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Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer A
Roberto J. Rondain
JIG Supply Manager _
Going through the chief petty officer indutlIion
we were reminded that one of our priman lobis .i
a chief is to take care of our Troopers. But ho"\ do
you do that? How can you be an inspiring liddcli
and communicator a manager par excellcncc '
Through our years in the service, we ha\ c scc n
people who just ooze with leadership qualiies .Ind
managerial skills we aspire to have. We tn to niuliiie
their style and their demeanor and hopefull \ Ie e
the same results. But sometimes we fall shot of lhe
standard we set. Does that mean that we fa 111i11 om
Whoever we are as an individual, there is .i\.\ -
something we can learn. My mentor, Semoi
Chief Petty Officer Ed Paguia, enlightened mc
in my quest. He taught me that if you wanu to /
really take care of your Troopers, help the in
get promoted. Putting money in their pockel is
really where the rubber meets the road.
How many times have you seen Troope is
day-in and day-out, do outstanding work
and still get left behind by their peers? Thci
may be the epitome of sustained superior
performance and still cannot advance for
some reason beyond their control.
As leaders, this is where we come
in. I believe one way we can help them
is by learning how to write Trooper
performance evaluations. We need to do
our best to write evaluations that really
benefit and describe junior Trooper
performance accurately. It is the only /
thing that represents all the hard work
they have completed. How many times
have we heard ourselves groan when
it is time to write an evaluation? We
shouldn't, because it is one of the best
ways we can really take care of our
Troopers. Even new, inexperienced
leaders developing their managerial
skills, if they know how to write, can
get their qualified Troopers promoted.
Recently, I sent evaluations through
my chain of command, thinking that they
were "the bomb" and might only need a hlic
change an apostrophe, a comma or a pei od
here and there but they came back bette I
than what I wrote. I thought I already kne \\
how to write. It's a good reminder that who n
we think we know everything and that wc
can't learn anymore from anybody, there is
always somebody who will remind us of Ilie
constant need to learn.
Just like the famous words uttered
by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, "The pen is
mightier than the sword." O
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Members of the 112th Mobile
Public Affairs Detachment salute
as the Wisconsin Badger flag is
lowered from in front of the JTF
PAO offices at Camp America.
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TROOPER-TO-TROOPER I FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
Army Brig. Gen. Rafael O'Ferrall, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo speaks with Navy Petty Officer 2nd
Class Chelsea Cruz during a visit to Camp 4. O'Ferrall often visits Troopers in their work areas to show them support
and ensure their needs are met.
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Understanding the needs of Troopers is important, but taking
action and meeting the needs of Troopers is priceless. Army
Brig. Gen. Rafael O'Ferrall, deputy commander of Joint Task
Force Guantanamo, has embraced his role and Troopers while
addressing much-needed changes in their work and living areas.
"We've created a great team with [JTF Commander, Navy] Rear
Adm. [David M.] Thomas," O'Ferrall said. "While we both look
at the entire JTF operation and the importance of the mission, I
have put personal emphasis on personnel, logistics and morale and
welfare opportunities. That way we can reach out to everyone and
touch the entire community of GTMO."
"Throughout the two months I've been here, I have visited every
work area and every camp to check on the morale and welfare
of the Troopers," said O'Ferrall. "I've participated in different
community events held by the African-American association
and Cuban-American association, as well as promotions and
Keeping his finger on the pulse of the Troopers is important for
O'Ferrall and he does that by talking to them and visiting them at
their work areas.
"I talk to Troopers everywhere at security points, at the NEX,
during training exercises I stop and have conversations with
them," O'Ferrall said.
Troopers have often been surprised by the General's visits.
"I've had Troopers look at me twice or notice the rank,
surprised that I'm there," O'Ferrall said with a chuckle. "We're
human beings. We're here to support them and to make our
mission happen. Traditionally, a general officer will maintain his
work in the office, but by meeting the Troopers, saying hello and
listening to their needs, they can explain their situation, not only
for themselves but for the community they live in."
O'Ferrall explained that using the chain of command is
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 | MISSION
important, but emphasized that Troopers should be comfortable
expressing their concerns.
"It's a relief for them to be able to express their concerns so
they don't have to worry and can focus on their work," he added.
