The vidette jul13

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The vidette jul13

  1. 1. PAGE 4 Although the Soldiers of the 623d are putting in long grueling hours…they are putting their limited down time, to good use. Many Soldiers are choosing to further their military careers, by completing correspondence classes for promotion points and some are attending actual military residence classes to help assist them in the promotion system. Over 100 Soldiers have completed their SSD classes (Structured self development, a requirement for consideration to the next rank) since mobilized and for some, online courses through TTHHEE VVIIDDEETTTTEE 1st Bn 623d Field artillery Individual Highlights: Cover Story 1 Commander 2 Sergeant Major 2 Law & Order 3 T&S Team 3 Chaplain’s Corner 4 S4 4 First Aid Station 5 Motor Pool 5 Genius Bar 5 Battery Block 6  JULY 2013 Vol. 1 Issue 7 Soldiers Choose To Utilize Their Down Time, To Further Education With the new improvements to the computer lab, the resources are nearly limitless for them to further their online education. PhotosLayout/Design/Photographer 1LT Gordon Deming Writer/Photographer SGT Bryan Ploughe Photo by SGT Bryan Ploughe Continued on Page 6 By SGT Bryan Ploughe civilian Universities have been the way to go. Whichever they have chose, they have truly excelled at utilizing their time available to prepare themselves for the next level of Soldiering. One Soldier in particular has completed over 200 hours of correspondence hours and leading the way. Whichever route the Soldier has decided on……there has been ALOT of self improvement taking place.
  2. 2. Page 2 COMMANDER’S WORDS LTC Timothy Fanter “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” - Henry A. Kissinger Greetings to our Soldiers, families, friends, and supporters of Morgan’s Men. From the last issue, we successfully moved forward with our Military Transition Teams to their Forward Operating Bases for Task Force 222I and are preparing to receive Task Force 240C and 222J for the next cycle of pre- deployment training. The term, “handle it at the lowest level” implies that issues should be taken care of at the team leader or squad leader level. Unfortunately, this is also sometimes interpreted as, “Don’t let the CDR or CSM/1SG find out.” Wrong is wrong and it must be dealt with in a fair and impartial way, but that doesn’t mean your chain of command should not know. Your chain of command must have visibility on issues that require disciplinary action. This also works with favorable action when a Soldier does great things. Often we do not take the time to thank or reward a Soldier properly for their “over and above” actions. Positive behaviors need to show up in regular counseling, documented so you can support impact or end of tour awards. It doesn’t always have to be an award; you can do a lot for a Soldier’s morale just by giving them immediate praise when deserved. I will close with a few words on leadership. When you are in a leadership position you have the awesome responsibility of being that person others look up to for guidance, solutions to their problems, and your undivided attention when they need it most. They don’t necessarily expect you to be perfect but they do expect you to care and do your best and sometimes that means placing their needs above your own. Morgan 6 Morgan 6 Soldiers and leaders of 1-623d FA we have now crossed the half way point of our deployment. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work to this point and remind you that we still have a lot to do. As we enter into the second half of our deployment the operational tempo will start to pick up and we must stay focused on our mission of training two new task forces as well as preparing to redeploy. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent and make sure we are paying attention to detail in everything we do. COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR CSM Robert Neathery
  3. 3. Page 3 LAW & ORDER Communication is always an issue that is on the minds of our leadership. At every formation, meeting, and briefing communication is an issue that is discussed. Using the Chain of Command to pass information up and to pass information down has been proven to be the most successful way to communicate in order to make sure every Soldier is on the same page. When the entire Battalion is well informed the Battalion is more efficient and has a greater chance of success. Situations may dictate a need to go outside the direct chain from time to time, but unless it’s absolutely necessary always use your direct chain. A failure to use the proper chain of command is punishable in the form of an Adverse Administrative Action, Non-Judicial Punishment under UCMJ Article 15, or UCMJ Punishment. Remember, using the chain of command is important. Not only is it legally required, it’s also the right thing to do. The chain of command is the most effective form of communication in the military. CPT Nicholas Carter Transportation & Sustainment Team By SGT Cody Zimmerman The sands of time keep going by our group of merry warriors. As they continue their stent in the middle-east, work continues to get done with proficiency and in a timely manner. As I write this I am reminded of the old adage “No news is good news.” Thinking that greatly applies to our situation; we have no great problems or disasters to speak of. Nothing fantastic to put on the front page to make the papers fly off the newsstands. We simply are here in our little world waiting to go home. In the time being we enjoy what we have been given; hot showers, air conditioned rooms, hot food four times a day if we wish. Among many other great things that we take for granted in this day and age. If one was to crack the spine on a history book they do not have to go back very far in the pages to see armies that froze to death in the winters, suffered horrible consequences whilst trying to march through a desert, or had their force decimated by a simple ignorance of germs and bacteria. (And we were mad because the internet in our rooms went down for a couple of hours.) In closing I will simply say that we are okay. The things that we complain about really are not as bad as they appear. So have a fantastic day today knowing that we carry on in our desert dwelling. We cannot wait to be back to our old Kentucky home far away.
