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 12 August 2002
Bulletin Number 02-08

1.      "SABER 6" - REGIMENTAL COMMANDER (COL HASTON):

a.      Retention and Recruiting: During the recent readiness reporting it was apparent that strength is declining. This is not from the lack new recruits but from soldiers leaving the Regiment. Each unit Commander must take a careful look at why soldiers are leaving. Again I ask, are we following the 12 months counseling program? How are you tracking this. I expect counseling forms to be done. The CSM and I are looking hard at this and each unit should be too!

b.      Conditional Releases: When a soldier enlists in the TNARNG he signs a contract. This is a legal and binding document. A soldier may be released from this contract with the approval of this Headquarters if sufficient documentation is provided. Just because a soldier wants to "go on active duty" is not a reason. The TNARNG has no responsibility to fill the ranks of the active component. Commanders at all levels must ask hard questions and demand documentation. Documentation should be clear evidence of a hardship.

c.      Equipment Accountability: Remember the September requirement to account for all equipment to include TA-50. It is critical that all shortages be identified so items may be ordered on TY-02 funds.

d.      Military Education: The priority for training next TY is Duty-MOSQ then NCOES/OES. Commanders at all levels must get those non-DMOSQ soldiers enrolled into school. No one should receive an answer of "they are not slots, there is no money or we will get you in later." A soldier can be placed in a "wait" status but he is still registered. We have lots of Corporals in the field. If a soldier is a corporal he should be serving in an E-5 position and enrolled into PLDC waiting to attend. If they are overweight, can't pass the APFT or won't go to school, they must be removed from the position. This has the highest priority and visibility. Help me fix this!

e.      EPPS: Throughout the Regiment we have vacant NCO leadership positions that should be published for filling or bid out. When we hold vacancies waiting for the "Right Person" to become available, we are aborting the process and depriving a soldier of a promotion but also a unit of leadership. Do not sit on these positions. When they become vacant-get them out on the street for consideration. If a substandard person is high on the SPL it is because the leadership has allowed it to occur. Hidden Message-Do an honest evaluation on NCOERS and OERs.

f.      NGAT/EANGTN: The NGAUS National Conference is being held 6-10 September 2002 in Long Beach, CA. I know we have just spent a month in California but this will be a great conference. BG (P) Hargett, our new Adjutant General, is a candidate for President of NGAUS. We need everyone's support to get him elected. Commanders, start reminding your officers of upcoming membership dues in December. It easier to start now rather than wait until February as usual. The enlisted Conference will be held this year 18-22 August 2002 in Niagara Falls, NY. Tennessee has a C-130 departing from Nashville, TN.

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

a.      Soldier Discipline: When unit leaders do not conform to established policies pertaining to the wear and appearance of the uniform, they take authority away from our junior noncommissioned officers to make uniform corrections on their soldiers. In most cases, our young sergeants are responsible for two or three soldiers. One of the key areas that help the young leader step away from his peers and assume a position of authority is the opportunity to enforce standards and develop discipline in soldiers. Uniform discipline forms part of the foundation of basic discipline that enables our junior leaders to become established in a position of authority. When senior leaders do not conform to established policies and procedures to an exact standard, they demonstrate that standards are not important. "Lead by example" is one of the eleven principles of leadership. This principle is a form of communication that sets the tone of discipline by senior leaders to their subordinate leaders. Junior leaders lose their position of authority to make on-the-spot corrections. Once this ability to make on-the-spot corrections goes away, these junior noncommissioned officers become less involved with their soldiers. In many cases they assume the role of a higher paid soldier and not a noncommissioned officer in a leadership role.

b.      NCOER: Bullet comments are optional when success ratings are given. This was designed to stress that success ratings mean the NCO meets the standards. The best success bullets identify what the rated NCO did during the rating period and deal with specifics related to the NCOs duties and responsibilities. Good NCOs deserve to have their permanent file reflect what they accomplished. Reports with five success box checks and no bullet comments from the rater are hard to interpret by boards. The question arises as to whether the NCO really meets the standards or if the NCO is borderline between success and needs improvement. This makes it difficult for board members and personnel managers to get a true picture of the NCO. Raters should consider the potential effect of submitting an NCO-ER with no bullets or a success box check with a negative bullet. Ensure that the rating you want to portray is easily understood.

