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Army University Press – Large Scale Combat Operations

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

This new compendium is the first volume in the Art of Tactics series, sponsored by the Department of Army Tactics, US Army Command and General Staff College. This collection examines various aspects of division-level operations, to include Fires, Wet Gap Crossings, and Consolidating Gains, as part of the Army’s effort to refocus the force on large-scale combat against near peer and peer adversaries.

Download your copy here.

Infantry Officer Achieves Perfect Score, “True Blue” Status In EIB Competition

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — “I was so nervous in the morning,” said 2nd Lt. Elena Chavez, shaking her head. “You train for an entire month, so you don’t want to mess it up in the final hours.”

Chavez, an infantry officer from Kansas City, Missouri, assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, had spent the last four weeks training and testing for her Expert Infantryman Badge.

Now, as she approached the morning’s final two events for 2-2’s EIB testing, it wasn’t just her badge on the line – it was also her perfect score and coveted status as “True Blue.”

“It really had to be right on – everything had to be perfect, the stars had to align,” Chavez said. “It’s the small things that get people on the lanes.”

During the three weeks of train-up, her squad was one of the first out on the lanes and last to leave, drilling through the rain and cold to ensure they had each task down.

It was through working as a squad that Chavez had come so far, a fact she kept in mind going into the final 12-mile road march and weapons disassembly and functions check.

“We’re Buffaloes – we’re a herd and we keep each other accountable,” she said. “I got out there and saw my guys and it was just like any other day when we were training. I lost all my nerves, gained my composure, and it was just another day.”

All those days of training certainly paid off, as Chavez soared through the morning’s final events, earning her EIB and an Army Commendation Medal for clearing all 34 EIB events with a perfect score and achieving “True Blue” status.

Of the 151 infantry Soldiers earning their EIB, only 59 were designated as a “True Blue.” Chavez was one of two female infantry Soldiers to earn the coveted status, along with 1-17 Inf. Reg.’s 2nd Lt. Natalie Bulick-Sullivan.

Sgt. Tracker Sines, Chavez’s squad leader, knew that getting out on the lanes and drilling together would prove instrumental for his young team’s success during testing week.

“I wanted them to train as much as possible, but not burn themselves out,” Sines said. “It’s as simple as going back, going over it again and again. Having your peers watch you, having (your squad leader) watch you, training each other, walking somebody else through the task and reinforcing what you know – that’s a big thing.”

Sines felt confident that Chavez was “True Blue” material after watching her in the weeks leading up to testing.

“She doesn’t waste her time out here,” he said. “She has her own system of talking herself through it. Whatever she needs to do to help learn it.”

2nd Lt. Benjamin Hinkle, Chavez’s squad mate who also earned his EIB, agreed.

“She’s definitely been the workhorse of the group,” Hinkle said. “She arrived straight after NTC, was assigned a platoon, and then came straight here for her EIB.”

Chavez said now that the EIB is done, she looks forward to getting back to her platoon and getting to know them better.

“I’ve learned so much by training and participating, and can take it all back to my Soldiers,” she said.

It might be a bit before she gets the chance, though.

“I’ll be leaving on Wednesday for Yakima Training Center,” she said, shaking her head and laughing. “I’m really going to try to enjoy this weekend.”

By Spc. John Weaver

First US Navy Warrant Officer 1 Grads in Decades Hailed at LDO/CWO Academy

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 1, 2019) (NNS) — The first eight Navy warrant officer 1 (WO1) Sailors in decades graduated from the Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO) Academy at Officer Training Command, Newport (OTCN), Nov. 1.

The new warrant officers are Benjamin Nichols, Jonathon Wynn, Brent Gray, Ryan Snyder, Devan Sorenson, Nicholas Drenning, Kevin Koller, and Brian Ruzin.

“I’m enthusiastic for this new program because we can pave the way for the future of the Navy’s cyberwarfare efforts,” said Warrant Officer Devan T. Sorenson, from Bozeman, Montana. “The unique world of this career field is modeled like a meritocracy where it is a collaborative environment to be effective. The evolution of technology outpaces the training so it is important to stay current.”

“Our expertise comes from the enlisted ranks and we can better assist officers to make those necessary decisions through our experience,” said Warrant Officer Ryan C. Snyder, from Hollis, New Hampshire. “It is essential to be innovative and always strive to be the subject matter experts in this fast-paced field of cyberwarfare.”

The LDO/CWO Academy is a four-week course designed to prepare these prior enlisted Sailors for their new roles in the wardroom per the Navy’s Officer Professional Core Competencies. The class officers at the schoolhouse develop these newly commissioned officers morally, mentally, and physically, and imbue them with the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment in order to prepare them for the Fleet. Additionally, the academy will prepare these officers to become effective leaders by developing fundamental skills in leadership, written and oral communication, career management and administration.

