HEADQUARTERS
278TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT
Tennessee Army National Guard, P.O. Box 10167
Knoxville, Tennessee 37939-0167
http://www.geocities.com/278acr/

OLD'E BILL'S CHIPS

Publishing Date 04 April 2003
Bulletin Number 04-03

 

1.  "SABER SIX"   REGIMENTAL COMMANDER,  COL HASTON

a.      RETENTION AND RECRUITING  I continue to receive requests for conditional releases with little or no documentation.  When documentation is received it is very weak and unsubstantial.  Commanders are the only one that can recommend approval.  Readiness NCOs and Administrative Officers are not authorized to sign or approve for the Commander.   Having said that, Commanders should personally interview all soldiers requesting a conditional release and make sure that they have done everything to assist the soldier.  This includes helping him find civilian employment.  We must take care of our soldiers.

        Our strength fell again this month.  Each unit must re-energize their recruiting plans.   Commanders, have you placed quotas on your subordinate Commanders?  At least for leads?  The highest hurdle in Readiness is strength.

b.      ANNUAL TRAINING  2/278 and 190th ENG are conducting AT at FT Knox, KY.  Followed by separate AT periods by each Squadron.  This also includes the Warfighter exercise in Smyrna, TN.  I have received lots of request to be excused from AT.  Just because we did an NTC rotation, Annual Training this year is not optional.  Each soldier must perform an AT period.  Some of the soldiers who are asking for excusal are habitual offenders and we must ensure that they are receiving the proper training for their assigned positions--their lives may depend on it.

c.      GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARDS   Many soldiers of the Regiment have requested and been assigned Bank of America Government Travel Cards.  These Cards are for "official" government travels only.  They are to pay for lodging, meals and limited transportation while on orders.  As I said in a previous edition of "Chips", they are not for groceries, gas for POVs or Bar Tabs.  If soldiers can't use them responsibly then they will be terminated.

d.      OER SUPPORT FORMS  I am still receiving OER Support Forms that look like they were completed by a third grader.  If you care about your career, please place some thought into what you present.  Raters, you should be looking closely at what is being submitted during your counseling sessions.

e.      OERs  Recently I have had some soldiers complaining about not being "top blocked".  They said they were told by "sources" that if they did not receive the "top" block they would never be promoted.   This is not true!  I have contacted the personnel branch at NGB and they said that an officer would remain highly competitive if they receive mid range OERs.  In fact, if raters and senior raters rating don't match or if senior raters "inflates" ratings and has a "misfire", it can have a negative effect.  Commanders (Raters), be honest in your evaluations and stop trying to play "beat the system" games.

f.      M-DAY DENTAL COVERAGE  One of the most prevalent issues during mobilizations has been the poor dental health of soldiers deploying.  This is normally discovered during SRPs or Physical Examinations.  Our M-day soldiers indicate they can't afford dental treatment or insurance coverage is not available where they are employed.  M-Day soldiers can get TRI-CARE Dental coverage !  Get a brochure from your unit or call 1-800-866-8499. 

g.      REGIMENTAL WARFIGHTER  The Regiment will complete its BCBST with a CPX in Smyrna, TN 19-22 June 03.  In February we completed the seminar at FT Leavenworth. KS.  It is very easy to forget about the details with all that is going on in the world but this is a very critical event.  We must remain focused!  Complete your products and make sure they are complete and correct.  You will fight this plan.  Also, those selected to be "Puckers" must have a clear understanding or your plan and have the initiative to "fill in the gaps" with maneuver and common sense.  Don't simply select whoever is available!

h.      NGAT/EANGTN  With the exception of a couple of units, the Regiment is 100% membership.  Those units must once again encourage all officers to join.  I am personally willing to discuss this with individual soldiers if they need more explanations as to what these organizations do for us.    I strongly encourage all enlisted soldiers to join EANGTN.  Their membership dues are extremely reasonable and they do a great deal for our soldiers!  The NGAUS Conference this year will be held in Biloxi, MS 6-9 September 2003.  We need to have a large Regimental presence. 

i.      FINAL OBJECTIVE  This past week we held a memorial and inurnment service for COL Russell A. Newman, the first Commander of the 278th ACR.  COL Newman is the reason that the Regiment exists today.  His hard work, dedication and vision got Tennessee an Armored Cavalry Regiment and we owe him a lot.  I want to thank all of those who participated in the services and those who worked so hard to expedite Spring-Cleaning to make the Armory presentable.  COL Newman made a difference!

