02-13-2015 - The Red 7

T H E R E D 7 . n et
Friday, February 13, 2015
Running
for Military
Spouse
of the Year
Airmen deliver
ammo
for 7th Group
Page 4
CAC card required
for Duke fitness
center
page 2
Page 3
INSIDE
Briefs................7
Philpott............6
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Friday, February 13, 2015 | THE RED 7 | Page Page | THE RED 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015
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The Red 7 is published by the
Northwest Florida Daily News, a private firm in no way connected with the
7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
or the U.S. Army.
This publication’s content is not
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The appearance of advertising in
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Year No. 5 Edition No. 7
7th Group spouse in running for Spouse of Year
By KELLY HUMPHREY
Northwest Florida Daily News
EGLIN AFB — Melissa Gomez
is something of an expert on military spouses.
In addition to being married to
a member of the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group, Gomez works
for the group’s Family Readiness
Center. Now Military Spouse
magazine has named her one of
the semi-finalists for its Military
Spouse of the Year Award.
“There are some amazing candidates in the semifinalists, so
I’m very happy to be there,” she
said.
Gomez was selected as Eglin’s installation winner in the
first round of the contest, which
received more than 1,600 nominations. In January, she was
selected as one of three semifinalists representing the Army.
The magazine will announce
the six branch finalists for the
award on Feb. 20, and the overall winner will be revealed at a
luncheon in Washington, D.C., on
May 8.
Married for 15 years, Gomez
and her husband have two children, and have lived through five
deployments and four transfers.
They were part of the original 7th
SFG force that transferred here
from Fort Bragg, N.C.
“I love this area,” the Crestview resident said.
If selected for the award, Gomez will use the platform to be an
advocate for military spouses.
“I served in the Army myself
before I married, and I can honestly say that it’s harder to be a
military spouse,” she said.
A self-described “proud LaSpecial to the Daily News
tina from Pennsylvania,” Gomez
Melissa
Gomez,
whose
husband
is
a
member
of
the Army’s 7th Special
is particularly eager to help the
Forces
Group
(Airborne),
is
a
semifinalist
for
the
Military Spouse of the
many 7th SFG spouses who came
to the United States from Latin Year Award.
and South America.
“They’re trying to assimilate
more info
to our country while at the same
For more information about Melissa Gomez and the other
time adjusting to being a miliMilitary Spouse of the Year semifinalists,
tary spouse,” she said. “I feel a
visit http://msoy.militaryspouse.com/
real responsibility to advocate for
them.”
WWII’s 1st Special Service Force honored with Congressional Gold Medal
WASHINGTON (USASOC News
Service) — Forty-two veterans of
the original 1,800 commandos that
made up the World War II U.S.-Canadian 1st Special Service Force were
honored in the Capitol, Feb. 3, as
recipients of the Congressional Gold
Medal, the highest civilian award for
distinguished achievement the U.S.
Congress can bestow.
Speaker of the House John Boehner hosted the presentation of the
medal which was first awarded to
George Washington in March 1776
to express the people’s appreciation
for his distinguished achievements.
Other recipients include Mother
Teresa, Nelson Mandela and the
Tuskegee Airmen.
The 1st Special Service Force
was activated in 1942 as an elite unit
of 900 American and 900 Canadian
commandos. Following extensive
stealth training near Helena, Montana, in rugged conditions atop the
peaks of the Rocky Mountains, former lumberjacks, trappers, mountaineers and miners honed their
skills in skiing, rock climbing and
U.S. Army
Eugene Gutierrez speaks during
a ceremony honoring his contributions to the liberation of Europe
and the end of the war in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3.
demolition so they could start their
fight by destroying military and industrial installations.
In an amphibious assault landing
in January 1944 at Anzio, Italy, the
forerunners of today’s Army Special
Forces clawed their way through the
siege of Monte Cassino and eventually captured Rome, before moving
into southern France to encircle
German troops.
“For every man they lost, they
killed 25. For every man they captured, they took 235. The force was
so fearless, that the enemy dubbed
them ‘the Devil’s,’ and so effective ...
that our special forces refer to them
as pioneers,” said Boehner before
an audience of dignitaries, Service
members and civilians from both the
United States and Canada.
Following the presentation of the
Congressional Gold Medal to unit
veterans Canadian Charles W. Mann
and American Eugene Gutierrez Jr.,
on behalf of the 1st Special Service
Force, each took a turn thanking
the Congress, federal governments,
their lost brothers-in-arms and their
families.
