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Volume 16 -  Number 13

April 3, 2009

 

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Articles

Deployed troops work with Iraqi Security Forces High school student faces adversity, earns scholarship
Deployed troops work with Iraqi Security Forces

High school student faces adversity, earns scholarship

Green belts lead the way for Wainwright innovation

Slow, steady keeps Interior runner in the race

Family focus group effects change

News Briefs

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer spotlight NCO - Sgt. Demetrius Terrell

Single Soldiers give back to Richardson schools

Telephone scam artists prey on trusting consumers

Beware of online scams promising easy money

Free annual credit reports can reveal stolen identities

Avoid falling prey to identity theft

Education scams from bogus colleges target Soldiers, their families

Therapy dog interacts with Fort Wainwright students

Army now fielding Enhanced Night Vision Goggles

Ready Army helps prepare families for the unexpected

Awareness month presents chance for alcohol education

Public Health Week establishes foundation for a healthy America

Ask the MEDDAC Commander - ‘When can my medical information be released to my chain of command?

Sexual assault awareness tools help promote prevention

FMWR Events

Fort Wainwright Compass

Fort Richardson Compass


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Speak Up

 

How can the stigma of seeking mental health treatment be overcome?

 

Asked by
Sharon McBride/Fort Richardson PAO

Spc. Andrew Duran

 

Spc. Andrew Duran

2nd Battalion,
377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment

“If I need it, I’ll just ask. People just need to put down their pride and ask.”

Sgt. William Cooper

Sgt. William Cooper

1st Battalion,
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment

“We’re not educated enough on the subject as a whole. Mental health treatment is broad and covers a lot of different things. I think education is the key.”

Brian Bereswill

Brian Bereswill

Arctic Chill program manager

“I think they should make mental health treatment mandatory for Soldiers who have deployed. You’d be surprised how deployments can affect people.”

Spc. Meghan Alcala

Spc. Meghan Alcala

725th Brigade
Support Battalion

“I don’t think Soldiers should let their pride get in the way. Just ask for help.”

Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Hoffman

Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Hoffman

3rd Civil Engineer
Squadron

“There’s a stereotype associated, but I know the hospital goes above and beyond to get people the help they need. People just need to take up the offer.”

Bill Miracle

Bill Miracle

Warrior Zone program manager

“Everyone has to deal with stress at different times in their life. It has to be dealt with at the unit level just like the rest of unit training.”

Click here for Story 1DIYALA, Iraq – Soldiers of HHC, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, were already on the move toward the villages of Abu Bakr and Abu Awad for Operation Legion Pursuit II before the sun rose March 26.

The key tasks of the operation were to project and sustain Iraqi Security and coalition forces in the area, carry out a detailed census of the towns and to provide humanitarian assistance to bolster ISF and local national relations, said Capt. Matthew D. Mackey, the operation’s commander.

“To accomplish the first task is to project ISF and coalition forces’ combat power in the sector – go out there with the people and stay out there for an extended period of time,” Mackey said. Full Story

Click here for Story 2No one would know the adversity she has overcome just by looking at her, but the daughter of Fort Richardson Army Community Service mobilization and deployment specialist Tracie West has a lot to celebrate.

Shelby West, 17, was chosen March 22 as one of 10 winners of the 2009 Good News! Great Kids! program.

Started more than a dozen years ago, Good News! Great Kids! is a partnership between the Anchorage mayor’s office, the Anchorage Daily News, AT&T and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Full Story

Green belts lead the way for Wainwright innovation Slow, steady keeps Interior runner in the race

Click here for Story 3Fort Wainwright’s civilian agencies rely on subject-matter experts trained in Lean Six Sigma methodologies as part of an effort to save money and streamline business processes. 

As these experts train and learn to use the LSS process to save money and time while providing better services, they are slotted as either “green belts” or “black belts,” with the latter trained to handle larger, more complex tasks, according to Andrew McDonough, Fort Wainwright’s LSS black-belt candidate.

McDonough said LSS was originally formulated as a business improvement methodology for the private sector and was eventually adopted by Installation Management Command to improve customer service for Soldiers and installation tenants while simultaneously reducing fiscal waste.   Full Story

Click here for Story 4 I am a runner. OK, that might be overstating it, but I see a runner when I look in the mirror.

At this moment, I still have four feet of snow at my house in the Interior. Yet spring is here, which means a plethora of annual local races will soon be kicking off the short running season.