2.      HONORARY COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT (COL(R) McKNIGHT):

        COL RUSSELL NEWMAN  Last month we lost Colonel Russell Austin Newman, USA (Ret) who passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2003 in Knoxville.  Colonel Newman served as the 1st Colonel of the Regiment starting in 1977 when the Regiment was organized until he retired from the Army in June 1985.  As an ex-Regimental Commander and 1st Colonel of the Regiment he has been called the "The Father" of the Regiment because he and Major General Carl Wallace fought so hard to get the ACR allocated to Tennessee.  He was instrumental in organizing the Regiment across East Tennessee.  He served as the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment beginning in June 1996 until April 2002. 

        In my opinion, Colonel Newman was a great RCO because he possessed the four traits that are common to great commanders:

        First, he always maintained a keen sense of humor.  He found humor in any situation and laughed about it.  I remember he used to talk about the "four ups of Hinesville."  He would say "If you go downtown to Hinesville and get drunked up, you will get screwed up, beat up, and lastly locked up!" 

        Second, he was intensely loyal to his soldiers.  His first concern was always for the soldiers of his command.  He used to say "let's get the troops out of the hot sun!" He would go to great lengths to protect "his soldiers”.

        Third, he was fair in all his dealings with the troops under his command and with his higher headquarters.  He would support his staff and commanders even if they were wrong.  In private he would tell you what you did wrong then let you fix the problem to make it right.  I know this is true thinking back to some of the stunts I pulled while serving under his command.

        Lastly, he loved our Regiment and the soldiers who served in the Regiment.  He always had time for any soldier to talk to him about any subject.  He had the unique ability to remember names of soldiers and their family names.  I never heard him speak a harsh word to any man.  He would speak firmly and make his will known. 

        The 1st Colonel was a soldier's soldier who will be remembered by all who knew him. 

3.      "SABER 5" - REGIMENTAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LTC BELEW):

a.      ANNUAL TRAINING  2nd Squadron and 190th Engineer's Annual Training is underway.  FT Knox is the same place and has not changed since last you were there.  The facilities are the same as always and we have found a place to get a roof over everyone's head.  As we conduct our training I want to make sure we review what we did right last year and how we can repeat or improve the performance this year.  We moved this regiment completely across the country to the NTC and back without a single serious incident.  That is a record that will stand for a long time.  As we move to FT Knox or FT Campbell this year lets remind ourselves how we managed our safety program and brought everyone home alive.  I expect Risk Assessments to be part and parcel of each and every convoy checklist and a complete safety briefing for POV operators before they leave home station.  As the rest of the regiment prepares for AT lets look at what goes right and what goes less than perfect and not repeat the same mistakes at each iteration.

b.      GUNNERY  It has been several years since we conducted our gunnery program and we are not performing up to standard.   We have the finest tools available to prepare us for the live fire qualification gates as we get ready for Tank Table VIII.  Make sure you are utilizing your A-FIST and M-COFT to get your crew ready for your upcoming range time.  I expect the Master Gunners to ensure the units are ready and that the maintenance posture on the tanks is FMC before the unit gets there, --not on the ready pad.

c.      RECRUITING AND RETENTION  We must do better.  What else can I say.  Every one of us is a recruiter and each of us is retention NCO.  The benefits and reasons to stay in or join the guard are the same reasons you stay.  It's either for the patriotism or the challenges or for your friends or just to get out of the house once a month.  We have got to teach and demonstrate to every person we meet that the guard belongs to them.  We are what make America strong because we represent the American spirit in ways the active component can never do.  The war in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought the military into the American home and with it the number of people interested in joining up has increased.   Let's make sure we have the tools to show what the guard can do for everyone who wants to participate.

