vol. 65 no. 50
Published in the interest of the Fort Meade community
December 19, 2013
photo by nate pesce
Families gather together with lit candles at McGlachlin Parade Field during the garrison’s annual tree lighting ceremony on Friday. The 25-year tradition is sponsored by the
Religious Services Office and featured holiday music, hot chocolate and a surprise visit from Santa Claus. For the story, see Page 10.
Soundoff! will not
publish Dec. 26
or Jan. 2.
Soundoff! will return
year in review
Soundoff! looks back
at 2013 in a special
friday, 6-8 p.m.: CYSS Holiday Party for grades 6-8 - Youth Center
Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Youth Winter Craft Day - Arts & Crafts Center
Dec. 31, 5-8 p.m.: New Year’s Eve Family Party - The Lanes
Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.: New Year’s Eve Prime Time Party - The Lanes
8 a.m.-5 p.m. until Jan. 3: Dump Your Plump registration - Gaffney
Col. Brian P. Foley
Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter
Public Affairs Officer
Chad T. Jones
Chief, Command Information
Philip H. Jones
Assistant Editor & Senior Writer
Rona S. Hirsch
Staff Writer Lisa R. Rhodes
Staff Writer Brandon Bieltz
Design Coordinator Timothy Davis
Supplemental photography provided
by The Baltimore Sun Media Group
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conjunction with the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office. Requests for publication must reach
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Co n t e n t s
Crime Watch.................. 8
SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
Wishing all a safe and
happy holiday season
The holiday season is a time for many different things.
Many take this time to spread joy through
giving. Most also spend the holidays celebrating with family and friends, often traveling to
The holiday season is also a time for physical,
emotional and spiritual renewal.
I also use this time to pause and be thankful.
I am thankful this year to be a part of Team
Meade and thankful for all the hard work of
everyone who is a part of our Fort Meade family.
Your dedication has brought to close another
successful year in 2013.
To everyone who has extended a helping
hand this past year, whether in a professional
capacity or as a volunteer, thank you. Thank
you for choosing to go the extra mile to make
a difference for service members, civilians and
Let’s all enjoy what the season offers, wherever we are. If possible, find a way to enjoy time
with friends and loved ones.
And as we celebrate, let’s also remember those
who are deployed and extend extra support to
their families. Being apart for the holidays can be
especially difficult on spouses and children.
Let’s keep in mind that the mission of our
fellow service members can be complex — a job
that is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While
some can rest briefly, others may not.
The holidays can also be especially stressful
and a challenging time for our wounded veterans
or those suffering from depression. Please find
time during the holidays to check in with the
warriors, family members and others you know
who may be stressed during the holidays to find
out how they’re doing and to offer support.
For those who
provides a number of Soldier
and family support services. If
you are unsure
of where to go,
start with Army
Community Service or the GarCOL. Brian P Foley
Just remember that even the smallest gesture
of support can mean a lot to those in need of
Let’s also keep in mind that a successful 2014
begins by ending 2013 on a safe note.
As you celebrate the holidays, plan your time
with safety in mind. Don’t drink and drive. Just
as important, don’t text and drive. I can’t think
of a text message or cell phone call important
enough to risk a vehicle accident.
Lastly, I ask you to find time during the holidays to take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise
and rest. Take this time to rejuvenate your body,
mind and spirit, and prepare to tackle whatever
challenges the New Year has in store.
Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season.
From my family to you and yours, we wish all
a happy holiday season and a prosperous New
I look forward to starting 2014 with each
member of Team Meade — ready, resilient and
committed to enhancing the lives of our service
members, families and civilian workers.
Have a safe and happy holiday and a blessed
Commander’s Open Door
Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley has an open door policy.
All service members, retirees, government employees, family members and
community members age 18 or older are invited to address issues or concerns to the commander directly by visiting Foley’s office on Mondays from
4 to 6 p.m. at garrison headquarters in Hodges Hall, Bldg. 4551, Llewellyn
Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is
For more information, call 301-677-4844.
‘A Bittersweet Day’
DINFOS, 55th Signal Co.
pay tribute to fallen Soldier
By Lisa R. Rhodes
The sacrifice and service of Spc. Hilda
I. Clayton, the first combat documentation
and production specialist to be killed in
Afghanistan, was recognized in an emotional ceremony at the Defense Information
School on Dec. 13.
A plate bearing Clayton’s name was
unveiled in the DINFOS Hall of Heroes
during a 20-minute ceremony that left several of the Soldier’s comrades in tears.
Clayton, who was assigned to the 55th
Signal Company (Combat Camera), 21st
Signal Brigade, was killed July 2 during a
deployment to Afghanistan. She was documenting an Afghan National Army training
exercise when a mortar system failed.
Clayton was 22.
“This is a bittersweet day,” said Col.
Jeremy Martin, commandant of DINFOS.
“We come to honor one of our own. Specialist Clayton volunteered to serve her
country in uniform, and she offered what
President Lincoln so aptly referred to as ‘the
last best measure of devotion’ in support of
The DINFOS Hall of Heroes, established
in 2006, honors men and women killed in
combat while serving in a public affairs or
visual information job specialty.
Before Clayton’s induction, 107 nameplates hung in the hall. Each nameplate
includes the service member’s name, rank,
service branch, date of death and the name
of the conflict in which he or she died.
Maj. Kyle Yates, commander of Combat
Camera, was the guest speaker.
Other guests included Clayton’s husband,
Spc. Chase Clayton, a supply specialist with
Combat Camera; Ray B. Shepherd, director
of the Defense Media Activity; and Roger
King, executive officer at DMA.
Navy Lt. Todd DeLaney, command
chaplain of DINFOS, gave the invocation.
In his speech, Yates called Clayton a
“commander’s Soldier” — someone who
not only is “trainable, but also most importantly, possesses all of the qualities that
a commander cannot teach or train into
them,” he said.
“Hilda epitomized what it means to be a
Yates described Clayton as eager to not
photos by steve ellmore
Spc. Hilda I. Clayton
only do her job, but “to do it better than she
had ever done before, and better than her
fellow Soldiers to her left or right.”
Clayton was a “quiet professional” who
“let her actions do the talking — and they
did,” Yates said. “You could not rest your
laurels around Specialist Clayton.”
Clayton was born May 21, 1991 in
Augusta, Ga. After attending cosmetology
school at Augusta Technical Community
College, she earned her license to practice
Clayton joined the Army on Sept. 21,
2011 as a 25V, combat documentation and
production specialist. She attended basic
combat training at Fort Jackson, SC., and
later completed Advanced Individual Training at DINFOS.
While at DINFOS, she completed the
basic still photography and video documentation courses.
Clayton and her husband met in elementary school in Augusta. They decided to
join the Army — she as a combat photographer and he as a supply specialist. The
couple married on Dec. 29, 2011.
