Tagged: member

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Ellison Wants Answers About White Supremacists in the Military

Rep. Keith Ellison[1] wants the Pentagon to disclose any information it has about white supremacists currently serving in the the military[2].

The Minnesota Democrat sent a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis last week asking about “steps currently being taken to screen recruits for extremist ties,” Military Times reported.

Ellison’s letter came after a ProPublica and “Frontline” report found that three active duty service members were associated with Atomawaffen, a white supremacist group that has been tied to five murders in the past year.

“The involvement of service members in white supremacist organizations or other hate groups is cause for significant concern, particularly given their combat and weapons training,” Ellison wrote in his letter[3].

Ellison also pointed to a Military Times survey that found that nearly 25 percent of respondents said they had seen “examples of white nationalism from their fellow service members.”

Similarly, the survey said that 42 percent of non-white troops had personally experienced white nationalism in the military.

Ellison’s letter requested that Mattis produce information on the number of reports of service members with extremist ties for the past five years.

“In addition, I seek information on the steps currently being taken to screen recruits for extremist ties,” he said.

The ProPublica and “Frontline” report highlighted that one member of the Marines was allegedly involved in the racial violence around white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

Since then, Mattis has praised the military’s “widely diverse force.”

Ellison requested that Mattis send the response by May 21.

Watch: Trump Thanks Kanye Again, Mocks Obama on North Korea

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone[4] or your Android[5].

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Keeping women in the military takes more than just opening up combat roles, committee says

As the military is turning more toward women to fill its ranks, a 67-year-old advisory board is lending a hand to the Defense Department on how to market to and attract women to serve in 2018 and beyond.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services released its annual report[1] earlier this month and a large chunk of the recommendations focus on how the military can keep women in the service and keep them from leaving in the middle of their careers.

“There is concern across all of the branches at mid-career retention for women versus men. All of the services in varying career fields, at varying points but still within that mid-range of a 20 year career, they are experiencing challenges with women leaving at higher rates,” said Janet Wolfenbarger, chairwoman of the committee during a March 19 event at the Association of the United States Army in Arlington, Va.

The committee is guiding DoD to possibly retaining more mid-career women with recommendations like making policy changes that make transitions of service members between components and even military services easier.

DoD already adopted one of the committee’s recommendations, which is to start exit surveys to assess why the attrition level for women is higher than men at certain career points.

“It turns out at the time the committee did this work that there wasn’t a concerted effort that got after those exit surveys universally across all those surveys. It turns out that as we were publishing this report we were informed there will be exit surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

Another issue affecting women mid-career is options for maternity leave.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced[2] an increase in maternity leave to 12 weeks and expanded paternity[3] leave to three weeks.

Wolfenbarger said the committee found there need to be some tweaks to that, specifically how it’s used. The committee recommended allowing flexible, noncontinuous parental leave by request.

“Although current maternity and parental leave policies are a strong step in the right direction, more can be done to tailor leave to families’ unique situations,” the report stated. The flexible option “is one potential way to support a service member after a child joins the member’s family, whether through birth or adoption. The committee believes allowing noncontinuous leave, when requested, could help service members better balance their unique family needs during critical junctures of their lives and, in turn, help support retention efforts.

The committee also suggested removing the stipulation that a couple needs to be married to receive full parental leave benefits.

While the military continues to do its best to retain women in mid-career, it also wants to help recruit new women to the force.

“We had briefings from all across the services on marketing efforts. All of them are doing relative to gaining women who are [eligible] now, who not only qualify but want to raise their hand and serve in the military. Our belief was after listening to some of those marketing approaches … there may have been missed opportunities there from looking at the things women were most interested in, in the [marketing] surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

The committee suggests tailoring some marketing to women’s specific interests in order to inspire them to join.

