VOL. 20, ISSUE 7   JULY 2011                A MONTHLY FORUM FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT      WOUNDED, ILL & INJURED WARRI...
I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget,                                                     pg         ...
that we are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders.                                                             ...
Editor i a l              From the SMA   Structured Self-Development   will propel NCOs to success                        ...
N e w s to UseACU CHANGESPatrol cap now the defaultheadgear; Velcro optionalBy C. Todd LopezArmy News Service             ...
Ne ws to U se   Chiarelli: Work remains to   improve PTSD, TBI science   By Terri Moon Cronk   American Forces Press Servi...
N e w s to Use‘Green’ bullet as effective as M855By C. Todd Lopez                                                         ...
Ne ws to U se   Soldier 360° takes shape, adding more   extensive Physical Readiness Training   By Denver Makle   Joint Mu...
N e w s to UseAdvancements made at Arlingtoncemetery in wake of investigationArmy News Service                            ...
On Poin t   WOUNDED, ILL AND INJURED SOLDIERS   STILL   STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CLIFFORD KYLE JONES                         ...
On PointFIGHT        July 2011 - 11
Members of the Army team make their way down the Olympic walkway during the opening ceremony for the 2011 Warrior Games.  ...
On Pointto meet you and to be inspired by yourexample of service and determination.”     Count the first living Medal of H...
On Poin t                                    WARRIOR STORIES: SGT. KENNETH HARKER                     ‘Soldiers need to kn...
On Point                             WARRIOR STORIES: SGT. KINGA KISS-JOHNSON        ‘These are just        baby steps ......
On Poin t                               WARRIOR STORIES: STAFF SGT. SEYWARD MCKINNEY            ‘We’re still out there; we...
On Point                                    WARRIOR STORIES: SPC. ANDY KINGSLEY         ‘People who think         that the...
From left, Brandon Norris, from the Navy/Coast Guard team; Staff Sgt. Kenny Griffith; Staff Sgt. Robert Laux; and Sgt. 1st...
On Point   Fort Bliss unveils latest WTCNCO Journal staff report                                   Last month, Fort Bliss...
Center for the Intrepid offers                                                                                       versa...
The force of the blast blew off Rob-                                                                                      ...
On P oin tThe CFI       FIRST FLOOR GAIT lab: This compo-nent of the military per-formance lab analyzes theangles and for...
On P oin t                                                                States, such as its own prosthetics fabrication ...
Nco journal usasma-fort-bliss-catc-july11
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  1. 1. VOL. 20, ISSUE 7 JULY 2011 A MONTHLY FORUM FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WOUNDED, ILL & INJURED WARRIORS:SOLDIERING ON2011 Warrior Games ■ New Warrior Transition Complexes ■ Center for the Intrepid
  2. 2. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget, pg 20 On the Cover Sgt. Benjamin Thomas competed in the 100- and 200-meter wheelchair dash during the track and field events of the 2011 Warrior Games held May 16–21 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Photo illustration by Clifford Kyle Jones and Spc. David M. Gafford July 2011 CONTENTS The NCO Journal Features Editorial Wounded, ill & injured Soldiers: still in the fight 10 4 Clifford Kyle Jones From the SMA: 20 Structured Self-Development will propel NCOs to success Harbor of hope: Center for the Intrepid Ne ws To Use Linda Crippen CALL: from lessons learned 24 News and information aimed at benefiting today’s NCOs/Soldiers Patrol cap now the default headgear 5 to educating the force Jonathan (Jay) Koester Work remains to improve PTSD, TBI science Advancements made at Arlington cemetery The transformation of America’s tank division 32 Jennifer Mattson2 - NCO Journal · Vol. 20, No. 7
  3. 3. that we are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders. pg 24 pg 32 pg 10 40 NCO Stories 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment From the Field 44 Sgt. Scott D. Brooks Staff Sgt. Kevin P. Sanders World’s top NCOs experience American life 50 What does being the ‘backbone of the Army’ mean? Conference of European Armies for NCOs Roll Call We honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in current operations around the world. THE NCO JOURNAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS - Command Sgt. Maj. Rory L. Malloy, Commandant, USASMA; Command Sgt. Maj. Wesley J. Weygandt, Deputy Commandant; Charles E. Guyette, Chief of Staff; Jesse W. McKinney, MA, Director, Personnel and Administration DIRECTOR & NCOIC - Master Sgt. Antony M.C. Joseph DSN 621-1043 EDITOR - David B. Crozier DSN 621-1046 WRITERS/EDITORS - Clifford Kyle Jones, Jonathan (Jay) Koester, Michael L. Lewis, Jennifer Mattson, Sgt. Samuel J. Phillips GRAPHICS - Sgt. Russel Schnaare and Spc. David M. Gafford. The NCO Jour- nal is a professional publication for noncommissioned officers of the U.S. Army. Views expressed herein are those of the authors. Views and contents do not necessarily reflect official Army or Department of Defense positions and do not change or supersede information in other official publications. Our mission is to provide a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information, to support training, education and development of the NCO Corps and to foster a closer bond among its members. The Secretary of the Army approved funds for printing this publication in accordance with provisions of AR 25-30. DISTRIBuTION: The NCO Journal is distributed through the U.S. Army Publishing Agency, Distribution Operations Facility, 1655 Woodson Road, Overland, MO 63114-6128 (Phone: (314) 263-7305 or DSN 693-7305). Units or offices with valid publications accounts can receive the Journal by having their publications office submit DA Form 12-99 for inclusion in the 12-Series requirements (12-05 Block 0041). SuBmISSIONS: Print and visual submissions of general interest to the NCO Corps are invited. Unsolicited submissions will not be returned. Photographs are U.S. government-furnished, unless otherwise credited. Prospective contributors are encouraged to contact the Journal to discuss requirements. Contacts: Our fax number is DSN 621-8484 or (915) 744-8484. Or call, (915) 744-1046 or DSN 621-1046. Our email is: ATSS-SCN@conus.army.mil Letters: Letters to the Editor must be signed and include the writer’s full name and rank, city and state (or city and country) and mailing address. Letters should be brief and are subject to editing. The NCO Journal (ISSN 1058-9058) is published monthly by the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 11291 SGT E Churchill St., Fort Bliss, TX 79918-8002. Periodicals postage is paid at El Paso, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. POSTmASTER: Send address changes to The NCO Journal, Commandant, USASMA, ATTN: ATSS-SCN, Editor, 11291 SGT E Churchill St., Fort Bliss, TX 79918-8002. July 2011 - 3
