Thursday, May 31, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Developing mental toughness

Commentary by Lt. Col.
Jeffrey J. Freeland

22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – The Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force has invested millions of dollars and manpower hours into preparing warriors for the stress and mental fatigue of deployment.

The Air Force uses a program called Landing Gear to help Airmen understand and cope with the mental and physical strains of stress in combat situations. These are preventative efforts designed to prevent long term mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. However, it doesn’t take a war to be exposed to high stress and traumatic situations. Everyday life in the Air Force can be a recurrent source of stress. Traumatic events like motor vehicle accidents, major injury or illness, and loss of a loved one are much more common in the lives of Airman then combat.

As many as 4.7 percent of warriors returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom have reported one or more PTSD symptom and 1 percent are later diagnosed with PTSD. The national prevalence of PTSD is 8 percent – among trauma victims it can be as high as 20 to 30 percent. As Airmen, we can use many of the same preventative mental techniques used for training modern warriors to deal with the high paced stress of combat to deal with every day stress and trauma of life and develop a long term “mental toughness.”

Mental toughness is a process of dealing with stress that helps minimize its impact in our lives and prevent emotional events from progressing to physical disease. Those with mental toughness recognize that stress will cause physical and mental symptoms, but these symptoms are recognized as a normal part of the stress response and healthy coping mechanisms are deployed to minimize their long term impact. Mental toughness does not mean we don’t cry, feel sad, anxious, or inadequate; it does mean that we learn to cope with these feelings and move on. All Airmen must be able to recognize the signs of stress and know when to seek help.

The first step to achieve mental toughness is good general health and nutrition. Dealing with stress is exponentially more difficult if we are not physically fit, achieving adequate sleep or maintaining a healthy diet. When we regularly stress our bodies physically during exercise, we are better able to deal with unexpected physical and emotional trauma. Sleep deprivation significantly lowers our mental and emotional defenses against stress.

The second step to build mental toughness is pre-exposure preparation. Adversity is part of life; we know stressful events are going to happen. Running mental exercises on how we would respond to potential life changing disasters helps prepare our minds to deal with adversity.

How would you respond if you were in a motor vehicle accident or natural disaster?

How will you deal with the death of a love one?

Do you have a plan to deal with a prolonged illness or disability?

How will I deal with any unforeseen setback or rebuke in my professional career?

What would I do if I lost my job? How would I cope emotionally, physically, spiritually?

These types of mental exercises are not pleasant, but give us a preview of the emotional and physical responses we may need to endure in a crisis and allow us to prepare to meet these challenges before crisis develops. Pre-exposure preparation will not prevent stress and emotional pain, but it will help us better adapt and cope with situations with agility and less long term impact.

Third, avoid falling into the trap of “victim mentality.” Always blaming others for your misfortune is a poor coping mechanism. Feelings of victimhood lead you to ignore areas where you have control or responsibility. Victim mentality focuses on self pity and not solutions. Be willing to accept responsibility. Focus on what you can control. Avoid feelings that suggest that someone else is to blame. Taking responsibility for your life builds self confidence, self reliance, and mental toughness.

Fourth, know the typical reactions to stress and emotional trauma. When people are exposed to high stress they often exhibit symptoms that are normal and helpful in dealing with crisis, but if these symptoms persist or are not addressed, they can progress into prolonged mental and physical manifestations. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. Normal responses to stress include anxiety, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, sweating, hyper-alertness, mild nausea, light headedness. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus - preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand. If stress coping mechanisms are poor these symptoms can progress into chronic irritability, digestive problems, poor concentration, sleep disorders, chest pain, eating disorders, hypertension, depression and PTSD. Stress can also make it difficult for us to deal with pain issues.

Poor stress coping mechanisms include procrastination, over eating, smoking, blaming others, withdrawal, anger and nail biting. Good coping mechanisms include learning to set limitsand say “no” when appropriate, channeling energy toward hobbies or exercise, developing relaxation techniques, helping others and volunteering, calling a friend, and going for a walk.

Fifth, being mentally tough does not mean you do not seek help, but rather that you have the self confidence to ask for help when needed. There are several on-base agencies which can provide help:

 Mental Health Clinic

 Stress reduction classes


 Co-workers, wingmen

 Airmen and Family Readiness


 Commanders, first sergeants

 Legal, Finance, Security Forces services

Things that influence your stress tolerance level:

Your support network – A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against life’s stressors. On the flip side, the more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.

Your sense of control – If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, it’s easier to take stress in stride. People who are vulnerable to stress tend to feel like things are out of their control.

Your attitude and outlook – Stress-hardy people have an optimistic attitude. They tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, accept that change is a part of life, and believe in a higher power or purpose.

Your ability to deal with your emotions - You’re extremely vulnerable to stress if you don’t know how to calm and soothe yourself when you’re feeling sad, angry, or afraid. The ability to bring your emotions into balance helps you bounce back from adversity.

Your knowledge and preparation - The more you know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last and what to expect, the easier it is to cope. For example, if you go into surgery with a realistic picture of what to expect post-op, a painful recovery will be less traumatic than if you were expecting to bounce back immediately.

Learn to develop your mental toughness. Combat is not the only source of stress in an Airman’s career. Developing a comprehensive approach is your best defense. Am I in control or is stress controlling me? Know the resources that can help you deal with stress and have the courage to use them.

TOP STORY>>One to 15: Airman Parton’s story

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“I was at a friend’s house, working on his car, (he’s deployed right now). His wife was having some problems, so I said I’ll come over and help her work on it. She always offers me money, but I say no, and tell her to just buy me beers, (It’s a maintenance thing. That’s kind of what you do).”

“She had to leave to run errands, so I was there alone. Unfortunately, one beer turned into 15… in about four hours. I hadn’t eaten anything. I had an empty stomach. It came time for me to leave, and I thought it was okay for me to drive.”

Senior Airman Matthew Parton, the 19th Logistic Readiness Squadron technical order distribution officer, drove himself back to the base, passed the security forces gate, pulled up to his home and made it inside his house without accident or injury.

One hour later, a passed out Parton was awakened by his wife, informing him that security forces was at the door wanting to speak to him. A concerned neighbor had observed his arrival home, contacted the Security Forces Squadron so they could check and make sure he was okay.

“Unfortunately when you’re that drunk,” Parton said, “you’re really honest.”

A member of the SFS asked Parton if he drove drunk, and he answered with an honest yes.

Parton was offered an Article 15, which he accepted. His case therefore didn’t go to court martial. He was found guilty by his commander of violating Article 111. He said, “An Article 111 is reckless control of a vehicle while drunk or under any other substance. It’s pretty much a DUI without a court martial.”

Parton, who’s been in the Air Force for almost 10 years, was given a reduction of rank from staff sergeant to senior airman, suspended forfeiture of half his pay per month for two months, and a reprimand. As a side effect of his Article 15 for driving under the influence, he has been ordered not to drive on base for a year.

“At first, the consequences had a negative effect on me,” said Parton. “I had to go through ADAPT, and ADAPT thought it was best for me to go to Bridgeway, which is a substance abuse rehabilitation program in North Little Rock. I go through IOP, which is intensive outpatient. I meet three times a week for about three hours. It’s more like a group. It’s similar to an AA, or something like it. I was still in that self-righteous mode, ‘I don’t have a problem. This is ridiculous,’ but the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized how much of a problem I really had.”