“Women were more likely than men to be motivated by travel, education, and helping others and their communities,” the survey stated. “Data such as these can help the military services optimally tailor marketing messages to encourage more women to consider the many benefits of military service. Although a marketing strategy focused on patriotism may have been successful at recruiting men in the past, current data indicate that strategy does not align with the motivations of prospective female military members, and the data also illustrate more effective ways to recruit women.”

The committee also suggests studying best practices of other countries for better recruitment of women.

References

  1. ^ annual report (dacowits.defense.gov)
  2. ^ announced (federalnewsradio.com)
  3. ^ expanded paternity (federalnewsradio.com)
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Military Consumers and Sentinel: A deeper dive

Last week, we gave you an overview of the latest Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book[1]. Today, let’s look a bit more closely at the data from military consumers. We got more than 113,000 reports from military consumers in 2017. Although not all of them gave details about their military status,more than 28,000 are servicemembers, their family members, and inactive Reserve or National Guard, and more than 78,000 are military retirees or veterans. Here are a few interesting take-aways.

Identity theft[2] and imposter scams[3] were among the top reports for both the general population and the military community. Imposter scammers pretend to be someone you trust, to convince you to send them money or personal information. There are many variations on the scheme. People may pretend to be from the government or from a business with technical support expertise. Others lie about being your online love or say there’s an emergency with your family member. These kinds of scams cost military consumers more money than any other type of scam, with $25 million reported lost. Military median losses were $699. For other consumers, the median loss was $500.

We’re not sure why, but military folks reported median losses much greater than civilians did for other frauds, too. For instance, the median loss from the general population for all types of fraud was $429, but for military consumers, it was $619. That’s more than 44% higher. On the other hand, military consumers also told us they lost money in just 15% of the frauds they reported, versus 21% in the general population. That tells us that military consumers are doing a great job reporting consumer fraud to the FTC, even if they didn’t lose money to it. More reports yield more data, tell a more detailed story, and help law enforcement go after unlawful practices.

References

  1. ^ Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book (www.ftc.gov)
  2. ^ Identity theft (www.militaryconsumer.gov)
  3. ^ imposter scams (www.militaryconsumer.gov)
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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality at gunnery training

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.

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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality …

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.

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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality …

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.

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5 Things You May Have Missed in the Homeland Security Reauthorization Bill

The Homeland Security Department must launch a program offering cash rewards for hackable computer vulnerabilities discovered by non-government researchers under a reauthorization bill a Senate committee advanced last week.

The program, known as a bug bounty, would be limited to the department’s public-facing apps, websites and web tools, according to an amendment[1] to the reauthorization bill[2] the Senate Homeland Security Committee forwarded March 7.

The amendment, which was adopted on a voice vote, was sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., who also sponsored a standalone version of the bug bounty bill that the committee passed[3] in October.

Bug bounties are increasingly prevalent among major tech firms, such as Google and Microsoft, but are less common in government. The Pentagon, Army and Air Force have all run pilot bug bounties in recent years, but the civilian government has been more wary of the programs.

The amendment provides $250,000 to carry out the bug bounty program and requires a report to Congress six months later about who participated in the program, what they found and how much Homeland Security paid out for vulnerabilities

The bug bounty provision was not included in a House version of the reauthorization bill, which passed[4] that chamber in December, though a standalone version[5] of the plan was introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Cyber R&D Back to S&T

A separate amendment[6] to the Senate reauthorization bill would return authority for Homeland Security’s cybersecurity research and development programs to the department’s science and technology division.

The Trump administration shifted[7] that responsibility in its most recent budget proposal to the department’s cyber operations agency.

The move followed complaints that the Science and Technology Directorate’s cyber research was not closely aligned enough with the department’s immediate cybersecurity concerns.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., specifies major focus areas for the department’s cyber research, including cyber defense technologies, advanced encryption tools and ways to monitor systems for insider threats.

CISA’s on a Roll

In general, the Senate version of the reauthorization bill, sponsored by Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and ranking member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wraps in more priorities, while the House version is more pared back.

