U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal Newsletter: The Salvo - 31 December 2013
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Like this? Share it with your network

Share

U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal Newsletter: The Salvo - 31 December 2013

  • 1,667 views
Uploaded on

This is the U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal's monthly newsletter called The Salvo. The Salvo contains the latest stories and information that pertains to the Army's manufacturing center at Watervliet.......

This is the U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal's monthly newsletter called The Salvo. The Salvo contains the latest stories and information that pertains to the Army's manufacturing center at Watervliet. The Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned and operated manufacturing center having established operations in 1813.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,667
On Slideshare
1,665
From Embeds
2
Number of Embeds
1

Actions

Shares
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 2

https://twitter.com 2

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. THE Vol. 13, No. 12 SALVO U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal Dec. 31, 2013 Fiscal Uncertainty Fuels New Strategic Direction Story on page 3 Photos by John B. Snyder Photos by John B. Snyder
  • 2. Page 2 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 Commander’s Corner As this year draws to a close, I wish you the very best for a safe and joyous holiday season. I also thank you for all the great work that you do every day to support the manufacturing of products that help our troops to come home safe. For more than 12 years, we have had our servicemen and women deployed in Afghanistan and there is now significant discussion between the Afghan government and our state department on the scope of U.S. involvement beyond 2014. As the numbers of U.S. troops wind-down, we should feel good about the thousands of troops who have been supported by our products. Your sense of purpose to the community and to those who need assistance is also commendable. From your participation to the Combined Federal Campaign (which continues to January 15) to your donation to one of the gift drives for the Troy Salvation Army (NFFE 2109 effort) and to the Cohoes Head Start Program (Watervliet Arsenal Historical Society and the Federal Managers Association efforts), your generosity has raised more than $50,000 in products and cash donations just in the last two months. There is no way to measure the number of troops who were able to come home due to the armor protection kits that we manufactured or the precise gun systems that out ranged our adversaries with uncompromising accuracy. But it is safe for me to say that it was significant. You are a tremendous workforce who has helped make America safer. Take care of each other so that we can make the Arsenal safer, too. I am proud to serve with you and again, I wish you the very best for a safe and joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year. As you spend the holidays with family and friends, please think about or say a prayer for those who are still serving away from home. Their mission is not yet done, nor is ours. Commander, Col. Lee H. Schiller Jr. Public Affairs Officer, John B. Snyder Editor, John B. Snyder Photographer: John B. Snyder Arsenal Facebook Page @ http://on.fb.me/sq3LEm Statue of Liberty photo from Wikipedia. Lee H. Schiller Jr. Commanding Manufacturer 6 The Arsenal Salvo is an authorized monthly publication for members of the Department of Defense. Contents of the Salvo are not necessarily the official views of, or an endorsement by the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, or the Watervliet Arsenal. News may be submitted for publication by sending articles to Public Affairs Officer, 1 Buffington Street, Bldg. 10, Watervliet, NY 12189, or stop by office #102, Bldg. 10, Watervliet Arsenal. The editor may also be reached at (518) 266-5055 or by e-mail: john.b.snyder.civ@mail.mil. The editor reserves the right to edit all information submitted for publication.
