Monday, January 18, 2016

Nice Photo Effects Online photos

Check out these photo effects online images:


Forums at annual AUSA exposition focused on the strength behind the Soldier— Army Families 091009
photo effects online
Image by familymwr
PHOTO CAPTION: Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, along with Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr., signs the Army Family Covenant while friends and Family members look on. (Photo by Rob McIlvaine, FMWRC Public Affairs)

www.armymwr.com

Forums at annual AUSA exposition focused on the strength behind the Soldier— Army Families 091009

By Rob McIlvaine
FMWRC Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, DC - While the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) highlighted the business of the Army in DC’s cavernous exhibition hall at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, tucked away in many of the upstairs meeting rooms were Family and Army leaders discussing the resilience and quality of life of those who give their all for the sake of freedom.

The 2009 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition is the largest defense-related exposition in the nation, according to Gordon R. Sullivan, president.

Sullivan, Army Chief of Staff from 1991 to 1995, presided over fundamental transformation following the liberation of Kuwait and led the Army into the information age. He assumed his current position with AUSA, headquartered in Arlington, Va., in 1998.

“The exposition is designed to deliver the Army’s message, highlight the capabilities of Army organization and present a wide range of commercial industry products and services,” Sullivan said.

According to Sylvia Kidd, director of AUSA Family Programs, Soldiers from many other countries came for more than just the exhibition, which included everything from armored fighting vehicles, artillery, body armor, explosives and helicopters to small arms, machine guns, medical supplies and rockets.

“Many militaries from around the world don’t have the programs needed to take care of their Soldiers and Families so they come here to learn best practices. In fact, we’re working with organizations in England this week helping them to develop a convention along the lines of AUSA,” Kidd said.

Lt. Col. Augusto Martinez-Segura and two of his friends with the Spanish Army spent the three days at the conference.

“We’re interested in just seeing how the United States Army does business,” Martinez-Segura said.

Throughout the smaller venues above the great exposition hall, the true measure of Army might was being measured, discussed and analyzed: the people who wear those uniforms and the Families who support them.

On each of the three days, an audience of more than 600 comprised of Soldiers, Family members and Army leaders including more than 500 Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders from installations around the country came to listen, question and voice their opinions about the programs and services designed to support them during this era of persistent conflict.

During Monday’s forum, “Army Families: the strength behind the Soldier,” Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., Army chief of staff, along with the 21st Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, re-signed the Army Family Covenant.

“For this nation to continue, we have to take care of the Soldiers and their Families,” McHugh said. “By re-signing this Army Family Covenant, I’m reaffirming that we will not fail to uphold our commitment to you who have made great sacrifices to take care of the Families at home while your Soldiers are overseas.”

Sheila Casey, wife of Gen. Casey, reminded the audience that America has officially entered its ninth year of persistent conflict, which has seen multiple deployments, many back-to-back, put a strain on Soldiers and Families.

“The whole force is stretched, our Families have a difficult time finding balance and the effects are cumulative. Twelve months at home isn’t long enough to recuperate. You need to take yourself from the bottom and put yourself back on top,” Sheila said to resounding applause. “This isn’t being selfish. The fact is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.”

In the past two years of traveling with her husband from post to post, the issues that were brought to her attention the most were: access to quality medical and behavioral health care, access to quality schools for Army children and improving the resources and opportunities for employment.

Before he invited feedback from the audience on the effectiveness of the Army’s Family programs, Gen. Casey cited changes the Army has made to support its Soldiers and Families.

With BRAC about halfway completed, he told the audience that billion has gone into installations in a five-year period, making a huge improvement in the quality of life across the Army.

He also said the Army was tasked to bring in 74,000 new Soldiers by 2012, but was able to meet that goal last summer.

“In 2004 we had 33 brigade combat teams. Today we have 44 active brigade combat teams and next year we’ll have one more,” Casey said.

In July, the Army requested another 22,000 Soldiers needed to replace injured or already deployed Soldiers. He said that amounted to nearly 100,000 new troops over the last two or three years.