Tech Sgt. Joshua Strang, a basic still photography instructor at the Defense
Information School, unveils the plate bearing the name of Spc. Hilda I. Clayton in the
Hall of Heroes. Clayton, the first combat documentation and production specialist
to be killed in Afghanistan, was inducted into the hall on Dec. 13 in an emotional
ceremony at DINFOS.
Clayton was later assigned to Combat
Camera. In April, she was deployed in support of the Department of the Army across
Regional Command-East during Operation
Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. She was
deployed to support the Combined Joint
Task Force 101.
Clayton was then forward-deployed as the
Combat Camera asset covering the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
In his remarks, Yates said Combat Camera held its first Best COMCAM competition in June. The weeklong competition is
dedicated to identifying the “best Combat
Camera team through the completion of
tough, arduous and exhausting tasks, while
also documenting each task of the competition through the collection of photographs
and videos, and creating final multimedia
products of the highest standards,” Yates
Beginning with this year’s competition,
the best combat camera team will have its
name inscribed on the Spc. Hilda I. Clayton
Best COMCAM Award.
“This is not something that we simply do
in honor of her, but something done to signify how she embodied the best of Combat
Camera,” Yates said. “[Clayton] left a legacy
for all of us to follow.
“As we unveil her nameplate on the Wall
of Heroes, all who walk by from now on
will see her sacrifice and legacy, and that it
After Yates’ speech, Tech Sgt. Joshua
Strang, a basic still photography instructor at DINFOS who taught Clayton and
served as emcee, tearfully unveiled Clayton’s
Later, several Soldiers from Combat
Camera huddled together in front of the
wall and cried.
Staff Sgt. Kaily Brown, a squad leader at
Combat Camera, said Clayton trained with
her deployment team late last year. She was
Clayon’s platoon leader when she arrived at
the unit in 2012.
Brown said Clayton was “very squared
away” as a Soldier and was always “doing
the right thing.”
“She was one of those Soldier’s that you
could rely on to get the job done,” Brown
Brown’s team was in Afghanistan when
Clayton was killed. They attended the
memorial service conducted there.
“We were able to get some closure,”
But Friday’s ceremony, she said, “stirred
back up the emotions and feelings that took
us back to when we lost her.”
Brown said Clayton’s induction in the
DINFOS Hall of Heroes was a proper way
to honor Clayton.
“It would have made her proud,” Brown
December 19, 2013 SOUNDOFF!
Sobering seminar highlights
dangers of drunk, drugged driving
Story and photo by Steve Ellmore
New Media Manager
Miguel Vela III softly described the horrific car crash after a night of drinking 10
years ago that not only took his left arm, but
the life of the other driver.
Vela’s gripping testimony underscored the
consequences of drinking and driving during the Army Substance Abuse Program’s
Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Seminar.
More than 75 service members attended
the daylong event held Friday at McGill
The event’s theme was: “Take a stand
against impaired driving.”
Vela, a spokesperson for Mothers Against
Drunk Driving, was one of several speakers
at the seminar.
The event also featured presentations
from the Maryland State Highway Administration Annapolis; a Fort Meade road
safety briefing by the Directorate of Emergency Services; holiday safety tips by Kirk
Fechter, director of the Installation Safety
Office; and Samson Robinson, the Fort
Meade Substance Abuse Program prevention coordinator.
In the event’s literature, organizers reminded service members that “buzzed” driving is
drunk driving: “Don’t turn your holiday into
During his presentation, Vela detailed the
moments leading up to the crash.
After drinking at a nightclub in Waldorf
in July 2003, the Upper Marlboro resident
SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
on Fort Meade
Gate 1: Rockenbach Road
5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday through Friday;
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
weekends; Closed holidays
Gate 3: Reece Road and
Maryland Route 175
(Demps Visitor Control
Center gate) 24-hour access
Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesperson Miguel Vela III speaks before a crowd
of service members during the 2013 Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Seminar
held Friday at McGill Training Center. Bela lost his left arm in a vehicular crash while
said he had three choices of roads to take
Rather than drive his usual route, “I was
craving McDonald’s and took Rosaryville
Road instead,” he said. “But the McDonald’s
was closed, so I continued down that road.”
Vela recalled driving around the corner of
the winding road before colliding head-on
with another vehicle.
His presentation included stark police
photos of the scene and of the smashed
vehicle belonging to his victim.
As the audience viewed the images on a
large screen, a stillness fell over the room.
“We have a guy here who took someone
else’s life and lost an arm,” Fechter said after
the event. “It makes you wonder why people
still drink and drive.”
For more information, visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
Scholarships for Military Children program now open
Defense Commissary Agency Public Affairs
Applications for the 2014 Scholarships
for Military Children Program is now
available at commissaries worldwide and
on the Internet at militaryscholar.org.
Applications must be turned in to a
commissary by close of business Feb.
28. Packages must be hand-delivered or
shipped via U.S. Postal Service or other
delivery methods, not emailed or faxed.
This year’s award amount has risen
to $2,000. The program awards at least
one scholarship at each commissary with
An applicant must be a dependent,
unmarried child, younger than 21 —or
age 23 if enrolled as a full-time student
Get to work on time.
Know the hours
of operation for
at a college or university — of a service member on active duty, Reserve or
National Guard member, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while
on active duty, or survivor of a retiree.
Applicants should ensure they and
their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense
Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
database and have a military ID card.
The applicant must attend or plan to
attend full time an accredited college
or university in the fall of 2014 or be
enrolled in studies designed to transfer
to a four-year program.
Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit
organization that helps service members
and their families, administers the pro-
gram. Scholarship Managers, a national,
nonprofit, scholarship management services organization, manages and awards
Commissary partners and the general
public donate money to the program.
Every dollar donated goes directly to
funding the scholarships.
Since inception of the program in
2001, more than $11.3 million in scholarships have been awarded to 7,412 military dependents from more than 71,000
For more information, students or sponsors should call Scholarship Managers at
856-616-9311 or email militaryscholar@
Demps Visitor Control Center,
Bldg. 902 Reece Road
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,
Monday through Friday
Gate 4: Mapes Road and
Maryland Route 175
CLOSED until further notice
Gate 5: Llewellyn Avenue and
Maryland Route 175
6 to 8 a.m., Monday through
Friday for inbound traffic;
3 to 6 p.m., Monday through
Friday for outbound traffic
Gate 7: Mapes Road
and Route 32
5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday through Friday;
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
weekends and holidays
Project USO Elf provides gifts for Meade children
Story and photo by Brandon Bieltz
Kneeling in the middle of McGill
Training Center last week, Spc. Thomas
McDonough shuffled through a red plastic
bag looking for “something that lights up,
something that makes noise” and “something smart” for his two young daughters.
The Soldier from the 741st Military Intelligence Battalion was not disappointed.
“My daughters are going to love this,”
McDonough said as he sorted through toys
The girls are among the more than 500
Fort Meade youngsters who will benefit
from the annual Project USO Elf program,
which assists military families by providing
gifts for their children during the holidays.
More than 270 families are being assisted
by the program this year.