  1. "SABER 7" - COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR (CSM PIPPIN):

a.      ANNUAL TRAINING 2003  Annual training 2003 has already started with the Peacemaker Squadron and the 190th Engineers completing week one at Fort Knox.  Based on their first week, I suggest all first line leaders complete the PCC/PCI according to SOP.  During my annual training visits, I will be checking uniform standards, morale, training, and soldier discipline.

b.      NCOES/MOSQ SCHOOL FAILURES  I will continue to list soldier's names and their unit for failing to achieve standards on the Army APFT and sent home from a school.  We have to do a better job for our soldiers before we send them to school.  Senior NCO leaders are tasked to make this happen.

c.      EPPS 2003  The promotion boards were held last month at the RTI, TMA.  The NCOERs did not improve from last year.  On the majority of the NCOERs it was noted that raters still do not know how to rate a soldier.  There were no signatures, bullet statements did not comply, no current NCOER in the soldier's packet, and the 4100 not completed correctly.  Anytime a First Sergeant and a Master Sergeant can not be placed on the leaders list due to no NCOER, I fault the unit for that problem.

        Board Actions:
        SFC Danny E. Carroll, not boarded for MSG due to no NCOER.
        1SG William Barnes, not placed on the E9 list due to no NCOER.

  1. "SABER 1" - PERSONNEL & ADMIN OFFICER (MAJ JONES):

a.      PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS  Effective immediately, promotion to higher grade can not be completed with a copy of college transcripts. Any transcript that has Student Copy or any words to that effect will not be accepted. The transcript must be an original with the raised seal. This is in accordance with NGR 600-100 9-4 d. CNGB will not accept any other form of transcripts.

b.      MORALE, WELFARE AND RECREATION FUND  Reminder the Annual MWR Report is due to this headquarters, ATTN:  RS-1, NLT 1 September 2003.  Please remember to furnish receipts for all monies received from the MWR account.  Your account will be frozen if receipts are not received NLT 30 days after issuance of check.  POC for this action is CPL Eileen McAfee at 865-582-3225. 

c.      RETIREMENT SEMINARS  If you have a soldier with 19 good years of service or more and they have not been to a retirement seminar, please schedule them immediately for one. SFC Diana Moore is responsible for putting together these retirement seminars. She cannot help our soldiers without us helping them also. We our doing our soldiers an incredible injustice if they have 19 years and are not scheduled for a seminar.

d.      OFFICER EVALUATION REPORTS  Officers are reminded that it is their personal responsibility to ensure they are up-to-date on all OERs.  It is also the individual officer's responsibility to ensure a face to face discussion takes place with 30 days to discuss his or her duty description and performance objective (DA Form 67-9-1).  Please contact your Squadron S-1 to ensure your OERs are up-to-date.

e.      ARMY PERSONNEL TESTING  ACT and SAT testing is available through Fort Campbell, KY at no cost to the soldier.  The ACT test is available on the 1st Friday of each month at 0730.  The SAT test is available on the 3d Friday of each month at 0730.  Please call and make arrangements prior to at (270) 798-3402/2662, hours of operation 0730-1600 CT.

f.      2003 TENNESSEE NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH DEVELOPMENT WEEK (KID'S CAMP)  The Ninth Annual Kid's Camp will be held in Smyrna, TN during the period July 13-19 2003.  Ages 9-12 who are dependents of current members of the Tennessee Guard are eligible to attend.  There is also a program for ages 13-14  and 15-17.  Check with your local unit administrator for details.

g.      WAIVER OF COLLEGE DEGREE FOR LTS  Waiver of Baccalaureate Degree does not apply to Army National Guard Officers who were commissioned through State OCS.  All Army National Guard Officers must obtain a Baccalaureate Degree prior to promotion to CPT.  The Secretary of the Army is the only waiver authority.

h.      71L PHASES OUT  71L MTOE positions will be phased over the next four years starting in Fiscal Year 05.  More information to follow.

i.      PROMOTION TO CW2  The authority to promote to CW2 without a Federal Recognition Board is rescinded.  All packets for promotion to CW2 will go before a FRB before being forwarded to NGB for Federal Recognition. 