This increase in the number of personnel has allowed the Army to move closer to its objective of lengthening the time at home between deployments for its active duty, Reserve and Guard troops.

“We’re off 15-month deployments. In fact, our last group is coming home this month,” Casey told the cheering audience. “By 2011, our active duty troops will be one year out and two years back; our Guard and Reserve will one year out and four years back – and we will continue to provide our country the forces we need to succeed.”

Referring to the possibility that more troops might be called for in the near future to serve in Afghanistan, Casey said the Army is better postured now than two years ago to accept an additional commitment of active forces.

Then Casey turned to Family services, part of the Army Family Covenant.

Two years ago, the Army doubled the amount of money to fund Family programs. According to Casey, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates directed that money for Family programs be moved into the base budget. This means when this era of persistent conflict ends, the money supporting these programs won’t go away.

Finally, he asked the audience to vote with a show of hands on its satisfaction with the Army’s effectiveness in five areas: standardizing Family programs and services across installations, increasing accessibility to quality health care, improving Soldier and Family housing, providing excellent schools, childcare and youth services, and expanding educational and employment opportunities for Family members.

Each category got lackluster reviews with the final one receiving the most positive reaction, but not by much.

Within this category, though, rousing cheers rose up for the new Post-9/11 GI Bill and its ability to transfer benefits to Family members.

“Well, our efforts appear to be a jagged line, but we’re moving up,” Casey said.

When asked for questions, the FRGs were not at a loss in their search for answers. Many wanted to know why each unit’s commanding officer isn’t required to take training when FRG leaders are required to attend training sessions.

“We go through two to three days of training but command comes in not really understanding the structure or knowing what to do,” Dusti Cummins, FRG leader at Ft. Lewis, Wash., said. Cummins, active for four years in her unit’s FRG, recently became its leader. She was accompanied by two other leaders from Ft. Lewis, Kerri Moye and Ellie Hite who agreed with her assessment.

Amanda Maxwell, active in her FRG unit at Ft. Hood, Texas, for four years, also recently became an FRG leader. The four women’s comments were echoed across the room by FRG leaders from Ft. Drum, N.Y., Ft. Bragg, N.C. and Ft. Worth, Texas.

“It is the commander’s job to build the FRG team. We need to get the training for officers you’re asking for,” Gen. Casey said.

Lynn S. Heirakuji, deputy assistant for personnel oversight, reported on the preliminary results of a large-scale survey that examined how well the Army provides programs and services to geographically dispersed personnel.

“The volume of people who traveled to this conference sends an important statement about your concerns. We’ve been challenged to reach out to Families who are not part of an installation,” Heirakuji said.

More than 5,000 survey respondents indicated that they did not find large gaps in the services offered by the Army for military Families, but that greater awareness of and access to programs is needed.

As the distance from installations increases, the difficulty of obtaining information also climbs for military Families, especially Guard and Reserve Families, who are often unsure of their eligibility for Army programs. The most dispersed, she said, are Army parents.

“This is all part of building resilience,” she said, “but our FRGs are making the effort.”

Although the Internet, through the Virtual Installation Project, brings the installation to the Family, important sites for military Families such as TRICARE and Army One Source were reported to be confusing and difficult to use.

“One-on-one contact is strongly desired so we can get detailed information about specific questions,” Heirakuji said.

Kathleen Y. Marin, director of installation services, recently conducted town hall meetings at six sites to ascertain what programs are making a difference for Army Families and where improvements in services need to be made.

“While the number one issue is communication, the second biggest issue is training. But the toughest nut to crack is how do we deliver services to you,” Marin said.

She found highly valued programs include deployed respite child care, Military Family Life Consultants and Warrior Adventure Quest (WAQ).

“This is a wonderful partnership between FMWRC, the Medical Command and recreators. One installation is even including Families with Soldiers going through WAQ,” Marin said.