  4. 4. Editor i a l From the SMA Structured Self-Development will propel NCOs to success they have completed all phases of ALC. Senior enlisted leaders I n this new era of technology, Soldiers gather and process information differently today than they did even 10 years ago. — master sergeants through command sergeants major — may With advancements on the Web and the invention of col- self-enroll. laborative sites like Facebook and Twitter, the youth of today are SSD 4 focuses on tasks at the battalion level and prepares able to glean information instantaneously via computer screens staff sergeants through command sergeants major for attendance and cellphones. Understanding how our potential recruits learn is at the Sergeants Major Course. Soldiers may start SSD 4 upon critical to our success as an Army. We cannot force our Soldiers completing the Senior Leader Course. The U.S. Army Sergeants to learn by using outdated methods of content delivery. Major Academy recommends completing SSD 4 prior to assum- Structured Self-Development is many things: It is planned, ing duties as a first sergeant. Graduates of the SLC are automati- goal-oriented learning that reinforces and expands the depth and cally enrolled. Current graduates of the SLC may self-enroll. breadth of an individual’s knowledge base, Although the SMC is the capstone of self-awareness and situational awareness. the NCOES, learning does not stop after It complements institutional and opera- graduating the course. Soldiers must com- tional learning. It enhances professional plete SSD 5 after they have completed the competence and meets personal objec- SMC. It focuses on nominative- and joint tives. It is required learning that contin- staff-level tasks, and prepares Soldiers for ues throughout a Soldier’s career and is the strategic levels of Army leadership. closely linked to training and education in It offers lessons on employing nation- the NCO Education System. It promotes building operations and resolving conflicts lifelong learning. It also sets conditions between civilian employees and the mili- for continuous growth as a warrior and a tary. Master sergeants through command warrior leader. All Soldiers are required sergeants major are automatically enrolled to participate in SSD. It will also be a after they graduate from the SMC. SSD 5 prerequisite for attending NCOES courses will become a prerequisite for nominative and will affect future promotions. and joint assignments. SSD 1 prepares Soldiers for the To date, 52,597 Soldiers have been Warrior Leader Course. Soldiers are registered for SSD 1. Yet, at this point, automatically enrolled upon completing only 671 have completed the course. Basic Combat Training or One-Station Even though Soldiers have three years to Unit Training. SSD 1 tasks are focused primarily on the team and complete SSD 1, I find these numbers disturbing. Less than 15 squad levels and center on common leader and tactical skill sets. percent are currently on track to graduate before WLC. Leaders Privates through command sergeants major can self-enroll. at all levels must ensure our Soldiers are taking these modules There is no SSD 2. The Advanced Leader Course Common and not trying to “cram” them all in before ALC. SSD is both an Core, or ALC-CC, is taken in lieu of SSD 2. Enrollments are individual and first-line leader responsibility. selected by Headquarters, Department of the Army. One of the biggest complaints I hear about SSD is a lack of ALC-CC focuses on preparing unit and subordinate elements computers at units, especially in the Army National Guard and for peace and wartime missions and contingencies, and replaces the Army Reserve. Guard and Reserve command sergeants major the old Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course. are actively seeking a resolution to this problem. SSD 3 focuses on tasks at the platoon level and prepares ser- I require your help to ensure that we embrace this new learn- geants through sergeants first class for the Senior Leader Course, ing tool. SSD will be the key link in the Army Career Tracker and previously known as the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer will improve Army readiness by integrating self-development Course. It offers lessons on implementing measures to reduce into a lifelong-learning strategy. I charge all leaders to give their combat stress, developing a physical security plan, supervising Soldiers time throughout the week to work on their SSD courses. the NCO’s professional development, supervising ceremony setups, and applying ethical leadership decisions at the small- Raymond F. Chandler III unit level. Soldiers will be automatically enrolled in SSD 3 after Sergeant Major of the Army4 - NCO Journal
  5. 5. N e w s to UseACU CHANGESPatrol cap now the defaultheadgear; Velcro optionalBy C. Todd LopezArmy News Service  The voice of the Soldier has beenheard: The Army announced June 14 thatthe patrol cap will replace the black woolberet as the default headgear for the ArmyCombat Uniform. Also changing are the options for howSoldiers can attach certain items to theirACU shirts. The Army chief of staff, Gen.Martin E. Dempsey, said Soldiers willnow be able to sew on name tapes, servicetapes, rank insignia and skill badges,instead of using Velcro. The changes were made afterDempsey received input from Sgt. Maj. ofthe Army Raymond F. Chandler III, whohad been tasked to gather opinions fromSoldiers in the field. Photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Moreno “I am a scout for Gen. Dempsey, who Sgt. Matthew Berg and his wife, Sgt. Ashleigh Berg, re-enlist Oct. 21, 2010, in Baghdad. Theasked me to look into everything a Soldier patrol cap they are both wearing has become the Army’s new default headgear.wears from the top of his head to the bot-tom of his feet,” Chandler said. “These are changes that the field million over the lifecycle of the ACU. New Soldiers had beensaid they wanted to see.” issued two berets, now they will be issued one. Typically, uniform changes come as a result of a board that The Army’s new policy on attaching accouterments to themeets twice a year. But Chandler said issues surrounding both ACU will allow Soldiers to sew on rank insignia, the namethe ACU headgear and the use of Velcro were changes Dempsey tape and the service tape. Additionally, skill badges such as thewanted to bring to the secretary of the Army immediately. Airborne, Pathfinder, Combat Action, Combat Infantryman, and Chandler said he spoke with “several thousand” Soldiers and Expert Infantryman badges will also be authorized for sewing.also received comments via social media sites such as Facebook. Currently, those badges are provided in painted metal and “I have also discussed this with my board of directors — the have to be pinned to the uniform. Pinning badges to the uniformmost senior sergeants major of our Army,” Chandler said. Post- can be a lengthy process because they have to be aligned using adeployment combat uniform surveys were used. ruler. The new policy will allow Soldiers to sew those badges to The No. 1 and No. 2 issues, Chandler said, involved the beret the uniform.and Velcro. Combat and unit patches on the left and right sleeve and the “The Soldiers didn’t like the fact that the beret was hot — it U.S. flag will remain Velcro-only, Chandler said. Additionally,was not something that they wore the majority of the time,” he the ACU will continue to come with Velcro in the same locationssaid. “They didn’t like the fact it didn’t shade the sun and it took it is now. Where a Soldier is authorized to sew something on,two hands to put on. And, they didn’t like to carry two pieces of they can sew it on top of the Velcro.headgear to do different functions during the day.” Chandler also said Soldiers had asked for changes to how The new policy will make the patrol cap the standard. But cargo pockets are fastened. Velcro had been used. Now, ACUs arethe beret isn’t going anywhere. It will remain as the standard for available with buttons used to keep the pockets closed. A similarthe Army Service Uniform and as an optional uniform item with change is being discussed for how sleeve cuffs are fastened, butthe ACU at the discretion of commanders. Chandler said that decision will be made by the July uniform “They could choose to say for an event, like change of com- board.mand, that they want them to wear the beret,” Chandler said. For full details on the ACU changes, Soldiers should read The change in the beret policy will save the Army about $6.5 Army Directive 2011-11. July 2011 - 5