“I have two kids, and it’s hard to pay for
all the gifts for two kids with only specialist
pay,” McDonough said.
Service members who are E-5 and below
are registered for the program by senior
enlisted leaders of their respective organizations. The families then create a wish list
for their children that are filled by corporate
The sponsors typically donate gifts worth
$50 to $75 for each youngster.
“It helps stretch their dollars at Christmastime,” said Laura Dexter-Mooty, Fort
Meade’s USO-Metro coordinator. “...The
corporate sponsors are more than generous.”
Dexter-Mooty said she believes some
families depend on the program to provide
Christmas presents for their children.
“There’s a couple of big families that
have really been taken care of well,” she
When families arrived Dec. 11 to pick
up their bags of toys, volunteers from the
USO and corporate sponsors spent 90
minutes distributing packages and wrapping presents.
Kurt McIntrye, a strategic market analyst with ATK Defense Group, attended
the program for a second year, handing out
cookies and hot chocolate.
“One of our major core values is to give
back to the community,” he said. “Anytime that we work with the USO, it’s very
rewarding for us. ... It gives us a chance to
give back to those who have offered it all.”
McDonough, who has promoted the
program to fellow Soldiers in his unit, said
he hopes more service members will participate next year.
“I think it’s great,” he said.
SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
Volunteer Joe Basile
carries a bag of
presents and a bike
for a Fort Meade
Project USO Elf on
Dec. 11 at Murphy
Field House. The
annual program assists
military families by
providing toys for their
children during the
holidays. This year, the
program is providing
gifts for more than 500
Help reduce KACC patient no-shows
By 1st Lt. Amber A. Horn
Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center
‘Tis the season for increased no-show
rates at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care
As everyone starts to get into their
annual holiday routines of eating turkey, binge shopping, and taking leave
to visit relatives, keeping or canceling
your appointments becomes increasingly
A “no-show” is defined as an individual who misses or is late to an appointment without canceling or rescheduling.
Kimbrough has one of the highest rates
— 9 percent — of no-shows in Army
Medical Command, which equates to
more than 2,000 missed appointments
When you do not keep or cancel a
previously scheduled appointment, you
are not only hurting your own health and
medical readiness. You also are preventing another service member or family
member from using that appointment,
further harming their health and medical readiness.
Consequently, Fort Meade units are
ranked last in MEDCOM for Periodic
Health Assessment compliance.
Recent data shows that the number
of patients who do not show up for an
appointment increases considerably during holiday months, making it harder for
other patients who need appointments to
If you are unable to make it to your
appointment, please cancel as soon as
possible so that a fellow service or family
member can use that appointment slot.
If your appointment is within 24
hours, the easiest way to cancel is to visit
tricareonline.com. All pending future
appointments are listed in each patient’s
“Appointment Center,” where you can
set up text and email reminders. Otherwise, call 301-677-8800 to talk to a
representative or leave a voice message
Give the gift of much-needed health
care by canceling your appointment
online or by calling. Remember: An
appointment missed by you, is an
appointment missed by two.
Let me help you purchase your next vehicle.
Work with experienced Military Spouse
BMW-MINI of Annapolis
Mention this ad for a $$ Discount!
Connect with Fort Meade at
Learning at home.
Learning in the classroom.
Learning for success.
If you want to maintain, stay competitive,
or advance in your career,
choose Howard Community College
for learning that works for you!
Online • Hybrid • Accelerated
Columbia • Gateway • Laurel • Mount Airy
Credit for Prior Learning • Military Assistance
Counseling and Career Services
Certifications • Degrees
SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
to take the next step.
Winter term begins January 2
Spring semester begins January 25
Noncredit classes are ongoing
Don’t be fooled by double
jeopardy money scams
By A.J. Colkitt
Legal Assistance Intern
Even though you thought you were a
savvy consumer, you fell victim to a scam
and are out lots of money.
Although you reported the situation to
the police, you’ve learned that the scammers
are located in a foreign country and you
have no way of recouping your money.
You are then contacted by a “government agency” to help recover the money
you lost in the scam. Your prayers have
Wrong. This corporation or so-called
“government agency” is yet another scam
to get even more money out of you.
These scams are very tricky.
How did they know you had lost money
to a scam? A popular norm around the
world of con men is the “sucker list.”
The people who scammed you in the first
place will put your name and information on a list and sell that list to fellow
Of course, this is hard to pass up for
people trying to make a dishonest buck,
so they are passed on frequently.
The scams that promise to get your
money back are particularly popular
among “double jeopardy” scams. You
want to get your money back, but how do
you know if this is a scam or not?
There is one obvious way to tell if the
person on the other end of the phone is
on the level or not. If they ask you for
money or a donation in advance, then you
instantly know it is a scam.
The Telemarketing and Consumer
Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act prohibits all real — and fake — businesses from
requesting money from the customer
until seven business days after they have
recovered and returned the money you
have lost. If anyone tells you otherwise,
end the call immediately.
Another trick these scammers use is the
“do-it-yourself ” kit for getting back your
money — you don’t have to go through
the crooked company to get your money
back. All you have to do is use the kit that
they supply. Simple, right?
But in fact, the Federal Trade Commission recently reached a settlement
with Business Recovery Services LLC
for selling kits that didn’t work, priced at
$499, and making false claims about the
If you are a victim of such scams or
have been contacted by a “company,” go
to ftc.gov. You also should call the Fort
Meade Directorate of Emergency Services,
Investigations Section at 301-677-6540.
For more information, go to ftc.gov
or call the Fort Meade Legal Assistance
Office to schedule an appointment to speak
with an attorney at 301-677-9504 or 301677-9536.
Compiled by the Fort Meade
Directorate of Emergency Services
Dec. 2, Larceny of non-appropriated funds: The manager of
Club Meade stated that money
was discovered missing from
the bank money bags gathered
on Nov. 28.
Dec. 12, Theft of government
property: AAFES loss prevention personnel stated that over the course
of several months, she has obtained evidence that
the subject stole at least 30 Exchange gift cards
reportedly valued at $2,800, which were used to
make purchases at off-post establishments.
Dec. 15, Assault - consummated by a battery:
The victim stated that she and her husband were
in a verbal argument that turned physical when
he grabbed her by the neck and attempted to
For week of Dec. 9-15:
• Moving violations: 26
• Nonmoving violations: 2
• Verbal warnings for traffic stops: 33
• Traffic accidents: 4
• Driving on suspended license: 1
• Driving on suspended registration: 0
• Driving without a license: 1
C over S tory
at garrison tree
By Lisa R. Rhodes
The early chill of winter was the evening
setting for Fort Meade’s annual tree lighting
ceremony on Dec. 15 at McGlachlin Parade
The garrison’s Religious Services Office
hosted the event, which traditionally includes a
performance by an ensemble of the U.S. Army
Field Band and an early Christmas visit from
“It helps to bring in the holidays and it’s
exciting to see Santa,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey
Henry of the 29th Intelligence Squadron,
who came with his wife, Jessie, and their two
children Olivia, 5, and Colin, 2.