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

a.      OER's: We are still behind on OER's. Now that we have returned from the NTC, we need to shift our focus toward "catching up" on some of our administrative requirements. Start working on them now and you won't be swamped next month!

b.      PERSONNEL CHANGES: The following personnel changes have been made in the RS-1 shop:

        SSG Tim Prater: Enlisted Personnel Transactions Discharges, Promotions, Conditional Releases, All orders. Phone extension: 3209

        SGT Tom Vineyard: OERS and Officer Transactions. Phone extension: 3225
        SGT Kirk: LOD's, Strength Report, Postage Report, and the MWR fund. Phone extension: 3213
        CPL South: EPPS, Awards, NCOER. Phone extension: 3210

c.      AWARDS: Individuals submitting an award should ensure the award is grammatically correct and IAW TNARNGR 600-8-22. Ensure your comments substantiate the requested award.

d.      NTC CERTIFICATES: All units should provide the RS-1 office with a list of personnel who will not receive a NTC certificate and any personnel who have a certificate that needs correction.

e.      MWR REQUESTS: REMINDER -- All units are required to submit a MWR Dividend for Annual Training NLT 15 August 2002. If you do not submit the request you will not receive the appropriate money due to your unit.

4.      "SABER 3" - OPERATIONS OFFICER (MAJ ARCHER):

a.      TACSOP Review. As always after a major exercise, everyone should review their TACSOP's for required changes. As the proponent for the Regimental TACSOP, the Squadron common TACSOP, and the Troop, Company, and Battery common TACSOP's, I want your input on needed changes to these SOP's. Please send recommended changes ELECTRONICALLY to [email protected] <> or [email protected] <> . Include the justification for the change and the change as it should read. We will NOT be changing report formats since they follow the Army standard as outlined in FM 101-5-2. Requested changes must be submitted NLT 1 Oct 02.

b.      NTC 02-09 Hotwash. The AAR (Hotwash) for our NTC rotation will be conducted 12-15 Sep 02 at Seattle, WA. The primary purpose of this conference is to pass information to the following 2 Enhanced Brigades as they prepare for their NTC rotations. All personnel that are attending have been notified, the orders have been cut, and plane reservations are being made. All attendees will submit their slides to the RS-3 shop for consolidation NLT 23 Aug 02. Send them to either MAJ Archer, CPT Coleman, or CPT Bowlin. Current plans are for select personnel to backbrief the slides to BG(P) Hargett on 29 Aug 02. If you have any questions, please call.

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

a.      Fort Knox MATES. Reference memo dtd 3 Aug 02, RS-4, Subject: Equipment Regen @ Ft Knox MATES - PHASE 2. Units with equipment at MATES will update hand receipts, inventory, clean, and document our equipment maintained at MATES.

b.      Fort Campbell UTES. Regiment will conduct same type post NTC maintenance activities at UTES as accomplished at MATES NET 19 Aug 02. Memo TBP.

c.      Redeployment. Vehicles missing from the rail load sites should have already been identified and forwarded to CPT Sharp per e-mail notification week of 15 Jul 02 and 3 Aug 02.

d.      Equipment Readiness. The last two USR (Apr and Jul) indicates that Squadron's and Separate Units do not pay attention to its AMMS data that is available every month from its supporting OM Shops. This includes data on HS equipment, UTES and MATES. It is the Squadron's Senior Supply Sergeant and Separate Unit Supply Sergeants responsibility to maintain and update this monthly requirement. No more excuses. CPT Miller forwarded information last April as to what information the units were to bring to the next USR. Every "AA" unit received a "NO GO" this month. Ask the right question at the right time to obtain the information in a timely manner. If you have problems with your supporting OMS then call MAJ Darnbush or CPT Miller.

e.      ULLS-G Training. State Maintenance will conduct Mid Level Maintenance training in Knoxville on 7-8 Sep 02 and in Smyrna on 14-15 Sep 02. Memo TBP. POC is CPT Miller.

f.      AT 03. RS-4 office has reviewed billeting and dining facility availability at Ft Knox, KY for our Annual Training dates. Will conduct final coordination 1st Quarter TY 03.

g.      100 % Equipment Accountability. All After Annual Training 100% inventory must be complete by 13 Sep 02. Reference memo published by PBO.

h.      Officer's Association Holiday Ball - Gatlinburg: This year we expect to have the best Regimental Holiday Ball ever! It will be held the weekend of 13 thru 15 December at the River Terrace in Gatlinburg. The cocktail party, dinner and dance are on Saturday night, but many of us arrive on Thursday or Friday and stay till Monday to make a weekend out of it (we have deeply discounted rates for Thursday and Sunday nights). On Friday afternoon we are making plans for the First Annual Holiday Ball Golf Tournament which is open to everyone - especially the attendees of the Enlisted Ball. There is so much to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with rides and games for the kids at Dollywood and other amusement parks, hiking in the mountains, outlet malls for Christmas shopping, and many Vegas type shows, Governor's Crossing, a NASCAR track, and many excellent restaurants. Don't forget the fun run on Saturday morning which is also open to everyone. Come and rub elbows with your commander and show your spouse or friend the great people you work with at your part time job. An LOI will be published which will answer any questions you may have. Contact MAJ Darrell Darnbush at (865) 582-3242 or [email protected]. To make meal reservations, make your check out to your local Officers Association and turn it into your association point of contact. To make room reservations, call the River Terrace at 1-800-251-2040 and identify yourself as a member of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Don't miss this chance to get away for a fun weekend!