During recent visits from Pentagon staff members and
dignitaries, O'Ferrall received compliments about the service
members who work at the JTF.
"The Troopers here are doing great work forAmerica," O'Ferrall
said with a smile. "They are following the rules of engagement
properly and are working the only way they know how the right
With the presidential order to close JTF Guantanamo, O'Ferrall
mentioned the difference between the Joint Task Force closing and
the Naval Station mission.
"The naval station will continue to do their business, and the
JTF will maintain its posture," he said. "By next year the JTF
operation will be closed but until then we will continue to support
and evaluate Troopers work conditions, living conditions and
morale and welfare because it's the right thing to do."
One of the areas the general noted for enhancement was a
Coast Guard area of operation, identifying some specific building
maintenance and traffic flow considerations.
"We want them to have a safer environment to perform their
jobs," O'Ferrall said. "The Coast Guard, as well as the Army,
Navy, Marines Corps and Air Force, is doing a great job for us -
inside and outside the wire.
In addition, enhancements will be made for the Troopers
living in Camp America. The latrine and shower areas have been
identified for revitalization.
O'Ferrall, along with JTF Senior Enlisted Leader Air Force
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Schexnaydre, has been looking into the
Morale, Welfare and Recreation program to help enhance JTF
Troopers opportunities and experiences.
According to O'Ferrall, the Troopers here deserve the best.
With his staff, he intends to accomplish that mission. O
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
525tehl HHC geb ne
Army Staff Sgt,
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Headquarters and Headquarters
Company (HHC) of the 525t Military
Police Battalion recently changed hands.
Capt. Maxim A. Krekotnev took command
from Capt. JuanA. Rodriguez in a ceremony
The company provides support to the
525t MP Battalion including logistics,
finance, personnel and supply operations.
The 525th is responsible, along with the
Naval Expeditionary Guard Battalion, for
ensuring the safe and humane care and
custody of detained enemy combatants at
Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
4 In his few weeks as commander,
Krekotnev has been impressed by his
Troopers' abilities and made to feel at ease
in his position as their new commander.
"There are no tensions in this company,"
Krekotnev said. "It's a very comfortable
S working environment."
Helping him to get settled in are his
.company's non-commissioned officers
"My NCOs know their jobs very
well," Krekotnev said. "I can trust them
to accomplish the mission with little
Krekotnev plans to encourage his
1 Troopers to volunteer and participate
in community activities while they are
stationed with the Joint Task Force.
"I want our Troops to work hard and
play hard so they can enjoy themselves
while they are here," Krekotnev said. O
(Above) Army Capt. Maxim A. Krekotnev
receives the company guidon for
Headquarters and Headquarters
Company (HHC), 525th Military Police
Battalion, during a ceremony Feb. 27
at the Camp America Troopers' Chapel.
Krekotnev took command of HHC from
Army Capt. Juan A. Rodriguez. JTF
Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer
1st Class Richard M. Wolff
(Right) Army Capt. Juan A. Rodriguez
passes the 525th Military Police
Battalion guidon to 1'' Sgt. Rodney
Sanchez during a change-of-command
ceremony at the Camp America
Trooper's Chapel, Feb. 27. Capt. Maxim
A. Krekotnev relieved Rodriguez as the
525th MP Battalion Commander. JTF
Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer
1st Class Richard M. Wolff
MISSION I FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
PAGE 4 1 THE WIRE
Members of the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment pose for a photo at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. JTF Gua nta na mo
photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Orlando Quintero
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment of the Wisconsin
Army National Guard departs after a successful year-long tour at
Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
The majority of the members of the MPAD will be returning to
their homes in Wisconsin, while several will stay behind to support the
Florida Army National Guard's 107th MPAD in the JTF mission.
"(The 112th MPAD) quickly assimilated to the mission and the
environment here and have very successfully told the JTF story,"
Cdmr. Pauline Storum, the director of the JTF public affairs office,
said. "These are wonderful service members. They have worked so
hard over this year with tremendous results."
The 112th MPAD carried out several tasks in order to be successful
during their deployment here.
"We aligned ourselves with the mission of the JTF,"said Capt.
Kim Kleiman, commander. "We had to ensure that our internal and
our external audiences were informed, and that we maintained a
level of transparency."