  • 3. Page 3 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 When potential workflow declines, it is time for a new direction Karen Heiser John B. Snyder Oh, it is great to be part of the Army-owned and operated manufacturing center at Watervliet. Workload magically flows in every year to keep full utilization of the arsenal’s vast capability and capacity. Raw materials arrive on time and at the standard required. And the arsenal has all the resources readily available to ensure the workforce has all the tools required to do their job. And, if we click our heels three times we will be in Kansas. Like any Army Industrial Base organization, the Watervliet Arsenal does not operate independently on a perfectly climate-controlled island with a steady reliable supply of easy work, plentiful and timely raw materials, and all the skilled workers and money with which to do the work. Culture, each led by a member of the BOD. Within each LOO, actions were implemented to address such critical areas as employee skills, business development, internal and external culture, process improvement, equipment reliability, and supplier performance. These actions have since been reviewed every week as implementation teams report progress and make tactical course corrections to ensure sustained movement toward all planned objectives. But the journey the arsenal began in 2012 may not be the correct road to take as the Army works its way through the final withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan and through a great fiscal uncertainty that is commonly known as sequestration. In an all-day session before Thanksgiving, the strategic planning team completed a new analysis of the arsenal’s current Strengths, WeakPhoto by John B. Snyder nesses, Opportunities and Joe Claus, the arsenal director for emergency services, places his Threats (SWOT). Strengths thoughts on one of the planning boards. An all-day planning sesand Weaknesses are internal It has internal and external sion looked at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. – things we can control or at challenges that must be least affect. Threats and Opportunities are external. known and then planned for to improve its business model and to maximize its potential. To do this, the Although we can’t control external Threats, we must arsenal’s Strategic Planning team recently engaged in take action by minimizing weaknesses that Threats a series of activities to update the arsenal’s Strategic could exploit. Suppose there is the Threat of snow and Plan. ice, which we can’t control, and the Weakness of bald The Watervliet’s Board of Directors first assembled a strategic planning team in 2012 to revise the arsenal’s mission and vision statements. Action plans and performance metrics were identified along four Lines of Operation (LOO): Products, People, Processes, and tires on our car. By getting new snow tires we can minimize the Threat’s ability to harm us. Story continues on page 4, Planning
  • 4. Page 4 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 Planning Cont. Opportunities are external events we take advantage of by using our Strengths. One opportunity identified is the potential for medium caliber workload, but there are no mandates that work will come to the arsenal. Nevertheless, the opportunity is there, and if the arsenal is serious about getting that type of work, it must ensure that it has shaped its capability and capacity to accommodate the mission. Action plans and performance metrics are currently being developed to address the most significant Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These action plans should trickle down throughout the workforce and become part of each worker’s individual performance objectives. Representatives from throughout the arsenal came together recently to set a new azimuth for the arsenal as it weathers through fiscal challenges that typically occur after every military conflict. The results of this planning session will be soon felt as the arsenal has charted a new strategic direction. This is an exciting, challenging time to be in the Army’s Industrial Base. A period of time that requires the arsenal to fully energize its strategic planning and continuous improvement plans to be more competitive and more viable to the Department of Defense. Yes, these are challenging times, but not anything the arsenal workforce has not seen before. After every military conflict, from the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the War of 1812, the arsenal has transformed itself to meet the needs of the country. Photo by John B. Snyder Arsenal product in action this past month U.S. Army Spc. Anthony Barajas, gives instruction to an Afghan National Army soldier during a live-fire mortar range near Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Nov. 19, 2013. Barajas, of Los Angeles, Calif., serves as an assistant gunner, with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Patriot. The training that Barajas has helped provide these soldiers will allow them to teach soldiers back at their organic units. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig, Task Force Patriot PAO)
  • 5. Page 5 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 Little known pool of workers has not been paid, but it’s okay By John B. Snyder wanted to continue to serve Soldiers. He became a volunteer in 2007 after attending one of the Retiree Appreciation Just when you may have thought the federal workforce Days sponsored by the Watervliet Arsenal’s retirement serhas had it tough having undergone three years of pay freezvices office. es, six days of furlough, limited or no overtime, then we Edmond Shephard, who retired from the Air Force as a come across a small pool of arsenal workers who haven’t Master Sergeant, said that he has been a part of the retirebeen paid in nearly 20 years. Surprisingly, they come to ment services operations since 1995 and enjoys helping work every week highly motivated families as well as maintaining the even though they know that they RSO website. won’t get paid. Hunter said he started working In a small office located in a at the arsenal when he tried in 1994 1918-era building, five military reto get information about retiretirees man phones, computers, and ment and there was no local office assist walk-in traffic. They make to answer his questions. He knew up the Watervliet Arsenal’s Retirethat there must be other retirees in ment Services Office or RSO. Colthe Capital District who were just lectively, they have provided seras frustrated as he was and so, he vice to nearly 450 military retirees wanted to be part of the solution. and their family members during But for whatever reason, thoufiscal year 2013. sands of military retirees and their Ken Hunter, the RSO director, families since 1994 have received said the arsenal stood up the retiresupport that have ranged from surment services operation in 1994 vivor benefits to identification card and he has been a part of it since renewals to tracking down lost rethen. He retired from the Army in tirement checks. 1990 as a Master Sergeant, having Although Hunter is used to providing support, he was reluctant to completing his career as a public ask for support until now. affairs specialist for the New York “We need more retirees to State Division of Military and Navolunteer to staff this office,” val Affairs in Latham, N.Y. Hunter said. “If we could get a few “What makes this retirement more volunteers, we may be able services office so unique is that it to extend our hours or increase the is the only one in the country that number of days that we provide is entirely manned by volunteers,” Photo by John B. Snyder Hunter said. “Although it would be From left: Joe Novak, Ken Hunter, and Edmond Sheph- support to our servicemen and great if we had one or two paid po- ard are part of the five-person volunteer team who man women.” sitions, none of us receive any pay the arsenal’s Retirement Services Office that offers supThe other two volunteers that port to nearly 7,500 retired military members. for the hours we put in.” round out the retirement service This small operation is responsible for 11 New York office are: Thomas M. Hatlee, a former Chief Warrant counties, offering service to more than 7,500 retirees in all Officer 5 who retired in 2003 with 40 years of service; military services. and Adrienne Daniels, who retired as a Senior Chief Petty So, why do they do it? Officer in 2004. On the day of the interview, there were two other retirThe Retirement Services Office, which is attached to the ees at work, besides Hunter. former post restaurant, is open Wednesdays and Thursdays, Joe Novak, who retired from the Army in 1998 as a 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 48 weeks a year. The phone number to Sergeant Major, said that after 29 years of service he still reach a representative is 518-266-5810/5931.