The hourlong ceremony began promptly
at 5 p.m. after the garrison’s military retreat
Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Thompson, chaplain
resource manager for Fort Meade, welcomed
the audience. Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Carl
Rau’s invocation gave thanks for the joys and
blessings of the holiday season and included
a reminder of the sacrifice made by service
photos by nate pesce
People gather around the newly lit Christmas tree on Friday at McGlachlin Parade
Field. The Religious Services Office sponsors the annual ceremony for the Fort Meade
RIGHT: Three-year-old Avery Dearborn sits on Santa’s lap in the gazebo at McGlachlin
10 SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
members who are away from their loved
The Federal Brass Instrumentalists, an
ensemble of the Field Band, played a medley
of favorite Christmas songs including “We
Wish You A Merry Christmas,” “Joy To The
World,” “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” and
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
A combined choir made up of Fort Meade’s
Cub Scout, Girls Scout and Boy Scout troops
led the audience in the singing of “Jingle Bells”
and “Frosty the Snowman.”
Before the ceremony began, staff from the
Religious Services Office distributed raffle
tickets to adults, while Fort Meade’s USOMetro provided free cups of hot chocolate
Several chaplain assistants also distributed
candles that were lit later in the evening.
Mariela Pepin, the newly crowned Miss
Maryland Teen USA, picked the winning
raffle tickets from a decorated holiday box.
Mariela, 17, is the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class
Charlie Pepin, who is stationed in Hawaii, and
Edna Solis, a management program analyst at
First Army Division East G-8.
A graduate of Meade High School and a
freshman at Towson University, the 17-yearold was crowned on Nov. 3.
“It’s special,” Mariela said of the event.
“I’m so happy to see the people and to help
out. ... It’s so exciting. I never thought I’d be
here wearing a crown and a sash.”
The Fort Meade Commissary, Club Meade
and the Directorate of Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation donated gift cards for
the raffle prizes.
Garrison Deputy Commander John
Moeller thanked the many garrison agencies
that sponsored the event and wished the audience a happy holiday.
“I hope you all have a good time tonight,”
Whether one celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, this time of year “is all about
family and friends, so enjoy,” Moeller said.
After the chaplain assistants helped people
to light their candles, the Field Band musicians
and the children’s choir led everyone in singing
Moeller then asked for a volunteer to pull
C over S tory
LEFT: A combined
choir of Fort
Scout, Boy Scout
and Girl Scout
troops sing “Jingle
Bells” and “Frosty
before the tree
and Mariela Pepin,
the newly crowned
Teen USA, stand
on the stage at the
gazebo as they
call out winning
annual tree lighting
Sgt. Kevin Paul,
of the U.S.
during a medley
songs at the
the switch to light the tree.
Frechena Russ, 20, daughter of Sgt. 1st
Class Buffie Hall, noncommissioned officer in
charge of the garrison chapel, stepped up.
As the tree lit up, a Fort Meade fire truck
made its way down English Avenue and
dropped off Santa Claus at the gazebo.
Master Sgt. Lee Comboy of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing,
stood on line for Santa with her children,
Phoebe, 9, and Zachary 2.
“I’m very impressed with how generous
the garrison is this year,” said Comboy, who
also attended a holiday party hosted by Fort
Meade’s Exceptional Family Member Program with her special needs daughter, Shelby.
Comboy said that with people busy shopping or overly involved in the material aspects
of Christmas, the annual tree lighting is truly
a festive event for families.
“That’s what the real holiday is all about,”
December 19, 2013 SOUNDOFF! 11
Tips to stay healthy at work
By Lisa Young
U.S. Army Public Health Command
Simple changes to at-work habits
can have a positive impact on staying
Whether trying to manage a chronic
condition or maintain a healthy lifestyle,
the tips below can make a difference in
your overall health and make your workday more enjoyable.
Eat better at work
• Pack your lunch and keep healthy
snacks on hand.
Skipping breakfast decreases metabolism. So if you don’t have time to eat
breakfast, pack your breakfast as well.
Healthy snacks can help you resist the
sugary foods that often plague the office.
Good alternatives are cut-up vegetables, fruit slices, light popcorn, low-fat
whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter,
and low-fat soup in a cup.
Burn calories at work
photos by phil grout
brunch with santa
Santa was the guest
of honor Saturday
at the “Brunch with
Santa Claus” held at
the Fort Meade Conference Center.
The annual event,
sponsored by Child,
Youth and School
a brunch buffet, an
activity, and a small
gift for each child.
Right, Columbia siblings Sophie Levine,
6, and her older
brother John, 9, chat
with Kris Kringle.
Madison Long of
Severn gets a surprise visit at her table
26 SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
• Make office exercise a part of your daily
routine by adding active activities or 10-minute “exercise blasts” to your office routine.
Multiple increments of exercise can add
up to the 30 minutes of moderate exercise per
day that is recommended for health benefits.
• Look for opportunities to stand such as
while talking on the phone.
• Walk to other offices as a substitute for
local emails and phone calls.
• Organize a walking group or schedule
walking meetings. Do laps inside your building or take your walking meetings outdoors.
• Take a one-minute “cardio burst” to
march or jog in place, do jumping jacks,
simulate jumping rope, or walk up and down
• Turn breaks into a short, fitness routine.
Store resistance bands or small hand-weights
in a desk drawer.
Try these exercises:
• Arm curls: Hold weights at your sides,
palms facing upward, bend your elbows,
bring your hands up. Keep your arms by your
side, lower your hands slowly and repeat.
• Side leg lifts: Stand straight, lightly brace
yourself on a desk. Tighten your abdominal
muscles and the muscles on your outer thigh.
Raise your leg to the side, knee straight, foot
flexed. Do 12 repetitions, then repeat with
the other leg.
• Oblique crunches: Sit up straight in a
chair, clasp your arms behind your head with
your elbows back. Tighten your abs as you
bring your opposite knee up toward your
opposite elbow. Alternate sides.
• Quad lifts: Sit in a chair with your abs
contracted, extend your leg with your foot up,
knee straight. Raise your thigh off the chair,
lower and repeat. Alternate legs.
Stretch more at work
For people whose jobs require them to
sit for long hours, taking a few minutes
to do stretches can relieve stress, increase
productivity and make you feel better.
Fit these stretches, along with relaxed
breathing, into your schedule.
• Neck stretches
Close your eyes. Let your chin drop
down to your chest until you feel a stretch
along the back of your neck. Slowly bring
your shoulders up toward your ears, then
relax them down. Take the right ear to the
right shoulder, then roll your head forward
and then the left ear to the left shoulder.
Keep the shoulders relaxed and do not
hurry. Take three to five rolls and then
switch directions for another five rolls.
• Back stretch
Bring both feet flat on the floor. Bring
your hands onto your knees. On an inhale,
arch the back and look up toward the ceiling. On the exhale, round the spine and let
your head drop forward. Repeat for five
• Seated forward bend
Push your chair back from your desk.
