vol. 66 no. 7
Published in the interest of the Fort Meade community
February 20, 2014
Deionna Fye pushes her daughter Martha down a hill as the 8-year-old
sleds near Burba Lake during last week’s snowstorm. The storm delivered
between 10 and 12.5 inches in Anne Arundel County, forcing the installation
to close for two days. For more, see Page 4.
photo by nate pesce
for saving energy
Fort Meade spouses
bid farewell to NSA’s
today, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Black History Month Observance - McGill Training Center
Feb. 27, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: “A Day of Financial Fitness” - Comm. Readiness Center
March 6, 7 a.m.: Monthly Prayer Breakfast - Club Meade
March 13, 11:30 a.m.: Women’s History Month Observance - McGill Training Center
March 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Technical Job Fair - Club Meade
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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Co n t e n t s
Crime Watch.................. 6
SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
Black History Month
During the month of February, our nation celebrates the culture, history, contributions and patriotism of African-Americans.
As we pay tribute this month to these Americans,
reflecting on their courage and inner strength, I am
reminded that throughout our military history African-Americans have participated in every war fought
by or within the United States.
Their acts of patriotism include the Revolutionary
War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War,
the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World
Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the
Gulf War and the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, as
well as other minor conflicts.
In all these military conflicts, African-Americans
have been noted for their bravery, sense of duty, and
loyalty to a country that did not always respect or
appreciate their sense of patriotism.
Fact is, many African-Americans served in our
military at a time when our nation created social
policies, such as slavery and segregation, that denied
them civil rights and a fair opportunity to participate
in the American dream.
As a member of today’s military, I am proud
that our armed forces, and in particular the U.S.
Army, played a major role in helping pave the way
to end discrimination and provide civil rights to all
President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order
9981, integrating the military and mandating equality of treatment and opportunity on July 16, 1948.
And although it took years to complete desegregation, African-Americans — both men and women
— continued to volunteer in large number to serve
in our military.
the history of our
nation, AfricanAmericans have
served our country with distinction, making valuable contributions
to war efforts
and earning high
praise and commendations for
COL. Brian P Foley
Today I am proud to say that as of June 2009, 88
Medals of Honor have been awarded to 87 AfricanAmerican recipients.
Most noteworthy of these recipients is Robert
Augustus Sweeney, who is one of 19 men — and the
only African-American — to have been awarded two
Medals of Honor.
Due to the U.S. military’s policy of inclusion,
African-Americans have been able to take advantage
of opportunities to prove their loyalty and patriotism
to our country and have greatly contributed to the
success of our military and our nation.
If your schedule permits, I invite you to join today’s
celebration of Black History Month from 11:30 a.m.
to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center, 8542 Zimborski
The keynote speaker is Claiborne Haughton Jr.,
acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for equal
Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you
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.
Mock bills to be issued as community
enters Live Army Green program
By Corvias Military Living
As announced last spring, Heritage
Park residents living in homes that
received utility upgrades last year are
now entering the Live Army Green program.
Residents are expected to receive their
first mock bills in March for their electricity and gas usage. Mock billing will
continue for six months, then the first
statements will be sent out.
Action is not required during the mock
billing period. This time allows residents
to review their gas and electricity usage
and to make adjustments before actual
statements are sent out by Minol, a thirdparty billing company facilitating the
LAG program at Fort Meade.
The LAG program is mandated by the
Department of Defense with the goal to
reduce the overall energy consumption at
Under the program, homes that are the
same, or similar, are grouped together to
determine a baseline. Only homes with
similar attributes, such as size, age and
location, are grouped together.
The baseline is created by averaging
utility use of grouped homes. The baseline is averaged monthly so current conditions are automatically factored in.
“If we are having a particularly hard
winter, like this year, the baseline will
reflect that,” said Maureen Van Besien,
portfolio operations director for Corvias.
Once the baseline is established, a 10
percent buffer zone is added above and
below the average. When a resident’s use
falls within the buffer zone, the resident
will receive a “no action required” statement. If a resident falls outside the buffer
zone, additional steps are taken.
Families consuming above the buffer
zone will receive a “balance due” notice
on their statement, meaning a payment
Families conserving under the baseline
will receive a rebate check, or reward
statement, for their conservation efforts.
However, payments or rebates accumulate and are not collected or distributed
until a $25 trigger point is reached.
“There are a few advantages to the
trigger points,” said Aimee Stafford, lead
community development operations specialist for Residential Communities Initiative. “If a family is a little over one
month and then a little under the next
month, their balance may not reach a
trigger point. Also, this saves resources by
not having to write and mail checks every
month for small amounts of money.”
Heritage Park is the first full community to enter the LAG program.
“All of our newly constructed homes
have been enrolled in the program, but
this is our first entire neighborhood,”
Stafford said. “We are working with the
post to have meters installed on all the
homes over the next several years.”
For more information on this program,
visit Corvias’s website at Meade.CorviasMilitaryLiving.com to view the Live Army
Green brochure and the sustainability
video linked at the bottom of the page.
Corvias will host the next Live Army
Green resident information session in
March, after residents have received their
first statement. The date and time will be
announced later this month.
Beware of computer tech support scams
By Jane M. Winand
Chief, Legal Assistance Division
Perhaps you feel challenged by the
complexity of your computer and its
programs and would welcome tech support to help you understand your computer and protect it from attacks by
hackers and viruses.
One of the latest scams involves
someone, allegedly from a well-known
company like Microsoft, calling to warn
you that your computer is infected with
a virus and that it is imperative you act
quickly to minimize the damage.
Some scammers post fake tech support advertisements that will pop up
when you do an online search in hopes
that you will contact the scammer for
help. If you fall for the story about the
virus, the scammer will ask for remote
access to your computer to fix the problem, for a fee.
Of course, there was never a problem,
but you are now minus the cash you paid
for their fake virus-ridding service.
As if falling victim to such a scam
is not bad enough, now companies are
surfacing to claim that, if you paid for
tech support services and didn’t receive
these services, they can help you get a
The scammer will contact you by
phone or online and either ask if you
were happy with the tech support, which
you certainly are not because you had
been scammed, or will inform you that
the tech support company is going
bankrupt and is now providing refunds
to its customers.
The alleged refund service will
then request your credit card or bank
account number to process the refund,
or you may be asked to create a Western
Union account in which the refund will
be deposited. The scammer may offer
to help you fill out the necessary claims
forms — provided that you permit
access to your computer.