  • 6. Page 6 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 History departs historic arsenal Photos by John B. Snyder Photo on the left is what one area of the museum looked like pre-move. On the right, museum curator Robert Pfeil looks at the same area after the artifacts were removed this month. By John B. Snyder Robert Pfeil looked out his office this week into the bowels of the arsenal’s museum, something that he has done thousands of times since he became one of the museum’s curators in 2000, and thought about the long-term viability of that activity, as well as that of his career. Although the museum activity has been officially part of the arsenal since 1987, the arsenal has been a warehouse of battlefield artifacts for the U.S. Army since the War of 1812. Although Pfeil’s lineage doesn’t go as far back, he has been a part of the arsenal since 1973. Now, both may be near the end of their storied careers. Since 2008, Pfeil has orchestrated nearly $1 million in improvements to the museum while enhancing the museum’s community outreach efforts to tell the arsenal story. But as important as the museum has been to the arsenal in telling its story to internal and external audiences for 26 years, the museum closed on Oct. 1, 2013. The closure was due to a major museum reorganization that is being conducted by the Army’s Center of Military History. It is the arsenal’s leadership understanding the museum will reopen in 2015 or 2016 as a “gallery” or similar type of museum activity. For those who have visited the museum they may remember that as they entered the foyer they were met by a beautiful 1700s-era cannon. Now gone. Just off of the foyer, was the exhibit hall where one may find such things as Civil War-era mortars to tubes manufactured in the late 1980s. They are gone, too. Walking through the exhibit hall to the back twothirds of the museum, one was once struck by the cannon, mortar, and artillery exhibits that ranged from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. In this back area was also the recreation of a late 19th century machine shop that was hand-built by one of the museum volunteers, Bob Rawls. Nearly all are gone with the exception of the machine shop, bunker buster bomb, and an 8-inch howitzer tube. What one would find today is a shell of a cast iron building that was constructed at the arsenal in 1859. If only the walls could talk, but they can’t. But, Pfeil can. “When I now look out into the empty hallways and exhibit floors I feel heartbroken,” Pfeil said. “I have seen so much growth of the museum since I arrived in 2000 that it pains me to see it all taken apart in about 45 days.” Pfeil said he is cautiously optimistic that the museum activity will reopen as a gallery in another year or two. “Maybe now is the time for me to retire,” Pfeil said. “A piece of me died when the doors closed and I’m not sure I should wait around for two years on just my hope that this magnificent building will reopen its doors.” The Center of Military History began removing the artifacts the last week of October and should complete its shipping by the end of December. Some of the artifacts are going to such places as Fort Drum, N.Y., Fort Belvoir, Va., Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Benning, Ga.