“I was not the ‘dirt bag’ Airman,” Parton said. “I was going places. I had a really good chance at making technical sergeant this year. Because of my refusal to admit I had a problem, I paid for it.”

Parton said he had to humble himself and take responsibility for what he did.

“I got humbled,” he said. “The biggest thing I want people to take from this is an old saying which states, ‘pride comes before a fall.’ That kind of got hammered into my brain.”

After the negative viewpoint of Parton’s consequences faded, he actually saw himself as a better person for them.

“Getting treatment has done a lot of good for me,” said Parton. “Not just in the realm of drinking, but you realize that when you have a problem, there’s 100 other things pushing that problem. When you start to get to the root of that, you begin to feel better. Now I know I don’t have to drink to feel better or to be social.”

For other Airmen who have had a bad moment of judgment and feel like there’s no way up, Parton expresses that anyone can recover from a bad mistake.

“You can get up,” he said, “and you can dust yourself off. You can either choose to be ‘poor me, the victim,’ or you can take the responsibility from it, and learn from it. And move on with your life. I look at the senior airman stripe now… I used to look at it with contempt, and now I look at it as a scar. Every scar I’ve gotten in my entire life, I’ve learned something. This is no different. Did it set me back? Sure. But, I can also push forward. I’m not at the end of my rope. I’ve still got a long way to go. It’s a setback, but it’s not a hindrance.”

When moving on, Parton says examine one’s self, and remember the term, “incomprehensible demoralization,” which means whenever a person is indulging in their drug of choice, all morals go out the window.

“First, look at yourself,” he said. “If someone comes up and asks you if you’re okay to drive, then there’s probably already a problem. If you would’ve asked on the first beer, ‘hey Mat, would you drink and drive,’ I would’ve said no and meant it. By the 15th, I had no morals left.”

Parton said there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. “Everybody in the world has a problem with something. I have gotten more respect for being honest with my problem and treating it than I ever got from not saying anything to anybody. There are so many sources for help. Don’t be too proud.”

Parton will soon be spreading that message at Airman Leadership School and First Term Airman Center. He has already briefed for the LRS.

Parton, who’s been in treatment for almost two months now, said that everyone likes to think that they can’t become “that guy,” just because they’re a good Airman. “My leadership was shocked when they heard that I was the one with the problem. They didn’t believe it. Don’t think that just because you’re not the Airman who always gets in trouble, that you can’t be caught in a bad situation.”

In the May 18 issue of the Combat Airlifter, there was an article entitled, 30 minutes of spice: Airman Montoya’s story. That story was about an Airman who made one mistake that changed his Air Force career. Parton was inspired by that story to tell his own, and wants, if only one person, to have the same effect from his story that that story had on him.

“If I can get one person to pick up the paper,” he said, “read this story, see similarities with their own problem and say, ‘man, I need some help,’ I would be delighted. It doesn’t have to go down the same road as mine did.”

Parton offers his ears to anyone who needs to talk to someone.

“Don’t let your addiction define you,” he said. “You may have a problem with alcohol, but that’s not who you are. I go at my job now with a new vigor that I never had before. I used to dread coming to work, and now I come asking, ‘what can I do’. Even with my family, I’ve got more energy for them now. I work out more, and I enjoy it. I’ve found healthier ways to enjoy myself. Before, I had blinders on. Life is better. I am much better now without a beer in my hand than I ever was. And that’s the truth.”

Parton said he is going to continue on doing what he was doing before his Article 111. He is working on his bachelor’s degree, and in a year he will be done. He wants to pursue his graduate course work, and he said he’s going to keep working for rank. He’s working to become a staff sergeant again and after that a technical sergeant. He also wants to retire in the Air Force.

“When I was at another base,” he said, “a chief master sergeant was retiring. One thing he said that stuck with me and I reflect on often now is, ‘I’m living proof that you can get an Article 15 and still become a chief’. There’s no reason for me to stop now. It’s not over for me. Not at all.”

TOP STORY>>Knowing common hiring authorities is critical in filling civilian positions

By Erin Tindell
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO —RANDOLPH, Texas – As the Air Force continues to reform its hiring processes, hiring managers can make better, timelier decisions when they understand which hiring authorities they should use when recruiting new employees.

Hiring appointment authorities provide managers with the legal means to hire employees via a new appointment, transfer or reinstatement. Ensuring managers understand the most frequently used hiring terms will benefit the Air Force and applicants as officials continue to meet an Office of Personnel Management directive to hire federal employees within 80 days.

“Hiring officials need to be aware of the various appointment authorities and eligibility requirements for each so they can make strategic choices about what authority will recruit the best possible candidates for their vacancies,” said Cynthia Garcia, the Air Force Personnel Center’s deputy director of civilian force integration. “Only when everyone involved in the hiring process is well informed will we have the greatest pool of qualified candidates to consider for careers in the Air Force civil service.”

Recruitment options include con-sideration of current Air Force civilian employees for movement into other positions through promotion, reassignment, change-to-lower grade, or detail. There are also numerous external recruitment methods to consider veterans, former federal employees, employees currently working for other agencies, students, and members of the general public.

Frequently used hiring authorities include the following:

Veteran Authorities: Individuals must have served in the military, be able to produce proof of service and disability (DDForm 214 and VA Disability Rating), and meet one or more of the Veteran categories to be eligible to apply:

 30 percent Disabled Veterans: current or former military member with a service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

 Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 (VEOA): Veterans who are preference eligible OR separated after three or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions.

Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA): VRA is an excepted authority that allows agencies, to appoint eligible veterans. If you:

 Are in receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign or expedition; OR

 Are a disabled veteran, OR

 Are in receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in a military operation, OR

 Are a recently separated veteran (within the last three years), AND

 Separated under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge), you are VRA eligible.

The law defines recently-separated veteran as any veteran during the three year period beginning on the date of discharge or release from active duty. This appointment authority can only be used in announcements for GS-11 (or equivalent) and below.

Appointment of Certain Military Spouses (Executive Order 13473): This authority may be used to noncompetitively appoint eligible spouses to competitive temporary, term or permanent positions. Three groups of spouses are eligible to apply for federal employment using this appointment authority:

 A spouse of a service member who has received permanent change of station, or PCS, orders to relocate

 A spouse of a service member who retired with a disability rating at the time of retirement of 100 percent, or retired/separated from the Air Force and has a disability rating of 100 percent from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 Un-remarried widows or widowers of service members killed while in active-duty status.

Spouses of an Armed Forces member who has been issued PCS orders will have two years to apply for jobs under this hiring authority. There is no time limit for spouses of retired members with a disability rating of 100 percent or for un-remarried widows or widowers of an Armed Forces member killed while in active duty status.

Other hiring authorities that managers and applicants should be familiar with:

 Delegated Examining Authority: All announcements open to “public” in “Who May Apply” use this authority. An applicant need only be a United States citizen and 18 years of age, or a high school graduate 16 years old or older to apply. This authority allows individuals without “status” to be considered for a civilian position. Veteran’s preference rules apply under this authority. For more information, go to Delegated Examining Authority OPM’s DEU Handbook

 Employment of People with Disabilities/Schedule A Appointment: Any applicant is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. To be eligible for noncompetitive, Schedule A appointments, a person must meet the definition for being disabled. The person must have a severe physical, cognitive, or emotional disability; have a history of having such disability; or be perceived as having such disability. In addition, the person must obtain a certification letter from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Office or the Department of Veterans Affairs to be eligible for appointment under these special authorities.

