and the days when we maintained a smaller standing military and a robust militia,” he wrote. The idea, he said, warrants consid-eration, but he knows it would be dif-ficult. “To do that, leaders must put old parochial norms aside and be willing to actually shift forces and capabilities to the National Guard and Reserve,” he wrote. Falling Stars: Pentagon Cuts Top Brass, More Cuts Planned Ordered by the previous defense secretary to cut more than 100 general officer slots in five years, the Pentagon is well on the way to reaching that goal. Since March, it has eliminated 27 jobs for generals and admirals, the De-fense Department told The Washington Post last month. Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had asked the DoD in March 2011 to reduce the slots for admirals and generals from 952 to 850 over five years. That leaves the department with more than four years to cull another 75 slots. Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the director of the Joint Staff at the Penta-gon, told the newspaper that the cuts make the military more nimble. “If 10 years of combat have taught us anything, it’s that flat is faster,” said Gortney, who was appointed by Gates to review the number of positions for top generals in the Pentagon. National Guard Casualties Five Army National Guard soldiers lost their lives from Dec. 17 through Jan. 17 while supporting the war on terrorism, ac-cording to Defense Department casualty reporting. r 4QD&#0f; 1FSOFMM +&#0f; )FSSFSB , 33, of Espanola, N.M., died Dec. &#0d;JO)FMNBOEQSPWJODF&#0d;"GHIBOJTUBO&#0d;PGJOKVSJFTTVTUBJOFE in a noncombat incident.  )F XBT B NFNCFS PG UIF /FX .FYJDP "SNZ /BUJPOBM (VBSETTU#BUUBMJPO&#0d;TU"WJBUJPO&#0d;GSPN4BOUB'F&#0d;/&#0f;.&#0f; 16 r 4UBGG4HU&#0f;+POBUIBO.&#0f;.FU[HFS , 32, of Indianapolis; 4QD&#0f; Brian J. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind.; 4QD&#0f; $ISJTUP -QIFS "&#0f; 1BUUFSTPO , 20, of Aurora, Ill.; and 4QD&#0f; 3PCFSU +&#0f; Tauteris Jr. &#0d; &#0d; PG )BNMFU&#0d; *OE&#0f;&#0d; EJFE +BO&#0f;  JO ,BOEBIBS province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered after enemy GPSDFTBUUBDLFEUIFJSWFIJDMFXJUIBOJNQSPWJTFEFYQMPTJWF device. All four were members of the Indiana Army National (VBSETUI&OHJOFFS$PNQBOZGSPN7BMQBSBJTP&#0d;*OE&#0f; | Na tional Guard

Newsbreaks

National Guard Leaders Say Budget Offers Risk, Opportunity<br /> <br /> The overall strategy behind the proposed fiscal 2013 Defense Department budget was unveiled last month, depicting a smaller force with new priorities.<br /> <br /> The details are to be released this month and National Guard leaders and others have been saying they expect the nation’s first force to come out of it with some damage, but in a good position for the future.<br /> <br /> “I will tell you as a proud National Guardsman that the National Guard was built to help in this new emerging strategy,” Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, Fla., a few days after President Barack Obama released the general strategy Jan. 5.<br /> <br /> “For the next several years, we believe we are the answer to our nation’s security needs,” he added.<br /> <br /> In Delaware, Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air Guard, told senior leaders of the Delaware National Guard that his force will get smaller. He’ll know how small, he said, when the budget details are released Feb. 6.<br /> <br /> “It’s going to be ugly when it comes out, but it’s not going to be hopeless,” he said according to a report in The News Journal in Delaware.<br /> <br /> The budget plan for the Pentagon cuts $487 billion in defense spending over the next 10 years as the nation Grapples with a growing debt of nearly $14 trillion. The size of the force stationed in Europe will shrink as the nation puts more emphasis on the Pacific region.<br /> <br /> Gone, too, from the strategy is the language saying the nation must be prepared to fight two simultaneous wars. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said people shouldn’t make too much of that, saying the military was shackled by the “tyranny of language.”<br /> <br /> Without that verbiage, he said, “what we can actually allow ourselves to do now is to think differently about how we achieve the outcome.”<br /> <br /> In a statement after the Obama strategy was released, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a co-chairman with Sen.Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of the Senate National Guard Caucus, applauded the new direction and pushed for more dependence on the Guard.<br /> <br /> “If the Pentagon unwisely moves to cut the Guard and Reserve components in order to maintain a smaller and much more expensive active component, Senator Graham and I will work to correct such missteps,” he said in the statement.