Echoing Heirakuji’s findings, town hall participants said they prefer one-to-one, confidential and personally targeted services. They particularly wanted to see improvements in the online registration process for children and youth services, which FMWRC is working on, she said.

“There’s a lot of amazing programs out there but you need a PhD to understand how to access them,” she told the audience.

Marin, along with Brig. Gen. Allison T. Aycock, IMCOM deputy commanding general, and Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, FMWRC commanding general, conducted a mini town hall meeting at the conclusion of the day’s Military Family Forum.

Again, the FRG leaders asked for more information on CYSS online registration, noting there are too many hoops to jump through in order to get respite care. They also noted that the FRGs have a wealth of information to give out, but how can Soldiers and Family members be enticed to attend the meetings?

“FRG meetings are a commander’s program. When I was in charge, it was mandatory for husbands to attend,” Aycock said to loud applause.

“You have best practices out there,” Brig. Gen. Jones emphasized to the FRG leaders, implying the answers to their questions were all around them.

With an introduction from Jones, a small group of survivors rose up. The Survivors Outreach Services (SOS) is holding their second summit following the AUSA conference.

“I’m a survivor,” Dana Lambertson said. “I consider myself an Army spouse. I was an FRG leader at the birth of my husband’s brigade at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and now all of us have been working on SOS. Soon, this program will be implemented, globally.”

“Life goes on after the fallen Soldier,” Kristy Stanley, Ft. Campbell, Ky., said.

Brig. Gen. Jones, who also has been working with SOS, rose up to speak.

“Our purpose is to deliver on the Army’s commitment to Families of the Fallen. We will stay with Family members for as long as they want. After a Soldier, whether Active, Reserve or Army National Guard, has fallen, the Family will be provided access to services and support at garrisons and communities closest to where they live, for as long as they want.

“We will never leave a fallen comrade or Family member behind,” Jones said.

Connect with us:
www.Facebook.com/FamilyMWR
www.Twitter.com/FamilyMWR
www.YouTube.com/FamilyMWR

ks 101206


Forums at annual AUSA exposition focused on the strength behind the Soldier— Army Families 091009
photo effects online
Image by familymwr
PHOTO CAPTION: Surrounded by friends and Families, (from left) Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston reaffirm the Army’s commitment to Soldiers and Families by signing the Army Family Covenant at the AUSA 2009 Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob McIlvaine, FMWRC Public Affairs)

www.armymwr.com

Forums at annual AUSA exposition focused on the strength behind the Soldier— Army Families 091009

By Rob McIlvaine
FMWRC Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, DC - While the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) highlighted the business of the Army in DC’s cavernous exhibition hall at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, tucked away in many of the upstairs meeting rooms were Family and Army leaders discussing the resilience and quality of life of those who give their all for the sake of freedom.

The 2009 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition is the largest defense-related exposition in the nation, according to Gordon R. Sullivan, president.

Sullivan, Army Chief of Staff from 1991 to 1995, presided over fundamental transformation following the liberation of Kuwait and led the Army into the information age. He assumed his current position with AUSA, headquartered in Arlington, Va., in 1998.

“The exposition is designed to deliver the Army’s message, highlight the capabilities of Army organization and present a wide range of commercial industry products and services,” Sullivan said.

According to Sylvia Kidd, director of AUSA Family Programs, Soldiers from many other countries came for more than just the exhibition, which included everything from armored fighting vehicles, artillery, body armor, explosives and helicopters to small arms, machine guns, medical supplies and rockets.

“Many militaries from around the world don’t have the programs needed to take care of their Soldiers and Families so they come here to learn best practices. In fact, we’re working with organizations in England this week helping them to develop a convention along the lines of AUSA,” Kidd said.

Lt. Col. Augusto Martinez-Segura and two of his friends with the Spanish Army spent the three days at the conference.

“We’re interested in just seeing how the United States Army does business,” Martinez-Segura said.

Throughout the smaller venues above the great exposition hall, the true measure of Army might was being measured, discussed and analyzed: the people who wear those uniforms and the Families who support them.