  6. 6. Ne ws to U se Chiarelli: Work remains to improve PTSD, TBI science By Terri Moon Cronk American Forces Press Service  Therapies used for the treatment of brain injuries lag behind the advanced medical science employed for treating mechanical injuries such as missing limbs, the Army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, told reporters May 13. Chiarelli said more work must be done to properly diagnose and treat service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, trau- matic brain injury and suicidal thoughts. “There’s a lot of criticism with how we handle PTSD, TBI and other behavioral health issues,” he said. “I think a lot of that is unfair, because if you study this, we don’t know as much about the brain. That is the basis of the problem.” Meanwhile, Chiarelli said, the stigma that some service members associate with actively seeking treatment for mental health issues is still prevalent. Photo by D. Myles Cullen “Breaking the stigma of mental health issues Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli discusses the Army’s “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention Report” during a press conference is the hardest part,” the general acknowledged. July 2010 at the Pentagon. Chiarelli said military medicine has been very successful in replacing injured service members’ lost limbs identify because the majority of cases are caused by a blast, and with high-tech prosthetic devices in tandem with rehabilitation the service member’s head usually doesn’t hit the ground or any training. hard surface to produce a visible wound. Therefore, Chiarelli said “None of you has asked what we’re able to do with Soldiers he wants to develop the ability to collect data on combat explo- who lose arms and legs,” Chiarelli told reporters. “I’ve been us- sions inside vehicles to better understand blast injuries to the ing my bully pulpit in the last year or so to say that, as an agency, brain. we do everything we can to understand the brain as well as we do Chiarelli said studies show that blasts occurring inside a the rest of the body.” military vehicle can result in an 11 percent chance of occupants Chiarelli said progress has been made in diagnosing and losing a limb; a 65 percent chance of occupants developing PTSD treating PTSD and TBI, though he acknowledged that much work or TBI; and a 16 to 17 percent chance of occupants suffering remains. some other form of a brain injury. “We’re beginning to get some traction,” Chiarelli said of The Army hopes to develop a tracking system for brain inju- new information provided by recent studies of PTSD and TBI. ries that’s similar to methods used to identify and track diseases The general said he’s heartened by the Army and National Mental that occur in organs such as the heart, the general said. Health Institute all-Soldier study of PTSD and TBI, now into its The Army also is working with the Department of Veterans fourth month. Affairs to aid veterans experiencing PTSD, TBI and other issues, The study starts with monitoring new trainees — a process he said. that has never been done before, Chiarelli said. The Army study “We are working closely with the VA in ways we’ve never will track Soldiers during their careers to monitor them for poten- worked before,” Chiarelli said. “We’re working on how to tial risks. improve the disability evaluation process, and lessons learned — “Our hope is we’ll get algorithms,” Chiarelli said, “and will what’s working and what’s not working.” be able to tell someone: ‘You’re at a higher risk of developing Meanwhile, military health care providers “need to do a some kind of behavior health issue, and this is what you ought to better job of screening, with [better] science that has some kind do about it.’” of certainty to make the proper diagnosis and [prescribe the best] Traumatic brain injuries that occur in combat are difficult to treatment,” Chiarelli said.6 - NCO Journal
  7. 7. N e w s to Use‘Green’ bullet as effective as M855By C. Todd Lopez Woods said.Army News Service The EPR cartridge is the  same length as the M855, Since June 2010, the Army though the bullet it containshas fielded about 30 million of is about one-eighth of an inchits new 5.56 mm M855A1 “en- longer. The weight and shapehanced performance rounds” in of the EPR is also the same asAfghanistan. the M855, so it fits anything The cartridge, sometimes an M855 fits — including thecalled the “green bullet” be- M16 and the M4.cause it has an environmentally The bullet itself has beenfriendly copper core instead of redesigned completely. It fea- Photo by C. Todd Lopez.the traditional lead, has been tures a larger steel “penetrator” The 5.56 mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, shown here, isgetting mostly good reviews in sometimes called a “green round” due to its copper-only core. on its tip, that is both sharperthe 11 months since it was first than what is on the M855 anddeployed in support of Operation Endur- cent to talk specifically about the effects is exposed. Both bullets feature a coppering Freedom. of the new bullet, or any bullet, on a “soft jacket, but the EPR’s jacket is “reverse “The vast majority of everything target” — a euphemism for enemy person- drawn.” Perhaps the most notable featurewe’ve got back from the field is positive,” nel. But, they made clear the M855A1 is of the EPR is that its bullet features asaid Lt. Col. Jeffrey K. Woods, product at least equal to the M855 and it targeted copper core, versus the M855’s lead core,manager for small-caliber ammunition, with more consistency. making it more environmentally friendly.during a May 13 media event at Aberdeen The M855 is a good round, Woods There’s also a new propellant in theProving Ground, Md. said, but it is “yaw-dependent” — like all EPR, designed to enhance its performance Reporters learned the benefits of the bullets, it wobbles when it travels along its in the M4 carbine rifle, what most Soldiersnew cartridge, compared it to the round it trajectory. Its effectiveness depends on its are carrying today in Afghanistan. The M4is designed to replace and had the oppor- yaw angle when it hits a target. Not with has a shorter barrel than the M16 rifle, andtunity to fire the round from both an M16 the M855A1. The new enhanced perfor- barrel length is directly related to a bullet’sand M4 rifle. mance round is not yaw-dependent — it velocity. Perhaps the biggest plus of the en- delivers the same effectiveness in a soft Wood said Soldiers have been told tohanced performance round is the consis- target no matter its yaw angle. turn in M855 cartridges and switch nowtency it brings to the fight — more so than “On M855’s best day you’re going to the EPR. February was the first monththe 5.56 mm M855 round it replaces. to see that type of performance out of the there was more expenditure in-theater with Woods and other officials were reti- EPR. But, you will see it every time,” the EPR than with the M855, he said. Army produces enhanced Stryker with double-V hull Army News Service “The rapid turnaround of the DVH is responsiveness at  its best,” said Col. Robert Schumitz, Stryker project man- This summer, Soldiers in Afghanistan will be riding in ager of the brigade combat team project management office. new Stryker armored combat vehicles that have an improved “Soldier survivability is the Army’s number one priority. Once hull design to protect them from improvised explosive devices we determined that the DVH effort was an achievable and and roadside mines. acceptable risk, we swiftly engaged in executing the robust Soldiers in Afghanistan recently began seeing new Stryk- program.” ers with a double-V hull design that deflects blasts away from Engineers at General Dynamics Land Systems conceived the vehicle and the Soldiers inside. of the DVH design and tested it at Yuma Proving Ground, The Stryker DVH, with its enhanced armor, wider tires Ariz.; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; and the National Train- and blast-attenuating seats, went from conception to produc- ing Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Vehicles went through live-fire, tion in less than one year. developmental and operational testing that concentrated on The DVH design is a proven technology similar to that force protection, safety, performance, reliability and durability. found on mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles currently There are 140 DVH Strykers already in the Army supply being used in Afghanistan. chain with 450 vehicles scheduled to enter the field. July 2011 - 7