The public affairs unit was divided among three sections including
command information, media relations and public information.
The command information section is responsible for The Wire,
which is a weekly publication for the Troops at JTF. This section also
is responsible for broadcast products, such as radio and video stories
about the JTF which go to the Pentagon Channel, American Forces
Network and other media outlets.
The media relations component of public affairs is responsible for
coordinating tours for national and international media.
The public information office maintains the JTF Web site and
provides photo support for retirements, reenlistments, awards and
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 I MISSION
other JTF mission requirements.
Even though the unit was divided into sections, they were able
to work as a team, which was a huge part of the MPAD's success
according to Kleiman.
The MPAD members are looking forward to going home, but will
"I am excited to go home and see my wife and kids," said 1st Sgt.
Jim Venske, the MPAD's senior non-commissioned officer. "On the
other hand, I really enjoyed my job and having the ability to be here
during this historic time."
Many soldiers plan to go home and give a flag that has been
ceremoniously flown over the northeast gate to family members
and school principals, while Venske is looking forward to having
breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
The 19-member MPAD from Madison, Wis., will be leaving
behind five members to continue to support the JTF mission. Staff
Sgt. Emily Russell, Staff Sgt. Jim Wagner, Spc. Cody Black and Spc.
Carlynn Knaack will continue to work for the public affairs office,
while 1st Lt. Sarah Cleveland will become the J2 deputy director.
These members are staying for job security and love for the
"I believe in the mission and love what I do here," Staff Sgt. Emily
Russell, the assistant editor of The Wire, said. "I never imagined I'd
enjoy being a journalist and assistant editor of a news publication as
much as I do."
The current structure of the 112th MPAD was created in 2006. The
unit had deployed to Bosnia in 1997 and a majority of their members
deployed to Iraq in 2004. In the years following the deployments
and prior to the 2006 formation, Wisconsin's MPAD was actually a
10-member detachment of the 139th MPAD, a split-state Wisconsin-
Illinois unit. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
(Above) A contractor trowels gap filler as part of preparations for
the track at the Cooper Sports Complex prior to "resurfacing". It
will re-open April 1 and will mark the end of the MWR project and
completion of the sports complex. (Right) A contractor spreads the
first layer of rubber on the track at the Cooper Sports Complex.
The final layer
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The track at Cooper Sports Complex
will be completed by April 1 as part of a
Morale, Welfare and Recreation project
that started 18 months ago.
"This provides a high-quality, well-
designed facility that will last for years,"
Craig Basel, the MWR director, said. "It is
going to be beneficial to everyone."
According to Basel, the reason the
project is just now finishing is because after
laying the concrete, there is a 45-day period
the surface needs to dry, minimizing the
chance of cracks. It takes about two weeks
to pour the rubberized track, and about a
week to stripe it.
This is a certified measured track and
represents a huge jump in
quality in comparison to
other available facilities.
The new track will be used
for running events, physical
fitness tests, jogging and
other Naval Station events.
Biking and skate boarding on
the track will be prohibited.
Clough, Harbor and Associates designed
the track and Field Turf was the company
that put it all together.
Field Turf built the Seattle Seahawks'
field, the Arizona Cardinals' field and
is currently working on Louisiana State
"This is top of the line," Basel said. "This
is a very high-tech surface, professional
track used at various major track and field
events, including the Olympics."
PAGE 6 I THE WIRE
The surface is rubber and will be
forgiving on the body. Runners will not
have the pounding on their joints like they
do on the streets, according to Basel.
"It is a project that I identified seven
years ago. People were getting injured and
it was dirty," Basel said. "It is very exciting
to see the whole thing come together and
Basel hopes everyone can enjoy it, but
also hopes everyone will assist in taking
care of it. 0
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
Beaten, but not broken
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
A well-written drama causes a surge of
varying emotions. The audience laughs at
the ice-breaking wise cracks of the comic
relief, tears up at the car crash, hospital or
funeral scenes, and identifies with at least
one of the fully-developed characters.
When following this format, "Not
Easily Broken" seems to really soar, but is
unfortunately weighed down by the cheesy
narration, nature slides and jarring 'moral
of the story' realizations.
