020509_The_Monitor_Part_3 | Fort Bliss | Prosecutor

The Monitor • February 5, 2009 •


Continued from Page 20

care to all caregivers of wounded warriors. Respite care means providing support to the caregiver – providing them with the time they need to take care of themselves so they can continue to provide care to their Soldiers. “By providing temporary relief from the demands of daily assistance to wounded warriors – who typically have complex chronic medical conditions and functional ability – caregivers can continue to provide maximum support and care,” Babin said. Chief of Staff of the Army George W. Casey Jr. thanked conference participants for the suggestions they had brought to his attention, and discussed with them the challenges the Army is tackling now to help relieve some of the stresses faced by today’s Army families.

The general told attendees that the Army is “out of balance,” and that one of the imperatives that must be met to get the Army back into balance is the sustaining of Soldiers and their families. “That’s the number one thing we have to do,” the general said. “The volunteer force is a national treasure. And the work we are doing on the Army Family Covenant is an important part of our effort to sustain this force.” The general also said that preparing Soldiers for war is one of the imperatives, and that increasing dwell time at home stations is a significant part of that preparation. “The most important thing we can do to prepare folks is to increase the time that Soldiers spend at home between deployments,” he said. “And one of the major elements of the plan to get ourselves back in balance is to increase the

size of the Army over the next three years.” Increasing the size of the Army means more Soldiers to deploy and less deployment demand on each Soldier. Casey said he planned to have the Army’s growth plan completed by 2010 – but recruiting and retention have made it possible to meet those growth objectives this year. “If you hold demand steady, and you increase our growth, then over the next three years what you see is [that] the average dwell time gradually improves,” Casey said. Casey said the Army was operating at less than one year dwell time per one year deployed time when it was using 15-month deployment cycles. Now, he said, the Army is deploying Soldiers for 12 months. This year, he said, he expects the dwell time to increase to nearly 18 months, and in 2010 to actual-

ly reach 18 months. By 2011, he said, it will reach 24 months – if demand stays steady. “Time that Soldiers spend at home is important for a lot of reasons,” Casey said. “It is important for them and for you so that they reconstitute themselves – and the family. Second, it gives them time to start working on other things, and third, it gives us time to get them the equipment and the people they need to get ready for what they are doing next.” The Army hosted the first AFAP conference in 1983. Since then, the efforts on the part of conference attendees have resulted in the resolution of some 435 issues. Recommendations to Army senior leadership by AFAP conference attendees have resulted in 107 legislative changes, 154 policy changes, and 173 programs and services improved.

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The Monitor • February 5, 2009 •


Family care plan important tool when deployed
75th Fires Brigade Public Affairs

For Soldiers about to deploy, or already downrange, care of their families is normally a hot issue on their minds. One of the tools available for Soldiers to direct the care and wishes of the family is the family care plan. “A family care plan, or FCP, designates who will have short term and long term guardianship of children in the event of deployment, training, TDY, or unaccompanied overseas tour,” said Mitzie Klozotsky, 75th Fires Brigade Family Readiness Support assistant. “An FCP can also designate who will be responsible for children should an emergency arise and the spouse of a deployed Soldier is unable to provide care for the children and provides guidelines for the guardians as to the specifics of care for the child.” Single or dual-military parents must have both a short-term and long-term family care plan, according to Army Regulation 600-20. All other parents are encouraged to have one as well. Additionally, if the spouse has a lan-

Creating an FCP ensures the children are cared for according to the parent’s wishes. ... outlines any special needs or medications for the children and ensures the children are placed with someone they know.
guage barrier, or does not have transportation, the spouse’s commander may require a FCP. “Soldiers may be called away from their family at any time,” said Klozotsky. “An FCP will ensure the Soldier’s family is taken care of in the Soldier’s absence. A unit isn’t ready until the families are ready. It is also a very good idea for all families to have a FCP in the event the spouse is, for a variety of possible reasons, unable to care for the children.” Two providers need to be identified in the FCP: a short-term and long-term provider, said Klozotsky. The short-term care provider is a nonmilitary person (they may be a military spouse) who has agreed, in writing, to accept care of the children at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the event the military member is called to duty or to deploy with no notice. The short-term provider must live in the local area and must sign the FCP, she added. The long-term care provider must also be a nonmilitary member who will agree, in writing, to care for the children in the event of a deployment or unaccompanied overseas tour. This provider does not have to live in the local area. However, the FCP must contain provisions for transporting children from the short-term-care provider to the longterm provider. The long-term care provider must also sign the FCP. In the event of an accident and no FCP has been established, the hospital could notify the local Department of