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, an ally came from the retired ranks of the Air Force. Retired Gen. Ron Fogleman, a former Air Force chief of staff, wrote in Defense News that a return to the militia model outlined by the nation’s founders is a solution to the budget woes.<br /> <br /> “Simply put, it means we should Return to the constitutional construct for our military and the days when we maintained a smaller standing military and a robust militia,” he wrote.<br /> <br /> The idea, he said, warrants consideration, but he knows it would be difficult.<br /> <br /> “To do that, leaders must put old parochial norms aside and be willing to actually shift forces and capabilities to the National Guard and Reserve,” he wrote.<br /> <br /> Falling Stars: Pentagon Cuts Top Brass, More Cuts Planned<br /> <br /> Ordered by the previous defense secretary to cut more than 100 general officer slots in five years, the Pentagon is well on the way to reaching that goal.<br /> <br /> Since March, it has eliminated 27 jobs for generals and admirals, the Defense Department told The Washington Post last month.<br /> <br /> Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had asked the DoD in March 2011 to reduce the slots for admirals and generals from 952 to 850 over five years. That leaves the department with more than four years to cull another 75 slots.<br /> <br /> Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, told the newspaper that the cuts make the military more nimble.<br /> <br /> “If 10 years of combat have taught us anything, it’s that flat is faster,” said Gortney, who was appointed by Gates to review the number of positions for top generals in the Pentagon.<br /> <br /> Study: Army Suicides Down, Mental Health Treatment Up<br /> <br /> The number of suicides across the Total Army decreased this past year and more soldiers are seeking treatment for their problems, according to a comprehensive behavioral health study released last month.<br /> <br /> The report, “Generating Health and Discipline in the Force, Ahead of the Strategic Reset,” was the topic of conversation at a Pentagon press conference with Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff .<br /> <br /> The three-year study covered the problem of suicide in the Army and related issues of substance abuse, spouse abuse and child abuse.<br /> <br /> “For the calendar year 2011,” Chiarelli said, “if you take a look at all the categories, the overall suicide numbers decrease by 10 percent, from 350 to315. The only category where we had an increase of five suicides was in the active-duty category.”<br /> <br /> Most important, he said, is the increased numbers of soldiers who have received early intervention and treatment.<br /> <br /> The report indicates that 280,000 troops sought behavioral health practitioners for their problems, an increase of 70,000 over 2009.<br /> <br /> Chiarelli said that was evidence the Army was making progress toward “destigmatizing behavioral health issues.”<br /> <br /> There was also some bad news in the report, including a 64 percent increase in violent sex crime offenders.<br /> <br /> “We also had an increase in 2006 to 2011 in domestic violence. It increased by 33 percent, from 293 to 383,” Chiarelli said. “And our child-abuse cases increased by 43 percent in that time period from 201 to 287.<br /> <br /> Alcohol abuse, associated with domestic violence, increased by 54 percent, and with child abuse by 40 percent, he said.<br /> <br /> “And research informs us that [posttraumatic stress] is a factor in partner aggression,” he said. “A person diagnosed with PTS is three times more likely to participate in some kind of partner aggression.”<br /> <br /> The full report is available online at http://usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/232541.pdf.<br /> <br /> Panetta Outlines Initiatives To Combat Sexual Assault<br /> <br /> Sexual assault has no place in the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said last month, calling the crime “a stain on the good honor of the great majority of our troops and their families.”<br /> <br /> Panetta announced four initiatives designed to aid victims and strengthen prosecution of military sexual assault cases.<br /> <br /> The secretary said 3,191 sexual assaults were reported in the military last year, but because historically only a fraction of such crimes are reported,the true incidence of sexual assault likely approaches 19,000.<br /> <br /> Troops willing to fight and die for their country “are entitled to much better protection,” he said.<br /> <br /> Some of the proposals rolled out in coming months may require legislative action, the secretary said.<br /> <br /> “First, I’ve directed the establishment of a DoD sexual assault advocate certification program, which will require our sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to obtain a credential aligned with national standards,” Panetta said.