 Transfer: Permanent federal civil service employee serving in a non-DOD position who is a current career or career-conditional employee.

Additional hiring authorities apply to employees who are returning from overseas; displaced due to a reduction in force or agency closure; and a former career/career-conditional federal employee who wants to be reinstated to federal service.

Hiring managers may learn more about their role in the hiring process by visiting the Air Force Civilian Careers website resource center at

Friday, May 25, 2012

TOP STORY >> Team Little Rock Chief presented Bronze Star

The 314th Maintenance Group command chief was presented with the Bronze Star on May 17.

Chief Master Sgt. Charles Fletcher was recognized for his efforts as superintendent of the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group while on a deployment supporting combat operations in Southwest Asia.

As superintendent of the 386th EMXG, from January 2011 – January 2012, Fletcher oversaw a dexterous maintenance program with a 98.5 percent mission effectiveness rate for the United States Air Force Central Command’s largest C-130 combat airlift maintenance organization.

While deployed, Fletcher was responsible for the supervision, mission effectiveness and safety of more than 400 Airmen. During his year in theater, these Airmen generated more than 15,000 sorties, supporting combat and humanitarian operations for divers United States missions, including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, supplying more than 292,000 warriors and 23,000 tons of supplies employed by U.S. and coalition forces.

The Air Mobility Command led Multi-Major Command Staff Assistance Visit Team Chief said Fletcher’s 94.1 percent group evaluation score was one of the two best of the 20 units he had evaluated.

Major Gen. Carl Skinner, Air Education and Training Command mobilization assistant to the commander, presented Fletcher with the Bronze Star. The award necessitates a presentation by a General officer.

Courtesy of 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

COMMENTARY>>A Memorial Day message

By Major Justin Barry

314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

We find ourselves on the dawn of a long weekend, ready to kick off the summer time activities so many of us have been daydreaming about for the past several weeks. The kids are out of school, the days are bright until 8 o’clock at night, and vacation plans loom close on the horizon. We all know that this is Memorial Day weekend, but I wonder how often we stop to reflect what that means.

Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday of May in accordance with federal law. History indicates that the origins of Memorial Day most-likely arose from various remembrance ceremonies held on multiple days throughout the country following the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, most historians agree that General John Logan, national commander of an organization of northern civil war veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a General Order on May 5, 1868, proclaiming Memorial Day as a national day of remembrance. This resulted in the first observance of Memorial Day on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Following World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to become a day in which we honor all Americans who died fighting in our nation’s wars. American flags are now placed on all the graves at Arlington on the Thursday before Memorial Day and maintained in an upright position through the end of the holiday.

On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved several federal holidays to align with specified Mondays in order to create uniform, three-day weekends. This changed Memorial Day’s observance from the 30th of May, to the final Monday of the month as we now celebrate. Further, in an effort to help citizens remember the purpose of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000. This resolution asks that all Americans, at 3 p.m. “...voluntarily and informally observe in their own way, a moment of remembrance and respect; pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’.”

As we begin our long weekend and look forward to those summertime activities we so enjoy, I urge and encourage you to take a moment at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 28 to pause and remember, to pause and contemplate, to pause and give thanks to our country’s heroes that have freely given of themselves and their families to ensure that we have the freedom to enjoy our summer. The freedom to travel and to gather without fear. Freedom, which our brave men and women continue to pay for everyday.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and a happy and fulfilling summer. Be safe, be smart, and enjoy the fruits of our great country. Thank you for all that you do every day, and thank you in advance for all that you will do for our great nation.

TOP STORY>>Col. ‘Wally’ Walters passes away

Col. Kenneth A. “Wally” Walters, 19th Mission Support Group deputy commander, passed away May 19.

A Virginia Military In-stitute graduate, Col.Walters selflessly served our nation for over 24 distinguished years across multiple assignments.

A master navigator, he accumulated more than 2,000 flying hours in the T-37, T-43, KC-135E, KC-135R, and KC-135RTaircraft; and served as a deputy group commander, squadron commander, flight commander, squadron, group and numbered air force executive officer, assistant director of operations, personnel officer, and joint staff branch chief.

He is survived by his wife, Amy; son, Ryan; daughter, Paige; mother, Mary Walters; and brother, Randy Walters.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The American Cancer Society, Caring Bridge (caringbridge.orgjdonate), or The Victory Junction Gang.

TOP STORY>>Start summer right with safety first

Team Little Rock,

Summer is officially here in the Natural State. The days are longer, the trees are green and the outdoors beckon. We must always observe safety measures and operational risk management, but during this time of increased activity and distractions we must be particularly cautious.

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day marks the season of greatest risks for our team. To counter those risks, we kicked off the Critical Days of Summer safety campaign for 2012 May 24.

I urge all of you, Airmen, civilian personnel, families and retirees, especially during long weekends, to be a vigilant wingman. I encourage Airmen to share lessons learned with their peers so others can learn from their experiences.

I will emphasize the importance of fastening seatbelts, driving at reasonable speeds, and avoiding situations of driving while distracted, under the influence, fatigued, or otherwise impaired. While participating in aquatic activities, I also strongly urge the use of proper equipment such as personal flotation devices and avoiding hazardous areas and dangerous water conditions.

There is no “silver bullet” to end DUIs; however, engaged commanders, supervisors and wingmen can educate, enforce and bring awareness to the critical impact of responsible alcohol consumption has in preventing mishaps and other unfortunate events. Over this Memorial Day weekend, I will give you this message--no DUIS. That means no operating machinery, dangerous equipment or recreational craft while under the influence. As always, drug use will not be tolerated.

The goal is zero mishaps, zero fatalities. We all understand that we accept necessary risks during operations. However, it’s our job as Airmen to mitigate and manage that risk and to make sure supervisors and commanders at all levels understand the risks they are accepting when we send Airmen out to do their jobs, and home to enjoy the beauties of Arkansas.

I challenge all Airmen to make this year safer than last. Use risk management principles, both on and off duty, and exercise sound judgment.

Like you take care of each other while completing the mission, commit to watching out for one another off duty as well. Our most important objective for this summer’s campaign is to protect military and civilian personnel and their families and equip them with preventative safety knowledge.

Enjoy the summer months ahead, be a good wingman and be safe. We need you to remain a valuable member of the team and your families. Thank you for your service, and all that you do for Team Little Rock, the Air Force and our nation.

Have a great summer,

Col. Brian Robinson

Friday, May 18, 2012

TOP STORY >> LEADing the way are two Airmen stationed at base

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Two Airmen stationed here at Little Rock Air Force Base have been selected for enrollment in the Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development program.

The program sends them to the Air Force Academy Preparatory School for a year, and gives them the opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy afterwards, with the end goal of becoming a commissioned officer.

One of several options for enlisted Airmen looking to transition to becoming an officer, the LEAD program is designed to accept only the most dedicated and mature Airmen looking to become a cadet at the Air Force Academy.

Airman 1st Class Jacob Martin, a 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace maintenance journeyman, and Airman 1st Class Solomon Hainna, a 50th Airlift Squadron C-130 loadmaster, moved closer to their goal of becoming commissioned officers when they were selected for the program.

Both said they always wanted to serve in the military, and both said the goal was to serve as an officer.