  4. 4. PAGE 4 CHAPLAIN’S CORNER CH (CPT) W. Ryan Steenburg On the Road Again. Well, we are officially over the hump. As we pass from June into July we all look expectantly to the time that our tour draws to a close. This is true for the Soldiers here as well as the families at home. It is exciting to consider how close we actually are to the end of our mission. I have heard Soldiers explain every variety of countdown imaginable. Some are counting down the number of days left, eagerly waiting to get into the double digits. Others are counting down the months trying to fool themselves into thinking that the current month and the last month don’t actually count in an effort to make our time seem shorter. One Soldier has actually figured out how many meals are left and is counting down to the first steak they can eat without A-1 steak sauce. Probably the strangest one I have heard is the Soldier who is counting down bars of soap. He has figured out about how long a bar of soap lasts him and has calculated how many bars of soap are left on this deployment. With the soap stacked on his shelf, he said it helps him to see the stack of soap get smaller. No matter how we decide to count down our time until the end, the good news is that the end is within sight. But, until we reach the end, we have work to do. As we begin a new phase of a training cycle it is nice to be back on the road. Not only does this training help time move faster for most of us, I think it also helps us feel fulfilled since this is the mission we have come here to execute. In a recent sermon I pointed out that Jesus never asked His disciples to do something that He Himself had not already modeled and demonstrated for them. Jesus was a leader who led by example. I compared that to my experience in basic combat training where the drill sergeants never asked us nor expected us to do something that they were not willing to do themselves. Whether it was a confidence course, rifle ranger, or some other training lane, the drill sergeants always showed us exactly what we were to do, how it could be done successfully, and that they too were willing to perform the task. As much as this illustration plays extremely well into our current mission, I wonder what this might mean for us as we anticipate our return home. Are we willing to lead our families, friends, and community in such a way that demonstrates our own desire and capacity to lead the way? Might I suggest that we “seize the opportunity” to do just that? May God bless the 623d. For God & Country, CH (CPT) W. Ryan Steenburg The supply section has been busier than normal this month with the support of Eager Lion and the additional troops to the surrounding areas. Once again we have been tasked to support all units within our realm of reach here. It gives us all a sense of pride knowing that we continue to support our unit and to be able to provide support to other units. We have continually been thanked and complimented for the hard work the section does. Each unit has repeatedly told us that they didn't know what they would have done without us. It makes you have a feel of gratification with a handshake and a smile, at least you get some recognition that you are working hard and genuinely showing concern for Soldiers of other units. Our Kuwait team continues to provide us with everything we have asked and a little more at times. We have been working on getting additional equipment up here to help with the storage of food and ice that will make the Soldiers lives here a little more pleasurable. We have fielded a piece of equipment that should enhance the ECP so hopefully it will make their jobs a little easier also. SPC Turner has made a huge impact on the container accountability of Jordan. With his hard work and knowledge JTC was the first location in Jordan with 100% accountability of all conex's in Jordan. We have started receiving ice so hopefully when the training picks back up the units will be able to keep water and other items cool while on the ranges. In the next couple of months we will start getting our Organizational equipment ready to start sending back home. We will be looking for shortages from the units to be able to order them so the unit replacing us will be able to hit the ground running and ready to pick up where we leave off. S4 SFC Scotty Turner
  5. 5. Page 5 “Combat medics never stand taller than when they kneel to treat the wounded saving lives in the midst of utter chaos.” -Unknown FIRST AID STATION MOTOR POOL S6 Hey guys, summer continues and it is important to remember to continue to hydrate with water and make sure you are eating even when you do not feel like it because your body needs the nutrients to control the body from getting to hot and continue to work properly. And as we are out training and MWR trips make sure you are protecting your skin with sunscreen and wearing proper clothing to protect your skin to prevent sunburn. The medical section has ordered plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburn but we are not able to order cream to treat sunburn. Please come and get sunscreen to prevent sunburn. MAJ “Doc” Hayden The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that hot weather