Bring both feet flat on the floor. Interlace
your fingers behind your back. Straighten
your arms, drawing the interlaced fingers
down. Fold at the waist, bringing your
interlaced hands over your back. Rest
your chest on your thighs and release your
• Seated spinal twist
Sit sideways in your chair, feet flat on the
floor. Twist towards the back of the chair,
holding the back with both hands. Repeat
the other way.
• Best healthy snacks in your supermarket,
Web MD, webmd.com/food-recipes/features/
• Exercise at Your Desk, Web MD Fitness
• Exercises recommended by experts whose
jobs involve studying motion and preventing
• Mayo Clinic Desk Stretches: How-to
video collection, mayoclinic.com/health/
• Break Pal - Fitness at Your Desk (daily
web-based exercise reminders), breakpal.
Soldiers to get expedited airport security screenings
By David Vergun
Army News Service
Beginning Friday, Soldiers will be eligible for expedited pre-flight screening at
airports, meaning they’ll be able to get
into the express line where they don’t need
to remove their shoes and belts or take
laptops out of their baggage.
All service members, including those in
the Reserve, National Guard and Coast
Guard, will be eligible for TSA Precheck,
as the program is known.
Those in the Guard and Reserve do
not need to be in an activated status, and
service members do not need to be in uniform, said Mark Howell, Transportation
Security Administration spokesman.
Not eligible are personnel in the Individual Ready Reserve, military retirees,
and Army and Defense Department civilians, he said.
Currently, about 10 airports allow ser-
vice members to show their Common
Access Cards and go into the expedited
pre-check line, he said. On Friday, “that’s
going away,” Howell said.
Instead, service members will need to
enter their CAC identification number into
the “Known Traveler” field when booking
All airlines have this field on their forms,
he said, adding that the Defense Travel
System also has a Known Traveler field
where the CAC ID number can be added.
Soldiers should consult with their DTS
representative for more information.
Once the Soldier books an airline ticket,
the airline sends the CAC ID number and
the Soldier’s information to TSA’s Secure
Flight office, a program that maintains a
criminal and terrorist watch list, he said.
When the Soldier prints out the boarding pass at the airport, a “TSA Secure
Flight” logo will appear at the top. That
Beware of last-minute travel scams
By A.J. Colkitt
Legal Assistance Intern
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The decorations are out, holiday songs are on the
radio, and everyone seems a little more chipper (outside of the parking lots).
It really makes you miss your family that’s out-of-state. You really want to see them, but
airfare during the holidays is sky high.
Just when you think all hope is lost, you get a letter or a phone call saying that you have
received free airline tickets to anywhere you want to go. Simply act now and they are all yours.
The company name looks legitimate, and so do the tickets.
Could this be a holiday miracle?
Sadly, what you are holding in your hands is a nightmare disguised as a dream come true.
Scammers this time of year will prey on people looking to be home for the holidays.
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
The first question is: “What airline is this?”
Be wary of look-alike names of companies that sound official. Last year there was a
scam company called US Airlines. This sounds like a familiar company, but it’s a company
dedicated to simply decking their halls with your money.
Another question to ask is: “Why do I need to act right now?”
Some scams will pressure you into acting fast in order to claim your “prizes.” What’s the
rush? Well, the more time you wait, the longer you have to think about it. Scammers don’t
want you to think about it.
A hard question you don’t want to ask but need to is: “Why me?”
If it came out-of-the-blue, warning bells should be going off. Why would a big company
have any interest in giving a random person airline tickets — for free?
Even if you entered a sweepstakes, it is near impossible to get a prize like this with no
The last question you need to ask is: “What strings are attached?”
Chances are, the “company” will ask you for your personal information, credit card number, Social Security number, or anything of the like. They may even ask you for a small fee.
Do you hear what I hear? Scam!
For more information about tricky scams, go to the Federal Trade Commission website
If you are a victim, you can report your encounter at ftc.gov or call the Fort Meade Legal
Assistance Office to schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney at 301-677-9504 or
informs TSA personnel to allow the Soldier to get into the expedited, pre-flight
line, he said.
Essentially, the only thing Soldiers need
to do, he said, is to ensure they enter
their CAC number when booking either
through DTS or online for non-official
travel, he said.
TSA does all the behind-the-scenes
A caveat to the program, Howell said,
is that nonmilitary spouses are not eligible,
nor are their children, except for those ages
12 and under.
However, Howell said, TSA will soon
offer them and the general public the same
pre-check benefits that service members
get. But there will be an $85 fee to be eligible and it’s only good for five years.
TSA is excited about extending the
program now to service members, he said,
because about 25 percent of TSA’s work-
force are military veterans, including Howell, who is an Army veteran.
“In the future, we’d like to facilitate
expedited pre-flight screening for more
and more Americans,” he said, as TSA is
“becoming more like a risk-based, intelligence-driven organization.”
TSA is working on various ways to
expedite travelers, but new initiatives are
not yet ready to be announced publicly,
“It’s better for us and it’s better for the
traveling public, who won’t have to wait as
long,” he said.
For more information on the TSA Precheck Program, go to http://www.tsa.gov/
For more information on the TSA Secure
Flight, go to http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/secure-flight-program.
Army to test for synthetic drugs
By Latonia Stallworth
Army Substance Abuse Program
and Capt. Latisha Irwin
Chief, Military Justice, Fort Meade
Spice originated in Europe around 2006
and found its way into the Army shortly
Spice is a synthetic drug. Synthetic cannabinoids, or SCs, are created to mimic the
effects of marijuana.
The Army has been combating the
problem in several ways. In 2011, Secretary of the Army John McHugh banned
the use and possession of all SCs. In
2012, McHugh approved Army Directive
2012-14, which further prohibited SCs and
included “Bath Salts,” a synthetic drug
that mimics cocaine.
In April, McHugh approved Army
Directive 2013-10, which allowed testing
for SCs and Bath Salts where there was
probable cause or command directed.
Now the Army will test for SCs in its
urine analysis tests.
The DoD will expand military drug
testing of the more commonly abused
synthetic drugs beginning with Spice and
The chemical makeup of synthetic cannabinoids is similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and produces a psychoactive
response in the human brain like THC
Spice is an analog concoction created by
modern chemistry. Analog chemicals are
existing drug molecules that share struc-
tural and pharmacological similarities with
the original compound — marijuana.
Soldiers who are using SCs are encouraged to voluntarily seek medical treatment and rehabilitation immediately at
the Army Substance Abuse Program on a
The projected date for implementation
is January 2014.
The DoD and Army policies, including
the local garrison policy, state that individuals who do not self-refer for treatment
and who subsequently test positive for use
of illegal or unauthorized substances may
be considered in violation of the Uniform
Code of Military Justice for drug misuse/abuse.