“I always knew since I was young that I was going to be in the military,” said Martin, who was informed of his selection at his squadron’s commander’s call. “I fully knew, before I swore in, that I was going to do at least 20 years. I wanted to go to the Academy, but didn’t take academics seriously enough when I was in high school.”

“Serving in the military was always a goal of mine,” said Hainna, who was informed of his selection at a retirement ceremony. “I came in enlisted because I didn’t want to wait to join. I found out about the LEAD program in basic training, and as soon as I got my chance, I started working with all the officers I knew to apply.”

Martin, 21 years old, barely met the age requirements to be selected for the LEAD program, and said he’s glad to get the opportunity to go the prep school.

“I have almost no college experience,” said Martin. “That’s why the prep school is such a big deal to me. It would have been very intimidating to get a direct appointment to the Academy ... I’m really glad I got the opportunity to go to the prep school first.”

Hainna, 20 years old, recruited as a basketball player at the Academy, said he hopes to improve as a scholar and athlete in the prep school and the Academy.

“I hope to hone my academic skills, since I’ve been out of college for a while, and I’ll continue to get ready to play basketball in a pretty challenging division one conference,” he said.

The two Airmen are scheduled to report to the prep school in July, and will quickly be immersed in academic courses along with military challenges, including an 18-day military indoctrination period, the prep school’s version of basic military training. Each said they think their military experience should benefit them at the school.

Both Airmen are expecting to be challenged during their year in the prep school, but both said they welcome the challenges and encourage others to follow their dreams, regardless of how difficult or challenging they seem.

“The process (to get accepted by the LEAD program) is a hard and difficult one, but it’s worth it” said Hainna. “My advice to anyone trying to achieve something is, even though it’s hard, stick it out, nothing worth having is easy.”

“As far as advice goes, I think people would be surprised at how many people want them to succeed at these programs,” said Martin. “People want to help you, I didn’t have any problems with this whole process, and I’m glad for all the help I’ve got.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TOP STORY>>30 minutes of Spice: Airman Montoya’s story

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“About two or three months ago, I was called in my first sergeant’s office. I didn’t really know what was going on. When I got there, there were two other guys in the room. ‘We’re going to go for a ride,’ someone said, and they took us to the Office of Special Investigation. There, we were individually questioned”.

Airman Basic Adrian Montoya, a 19th Logistic Readiness Squadron aircraft services technician, was found guilty for using spice.

Montoya didn’t fail a urinalysis test nor was he caught in the act. In fact, he hadn’t used spice in almost two years. Montoya’s name was given to OSI by another Airman. And when questioned, he confessed.

“I lost all my stripes; I was a Senior Airman,” said Montoya. “I got 30 days extra duty, a two on my Enlisted Progress Report, and a possible, more than likely discharge that’s still pending”.

Along with those consequences, for over a month now, Montoya has been speaking to Airmen at First Term Airman Center every other Thursday; he’s also done commander’s calls and Airman Leadership School briefs. At these events, where there are various Airmen ranging from E-1 to O-5, Montoya tells his story.

“I tell them how I was a Senior Airman Below the Zone winner, an Airman with fives on all of my EPRs, and a really good Airman,” Montoya said. “I tell them how something from my past came back. It came back and bit me in the butt. I tell them about my consequences. This is a live, real story”.

Montoya recalls himself as a first term Airman, listening to countless lectures that he believed to be false and made-up stories. He said he feels that his story is more touching and can reach Airman because it’s real and it’s happening in the present.

The decisions that Montoya made two years ago are still affecting the life that he has now.

“I wasn’t married at the time, and now I am,” he said. “My wife has to pay for what I did. She has to work another job now. Getting a reduction from E-4 to E-1 was a huge cut in our pay. We have to decide if we’re going to stay here or find another job somewhere else”.

Montoya and his wife are mentally, physically and financially preparing for the real possibility of an administrative discharge with a less than honorable characterization.. The situation that Montoya is now faced with has caused him to now be very careful of the company he keeps.

“I definitely watch who I hang out with,” he said. “My decision-making has changed since then. Even with the peer pressure, I knew it was wrong. The Air Mobility Command had a general order out, and I knew I was wrong back then. I think things through now”.

Montoya, who only used spice that one time, urges all Airmen to follow the rules.

“If it’s not tobacco, don’t smoke it; if you’re not 21, don’t’ drink it,” said Montoya. “The rules are there for a reason. My wife and I did research on spice, and there are some bad side effects associated with it”.

Montoya acknowledges his mistakes, accepts his consequences and does his part to make sure other Airmen don’t make a mistake that can lead to similar or worse consequences.

“If I could change those 30 minutes of my life, I would,” he said. “I get emotional when I speak to Airmen, especially in the small FTAC classes because I know they’re listening. If I can’t save my career, hopefully I can save one other.”

COMMENTARY>>The weight loss ‘secret’

Commentary by Lt. Col. Anthony Bankes
4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) – Two controversial topics that often dominate the headlines in our country are obesity and weight loss.

We are bombarded day and night with advertisements for weight loss pills, diets and workout contraptions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34 percent of American adults 20 years and older are considered obese, with another 34 percent of adults considered overweight but not clinically obese. An adult is considered obese if they have a body mass index of 30 or higher.

As a health care professional, I am always concerned about the relationship between excess body weight and medical conditions associated with them such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

I am also concerned about the false and misleading information we see in weight loss product and service advertising. The use of deceptive or false information in weight loss advertising is rampant and dangerous. Many promise immediate success without the need to reduce caloric intake or increase physical activity. Numerous supplements are of unproven value or have been linked to serious health risks.

According to, the market for these products, or schemes in some cases, is staggering, with consumers spending more than $30 billion a year on weight loss products and services. The world of weight-loss advertising is a fraudulent dream world where pounds “melt away,” no diet or exercise is required, and “miracle” substances “seek and destroy” fat.

The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers about the extensive use of deceptive claims in weight-loss advertising. A study conducted by FTC regulators found that 55 percent of advertisements made claims that were likely false or lacked proof.

We all want to believe that there is a fast and easy fix when it comes to our weight, but there is not. So what, if anything, are we to believe?

First, use your head when making decisions about how to approach weight loss. Be reasonable and take emotions out of the equation, take weight loss schemes at face value and don’t buy into unreasonable claims.

Second, keep these words from the CDC in mind: “It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a ‘diet’ ... It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes.”

Bottom line, there is no such thing as an easy answer to losing weight. It takes work, time and an accurate knowledge of the calories in the food you eat and what it takes to burn them. The traditional McDonald’s Happy Meal, which consists of a hamburger, small fries and a 12 ounce soda, contains 590 calories, or 25 percent of an active adult male’s daily caloric need. It would take the average 170 pound male 4.9 miles of running to burn this amount of calories. To lose a pound of fat per week, you need to burn approximately 3,500 calories more than you consume. A regimen of 60-90 minutes of exercise four or more days a week along with a well-balanced diet helps achieve this goal. The true secret to losing weight is having a smart, well-planned 500 calorie daily deficit that promotes healthy and consistent weight loss.

Don’t approach weight-loss and exercise as sidebars to your life; make them a priority. A healthy well-conditioned body allows us to better handle the physical and emotional challenges we encounter every day and looks great for the upcoming beach season.

TOP STORY>>Families listing retirement, pay as top issues

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFPS) — Military families regard the possible change of military retirement benefits as their top concern, according to the results of a major survey released today.