Once the scammer receives your credit
card or bank account information or has
access to your computer, the scammer
makes unauthorized withdrawals from
your bank and credit accounts, leaving
you the victim of another scam.
If you paid for bogus tech support
services, do the following:
• If you are contacted by someone
offering a refund in exchange for your
credit card or bank account information, it is a scam. Do not provide the
• File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.
• If you paid for the tech services with
a credit card, contact your credit card
company and dispute the charge.
• File a complaint with your state’s
Attorney General’s Office.
If you have been the victim of a
computer tech support scam, you may
schedule an appointment to speak with
an attorney at the Fort Meade Legal
Assistance Office at 301-677-9504 or
By Social Security Office
To meet increasing service
demands despite shrinking budgets, Social Security has invested
in technological innovations offering more convenient, cost-effective
and secure options for the public.
As a result, Social Security has
made some service changes in its
field offices across the country.
• Since Aug. 1, Social Security
stopped offering Social Security
• Since Oct. 1, the offices no
longer issue benefit verification
Agencies and organizations
that routinely need access to these
materials should use the data
exchanges specifically developed
for this purpose.
Social Security has collaborated with other federal, state and
local agencies to build hundreds
of robust data exchanges during
the past few years.
Today, Social Security provides
more than 1.6 billion electronic
verifications of Social Security
numbers or benefit information
to employers, state and local agencies, and other authorized third
Agencies and organizations
should use available data exchanges to get the necessary verifications.
People needing proof of their
Social Security or Supplemental
Security Income benefits can get
verification letters online instantly
through a “my Social Security”
account at www.socialsecurity.
They also can get one mailed
to them by calling 1-800-772-1213
February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF!
C over S tory
Snow removal crews use ATVs to clear a Fort Meade parking lot.
photos by nate pesce
Col. Donald Reese, commander of the Air Force Spectrum Management Office,
shovels in front of his home in Heritage Park.
RIGHT: Snow and slush cover the parking lot outside the Fort Meade Commissary and
Exchange on Feb. 13. The installation was blanketed with up to a foot of snow.
Winter storm forces two
days of reduced operations
By Brandon Bieltz
Fort Meade’s snowy winter continued last week as another snowstorm dropped up
to a foot of snow in the area.
The total accumulation for the surrounding area was between 10 and 12.5 inches,
as the majority of the storm hit Wednesday night into Thursday, according to The
Baltimore Sun. Other areas in the state received more than 2 feet of snow.
The storm forced Anne Arundel County Public Schools to close Feb. 13 and Friday,
while Fort Meade had “reduced operations” on both days after it was determined that
the weather and road conditions had become unsafe.
Another storm on Saturday delivered a few more inches to add to the large mounds
of snow. The total snowfall was the most the installation has received in several
Temperatures were forecast to warm this week as the installation begins to thaw.
SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
Retired Marine lands private
sector job after ETAP/TAP
By Lisa R. Rhodes
After 20 years with the Marine
Corps, Hank Brown decided to work
for an entrepreneurial company.
A retired lieutenant colonel, Brown
sought independence with the challenge of merit-based pay.
He was successful in achieving his
goal, in part, due to his completion
of Fort Meade’s Executive Transition
Assistance Program Workshop and the
Navy’s Transition Assistance Program
a little more than a year ago.
“It provided a venue that got me
out of the near-term focus of my daily
responsibilities on active duty,” Brown
said. “[It] helped me to think and
dream about what could be next.”
He is now the managing director for
the Washington, D.C., office of CAI,
a medium sized, privately owned IT
solutions company based in Pennsylvania.
Brown, who resides in Severna Park,
is starting a cyber practice in partnership with several local companies and
is initiating teaming agreements with
ETAP and TAP are open to military personnel of all service branches.
ETAP is targeted to ranks E-8, E-9,
W-4, W-5, and O-5 and above.
TAP is offered to Soldiers with more
than 180 days of continuous activeduty service and their families.
The programs provide pre-separation counseling, employment assistance, relocation assistance, education
and training, and information about
health, life insurance and finances.
Both programs arm service members
with skills and knowledge to meet their
professional goals after retirement or
Brown enrolled in Fort Meade’s
ETAP because the Navy/Marine Corps
did not offer a similar program on the
“The vast majority of our service
members enter the military directly
from high school or college. For the
duration of their military service, they
tend to largely focus on achieving the
mission,” said George Matthews, Fort
Meade’s Transition Services manager.
SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
“TAP is extremely important in
helping service members transition
because it exposes them to all the benefits, services and contact points that
can significantly increase their transition success. … Most service members
only separate once, therefore there’s no
track record of experience in knowing
how to execute this action. TAP provides the tools that enable members
to successfully navigate this critically
Matthews said Brown was successful
in transitioning to the private sector
partly because he was focused and he
began the process early.
Eighteen months before his projected retirement, Brown started the
process with Countess Simiyu, the
contractor installation manager at the
Army Career and Alumni Program
Center at Fort Meade’s Transition
Fifteen months out, he enrolled in
ETAP and at the six-month mark, he
enrolled in the Navy’s TAP at the U.S.
Naval Academy in Annapolis.
A congressional mandate requires
all military members to start TAP at
least one year prior to separation/
retirement. However, End-of-Term-ofService members may start the process
two years from separation. Potential
retirees may start the process during
their 18th year of service.
Matthews said that, unfortunately,
many service members do not start
a year ahead of time due to several
assumptions that are not true. They
incorrectly believe they must first have
orders to retire or separate and that
they must file for retirement. In addition, many ETS military members
assume that if they start TAP, they will
be compelled to separate.
“ETS is a contract and a decision between the military service and
the service member,” Matthews said.
“Starting TAP does not impact that
Brown said he thought about his
future goals before enrolling in TAP,
and knew he wanted to continue to
“Through a good amount of selfstudy and mentoring, I determined
that independence was the most important criteria to me,” he said. “TAP
helped me identify my goals and set
the course to achieve them.”
Brown said he refined his resume,
updated his wardrobe and interviewing skills, and made an effort to seek
out professional mentors and contacts
“I think that some people who transition out of the military think that
their perceived merit to a potential
employer will be assumed because
of their military service, or it will be
accepted because of their qualifications on paper,” Brown said. “Written
qualifications might be necessary to
‘open doors,’ but I think for most leaders in the civilian workforce, trust is the
No. 1 qualification, followed by talent
and work ethic.”
Brown said that while the military selects candidates for important
positions based on their performance
record, civilians hire candidates who
are “personally known, personally
proven and personally trusted. ...