“I must say I am most honored
and humbled — and I thank you all
for allowing me to speak on behalf
of the force members present and
force men who are no longer with
us ... may they rest in peace,” said
Mann to standing applause.
“It’s great to be here and it’s great
to be American,” said 94-year-old
Gutierrez. “I want to thank everyone
who undertook this very important
and noble assignment to honor and
recognize this most versatile and
effective World War II fighting unit
from the USA and Canada.”
Capping off the ceremony was
Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of
U.S. Special Operations Command.
The general highlighted the history
of the unit, which was disbanded in
December 1944. He referred to the
men as “pioneers and patriots.”
“Gentlemen, the living members
of the 1st Special Service Force, you
should be proud of not only what you
accomplished on the battlefield, but
also for the foundation and groundwork that you laid in order to shape
our modern day special operations
forces and for the close and professional relationship that ties our
two countries together, today,” Votel
said. “Rest assured that your legacy
lives on in today’s American and
Canadian special operators — both
our countries and their citizens owe
you a boundless debt of gratitude ...
thank you.”
CAC card required
to use fitness center
By Tech. Sgt.
Jasmin Taylor
919th Special Operations Wing
Public Affairs
DUKE FIELD — Duke
Field members can now
use the fitness center seven
days a week with a simple
swipe of their military common access card.
Under new access rules,
personnel who register
their CAC at the fitness
center will be authorized
access from 5 a.m. to 10
p.m. daily. Each registrant
will be required to sign a
statement of understanding, which provides guidance on facility usage.
A CAC reader will be installed at the center’s main
entrance and those registered users can swipe their
cards for access.
“Since we have no full
Tech. Sgt. Jasmin Taylor |
USAF
A registered CAC card is
now required to access/use
the Duke Field fitness center.
time staff to make sure everyone who comes through
the door is signing the
waiver, the CAC reader
takes their place,” said
Col. James Phillips, commander of the 919th Special
Operations Wing. “The only
reason this is open to people, other than 919th SOW,
is because there really is
no other place for them to
go to without driving down
to Eglin.”
Use of the Duke Field
fitness center is limited
to specific active duty, air
reserve technicians, civil
servants, and reservists.
The center is also available
to
7th Special Forces
Group (Airborne) who work
on Duke Field
The facility is not part of
Eglin’s fitness center and
is paid for with 919th SOW
funds. Since it is not an active duty facility there are
different regulations that
govern its access such as
retirees, dependents, and
personnel not stationed at
Duke Field are not authorized to use the facility due
to liability issues.
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Friday, February 13, 2015 | THE RED 7 | Page Page | THE RED 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015
Tech. Sgt. Samuel King | USAF
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Cope, 96th Logistics Readiness
Squadron, helps guide in an ammunition pallet onto a carrier Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
Airmen deliver
ammo for 7th Group
Tech. Sgt. Samuel King | USAF
Tech. Sgt. Dominic Wimsatt, 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron, places an ammunition type notification sign in front of
the C-17 Globemaster III prior to uploading pallets onto the aircraft Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
Tech. Sgt. Samuel King | USAF
A pallet of ammunition sits ready for loading as another
pallet is moved into place Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
Tech. Sgt. Cheryl Foster | USAF
Staff Sgt. John Nolcox, the 6th Airlift Squadron aircrew
member, completes paperwork for Staff. Sgt. Jessica
Scharmen, 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron, prior to
the Aerial operations Airmen uploading cargo to the C17 Globemaster III Jan. 13 at Duke Field. The LRS crew
loaded more than 100,000 pounds of ammunition from
the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) onto the aircraft
during the upload.
Tech. Sgt. Samuel King | USAF
Above, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Cope, 96th Logistics
Readiness Squadron, helps guide in an ammunition pallet
onto a carrier Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
At right, a pallet loader moves into place to begin unloading its cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 13 at
Duke Field.
Tech. Sgt. Cheryl Foster | USAF
Aerial operations Airmen from the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron wait inside a C-17 Globemaster III for the
next pallet to arrive Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
Tech. Sgt. Samuel King | USAF
Another ammunition pallet waits to go onto the C-17
Globemaster III Jan. 13 at Duke Field.
Friday, February 13, 2015 | THE RED 7 | Page Page | THE RED 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015
Commission ideas draw bipartisan praise on hill
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traordinary” that
nine commissioners
endorse
their proposals
unanimously. So before
her colleagues are
“off to the
races trying to politicize”
them, she advised, they
ought to “pause a moment
and realize that you might
just have gotten this right,
and this might be exactly
what we need to be doing.”