“The new WO1 program opens up more advancement and designator opportunities,” said Cmdr. Zeverick L. Butts, the Director of the LDO/CWO Academy. “These new students bring unique skillsets and perspectives, increasing the dynamic interaction in the classroom for problem solving.”

The eight WO1s along with the 45 LDOs and CWOs of class 20010 graduated during a ceremony on Nov. 1, 2019. Graduates of this academy, nicknamed “Mustang University,” will join the LDO/CWO community to support the war-fighting capability and readiness of Naval Forces through leadership, technical proficiency and experience.

NAVADMIN 140/18 announced the implementation of the WO1 pay grade (W-1) for cyber warrant officers, and solicited applications for the FY-19 and FY-20 WO1 Cyber Warrant Selection Boards, the first since 1975. The rank was reinstated through the Cyber Warrant Officer In-Service Procurement Selection Board as the result of increasing threat of cyberwarfare on the modern battlefield. To be eligible, E5 and above applicants must be in the Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN) rating, possess at least one of the following Interactive On-Net (ION) Operator naval enlisted classifications (NEC): H13A, H14A, H15A, or H16A, and meet time-in-service requirements.

Officers appointed as cyber WO1 incur a six-year service obligation from the date of appointment, shall serve a minimum time in grade of 3 years and must complete a minimum of 12 years of time in service prior to promotion and commissioning to Chief Warrant Officer 2.

The distinctive insignia worn on the WO1 cover of two cross-fouled anchors makes them easily recognizable in place of the traditional officer badge worn by other Naval Officers.

Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island, OTCN oversees Officer Candidate School, Officer Development School and Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer Academy.

Get more information about the Navy from US Navy facebook or twitter.

For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes

Story by Lt Cdr Frederick Martin, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

Photo by Darwin Lam

Hawaii-based Sailors Test Changes During Physical Fitness Assessment Study

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) — Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again: physical fitness assessment season. As we’re surrounded by the unwavering dedication of command fitness leaders and the Sailors within each command, one can’t help but get in to the fitness spirit. On May 29, the former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and announced the addition of the 2-kilometer row cardio option and forearm plank that will replace the curl-up. On Oct. 7, Sailors gathered in the fitness center on base to commence the testing of the new workout metrics.

The study consisted of three different days of exercise. Day one focused on introducing Sailors to the 2-kilometer row, practicing the correct rowing technique. On day two, the Sailors performed pushups, the forearm plank and the 12-minute bike assessment. Day three focused on pushups, the forearm plank and the second trial of the 2-kilometer row. A big focus during this study was how Sailors perform the new plank as opposed to the curl-ups.

“The plank allows you to build that core strength,” said Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Laird, the work sponsor of the study from the 21st Century Sailor office. “It’s really a better test and better modality to assess that core strength than the curl-up is. It works on giving you good posture and it also has less chance of aggravating low back injuries which you can see with the curl-up.”

Laird also said that adopting a new form of cardio within the PFA allows Sailors an alternative to the standard 1.5-mile run. The rower uses approximately 70 percent of the body’s musculature so it provides a good cardiovascular workout that is low impact.

Sailors representing multiple commands volunteered to be the test subjects for this study. A seamless transition into adopting these two modalities for the PFA in the year 2020 is the end goal according to Laird.

Mr. Jay Heaney, a research physiologist from the Naval Health Research Center and the principle investigator for the study, explained the process of gathering the information from the Sailors’ performance and how it will be applied to the new PFA.

“We try to get as many people as we can within the age groups by gender,” said Heaney. “Then we look for what the norms are; what the high, medium and low scores are. From that, we will develop what the scoring metrics are for the different categories of the PFA.”

Heaney said that the Navy is trying to put a bigger emphasis on physical fitness as ship-based Sailors are required to climb ladder ways and do a lot of heavy lifting throughout their workday.

“I volunteered because I wanted to see what the new PFA would look like,” said Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 3rd Class Amanda Zwiebel. “Not only to prepare myself but to prepare my peers and my command.”

According to Heaney, at the end of the day, it is important that our service members have complete physical readiness. The addition of two new workouts to the PFA helps the U.S. Navy move in the right direction.

 

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aja Bleu Jackson, NPASE West det. Hawaii Public Affairs

US Air Force Announces Criteria for New Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal

Monday, October 28th, 2019

US Air Force Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal

WASHINGTON (AFNS) —
Air Force officials announced nomination criteria for the new Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal following the official establishment of the decoration May 22.