and under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination. The heat and hot road ways contribute to the breakdown of your tire’s material. This combined with improper tire pressure can cause your tires to fail. Keeping your tires inflated properly is the most important part of maintaining a vehicle’s tires. According to the NHTSA, tires lose approximately one psi per month, so be sure to check your tires with a gauge routinely. Don’t ignore your tire pressure warning light when it comes on. Proper tire pressure improves steering, stopping, traction, load carrying capability, and improves fuel economy by around 3%. If you spend $50 a week in fuel, proper tire pressure could save you $75.00 in annual fuel costs. Refer to your Owner’s manual or Operators TM for proper tire pressure. And don’t forget to check your spare tire as well! WO1 Melissa Propes The S-6 shop is focusing on improving our technical proficiency at this stage of the deployment. CW2 Young has left to take the CISSP exam, so we wish him best of luck. SGT Jeremy Jackson has completed his CompTIA A+ certification and has completed the CompTIA trifecta of certifications! Congratulations to SGT Jackson and good luck Chief…great job team. 1LT Matthew Speer
  6. 6. Page 6 Battery Block Alpha Battery Headhunter Soldier’s and families, what an exciting and busy month of June at the Joint Training Center. Soldiers of the Tompkinsville KY Armory have spent most of the month of June improving their individual skills and qualifications. Headhunter Soldiers began the month by refreshing their skills on First Aid taught by the Battalion Medics. Soldiers attended a three day training event consisting of evaluating injured soldiers, field dressing various types of wounds, tactical field care, and evacuation of the injured soldier. After learning and performing each different task, the soldier’s put their skills to test with a culminating event in a field training exercise. Headhunter Soldier’s receive a block of instruction prior to demonstrating their First Responder Skills. Headhunter Soldiers always want to increase their knowledge and sharpen their skills. Headhunter Soldiers set up training events during the month of June to assist them on keeping their skills sharp and maintaining the highest level of readiness. Throughout the month, Headhunter Soldiers practiced their skills on AFATDS and HIMARS operations and were given instruction by the SR NCO’s in the Battery. Soldiers also practiced their skills on the range with a Reflexive Fire Course to demonstrate their proficiency with weapons and close quarter’s combat scenarios. HHB Happy Independence Day! We can almost smell the bar-b-q and fried chicken from here…almost. As families gather at home to celebrate the holiday and watch the fireworks, we will be thinking you and good times we look forward to in just a few more months. The HHB Soldiers are working hard. The medics have been busy teaching First Responder Courses and treating boo-boos and allergies. The mechanics are always engaged in unit maintenance as well as supporting other units, working on refrigeration units to keep our food cold and safe, conducting fork-lift operations, and fueling everything; not to mention all the associated paperwork. Our hard workers on base defense probably have the toughest job working in the sun for several hours with all their gear on, and they do it without complaint and not near enough thanks. (Thanks guys!) The communication folks are working hard. They tell us what they are doing but few of us speak their language so we have to take their word for it. Our good guys in supply are working hard, too. They’re always on the road to pick up and drop off gear and goods at the airport, stock the chow refers, and occasionally cook some of that good ol’ T-ville BBQ. As we are closing in on the deadline to submit awards and evaluations, the personnel guys hardly even look up from their desk. They stay busy proofreading our work, pouring red ink on it, and sending it back. Our mobility team has logged more miles between here and the airport than the Starship Enterprise, but they seem to love their job. And the rest of the staff and command teams are trying to keep all the parts oiled, moving, and in working order. And finally, thanks to the rear detachment team who continues to support us as Soldiers come home for emergency leave, coordinate with state and Camp Shelby for our return home, and looking out for our families as needs arise. Tear another page off that calendar. The year is getting thinner and thinner. See ya’ll soon. Charlie Battery The past few weeks have allowed us to catch up on refreshing basic skills and admin requirements. Summer “break” is winding down as we prepare for the next task force. The start of the new task force signifies the back half of the deployment and puts us one step closer to redeploying back home to our family and friends. While we would have loved to have spent the 4th of July on the lake or at family cookouts back home, we took the opportunity to have cookout here at JTC with our C battery family. Burgers with BACON! and cooked potatoes were enjoyed by all.

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