Sen. John McCain (RAriz.), new chairman of the
Senate Armed Services
Committee, pledged to
keep the wellbeing of military members and families
“foremost in our thoughts
2118544
There is rising confidence across the Senate
and House armed services
committees that 2015 will
be the year Congress passes legislation to modernize
military compensation,
with an alternative to traditional 20-year retirement
and perhaps replacing the
triple-option TRICARE
health program.
After decades of rejecting military compensation
studies, whether from
teams of Pentagon analysts
or independent blue ribbon
panels, Congress this year
appears to be embracing the clever weave of
proposals prepared by the
Military Compensation and
Retirement Modernization
Commission.
Sen. Claire McCaskill
(D-Mo.) said it was “ex-
as we deliberate the commission recommendations.
But upholding our sacred
obligation to them does not
mean resisting change at
every turn. We must not
shrink from the opportunity before us to create a
modern system of compensation and retirement
benefits that would provide
greater value and choice.”
The new chairman of
the military personnel subcommittee, Sen. Lindsey
Graham (R-S.C.), warned
commission critics, “If you
think they missed a mark,
we will certainly listen to
you. But we’re not going
to play the demagoguery
game because change is
afoot and it’s necessary.”
McCain and Graham
have told staff they hope to
include at least some commission recommendations
in the fiscal 2016 defense
authorization bill.
As military folks try to
grasp the complex commission plans, Congress this
week also received a fresh
set of proposals from the
Obama administration, part
of its fiscal 2016 defense
budget request, to continue to dampen growth in
basic pay and allowances.
That budget package asks
Congress to consolidate
TRICARE options, raise
TRICARE fees sharply on
working-age retirees, set a
first-ever enrollment fee for
new Medicare-eligible retirees using TRICARE for
Life, and raise pharmacy
co-payments.
Obama wants the January 2016 military pay raise
capped at 1.3 percent, a
point below percent wage
growth in the private sector. His budget proposes
a string of “limited” pay
raises through 2020. It
would continue to damp annual adjustments to Basic
Allowance for Housing until
recipients pay 5 percent of
rental and utility costs out
of pocket.
The budget also proposes more cuts to annual
subsidy for the Defense
Commissary Agency,
enough so that base grocery store patrons see
store operating days or
hours cut, although not below five days a week.
These budget changes
would lower compensation costs by $1.7 billion
next year and by $18 billion
through 2020. They are
separate from commission
recommendations. Several, such as consolidating
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TRICARE options, even
conflict with commission
plans. Commissioners want
TRICARE replaced with
a menu of private sector
insurance options and twopart Basic Allowance for
Health Care (BAHC). One
part would cover full premiums of a mid-range health
insurance plan. A self-directed portion of BAHC, to
cover co-pays and deductibles, could be windfall cash
for families if they become
discerning users of their
health insurance benefit.
The most uncertain
feature of the commission’s
health plan is its vision
that private insurance
plans would be required to
include base medical staff
and facilities in its network
of providers, and that those
care providers would see
enough challenging cases
to sustain wartime medical skills. To help in that
regard, the commission
proposes of a new joint
readiness command to
oversee all aspects of readiness including medical
skills at base hospitals.
On retirement, current
members could stay under
their High-3 plan, which
pays an immediate annuity after at least 20 years
service, or they could shift
to the new plan mandated
for new entrances. It would
blend a reduced defined
benefit, one that pays 40
percent rather than 50
percent of basic pay as an
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immediate annuity after 20
years, with a Thrift Savings
Plan (TSP) that has government matching of member contributions up to 5
percent of basic pay. After
only two years, members
would be fully vested in
their TSP accounts to take
with them if they separate
short of 20 years.
The commission proposes using Post-9/11 GI
Bill benefits to protect force
retention under plan. The
education benefit could
be transferred to dependents only after 10 years
of service and in exchange
for serving only two more
years. At the 12-year mark,
members could get lump
sum continuation pay equal
to at least two-and-a-half
months’ basic pay, if they
agree to serve four more
years. At 20 years, they
would eligible for immediate annuity equal to at least
40 percent of basic pay. Or
they could opt for a reduced
annuity and some retirement cash in a lump sum,
or they could get a bigger
lump sum and defer any
annuity until they also are
eligible for social security.
That old age annuity would
equal what peers receive
who had elected to accept
full annuities at retirement.
The commission said
computer modeling shows
this more complex choice
of benefits still would produce healthy retention
rates, save billions of dollars a year, and give the
vast majority of members
who leave service short of
20 years a nest egg equivalent to civilian employer
401(k) plans.