Adapted from the novel by best-selling
author and pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, the
film begins with a refreshing twist on an
old concept: a squabbling married couple,
Dave and Clarice Johnson, portrayed by
Morris Chesnut and Taraji Henson, are
trying to find a balance between being
lovers and working as associates in the
business of marriage. Stereotypical family
roles are completely reversed with this
couple. The unique quality is brought on
by the premise of the strong black woman
persona which seems to be one of the many
underlying themes in the movie.
Clarice is a powerhouse of an antagonist/
heroine, who transforms seamlessly in
the film from money-hungry dominating
career woman to loving and compassionate
wife with newfound faith. Hen-pecked
Dave, on the other hand, wins the audience
over immediately with his caring heart
and hopeless plight. Owning a struggling
construction company, Dave primarily
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
spends his time coaching little league with
his two best friends, woman-chasing Brock
(Eddie Cibrian) and emotionally sensitive
Tree (Kevin Hart).
While the home-
boys help add to the -
tension and give the
film an added dose of
their behavior is aMwniCHF1TTA IT
entirely over-the-top r. P HNN
and out of sync with
the overall tone. The .'.r HART
same can also be said Iuo LP.'
for the stock character
of Clarice's friend and
(Niecy Nash), which
plays on every black
and spouts a bunch of
"hey girl" taglines.
Trouble for the
Johnsons seems to
grow after a terrible |L
car accident leaves
Clarice dependant on |) K\ N
her brow-beaten and
emotionally fed-up riobcAymT. wt4hcdd,=.ut i ti.
husband, and throws
her man-hating single m rFehruan) I9t 2009
mother (Jenifer playing at
Lewis) into the mix. Phil i theatre
When Dave starts i
falling for his wife's
and becoming a role -
model for her young
son, further adulterating drama
Chesnut and Henson possess
great chemistry and do their best
to showcase the well-written and
dynamic plot, but, Dave's monotone
and cliche-riddled narration hinders
any true grit that the movie boasts.
It does, however, seem to tie in
the appearance of religious morals
that are beaten into the audience
directly from a pulpit during the
last 20 minutes. Dramatic slow-
motion basketball scenes also seem
to disrupt the momentum, but are
pleasing enough to the eye that all
If he was shooting for an
attractive, realistic drama, lesser-
known director Bill Duke hits his
mark, but if it's not being shown to
a church congregation, it can come
off a bit preachy. Q
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
Volunteering in the community
* Opportunities for Troopers to help others, earn recognition.
Army Spc. A fa
David McLean ".
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs -
Becoming a part of the GTMO volunteer
community can not only improve the quality
of life here, but can also help troopers earn
military recognition for their actions.
"When I got here a little over a year ago,
I found nothing in place for people who
wanted to do volunteer service," said Navy
Ensign Ian H. Underwood, U.S. Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay public works construction
projects manager. "As this is the oldest
overseas military base, there is plenty of stuff
around that can afford to be fixed up or cleaned
up. I saw the opportunity."
Underwood and a group of volunteers run
many different types of volunteer projects;
from working at the Iguana Crossing, to
supporting the elementary school, or making
improvements on the monuments and open
spaces here on the base.
"It is difficult because we are on a military
base and it's a small community," said
Underwood. "There aren't any soup kitchens,
homeless, or Habitat for Humanity."
Despite the difficulty organizing projects,
hours spent volunteering help improve the
community and can even help your military
The Department of Defense created an
awardforall military members to be recognized
for their selfless acts to the community. The
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
recognizes those members of the military who
dedicate time to the local community, above
and beyond the duties required as a member
of the United States Armed Forces. The
requirements for the award are outlined for
each service branch, but all require sustained
service to the civilian community that helps to
show the military in a good light.
The DoD Manual of Military Decorations
and Awards (DOD 1348.33-M) leaves the
definition of volunteer service intentionally
vague, allowing for a wide variety of activities
and volunteer duties which would qualify a
service member for the MOVSM.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Sheldon
A. Harley and his group often take time out
to do volunteer work with Underwood. They
routinely work around the station in their Coast
Guard T-shirts and do a wide array of work to
include lighthouse and thrift store renovation,
trash pickup, and tree removal.
"They have initiative and a caring for others
- and that's the biggest thing," Harley said
when asked about the impression a volunteer
can make. "They are willing to take their own
time to help somebody out."