“The trust that is implicit in the military is not assumed on the outside,”
Brown said that veterans, armed
with ETAP and TAP, and their own
personal initiative and hard work, can
successfully transition to a job at a
similar or higher level than they had
in the military.
“It is unlikely veterans will be given
much in the private sector just because
they are vets,” he said. “But by capitalizing on the qualities most of us developed in the service like integrity, work
ethic, professionalism and flexibility,
we can jump in to the civilian sector
Due to his desire to continue to
serve, Brown is helping other veterans
transition to the private sector.
“My office is engaged with the
Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment and other similar organizations
for this reason, and I am personally
mentoring transitioning veterans,” he
said. “I find this to be fulfilling work,
plus it is an opportunity to meet highquality individuals and form new relationships.”
photo courtesy of hank brown
Hank Brown, a retired Marine lieutenant
colonel, landed a job in the private
sector after 20 years of military service.
Brown was successful, in part, due to
his completion of Fort Meade’s Executive
Transition Assistance Program Workshop
and the Navy’s Transition Assistance
Compiled by the Fort Meade
Directorate of Emergency Services
Feb. 15, Driving while under
the influence of alcohol; driving while impaired by alcohol;
drunk and disorderly conduct;
exceeding speed limit 20 to 29
mph; refusing to sign a traffic
citation after request: While on
patrol, a unit observed vehicle
traveling at a high rate of speed.
Radar obtained a reading of 62
mph in a 40 mph zone. The officer observed that
the driver’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, his
speech was slurred, and he had problems with
divided attention tasks. The driver refused to
perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
The driver further refused to take a test measuring blood alcohol content.
For week of Feb. 10-16:
• Moving violations: 21
• Nonmoving violations: 11
• Verbal warnings for traffic stops: 14
• Traffic accidents: 9
• Driving on suspended license: 3
• Driving on suspended registration: 1
• Driving without a license: 1
780th MI members win ‘Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge’
By Tina Miles, PAO
780th MI Brigade
A “Digital Pearl Harbor” or “Cyber 9/12”
are phrases that have become all too commonplace in today’s society. But what do they
really mean, and what would we do — how
would we respond — the day after a major
cyber attack on the United States?
Four members from the 781st Military
Intelligence Battalion, 780th MI Brigade were
given the opportunity to address that very
question during the two-day Atlantic Council
Cyber Statecraft Initiative “Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge.”
The event was held Feb. 7 and 8 at the
American University Washington College of
Law in Washington, D.C.
The 780th MI team — Team Phoenix —
won both the “Best Oral Presentation Award”
and first-place award in the final round.
The Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge was
the first student competition devoted to highlevel policy recommendations for day-after
responses to a major cyber incident.
The challenge consisted of a fictional simulated cyber-attack scenario that evolved over
the course of the competition.
Teams were provided with intelligence
reports that set the scene for the fictional
The competition involved three rounds,
with 22 teams from 24 different universities
participating. Twelve teams advanced to the
semifinal round, and from there four moved
to the finals.
Awards were given to the top performing
teams based on score, as well as team awards
for best written briefs, best oral presentation,
best teamwork and most creative policyresponse alternative.
Team Phoenix included Mike Hooper,
Maggie Smith and Rock Stevens of Eastern
Michigan University, and Jason Rivera from
Their diverse composition and educational
backgrounds gave Team Phoenix an advantage over teams made up of students from a
single university program.
“Our diversity gave us the ability to
approach the problem from multiple vantage
points and allowed us to generate policy
recommendations that were creative, robust
and supported by real-world experience,”
Team Phoenix responded to political, economic and security problems created by evolving fictional cyber-attack scenarios. They had
to discuss their policy recommendations as
they related to the challenges faced by state,
military and industrial actors described in the
fictitious cyber incident, and the presentation
Photo by Lt. Col. Deitra Trotter
Jason Rivera, team captain of Team Phoenix, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade team, addresses judges in the final round
of the Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative “Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge” held Feb. 7 and 8 at the American University
Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Team Phoenix won “Best Oral Presentation” and first place for the overall
had to recommend appropriate actions and
policy responses for those actors.
During the course of the competition, the
scenario continued to evolve, forcing advancing teams to focus on key priorities during a
major cyber attack against the United States.
Throughout this evolution, Team Phoenix
confronted serious cyber security breaches by
composing their ideal cyber policy recommendations and then justifying their decisions.
Their performance was judged by some
of the world’s leading cyber security policy
experts, as panel members were drawn from
the upper echelons of the White House,
Department of Defense, Department of State
and leading cyber industries.
The judges consistently evaluated each
team’s oral briefing and provided feedback
to the team members. With each new level,
the teams were given new scenario injects and
worked to adapt policy responses.
“Receiving the opportunity to participate
in the student challenge was enlightening
in terms of the breadth of cyber expertise
we were exposed to and the diversity of the
competing teams,” said Rivera, who noted
that the 780th MI team greatly benefited from
those experts in both the public and private
sector who volunteered their time to the competition. “All around, this was an incredible
The advancing teams delivered an oral brief
to the panel of judges on their new policy
recommendations given new developments.
During each round, the presentations were
limited to 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes
to answer questions from the judges’ panel.
“Team Phoenix rocked their presentation,”
said their coach, Lt. Col. Deitra Trotter, commander, 781st MI Battalion. “Their practice
paid off. They were poised, professional and
refused to be rattled.”
For the qualifying round, Team Phoenix
had a month to prepare their oral presentation
based on written policy brief prepared before
the competition. Advancing to the semifinal
round, Team Phoenix had literally overnight
to prepare another 10-minute oral presentation based on a new intelligence report that
altered the original fictitious scenario.
After announced that Team Phoenix would
move on to the final round, competing against
Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins and the
Harvard/MIT teams, Team Phoenix was given
one last intelligence report detailing more
changes to the scenario.
The team had to respond with very little
preparation time, testing its ability to quickly
analyze information as a team and prepare a
“The Cyber 9/12 competition was an amazing opportunity to extend the credibility of
the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade into
academia,” Stevens said. “Facing opponents
from prestigious universities such as Brown,
Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard
and MIT, we were able to leverage our realworld experience in the cyber realm to clinch
February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF!
Staff photo by xyxyxyyyx
Audrey Rothstein (center), wife of retired Garrison Commander Col. Edward C.
Rothstein; Lee Foley (left), wife of Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley; and
LeAnn McCreedy, wife of retired Garrison Commander Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, are
among the guests at the farewell. The event was co-hosted by the Officers’ Spouses’
Club, Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club, Enlisted Spouses Club and the National Security
Agency’s Family Action Board.