Human Services and the children could be placed in temporary foster care. Typically however, the hospital will notify the Soldier’s unit. The unit commander or family readiness group will step in to assist until a plan for care is established, Klozotsky stated. Creating an FCP ensures the children are cared for according to the parent’s wishes. Also, an FCP outlines any special needs or medications for the children and ensures the children are placed with someone they know. This is especially important in the event of a parent’s accident or other traumatic situation. “Additional information that should be included in the FCP is school or church schedules, important medical information such as allergies or required medications. The Soldiers should also ensure immunizations are up to date and ID cards are current through the deployment,” said Klozotsky. “Family care plans must be reviewed annually or more often if changes are needed,” she said. “Having a current and accurate FCP is most important,” said Klozotsky.


24 • The Monitor • February 5, 2009

Army striving to decrease sexual assault, increase reporting
Army News Service

WASHINGTON – Through its Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Response Program, the Army hopes to change command climates to make victims of sexual assault feel more comfortable reporting the crime. During a meeting with members of the press Jan. 26, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren discussed the Army’s efforts to reduce sexual assault within the ranks, a crime he said that is not just an assault on a person, but on the whole Army. “Since Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve had 1,800 Soldiers that have been punished for sexually assaulting a fellow Soldier,” Geren said. “Soldier-onSoldier violence, blue-on-blue – sexual assault is a crime everywhere, but in the Army it is a crime that is more than just a crime against the victim. In the Army it is a crime against the core values that bind our Army together.” Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States and in the Army as well, said

Carolyn Collins, program manager of the Army’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Through the SAPR program, the Army hopes to change the cultural climate so Soldiers who are victims of sexual assault will be more likely to report the crime. “The last couple of years we have seen a bit of a plateau in the reporting, but ... we are certainly still having convictions of sexual assault,” Collins said. “We know we are not where we want to be yet. We are looking to increase our propensity to report, and bring down the actual number of assaults. We are looking to close that gap. We want to raise the number of reports so we can get more investigated, and hold offenders accountable for those actions, and we want to reduce the number.” The Army is also doing more to ensure that when Soldiers report a sexual assault, the crime is properly investigated and prosecuted. Secretary Geren has approved funding to provide 15 special victim prosecutors – that’s additional personnel billets within the judge advocate general corps that will be filled from within the

ranks by those who have proven themselves as especially effective prosecutors and who also have experience in sexual assault prosecution. “They will focus exclusively on those cases, and on training the balance of our prosecutorial and defense force on those kinds of cases,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Black, judge advocate general of the U.S. Army. “They will have previous experience, and special training as well. The idea is to pick people who are ... very, very good in the prosecutorial function, and then ... have experience in this particular area of prosecution. We are identifying them now.” Black said those special prosecutors would come from the JAG ranks, would serve for a minimum of three-year tours, and would be positioned at installations such as Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Hood, Texas, where there are large concentrations of Soldiers. Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, the provost marshal general of the Army, said the service will add an additional 30 special investigators to be assigned at 22 of the Army’s largest installations to assist Criminal Investigation

Command agents in investigating sexual assault crimes. Those investigators, Johnson said, would provide insight into how civilian juries look at sexual assault cases and what kinds of evidence are needed to prosecute. The investigators would also look at sexual predator and victim behavior and the scientific perspective of sexual assault investigation. An additional seven “highly qualified experts” are also coming aboard, Johnson said, to provide training and assistance to CID agents. “We in CID already have highly skilled agents investigating these crimes,” Johnson said. “But bringing the civilian expertise onboard will simply be a valuable tool to glean insight and a fresh perspective in many areas. Our special agents and supervisors will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with those highly qualified experts on our most challenging and complex cases.” Black said there are already four of those experts on board, with the remaining to be brought in by mid-February.