Along with personal satisfaction, there
can be opportunities for advancement. The
award comes with great honor for a recipient,
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jordan Hardenbergh shovels sand after Hurricanes
Gustav, Hanna and Ike, Sept. 20, 2008. Hardenbergh enjoys volunteering in
the community and is also working toward his Military Outstanding Volunteer
Service Medal. -JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Emily Russell
and the possibility for promotion points. Much of the information for the award can
be obtained through each Trooper's chain of command within each branch's policies
including number of hours or types of service that qualify.
Reading books to school children, painting weathered buildings or doing other small
things that make this a great place to live the rewards and awards ofvolunteerism are
easily within reach. 0
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
PAGE 101 THnE WIREff
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
For some, the sight of snakes and lizards
can be unsettling, yet, for others, it brings
curiosity. For Dr. Peter Tolson and Candee
Laine Ellsworth, the sight of these creatures
brings excitement as they can count one
more animal in their study.
Tolson, the director of conservation
and research at the Toledo Zoo, in Ohio
and Ellsworth, a conservation coordinator
who works as Tolson's field assistant
coordinating research projects for the
zoo, study Cuban boas and Cuban rock
iguanas, tracking their movements here and
understanding the habitat these animals
"Our mission is to study the habitat use
and home range of the Cuban boa," Tolson
said. "It's very threatened in Cuba, but here
at Guantanamo Bay, since the boas and
the habitat are protected it's an excellent
place to study."
Tolson explained that big snakes here
are more abundant than in the rest of Cuba.
Beyond the Naval Station, they're killed
for food or killed out of ignorance.
"They just don't exist in the numbers
that they do here," he added, "so this is the
perfect place to study them."
Tolson and Ellsworth work hand in hand
with the Navy environmental department
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
offering their expertise and helping
the Navy protect various areas of
the base which are important for at-
"The Navy takes its stewardship
role seriously," Tolson said.
"Department of Defense facilities
often contain large tracks of
unspoiled land which are home to
many at-risk species."
Here, the Cuban boas and the
Cuban rock iguana as well as
several species of plants which
are almost completely extinct -
are protected within the gated
"Candee and I hunt snakes at
night using a head-lamp," Tolson
explained. "When we find them,
we take them to the veterinary
clinic where Army Veterinarian
Capt. Stephanie Hall implants the
snakes with radio transmitters we
bring down here. Once they have
the implant we can follow them
with a radio receiver and directional
"Sometimes I come down a week
before Peter and find all the snakes
we have identified," Ellsworth said.
"I locate them, and sometimes find
new ones. Currently, we have 18
that we're tracking and we try to
check each one every day, or every
other day and gather the global
positioning system data for it."
The data Tolson and Ellsworth
collect is used to show the home
range of the snake, detecting how
often they frequent an area and how
far they move.
"When we have enough data
points we can establish a pattern of
where they live," Tolson said. "With
knowledge of plant life on the base,
it's pretty easy to determine what
types of habitat are most important
to the snake. With that, we can do
a lot to lessen if not prevent -
conflicts with the boas."
According to Tolson, both
Joint Task Force and Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay commanders are
very amenable to working with him
and the environmental department
to prevent significant habitat loss. "The
mission to protect animals is a secondary
mission," he said. "But they are both very
There are six species of snakes, five
species of amphibians and approximately
25 species of lizards on the base. Not all
are endangered, but the iguana is in real
trouble outside of the fence line according
"The [International Union for the
Conservation of Nature] has estimated that
Guantanamo has anywhere from five to
eight percent of the total number of iguanas
found in Cuba," he said. "You only have
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
BOA from 11
to look at the small footprint of the base on
the map of Cuba to realize what a significant
role this base can play in the conservation
of these animals."
Public outreach is another important
part of their mission.
"We enjoy interacting with the base
residents and giving them some insight to
the animals that share the base with them,"
Ellsworth said. "I think if people become
more familiar with the animals and interact
with them, then they are more likely to be
partners in conservation and understand the
importance of preserving their habitat and
having more respect for the animals."
Tolson and Ellsworth hope that through
public outreach, naval station residents
will call base security at ext. 4105 or
environmental at ext. 4493 to move an
animal they feel threatened by instead
of harming or killing it. They also hope
that residents realize the importance of not
feeding the iguanas.