Touching say farewell
to NSA’s Debbie Alexander
By Lisa R. Rhodes
In a heartfelt tribute, Debbie Alexander
was honored for nearly nine years of service
on Fort Meade as the leader of the military
Alexander is beginning a new chapter of
her life as her husband, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, is expected to retire in March as the
leader of the nation’s premiere intelligence
The general is commander of U.S. Cyber
Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service.
On behalf of the Fort Meade community, the Officers’ Spouses’ Club, Retired
Debbie Alexander slips on a pair of
glittering red slippers before traveling
down the “yellow brick road” during
her farewell luncheon inspired by “The
Wizard of Oz.”
10 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
Officers’ Wives’ Club, Enlisted Spouses
Club and the NSA’s Family Action Board
bid farewell to Alexander in a luncheon
Tuesday at Club Meade.
“It’s been great,” said an emotional Alexander. “There’s always new chapters and
new beginnings. ... You’re leaving something
that you love so much.”
The two-hour luncheon featured a menu
of quiche and salad. The theme was “The
Wizard Of Oz” and included a yellow brick
road, “Glinda the Good Witch” and a
recording of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
Alexander’s four daughters, Julie Bailey,
Heather Burton, Diana Glaser and Jen
Leonard, and her infant grandson Gage
— one of 16 grandchildren — joined in the
“The Wizard of Oz” theme was used
to share Alexander’s 40-year journey as a
military spouse. She and her husband met
in high school and married in June 1974.
Air Force Chaplain (Col.) Michael
Heuer, staff chaplain of the NSA/CSS,
delivered the invocation:
“Thank you for Debbie Alexander and
for all she has done in her decades as a
military spouse ... and for all she has meant
to us,” he prayed.
Throughout the event, guests showered
Alexander with gratitude and gifts includ-
ing a gingerbread version of the couple’s
new home in Maryland baked by Genny
Bellinger, president of the ROWC, and a
painting of her Fort Meade home from
OSC, ROWC and ESC.
Cyndi Gilbert, chair of the Family Action
Board, which supports NSA families, and
Karen Hall, a member of Work/Life Services, which supports NSA employees,
thanked Alexander for her dedication.
“You are genuine and you gave every
ounce of your whole heart,” Gilbert said.
She noted that Alexander was “100
percent committed” to her volunteer work
and made it a priority to help NSA families
adjust to their new assignments, celebrate
births, mourn deaths and grapple with the
challenges of military life.
“We’re gonna miss her,” Gilbert said.
Luther Alexander, administrator of the
Religious Affairs Office at the NSA, said he
will miss seeing Alexander at new employee
orientations and during the organization’s
tea tours for new spouses.
“Thanks for your support and cooperation,” he said. “We’ll just say ‘so long’ for
Lee Foley, wife of Garrison Commander
Col. Brian P. Foley; Audrey Rothstein,
wife of retired Garrison Commander
Col. Edward C. Rothstein; and LeAnn
McCreedy, wife of retired Garrison Comhttp://www.ftmeade.army.mil
mander Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, also
acknowledged Alexander for her community service and her example as a military
Doris Tyler, director of Fort Meade’s
Army Community Service, noted that Alexander accomplished much “behind the
fence” in her support of military spouses
Emcee and OSC President Jen Moesner,
ESC President Laura Livingston and Bellinger each praised Alexander for her dedication, humbleness and selflessness.
“If Debbie doesn’t know you, she will
make sure to introduce herself to you
— not because she wants you to meet her,
but because she truly wants to meet you,”
Alexander has been an advisor to the
OSC for nearly nine years.
After lunch, Lorrie Short, a member of
OSC who portrayed “Glinda the Good
Witch,” led Alexander, who wore a pair of
red glitter slippers and a yellow corsage,
along a yellow brick road to each luncheon
The tables were decorated with colorful
signs noting each duty station where the
Alexander family lived during the general’s
When Alexander arrived at the Fort
Meade table, the family’s final duty station,
Debbie Alexander, wife of Gen. Keith B. Alexander, is given lollipops during her farewell luncheon Tuesday at Club Meade. The
Alexanders are retiring from Fort Meade after 40 years of service in the military.
TOP LEFT: Debbie Alexander holds a framed copy of the poem “Making of a Military Wife” presented by her daughters Diana
Glaser and Julie Bailey (both right) at the farewell luncheon. A gingerbread house, fashioned after the Alexanders’ new home in
Maryland, was baked by Genny Bellinger, president of the Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club.
Glaser shared a few childhood memories.
“I’m so amazed at my mom,” she said.
“She made our childhood seem so normal
When her father was away at war and
her mother was sad and worried, “she
made us feel that everything was going to
be all right,” Glaser said. “She taught us to
be proud to be an American and that the
military was such an important job.”
All four daughters presented Alexander
with a framed copy of the poem “Making
of A Military Wife.”
In her remarks, Alexander was grateful
to all who attended. “It’s a gift to me that
you’re here to share this day with me,” she
Alexander said she has often been asked
to name her favorite place to live.
Fort Meade, she said, fits the bill.
“We’ve been here eight years, the longest we’ve ever been any place. ... We grew
roots,” Alexander said. “The friendships
that we made are deep and meaningful.
You’ve all touched my life. I thank you
all for that.”
The tables at the farewell luncheon are decorated with colorful signs listing the duty
stations where the Alexander family resided during Gen. Keith B. Alexander’s 40-year
military career. Debbie Alexander visited each table as she traveled down “the yellow
brick road” on her journey down memory lane.
February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 11
C ommunity N ews N otes
available at commissaries worldwide or on
the Internet at militaryscholar.org.
Applications must be turned in to a
commissary by Feb. 28.
Packages must be hand-delivered or
shipped via the U.S. Postal Service or
other delivery methods, not emailed or
This year’s award amount has risen
to $2,000. The program awards at least
one scholarship at each commissary with
Applicants should ensure that they and
their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense
Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
database and have a military ID card.
For more information, students or
sponsors should call scholarship managers
at 856-616-9311 or email militaryscholar@
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.
Black History Month
The Fort Meade Garrison and the
Equal Opportunity Office will celebrate
the 2014 African American/Black History
Month Observance today from 11:30 a.m.
to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center, 8542
The event is hosted by U.S. Army Cyber
Command. The theme is “Civil Rights in
The keynote speaker is Claiborne
Douglass Haughton Jr. From 1979 until
his retirement in 2002, Haughton served
in the top DoD career Senior Executive
Service position for military and civilian
equal opportunity programs.