A proposal to elevate and rename the department’s main cyber division, for example, was included in the Senate legislation but not in the House where it passed as a standalone bill.

Both the House and Senate versions of that provision would rename the division that’s currently called the National Protection and Programs Directorate, or NPPD, as the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA.

That agency would have a director who reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security and assistant directors for cybersecurity and infrastructure security.

The Senate bill mandates a report from CISA within six months about the most efficient and effective way for the new agency to consolidate its facilities, personnel and programs.

A separate report, due within three months, would focus on how the agency is filling its cyber workforce needs.

The bill also mandates a privacy officer at CISA who’s responsible, among other things, for “ensuring that the use of technologies by the agency sustain, and do not erode, privacy protections relating to the use, collection, and disclosure of personal information.”

If a compromise version of the reauthorization bills becomes law it will mark the first time Homeland Security’s work has been codified in statute since the department was formed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Let’s Form a Commission

The Senate version of the reauthorization bill also breaks with its House counterpart by appointing a congressional commission to explore ways to pare back the morass of overlapping congressional committees that Homeland Security agencies must report to.

That complicated oversight structure is largely a result of Homeland Security’s ad hoc composition out of existing divisions and offices moved from other federal agencies.  

Johnson championed[8] the idea of a congressional commission early in the reauthorizing process and the idea was largely supported by Republicans and Democrats on the committee.

As described in the Senate bill, the commission would include six members—three Republicans and three Democrats—who would provide recommendations for reforming the department’s congressional reporting lines within nine months.

The commission would be able to hire staff and consultants and hold hearings with funding provided by Homeland Security. That funding could not exceed $1 million, according to the bill.

Commission members would be appointed two each by the Senate majority and minority leaders and one each by the House majority and minority leaders. All recommendations would require a majority vote of commissioners before being included in the final report.

Cloud Security as a Service

The Senate bill also mandates a report within four months on how Homeland Security is helping other civilian agencies ensure the cybersecurity of their computer cloud-based systems.

That report must include a briefing on the department’s efforts to provide “security operations center as a service” to agencies that lack the resources or expertise to manage their own security operations centers, or SOCs. SOCs are essentially central command centers where an organization evaluates and responds to cyber threats.

A group of technology advisers to the White House urged Homeland Security to consider developing such services in a December report[9].

The report must also focus on how Homeland Security is helping agencies buy commercial SOC services and how it’s adapting its Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program—essentially a suite of cybersecurity services the department provides to other agencies—for the cloud era.

Other provisions in the Senate reauthorization bill would:

  • Order a report within three months on U.S. cooperative efforts with China to combat illegal opioids shipments, including through dark web drug markets.
  • Order a report within four months on results, obstacles and future plans for cybersecurity grant funds provided by the department.
  • Establish a cyber workforce exchange[10] between Homeland Security and the private sector.
  • Require better communication between department divisions about contractors that have been barred or suspended from receiving federal contracts.
  • Urge the department to share as much unclassified cyber threat information as possible with state, local and tribal governments.
  • Require a report within six months on possible dangers of blockchain technology, including the possibility of individuals and nations using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund terrorist groups.  
  • Offer cash rewards to Homeland Security employees who report waste, fraud and abuse to government watchdogs.
  • Order a report from the department’s chief human capital officer on possible improvements to a Homeland Security career rotation program that’s meant to help employees broaden their experience and expertise.

References

  1. ^ amendment (www.nextgov.com)
  2. ^ reauthorization bill (www.nextgov.com)
  3. ^ passed (www.hassan.senate.gov)
  4. ^ passed (www.nextgov.com)
  5. ^ version (www.congress.gov)
  6. ^ amendment (www.nextgov.com)
  7. ^ shifted (www.nextgov.com)
  8. ^ championed (www.nextgov.com)
  9. ^ December report (itmodernization.cio.gov)
  10. ^ cyber workforce exchange (www.harris.senate.gov)
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Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

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Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

0

Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.