The 2012 Military Family Lifestyle Survey also shows that pay and benefits, the impact of deployments on children, operational tempo, spouse employment and education and combat stress and brain injuries are most on the minds of military family members.

Blue Star Families, a nonprofit military family support organization, released the findings of its third annual survey before a Capitol Hill audience of Congress members, military family members and support organizations and media.

“That data in this survey is the story of our lives,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, the chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. The survey, she said, is conducted by professional researchers who also are military family members.

More than 4,000 family members responded to the survey, representing each of the services – active, National Guard and reserve, and Coast Guard -- and all areas of the country. Nearly half of the survey respondents have a service member in the senior enlisted ranks, and 64 percent of respondents are between the ages of 25 and 44.

Among the findings:

 Thirty-one percent of respondents listed possible changes to retirement benefits as their biggest concern, followed by 20 percent who cited pay and benefits as their top concern;

 Veterans said their biggest concerns related to separating from the military were employment opportunities, followed by access to health care;

 Seven percent of respondents listed operational tempo as their top concern, andsupport for staying in the military dropped from 52 percent for families who were separated 13 to 24 months, to 15 percent for those who spent more than 37 months apart;

 Sixty percent of spouse respondents are not currently employed, and of those, 53 percent wanted to be; 57 percent said being a military spouse has a negative impact on their ability to work; 27 percent had problems getting professional licenses to transfer to different states;

 Six percent of respondents listed post-traumatic stress, combat stress and traumatic brain injuries as their top issue; 26 percent said their service member had signs of post-traumatic stress and 3 percent said they had a diagnosis.

Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said the department and the nation are challenged by economic problems today, but that both must take care of military families.

Things changed after the Vietnam War, Gordon said.

“We got out of Vietnam and into the all-volunteer force,” he said. “Because of that, our force became a married force.”

Also, Gordon said, the military now is structured so that “the entire military goes to war.” Indeed, the survey found that National Guard and Reserve members have spent as much time away from home in the past decade as active duty members.

“We’re challenged today, and I would say we are up to that challenge,” Gordon said. “We have a supportive Congress and a supportive administration, where the first lady and Dr. [Jill] Biden are out pitching for the military” through their “Joining Forces” campaign.

“That’s why this survey is so important,” he said. “We need to know how these families feel. We have to have a better integration of [combat veterans] when they come home – and they are coming home.”

Other findings of the survey show:

 Ninety-two percent of respondents said they could help their children make positive school decisions during a spouse’s deployment, but 64 percent said deployment hampered their children’s abilities to participate in extracurricular activities;

 Ten percent of family members responded that they had considered suicide, compared to 9 percent for service members.

 Fifty-seven percent said prevention should be aimed at training frontline supervisors and commanders;

 Eighty-one percent volunteered in the past year;

 Eighty-nine percent are registered to vote;

 Eighty-two percent believe the all-volunteer force works well;

 Seventy percent were satisfied with the military lifestyle, and 60 percent would recommend the military for young people; and

 Seventy-two percent said changing the law to allow gays to serve openly has had no impact on their service members’ ability to serve.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

COMMENTARY>>How it works in the real Air Force

By Master Sgt. Chris Stagner
Robert Gaylor NCO Academy

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy recently issued a call to arms for all enlisted Airmen in his perspective paper: “Now is the time for bold leadership.”

In this message, he states it is up to the enlisted force to lead with integrity and return stability to the enlisted performance report system. Specifically, he said of his message sent to command chiefs, functional managers, and major command commanders and vice commanders, “the theme of the message was that too much arbitrary guidance could prove to be counterproductive. As supervisors, the more leverage we have to deal with situations on a case-by-case basis, the better.”

The response to this message and the resulting discussions has been phenomenal – and varied. Opinions range from enthusiastically supportive to continued concern about the system.

I’m currently attending the Robert Gaylor NCO Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and the theories behind leadership are something we discuss every day. Based on what we’re being taught here, I find it hard to understand the confusion about the chief’s message.

We’re taught to communicate with our Airmen. We’re taught to provide constant feedback to our Airmen. We’re taught to establish standards for our Airmen and, more importantly, hold them to the standards we establish. We’re taught to counsel those same Airmen if they fail to meet our standards.

So ponder me this: If we are all doing this every day, if we’re actively leading our Airmen versus passively leaving them to do their jobs, if we’re training our Airmen and are involved; how can writing an EPR with integrity be so difficult? Why do we constantly hear, “That’s not how it’s done in the real Air Force?”

I learned early in my career not to expect a 5 EPR. My second EPR, as a matter of fact, was a 2 referral. As an entitled Airman, I was furious with the rating. How could I warrant a 2 referral with the amount of effort I put into the job every day? How could my supervisor ruin my career? She explained to me very simply that she’d established standards, and I’d failed to meet them. It took years and a number of supervisory experiences of my own before I understood what she meant: No one deserves a rating; we all earn our ratings.

NCO academy lesson plans say the same thing: establish standards, hold subordinates accountable to those standards, provide feedback constantly and rate fairly. If all of us are being taught the same way, why aren’t we executing those simple expectations in “the real Air Force”?

Chief Master Sgt. Craig Howell is the commandant of the Robert Gaylor NCOA. He’s spent 15 years involved in professional military education and eight years as a first sergeant. He’s also spent a great deal of time asking himself this same question.

“Having dissected it (the enlisted evaluation system) over the last 28 years, our EES is probably the most perfect I’ve seen,” he said. “However, it is misunderstanding, misuse, and sometimes abuse and fear of supervisors to do the right thing that makes the system appear broken.”

During our discussions in class about this very topic, many of my classmates have stated they’ve given 5 ratings because they didn’t have the paperwork to justify a 4 or a 3. Those statements perfectly support Howell’s statement.

Why would you need paperwork to justify a 4 EPR? A 4 is an excellent rating. You don’t need a letter of counseling to receive a 4 on your EPR. You need to come to work, do an excellent job, be involved in your community and pursue your education.

Did you read what I just wrote?

In order to earn a 4 on your EPR, you need to come to work, do an excellent job, be involved in your community and pursue your education. That is what qualifies you as a 4 – being excellent.

It’s been said that leaders refuse to allow less than a 5 (which is a topic for another day since no one can tell you how to rate your Airmen) because it reflects negatively on leadership.

Comic book hero Thor says, “I say thee nay.” I tend to agree with him on this one. So does Howell.

“It’s not a reflection on leadership when a follower is less than perfect,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a battle of will instead of a battle of skill. No one is perfect all of the time.”

So how do we fix this? How do we move from this “broken” system into a fixed one? Do we as enlisted leaders require someone else to tell us how to do our jobs and lead our troops? Do we need a quota system to tell us how many of our Airmen are allowed to shine? Do we ask for a switch back from EPRs to APRs? A mulligan, perhaps?


In order to fix this system, all we have to do is what we’re taught in PME. All we have to do is follow Roy’s direction and be bold, confident leaders who take care of our Airmen.

If that’s not how it’s done in “the real Air Force,” then it is up to us to have the integrity to make it so.

No one can do that but us.

TOP STORY>>Motorcycle May for a safe summer

By Airman 1st Class Earlandez Young
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) – As May brings warmer days and plenty of sun, it is also guaranteed to bring many motorcyclists back onto the nation’s roadways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages motorcycle riders and all other traffic participants to gear up and use May, the National Motorcycle Awareness Month, to focus on sharing the road and making it a safe summer.