6.      "SABER 2" - INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (MAJ KIEFER):

a.      DOCTRINAL TEMPLATE  This is a tool used to develop SITTEMPs. The Doctrinal Template is a graphic picture of how the enemy would deploy on the salt flats. In other words, it is how they would like to deploy without consideration for terrain or enemy.

b.      SITUATIONAL TEMPLATE  This is a tool and a product that depicts enemy disposition with consideration to the terrain, weather, enemy, etc., should they adopt a particular course of action. In short, it considers all battlefield effects. The SITTEMP helps us at all levels to visualize the enemy in our AO and AI. The SITTEMP normally portrays enemy units two command levels down. The Regiment, for example would portray the enemy down to the troop/company/battery level. The SITTEMP does not always depict the current enemy situation. It should portray the enemy at a critical point in the battle. For example, in the case of an attacking enemy, it would do little good to portray all enemy forces in their AA even though that might be their current location. It would be more desirable to portray them when most of their forces are "in play".

c.      EVENT TEMPLATE/MATRIX  The EVENTTEMP is a tool that helps us guide collection planning and management, thus helping to confirm or deny enemy COAs. The EVENTTEMP includes enemy decision points, NAIs, and likely enemy routes. It may also include time phase lines for each route or approaching enemy force. In the offense, it considers the COAs adopted by enemy maneuver elements such as the Assault Force, Fixing Force, and Exploitation Force. In the defense, it considers COAs of reinforcing or counterattacking forces. The EVENTTEMP is used with an Event Matrix to aid in confirmation of the enemy COA. The matrix simply shows the enemy events, corresponding to an enemy COA, which would take place at each NAI. For example, the presence of tanks in a particular NAI might indicate the exploitation force, which might indicate the enemy has adopted a particular COA. The presence of dismounted infantry in that same NAI might indicate a different COA.

d.      ISR OVERLAY  The ISR overlay is a graphic representation of NAIs assigned by higher, and includes those that you have developed at your level. For example, the Regiment would indicate Corps NAIs to which we are assigned and the regimental NAIs that we have developed for our own use. In conjunction with the ISR taking matrix, the ISR overlay tasks subordinate units with responsibility for NAIs, which will fill gaps in intelligence, and ultimately answer the commander's PIR. The ISR overlay may also include specific collectors, and the positions to which they are assigned, as well as their area of responsibility.

e.      PIR  Many intelligence tools and products are designed and used to help us answer our commander's PIR (Priority Intelligence Requirements). We are the "eyes and ears" for the Corps Commander, and through ISR (Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance), we help him answer PIR at his level as well. An IR (Intelligence Requirement) is a requirement to fill a gap in information about the enemy or the battlefield. Intelligence requirements that are necessary to support decisions the commander must make which affect overall mission accomplishment are designated by the commander as PIR. PIRs are answered for the commander by gathering information through use of NAIs (Named Area of Interest). An NAI is a geographical area where information that will satisfy a specific information requirement can be gathered.

7.      "SABER 3" - OPERATIONS OFFICER (LTC ADAMS):

a.      ANNUAL TRAINING  We have started Annual Training 03. Currently Second Squadron and the 190th Engineers are engaged.  Risk assessments, are critical to safety during operations. CW4 Stone has provided excellent guidance and resources during all operations. If you have any questions about safety please contact him.