The free event, open to military, civilians
and family members, will feature food
For more information, call Sgt. 1st Class
Donnel Cabanos of Cyber Command
at 301-677-4022 or Sgt. 1st Class Torey
Palmore of EOO at 301-677-6687.
Spring Quarter Auction
The Enlisted Spouses Club is hosting
its Spring Quarter Auction on March 1
at Jessup Community Hall, 2920 Jessup
Doors open at 5 p.m. Play begins at 6
Admission is $6 and includes two
paddles, or $20 for a group of four and
includes eight paddles. Cost for additional
paddles is $2.
Register at ftmeadeesc.org.
For more information, email
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
12 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
photo by philip h. jones
MILITARY SAVES WEEK
Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley signs the proclamation for Military
Saves Week, which runs from Monday to March 1, alongside Doris Tyler, division
chief, Army Community Service; Ryan D. Yarnell, an ACS Personal Financial
Readiness specialist; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter (far
Military Saves encourages military families to save money every month.
“Military Saves Week: A Day of Financial Fitness” will be held Feb. 27 from
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Readiness Center, 830 Chisholm Ave. The
event will feature a variety of classes including financial planning, credit management, and home buying; a free lunch; and door prizes.
Registration is required at fortmeadeace.checkappointments.com.
Eligible participants are: active-duty and retired service members, Reservists
and National Guard (on active duty) and their family members, and DoD civilian employees.
For more information, call 301-677-5590 or 301-677-9017.
The community also is seeking
individuals to join in a morning prayer
The U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Officer Evaluation Report (Revised)
Mobile Training Team will provide handson training March 3-7, from 8 a.m. to 5
p.m., at Smallwood Hall, Building 4650.
All Army commands supported by Fort
Meade are required to send a representative
to complete this “train the trainer” course
and train other human resource professionals and officers within their units.
Units must select a primary and alternate
officer/HR professional to attend this weeklong training.
To reserve a seat, call Jannette Bolling at
301-677-2903 or email jannette.o.bolling.
email@example.com, or call Jolynda Thompson at
301-677-7036 or email jolynda.e.thompson.
Scholarships for Military
Applications for the 2014 Scholarships
for Military Children Program are
The Navy Fleet and Family Support
Center offers free classes at its new facility
at 2212 Chisholm Ave.
Registration is required for each class.
• Meet and Greet: Today, 5-7 p.m. Join
us for friendship, food, prizes and to learn
about Maryland and Fort Meade.
• Retiree Brief: Monday, 8-11:30 a.m.
For participants within two years of
• Paying for College: Monday, 1-3 p.m.
Participants will learn to evaluate
college funding options and identify
resources for researching financing
• First-Term Financial Readiness
(online class): Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Job Search Strategies: Tuesday, 9
a.m. to noon
To register or for more information, call
301-677-9017 or 301-677-9018.
Army Community Service offers free
classes at 830 Chisholm Ave.
Registration is required for each class.
• 1st Term Financial Readiness: Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Military Saves: “A Day of Financial
Fitness”: Feb. 28, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To register or for more information,
Youth Center events
The Youth Center is offering the
following events for grades six to eight:
• Breakfast for Dinner: Friday, 6 to 8
Participants will assist in creating
C ommunity N ews N otes
breakfast for dinner in honor of
National Hot Breakfast month.
Sign-up ends today.
• Grillin’ Chillin’: Feb. 28, 6 to 8
Menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs
Cost is $5. Sign-up ends Feb. 27.
For more information, call 301-6771437 or 301-677-1847.
Teen Center events
The Fort Meade Teen Center is offering
the following events for grades nine to 12.
• Movie: Friday, 6 to 8 p.m.
The center is showing the movie “42” in
celebration of Black History Month
• Chess Tournament: Feb. 28, 3 to 6
All skill levels are welcome.
For more information, call 301-6776054
Romp ‘n Stomp
Romp ‘n Stomp playgroup for
children age 5 and younger and their
parents meets Tuesdays from 9:30 to
11:30 a.m. from September to June at
the Youth Center gym at 909 Ernie
Pyle St. and from June to August at
the Boundless playground on Llewellyn
For more information, call 301-6775590 or email colaina.townsend.ctr@
• The Naval Academy Band Brass
Ensemble will perform Wednesday at 7 p.m.
at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200
N. Charles St., Baltimore.
For more information, visit the Naval
Academy Band website at navyband.navy.
mil or Facebook page, or call 410-293-1262.
• The American Craft Council Winter
Show will be presented Friday through
Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center,
One W. Pratt St. The event features more
than 650 artists of contemporary jewelry,
clothing, furniture and home décor from
across the country
Hours are Friday from 10 a.m. to 8
p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and
Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $16 for a one-day pass; $30
for a three-day pass; and free for children 12
and under. Admission Friday evening is $5
after 5 p.m.
Discounted tickets are available online.
The event will feature demonstrations
and tastings of the Balvenie, the world’s
most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky.
For more information, go to shows.
craftcouncil.org/baltimore or call 410-6497000.
• The Glenn L. Martin Maryland
Aviation Museum, located at Martin
State Airport in Middle River, offers free,
year-round admission to military families
with military ID. The museum is open
Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 11
a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free.
Indoor exhibits include “They Answered
the Call,” “The Martin Company,” “The
Lockheed History,” and displays on
astronaut Tom Jones and the Maryland Air
Guard. There is also an outdoor aircraft
For more information, call 410-682-6122
or visit www.mdairmuseum.org.
• Leisure Travel Services is offering its
next monthly bus trip to New York City
on Saturday, with discounts to attractions.
Onboard prize giveaway will be offered. Bus
cost is $60.
For more information, call 301-677-7354
or visit ftmeademwr.com.
• 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 and March
20 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
For more information, call retired Col. Jane
Hudak at 301-319-2918 or email jane.l.hudak.
• Meade Area Garden Club will meet Friday
at 10 a.m. at the Jessup Community Hall at the
corner of Route 175 and Wigley Avenue.
Stephen McDaniel, a master bee keeper
who is knowledgeable about the important
relationship between bees and the environment, will present the program “Save the
No reservations required. Refreshments will
Those interested in our club may attend
one program before being asked to join for the
annual fee of $20.
If Anne Arundel County schools are closed
or opening late due to inclement weather, the
meeting will be canceled.
For more information, call Jennifer Garcia,
membership chairman, at 443-949-8348 or
Sharon Durney, club president, at 410-7615019.