“The Department of Defense takes motorcycle safety very serious,” said Mark Rupert, the deputy chief of safety at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. “Along with having the appropriate license to operate a motorcycle, the DOD also requires individuals to successfully complete an approved rider or operator safety course before operating any motorcycle. This course must follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum taught by certified instructors; include hands-on training and a performance and knowledge-based evaluation.”

Conducted in 1981, the “Hurt Study” highlighted that intersections are high vulnerability locations for motorcycle collisions with other vehicles. The key reasons are right-of-way and traffic control violations. Other findings included failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic.

“This is the predominate cause of motorcycle accidents,” said Rupert. “Being seen and making yourself known as a rider to other motor vehicle operators is a critical factor to reducing multiple vehicle accidents.”

The study also showed that accident involvement is significantly reduced with continuous operation of motorcycle headlamps and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright-red jackets. Rupert said drivers making themselves conspicuous is the most critical step any rider can take to reduce the probability of being involved in a multi-vehicle mishap.

In fiscal 2011, the Air Force lost 15 members in motorcycle mishaps and three so far in fiscal 2012. Most accidents were due to excessive speeds, failure to negotiate a turn and others due to unfamiliarity with the motorcycle itself.

To ease this trend, the DOD requires active duty military members riding a motorcycle on or off base to take the MSF training.

“The MSF training is provided free of charge to all military members,” said Master Sgt. Michael Marshall, the NCO in charge of ground safety at the 92nd ARW. “Other critical components required for riding on or off base include riding with the headlight operating at all times and wear of proper protective equipment.”

Active-duty military members who ride motorcycles are required to wear a DOT or ANSI approved helmet; a long-sleeved shirt or jacket; long pants; full fingered gloves; sturdy footwear and eye protection, because a windshield on the motorcycle does not constitute proper eye protection. These requirements are outlined in AFI 91-207.

“Remember, while riding a motorcycle, never assume the other motorist sees you,” said Rupert. “Ride defensively, be alert to the other motorist’s actions and activity, make yourself known to the other motorists and stay out of their blind spots. Your life depends on it.”

For guidance on motorcycle safety, visit the Air Force Rider website.

Friday, May 4, 2012



THE COMBAT AIRLIFTER CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT will take ads by phone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 982-9421, or you may mail your ad to 404 Graham Rd., Jacksonville, Ark. 72078. You may also e-mail them to Deadline to advertise in Friday's issue is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

A  free one-year membership in Military Officers Association of America is available for active, reserve, & National Guard officers who are  not prior members. Contact Central Arkansas Chapter Secretary (


P/T SALES rep. needed. Hours will be discussed upon interview. Outside sales position, commission based sales only. Will be contacting schools, manufacturers and restaurants. Contact Suni McClellan at (501) 920-5330 or (501) 771-2800.

APPOINTMENT REPRESENTATIVE needed, P/T, M-F, 8-12, setting appointments. Exc. phone skills, prefer appointment setting experience. Must be familiar w/computer applications. Contact Phyllis Houle at (501) 771-2800.

CALL CENTER help wanted! Centennial Bank is seeking friendly, outgoing applicants for our Customer Care Center located in Cabot, AR. Previous call center experience a plus! To apply, please go to: An Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V.


NATURAL CHILDBIRTH Services. Darlene West, Licensed Midwife. (501) 827-0449.


HORSES: LUCKY Acres Boarding Stable, TLC for your horse, box stalls and paddocks, clean pastures, indoor and outdoor arenas, riding instruction and training program. Dressage our specialty. (501) 988-2458.


YARD SALE, 7/7, 6:30 am-? 472 Poage Rd., Austin/Cabot. (501) 944-5347.

OUTSIDE SALE, 7/7, 8 am, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 6470 Hwy. 89 S. Proceeds for van fund, Children's Ministry, 580-2945.

YARD SALE, 7/6 & 7, 7 am-2 pm, 2005 McArthur Dr., Jax. Cancel if rain. Tri-chem, Avon, some furniture.

GARAGE SALE, 7/7, 7 am-? 810 Woodlawn, Lonoke. Furniture, baby, children & adult clothing. Little bit of everything.

YARD SALE, 144 Indiana, 7/7 & 8, 7 am-2 pm. Furn., children's clothing, etc.


GERMAN SHEPHERD puppies, free to good home. (910) 587-0093.

1 YR. old female Chi-weenie, shots up to date, house/crate trained, good w/kids & other dogs. Call/text for pics. (501) 258-1783.


2006 FORD F-150 5.4L FX4, silver, blk. leather, loaded, sunroof, camper shell, 57K miles, new condition, $21,000 obo. (501) 259-4558.

14" OVERHEAD TV for car (new condition) & 2 1/2" sub speakers w/amp., $650. (325) 260-5192.

4 CHROME 20" VCT rims w/tires, fits universal 5 lugs, $400 firm. (325) 260-5192.

2002 TOYOTA Highlander LTD, AWD, great & dependable, fully loaded SUV, $9,500 obo. (808) 349-9642 or (501) 605-1711.

2007 MINI Cooper S convertible, 70K miles, newly dealer serviced including new timing belt, runs great, fully loaded, $16,500 obo. Call/text (501) 837-8611.

2005 FORD Explorer Eddie Bauer, leather seats, 4x4, power everything, great condition, well maintained, 115,000 miles, $9,500 obo. (530) 908-5080.

TRAILER TIRES & wheels, size ST205/75/D14, 6 ply rating, 2 new tires & 3 good used tires, all mounted on like new 14" 5-hole rims. Not sold separately, $225 cash for all. (501) 843-2187.


2006 WILDERNESS camper, sleeps 6, queen-size bed, self contained shower tub, dual axle wheels, $8,700. (501) 837-7225.

2006 FISHER 1700 bass boat, 50 hp. Mercury, very low hours, $7,500. (501) 843-8216.

2007 GLASTRON GT185 4.3L Mer-cruiser motor, new stainless steel prop, less than 50 eng. hrs., garage kept. Includes 3 sets of skis, 2 inflatable tow toys, wake board & knee board. Pics avail. Call or text (501) 259-3793.

2003 KAWASAKI Vulcan 1600, original owner, less than 7K miles w/all the extras, perfect condition, $4,200 obo. (501) 831-377.


SEARS CRAFTSMAN lawn tractor, 42" deck, 18.5 hp, $200. CharBroil grill w/propane tank & cover, $50. (509) 570-6327.


HYDROSLIDE OZONE wake board w/adjustable hold-um boots, used once, brand new $350, sell for $125. (501) 960-0200.

FRONT LOADING high-efficiency LG washer & dryer, only used for 2 years, great condition, $350 ea. E-mail or (330) 324-2084.

1/2 CARAT engagement ring, 3 stones. (501) 259-5631.

1 CARAT matching wedding set, designed by Diamond State Jewelers of Cabot, $1,000 obo. (501) 259-5631.

TEXTBOOKS: BUSINESS Law, 14th Ed., ISBN 978-0-07-337764-3 & Management Skills & Application, 13 Ed., ISBN 978-0-07-338150-3. Each book used once. $100 (neg.) for both or $50 ea. (218) 779-6651, leave msg.

FREE! LEXMARK ink cartridges, magenta, yellow, cyan. (218) 779-6651, leave msg.