  8. 8. Ne ws to U se Soldier 360° takes shape, adding more extensive Physical Readiness Training By Denver Makle Joint Multinational Training Command  As drill sergeants at Initial Military Training schools introduce Soldiers to the Army’s Physical Readiness Training, Sol- dier 360°, a military leader development course offered exclusively in Europe, pro- vides seasoned noncommissioned officers instruction on the new standards while being supervised by a physical therapist. “Soldier 360° provides direct, hands- on training in all areas of health and well- ness for military leaders,” said Col. Mary S. Lopez, director of strategic initiatives for the Bavarian Medical Command. “We develop the NCOs’ ‘muscle memory’ and provide them tools to identify, respond and Photo by Denver Makle manage physical, psychological, relation- Staff Sgt. Phillip B. Caldwell of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd ship, marital and financial challenges.” Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, at Grafenwoehr, Germany, demonstrates the prone row “Everything we do is based on re- exercise during instruction in Physical Readiness Training as part of the Soldier 360° program. search and reflects cutting-edge approach- es,” she said. instruction from a physical therapist,” said benefit others. NCOs receive instruction on stress Staff Sgt. Phillip B. Caldwell of Company “I read somewhere that knowledge management and resilience, and get exten- B, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, without use is not knowledge at all,” sive training on the Army’s new PRT. The 172nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Divi- Samples said. “I think a lot of people program is supervised by Dr. Robin Baker, sion. “The workouts are intense.” don’t know a lot about the new PRT, and a licensed physical therapist and an Army His unit is not limited to just one hour integration will be a slow process.” spouse. for morning physical training, Caldwell Staff Sgt. Amy L. Hurst, a student “Not only does the course teach them said. There is a workout plan, and from attending the course from Bamberg, said to be mentally and emotionally fit, we warm-up to cool-down, they complete the being away from her leadership position to take the time each day to review different training no matter the time it takes. Other focus on her own development has made it training aspects of the new PRT,” Baker NCOs said the required conditioning in the easier to absorb the knowledge. said. “The new PRT builds variety into the PRT might be cut short in a unit environ- “If used properly, it’s good for adding program while helping to prevent injury ment to accommodate time constraints. variety to your everyday physical train- and developing overall functional physical “We’ve already implemented most ing sessions,” said Hurst, who is the rear strength.” of what Dr. Baker taught us,” said Sgt. detachment NCO in charge for Company Lopez said Soldier 360° is a franchise Brandon S. Samples of Battery C, 177th G, 54th Engineer Battalion. concept. Field Artillery Battalion, in Schweinfurt, “Soldier 360° has a far reaching “We are working on building courses Germany. “There are some good things impact,” Lopez said. “We have trained 298 in other communities to show how Soldier about the PRT. I like the pace, there are Soldiers, but collectively, these Soldiers 360° can be replicated anywhere,” Lopez smooth transitions from one exercise to supervise more than 6,000 Soldiers and said. “The curriculum uses service provid- the next and it doesn’t require a lot of time civilians.” ers and medical staff who are available in in between.” During the first week, the NCOs are local programs and services.” Samples said he has the ability to removed from day-to-day work and home Many of the Soldiers have already influence what Soldiers do in PT, so he’s environments to receive instruction on begun implementing PRT during unit glad he attended the course to get the pain and anger management, stress reduc- training. additional information. Now that he has tion and the “mindful” use of alcohol. “My unit is just switching over now, been trained, he also said that he has the Spouses are integrated during the second so it is helpful to get a refresher and get responsibility of using this training to week to practice communication skills.8 - NCO Journal
  9. 9. N e w s to UseAdvancements made at Arlingtoncemetery in wake of investigationArmy News Service digitize historical records and improve record-keeping, but also  create a searchable database for use by the public. Just one year after an investigation directed by Secretary of The leadership team has also employed new chain-of-custo-the Army John McHugh reported breakdowns in accountability dy procedures, rebuilt the work force, overhauled the automatedand record-keeping at Arlington National Cemetery, the new interment scheduling system, and implemented a financial man-management team there released June 10 a list of achievements agement system and contracting process.that have strengthened the cemetery’s management and oversight. The team also took steps to improve the facilities, equipment Kathryn A. Condon, executive director of the Army National and infrastructure on the grounds of the cemetery — none ofCemeteries Program, and Patrick K. Hallinan, cemetery super- which were in place a year ago.intendent, took over “We have greatlymanagement of Arling- strengthened our inter-ton National Cemetery ment procedures within June 2010, after the training and equipmentprevious management that equal the bestteam was ousted in the national cemeteries,wake of the Army’s all while conductinginvestigation. 27–30 military funerals “Arlington National a day,” Hallinan said.Cemetery leadership, “What makes Arlingtonwith the full support of so unique is that it isthe Army, has taken nu- the only cemetery inmerous steps to address the nation that performsand correct the prob- gravesite burials andlems found by the Army renders full militaryInspector General and to honors.”restore the nation’s con- The senior manage-fidence in the operation ment team was recentlyof this most hallowed completed with the hir- Photo by Adam Skoczylasground,” Condon said. Flags placed by members of the 3rd. U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) stand ing of James Gemmell The Army Inspec- vigil May 22, 2008, at gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery. as deputy superinten-tor General’s report con- dent. Previously, Gem-tained 74 corrective actions and recommendations — all of which mell, an Army veteran, was the director of Fort Snelling Nationalhave been acted upon over the past year. Cemetery in Minnesota, the third largest cemetery in the National Cemetery management also implemented a comprehensive Cemetery Administration.plan to strengthen management, oversight and accountability in The Army also has its first-ever agreement with the VA —the cemetery’s operations, developed a strategy for sustaining the worked out between McHugh and Veterans Affairs Secretarycemetery for the future, and worked to restore trust and confi- Eric Shinseki — that allows Arlington employees to enroll in thedence in the Army’s stewardship of Arlington National Cemetery. training center. One of the first priorities has been reconciling more than 146 The IG’s 2010 investigation criticized the cemetery’syears’ worth of data related to burial records. contracting procedures, noting that those in charge of executing The accountability effort includes digitally capturing the contracts lacked training and expertise.front and back of each grave marker, and using aerial photog- Cemetery officials have since slashed the number of con-raphy and global positioning technology to digitally map the tracts by nearly 40 percent, and provided a trained, certifiedcemetery’s 624 acres. contracting officer representative to oversee and monitor perfor- Images from the headstones will be matched with digitized mance for each contract.paper records, then compared for accuracy. More than 330,000 Another change made to better serve families was thepeople are currently interred or inurned at the cemetery. creation of a Consolidated Customer Service Center. The center Arlington management’s efforts will continue to focus on handles more than 240 calls each weekday, with nearly one inusing technology to develop programs and products that not only five calls requesting funeral services. July 2011 - 9
