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Showing posts from November, 2013

Sunset at Muir Field, Fort Indiantown Gap

More Post-Flight Photos from Drill Weekend

Pre-Flight and Post-Flight Maintenance on a Blackhawk and an Apache

Back at Drill at 28th Combat Aviation--So Happy to be Back!

Went to drill this weekend just a week and a half after leaving Fort Meade.  So nice to be back at my unit!  I did not get up until 5:50 a.m. for drill!  Almost Noon compared to the student company at Fort Meade.

I missed the morning sling load mission and today's mission got cancelled for fog.  But I still got some good shots of the crews returning on Saturday and doing some drills on the airstrip on Sunday.

Our Class was Hit by a Cruz Missile

We learned to be Public Affairs specialists.Military public affairs is, by nature, crisis public affairs.The best practice is to be ready for every contingency.So when a real crisis befell DINFOS, why did the center of public affairs not have a plan that put students first? Our instructor said before the shutdown that having the same journalism instructor grade their students throughout the course was a priority at DINFOS.Clearly not enough of a priority to keep the civilian journalism instructors here.
Features is considered the most difficult part of the BPASC course.Anyone paying attention to the news knew weeks in advance that the Republicans were going to shut the government down.So why were the journalism instructors furloughed?
In just one week we lost four students.One of them was an otherwise strong student, a woman named student captain in the detachment, who got contradictory coaching from two new instructors and failed. If students were really a priority, how could there …

My Dad and I, by the Numbers on Veterans Day

If my father were alive on this Veterans Day in 2013 he would be 107 years old.  In a strange coincidence of numbers my father left the Army at age 54 after 19 years of service. He did not choose to leave but was forced out without a retirement by the age in grade law passed by the U.S. Congress.

George Gussman enlisted in 1939 for two years. He was 34 years old and just barely got in under the age limit for enlistment which is 34 years and 364 days. On your 35th birthday you are too old to join the Army. After two years of service as an enlisted man, he was going to get out in December 1941. But in December 1941 all discharges were put on hold and Dad stayed in the Army not only for the duration of World War 2, but a total of 19 years.

Although he had only an eighth grade education he had worked in warehouses and the Army needed officers so dad went to Officer Candidate School.   He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1942. Dad's first command was a black company at Camp Shen…

Welcome to DINFOS

A new student beginning the public affairs course here will get two immediate messages. We do not trust you.Any problems you have are your fault.
Before we had our first class, six members of the chain of command here gave us separate briefings that said, on the one hand, you are beginning one of the more difficult academic courses in the military so you better pay attention and try your best.
But on the other hand, we at DINFOS have no responsibility for the actions and policies of the detachment, so you must do everything the detachment requires, everything that we require and it will be your fault if the school and the detachment contradict each other. 
Translation:Student Problems are Not My Job.
The Army detachment decided arbitrarily earlier this year to require all students, even combat veterans with fitness awards, to wake up at 4 a.m. and do fitness training five days a week with students out of basic training.
For the entire course, the students standing up at their desks by…

Army Mentorship Training at Defense Information School

Yet another post about Army life at DINFOS.

Each Thursday at DINFOS the Army received mentorship training.This program adds a full hour of dull PowerPoint presentations to a day that started at 0400.Like every other program here, we are supposed to be awake and attentive.Yet nearly all the informationin mentorship is for active duty Army.
A colonel who spoke to us said 35 minutes intoa presentation that ran ten minutes overtime that guard and reserve should go to sleep, this info is for active Army.Yet all MOS-Ts are required to be there to listen to information that does not apply to them when they could be studying, eating or resting.
In fairness, the mentorship program would not be as painfully bad as it is if it were not combined with the 0400 PT Program.But it is.Mentorship is the 13th hour in a day that is already too long.
Whoever dreamed up this program probably thought it was a good thing.  But that is how every failed product launch happens in the business world.  Someone i…

Army Fitness Training at DINFOS--Making Sure the Best Soldiers are Less Fit

We are told by the school upon arriving that DINFOS is one of the toughest academic schools in the military.Unlike most military schools it has homework and it demands creativity. It is clear from my conversations with former students, that PT every day for returning students is not required, it is a decision by the student company leadership.
We come to school with PT records, and a soldier should be able to take a diagnostic AFPT any time.There is no reason to take soldiers who regularly score in PT Award range and put them on a 5-day-per-week program designed to get soldiers in good enough shape to simply pass the APFT.
Getting up at 0400 is an arbitrary and miserable hardship that should be reserved for those who are marginal or failing the APFT.The best soldiers are athletes.They train like athletes.Putting an athlete on a 5-day remedial program is like putting a New York Times editor through remedial English classes.
Athletes also train seven days a week, even if one of the day…