More than 90 percent
of current first-termers
likely would shift to the new
retirement system if given
that option, commissioners
testified. Some lawmakers on the armed services
See praise page 7
red 7 Briefs
From staff reports
National Prayer
Breakfast
The Eglin Chapel will
host the National Prayer
Breakfast on Thursday,
Feb. 26 at the Eglin Bayview Club. Buffet starts at
6:30 a.m. with the program
beginning at 7 a.m. Jeremy
Kingsley will be the guest
speaker. Tickets can be obtained through your First
Sergeant for $3 for club
members and $5 for nonclub members. Anyone with
base access is welcome. No
tickets will be sold at the
door. For information, call
the chapel at 882-2111.
Ashes to Dust 5k
Walk/Run
The Eglin Chapel will
host an Ashes to Dust 5k
Walk/Run on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18 at the CE Pavilion. Receive ashes to start
Lent at 6:30 a.m. at the CE
Pavilion and at 7 a.m. the
run/walk starts.
There will be free tshirts for the first 50 participants and for the first
male and female winners.
For information, call the
chapel at 882-2111.
Friday the 13th
3-Mile Run/Walk
All base personnel and
family members are invited to dress in their finest
Friday the 13th attire and
participate in Eglin’s first
Friday the 13th 3-Mile Run/
Walk at the CE Pavilion,
with a 1:30 p.m. show time.
Prizes will be awarded
for top 3 male and female
runners. No registration
required. For information,
call 883-1682.
Dog Obedience
Classes
pay their regular green fee
rates. An “Active Duty ID
Card” must be presented
to receive the promotionWet’n Wild is offering
al rates Monday - Friday
through Sept. 30. For infor- a FREE one-day admismation, call the golf course, sion ticket valid for service members with a valid
882-2949.
military photo ID through
The next Parents Night
Out will be from 5 p.m. to
10 p.m. Feb. 21. Children 6
weeks to 12 years old are
safely supervised in a fun
and exciting environment
for $25 per child. The event
offers games, movies and
art activities. To make reservations, call CDC III at
882-5519.
Parents Night Out
Can’t get Rover to roll
over? Karen Harper teaches
basic dog obedience curriculum at Eglin Outdoor Recreation. Course sessions begin
Feb. 17 and last six weeks,
with classes held on Tuesday
evenings for a maximum of
10 dogs. Participants must
pre-pay $75 for the six-session course. Register and
pick up additional class information at Eglin Outdoor
Recreation or call 882-1482,
This exclusive offer is
or visit www.dawggonegood. for active, reserve and recom.
tired U.S. service members
and DoD civilians with an
ID to be a part of Daytona
500 on Feb. 22. Ticket pricDon’t forget – Valentines es include: $212 Earnhardt
Day is coming up! Make Tower; $132 Oldfield Tower,
reservations at the Bayview Turn 4; $62 Super Stretch
Club! Enjoy appetizers, en- Terrace, Rows 52-61 and,
trees and desserts compli- $70 Sunday Only Fan-Zone
mented by soft music and Pass. Contact ITT for other
seating with majestic views tickets available for races
of Choctawhatchee Bay, leading up to the Daytona
Okaloosa Island and Des- 500, 882-5930.
tin. For reservations, call
613-6100.
Daytona 500
Discount Tickets
Valentine’s Dinner
Family Movie
Saturday
The Integrated Learning Center (ILC) is hosting a free family fun day
Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. with
games, crafts, a showing of
the Disney movie Frozen,
free popcorn and prizes. All
New Golf Course
discounts
Daily green fees are free
for active duty E-1 to E-4
on weekdays. Ranks E-5
and above receive 50% off
their E-5 and above regular
daily green fees. Discounts
do not apply to equipment
rental and carts. All other
golfers and family members
praise From page 6
committees gushed over
the plan, calling it bold and
thorough. Others were cautious but not critical.
The 70-year-old retirement system and a TRICARE program launched
in the mid-1990s “were
appropriate for their time,”
said McCain. “But clearly
times have changed.”
Still to be heard from
are military associations
and veterans groups who
have criticized past plans to
overhaul compensation as
Wet’n Wild
military days
ages are invited. Hangar 3
is located next to Legends
Sports Grill by the Fitness
Center. For information,
call, 882-9308.
radical and risky, endangering the nation’s defense.
March 27. Free ticket application forms must be
obtained from Eglin ITT.
Special discount tickets
for military family, friends,
and other base personnel
are also available at Eglin
ITT. 882-5930.
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Tom Philpott is a syndicated
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at Military Update, P.O. Box
231111, Centreville, VA 201201111; or at [email protected]
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Page | THE RED 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015
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