  10. 10. On Poin t WOUNDED, ILL AND INJURED SOLDIERS STILL STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CLIFFORD KYLE JONES IN THE Spc. Brian Johnson, of Joint Base Lewis-mcCord in Fort Lewis, Wash., won a silver medal in the seated discus competition at the Warrior Games, which took place may 16-21 at the u.S. Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.10 - NCO Journal
  11. 11. On PointFIGHT July 2011 - 11
  12. 12. Members of the Army team make their way down the Olympic walkway during the opening ceremony for the 2011 Warrior Games. BEFORE the first ball was tossed, before the first bow was drawn, before the first pedal turned, the athletes at Warrior Games 2011 had already proven they were champions. The approximately 200 athletes who games and those of you who participate in competed at the second annual event, or- them combine the best of our nation’s war- ganized by the Department of Defense and rior spirit and our attitude that we cannot the U.S. Olympic Committee, had already be defeated — either as a nation, or as a faced debilitating hardships — traumatic military, or as a unit or as a person.” injuries to their brains, combat wounds Winnenfeld, the commander of the that left them missing limbs, post-traumat- North American Aerospace Defense Com- ic stress disorder and illnesses requiring mand and U.S. Northern Command at Pe- years of care — and found a way not only terson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, to survive, but to excel. as well as President Barack Obama’s Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was the honorary torchbearer at the “I am so honored to be here with nominee to be the next vice chairman Warrior Games. He said being able to take you,” Navy Adm. James Winnenfeld said of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represented part in the event was one of the highlights of during the opening ceremonies May 16 the Department of Defense as the games his career. at the U.S. Olympic Training Facility in opened. He told the hundreds of wounded Colorado Springs, Colo. “It is truly hum- warriors and their families, friends and physically and mentally, are unbelievable bling to be among so many young men and supporters that the games were about and immeasurable,” he said. “But some- women who have given so much while much more than the athletes. times, I think the biggest winners at these wearing the cloth of our nation. These “The benefits to our military members, games are those lucky enough to see you,12 - NCO Journal
  13. 13. On Pointto meet you and to be inspired by yourexample of service and determination.” Count the first living Medal of Honorrecipient since the Vietnam War, Staff Sgt.Salvatore Giunta, among those inspired.Although since receiving the nation’shighest military award, he has been anhonored guest at the Super Bowl, helpedring in the new year at New York’s TimesSquare, appeared on television withStephen Colbert and David Letterman,and personally received high praise fromthe nation’s commander in chief, Giuntacounted his role as honorary torchbearer atthe games among the highpoints in his life. “In the last six months, I’ve gotten todo so many amazing, incredible things.But, to be able to stand up there in frontof all the men and women from all thedifferent branches, and to just be part ofthis, it gives me goosebumps,” he said.“To be able to salute them, to receive thetorch from them and to see the spirit andthe will behind all these men and womenwho are competing, it just blows my mind.... There are people with no disabilitiesat all who spend the whole day sitting onthe couch, and you have these people outhere with some severe disabilities, andthey’re just attacking the world for all it’sworth and living to the best of their ability.Thank you for showing us that, becausewe need to see that. That motivates theheck out of me.” None of the athletes did it alone,though. Capt. Elizabeth Merwin, a formerNCO who won a gold medal in the wom-en’s cycling event and competed in the50-meter freestyle swim, was serving as aquartermaster officer in the 101st AviationBrigade in Kandahar, Afghanistan, whenshe was diagnosed with breast cancer. Inaddition to the “awesome” medical careshe received at all points of her treatment Retired Sgt. Margaux Vair returns the volleyball during the gold-medal sitting volleyball match— from her unit’s medics, who sent her to between the Army and the Marine Corps. The Army team members won silver medals.Landstuhl, Germany, for initial treatment,to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort spin class all the time; I was just a crazy, said, he “introduces himself and he says,Campbell, Ky., where her mastectomy and avid spinner,” she said. “That was my ‘Well, Lt. Merwin, do you think you’rerecovery took place — she also received mental break and my mental salvation. going to want to do that bike ride?’”inspiration from the WTB’s commander. … So I thought, ‘All right, I don’t know She thought, “I’m in a hospital gown, When she first arrived back at Fort when my surgery is going to be, but if I sir. I’m in a hospital bed. It’s like twoCampbell, she had noticed a flyer for a can do this bike ride, I’ll do it.’” weeks away. Do you really think I’m goingbike race. During her deployment, she Her surgery took place about a week to be ready to ride a bike in two weeks?”spent much of her free time working out later. The day after her surgery, she was That’s what she thought.on a stationary bicycle. lying in a hospital bed in recovery when “Of course to him, my answer was, “While I was in Afghanistan, I did the WTB commander paid her a visit. She ‘Yes, sir! I’ll do it.’ And sure enough, July 2011 - 13
  14. 14. On Poin t WARRIOR STORIES: SGT. KENNETH HARKER ‘Soldiers need to know about this’ One of the great things about the War- a bronze medal in the sitting discus event. Harker said he asked many Soldiers at rior Games is that athletes often discover “I can’t wait for next year,” he said. Walter Reed about the Warrior Games. abilities they didn’t know they had. “Hopefully, we get to train a little more this “They were like, ‘What are you talking Sgt. Kenneth Harker, for instance, had time.” about?’ I think Soldiers need to know about hardly touched a bow or arrow before being Harker, whose legs were amputated af- this. Even though they might see it on a selected to attend about three months ter an explosively formed penetrator hit his calendar or a poster, they should know before the competition. Now he has a silver vehicle June 2008 in Baghdad, is a patient this is awesome for warriors, for wounded medal in compound archery. He also earned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Soldiers.” 14 days later, after having a mastectomy, I as a linguist. She took a 13-year break from Now, she’s on her way to the Cap- was on a bicycle for a multiday ride.” duty before rejoining the Army, this time as tain’s Career Course, and then she’ll be Merwin had a similar pace for her an officer. She was commissioned in 2008. heading to civil affairs training. recovery — and her career. “While I was “I come from a military family, so it’s “My goal is to make it as far as lieu- at the WTB, my transition plan was pretty in my blood. Although I was in the Army tenant colonel,” she said. “I don’t have a aggressive to get me back to duty,” she said. in the first (Iraq) war in the ’90s, I never whole lot of time left (in the Army), but “I wanted my career to be moving forward.” really deployed. So, I wanted to get what I’m going to do everything I can to get She first entered the Army as an en- I consider the real Army, the real Soldier there as fast as possible.” listed Soldier and spent eight years serving experience to actually deploy.” Brig. Gen. Darryl Williams, com-14 - NCO Journal