Some of the possible UCMJ offenses
• Article 112a: Wrongful use, possession, manufacture or introduction of a
controlled substance if the SC is listed
as one of the synthetic compounds in
• Article 92: Failure to obey order or
regulation for violating the local policy
The maximum punishment for these
offenses respectively are five years confinement, dishonorable discharge and total
forfeiture of pay, and two years confinement, dishonorable discharge and total
forfeiture of pay.
The ASAP stands ready to assist Soldiers if needed.
For more information or assistance,
December 19, 2013 SOUNDOFF! 27
C ommunity N ews N otes
The deadline for Soundoff! community
“News and Notes” is Friday at noon.
All submissions are posted at the editor’s
discretion and may be edited for space and
grammar. Look for additional community
events on the Fort Meade website at www.
ftmeade.army.mil and the Fort Meade
Facebook page at facebook.com/ftmeade.
For more information or to submit an
announcement, email Philip Jones at philip.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-677-5602.
WRNMMC shuttle service
The free shuttle service between Fort
Meade and Walter Reed National Military
Medical Center in Bethesda has a new
The shuttle now picks up riders at the
Burger King parking lot located on Rose
Street, off Mapes Road, at the following
times: 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m. 2 p.m., 4
p.m. and 6 p.m.
The shuttle departs WRNMMC at 7:10
a.m., 9:10 a.m., 1:10 p.m., 3:10 p.m. and
Individuals interested in participating
in Jummah prayers on Fort Meade
should call 301-677-1301.
Fort Meade has a room available
at Argonne Hills Chapel Center, 7100
The community also is seeking
individuals who would like to join in a
morning prayer on Fridays.
The Navy Fleet and Family Support
Center offers free classes at its new
facility at 2212 Chisholm Ave.
Classes are open to DoD
identification cardholders, including
active-duty service members, retirees
and their family members, DoD civilian
employees and contractors.
Registration is required for each class.
• Car Buying: Jan. 13, 1 to 2 p.m.
For more information, call 301-6779014, 301-677-9017 or 301-677-9018.
A Child, Youth and School Services
28 SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
holiday party for grades six to eight will
be held Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the
For more information, call 301-6771437.
Youth Winter Craft Day
The Arts Crafts Center is
sponsoring Youth Winter Craft Day on
Dec. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All youths must be registered by Dec.
24 and accompanied by an adult.
The event will feature work stations
with different crafts for various age
groups, from toddlers to teens, and
Cost is $5 per craft.
For more information, call 301-6777809.
Movie Night for grades six to eight
will be held Jan. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at
the Youth Center.
For more information, call 301-6771437.
Kids Craft Club
The Kids Craft Club for toddlers and
preschoolers will meet Jan. 15 at 9:30
a.m. at the Arts and Crafts Center.
Remaining sessions will be: Feb. 11,
March 11, April 15 and May 6.
Fee is $5 per session. Cost includes a
craft, snack and juice.
Space is limited. Registration is
To register or for more information,
• The Moscow Ballet Company will
perform “The Nutcracker” on Saturday
at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. at the Hippodrome
Theater, 12 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore.
Tickets range from $28-$175. For more
information, go to nutcracker.com.
• Symphony of Lights, a 20-minute
drive-through spectacle of more than
70 larger-than-life holiday light displays
benefiting Howard County General
Hospital, is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m.
through Jan. 5 at Symphony Woods in
The display is closed Dec. 31 for the
“Midnight at 7” event.
Symphony of Lights features a series of
animated and stationary light displays on a
1.4-mile scenic drive. Visitors can listen to
seasonal music on the Symphony of Lights
FM radio frequency.
Midnight at 7 is a New Years Eve celebration for families on Dec. 31 beginning
at 5 p.m. and culminating with fireworks at
7 p.m. (weather permitting).
Admission is $20 per car or van up to 8
passengers; $45 for commercial vans and
minibuses seating nine to 24 people; and
$125 for buses exceeding 24 passengers.
Tickets can be purchased at the main
gate. Private walk-throughs are available
Coupons for $5 off are available at www.
hcgh.org/symphonyoflights and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/symphonyoflightsfestivities).
For more information, call 410-740-7666
or go to www.hcgh.org/symphonyoflights.
• Leisure Travel Services is offering its
next monthly bus trip to New York City
on Jan. 11, with discounts to attractions.
Bus cost is $55. For more information,
call 301-677-7354 or visit ftmeademwr.
• Prostate Cancer Support Group meets
at Walter Reed National Military Medical
Center in Bethesda on the third Thursday
of every month. The next meeting is today
from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the
America Building, River Conference Room
(next to the Prostate Center), third floor.
Spouses/partners are invited. Military ID
is required for base access. Men without a
military ID should call the Prostate Center
48 hours prior to the event at 301-319-2900
for base access.
For more information, call retired Col.
Jane Hudak at 301-319-2918 or email jane.
• Fort Meade Homeschool Co-op will
meet Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Potomac Place
Neighborhood Center. Additional meetings
will be held Jan. 24 and Jan. 31. For more
information, go to its Facebook page at
Fort Meade Homeschool Group and Co-op.
• Society of Military Widows meets for
brunch the fourth Sunday of the month
at 1 p.m. at the Lanes. The next meeting is
Sunday. For more information, call Betty
Jones at 410-730-0127.
• Single Parent Support Group meets the
second and fourth Monday of the month
from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at School Age Services,
1900 Reece Road. The next meeting is
Monday. Free child care will be provided
For more information, email Kimberly.
• Bully Proofing Support Group meets
the second and fourth Monday of the
month from 4 to 5 p.m. at Potomac Place
Neighborhood Center. The next meeting is
Monday. The group is geared for school-age
children and parents. For more information,
• Marriage Enrichment Group, sponsored
by Army Community Service, meets the
second and fourth Monday of every
month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Community
Readiness Center, 830 Chisholm Ave.
The next meeting is Monday. For more
information, call Celena Flowers or Jessica
Hobgood at 301-677-5590.
• Monthly Prayer Breakfast, hosted by
the Garrison Chaplain’s Office, is held the
first Thursday of every month at 7 a.m. at
The next prayer breakfast is Jan. 2.
There is no cost for the buffet; donations
are optional. All Fort Meade employees,
family members, and civilian and military
personnel are invited.
For more information, call Diana Durner
at 301-677-6703 or email diana.l.durner.
• Meade Rod and Gun Club meets the
first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at
Perry’s Restaurant and Odie’s Pub at 1210
Annapolis Road, Odenton, in the banquet
hall in back of the building. The next
meeting is Jan. 2. Dinner is served at 6 p.m.
For more information, call 410-674-4000.
• National Alliance on Mental Illness of
Anne Arundel County offers a free support
group for families with a loved one suffering
from mental illness on the first Thursday
of every month at 7 p.m. at the Odenton
(West County) Library, 1325 Annapolis
Road. The next meeting is Jan. 2. For more
information, visit namiaac.org.