• 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 410730-0127.
• Calling All Dads meets the second and
fourth Monday of every month from 4 to 5
p.m. at Potomac Place Neighborhood Center,
4998 2nd Corps Blvd. The next meeting is
The group is for expecting fathers, and
fathers with children of all ages. Children
welcome. For more information, call 301-6775590 or email colaina.townsend.ctr@mail.
• Single Parent Support Group meets the
second and fourth Monday of the month from
5:30 to 7 p.m. at School Age Services, 1900
Reece Road. The next meeting is Monday.
Free child care is provided onsite.
For more information, call 301-677-5590 or
• 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, email
• 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.
• 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 Wednesday.
For more information, call 443-534-5170 or
• Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club will hold
its next monthly luncheon on March 4 at
11 a.m. at Club Meade. The program, “All
You Need To Know About Furs,” will be
presented by Mano Swartz Furriers, along
with a mini fur fashion show featuring
ROWC models. Learn how to choose and
care for furs as you use them for warmth and
Cost of the luncheon is $18. Reservations
are required by Feb. 27. Call your area
representative or Betty Wade at 410-5517082.
Membership dues are $25 per year, but
you may join from February through May
now for half price. Members may bring
guests at any time to the luncheons, which
are held on the first Tuesday of each month,
except June, July, August, and January.
For more information, call Genny
Bellinger, president of the ROWC, at 410674-2550.
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.
PRICES: Tickets are $5.50 for adults (12
and older) and $3 for children. 3D Movies:
$7.50 adults, $5 children.
Today through March 2
Today: “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”
(R). A recent high school graduate begins experiencing a number of disturbing and unexplainable things after the death of his neighbor. As
he investigates, it isn’t long before he finds he’s
been marked for possession by a malevolent
demonic entity. With Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz,
Friday: “August: Osage County” (R). A look
at the lives of the strong-willed women of the
Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a
family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma
house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional
woman who raised them. With Meryl Streep,
Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney.
Saturday: “Walking With Dinosaurs” (PG). See
and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled
the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino
triumphs to become a hero for the ages. With the
voices of Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie
Sunday, Wednesday March 1: “The Nut Job”
(PG). An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel
finds himself helping his former park brethren
raid a nut store to survive, that is also the front
for a human gang’s bank robbery. With the voices
of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson.
Feb. 27: “The Legend of Hercules” (PG-13). The
origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. With
Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins.
Feb. 28 March 2: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”
(PG-13). Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S.
economy with a terrorist attack. With Chris Pine,
Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley.
February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 13
Fort Meade swimmers qualify
for junior championships
Story and photo by Brandon Bieltz
Over the course of three days, Sophia
Czaja will swim more than 3,000 meters
as she competes in 10 separate events with
the opportunity to bring home a handful
The 14-year-old is among the dozen Fort
Meade Patriots swimmers who will compete March 15-17 in the Maryland Junior
Championships in Saint Mary’s City. The
installation’s youth swimming team is training for the meet as members prepare to
compete against some of the top swimmers
in the area.
“I feel really proud of myself and very
excited to know I’m that fast,” Sophia
Head coach Marc Czaja said swimmers
are currently working on conditioning while
continuing to improve stroke techniques.
“It’s not just refinement,” he said. “I
believe in swimming better, not just harder.
... As we get closer and closer, what I’ll do is
I’ll be backing off a lot of the distance and
really be focusing on more rest and more
The training schedule, he said, is also key
to preparing for the championships.
“It’s tapering towards the big race, but it’s
a timing thing,” Czaja said. “You have to do
it so they don’t get over-rested and they end
up swimming tired, and I can’t do it too late
where they don’t get enough rest.”
Several swimmers, including 18-year-old
Ian McElroy, have experience competing at
the championships and are eager to take a
shot at a title.
“It’s always a lot of fun,” McElroy said.
“It’s a fun meet.”
Next month’s meet will wrap up the
short-course portion of the season for the
team of 35 swimmers, which featured several more meets than in past years including
out-of-state tournaments. The Patriots will
then move into the long-course season.
The short-course season is “a lot more
intense” as swimmers compete in nine or 10
events in multiple day meets, Czaja said.
In both the long-course and short-course
seasons, the Patriots compete in the USA
Swimming Association. But Czaja also
coaches the Fort Meade Dolphins, which
competes in the Amateur Athletic Union
during the summer.
In USA Swimming, swimmers compete
individually against hundreds of teams
while in AAU the team competes in duels
against a single team.
Many members of the Patriots also swim
for the Dolphins, which finished their past
season undefeated. Despite losing several
experienced swimmers due to graduation,
Czaja said the Fort Meade swimming program has continued to be competitive this
“Kids that have remained have all
improved,” Czaja said. “There hasn’t been
any sort of letdown at all.”
Cordell Morgan is one of the more
improved swimmers since last season. A
year ago, he was disqualified in swimming
events for improper techniques with strokes
and flip turns. This year, he qualified for the
200-meter individual medley.
“He was new to it, he’d never done competitive swimming,” said Travis Morgan, the
13-year-old’s father. “He’s really taken off.”
Fort Meade Patriots’ Luke Czaja, 8, swims during a meet on Saturday morning at
the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville. A dozen members of the
youth swimming team have qualified for the Maryland Junior Championships next
month in Saint Mary’s City.
Both Travis and Cordell credit the coaching staff for the quick improvement.
“He couldn’t have done it without good
coaching,” Morgan said. “They get more
personal attention from our coaches. ... It’s
really helped Cordell a lot. He can get a lot
more one-on-one time.”
Czaja said the coaching staff takes
pride in developing the swimmers. With a
small team, the coaches are able to work
with swimmers individually to help them
“I think that’s something that we can
afford to do as a smaller team because our
coach-to-swimmer ratio is really small. They
can give them a lot of attention,” he said.
Nina Huff, who qualified to compete in
the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke
and 100-meter freestyle at the championships, said the coaching staff has also helped
her improve her times over the two years she
has trained with the Patriots.
“I came in with a :36 time for my 50, now
I’m swimming a :30,” the 11-year-old said.
“The coaches have really been helping me to
improve my strokes.”
Sophia, who swims on the team with
her siblings Luke and Ana, said her times
have also improved over the course of the
“I think I made a lot of improvements
this year,” she said
But Czaja isn’t just concerned with how
his swimmers compete in the pool. He also
hopes help them mature outside of the sport
“I want to see each child attain a personal
achievement, then I also really try to teach
them life lessons through swimming and
through competition,” he said. “It’s really
important to me that they not only succeed
as swimmers but as kids.”