  15. 15. On Point WARRIOR STORIES: SGT. KINGA KISS-JOHNSON ‘These are just baby steps ... for every one of us’ A little more than a year ago, retired Sgt. Kinga Kiss-Johnson was barely able to leave her home. Kiss-Johnson, who was medically retired from the Fort Gordon, Ga., Warrior Transition Battalion in November 2010, suf- fered from several combat-related injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, post- traumatic stress disorder, left and right hip injuries and a spinal cord injury. However, with the help of her family and friends, a service dog (her “puppy,” Balto) and a new-found passion for adaptive sports, she not only made the trip to the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., by herself, she helped her wheelchair basketball team earn gold. “I really have got my life back, because I hadn’t left my house for a really long time,” Kiss-Johnson said. “My husband had to leave his job to support me, and just now, little by little ... I started to get back and start to walk with [my dog] and get out in the community with him.” The 6-foot-7 Kiss-Johnson was born in Romania and played college basketball for Missouri State from 2000 to 2002. She took the U.S. oath of citizenship in Novem- ber 2007 while stationed in Afghanistan. was something special. their own way has the same experiences — As part of her therapy, she was intro- “The group’s diversity is so incred- and life — after war. ... These are just little duced to archery and wheelchair basketball. ible on my team. Everybody has their own baby steps, one foot in front of the other, for Now she plays for the Augusta, Ga., Bull- stories and struggles. But, at the end of every one of us, and it’s just pushing each dogs in the National Wheelchair Basketball the day, all of us come together as a whole other and encouraging each other that there Association. But, her Warrior Games team team,” she said. “Everybody pretty much in is life after injury.”mander of the Army’s Warrior Transition that encompasses all aspects of life: physi- Games came from a Warrior TransitionCommand, said, “She’s an example of the cal, social, spiritual, emotional, family and Unit, which is for Soldiers who requireComprehensive Transition Plan — how career. at least six months of rehabilitative carewe move folks through the process to meet “The warrior is responsible for his and complex medical management, ortheir life goals.” or her way ahead — the success of this from the Army Wounded Warrior, or AW2, Soldiers in the Army’s 29 Warrior program,” Williams said. “They make the Program, which assists and advocates forTransition Units work with their squad decision whether they continue on active more severely wounded, ill and injuredleaders, doctors and nurses to develop a duty or retire.” Soldiers and veterans. AW2 is also underpersonalized plan, the CTP, for recovery Army participants in the Warrior the Warrior Transition Command. July 2011 - 15
  16. 16. On Poin t WARRIOR STORIES: STAFF SGT. SEYWARD MCKINNEY ‘We’re still out there; we’re still fighting’ This was retired Staff Sgt. Seyward Mc- hang out with last year, and it was fun get- was medically retired in April. At the Warrior Kinney’s second trip to the Warrior Games, ting to know them, ... just being able to get Games, she competed in recumbent cycling and she got even more out of it this year. that camaraderie.” and women’s shot put. “I’m having a lot of fun, especially this McKinney competed in high-school “Just because we got injured due to year. Last year, I came with my dad because athletics in Salem, Ore., and served as an war or whatever happened to us, we’re still I couldn’t really walk around well,” she said. operating room technician in the Army. She out there; we’re still fighting,” she said. “This year, I came by myself and ... I got to suffered a stroke in March 2009 and was at “We’re still carrying out the fight, just in a meet a whole group of people I didn’t get to Walter Reed Army Medical Center until she different way.” “The Warrior Games is a manifesta- Ranker’s second year at the Warrior Disbro took the title.) tion of what these athletes do every single Games. Last year, he competed in swim- During his 19 years in the Army, Rank- day,” Williams said. “They compete every ming and track events and earned three er deployed four times as a light infranty- single day, either on active duty, in one medals — two gold and one silver. This man, the first time to Iraq during Desert of our Warrior Transition Units or as they year, he took part in the Ultimate Cham- Storm, then once more to Iraq and twice to retire as veterans. So, you’re going to get pion competition, in which 10 athletes Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi to see this week an example of their great competed to be the top finishers in five Freedom and Enduring Freedom. resilience and strength.” events — swimming, shooting, track, shot “In the course of some training and This was Sgt. 1st Class Landon put and cycling. (Marine Capt. Jonathan then on three of those tours, I was injured16 - NCO Journal
  17. 17. On Point WARRIOR STORIES: SPC. ANDY KINGSLEY ‘People who think that they have limits learned that there are no limits’ Spc. Andy Kingsley knows how to use the encouragement of his fellow Soldiers and his family — and he knows how to provide it. Kingsley lost his right leg when an 88 mm recoilless rifle round came into his bunker in July 2010 in Afghanistan. He also suffered burns on his right side, received a brain injury, lost vision in his right eye and lost his left big toe and right middle finger. “I ended up at the Warrior Games because … I’m pretty much done with my recovery, and I needed ways to burn the excess weight that I was getting,” he said. “You know, when you get injured you gain a lot of weight.” He tried out for the swim team, “and when I came out here I was one of the fast- est amputees on the team.” And he wasn’t just fast; he was a leader. “Even though I’m a junior enlisted, they voted me to be captain. I went out there, did a good job. I got everyone hyped up, and I’m proud. On our team, 14 out of 20 Soldiers made it to the finals, and we brought home 15 medals today.” Kingsley himself won two bronze med- “Having my division out here, it’s a Like any good leader, he has some als in individual events and a silver medal dramatic boost of morale and confidence lessons from this experience: “People who as part of the Army’s relay team. in myself. ... It made me feel like the think that they have limits learned this week But it wasn’t just the swim team that paratrooper and the 82nd Soldier that I am. that there are no limits,” he said. “I learned supported him. Several members of the So, to know that, that camaraderie and that that I can do anything that anyone can do 82nd Airborne Division carried signs and moral support was here, it definitely helped despite the injuries that I have, and being at whooped when Kingsley competed. me in my races today.” the Warrior Games has proven that to me.”four times — head injuries. I’m a ‘good’ said, the effects of his TBI are often not puter, putting a key in a lock — they’reexample of the buildup of sustained con- apparent when people first meet him. But, extremely difficult when you start dealingcussions and moderate head injuries.” once they’ve gotten to know him, they with this. … I’m a big coffee drinker, and Ranker compares his traumatic brain notice “little things.” when I was still going through the earlyinjury to dropping a laptop. If you turn “All that stuff you hear in the press parts of my rehab, I don’t know how manyit on again, it might at first appear to be about the effects adding up or building times I brewed coffee with no water, withworking OK. “But, you have those errors up, it’s all true,” Ranker said. “Normal, no coffee for the grounds or I brewed cof-and malfunctions for the rest of the life of everyday activities of driving a car or fee without the pot underneath the coffeethat device,” Ranker said. Likewise, he trying to send an email out on your com- maker.” July 2011 - 17