I run in the winter on a treadmill, but it’s not the same as putting in miles on the road and on trails in the dust, rain and snow and amidst traffic, moose and the occasional bear. Nor are there hills, pavement, mud, mosquitoes and gnats with me on a treadmill run. Ah, to run in the Interior.

Although I am a runner, I thought for a long time I was not a typical athlete, because I injured my shin muscles in such a way I was told I would never run again.  Full Story

Family focus group effects change News Briefs

Click here for Story 5Anyone who lives, works or plays on Fort Richardson is considered a customer of the installation. As customers, you have many opportunities to voice your feedback on the services you receive.

The best known program is the Interactive Customer Evaluation system, which allows an individual to provide real-time feedback to a service provider via an automated Web-based tool.

New to the customer feedback realm is the use of constituent-specific focus groups and their integration into the Installation Action Council process. Focus groups feature different constituents, such as Soldiers, family members, youth, civilians and retirees, on a quarterly basis to gather feedback from a specific demographic. Full Story

  • Click here for News BriefsSoldier found guilty for refusing to deploy - Chief Warrant Officer 3 Adisa J. Aiyetoro, an armament technician warrant officer assigned to 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Wainwright, was found guilty March 25 at a Fort Richardson general court-martial of missing movement by design Sept. 25, 2008; of missing movement by neglect Oct. 8, 2008; and of willful disobedience of a superior commissioned officer.  

  • Camp sign ups now open - The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska is now accepting sign-ups for resident summer camp. Camps will be offered June 22 through June 26 for children 7 to 11 and June 29 to July 3 for teens 12 to 16.

  Full Story

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer spotlight NCO - Sgt. Demetrius Terrell Single Soldiers give back to Richardson schools

Click here for Story 7Sgt. Demetrius Terrell, a chaplain’s assistant with HHD, Warrior Transition Battalion, said he stands out as a noncommissioned officer because of his ability to place the mission first, get the job done and his deep desire to help others grow professionally, spiritually and personally.

“When I think of the Army values, I think that’s what I represent as an NCO,” he said.

Terrell said he considers it an honor to see Soldiers he has led as privates and specialists join the NCO ranks and lead with honor and integrity.  Full Story

Click here for Story 8The Fort Richardson Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program does more than create entertaining possibilities for single Soldiers in the barracks. It also creates chances for single Soldiers to give back to their community.

For example, BOSS Soldiers can often be seen volunteering in the classrooms of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor elementary schools on post.

According to Sgt. David Wood, Fort Richardson BOSS president, the group is always looking for ways to not only increase the quality of life for themselves, but for others as well.  Full Story

Telephone scam artists prey on trusting consumers Beware of online scams promising easy money

Click here for Story 9Better safe than sorry may be the best policy when a decision has to be made concerning sharing personal information over the telephone.

According to Fort Richardson Legal Assistance attorney Charlie Criss, telephone scam artists can use personal information, such as Social Security numbers and bank and credit card account numbers, to wreak financial havoc for the unsuspecting.

“Giving that kind of information really opens the doors to allowing someone who may not have your best interest at heart to use your identity for purposes you would never authorize, such as borrowing money (and) buying things in your name,” Criss said.

Such misdeeds are often not revealed to consumers until the damage is done and negative activity is recorded on a credit report or a bill is received, he said.    Full Story

Click here for Story 10P.T. Barnum has been credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and there are people out there who will attempt to exploit that opinion at a moment’s notice.

More than half of the homes in America now have at least one computer connected to the Internet, which creates an amazing opportunity for those inclined to cheat everyday people out of their hard-earned money. There are loads of Internet scams out there just waiting to fleece those who are easily misled into believing they have found an opportunity to strike it rich.

With the huge number of computers in homes, scam artists only have to convince 1 percent of computer users to buy into a “get rich now” scam to make a boatload of money. Full Story

Free annual credit reports can reveal stolen identities Avoid falling prey to identity theft

Click here for Story 11Family member Charlene Adams was astonished to learn her application for a car loan was denied because of poor credit. Upon inquiry, she learned her credit report showed she had several unpaid debts that were long past due.

Adams remembered she lost a credit card during her last PCS move and realized much too late she had become a victim of identity theft.

Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information, such as credit card numbers, bank statements or Social Security number, and uses it to establish fraudulent credit in your name.

A credit report reflects your bill-paying history. Reading it is one way to detect identity theft and check for errors in the records. Full Story

Click here for Story 12Identity theft is a big concern today and can occur when a person learns someone’s Social Security number, bank account information or other details that can be used to go on a buying or borrowing binge.