<br /> <br /> He also has directed DoD to expand assault victim support to include military spouses and adult family members.<br /> <br /> The secretary’s third approach increases training funds for investigators and judge advocates. Officials said the funding increase is $9.3 million over five years.<br /> <br /> Panetta said his fourth current effort against sexual assault in the military Focuses on prevention and leader training.<br /> <br /> “Our leaders in uniform—officers and enlisted—are on the front lines of the effort,” he said. “They have to be.We must all be leaders here. For this reason, I’m directing an assessment, due in 120 days, on how we train our commanding officers and senior enlisted leaders on sexual assault prevention and response, and what we can do to strengthen that training.”<br /> <br /> First Lady: Med Schools to Push More Training for Veteran Care<br /> <br /> First Lady Michelle Obama announced a commitment from the nation’s medical colleges to better train civilian health care providers in caring for war veterans and their families and to push for more research in the wounds of war.<br /> <br /> Obama’s announcement last month at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Va., marked the Latest endeavor of her “Joining Forces” campaign with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to rally nationwide support for military families.<br /> <br /> The first lady announced that the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, with 105 and 25 schools, respectively, have committed to leveraging their missions in education, research and clinical care “to meet the unique health-care needs” of the military and veterans communities.<br /> <br /> “Today, the nation’s medical colleges are committing to create a new generation of doctors, medical schools and research facilities to make sure our heroes receive the care worthy of their military service,” she said.<br /> <br /> As part of the initiative, the associations pledged to:<br /> <br /> Train their medical students as well as their current physicians, faculty and staff to better diagnose and treat veterans and military families;<br /> <br /> Develop new research and clinical trials on traumatic brain injuries (story, page 26) and post-traumatic stress disorder;<br /> <br /> Share their information and best practices with each other through a collaborative Web forum; and<br /> <br /> Coordinate with the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.<br /> <br /> Many of the medical colleges already are making strides, Obama said, including VCU’s project to ease veterans’ transition from war to home, the University of South Florida’s first-ofits- kind Center for Veterans Reintegration and the University of Pittsburgh’s creation of an imaging tool to see the wiring of the brain in high-definition.<br /> <br /> Lawmaker: Arm ‘Medevacs’ To Save Lives in Afghanistan<br /> <br /> A member of the House Armed Services Committee thinks medicalevacuation helicopters in Afghanistan should be armed, which possibly would save more lives.<br /> <br /> Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., wrote a letter last month to the Defense Department suggesting that the current Policy of sending armed aircraft to accompany medevac helicopters is too slow and could have been a factor in the death of a soldier in September, according to a report in Army Times.<br /> <br /> “Under current Army policy, dustoff s are unarmed and must await escort if the casualty is in an area designated ‘high risk,’” he told the newspaper.<br /> <br /> He mentioned a soldier who died when an unarmed medevac helicopter was close by, but was not dispatched because no armed aircraft were available to accompany it. It took 30 minutes for the helicopter to be dispatched.The soldier died of his wounds later.<br /> <br /> Akin called the delay “absolutely unacceptable” and said other medevac flights have been delayed because no armed aircraft were available to go on the mission.<br /> <br /> U.S. Central Command reviewed the soldier’s death in September and said the lack of an armed escort was not a factor.<br /> <br /> Akin does not completely believe that conclusion, he told Army Times. He said the Army policy is an attempt to adhere to the Geneva Convention, but he noted that the Air Force and other nations do not follow the same rules.<br /> <br /> The Army defended its policy in a Jan. 20 statement on www.army.mil.<br /> <br /> “[A]ll helicopters in Afghanistan fl y in pairs as a force-protection matter,” said the statement from the Office of Chief of Army Public Affairs. “It’s the way we do business and to suggest that arming medevac aircraft would result in crews launching sooner is a dubious assertion.”