KENMORE HE washer, 4 yrs. old, $250; desks & small bookshelf. (501) 882-9798.

5-PC. CHERRY finish drum set w/double bass pedal and Sabian crash, splash, ride & high hat cymbals. Beautiful finish w/many extras, $500. (501) 259-3414.


BLUE TODDLER race car bed, $75. (501) 247-8130.


WANTED: free 18"+ seat wheelchair, good condition. (501) 442-9564.


Sherwood/Jacksonville areas. Beautiful 2, 3 & 4 Bedroom Mobile Homes. Large lots, in quiet safe park, close to LRAFB. Clean, quiet, & safe park. $450-$695 plus deposit. (501) 835-3450.

RENT/OWN! 3 BR, like new, CH/A, pets ok, big yard, call now! $500! (501) 593-4070. Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

NEWLY PAINTED! 4/2, garage, CH/A, big kitchen, large lot! $725! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

CHEAP RENT! 2/2, pets ok, fenced yard, new paint, patio, newly carpeted! $350. (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

2-STORY RENTAL! 4 BR/2 BA, pets ok, fenced yard, carport, W/D connections, $895! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

PETS WELCOME! 3 BR, fenced yard, CH/A, patio, hardwood floors, call it home! $675! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

LR & 50 miles! 100s of rentals daily! Houses, apartments, mobile homes, duplexes, more! (501) 593-4070, RENT MAX.

BIG 3 BR! Pets ok, mod. appliances, CH/A, big yard, very nice!! $475! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

NLR! 3 BR, newly painted, CH/A, section 8 ok, carport, only $695! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.

CLOSE TO BASE! 4/2, patio, CH/A, new paint, X-stor., call now! $875! (501) 593-4070, Open til 7 pm! RENT MAX.


CABOT: NICE 1 & 2 bedroom apartments/duplexes. Discounts & flexible leases for military. $450 & $575. Weekend appointments available. Professionally managed. (501) 843-7131.

2 BEDROOM, 1 bath mobile home. Central heat & air, newly remodeled. Hwy. 107, 3 miles north of back gate. No mowing. Water & gas paid. Also, 3 bedroom, 2 bath available. (501) 988-5187, ask for Ed.

4 BEDROOM, 2 bath, laundry room, 1750 sq. ft., 4 min. to main gate, fenced backyard, quiet, good neighborhood, $825 rent. Avail. August 1st. Rent to purchase. 988-2458.

4 BEDROOM, 3 bath brick home in desirable Magness Creek Village, $1,700 month, 2,226 sq. ft. Available 8/1. See all details & photos at (318) 344-2621.

2 BEDROOM, 2 bath mobile home. Jacksonville, close to LRAFB, large master suite with split floor plan, pet friendly with deposit, background check, $500 month, $700 deposit. (501) 259-5435.

BRIEFS 07/6/12


The busy summer PCS season is here. The first two weeks of July are already booked, and other summer dates all filling up fast. The earlier arrangements are made (the Traffic Management Office recommends at least 4 weeks), means a better chance of getting the requested moving days.

It will take a day to pack per every 4,000 pounds and additional shipments cannot be done on the same day. Getting moves planned as soon as orders are received is the surest way to avoid complications and ensure a smooth move.

For questions or more information contact the TMO at 987-3582.


For any questions regarding the Airman’s Attic call Gennifer Terry at 501-952-4649. For information regarding the Airman’s Attic check out the Facebook page.


All enlisted members desiring to have their CCAF credits or degrees posted prior to EPR and promotion cycles need to start early.

Students need to request their colleges to send their official transcripts directly to CCAF as early as possible after grades have been posted. Allow two to three months for transcripts and CLEP scores to update at CCAF and for degree nominations to process. CCAF does not accept transcripts mailed from the student.

For assistance, please visit the Education and Training Center at 1490 Vandenberg Blvd Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. call 987-3417.


Anticipated Federal Civilian Vacancies at Little Rock AFB sent to HQ AFPC to recruit/fill.

Please keep in mind that the job listed may take an extended period of time to be advertised.

A hiring priority may prevent advertising a position.

The website for applicants to apply is For questions, please call their toll-free number at 1-800-525-0102.

Mobility and Resource Management Specialist, GS-0301-09 (Term Position)


Little Rock AFB has modified its tornado siren procedures.

The new procedures will sound the Giant Voice siren continuously when an imminent threat to the base is detected. Upon hearing the siren, immediately seek shelter and stay there until the siren ceases.

Contact 19th CES Emergency Management at 501-987-7610 if you have any further questions.

TOP STORY >> 30 base Airmen graduate ALS

On April 30, the Airman Leadership School on base, graduated 30 Airmen. The graduates are:

19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Airman Cade Browning

Senior Airman Victor Despradel

Senior Airman Dexter Dodd

Staff Sgt. William Ellzey

Senior Airman Shaun Ehrenzweig

Senior Airman Keith White

Senior Airman William Young

19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Jason Anstett

Senior Airman Steven Callaway

Senior Airman Max Gee

Senior Airman Ronnie Hunter Jr.

Senior Airman Matthew McLaughlin

Senior Airman Joseph Merfeld

Senior Airman Evan Morter

Senior Airman Christopher Myers

Senior Airman Nicholas Smith

19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Thomas-James Doyle

Senior Airman Robert Lendenmann   

314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Cody Hampton

Senior Airman Sarah Penney

Senior Airman Daniel Ward

19th Maintenance Operations Squadron

Senior Airman Matthew Magyar

19th Security Foces Squadron

Staff Sgt. Kenyeta Brackett

Senior Airman Chad McCambridge

19th Force Support Squadron

Senior Airman Shane Maynard

Senior Airman Sadeek Mellad

53rd Airlift Squadron

Staff Sgt. Dmitri Sokgobenzon
19th Medical Operations Squadron

Senior Airman Francisco Castro

61st Airlift Squadron

Senior Airman Anwar Hasan

19th Component Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Ameer Shaw

The Award winners, recognized for excelling in areas of leadership or academics, are:

Distinguished Graduates

Senior Airman Daniel Ward, 314th AMXS

Senior Airman Sarah Penney, 314th AMXS

Academic Achievement

Senior Airman Daniel Ward, 314th AMXS


Staff Sgt. Kenyeta Brackett, 19th SFS


Senior Airman Cade Browning, 19th LRS

TOP STORY >> Think before you speak (or post)

By Arlo Taylor
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Now more than ever people have many outlets to support causes, express opinions and flat out rant via social media...and that’s a good thing.

But military members, and DOD civilians in many cases, should be mindful that even in the virtual world, you are still a member of the armed forces and are accountable for statements you make, particularly when it comes to politics.

According to Paragraph 4 of the Little Rock Operation Security Guidance, “When associating your military affiliation on a public website, remember that you represent the service as a representative of the United States Air Force.”

A lot of attention has been drawn to what military members post on Facebook in the wake of former Marine Corps Sgt. Gary Stein’s discharge for posting disparaging comments about President Barack Obama on the Internet. Just because you post a rant on your personal Facebook Page, doesn’t mean it’s private or hidden from the rest of the world.

So, it’s not a good idea to disparage anyone in your chain of command from the President down. All military members must be mindful that words or conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, or words and conduct that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, are punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

According to base legal officials, this may include the use of disparaging or derogatory words directed towards the President and other civilian leadership. The more public the forum, the more likely it is the words or conduct will be considered service discrediting or to the prejudice of good order and discipline. In accordance with Article 88, UCMJ, it is unlawful for commissioned officers to use contemptuous language towards the President, Vice-President, or the Congress, by name or by clear reference.