While law enforcement agencies, financial industry regulators, financial institutions and other organizations are working to prevent identity theft and other financial crimes, consumers need to take precautions.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Protect your Social Security number, bank account and credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, passwords and other personal information. Never provide this information in response to a phone call, a fax, a letter or an e-mail you’ve received — no matter how friendly or official the circumstances may appear. Full Story

Education scams from bogus colleges target Soldiers, their families Therapy dog interacts with Fort Wainwright students

Click here for Story 13The Farthest North Army Education Center is alerting Soldiers and family members that military families are being targeted by a variety of education-related scams.

The center warns individuals to contact an Army education counselor for advice before sending any money or signing any agreements to be sure they are legitimate and that the implications of their actions are understood. 

One of the biggest current scams is targeting Soldiers seeking promotion, who are told their military credits will be transferred to civilian credits for a fee. In the past week, many deployed Soldiers have fallen prey to similar scams offered by bogus colleges, such as Belford, Hill, Rochville and Waltham universities. Full Story

Click here for Story 14Shadow, a 6-year-old Newfoundland, sat patiently as Arctic Elementary School students read to her March 19.

“The kids love reading to Shadow; it’s good for them,” said Shauna Budge, a first-grade teacher at Fort Wainwright’s Arctic Light Elementary School.

Military schools have a special need Shadow helps meet.

“The program is especially beneficial for the children of deployed Soldiers,” said school liaison officer Staci Biggs. “The students are able to relax, open up a little more and talk about their feelings when Shadow visits the school. Full Story

Army now fielding Enhanced Night Vision Goggles Ready Army helps prepare families for the unexpected

Click here for Story 15FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Soldiers now have a leap-ahead new tool that will enhance their ability to see in total darkness: the AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle.

The ENVG is being fielded by Program Executive Office Soldier, the Army acquisition agency that develops, acquires and fields what Soldiers wear and carry. About 300 sets of the new night-vision goggles were fielded to the 10th Mountain Division in February, the first unit other than Special Forces to use the goggles.

The ENVG is a helmet-mounted passive image intensification and thermal device that incorporates both I2 and long-wave infrared sensors into a single integrated system. It weighs two pounds, including the battery pack, which uses four AA batteries, the helmet mount and wiring harness.  Full Story

Click here for Story 16The Army Ready initiative is preparing Army communities today for the hazards of tomorrow.

“Ready Army is a campaign to prepare our Army communities to be ready for all hazards and to make everyone aware of how disasters can come to their area and how they can be ready to handle those disasters,” said Russell Ackerman, the Fort Wainwright garrison chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives operations specialist.

Roger Delongchamp, Fort Richardson CBRNE operations officer, said Ready Army has been brought sharply into focus during recent events in Southcentral Alaska.

“(Ready Army) is simply getting the people prepared for the variety of potential disasters that we have here – such as Mount Redoubt, which just erupted – informing them, letting them know what they need to do at home, as well as at work to get ready for any type of disaster or incident,” Delongchamp said. Full Story

Awareness month presents chance for alcohol education Public Health Week establishes foundation for a healthy America

Click here for Story 17Alcohol and drug abuse can wreak havoc on a community. Car collisions, domestic violence, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are just a few of the tragedies that can result from lapses in judgment caused by excessive drinking or illegal drug use.

Alcohol Awareness Month offers communities a ready-made opportunity to educate youth about problems related to drinking and to engage them in alcohol-free activities. It also provides an opportunity for the military community and its commanders to focus upon the effects alcohol has on personnel and the success of the Army mission.

For some, alcohol use may lead to significant health problems or affect their ability to perform optimally at work. Trying to figure out if there is a problem isn’t easy, but a self-assessment may be a good place to start. Full Story

Click here for Story 18April 6 through 12 is National Public Health Week, and the 2009 theme of “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America” seeks to raise awareness of public health’s role in ensuring a healthy nation.

Approximately half of the 2 million deaths in the United States each year could be prevented, more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and about 9 million children over 6 are considered obese.

Also, about 19 million Americans are infected with sexually transmitted diseases each year, almost half of whom are 15 to 24. Further, although the life expectancy of Americans has reached a record high of 78.1 years, it still ranks 46th internationally, and the United States remains one of the top 10 countries that have the most people living with HIV or AIDS. Full Story

Ask the MEDDAC Commander - ‘When can my medical information be released to my chain of command? Sexual assault awareness tools help promote prevention

Click here for Story 19The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 requires health care organizations, including Medical Department Activity-Alaska, to safeguard and maintain the privacy of patients’ health information.