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The Monitor •February 5, 2009 •


Army addresses rising suicide rate, highest in four years
Army News Service

WASHINGTON – The number of suicides in the Army has risen again, for the fourth year in a row, and the problem is being addressed with an Armywide “stand-down” and chain-teaching program. The Army experienced 128 confirmed suicides in 2008, up from 115 in 2007, said Army leaders during a media roundtable Jan. 29. An additional 15 deaths are being investigated as suspected suicides, though Army experts say experience has shown that as many as 90 percent of suspected suicides are eventually classified as confirmed. “The numbers represent tragedies that have taken place across our Army,” said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. Adding that the Army is doing all it can to address the problem. “Every suicide is a tragedy we take personally in the Army.” The secretary said if the Army is to succeed in counteracting the rising trend in suicides in the service, all compo-

nents of the Army – including the active-duty, Reserve and National Guard components – must work together and also work with other organizations such as the Veteran’s Administration. To facilitate that collaboration, he appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli to lead those efforts. “We felt it was necessary to have a central figure at the top ranks of the Army to reach across those components and bring about the kind of progress we hope to achieve,” Geren said. Chiarelli said the Army must work quickly to reduce the trend of suicides in the Army, saying that if the suspected suicides did in fact turn out to be confirmed suicides, the Army’s rate for suicides would rise to about 20.2 per 100,000 individuals. “That number is particularly noteworthy, because the last reported numbers from the Center for Disease Control – which lags behind, was 19.2,” Chiarelli said. “That’s important because the Army has always had a sui-

cide rate quite a few numbers below the CDC rate – the average American rate.” Chiarelli has directed an Army “stand-down” to address the problem, between Feb. 15 and March 15. During that time, he said, commanders will take time to direct the problem “head on,” the general said, adding that the service is prepositioning materials for commanders to use when talking with Soldiers. The general also said the Army would follow the stand-down with a chainteaching program – an Army method used to ensure every individual Soldier has been exposed to new material – during the 120-day period after March 15. “The second thing that is absolutely critical is to reach out to Soldiers and tell them it is not wrong to reach out for help,” Chiarelli said. “We have to change our culture.” In the past, he said, it has been a culture in all the military services, that accessing mental health resources was detrimental to a servicemember’s career.

“That is something we have got to turn around,” he said. “We are committed to doing that. And that is all leaders – review what they have done in the past, what has helped us in the past – and continue to do those. At the same time, to reach out to their Soldiers and make sure there is no stigma.” The Army’s stand-down will include training to help Soldiers recognize suicidal behavior in their fellow Soldiers, as well as teach them techniques to intervene. While Geren has said the Army is unsure exactly why the numbers of suicides have risen over the last four years, Chiarelli said stress was probably a factor. “There is no doubt in my mind that stress is a factor in this trend we are seeing,” Chiarelli said. He also added that about a third of the suicides were amongst those deployed, a third were amongst those who had returned from deployment, and a third were amongst
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The Monitor • February 5, 2009 •
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those who have had no history of deployment. Army leaders also said that traditionally it has been both relationship and financial problems that have contributed to Soldier suicides – and that increased deployment lengths then may contribute to suicides by adding additional stress on families and relationships. Geren said when tour lengths were increased to 15 months, the Army worked to alleviate some of the stress that would be created between Soldiers and their families by adding additional funding to Army family programs.

“That’s when we started trying to hire additional mental health workers, when we started putting additional resources into family support – trying to reduce stress on the families and the stress on the Soldier who is worrying about the family back home,” Geren said. “You saw a tremendous reallocation of resources within the Army budget.” Geren said the Army has changed the family support budget from $700 million to nearly $1.5 billion. “We saw the stress, we recognized it, and we started putting resources to that challenge,” he said. “I can tell you, senior leadership knew – we could feel the pressure – and we started moving resources to address those issues.”

In October, Army senior leaders signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a study to get to the root causes of why Soldiers commit suicide. Under the MOA, the NIMH will conduct research for the Army that will evaluate the many factors that contribute to suicide. The results of the study will be used by the Army to develop strategies to prevent suicides. The study is expected to last five years, during which time the NIMH may interview Soldiers, their families and their parents. The study will include the active-duty force in addition to the National Guard and Army Reserve.