<br /> <br /> Weight is another factor, the statement said. The added pounds of a weapon, mounting equipment, ammunition and gunner “would hinder the aircraft’s ability to work at higher altitudes.”<br /> <br /> “Additionally, medevacs can carry up to four litter patients, but if weapons were added, that number would be reduced, which would in turn require the commitment of more medevac aircraft, an already low-density and high-demand asset.”<br /> <br /> Dempsey: U.S. Military Has ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Bullying<br /> <br /> Emphasizing that bullying and hazing undermine everything the military stands for, the top U.S. military officer said every member of the armed forces has a personal responsibility to uphold its “zero tolerance” standard And intervene to stop any occurrences.<br /> <br /> “We are currently investigating several allegations of hazing within our ranks,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , reported in a posting in late December on his Facebook site and Twitter.<br /> <br /> Dempsey posted his message after The Army brought charges against eight soldiers allegedly involved in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen. Chen, an infantryman deployed to southern Afghanistan with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, was found dead in a guard tower Oct. 3, 2011, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.<br /> <br /> “These appear to be isolated instances of misconduct, but I want to be very clear: hazing is simply intolerable,” Dempsey said in his message.“It undermines our values, tarnishes our profession and erodes the trust that bonds us.<br /> <br /> “This cruel form of misconduct requires an audience to achieve its intended effect of humiliation,” he noted.“Every service member should be aware that participating in hazing [and] even observing it without reporting it are both wrong. We are duty-bound to protect one another from hazing in any form.”<br /> <br /> Biden Pens Kid’s Book On Military Family Life<br /> <br /> Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, has written a children’s book to raise awareness among Americans, particularly children, of military families’ challenges during deployment.<br /> <br /> Don’t Forget, Nana, God Bless Our Troops will be released in June.<br /> <br /> Biden, nicknamed “Nana” by her grandkids, said that she decided to write the book after speaking with hundreds of military families across the nation. Many Americans aren’t aware of what military families go through when their loved one is deployed, she said.<br /> <br /> “What better way than a children’s book to help parents reading to their children … understand, and the children understand, just what it’s like to go through a deployment,” she said.<br /> <br /> Her own family’s experiences with deployment inspired the story. The Bidens’ son, Beau, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, deployed to Iraq in 2008.<br /> <br /> “I really thought if I wrote the book from the heart, then that would be the best kind of book, and the message would get across,” she said.<br /> <br /> The book will include resources about what readers can do to support troops and their families worldwide, a topic Biden often touches on during her travels across the nation in support of the “Joining Forces” initiative.<br /> <br /> Need a Sitter? Service Links Troops, Providers<br /> <br /> Service members now have another option when it comes to choosing a caretaker for their children, pets, homes and even tutors.<br /> <br /> Sittercity helps connect people who need babysitters, nannies, pet sitters, tutors, housekeepers and adult caregivers with reputable and trusted service providers.Now, the Defense Department has funded the membership cost so service members can take advantage of the program for free.<br /> <br /> The program allows military parents to post jobs with the requirements of what they consider to be the perfect sitter. They can include specifications like sitters who have access to military installations or military-subsidized care providers.<br /> <br /> Once the job is posted,Sitters apply directly to that job. The parents receive targeted cover letters through e-mail explaining the sitters’ qualifications.<br /> <br /> “On average, each job post gets 11 applicants,” said Melissa Anderson, the president of Sittercity’s corporate division. “We connect a military family with a care provider every seven minutes.”<br /> <br /> More information is available at www.Sittercity.com/DOD.<br /> <br /> Disney Theme Parks Extend Discount Offer<br /> <br /> Disney has extended its special military discounts at its theme parks in Florida and California.