"It's important to refrain from feeding
Candee Laine Ellsworth, conservation coordinator for the Toledo Zoo, holds
a lizard for base residents to see during the reptile and amphibian show, Feb.
22. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
the iguanas," Tolson said. "It's mainly for the protection of our children. By feeding them,
they learn not to fear human beings ... and become highly aggressive with food. Several
children have been injured because iguanas will grab their food and sometimes get their
hand. It scares the kids."
To find information that Tolson has published about his findings at Guantanamo Bay,
go to www.toledozoo.org. or go to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast
Web site at https://portal.navfac.navy.mil/portal/page/portal/navfac/NAVFACWWPP/
NAVFAC SOUTHEAST PP.
Close to 95% of the JTF fleet of vehicles
are Army contract vehicles. As such, until
the Services authorize each Trooper to
bring a vehicle,the rental fleet is authorized
to be treated as a government provided ,,.ii
"POV" within some strict guidelines.
The use of alcohol or tobacco products in
a government vehicle is prohibited. All
drivers must possess a current and valid
military driver's license.
Preventive maintenance and
cleanliness are a mandatory part of vehicle
operation by all JTF personnel. Each vehicle
asignee is responsible for upkeep, fluids,
washing and cleaning the interior. All Proper use of government-provided
vehicles are inspected regularlyto maintain vehicles is the responsibility of each
the government value of the rental fleet, individual.
To date, the JTF has revoked over 35
rights to drive privileges and at least three
troopers have had to pay out of pocket
for repairs or damages to government
For more information, see Policy
Memo # I 3,available on the intranet under
resources, policies and regulations.
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
PAGE 12 1 THnE WVIRE
George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing on ESPN2 will feature the fishing in and around Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay. The first of this two-episode series will air Sunday, March 15, at 7:30 a.m. The encore performance of that
episode will air Saturday, March 21, at 6:30 a.m. Episode two will air Sunday, March 22, at 7:30 a.m., with the encore
performance set for Saturday, March 28, at 6:30 a.m. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
Boots on the Ground
What are your plans for rest and relaxation leave time?
by Army Spc. April D. de Armas
"I want to take the
family to Disneyworld
and Universal Studios in
Hector de Jesus
"I am going home to
Puerto Rico to see my
Navy Lt. j.g.
"I definitely want to get
some snorkeling and golf
in for leave. Also I want
to go see my parents in
"I might go to Orlando.
Florida. to see my
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
THE WIRE I PAGE 13
525th MP Battalion Chaplain
Cursing in the military is probably as
old as the military itself. We even have we II
known phrases like, "Cursing like a
Sailor" to prove it not that they
have a monopoly on it believe
Every service is marred
by the language of its
people. You may be
surprised to know
that it is actually
a violation of the
Uniform Code of
In the Bible,
the book of
of Jesus) says
that if a man
then they are
that the tongue is
a relatively small
part of the body yet
it makes great boasts.
It is like a match. It is
itself a very small and
unimposing object but the
fire that it can cause could cost
lives and billions of dollars in
In the not so distant past the practice
of washing one's mouth out with soap was
employed to stop the behavior and for a
small amount of time it would work, but
it did little to stop the behavior altogether.
Perhaps you will be surprised to hear it,
but I myself used to have an uncontrollable
potty mouth! As I studied Scripture, I
quickly learned that it was displeasing to
God and conviction came upon me to want
to change. I studied more and I learned
that quitting was not as easy
as one might think. Try it and
you will agree. Taming the tongue is harder
than taming lions.
I learned through my study that the
Bible says that it is out of the abundance
of the heart that the mouth speaks. The
Lord showed me a garbage can one day
and prodded me to attempt to get jewels or
gold, silver or pearls from it. I knew that
I couldn't for the simple reason that no
one had put any of those things in it. He
said, "That's how your speech and heart
are connected as well." Once I got it, the
next step was for me to start putting
what I wanted to come out of my
mouth, into my heart. I wanted
to be a man whose speech
was tempered with grace
and wisdom. I decided
that for every curse
word that I said, I
would put in several
verses of Scripture.