Fort Meade Patriots exit Capital Classic early
By Brandon Bieltz
The Fort Meade Patriots’ trip to the Capital Classic basketball tournament at Joint
Base Myer-Henderson Hall ended early last
weekend as the short-handed team lost twice
in Day 1 of the three-day competition.
“Everything actually went well,” said
head coach Ronny Cunningham. “I was
missing two-thirds of my front line and my
starting point guard.”
14 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
The team opened the tournament on
Saturday with an 80-65 loss to Camp
Lejeune, sending the Patriots to the loser’s
bracket where they defeated the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office team from
Fort Belvoir, 85-80.
In the second round of the loser’s bracket,
the Patriots played Washington Area Military Athletic Conference opponents Fort
With only five players — Brian Burns,
Ruffin Wallace, Tarus Newby, Gary Robinson and Dararius Evans — the Patriots
lost to Fort Lee 91-83. Despite wanting to
call the game with eight minutes left in the
second half after Evans was injured, Cunningham said the team refused to leave the
game and ultimately forced overtime.
Although the loss sent the Patriots home,
the coach said he was satisfied with his
“I really believe we can be special this
year,” he said.
This weekend, the Patriots will play at
Fort Belvoir (0-4) on Saturday and Joint
Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (1-1) at Fort
Meade on Sunday.
“We still have to improve on our interior
defense and rebounding,” Cunningham said.
“We are giving up too many inside baskets
and not communicating on defense. ... If we
focus on defense, I really believe we can win
the conference and the tournament.”
Former Soldier wins Olympic bobsled bronze
Story and photo by Tim Hipps
U.S. Army Installation Management
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia —
Former U.S. Army World Class Athlete
Program bobsledder Steven Holcomb and
Team USA civilian brakeman Steve Langton
became the first U.S. athletes in 62 years to
win a two-man bobsled Olympic medal by
taking the bronze at Sanki Sliding Center on
They secured the medal aboard the USA-1
sled with little room to spare — finishing only
0.03 seconds ahead of the fourth-place duo
of hosts Alexander Kasjanov and Maxim
Belugin, who finished with a four-run cumulative time of 3 minutes, 46.30 seconds.
WCAP bobsled pilot Sgt. Nick Cunningham, who drove USA-3 to a 13th-place finish
with teammate Sgt. Dallas Robinson aboard,
was the first to mob Langton and Holcomb
when the USA-1 sled came to rest.
They were joined in the frenzied celebration by WCAP brakemen Robinson and
Capt. Chris Fogt, among other Team USA
bobsled athletes and coaches.
Fogt pushed Cory Butner to a 12th-place
finish aboard USA-2 with a time of 3:47.19.
“I’m just enjoying the moment,” Butner
said. “We threw down today and gave it
our best shot. It’s a dream being here, and
I am so proud to have had Captain Fogt in
Fogt spent a year deployed in Iraq following the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,
yet managed to work his way back onto
Team USA for the Sochi Games.
“To see the Stars and Stripes out here in
Russia and have everyone cheering USA
has been humbling,” Fogt said. “To be here
representing the USA in a different way has
Cunningham and Robinson finished just
behind Fogt with a time of 3:47.69 aboard
“We gave it all, all the way to the last
corner of the last run,” Cunningham said.
“We wanted to medal, but it’s really about
wearing USA on our backs and being a
part of this amazing team.”
U.S. men’s Olympic bobsled head coach
Brian Shimer also got caught up in the
“I think I’m more excited for this bronze
than I was for mine,” said Shimer, who was
part of the 2002 Olympic team that broke
a 46-year medal drought in four-man bobsled. “I’ve been a part of a lot of historic
events in my career in bobsled, and I’m just
glad to be a part of this one, too.
“Bronze may seem like a step down from
what we were expecting, but with the challenges we had and the hurdles we had to
get over, it was a great ending.”
During the second heat on Sunday, Holcomb strained a calf muscle while pushing
the USA-1 sled off the starting block. Into
Monday morning, he received treatment
on the leg.
“I let my horse here take over,” Holcomb
said, pointing at Langton. “We pushed
harder than I expected, and going into that
last heat, we knew we had to bring everything we had if we wanted to bring home a
medal. There was a lot of pressure.”
Holcomb and Langton pushed the
BMW sled off the block for a start time of
4.92 seconds, and they maintained a hold
on third place with a third heat time of
56.41 seconds. The competition was closing
in, and the race for bronze came down to
the fourth and final heat.
Holcomb and Langton powered USA-1
to a start time of 4.88 seconds to remain in
medal contention and maneuvered through
the course quickly enough to end a 62-year,
two-man bobsled Olympic medal drought
for Team USA.
“This is the second 62-year medal
drought that I’ve broken, which is awesome,” Holcomb said. “If anybody else
has a 62-year medal drought they need to
break, just let me know and we’ll try to
Since snapping a 62-year, gold medal
drought in four-man bobsled at the 2010
Vancouver Games, Holcomb set his sights
on accomplishing the one thing missing
from his bobsled resume: an Olympic
Former U.S. Army World Class Athlete
Program bobsled driver Steven Holcom
raises his fists in celebration of his
Olympic bronze medal performance with
Steven Langton aboard USA-1 in the twoman bobsled event on Monday at Sanki
Sliding Centre in Krasnaya Polyana,
medal in the two-man event.
“It was the missing piece,” said Holcomb, 33, who spent seven years honing
his craft in the WCAP. “There’s so much
that goes into this, and there are dozens of
people behind this team. We may be the
only two standing up here, but there’s a
huge team behind us pushing us.”
Army daughter wins bronze in Olympic team figure skating
By Gary Sheftick
Army News Service
SOCHI, Russia — Before receiving a
bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic
team figure-skating event, Ashley Wagner
spent more than 20 years as an Army family member and said the experience helped
strengthen her skating.
Growing up with the military broadened
her horizons and exposed her to many different people, she said, and some of those
folks helped sharpen her skating skills.
They also helped instill a competitive
spirit, stamina and determination, especially after she moved nine times as a youth.
Wagner, 22, was born in Heidelberg,
Germany, and began skating at age 5
near Fort Richardson, Alaska (now Joint
Base Elmendorf-Richardson). Her mother
offered her the choice between ballet lessons
or skating. Wagner told other media she
“never liked the pink tutus,” so she picked
Installations where she lived as a youth
include Campbell Barracks, Germany, and
Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She’s now a student at Saddleback Community College in
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Her father is a
retired lieutenant colonel who
worked at the
the 9/11 terrorist
attack, and he still
lives in Alexandria, Va.