<br /> <br /> Military members and retirees now have until Sept. 27, 2012, to purchase fourday park-hopper tickets for $138 each, a discount of more than $100, to Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.<br /> <br /> Those eligible or their spouse may purchase up 12 such tickets for themselves, family members or friends at military installations or the parks. Tickets are valid through Sept. 30.<br /> <br /> Disney is also offering military discounts of up to 40 percent at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels through Sept. 30. Advance reservations are required.<br /> <br /> At Disneyland near Los Angeles, the deal is threeday park-hopper tickets for $99 each, a savings of more than $100. Ticket purchase procedures and limitations for military members and retirees are similar to those at Disney World.<br /> <br /> There are also military discounts at Disneyland Resort hotels through Sept. 30.<br /> <br /> Blackout dates, such as July 4, apply. Further details are available at www.disneymilitarysales.com.<br /> <br /> Referral Program Sparks Recruiting<br /> <br /> A new program that rewards current and retired airmen who bring new recruits into the force is getting some of the credit for the Air National Guard’s improved recruiting numbers late last year.<br /> <br /> Col. Mark Sheehan, the director for Air Guard manpower, personnel and services, told Air Force Times last month that the Referral Reward Program deserves partial credit for the force exceeding its goals in November and December. The service took in 684 and 712, respectively.<br /> <br /> “We’re back on track at the national level,” he said.<br /> <br /> In October, the first month of the current fiscal year, the Air Guard fell 24 percent short of its recruiting goal.<br /> <br /> The program provides rewards such as an iPod or home theater system to an airman or retiree who successfully refers a new recruit to the force. He said it has produced 119 new airmen, including 24 who entered critical career fields.<br /> <br /> “The concept behind this program is that it involves every Guardsman—retired and still serving—giving them the opportunity to be rewarded for helping with our national recruiting efforts,” Sheehan said.<br /> <br /> Information about the referral program is available at www.refer2ang.com.<br /> <br /> Magazine Archives<br /> <br /> Below is an excerpt as it appeared in the September 1977 edition of THE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN, as the magazine was then called. It’s part of a series of relevant articles from the publication’s more than 65 years of archives.<br /> <br /> A Vital Link<br /> <br /> “The Guard’s men and women are not my bastard cousins. They’re me.”<br /> <br /> With this one terse comment, Gen. Robert J. Dixon, commander of the Tactical Air Command, sums up the Air National Guard’s role in the overall Air Force tactical mission.<br /> <br /> The numbers bear him out. During this fiscal year Guard units are accounting for 40 percent of TAC’s fighter units, 50 percent of its reconnaissance units, 50 percent of its tactical air support units and, through Military Airlift Command, 33 per cent of its airlift units.<br /> <br /> Guard and Reserve units also account for 1,195 of TAC’s 3,145 aircraft, 14 of its 39 wings, 50,000 of its 145,000 personnel and $506 million of its $2.3 billion annual budget.<br /> <br /> But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Dixon, who has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the feistiest generals in the Air Force, gets almost misty-eyed when he talks about the bonds of professionalism that hold together “my people.”<br /> <br /> “I test ‘em all, I train ‘em all and I abuse ‘em all up to a better standard,” he said in an interview with THE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN as he punctuated his comments by abusing his conference table with his fist.<br /> <br /> And the key to this relationship is maintaining a high state of readiness. If a war comes—and Dixon says, “It’s not given to us to know when or where”—that readiness will be essential.<br /> <br /> “We’re not going to go alone,” he intones. “The line between Guard and Reserve, and Active ready forces, disappears.”<br /> <br /> That’s why he is so vocal about the need for more realistic training: “We have to do it right the first time. There’s no overrun in my business. The taxpayers don’t want to hear any excuses.”<br /> <br /> At the Pentagon, Maj Gen John T. Guice, director of the Air Guard, echoes his comments: “TAC has fully accepted us as a partner and they intend for our units to do well.<br /> <br /> “They’ve supported us excellently from General Dixon down to the warehouses, and two numbered Air Forces treat Guard flying and tactical control units as their own.”

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