  • 7. Page 7 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 O h no, an O PSEC compromise By John B. Snyder My getting away from the office for a few days to receive free training from the New York Army National Guard almost sounded too good to be true. But after three days of Operations Security (OPSEC) Level II training, I wonder if I should have stayed in the warm comfort of the arsenal. Why? Because I discovered through this training that I had recently committed an OPSEC compromise. After just the second day of classroom instruction about OPSEC definitions, concepts, processes, and programs my mind began to wander. I thought back to Thanksgiving with my family and to my trip to New York City after the holiday. I thought about how my daughter sent notices to her friends the day before we left to tell them about our going to New York City on Sunday and returning on Monday. She was so nice to keep her friends informed. We arrived at the Rensselaer train station early Sunday morning, but had to find alternate transportation due to a train derailment in New York City. And so, off we went in my SUV. When I arrived at the hotel, I couldn’t find a parking spot and so I broke down and used the hotel valet. The attendant asked me how long I was staying and if I would need the car that day. I told him that I was staying just the night and wouldn’t need my vehicle until the next morning. He was so nice to ask about my plans. Check in went smooth as the desk person welcomed me for a one-night stay and asked if I wanted to make a reservation at another hotel property for the next night. I said, “No, that I would be going back home the next day.” She was so nice to ask about my travel plans. After a day of seeing the Christmas displays in some of the larger box stores and doing a little shopping, my wife, daughter, and I decided to go to dinner at a nice German restaurant. In the restaurant, we were greeted by a waitress whose accent made it seem as if we were in Germany. She was very accommodating, pleasant, and from time to time, she asked about why we were in New York City and how long we were staying. During the dinner, my daughter took photos of us and was sending those photos to family and friends saying what a great time we were having in New York City. At the end of the dinner, I paid for the dinner with a credit card. As I walked out, I thought about the waitress and how nice she was to ask about our visit and travel plans. The next morning we wanted to do more shopping and so we left our baggage with the front desk folks and told them we would be back in about three hours. They were so nice to accommodate us for another three hours. After a tiring shopping spree, we decided to go back to the hotel to pick up our SUV and baggage. The valet took my receipt and about 15 minutes later returned with my vehicle. He asked if I was heading home and I said yes. He wished us a safe trip. He was so nice to ask about our travel plans. When I got home, I had to put something in my glove compartment but struggled to find space. I had too many things in the glove box ranging from vehicle registration to insurance papers to vehicle work orders. Nevertheless, we felt good to be home, all was safe. The story would have ended there except for my now reflecting back on this trip with an eye toward OPSEC. Yes, OPSEC processes and concepts may apply to our personal lives. And as I soon discovered, I had committed several compromises to our family’s security. When I reflected back on the trip, there was critical information pertaining to my trip that I should have thought to protect, such as the facts that I was leaving town, when I was leaving, where I was going, and when I would return. Had I thought about how criminals could have collected this critical personal information and then used the information to select the opportune time to burglarize my house, I would not have been so free with my information to valets, hotel desk persons, and to waitresses. But they were all so nice. Criminals aren’t nice, are they? Had I thought about my family’s protection, I would not have allowed any photos or texts announcing our trip, nor would I have provided information about my trip to people who didn’t have a need to know. I simply did not think about the risk. From friendly conversation, I was the number one person responsible for making my family vulnerable. By the way, did you think about the glove box? How much personal information, such as your name, home address and phone number is available to thieves who may be moonlighting as parking attendants. Although I passed the OPSEC training, I didn’t feel good. I had committed a grave compromise that could have put my family, as well as my home, at risk. I only hope my wife doesn’t read this story.
  • 8. Page 8 Salvo Dec. 31 2013 Face of Strength honors those who faced adversity this past year and thrived By John B. Snyder Searching the arsenal every month for someone who’s talents, professionalism, or their call to duty has placed them in an exceptional category of being an arsenal Faces of Strength is not an easy task. After all, there are so many who directly or indirectly make a powerful difference every day toward mission accomplishment, as well as providing support to the broader Army. What is tough, however, is finding the right person, at the right time, to showcase to the rest of the arsenal. Once identified, their story is told in the arsenal’s monthly newsletter, called The Salvo. Through the years, we have highlighted such folks as Gregory Stone who stepped in to lead the arsenal’s welding team several years ago when the team’s supervisor retired. His sense of pride that he instilled was uncompromising even when challenged. When asked at the time if any welding product had ever been returned during his tenure he said, “No way, never, not when my fingerprints are on every product.” Then there was the arsenal’s electrical engineer Benjamin Dedjoe, who was born in the West African country called Ghana. As a child, Benjamin was almost electrocuted by an unsecured light switch. Since that near death experience, he has had a profound interest in electricity. After graduating from the University of Ghana with a degree in geophysics, he left his home country wearing a pair of shoes he purchased at a flea market to seek the American dream. The year was 1996. In 2009, Roxanne “Rocky” Mesick was also a Face of Strength. As one of just a few women to have graduated from the arsenal’s apprentice program, it was that piece of trivia that she did not wish to promote. In fact, there hasn’t been one person in the four years we have written about as an arsenal Face of Strength that has wanted their personal story told. But their significance must be shared. A Veteran of the Air Force, Rocky’s sense of