Her dad has
her in skating, she
said, and he’s in
Sochi watching the
“It’s the thrill of a lifetime,” Wagner said
about earning an Olympic medal. “It’s what
I’ve always dreamed about.”
She was selected for the Olympic Winter
Games is Sochi despite falling twice on the
ice during her free skate at the National
Championships in Boston and ending up
in fourth place. Members of the national
governing body for figure skating reportedly took her overall winning record into
She was the “Four Continents” champion in 2012 and finished fourth in the
World Championships that year in Nice,
France. Last year she finished fifth in the
World Championships and second in the
Grand Prix in Sochi.
Over the past month, Wagner said she
has stepped up her training routine, working harder than ever.
On Feb. 8 in Sochi, she finished fourth
in the Ladies Team Short Program, with
an overall score of 63.10, earning Team
USA a total of 7 points. That score put the
USA among the top five teams and enabled
Gracie Gold to continue the next night in
Gold finished second Feb. 9 in free skating, scoring 67.49 to earn 9 points and guar-
antee a bronze medal for Team USA.
The team competition includes four
events: men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs
and ice dancing. The USA ice-dancing duo
of Meryl Davis and Charlie White scored
114.34 during the final team competition
Feb. 9, earning 10 points for the USA and
setting a new record for ice dancing.
This was the first Olympics for the team
event in figure skating. Russia took the gold
with a total score of 75. Canada took silver
with 65 points, and Team USA finished
with a total of 60 points. Italy trailed in
fourth place with 52. Japan was fifth with
The last time a new event was added to
Olympic figure skating was in 1976, officials
said, when ice dancing was introduced.
This means that a competitor can now
win more than one medal in figure skating
at an Olympic Winter Games for the first
time in 78 years. In 1936, Ernst Baier from
Germany won gold in the pairs event and
silver in the men’s singles.
February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 15
Child, Youth and School Services’ Youth Sports is now offering NFL Flag
Football through USA Football for ages 6 to 13.
Cost is $55 per player and includes an NFL-branded jersey, flag football
belt, game shorts and participation trophy.
Two practices and one game will be held each week at the Fort Meade
Youth Sports Complex.
Games will played Friday evenings.
Flag football will be played as a spring and fall sport.
For more information, call 301-677-1329 or 301-677-1179.
Registration for spring sports is underway at Parent Central Services, 1900
Spring sports include soccer, swimming, baseball, track, flag football and
Participants can register at the CYSS Central Registration Office at 1900
Reece Road or online at https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil/webtrac/meadecyms.html.
For more information, call 301-677-1149 or 1156.
Dollar Days at the Lanes is every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bowlers receive a game of bowling, shoe rental, a hot dog, hamburger,
small fries, pizza slice or small soda for $1 each.
For more information, call 301-677-5541.
Texas Hold ‘em
Texas Hold ‘em no buy-in games are played Mondays and Wednesday at 7
p.m. at the Lanes.
Games are free and open to the public. For more information, call 301-677-5541.
Find schedules, scores, standings
and upcoming seasons for
And more, plus
All-Army athletics, new sports and special events at
“Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger men.”
— John F. Kennedy
16 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014
Jibber Jabber - Opinion
Dear Mr. Jones
One thing the greatest military in the
history of the world does well is celebrate
During my 15 years of service as a Soldier
and civilian, I’ve learned that it isn’t enough
for DoD members to know that February is
Black History Month; they have to know why
it is important.
That philosophy irked me.
I thought taking the time to celebrate
another culture or race defeated the entire
purpose of America being the melting pot.
To put it in cooking terms, I thought all
of the ingredients were supposed to blend
together to make one bland taste we all could
Of course, that was the naive opinion of
a 20-something white kid from the trailer
park. As I’ve grown older, evolved and raised
biracial children, I’ve come to learn that
appreciating the various ingredients is what
gives America our unmistakable flavor that
is the envy of the world.
With that, I want to share this letter I
received from Sgt. 1st Class Martin L. Presley.
The soon-to-be retired NCO didn’t just tell
me about a family friend, Burl Toler — a trailblazing athlete few have probably heard of.
He also reminded me that not too long
ago, the diversity we take for granted now
was anything but a given. (Portions have
Dear Mr. Jones,
I have followed your column in the Soundoff! many years. I have agreed with some of
you articles and disagreed with some.
I am sure that many articles have been
written about the first blacks in many fields,
but what I would like to offer you is a story
about Burl Toler. He was a great man who
touched many lives. He was a great football
player, educator, and the first African-American official in any professional sport.
Burl was a family man who had two namesakes play football at California Berkeley. He
was also a member of the 1951 University of
San Francisco football team.
If you are unfamiliar with them, they were
undefeated but were not invited to the Orange
Bowl due to the fact that they had two African-American members on the team: Ollie
Matson and Burl Toler.
The selection committee stated the team
could play if they left their African-American
players at home, but the team voted that they
would not play without them. Pro Football
Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair was a member
of the “51 Dons.”
He stated that the
team should just
send Burl and
Burl Toler suffered a knee injury
during a game
Chad T. Jones,
when his College
All Stars were
playing the Los
Angeles Rams. He
was playing the game of his life, but Burl’s
knee injury derailed his NFL career. (He was
drafted by the Cleveland Browns.)
Burl went on to become an educator and
the first African-American to be named
a principal of a secondary school in San
A member of the University of San Francisco staff was Pete Rozelle, the future NFL
commissioner. In 1965, Rozelle named Burl
Toler the first African-American official in a
Toler was designated a head linesman and
wore No. 37. Burl officiated for 27 years, and
during that time he once had an encounter
with Vince Lombardi.
Lombardi was giving the official “hell on
earth,” but after a while, and with dignity and
respect, Burl told Vince Lombardi “that’s
enough.” After that, Vince became quiet for
the rest of the game.
A reporter asked Burl, “How does it feel
to be the first Negro official of a professional
Burl said, “As long as I do my job, I will
not be the last.”
I remember that we would have a cook out
every 4th of the July on Treasure Island Naval
Station. He would always be in attendance
with his family.
He was a man who wore many hats. He
always made sure everyone was given a
chance to succeed.
Burl was a man who left behind a legacy
that many have followed. I am proud to
know him, and the impact that he has had
in my life.
Burl passed in 2009, but he is not forgotten.
To learn more about Toler, go to lat.
If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.
firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.