The new medal, established by then-Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, is part of a continuing effort to recognize U.S. Air Force military members in a non-deployed status who directly participated in a Department of Defense combat operation from a remote location.

“Our remote operations community makes vital contributions to our national security and the security of our allies,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “These Airmen play a crucial role in every campaign we undertake, and this medal is for them.”

The RCECM will be awarded to Airmen serving in remotely piloted aircraft, cyber, space and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance career fields, who create direct combat effects from remote locations and lead to strategic outcomes or the delivery of lethal force. In some circumstances, Airmen from other career fields may be considered for the RCECM, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Service members may be awarded the RCECM for actions completed on or after Sept. 11, 2001, while also serving under the following conditions:
1) Was assigned or attached to a unit directly in support of a DoD combat operation as approved by the chief of staff of the Air Force (listed below)
2) Was serving in a remotely piloted aircraft; cyber; space or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance career field
3) Personally provided hands-on employment of a weapon system that has direct and immediate impact on combat operations
4) Was not physically exposed to hostile actions or at risk of exposure to hostile action

Qualifying DoD combat operations:
• Enduring Freedom, Sept. 11, 2001 – to be determined
• Iraqi Freedom, March 29, 2003 – Aug. 31, 2010
• New Dawn, Sept. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2011
• Nomad Shadow, Nov. 5, 2007 – TBD
• Freedom’s Sentinel, Jan. 1, 2015 – TBD
• Inherent Resolve, June 15, 2014 – TBD
• Odyssey Lightning, Aug. 1, 2016 – Dec. 19, 2016
• Pacific Eagle – Philippines, Oct. 5, 2017 – TBD

Airmen who have received a DoD or Air Force campaign or expeditionary medal or ribbon for the same period of service are not eligible to receive the RCECM.

For more information and full eligibility criteria or submission procedures, visit myPers at mypers.af.mil and enter “RCECM” in the search window. A fact sheet and graphic is also available on the Air Force’s Personnel Center website.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

TacJobs – Navy Information Warfare

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

First Soldiers Awarded Expert Soldier Badge

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

WASHINGTON — Eleven top-performing Soldiers from around the Army came together Tuesday to receive the Army’s first-ever Expert Soldier Badges.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville made the presentation during the Eisenhower Luncheon at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.

“I’m really proud of what these Soldiers have accomplished,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston said. “At the time, the [ESB] was a new challenge not only for them but for the Army. These 11 individuals can now proudly wear a badge that firmly recognizes them as experts in their profession, something all Soldiers should strive to be.”

Announced on the Army’s 244th birthday in June, the ESB is a proficiency badge designed to recognize a Soldier’s lethality outside of the infantry, by measuring their “mastery of physical fitness, marksmanship, and other critical Soldering skills necessary for combat readiness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Moore, the badge’s noncommissioned officer in charge at the Army Center for Initial Military Training.

“[The ESB] recognizes the next generation of competent, committed leaders who thrive in chaos, adapt, and win in a complex world,” said Master Sgt. Norbert Neumeyer, a U.S. Forces Command master gunner who oversaw the first ESB test.

In April 2017, 56 Soldiers were selected from FORSCOM units across the Army during the pilot phase of testing. Of those who tested, 12 passed, making the pass-fail rate on par with the Expert Infantryman Badge and Expert Field Medical Badge.

Spc. Mahrubius Ledford, released from active duty March 2019 , was unable to attend Tuesday’s ceremony.

For Staff Sgt. Tyler Lewis, a field artillery firefinder radar operator out of Fort Bliss, Texas, earning the ESB “represents all aspects of being a Soldier,” he said.

“Being a Soldier means being a tactical and technical expert from the level of basic Soldiering skills to the advanced levels of your [military occupational specialty],” he said. “A Soldier learns to be adaptable, disciplined, and master and steward of his or her profession in every situation.”

SHARPEN YOUR SOLDIERING SKILLS

For Sgt. Michael Ostrander, armament shop noncommissioned officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, he said he had to touch up his land navigation skills in order to earn his ESB.

The small arms repairmen said he relied on the Soldering skills he learned during basic combat training and throughout his military career during the test. He also suggested Soldiers planning to test for the badge “brush up on things they’re rusty on.”

For many Soldiers, the ESB tasks may seem like “common ones that have been taught before,” Lewis said. But, “[Soldiers] need to ensure that their knowledge is accurate to each standard tested. Practicing each skill until it becomes second nature is the key to success.”

Staff Sgt. Mike Mata, joint fire support specialist at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, echoed his fellow recipients when he credited “hands-on training and mock repetitions” to earning the ESB.