On each of the three days, an audience of more than 600 comprised of Soldiers, Family members and Army leaders including more than 500 Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders from installations around the country came to listen, question and voice their opinions about the programs and services designed to support them during this era of persistent conflict.

During Monday’s forum, “Army Families: the strength behind the Soldier,” Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., Army chief of staff, along with the 21st Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, re-signed the Army Family Covenant.

“For this nation to continue, we have to take care of the Soldiers and their Families,” McHugh said. “By re-signing this Army Family Covenant, I’m reaffirming that we will not fail to uphold our commitment to you who have made great sacrifices to take care of the Families at home while your Soldiers are overseas.”

Sheila Casey, wife of Gen. Casey, reminded the audience that America has officially entered its ninth year of persistent conflict, which has seen multiple deployments, many back-to-back, put a strain on Soldiers and Families.

“The whole force is stretched, our Families have a difficult time finding balance and the effects are cumulative. Twelve months at home isn’t long enough to recuperate. You need to take yourself from the bottom and put yourself back on top,” Sheila said to resounding applause. “This isn’t being selfish. The fact is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.”

In the past two years of traveling with her husband from post to post, the issues that were brought to her attention the most were: access to quality medical and behavioral health care, access to quality schools for Army children and improving the resources and opportunities for employment.

Before he invited feedback from the audience on the effectiveness of the Army’s Family programs, Gen. Casey cited changes the Army has made to support its Soldiers and Families.

With BRAC about halfway completed, he told the audience that billion has gone into installations in a five-year period, making a huge improvement in the quality of life across the Army.

He also said the Army was tasked to bring in 74,000 new Soldiers by 2012, but was able to meet that goal last summer.

“In 2004 we had 33 brigade combat teams. Today we have 44 active brigade combat teams and next year we’ll have one more,” Casey said.

In July, the Army requested another 22,000 Soldiers needed to replace injured or already deployed Soldiers. He said that amounted to nearly 100,000 new troops over the last two or three years.

This increase in the number of personnel has allowed the Army to move closer to its objective of lengthening the time at home between deployments for its active duty, Reserve and Guard troops.

“We’re off 15-month deployments. In fact, our last group is coming home this month,” Casey told the cheering audience. “By 2011, our active duty troops will be one year out and two years back; our Guard and Reserve will one year out and four years back – and we will continue to provide our country the forces we need to succeed.”

Referring to the possibility that more troops might be called for in the near future to serve in Afghanistan, Casey said the Army is better postured now than two years ago to accept an additional commitment of active forces.

Then Casey turned to Family services, part of the Army Family Covenant.

Two years ago, the Army doubled the amount of money to fund Family programs. According to Casey, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates directed that money for Family programs be moved into the base budget. This means when this era of persistent conflict ends, the money supporting these programs won’t go away.

Finally, he asked the audience to vote with a show of hands on its satisfaction with the Army’s effectiveness in five areas: standardizing Family programs and services across installations, increasing accessibility to quality health care, improving Soldier and Family housing, providing excellent schools, childcare and youth services, and expanding educational and employment opportunities for Family members.

Each category got lackluster reviews with the final one receiving the most positive reaction, but not by much.

Within this category, though, rousing cheers rose up for the new Post-9/11 GI Bill and its ability to transfer benefits to Family members.

“Well, our efforts appear to be a jagged line, but we’re moving up,” Casey said.

When asked for questions, the FRGs were not at a loss in their search for answers. Many wanted to know why each unit’s commanding officer isn’t required to take training when FRG leaders are required to attend training sessions.

“We go through two to three days of training but command comes in not really understanding the structure or knowing what to do,” Dusti Cummins, FRG leader at Ft. Lewis, Wash., said. Cummins, active for four years in her unit’s FRG, recently became its leader. She was accompanied by two other leaders from Ft. Lewis, Kerri Moye and Ellie Hite who agreed with her assessment.