        All crew gunnery at all levels requires rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. Boresiting, crew drills, and a sense of urgency is a must on the range.  If it can go wrong it will, if it can break it will, and commo will work sometimes etc... Successful units plan for the expected and unexpected.

b.      WARFIGHTER  The order has been issued and all units are required to provide their orders with overlays back to this Headquarters NLT 04MAY03.  In turn, we will consolidate these graphics and forward to Leavenworth later in the month.

c.      REGIMENTAL YEARLY TRAINING CALENDAR (YTC)  This has become a critical tool in planning and resourcing all training events in the regiment.  CPT Turner cross checks this against TROUPERS to ensure that they match. If your training event is not on the Regimental YTC it will not have the visibility required to be resourced.

8.      "SABER 4" - LOGISTICS OFFICER (MAJ DARNBUSH):

a.      LOGISTICAL FOCUS  The Regiment's Logistical Focus for FY 03 is Pass CLRT.  To do this we must 1) Decrease Excess Property; 2) Complete Lateral Transfers; 3) Comply with CSDP; and 4) successful COMET's.

b.      CSDP  FY 03 CSDP, change 2 was published and distributed 6 Feb 03.  Each Separate Unit and Squadron HHT will receive two this FY.  The first visit's focus is the checklist provided in the CEP.  The second visit is to review corrective actions and focus on CLRT checklist.

c.      NEW EQUIPMENT FIELDING  New Medical sets for each squadron, HHT,  and 190 EN Co is in a "HOLD" status pending world situation.

d.      CENTRAL ISSUE FACILITY (CIF) CONVERSION  ReferencesMemo dtd 27 Nov 01, AGTN-DOL; Memo dtd 11 Mar 02, USPFO-SS; memo dtd 5 Nov 02, AGTN-DOL.  Units were to complete 100% showdown inspection of all soldiers prior to 1 Oct 02.  Memo dtd 29 Jan 03 was distributed for specific unit execution.

e.      COMET.  FY 03 COMET schedule was distributed October 2002 and January 2003.  Requests for changes must be submitted to this office.

f.      AT 03.  Annex I (Service Support) to OPORD 03-01 was issued Friday, 24 Jan 03.  Please review and execute those items with suspense dates.

g.      REPORTS OF SURVEY  Detailed information is required to properly process Reports of Surveys by this office.  Insurance does not cover stupidity and neither should Responsible/Accountable Officers.  Like insurance companies we should review accidents, thefts, and negligence on a case by case basis.  The Army has provided us with a great step by step "how to book" with pictures, diagrams, and definitions.  It is called AR 735-5, Policies and Procedures for Property Accountability.

9.      "SABER REDLEG" - FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER:  NO ENTRY

10.     "SABER SQUELCH" - SIGNAL OFFICER:  NO ENTRY

11.     S-5 CIVIL AFFAIRS OFFICER (MAJ KEISMAN):

        VIP LUNCHEON   The Employer Support Group (ESGR) VIP luncheon scheduled for 25 April 2003 at the Dogwood Arts Festival Air Show is cancelled.

12.  "SABER MIKE GOLF" -- REGT MASTER GUNNER (SFC FOUTS):

a.      TADS UTILIZATION  Tracking of the TADS systems is a very critical report as this is a one-page report that can be utilized to see the "big pitcher" of crew utilization.  This report can be updated on the share file and is to be completed monthly by the 1st of each month.

b.      GUNNERY PREPERATION  It is critical that all units keep up-to-date the Regimental Battle Roster NLT 1st of each month.  This roster allows our squadrons and regimental staff to have accurate visibility on the progress of our crews.

1.   M1 and M3 commander handbooks.  All have been distributed and more will be printed by the end of next month.  Electronic versions are available.

2.   2/278 AT.  While on ADVON at Ft. Knox, KY I witnessed a positive attitude by all Peacemaker soldiers.  These soldiers were "well-read" into their squadron's annual training plan.

3.   Keys to success.  Following iterations must not only a positive attitude, but an aggressive attitude and willingness to "get the job done."  In addition, all must know the task, conditions and standards.

4.   Ballistic Vest.  Squadron commanders will determine utilization of the armor crewmembers' ballistic vest.

13.  "SABER SAFETY" -- REGIMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER (CW4 STONE):

a.      REMINDERS  This year at Annual Training, we will be using green dots on our watches.  Units can purchase them at their office supplies store for $2 for 450.  Make sure everyone has one on his watch.