6.      "SABER REDLEG" - FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER (MAJ HART):

a.      NTC is over, but the memories will last forever. Old soldiers will recite embellished war stories to young recruits for years to come. Mythological characters performing one heroic act after another will captivate their attention. Around latrines, motor pools, and any other place old soldiers congregate, military legends will be born. And so it should be. NTC rotation 02-09 has ended and all that remains is a final curtain call, (HOTWASH) in Seattle. So sharpen up your stories. Revisit those special moments we had in the hot, desert sand. Try not to let the facts and details interfere with your perilous account. Next year another group of soldiers will venture west to the National Training Center. Help them experience the success you had. Tell your stories well, I know you can.

b.      AFATDS fielding will occur this fiscal year (03). 141300 Aug 02 is the initial brief at RGT HQ. The training program will continue throughout the year and culminate at AT03. All HWBs will conduct Annual Training 03, (2-16 August 03), at Ft. Campbell, KY. I, for one, will not shed a tear over the loss of our IFSAS.

c.      Ol' Bill's University is scheduled for February. Expect AFATDS training to be incorporated into this event.
d.      HOW BTRY live-fire is planned for Camp Shelby, MS. along with the squadron mortar sections. Dates are HWB 1/278, w/ Mortars (7-9 Mar 03), with follow-on forces HWBs 2/278 & 3/278, (14-16 Mar 03). Preliminary events such as gunner's exams, safety certification, etc... need to be conducted NLT JAN 03 with make-up capabilities in place for IDT in FEB 03.

e.      I am currently proposing to the RCO the movement of one COLT section per squadron to RGT HQ. These regimental 'set of eyes' will be trained, equipped, and stationed in Knoxville. Their mission would be to augment the Regiment's deep fight capability with regards to high payoff targeting (HPTs) and intel data collection (NAIs). Since no squadron has two complete COLT sections, this should not have an detrimental impact on any personnel issues or current capabilities at the squadron level. I encourage more dialogue on this issue and ask you send SFC Williams your thoughts via email.

f.      The beginning of Squadron CCTT exercises are just weeks off. We must work to provide FIST coverage for these critical events. Because of strength issues, some troops/companies are without dedicated FIST. This must be corrected. 13Fs are essential to our tactical success on the battlefield. Plan coverage for these events.

g.      The Regiment is in short supply of FA officers, particularly Lieutenants. Encourage those young enlisted soldiers with the appropriate educational requirements to stand up and be counted. OCS is a great challenge. We must keep the REDLEG blood in the Regiment flowing.

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

a.      I plan on setting up a share file in Network Neighborhood on the RCAS System that can be accessed by anyone with an RCAS computer. It will be under my name. In this file I will provide the documents necessary for all units (company/troops) to build a Safety Program. Then throughout the year I will try to visit as many units as possible to review their Safety Program and help them tweak it.

b.      In addition, I plan on setting up a file with Risk Management Worksheets (Risk Assessments) for the various missions and tasks that we receive. We will start with IWQ and PT. Look for it in the very near future.

c.      Meanwhile, let's continue discussing summer safety:

1.      Safety Tips For Waterskiing. I know a lot of troops have boats and with the temperature in the 90s every day this week, it is a great time to be boating and skiing.

Water-skiing is an exciting and challenging sport. However, like all "fast-action" sports that are fun, it does possess an element of risk. Many skiers and boaters are not aware of the potential hazards of water-skiing and as a result, are hurt or even killed pursuing this recreational sport. Attention to hazards in the area where you are skiing is especially critical due to the ever-growing number of boats out on the water.

2.      The Ski Area

a.      The size of the water area in which you intend to ski determines the number of boats and skiers that can operate within it at the same time. Each boat should be able to maintain a 200 foot wide "ski corridor" (100 feet on either side of the boat). The entire "skiing course" should be at least 2,000 - 3,000 feet long to avoid constant turning and risky maneuvering.

b.      A minimum depth of five to six feet of obstacle-free water is suggested for safe skiing to:

1.      Keep the skis from dragging bottom during starts.
2.      Allow for a margin of safety against hitting bottom or submerged obstacles during a fall.

c.      Serious injuries can result from hitting fixed objects such as docks, pilings or stumps. While many areas with obstacles are marked by warning buoys or signs, it is up to the boat operator, observer and skier to be alert to any potential hazards in the skiing area. Avoid solid objects when landing. Many serious injuries occur when skiers attempt to stop near docks or pilings. Ski only in areas you are familiar with. Consult charts of the area, ask other skiers who possess "local knowledge," and personally drive through the course before you actually ski it.

d.      As a rule, avoid skiing when the water is rough due to high winds. Choppy water demands a greater skill level and causes the skier to fatigue more quickly, often because the tow boat cannot maintain a constant speed. Skiing in the rain is not recommended because of the loss of visibility experienced by the boat operator. When skiing in cooler weather, be aware of the effects of hypothermia. Loss of body heat leads to a reduction in coordination and judgment. The use of wet suits is an effective way to ward off the chilling effects of wind and cold water.