personal pride, coupled with a high level of self-confidence, allowed her to be recognized by then arsenal Operations Director John Hockenbury. He said of Rocky, “Not only did she do great as an apprentice, but there isn’t a machine that she can’t run today.” These are just a few stories and there are hundreds more within the arsenal fence line. So, who should be highlighted this month? The arsenal workforce, from contracting to public works to transportation to machinists, has endured significant challenges this year. These challenges, such as no pay raise in three years, furloughed for six days, no or limited overtime, and a hiring freeze, have tugged at the fabric of this workforce. This period of fiscal uncertainty, or sequestration, also put a damper on the proper recognition of the arsenal’s 200 years of continuous service that it celebrated in July of this year. All 200th anniversary ceremonies and activities were either downsized or eliminated. Nevertheless, despite these challenges the workforce professionally responded to several urgent needs requests, such as providing 60 mm mortar systems for the Afghanistan Army, as well as closing out the year with an on-time delivery rate that exceeded 96 percent. Former arsenal Commander Col. Mark F. Migaleddi said at his July 2013 change of command, “Many of today’s employees are a part of families, generations of skilled artisans and technicians who have dedicated their lives in making weapons for our war fighters … weapons that have helped countless numbers of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines to come home safely.” No matter what the challenge was this year, the workforce made mission. Therefore, for its strong sense of purpose through great adversity, the entire arsenal workforce is this month’s Face of Strength.
  • 9. Page 9 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 Combined Federal Campaign back on track with extended solicitation period We are almost three-quarters through the Combined Federal Campaign and the arsenal’s CFC Chairwoman Paula Weglarz wants you to know that there is still time to give. As the New Year approaches, we are currently above 50 percent of our desired goal of $46,000. myPay is available for CFC elections for Army members. However, myPay can only be used to make CFC elections until midnight EST Jan. 11, 2014. Elections made from January 12th through January Photo by Billy Martin 15th need to be submitted via your CFC The arsenal kicked off its Combined Federal Campaign October 29 during a luncheon that provided canvassers the opportunity to receive the comkeyworker. mander’s intent, as well as to learn more about the program they will supIf you have not been contacted by a port between now and January 15. keyworker please email or call - Paula Weglarz, paula.m.weglarz.civ@mail.mil, extension 5256 or Tom Mulheren, thomas.j.mulheren.civ@ mail.mil, extension 5690 and they will provide you with a Charity Guide or answer any questions. Snapshot: Former commander doing well Former arsenal commander Col. Mark Migaleddi made news in Afghanistan this month. According to the December 15 posting: U.S. Army Col. Mark Migaleddi, assigned to NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan, cutting a ribbon dedicating a new vehicle maintenance area at the Regional Maintenance Facility in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kenneth G. Takada/Released).
  • 10. Page 10 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 CPAC - Civilian Personnel Advisory Center DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE “EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION TOOL” IS? The Employment Verification (EV) tool enables you to securely and conveniently release your employment and/ or salary information to a ‘recipient’ (Lender, Bank, etc.) directly from the data source, Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS) via email. All you need is the recipient’s email address along with your work or personal email address to use as a confirmation and validation of your employment verification. The information consists of employment only or employment and salary information. Employees can preview information on the screen before they complete the transaction. The recipient and employee both receive a password protected attachment, and only the employee receives the password in a separate email. The employee must provide the password to the recipient. There is no limit to the number of verifications an employee can submit. For your privacy, CPAC is prohibited from disclosing pay and salary information about you to external organizations/individuals. To take full advantage of the EV tool, log into DCPDS Portal @ https://compo.dcpds.cpms.osd.mil (your CAC is required to access the tool). Select ‘Login’ under ‘Smart Card Access’; select ‘Army region’; ‘My Biz’; and then ‘Employment Verification’ and proceed by selecting your details to share. You may also view the EV Fact Sheet at: http://www.cpms.osd.mil/Content/Documents/DCPDS-EV-FactSheet-LO.pdf. Holiday Spirit The Watervliet Arsenal Historical Society and the Federal Managers Association sponsored a local Head Start program this year by collecting gifts for 30 children ranging in age from one to 15. As some of you know, the arsenal had in previous years supported the Head Start program when it was located in Watervliet. Despite a move to Cohoes this year, the need was still as great. Charlene Shahin, the program director at the Cohoes location, said that there was no way to put a value on the kindness that the arsenal has provided through the years. “When one sees the joy in the child’s eyes or the sense of relief from the parents, you know that these gifts truly mean a lot,” Shahin said. Robert Pfeil and Barbara Ryan spearheaded this year’s effort, as they have now done for about 10 years. Just about anything, from socks to Robert Pfeil, from the Arsenal Historical Society, hands dolls, that can bring joy to a child during the holidays was collected this over donated gifts to the City of Cohoes Head Start by program director Charlene Shahin. Photo provided year. Robert Pfeil. The Head Start program is part of the Albany Community Action Partnership that provides early childhood education to about 60 children at the Cohoes location. Children attend the Head Start program for 6.5 hours a day. “This program is more than just providing a free breakfast and lunch, we provide 3 to 4-year-old children a great start on their education ranging from arts and crafts to computers to language and literacy development,” Shahin said. The arsenal program of support began in 2001 when an arsenal employee’s daughter, who was working as a social worker at the Head Start program, asked her dad if the arsenal could support some of the children with holiday gifts.