• Families Dealing with Deployment,
Unaccompanied Permanent Change of
Station, Temporary Duty meets the first and
third Monday of every month from 5:30 to
6:30 p.m. at Meuse Forest Neighborhood
Center. The next meeting is Jan. 6. For more
information, email Kimberly.d.mckay6.ctr@
• Fort Meade TOP III Association meets
the second Wednesday of each month at
3 p.m. at the Courses. The next meeting
is Jan. 8. The association is open to all
Air Force active-duty and retired senior
noncommissioned officers. For more
information, call Master Sgt. Jonathan
Jacob at 443-479-0616 or email jajacob@
• Women’s Empowerment Group meets
Wednesdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to provide
a safe, confidential arena for the support,
education and empowerment of women
who have experienced past or present family
Location is only disclosed to participants.
To register, call Tina Gauth, victim
advocate, at 301-677-4117 or Samantha
C ommunity N ews N otes
Herring, victim advocate, at 301-677-4124.
• Spanish Christian Service is conducted
Sundays at 1 p.m. at the Cavalry Chapel
located at 8465 Simonds St. and 6th
Armored Cavalry Road.
For more information, call Elias Mendez
at 301-677-7314 or 407-350-8749.
• Cub Scout Pack 377 invites boys in
first through fifth grades, or ages 7 to 10,
to attend its weekly Monday meetings at 6
p.m. at Argonne Hills Chapel Center.
For more information, email Cubmaster
Christopher Lassiter at pack377_cm@
yahoo.com or Committee Chairperson
Marco Cilibert at email@example.com.
• Boy Scout Troop 379 meets Mondays
at 7 p.m. at Argonne Hills Chapel
Center on Rockenbach Road. The troop
is actively recruiting boys age 11 to
18. For more information, email Lisa
Yetman, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Wendall Lawrence, Scoutmaster, at
• Military Council for Catholic Women
is open to all women ages 18 and older
for prayer, faith, fellowship and service at
the Main Post Chapel. Mother’s Prayer
Apologetics meets Tuesdays from 9:45
a.m. to noon when Anne Arundel County
schools are in session. Monthly programs
are held Mondays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
For more information, email Beth
Wright, president, at bethwright826@
hotmail.com or call 305-240-1559.
• American Legion Post 276 is open to
veterans and active-duty service members
at 8068 Quarterfield Road in Severn.
Breakfast may be purchased beginning at 9
a.m. Lunches may be purchased from 11:30
a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Happy Hour is from 4 to
6 p.m. Dinner may be purchased at 6 p.m.
on Fridays and the fourth Sunday of every
Membership discounts are offered
for active-duty military. For more
information, call 410-969-8028 or visit
• Fort Meade E9 Association meets the
second Friday of every month at 7 a.m. in
the Pin Deck Cafe at the Lanes. The next
meeting is Jan. 10. The association is open
to active, retired, Reserve and National
Guard E9s of any uniformed service. All
E9s in this area are invited to attend a
breakfast and meet the membership. For
more information, go to e9association.org.
• Meade Branch 212 of the Fleet Reserve
Association meets the second Saturday of
each month at 10 a.m. at VFW Post 160,
2597 Dorsey Road, Glen Burnie. The next
meeting is Jan. 11. Active-duty, Reserve and
retired members of the U.S. Navy, Marine
Corps and Coast Guard are invited.
For more information, call 443-604-2474
• New Spouse Connection meets the
second Monday of every month from 7
to 8:30 p.m. at the Community Readiness
Center, 830 Chisholm Ave. The next
meeting is Jan. 13. The program provides
an opportunity for all spouses new to the
military or to Fort Meade to meet and get
connected. For more information, contact
Pia Morales at email@example.com
• NARFE Chapter 1519 will meet Jan. 14
at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church Hall.
For more information, call Diane Shreves,
publicity chairman, at 410-760-3750.
• Military District of Washington
Sergeant Audie Murphy Club meets the third
Wednesday of each month from noon to
1 p.m. at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson
Hall Dining Facility in Virginia. The next
meeting is Jan. 15. All members and those
interested in joining the club are welcome.
For more information, contact Master Sgt.
Erica Lehmkuhl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
mil or 301-833-8415.
• Retired Enlisted Association meets
the third Tuesday of the month from
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Perry’s Restaurant,
1210 Annapolis Road, Odenton. The next
meeting is Jan. 21. For more information,
visit trea.org or call Elliott Phillips, the local
president, at 443-790-3805 or Arthur R.
Cooper, past national president, at 443-3361230.
• Air Force Sergeants Association
Chapter 254 meets the fourth Wednesday
of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the
multipurpose room of Building 9801 at
the National Security Agency. The next
meeting is Jan. 22. For more information,
call 443-534-5170 or visit afsa254.org.
“Happy Birthday Jesus” Mass (for children)
Christmas Eve Midnight Mass
Protestant Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Episcopal Christmas Eve Carols/Service
Christmas Day Mass
New Year’s Vigil Mass
Gospel Watch-Night Service
Mary, Mother of God
“For every minute you
are angry, you lose 60
seconds of happiness.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
American essayist, poet
Times of the regular weekend Protestant and Catholic services during the day
will remain the same (if not noted).
For more information about religious services, call the Garrison Chaplain’s Office at 301-677-6703.
The movie schedule is subject to change. For
a recorded announcement of showings, call 301677-5324. Further listings are available on the
Army and Air Force Exchange Service website
Movies start Wednesdays to Saturdays at
6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
NEW PRICES: Tickets are $5.50 for adults
(12 and older) and $3 for children. 3D Movies:
$7.50 adults, $5 children.
Today through Jan. 5
(CLOSED Christmas Day
and New Year’s Day)
Today, Saturday Jan. 2: “Free Birds” (PG).
Turkeys embark on a mission to take themselves
off the menu. With Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler. (3D Today)
Friday: “Ender’s Game” (PG-13). A young man
leads a galactic battle to save Earth’s people. With
Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley.
Fort Meade 2013 Holiday Religious Services Activities
Saturday Dec. 26, 28: “Thor: The Dark World”
(PG-13). Thor must battle an ancient enemy.
With Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom
Hiddleston. (3D Thursday Dec. 26)
Dec. 27, 29: “The Best Man Holiday” (R). College
friends reunite over the Christmas holiday. With
Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall.
Jan. 3: “Delivery Man” (PG-13). An underachiever finds out he’s fathered 533 children
through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic
20 years ago. With Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt,
Jan. 4: “Frozen” (PG).
A young queen’s icy
powers trap a kingdom
in eternal winter. With
Kristen Bell, Idina
Jan. 5: “The Hunger
Games: Catching Fire”
(PG-13). The 75th Hunger Games may change Panem forever. With
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland.
December 19, 2013 SOUNDOFF! 29
photoS by phil grout
ABOVE: Phil Blong crosses the finish line of Saturday’s Reindeer Run
5K at Murphy Field House. Blong
won the race with a time of 16:43.
The first woman to finish was Jennifer Gannon at 20:01.