  18. 18. From left, Brandon Norris, from the Navy/Coast Guard team; Staff Sgt. Kenny Griffith; Staff Sgt. Robert Laux; and Sgt. 1st Class Landon Ranker cross the finish line together at the 2011 Warrior Games cycling event at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ranker said the Army has really But, through the Army’s Continuation On witnessing the games “life-changing.” “stepped it up” in treating TBIs in the past Active Duty program, he has found a new “As I say often about these games, several years. After returning from his role in the Army. COAD allows Soldiers they’re a display of the indomitable human 2008 deployment to Afghanistan with his who have special skills or experience to spirit,” he said. “The human spirit cannot be fourth injury, Ranker was treated at one remain on active duty. Ranker is now in conquered by physical limitations. It’s just of the military’s premiere TBI treatment charge of adaptive sports and fitness at the extraordinary. People’s lives were changed centers at Fort Campbell. Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Unit. in those few days in Colorado Springs.” “I went through about 15 months of “I’ll stay in the Army as long as they Scott hopes that Soldiers exposed to rehab and therapy there, and learned how to let me. I’m still a Soldier at heart. Like I the Warrior Games’ athletes drive, deter- walk properly again, how to go to a grocery said, I was a light infantry guy and that mination and willpower will realize some- store and shop, how to deal with the mul- was my passion. I thought I’d always do thing: “Whatever you want to accomplish tiprocessing stuff — like when you’re in a that,” he said. “Now, I’ve found a new pur- in life — and not just only for a noncom- big public setting and there’s people talking pose in working with adaptive sports and missioned officer, but for every young and several conversations going and people fitness at the Fort Campbell WTU, helping private who’s in the Army now who has walking all over the place. A traumatic brain brand-new (wounded) warriors start with those aspirations to be the sergeant major injury [patient] can get overloaded by that. adaptive sports and fitness. That’s helped of the Army (because you know he or she But, they teach you how to deal with that me with a new purpose, and I’d like to is in our formation right now) — if that’s and how to expose yourself to it step by demonstrate to them and set an example what you want, you too can accomplish it. step. I could go on and on about it, but the for them: Look, you can do something that If you don’t believe me, ask Sgt. 1st Class point is, we really stepped it up. And if it you didn’t think you could do anymore.” Ranker or Capt. Merwin.” j N C O were not for that program, I would not be But, the lessons of the Warrior Games here competing, without a doubt.” aren’t just for wounded warriors. Com- To contact Clifford Kyle Jones, visit Because of his injuries, Ranker mand Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Scott, the the NCO Journal website at https:// couldn’t return to duty in the infantry. WTC’s command sergeant major, called usasma.bliss.army.mil/NCOJournal.18 - NCO Journal
  19. 19. On Point Fort Bliss unveils latest WTCNCO Journal staff report  Last month, Fort Bliss, Texas, becamethe latest Army post to unveil a new War-rior Transition Complex during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $57 million facil-ity, built to house wounded, ill and injuredSoldiers while they recover. The Fort Bliss WTC has 232 beds. Itis the seventh of 21 complexes the Armybegan constructing in 2008. The complexes are intended to createa healing environment near medical treat-ment facilities and offer a full range ofcare. The complexes include barracks thatare accessible to individuals with disabili-ties and may be modified to accommodatespecific medical needs. The Bliss facilityhas 116 suites, all with walk-in closets,high-definition TVs, wireless Internet ac-cess and kitchens. Larger suites have wash-ers and dryers. The complexes also includea Soldier Family Assistance Center, which Photo by Clifford Kyle Jonescan provide services such as counseling to U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who represents West Texas, cuts the ribbon on the new Warriorfamily members of wounded Soldiers. Transition Battalion Complex at Fort Bliss, Texas, with help from members of the battalion and “These are world-class facilities for Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Sandra Richardson.world-class warriors,” the commandinggeneral of Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored pleted in the second quarter of FY 2012. lion SFAC has been completed, and a $49Division, Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, said at  FOrt Drum, N.Y.: A $38 million, million, 240-bed WTC is to be completedthe ceremony. “They’re very, very com- 144-bed facility has been completed, and a in the fourth quarter of FY 2012.fortable. We want them to be comfortable, $21 million, 48-bed facility is scheduled to  FOrt WAiNWrigHt, Alaska: Abut it’s transition. Transition. We want you be finished in the third quarter of FY 2012. $28 million, 32-bed WTC is to be com-to heal, and then move on.”  FOrt HOOD, texas: A $73.1 mil- pleted in the first quarter of 2012. The other recent WTC projects com- lion WTC is to be completed in the first  JOiNt BASe elmeNDOrF-riCH-pleted or under way are: quarter of FY 2012. ArDSON, Alaska: A $43 million, 80-bed  FOrt BelVOir, Va.: A $76 mil-  FOrt KNOx, Ky.: A $70 million, WTC will be completed in the first quarterlion, 288-bed WTC will be completed in 224-bed WTC is to be completed in the of 2012.the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. third quarter of FY 2012.  JOiNt BASe lANgleY-  FOrt BeNNiNg, ga.: A $53 mil-  FOrt leONArD WOOD, mo.: A euStiS, Va.: A $28 million, 80-bed facil-lion, 200-bed WTC will be completed in $19.5 million, 48-bed WTC is to be fin- ity WTC is to be completed in the thirdthe first quarter of fiscal year 2012. ished in the second quarter of FY 2012. quarter of FY 2012.  FOrt BrAgg, N.C.: An $88 mil-  FOrt pOlK, la.: A $4.9 million  JOiNt BASe leWiS-lion, 256-bed WTC will be completed in SFAC has been completed, and a $32 mil- mcCHOrD, Wash.: A $110 million, 408-the third quarter of FY 2012. lion, 112-bed WTC is to completed in the bed WTC will be completed in the fourth  FOrt CAmpBell, Ky.: A $7.4 mil- third quarter of FY 2012. quarter of this fiscal year.lion SFAC has been completed, and a $43  FOrt rileY, Kan.: A $50 million,  JOiNt BASe SAN ANtONiO,million, 240-bed WTC is to be finished in 156-bed facility has been completed. texas: An $87 million, 360-bed WTC willthe fourth quarter of this fiscal year.  FOrt Sill, Okla.:A $22 million, be completed in the first quarter of 2012.  FOrt CArSON, Colo.: An $8.1 72-bed WTC is to be completed in the  SCHOFielD BArrACKS, Hawaii:million SFAC is finished, and a $56 mil- third quarter of FY 2012. An $85 million, 120-bed WTC will belion, 160-bed WTC is scheduled to be com-  FOrt SteWArt, ga.: A $6 mil- finished in the third quarter of FY 2013. July 2011 - 19
  20. 20. Center for the Intrepid offers versations. And perhaps most apparent of all — he has all his limbs. Most people would never guess warriors state-of-the-art care Roberts has second- and third-degree burns covering half his body, because his uniform covers up the compression gar- By Linda Crippen everything seems fine, normal. There’s ments he must wear to move and walk,  no noticeable limp when he walks. His which he is learning to do again. He also To look at Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts, speech is coherent and clear during con- had to re-learn how to speak, because the20 - NCO Journal