        Other ideas:

                1.  NVD use requires training and qualification annotated on the driver's license.
                2.  Bring all your BII, including chock blocks and drip pans
                3.  Spill Kits
               
4.
  Must have a HAZMAT Certifier for all trucks carrying ammo and fuel.

                5.  Every driver must be certified to drive ammo and fuel loads, which must be annotated on their driver's license.  The HAZMAT Certifier can certify your drivers in one day.  It is a requirement every 2 years.  Call me if you need help.

                6.  Also, Accident Avoidance Training is required for every driver.
                7.  Practice rollover drills now.
                8.  Talk to your people about the Buddy System.  Everyone should have a buddy to keep an eye on them.
                9.  If you take all of your weapons instead of taking just enough for each individual, you will end up securing them in the rear and you will need a 24 hour armed guard.  It's your call.

b.      THE ABCS OF NVDS (FROM COUNTERMEASURES)

        WOW!  A soldier has just looked through night vision goggles (NVGs) for the first time. He can see -he thinks -and he 'd like to put the goggles on and go. What he doesn 't know is that while NVGs increase night light to incredible levels, they don 't turn night into day and they don 't show him everything. Like all Night Vision Devices (NVDs), the goggles have some limitations.  Some of those are limitations in the devices themselves while others are in the eye.  Sometimes those limitations show up in the accident reports and they 're worth being aware of. Let 's look at some of the most common concerns.

        Reduced Field of View
        The view through NVDs can be a lot like looking down a tunnel. Your normal field of view is almost 190 degrees -but that is cut down to 40 degrees with NVDs. That side -or "peripheral "-vision you 're accustomed to, and from which you often see dangers, is just not there. To adjust for that you must constantly turn your head to scan for the dangers on either side of you that you can 't see in your narrow field of view.

        Reduced Visual Acuity (Sharpness)
        At their best, NVGs cannot provide the same level of sharpness to what you see as what you 're accustomed to in the daytime. While normal vision is 20/20, NVGs can, at best, provide only 20/25 to 20/40,and even this is possible only during optimal illumination and when you have a high-contrast target or scene. As either illumination or contrast decreases, the NVG 's visual acuity drops, giving you an even more "fuzzy " image..

        Reduced Depth and Distance Perception
        Normally you use both eyes (binocular vision)to pick up cues to help estimate the distance and depth of an abject. However, with NVDs you are essentially using one eye (monocular)vision, which can pose real problems. For example, when you are wearing NVDs and you view two objects of different sizes that are side-by-side, the larger object appears to be nearer. When you view overlapping objects through an NVD, the one that is in front "appears " to be nearer -maybe much more so than is true. In addition, some objects viewed through NVGs may appear to be farther away than they actually are. The reason for that is that we tend to associate the loss of detail sharpness with distance. On the other hand, a light source that is not part of a terrain feature -for example, a light atop a tower -may look closer than it actually is. It 's important to be aware of these potential problems and that NVG users tend to overestimate distance and underestimate depth (how tall an object is).

        Dark Adaptation
        Your eye needs time to adjust from day to night vision. That 's why you can barely see when you first enter a dark movie theater during the daytime -your eyes need time to adjust to the darkness. So it is with NVGs. You are basically getting a dim-day view, so when you remove your NVGs, your eyes need time to adapt to the darkness. The amount of time you need depends on how long you have been wearing the NVGs. Most people achieve about a 75 percent dark-adaptation within 30 seconds of removing the goggles. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are using your NVGs as binoculars -basically lifting them to your eyes and then lowering them.

        In Summary
        Accidents ranging from fender-benders to mission stoppers sometimes happen because people misinterpret what they see through their NVDs. To train safely and win on the battlefield, you need to understand the limitations of your night vision equipment and be skilled in using it. Leaders also need to be aware of the hazards involved in NVD operations and take measures to control the risks.