TOP RIGHT: Runners begin the
Reindeer Run 5K on Saturday at
Murphy Field House. More than 400
participants registered for the race
and many wore reindeer antlers
and other festive holiday attire.
RIGHT: A dog wearing antlers
watches the Reindeer Run 5K.
Saturday’s race was the final event
in the post’s annual Run Series that
featured seven runs.
30 SOUNDOFF! December 19, 2013
The weight is over: Jibber Jabber - Opinion
Dump Your Plump The company you’d keep
to begin Jan. 6
By Brandon Bieltz
At the start of
every new year, that
of hitting the gym
regularly and losing
weight strikes fear in
the hearts of many.
For the sixth consecutive year, the
Gaffney Fitness Center’s annual Dump
Your Plump weightfile photo
loss competition is here
“The goal is to get a kickstart on the new year, a kickstart on your
New Year’s resolution,” said Katie Harrington, the event’s organizer.
The eight-week competition will begin Jan. 6 and end Feb. 26, with
contestants aiming to lose the most body fat to win weekly and overall
prizes. Registration for the competition opened at Gaffney on Dec. 2
and will continue through Jan. 3.
Dump Your Plump is open to all Fort Meade and National Security
Agency service members, their families, DoD civilians and contractors.
Last year, 114 competitors lost more than a total of 800 pounds collectively during the eight-week competition.
Competitors can sign up as individuals or in teams of four. They can
create their own weight-loss programs and go to any gym.
During the competition, contestants must weigh in weekly on
Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. The private weigh-ins measure the
percentage of weight lost, not total pounds.
Missing a weigh-in, however, can hurt competitors’ chances for the
weekly awards or the overall winners at the end of the eight weeks.
A pound is added for failure to weigh in. Missing a total of four
or more weigh-ins eliminates the competitor. Missing more than two
consecutive weigh-ins also will result in elimination.
This year, Dump Your Plump is teaming up with the Army Wellness
Center to help contestants sustain their program and weight loss. The
addition, Harrington said, makes the program “more focused on health
and wellness fitness, not just pure weight loss.”
At the start and end of the competition, the Wellness Center will welcome walk-ins from the competition to use the BOD POD, which measures body mass. The readings will give participants a base line at the
start and a more detailed assessment at the end of the competition.
The Wellness Center also will host three classes: nutrition on Jan. 15,
fitness on Jan. 27 and stress management on Feb. 12.
“This is a good way to help people get focused,” Harrington said.
“This is something that people can use to get information and get
healthy as opposed to just focusing on trying to dump a whole bunch
“It’s more of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” she
I had just dropped the kids off at school on Tuesday
morning and was heading to work when I finally got
sick and tired of listening to commentators explain
how the Cowboys’ revolutionary “Pass Out The Game
Clock” tactic wasn’t as dependable as the standard
“Run Out the Clock” approach to holding a lead.
So I turned the radio to one of the pop stations my
daughter programmed into the Camry just in time to
hear the DJ mention an article which read that any
individual is nothing more than the average of the five
people he hangs out with most.
I thought it was a completely new thesis that
put a little science to the old adage, “You’re the
company that you keep.” But after some research, I
discovered that the idea was a decades-old hypothesis
from old-school motivational speaker Jim Rohn. bit.
The thing about the radio segment, and Rohn’s
hypothesis, that kept my ADD at bay long enough to
hear the entire piece was how people could use this
law of averages to help improve themselves. Before,
my thought on the subject was that you hang out with
who you hang out with. Your boss is your boss, your
wife is your wife, your best friend is your best friend
and your enemies are your enemies.
However, if you were willing to make an honest
assessment of how you’re doing and who you’re doing
it with, and then were willing to make some calculated
decision based off those assessments, you could move
closer to your goals simply by dropping some friends
or changing some habits.
For example, if you are overweight — or if the Fort
Meade Wellness Center confirms it — and you want
to be skinny, and if you noticed that when a lot of
your colleagues sit around the house, they are literally
sitting around the house.
Then, according to the theory, you could lose
weight simply by dumping your plump friends in favor
of some who are fit. The thought being, if you are
around fit people, you are naturally going to do more
things that fit people do - eat right, exercise, etc.
The other thing the segment revealed is that there is
a formula for who a few of the people should be:
1. A younger, motivated person who could keep you
energized and also take your advice
2. An older mentor who could impart knowledge
and give you something to aspire to
3. A confidant or peer that you can bounce ideas
off of without fear of being wrong or foolish
I didn’t catch who the other two should be, but
knowing me and how I am motivated, I’d want at
least one person who makes me feel good about where
I’m at and another person who is great at whatever
In my life, I think I have most of those things covered. My counselors at camp are young and keep me on
my toes; I have been plenty blessed to be around some
great bosses; Mary Staab at
DPTMS is a peer of mine
who will tell me how it is; I
have a few family members
who make me feel completely squared away; and
of course, my wife is pretty
great at most things.
Chad T. Jones,
But with this being the
holiday season, and a time
where dreams come true,
I couldn’t help but let my
mind wander a bit and try to figure out who would
make up my crew in the sports world.
• Younger: AJ McCarron - QB, Alabama
A few years ago, this would have been Tim Tebow.
He had the passion, the winning, the intangibles, the
manners. Well, AJ seems to have all those things, plus,
unlike Tebow, he’s still relevant, has an actual shot at
being an NFL quarterback, and when all else fails,
unlimited access to Katherine Webb. bit.ly/19y63Sw
• Older: Mike Krzyzewski - Coach, Duke
I really wanted to go with Iron Mike Ditka after
I heard him say, “If God had wanted man to play
soccer, he wouldn’t have given us arms.” But then I
remembered, he coached the Bears, and if I’m taking an honest assessment, there is no better leader in
sports than Coach K.
• Confidant: Derek Jeter - Shortstop, New York
I am not sure if I could consider any current or
former professional athlete a peer, but the Captain and
I did grow up in Kalamazoo, we played on the same
Little League fields and love Michigan.
Plus, if we were boys, he would be able to talk to
me about more than just winning rings, i.e. Jessica
Alba, Mariah Carey, a former Miss Universe and
• My ego pick: Mike Tyson circa 1997
I don’t care how bad things may get in my life, I
know if I was hanging out with ’90s Mike, I’d always
be able to say, “At least I’m not that guy.” Not to
mention, whether it is ’87, ’97, ’07 or 2017, as long as
I’m with Iron Mike, I know ain’t nobody gonna mess
with me. bit.ly/IVmdLz , bit.ly/1eox9iS
• Greatness: Whether in my dreams or in my
kitchen, I’d probably still choose my wife. But if you
pushed me to pick someone else, and I already had
Jeter in the posse, of course it would be Justin Verlander - Pitcher, Detroit Tigers. Great 12 to 6 curve,
great 100 mph fastball, great mustache and he has
been great for the D.
Happy holidays, Team Meade. We’ll see you in
January for the Jibber Year in Review.
Until then, if you have comments on this or anything
to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.
mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.
December 19, 2013 SOUNDOFF! 31