  21. 21. The force of the blast blew off Rob- erts’ vest and rendered him unconscious. The only reason he came to, he said, “was because fuel started rolling into my face. I was on fire.” As soon as Roberts exited the burn- ing vehicle, the enemy opened fire. After dumping his helmet and glasses because they were on fire, he had little protection left. He ran to a nearby ledge to avoid the hail of gunfire, and with nowhere else to go, he jumped. Luckily, he landed in water. Roberts jokes about it now. “It was a nice current. But, I can’t swim,” he said. “Thankfully, the water extinguished the fire on my body.” Roberts said that at that point, he was convinced he was going to die, so he be- gan to pray, asking God to take care of his family back home and his Army family, his squad, which was desperately trying to fight off the enemy. While floating down the stream, Rob- erts tried to return fire, but his 9 mm pistol jammed. After suppressing the enemy, what was left of the squad rescued Roberts from the water and called for a medevac. Three days later, he woke up in Germany and eventually was sent to one of the most technologically advanced facilities the medical community has ever seen, the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas, where he continues his rehabilita- tion with other veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. THE CENTER Since January 2007, the $50 million state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility has been serving traumatic amputees, burn patients requiring advanced rehabilitation and patients undergoing limb salvage. The four-story, 60,000-square-foot facility was specifically constructed to serve wounded Photo by Linda Crippen warriors with private donations col- lected from more than 600,000 Americans through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.improvised explosive device that nearly While traveling on an isolated mountain The center falls under the directionkilled him on June 2, 2009, caused a good road, Roberts’ driver ran over a hidden in- of nearby Brooke Army Medical Center,deal of memory loss, including many of cendiary IED. They were the lead vehicle and more specifically, its department ofhis childhood memories. in the convoy and took the brunt of the orthopedics and rehabilitation. The CFI’s Roberts’ team from the 549th Military blast. assistant administrator, Kathie Rasmussen,Police Company, 385th MP Battalion, out Spc. Roberto Hernandez, the team’s a retired sergeant first class, describes theof Fort Stewart, Ga., was headed to Alhaj interpreter, died almost instantly, and Spc. CFI as a “small clinic that has a greaterMangal, Afghanistan, to assist a special Jonathan O’Neill, the driver, later suc- abundance.”forces operational detachment alpha. cumbed to his fatal wounds. Admission to the center is based on July 2011 - 21
  22. 22. On P oin tThe CFI FIRST FLOOR GAIT lab: This compo-nent of the military per-formance lab analyzes theangles and forces involvedin movement, for example,walking. The system useshighly sensitive infraredcameras to track the re-flection of markers placedon patients’ bodies. Thisinformation is used to ana-lyze patients’ movements:walking, running, stair-climbing, etc. The system’smain walkways have forceplates that also providefeedback, and plasmamonitors provide caretak-ers and patients real-timedisplays. This technologycan be used to analyze thefit of a prosthetic. Computer Assisted Re-habilitation Environment:This system re-createsvirtual environments, al-lowing patients to interactwith real-time stimulidisplayed on a 21-footdiameter dome that useseight projectors on a300-degree screen. Thesystem is heralded as themost advanced and onlydomed computer rehabsystem in existence. Natatorium: This 50-foot, six-lane pool providestherapy options such aslap swimming, water vol-leyball and basketball, andadaptive kayaking. FlowRider: This wave- Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts, a patient at the CFI, competed in the Warrior Games’ wheelchair basketball competiton in May.making device was origi-nally designed for water evaluations by a patient’s health care providers combat-related or not.parks and cruise ships. the availability of space, with precedence given to The idea of CFI originated in the spring ofThe CFI now uses the those injured during Operations Iraqi Freedom and 2005 by Arnold Fisher, the director of the Intrepidtechnology for therapeutic Enduring Freedom. Fallen Heroes Fund and nephew of Zachary andactivities to help balance, The center also serves military service mem- Elizabeth Fisher, founders of the fund and thecoordination, agility, core bers and veterans who were severely injured during Fisher House Foundation. The center’s staff is com-strength and endurance. other military operations and regular duty, whether posed mostly of government civilians and contrac-22 - NCO Journal
  23. 23. On P oin t States, such as its own prosthetics fabrication lab, as well as ways to participate in extreme sports as The CFI a means for physical therapy, such as rock climb- SECOND FLOOR ing and body surfing. The program of rehabilitation blends a variety of activities: therapy, simulation and extreme sports. THE REHAB Some visitors may leave with the impression that the high-tech equipment makes rehab easy. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth; patients going through rehabilitation and therapy must work hard to improve. There is no “easy” button here, the center’s therapists are quick to point out. The ultimate goal is to maximize patients’ potential, helping them achieve the highest level of independence and function. Photo by Linda Crippen “We want to make sure patients can go back to all the activities they once had a desire to do, or  Prosthetics fabrication introduce them to some new ones if we can,” Ras- lab mussen said. “We want them to be independent.” Currently, 18 percent of the CFI’s patients THIRD FLOOR desire to return to active duty, and Rasmussen said  Physical therapy clinic that if that is their true desire, “then that’s where our focus will be.”  Indoor track Rasmussen said that progress is measured in degrees, meaning patients are tasked with minor FOURTH FLOOR objectives and then work their way up to more com-  Firearms training plex tasks. It’s important for patients to figure out simulator what they are capable of doing, she said. “We never tell anyone that they can’t. We  Occupational therapy merely give them varied degrees of tasks to per-  Driving simulator form, and they are able to determine if they are ready to return to duty or if they should move on to  Activities of Daily Living something else in their lives.” apartments Christopher Edner, a staff occupational thera- pist and a former Army captain, treats patients at THE STAFF the CFI to help get them back to doing what are  The facilities and called “activities of daily living.” services offered at the “They need to be able to get up [out of bed], CFI are beyond what many perform hygiene, dress themselves, prepare meals, patients said they had ever drive and get back into their day-to-day occupations imagined or hoped for, — both work- and family-related occupations,” but perhaps, what truly Edner said. “Really, we’re talking about daily ac- makes the CFI so unique is tivities that we take for granted.” its staff. For example, the Patients have a wide variety of departments and center has nine Veterans Photo by Clifford Kyle Jones programs at their disposal: physical medicine, case Affairs employees on site, management, behavioral medicine, pharmaceutical, and each patient receives occupational therapy, physical therapy, wound care, individualized attention fortors to maintain continuity of services. burn treatment, prosthetic fabrication and fitting. his or her unique circum- No matter whom you ask, everyone proudly Though numbers fluctuate all the time, Ras- stances.says that there is one standard of care at the center: mussen said the center worked with about 650the best rehabilitative care possible to those who patients in March, and during an average week, thehave been intrepid for the nation. CFI will see around 150 patients. During its first To accomplish that mission, the center has year of operation, the center documented more thansome of the most advanced facilities in the United 28,000 patient visits. jN C O July 2011 - 23

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