It didn't take long
for my speech to
change and the
only effort it
took was to read
after I caught
a curse word. I
even invited my
friends in to hold
me accountable. I
cursed for a while
more because it was
already in me but it
My favorite verses
that helped me are:
Proverbs 4:20-24 and
Ephesians 4:29. If you are
appalled at the things that come
out of your mouth, perhaps it's time
to do something about it. Knowing is
half the battle and the character strength
to want to change combined with knowing
what to do about it is the other half. Start
today and you'll be surprised at how fast
you can change! O
SI i liii P1
Sunday: 7 a.m. Confession
7:30 a.m. Mass
Wednesday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
PAGE 14 1 THE WVIRE
From left, Coast Guard Cmdr. Steve Pope, Chief Petty Officer Paul Seitz, Petty Officer Ist Class Jarrett Swann,
Chief Warrant Officer Monty Willaford, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Packett and Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Epperly
are all stationed at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
* Small town bonds tie PSU Coasties
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The Coast Guard, as one of the nation's
smallest services, is a tight-knit community
of people who share a love of
country and of the water. Not
too far from the mainland, at
a naval base on the island of
Cuba, another small, tight-knit
community exists. Within this
community of Troopers, six
Coasties share an even deeper
bond, originating from the waters of the
Cmdr. Steve Pope, Chief Warrant Officer
Monty Willaford, Chief Petty Officer
Paul Seitz, Petty Officer 1t Class Jarrett
Swann, Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Epperly
and Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Packett-
all members of the Fort Eustis-based
Port Security Unit (PSU) 305, currently
stationed at Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay, hail from the same area around the
northern neck and middle peninsula of the
Chesapeake Bay. A quiet, rural area dotted
with small towns and friendly people, the
region relies heavily on the surrounding
water that runs through the Rappahannock,
York and Potomac rivers into the bay.
"Though the area is made
counties, the thread that ties
is the local character and the
a Mathew's County resident
The men describe grow
region using phrases like
/ Each unit has a p
on its members.
slo%\ pace" and "a place wh
knows everybody." They s
experiences, references and
from the towns they call hoi
area where these men have cl
to settle down and raise their
"When you grow up in
that, it's easier to relate to eac
Packett, who lives in Lancast
In an area known for its
and recreational fishing, man
grew up working and playing
and naturally leaned towa
Guard when choosing a bran
"I grew up on the water an
had a love for the water," Sei
The unit is stationed at Gu
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009 115 MINUTES OF FAME
up of separate to provide maritime antiterrorism force
them together protection for the base and the surrounding
water," Pope, waters as well as providing security during
and the unit's the military commissions process for Joint
Task Force Guantanamo.
ing up in the According to Pope, PSU 305 has a
lo\\ crime," Mid-Atlantic, Southern culture based on
the areas in Virginia and North
personality based Carolina where a large portion of
the unit is from.
"Each unit has a personality
- Cmdr. Steve Pope based on its members," Pope said.
Because PSU 305 is primarily
staffed with reservists, many of the
ere everybody unit members previously drilled together.
hare common This common personality and background
acquaintances brings a familiarity to the unit, creating a
me. This is an closer bond among the Coasties as they do
losen to stay their day-to-day jobs.
families. "We find ourselves always talking about
an area like the area," Swann said. "It's nice to be able
ch other," said to relate to people who are close to your
ter County. hometown."
boatbuilding These small town bonds have helped
y of these men the members of PSU 305 accomplish their
g in the water mission smoothly in the three months
rd the Coast they've been in country.
ch of service. "There is a higher bond of dependability
d have always when you know who you're dealing with,"
tz said. Willaford said. "We share common traits
antanamo Bay because of our similar upbringing." 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 15
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Coast Guard Petty Officer 3'd Class Domario Johnson tends to a
"wounded" Marine during an underway MEDEVAC drill March 11. The ;
mock injured were transported by Port Security Unit 305 to the Naval ,,
Hospital at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay where Navy corpsmen ,
provided further medical care. -.ITF ,Guantanamn:1 i:, .t:40 L't Il Pett,
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Army Pfc. Chris Hutchinson conducts
area beautification on one ofJTF GTMO's
fields. -.ITF ,3Guantanamn:1 ph::oto L', -n,
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