3.      Safety Tips For Water-Skiers. Don't take unnecessary risks while water-skiing. The following tips will help you safely enjoy this thrilling sport:

a.      ALWAYS have an observer in the boat. This is a legal requirement in many states. The boat driver cannot watch the skier and operate the boat safely at the same time.

b.      ALWAYS wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) designed for water skiing. Ski belts are NOT recommended and are illegal to use in some states. Your approved PFD will help keep you afloat.

c.      Never ski in rough water. High waves or a choppy sea will prevent the tow boat from maintaining a steady course and speed, to say nothing of the impact on the skis themselves.

d.      Stay well clear of congested areas and obstructions. Water-skiing requires a lot of open area.
e.      Don't spray or "buzz" swimmers, boats, or other skiers. Such stunts are dangerous, discourteous, and could cause an unintentional collision.

f.      NEVER ski after dark. It is hazardous AND illegal. Any boat traveling fast enough to tow a skier is traveling too fast to navigate safely at night.

g.      NEVER water-ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such activity is extremely dangerous because of the impairment to your judgment and ability to respond. A recent study conducted with expert skiers who were deliberately intoxicated indicated that even their ability to ski was dramatically reduced.

h.      Use hand signals between the skier and observer. Agree before you start what each signal means so there is no confusion at a critical moment.

i.      Keep away from: Crowded Beaches, Docks, Swimming Areas, Rocks and Bridge Pilings

4.      Retrieving a Skier

a.      Falling down in the water while water-skiing is a common occurrence, especially for beginners. If a skier has fallen or made a water landing, pick them up as soon as possible, since floating skiers are difficult for other boats to see. While waiting to be picked up, the skier should hold up a ski to increase their chances of being recognized in the water. The boat operator reduces speed immediately while the observer maintains visual contact with the skier and directs the operator. Return to pick up the fallen skier with the boat at reduced speed and headed into the wind or current, whichever is stronger. Always turn off engine when approaching the skier. The observer is to watch for the skier's signal to indicate the skier is all right. If the signal is not seen, the operator must assume the skier is injured and needs immediate assistance. If the skier is injured but is able to grasp and hold a line, maneuver the boat upwind and close to the injured person. Turn off the engine, throw the injured skier a line and gently haul them in. If they cannot grasp and hold a line, follow the same procedure, but let the boat drift towards them without power. Always keep the operator's side toward the victim and NEVER retrieve anyone from the water with the engine running. Put a swimmer in the water to retrieve a skier only as a last resort.

5.      One last word...The headlines in today's paper concerned 2 small children who drowned in their own pool. Please, please keep an eye on your children whether water skiing or swimming. Do a quick risk assessment and try to reduce the risks associated with it.

8.      "SABER CIVIL" - CIVIL AFFAIRS OFFICER (MAJ KEISMAN):

a.      NTC "MEMORY BOOK": We are anticipating producing a "memory book" capturing the events involved in our NTC rotation available for purchase by soldiers. The book will have 40-60 pages, depending on the availability of photos. The cost will be approximately $20. We would like to solicit pictures (with no promise of return) which you think are of great interest. The photo should have on the back the contributor's name, unit, and a suggested short caption. Pictures must be contributed NOT LATER THAN 30 August 2002 to HQ, 278th ACR, ATTN: S-5, P.O. Box 10167, Knoxville, TN 37939-0167. Units will take orders, collect/consolidate payment and send to the address above NOT LATER THAN 30 September 2002. (NOTE: If fewer than 500 books are ordered, project will be cancelled and funds returned). Books will be produced and delivered to soldiers not later than 30 December 2002.

b.      EMPLOYER SUPPORT GROUP: Units should continue to focus on employers within their community. If you did not have a breakfast or lunch prior to NTC, consider having one now. It is a good way to thank our employers and community leaders as well as enhancing recruiting.

c.      FAMILY READINESS GROUP: Just because annual training is over, we must not forget our Family Readiness Group. If your unit does not have a Family Readiness Group established, start working on it now. They are a valued asset to the unit, especially during Annual Training.