In most cases, facilities and providers can only release PHI with the patient’s authorization or if there is a HIPAA exception. However, HIPAA does allow command officials access to a Soldier’s PHI in certain circumstances.

In accordance with U.S. Army Medical Command policy, MEDDAC provides timely and accurate information to support a commander’s decision-making pertaining to a Soldier’s health risk, medical fitness and readiness. If a commander needs medical information to comply with regulations, that is authorized without the Soldier’s consent. While commanders and their designees have an exception to receive health information, it is limited, and they do not have unrestricted access to a Soldier’s PHI. It is important to note this exception applies only to Soldiers. Full Story

Click here for Story 20Sexual assault in the Army is a serious, high-profile issue. Historically, veterans’ hospitals report high percentages of female veterans as being victims of sexual assault while serving in the military. In response, the Department of Defense continues to address the crime of sexual assault.

The Army’s prevention program is “I. A.M. STRONG,” in which the letters “I,” “A,” and “M” stand for “Intervene,” “Act” and “Motivate.” The Army’s goal is to combat sexual assaults by engaging all Soldiers in preventing them before they occur.

Soldiers should not tolerate acts of sexual harassment or obscene language, gestures or behavior, but should instead display personal courage in defending other Soldiers from these behaviors and from assault. This is especially important when alcohol is involved, since taking a stance against potential perpetrators of sexual assault can make a difference. Full Story

Specials
Healthy Recipe of the Week | Wainwright residents succumb to March Madness

 

MWR EventsFort Wainwright Compass | Fort Richardson Compass

Pictures of the Week
Click on images to enlarge

Soldiers recite the Charge of the Noncommissioned Officer at a 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion noncommissioned officer induction ceremony March 26 at the Fort Richardson post theater.

New to the ranks

Soldiers recite the Charge of the Noncommissioned Officer at a 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion noncommissioned officer induction ceremony March 26 at the Fort Richardson post theater. More than one dozen Soldiers were added to the NCO ranks at the event, which featured 6th Engineer Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Dickens as the guest speaker.

photo by Shanney Allais/UPAR

Fresh footprints through deep snow near Wasilla show the dusting of volcanic ash the area received overnight Sunday from Mount Redoubt volcano’s latest eruptive cycle.

Dark day

Fresh footprints through deep snow near Wasilla show the dusting of volcanic ash the area received overnight Sunday from Mount Redoubt volcano’s latest eruptive cycle. The ash cloud drifted north over the Kenai Peninsula and dusted Anchorage, Fort Richardson and Eagle River along the way. Volcanic ash from the weekend eruptions was reported as far away as North Pole and Delta Junction.

photo by John Pennell/Fort Richardson PAO

U.S. Army Alaska Commanding General Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Layfield congratulates Ursa Major and Ursa Minor Elementary School students for completing Drug Abuse Resistance Education during a culmination ceremony March 31.

I D.A.R.E. you

Above: U.S. Army Alaska Commanding General Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Layfield congratulates Ursa Major and Ursa Minor Elementary School students for completing Drug Abuse Resistance Education during a culmination ceremony March 31. More than 75 students participated in the training which focuses on giving children the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence.

Left: Taylor Delage, a Ursa Major Elementary School student, walks away with a new bike during the culmination ceremony. Delage wrote the best D.A.R.E. essay out of all the students who participated in the training. Claire McKinnon and Zachery Miller, both attend Ursa Major, and Laura Smith who attends Ursa Minor, were also honored for outstanding essays and were presented with their own stuffed Daren-the-Lion toys to take home.

photos by Sharon McBride/Fort Richardson PAO

Taylor Delage, a Ursa Major Elementary School student, walks away with a new bike during the culmination ceremony.
First Lt. Philip Kroll, Task Force 49, hikes with a full rucksack March 13 along Ski Road on Fort Wainwright.

Lonely walk

First Lt. Philip Kroll, Task Force 49, hikes with a full rucksack March 13 along Ski Road on Fort Wainwright.

photo by Priscilla Hammon/Fort Wainwright PAO


This Site Last Updated on:  08/13/2009 02:40 PM

This website approved for release by the U.S. Army Alaska Public Affairs Office,  March 18, 2009.