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Col. Randall Lane, left, commander of 5th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, poses with John Harris, president of Sierra Providence Health Network, while cutting the cake and kicking off the Bradley Strong Guardian Ceremony Jan. 21.

Brig. Gen. Robert Woods, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense commander, promotes former Sgt. Maj. Paris Williams to command sergeant major for Task Force Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar Dec. 19.


Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Daniels, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, shows Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Peterson, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of U.S. Army Forces Command, the 1st Armored Div. weight room during a visit to East Fort Bliss Dec. 16 with 1-1 AD leaders to discuss combat readiness plans.


Dec. 18, the El Paso Field Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalized more than 1,200 new United States citizens from more than 38 countries. The Army, Air Force and Navy servicemembers pictured were part of that ceremony. Also pictured are Raymond P. Adams, the El Paso USCIS field office director, U.S. Congressman Silvestre Reyes, the guest speaker, and Federal Judge Philip R. Martinez, the presiding judge for the ceremony.


Pictured from front to rear and left to right are: Staff Sgt. Michelle M. Chartier, front row holding flag; Staff Sgt. Charles S. Boys, Sgt. Bryce J. Keenan and Staff Sgt. Mandrill A. Demps, second row; Fred J. Blount, and Staff Sgts. Xavier A. Lombardo and Curtis A. Yeager, third row; instructors Sgt. 1st Class Jason Vansant, Staff Sgt. Roque Gomez and Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Rivera, and Christopher Haag of RAM, Inc.



Pfc. Kyle Copeland, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, tutors Miguel Hernandez and Daline Mendez as part of the Partners in Education program at Moye Elementary School.

Maj. Robert L. McCormick, operations officer for the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, descends from the rafters of the Alamodome in San Antonio prior to the start of the U.S. Army-sponsored AllAmerican Bowl all-star high school football game Jan. 3. (Left) Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen D. Blake, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Sustainment Command and guest speaker at the 2009 ball celebrating Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division; Lt. Col. Patricia A. Sellers, STB battalion commander; Spc. Kyle Meldrum, Soldier of the Quarter; and Command Sgt. Maj. Dana Mason, battalion command sergeant major, cut the STB Ball cake Jan. 23 at the Centennial Club on East Fort Bliss.


Col. Frank V. Sherman presents Jose Ayala, Jose Bernal and Lois Strong at Document Automation and Production Service a certificate of appreciation and brigade coins for the professional handling and prompt response of the 5th Armored Brigade s shortnotice request to produce a significant amount of presentation materials for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team s rehearsal-of-concept drill, which was held here Jan. 6.


The Monitor • February 5, 2009 •


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WASHINGTON - The Army Family Action Plan kicked off its 25th anniversary conference with Secretary of the Army Pete Geren telling the 117 delegates that funding would double from $700 million to $1.4 billion for family programs in the coming year. “They have done more than any other single organization to make sure the Army is responsive to the needs of our families.” Geren also told the attendees -- who represent all Army components and are made up of Soldiers, wounded warriors, spouses, children, parents and retirees -that “they have done more than any other single organization to make sure the Army is responsive to the needs of our families.” The Army has come a long way since 1983 when AFAP began, Geren said, adding that the Army now understands the dynamic needs of families. “There have been some major initiatives that come from legislation, some come from policy, but what I think will really make the Army work for Army families and what will really make the family covenant program meaningful on a grassroots level are all the little tweaks, the little changes here and there that just show our leadership is responding and listening,” he said. Geren added that the family covenant was a commitment and promise of the Army to the Army family and of the Army family to the Army to work together toward positive change. He said the covenant should always be innovative with constant recommitment by both sides. He and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., have directed that anytime a senior commander departs a post, the incoming commander will reexecute the family covenant so it will never become stale.