  • 11. Page 11 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 Telling the arsenal, your story “HOMETOWN NEWS SERVICE” The Joint Hometown News Service (JHNS) manages the Department of Defense’s Hometown News program, supporting the military services. The JHNS staff of military and civilian personnel produces a variety of print and electronic news products highlighting the accomplishments and worldwide activities of individual members of the U.S. armed forces. Each year over 500,000 individual news releases are distributed to the 14,000 newspapers, television and radio stations subscribing to Hometown's free service. The arsenal leadership wants to let our community know what you have accomplished and one of the methods we may use is the Hometown News Service program. This is a simple and efficient process that lets us tell our community and your family your news. This program is open to all arsenal civilian and military personnel. The Hometown News Service program takes the information you provide and produces a short story, then they market that story to news agencies in your hometown areas. They do this with the information that you provide, so please be as accurate and thorough as you can. It will only take a couple of minutes to fill out the form. Some of the examples for which you can fill out the Hometown News Release Form are: • Graduation from military schools • Promotions • Participation in major exercises or overseas deployments • Awards of Army Achievement Medal or higher • Retirement • Receipt of college degree, include field of study • Competition winners HOW TO: Go to this link: https://jhns.release.dma.mil/public/form When filling out the form, YOU MUST enter "U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal" as Post/Base and "U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal" as the Unit. From there, the form is self explanatory or you can hover over the question marks on the form for help. The form will be submitted for approval and then sent on to our local news agencies. Please ensure that you attach all supporting documents for the event for example: promotion orders, copies of the degree, copies of the citation etc. Without these we can’t process your release. Picture attachments are encouraged. The event or news should be recent. I would say within one week of the event so that your story will have a better opportunity to be picked up by the media. If you need help or wish assistance filling out the form, please call or email the arsenal public affairs officer, John Snyder, at 266-5055 or john.b.snyder.civ@mail.mil
  • 12. Page 12 Salvo Dec. 31, 2013 During your holidays, please do not forget about our customers. TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,    HE LIVED ALL ALONE,    IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.       I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY    WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,    AND TO SEE JUST WHO    IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.       I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,    A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,    NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,    NOT EVEN A TREE.       NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,    JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,    ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES    OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.       WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,    AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,    A SOBER THOUGHT    CAME THROUGH MY MIND.       FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,    IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,    I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,    ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.       THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,    SILENT, ALONE,    CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR    IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.       THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,    THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,    NOT HOW I PICTURED    A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.       WAS THIS THE HERO    OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?    CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,    THE FLOOR FOR A BED?       I REALIZED THE FAMILIES    THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,    OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS    WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.       SOON ROUND THE WORLD,    THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,    AND GROWN UPS WOULD CELEBRATE    A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.       THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM    EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,    BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,    LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.       I COULDN’T HELP WONDER    HOW MANY LAY ALONE,    ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE    IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.       THE VERY THOUGHT    BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,    I DROPPED TO MY KNEES    AND STARTED TO CRY.       THE SOLDIER AWAKENED    AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,    “SANTA DON’T CRY,    THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;       I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,    I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,    MY LIFE IS MY GOD,    MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”       THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER    AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,    I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,    I CONTINUED TO WEEP.       I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,    SO SILENT AND STILL    AND WE BOTH SHIVERED    FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.       I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE    ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,    THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR    SO WILLING TO FIGHT.       THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,    WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,    WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,    IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”       ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,    AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.    “MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,    AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.” Anonymous