“It’s important to remember that testing is intended to be rigorous, mission-focused, and conducted under realistic conditions,” Neumeyer said.

The new skill badge is an equivalent of the EIB and the EFMB. It’s nearly a spitting image of the Combat Action Badge, minus the wreath. The badge displays the same M9 bayonet knife and M67 frag grenade inlaid against a solid, gray rectangular bar.

The test includes various commander-selected tasks essential to their respective units, like how to respond to an improvised explosive device attack, forging fighting positions, finding Soldiers in a tactical environment, and how to mark chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-contaminated areas. Other tasks include a day and night land navigation test, a 12-mile ruck march, and a series of individual assessments.

The test also contains a variety of events, sharing roughly 80% of the tasks in the EIB and EFMB, and takes five days for Soldiers to complete. Standards for the test will not be adjusted based on age, gender, or any other criteria.

“The [ESB] will increase overall readiness and lethality, and the first recipients are among the top-qualified Soldiers in the Army,” Moore said.

To qualify, Soldiers must first pass the new Army Combat Fitness Test, slated to be the official fitness test for the Army by October 2020. Soldiers must also qualify as expert on the M16 or M4 and be recommended by their chain of command.

“The ESB gives units a baseline and ability to measure their Soldiers’ physical fitness,” Neumeyer said. “It also ensures Soldiers perform to standard all the critical tasks they’re supposed to have knowledge of, and measures their abilities to an expert level.”

Grinston said today’s awards are only the beginning for the Expert Soldier Badge, adding it will increase readiness and Soldier lethality across the force.

“We have ESB testing that will be underway later this month at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and next month at Fort Eustis,” Grinston said. “I look forward to seeing the results. This is a truly challenging badge to earn with training along the way that will help better prepare our Soldiers for combat.”

The first-ever recipients of the ESB include:

Staff Sgt. Joseph Alcorn, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Staff Sgt. Freeman Harris, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Harvey, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Staff Sgt. Thomas Jacobsen, U.S. Army Recruiting Office, Gretna, Louisiana

Staff Sgt. Tyler Lewis, Fort Bliss, Texas

Staff Sgt. Anthony Lodiong, Fort Bliss, Texas

Staff Sgt. Julio Macias, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Staff Sgt. Mike Mata, Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Staff Sgt. Evan Neilson, Fort Jackson, South Carolina

Sgt. Michael Ostrander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Staff Sgt. Bradley Sherman, Fort Benning, Georgia

Spc. Mahrubius Ledford, released from active duty March 2019

By Thomas Brading, Army News Service

1st Special Forces Group Soldier Receives Army Expert Soldier Badge

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — To earn any coveted badge in the U.S. Army, be it the Expert Infantryman’s Badge (EIB) or Expert Field Medic Badge (EFMB), is to be among America’s most proficient Soldiers.

Sgt. Michael Ostrander, a small arms and towed artillery repairer assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and native of Casnovia, Michigan, is one of the first Soldiers in the Army to earn the new Expert Soldier Badge (ESB).

“To hear that the ESB was actually going to be a thing, I was surprised,” Ostrander said. “Knowing I was one of the first Soldiers to earn it, I was excited to be a part of a great thing and honored to bring this great organization the credit it deserves,” he added.

Ostrander is one of the first 11 Soldiers to be awarded the ESB during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting, October 15, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The standards set to earn the Army’s new Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) are as challenging as the requirements to earn an EIB or EFMB.

Command Sgt. Maj. Edward W. Mitchell, senior enlisted leader at the Center for Initial Military Training, says like the EIB and EFMB, testing for the ESB consists of an Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), day and night land navigation, weapons, medical and more than 30 other individual tasks.

“We wanted every Soldier to make sure they understand that they are experts in their field,” Mitchell said. “Achieving the new badge … requires a much higher standard, just like its cousins, which are the EIB and the EFMB” Mitchell added.

Prior to the start of testing, participants underwent a week of intense training to prepare for the challenges they would face during the ESB qualification.

“There was a week of training before the week testing and it was pretty intense and there was also a big book of study material to go along with it,” Ostrander noted. “I learned a lot of medical stuff that I didn’t know before,” he added.

As with any competition, participants have one or more favorite parts.

“My favorite part of this was learning and solidifying the basic Soldier skills that I have forgotten or just never learned,” Ostrander said. “I learned that I’m a lot more capable than I thought.”

Since the ESB can be earned by any Soldier outside of the infantry, medical and special operations career fields, Ostrander suggests that Soldiers “brush up on things they’re rusty on” to be successful during testing.

-USASOC-

By SGT Larry Barnhill, USASOC Public Affairs