Amanda Maxwell, active in her FRG unit at Ft. Hood, Texas, for four years, also recently became an FRG leader. The four women’s comments were echoed across the room by FRG leaders from Ft. Drum, N.Y., Ft. Bragg, N.C. and Ft. Worth, Texas.

“It is the commander’s job to build the FRG team. We need to get the training for officers you’re asking for,” Gen. Casey said.

Lynn S. Heirakuji, deputy assistant for personnel oversight, reported on the preliminary results of a large-scale survey that examined how well the Army provides programs and services to geographically dispersed personnel.

“The volume of people who traveled to this conference sends an important statement about your concerns. We’ve been challenged to reach out to Families who are not part of an installation,” Heirakuji said.

More than 5,000 survey respondents indicated that they did not find large gaps in the services offered by the Army for military Families, but that greater awareness of and access to programs is needed.

As the distance from installations increases, the difficulty of obtaining information also climbs for military Families, especially Guard and Reserve Families, who are often unsure of their eligibility for Army programs. The most dispersed, she said, are Army parents.

“This is all part of building resilience,” she said, “but our FRGs are making the effort.”

Although the Internet, through the Virtual Installation Project, brings the installation to the Family, important sites for military Families such as TRICARE and Army One Source were reported to be confusing and difficult to use.

“One-on-one contact is strongly desired so we can get detailed information about specific questions,” Heirakuji said.

Kathleen Y. Marin, director of installation services, recently conducted town hall meetings at six sites to ascertain what programs are making a difference for Army Families and where improvements in services need to be made.

“While the number one issue is communication, the second biggest issue is training. But the toughest nut to crack is how do we deliver services to you,” Marin said.

She found highly valued programs include deployed respite child care, Military Family Life Consultants and Warrior Adventure Quest (WAQ).

“This is a wonderful partnership between FMWRC, the Medical Command and recreators. One installation is even including Families with Soldiers going through WAQ,” Marin said.

Echoing Heirakuji’s findings, town hall participants said they prefer one-to-one, confidential and personally targeted services. They particularly wanted to see improvements in the online registration process for children and youth services, which FMWRC is working on, she said.

“There’s a lot of amazing programs out there but you need a PhD to understand how to access them,” she told the audience.

Marin, along with Brig. Gen. Allison T. Aycock, IMCOM deputy commanding general, and Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, FMWRC commanding general, conducted a mini town hall meeting at the conclusion of the day’s Military Family Forum.

Again, the FRG leaders asked for more information on CYSS online registration, noting there are too many hoops to jump through in order to get respite care. They also noted that the FRGs have a wealth of information to give out, but how can Soldiers and Family members be enticed to attend the meetings?

“FRG meetings are a commander’s program. When I was in charge, it was mandatory for husbands to attend,” Aycock said to loud applause.

“You have best practices out there,” Brig. Gen. Jones emphasized to the FRG leaders, implying the answers to their questions were all around them.

With an introduction from Jones, a small group of survivors rose up. The Survivors Outreach Services (SOS) is holding their second summit following the AUSA conference.

“I’m a survivor,” Dana Lambertson said. “I consider myself an Army spouse. I was an FRG leader at the birth of my husband’s brigade at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and now all of us have been working on SOS. Soon, this program will be implemented, globally.”

“Life goes on after the fallen Soldier,” Kristy Stanley, Ft. Campbell, Ky., said.

Brig. Gen. Jones, who also has been working with SOS, rose up to speak.

“Our purpose is to deliver on the Army’s commitment to Families of the Fallen. We will stay with Family members for as long as they want. After a Soldier, whether Active, Reserve or Army National Guard, has fallen, the Family will be provided access to services and support at garrisons and communities closest to where they live, for as long as they want.

“We will never leave a fallen comrade or Family member behind,” Jones said.

Connect with us:
www.Facebook.com/FamilyMWR
www.Twitter.com/FamilyMWR
www.YouTube.com/FamilyMWR

ks 101206