Just because you rant online, doesn’t mean you are immune from comments just because you didn’t verbally utter them. According to base legal officials, posting comments on Facebook is the same as saying it. Posting offensive and/or disparaging photographs or links is the same as posting comments because they are attributable to the one who posted it. Keep in mind that on Facebook, the audience is potentially much larger. This means the effects of your posts may have more significant consequences.

The best advice? Watch what you say and post on Facebook, or your favorite social networking platform. The rules don’t prohibit members from having an opinion about politics or other issues, but it does require members to be respectful and display good manners.

“Be professional and respectful in your dissent and always think before you speak or write on political matters,” said Lt Col Shelly Schools, Staff Judge Advocate. “Military members are permitted to have personal opinions on elected leaders and policies; however, you should never express yourself in a manner that discredits you as a military member, or might be attributed to the United States Air Force or Department of Defense.”

If anyone has questions or concerns about Facebook posting and other social media rules, contact Public Affairs at 987-3434 or seek advice from the base OPSEC Manager, Gregory Call, at 987-3966.

TOP STORY >> Team Little Rock hosts AMC command chief

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha and Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Andy Kaiser, Air Mobility Command command chief, visited with the Airmen of Little Rock Air Force Base from April 30 – May 3, 2012.

Kaiser, along with his wife, Debbie, attended numerous briefs, tours and ceremonies throughout the duration of their visit. The two took advantage of the many opportunities to talk with base Airmen, and applauded their hard work and efforts that keep the 19th Airlift Wing’s C-130 Combat Airlift mission soaring.

“I’m absolutely impressed with the hard work of our Airmen keeping these planes flying day in and day out,” said Kaiser.
While the efforts to keep the wheels turning impressed him, the AMC command chief said what he enjoyed most about his visit was being able to talk with the Airmen and people around the base.

“We had a fairly good idea of [the Team Little Rock mission], but the most important thing was being able to interact with our Airmen every single day, and seeing the phenomenal things they are doing here to support the mission of ‘the Rock’ and also down range,” he said. “We’ve been able to get a better understanding of the challenges and the great successes that are happening in the 19th Airlift Wing by being here in person.”

Meeting Team Little Rock’s Airmen and their families was the highlight of the trip for Debbie as well.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to see the key spouses and learning about what they do for deployed spouses,” she said. “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen here.”

Debbie said the role of the military spouse is a unique one, and lauded the efforts of men and women who support their husbands and wives in uniform.

“As a spouse, you need to stand beside your military member,” she said.
Joking that military spouses should be required to go through training to understand the challenges they’ll face, Debbie said patience and being able to juggle multiple responsibilities is pivotal for the military spouse.

“As a spouse, you have to be independent and be able to handle things on your own, especially with children,” she said.

Maintaining a strong relationship is pivotal to handling the duties of a military spouse, said Debbie. Couples should also remember to take time out for themselves because that strong relationship will make trying times, like deployments and raising children, a little easier.
“It’s a hard job, but it’s also a rewarding job and I love it; I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Debbie.

The vast flexibility of AMC

Impressed with the mission here at “the Rock,” Chief Kaiser called it a special and amazing one, and said he wants all Airmen to know their efforts on base affect the world.

“The sun never sets on AMC,” he said. “We talk about the ‘why’ purpose -- why do we exist as a command? The why of AMC is ‘Answering the call so others may prevail.’”

Answering the call requires a unique amount of flexibility and versatility from AMC Airmen, said Kaiser. AMC Airmen are always just a phone call away from providing support or responding to calls around

the globe. The command chief also talked about flexibility required of Airmen regarding the upcoming drawdown of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan.

“As far as strategic changes coming down the pipe between now and 2014 … we do not see a huge spike of activity in Afghanistan, but we don’t see a huge drawdown from an Air Mobility perspective either,” he said.

Kaiser talked about the record setting airdrops that took place in 2011, when more than 80 million pounds of cargo were delivered around the globe. He said the projected numbers for 2012 anticipated a 5 to 10 percent increase in airdrops, and that airdrop operations are critical for service members in theater.

“For the next two years, I see us continuing to do that – delivering hope,” he said. “We don’t anticipate any new major operations but, of course, we’re always just one natural or manmade disaster away from another ramp-up.”

Kaiser also mentioned the long term efforts being made to adjust the deploy-to-dwell ratio for active duty, reserve and guard service members.

Our goal for the active duty is a 1:2 deploy-to-dwell ratio … and 1:4 or 1:5 ratio for guard and reserve,” he said.

Challenging leaders of today and tomorrow

The command chief also took time during his visit to talk with Airmen about leadership along with career and personal progression.

“There is a lot that goes into being a well-rounded person, but I’ll try to keep it simple,” he said. “Be the absolute best person and Airman that you can be today and, when you wake up tomorrow, say to yourself, ‘I’m going to do all that I can today to be the best person and Airman I can be.”

All of us should recognize room for improvement, in both our personal and professional lives, said Kaiser. Humility is an important aspect of becoming a better person; the command chief described humility as
“strength under control.”

“We need to remember it’s not about us; it is about the cause we support,” said Kaiser. “No task should be beneath anyone. If I ever walk by a piece of trash and say to myself, ‘oh, some Airman will pick that up,’ it’ll be time for me to retire.”

The command chief was the guest speaker for the base’s Airman Leadership School graduation April 30. The father of four and husband to Debbie for almost 29 years, Kaiser talked about his wife’s strong influence on his career. The story, which had the audience in an uproar of laughter, brought him to the point of his speech:  always choose the harder right over the easier wrong. He charged all Airmen, not just the graduates, to live by this method.

To explain his point, the chief asked every Airman to do something that’s against nature,” he said. “Let’s think about water. Where does it flow? Water flows in the easiest path. Electricity follows the path of least resistance. The wind follows a path where it can gain access. Those things all follow the easiest path. It is easier to hit the snooze button than to engage in early-morning PT, is it not? It is easier to order the hamburger and large fry than to order the grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo on the lettuce. It is easier to step over a piece of trash than to pick it up.”

The chief said the graduates were stepping into what he believes is the most important role in the Air Force – first-line supervisors. First-line supervisors focus on and execute the mission while also growing the next generation of Airmen. He asked the graduates if they were going to choose the harder right by setting the bar high for the Airmen that they lead, or choose the easier wrong by making an average Airman an exceptional one by giving all fives on an enlisted performance report.
As Chief Kaiser spoke, the graduates sat and listened intently, nodding their heads occasionally, as to agree and answer the call.

Final impressions

As the Kaisers were wrapping up their visit May 2, they reflected on the opportunity to meet some of Team Little Rock’s Airmen.

“When he first joined, we were newly married, expecting our first child, and we were going to join the military for four years, just to have our insurance,” said Debbie. “Twenty eight years later … we love it … we just love helping Airmen and their families.”

“We are very, very thankful for what all of the Airmen here in the 19th Airlift Wing and Team Little Rock, along with their families, do every day,” said Kaiser. “We ask so much of them and they sacrifice so much, just so we can continue to live in freedom and provide security not only in this country, but to many other countries around the world. We are very grateful for everyone here at Little Rock, and we thank all the service members, your spouses and your children for what you do.”