The secretary said the AFAP conference has been instrumental in helping the Army slowly put different pieces in place to help make the service work better for its families. He added that since the inception of the all-volunteer force in 1973, the changes the Army has made have been revolutionary. “The Army of today doesn't look like the Army of 1973 in so many ways,” he said. “The all-volunteer force required us to think very differently about many aspects of the Army and certainly family support. We came through the 70s and early 80s and took some major steps forward when it came to compensation, so we have a compensation system that attempts to be competitive with what comparably accomplished people would expect in the outside civilian world.” Geren said that also in the 80s and 90s health care had been a major focus and that AFAP had taken the lead in making sure health care plans were responsive to the needs of families. It's a challenge that will never be completely fixed, he said, noting the Army will continue to adapt and to evolve. Tricare was a major step forward, he said. “In the late 90s and the early part of this century, we've made great progress in RCI (residential community initiative) housing,” Geren said. “The quality of those homes has just been life-changing for so many families and not just for Army families but for enlisted Soldiers too as we replace the barracks to provide barracks that meet their expectations and give the kind of quality of life they should expect.” Delegates will be working 100 issues through eight seminar groups during the conference which runs through Jan. 30. The field will be narrowed to 16 issues, then five will be prioritized and worked by the delegates for presentation to the chief of staff.

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The Monitor • February 5, 2009 •



Pfc. Nathan Harrison from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, thanks Jamar Hunt, University of Texas El Paso long snapper, for his autograph during Saturday s Texas vs. the Nation game.

Nation trumps Texas in all-star football game
11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs

El Paso Mayor John Cook accepts the official Texas vs. the Nation game ball at Saturday s game.

Cpl. Kyle Pelatt from B Company, Warrior Transition Battalion, looks on as officials prepare for the coin toss before Saturday s Texas vs. the Nation All-Star game at the Sun Bowl.

Playing for Texas, running back Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian University takes a hand off from Tulsa quarterback David Johnson during a first-quarter play Saturday.

t was a meeting of players from across the country, playing head to head in fierce competition. Team Texas’ players were from or had an affiliation with the state, while their opponents, Team Nation, had players from the rest of the United States. The two teams faced off Saturday at Sun Bowl Stadium with the Nation coming out on top 27-24. The crowd erupted with applause when the players ran onto the field. Everyone then stood as the color guard, followed by the 62nd Army Band and a formation of Soldiers from 1st Armored Division, marched onto the field. After the national anthem, Fort Bliss Command Sgt. Maj. Robert S. Rodgers, Cpl. Kevin Cott from the Warrior Transition Battalion, El Paso Mayor John Cook and Harriet May, chief executive officer of Greater El Paso’s Credit Union, participated in the coin toss, which Team Nation won. While both teams played tough, neither one scored in the first quarter until Nation scored a field goal with three minutes remaining, giving them a small lead. At the beginning of the second quarter, Cook donated a $10,000 check to Fort Bliss’ wounded warrior fund. Team Nation scored another field goal at the beginning of the second quarter, bringing their lead to 6-0. Texas soon turned the game around as they inched down the field with catch after catch and run after run. These plays


paid off when Texas running back Chris Ogbonnaya scored the first touchdown of the game, moving the score to 7-6. Team Nation’s Anthony Kimble then scored a touchdown, regaining a 13-7 lead for his team. At the beginning of the third quarter, Nation recovered a fumble from Texas and scored again with a touchdown from Davon Drew. “They [Nation] are pulling away now, but it is still early,” Capt. Charles Johnson of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, said during the game. However, Texas scored next with a touchdown made by Johnny Knox, bringing his team to within six points of Team Nation. The fourth quarter started with Texas making a field goal, closing their gap to a mere three points. “I like Nation because I think they’re good,” said Aaron Mayon, son of Sonja Mayon, 11th ADA’s family readiness support assistant. Nation’s quarterback Yonus Davis threw a touchdown pass, which was enough to claim the win despite Texas scoring once more toward the end of the game. “Having military tickets brings me and other people out to support our teams and to show support for the Army and the brigade,” said Sonja.

Frank Summers, University of Nevada Las Vegas fullback, eyes an opening before attempting a touchdown pass Saturday at the Texas vs. the Nation game.


Representatives of the 5th Armored Brigade from McGregor Range, N.M., are recognized for the highest smallunit attendance during Saturday s Texas vs. the Nation game.

Having military tickets brings me and other people out to support our teams and to show support for the Army.
Sonja Mayon, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade family readiness support assistant


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