278TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT
Tennessee Army National Guard, P.O. Box 10167
Knoxville, Tennessee 37939-0167
OLD'E BILL'S CHIPS
Publishing Date 5 September 2002
Bulletin Number 02-09
1. "SABER 6" - REGIMENTAL COMMANDER (COL HASTON):
a. Retention and Recruiting: This is the time of the year for county fairs and home coming festivals. Also Friday Night Football games. These are great venues for recruiting events and displays. We must continue our efforts across the Regiment. Strength continues to decline. How is your monthly counseling sessions going? I have asked several soldiers who were ETSing and they indicate that had been counseled but it had been several months ago. I expect Commanders and First Sergeants to keep records of these actions.
b. Government Travel Cards: I have received numerous letters from USPFO about our soldiers’ delinquent in payment on their government VISA travel card. Each soldier that has a Government travel card must assume responsibility for his debts incurred. This is serious business. The Government will not pay for the soldier. The Army, overall, is thousands of dollars delinquent in its overall travel card debt. Soldiers must use them for the correct travel items only. Sporting goods and lap dances are not authorized expenditures. When completing DA Form 1351-2 each soldier, who has used the Bank of America Travel Card, will use the automatic electronic payment. This is by order of the TAG.
c. Excess Equipment: Each unit in the 278th ACR has excess equipment. In fact we collectively have over 2 million dollars worth of excess equipment. The RS-4 has issued directives to get this stuff turned in. I expect each Commander to get personally involved. If you need a copy of your excess equipment, let me know.
d. Personnel Changes: I, along with CSM Pippin, am looking closely at key personnel changes to be made within the Regiment. Some of these changes are mandated by the expiration of command waivers for AGR soldiers and other are precipitated by retirements. Changes at these levels cause significant ripple effects throughout the entire Regiment. We all resist change but as the CSA says "If you don't like change, you will like irrelevance more." The Enlisted Personnel Promotion System (EPPS) and Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA) govern all of our promotions and assignments. CSM Pippin and I must consider the rules of these regulations before making any changes. We must also factor the Regulations for Full Time Support Personnel into these changes. Rumors are one thing that we can't control. These rumors cause a great deal of time and energy to be wasted. Each soldier that is moved or promoted will be advised in due time. Let the Rumors and speculation go. It will save us all time.
e. Qualifications: Recently while discussing promotions and changes, some soldiers who where considered for leadership positions and promotions were ruled out because they were not educationally qualified both militarily and civilian. It is sad when good leaders cannot be placed in leadership positions because they have not gotten qualified. We, as the current leadership, must make sure our rising stars have the correct education. Now is the time to do it. The number one training goal this year is MOSQ and NCOES/OES.
f. Professional Associations: Each Officer and NCO should be members of the NGAT or EANGTN. This part of being a professional. These organizations lobby our lawmakers to look after your future. The next Major event is our Holiday Balls, both to be held in Gatlinburg. Make plans to attend.
2. HONORARY COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT (COL(R) McKNIGHT):
Over the years in the Army I have seen a great many things. I have been fortunate to serve under the command of some of the finest men in America and in the Army. One of them was Captain John R. Landry (Later Major General), commander of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam. When your performance was less than stellar, he would call you "BUB!" on the radio. I thought for a long time that my call sign was "BUB." As an example he called me one day on the radio and said, "HOW DID YOU GET HALF YOUR PLATOON STUCK IN THAT PATTY, BUB!" I soon figured that when he used your normal call sign, you were doing okay.
Once I asked him "How do you know when you have done something right?" His rely was "You'll know when you notice the lack of praise by your higher headquarters! Most times they neglect to talk about the good things your unit does but tend to focus on nitpicky trifling things that don't amount to two hoots in Hell when it comes to the important things in life!" I for one want to publicly praise you in that I think our Regiment deserves a great deal of public praise for your operations at the NTC! Most importantly you know what you did!
What each and every one of you as a Regiment accomplished, on your own, or with the help of others set a high standard for active and reserve components at the NTC. I have several friends who are well connected to the active Army and the NTC and they tell me that the word is out in the Army about how well the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment did at the NTC. As most of you know, the active component is reluctant to say anything good about NG Units. They are saying good things about you now! Hold your heads high and be proud of your performance in California. You kept the faith with your Regiment, with your Commanders, and most importantly you kept the faith with each other and upheld the highest traditions of the Tennessee Cavalry. My CAV hat is off to each and every one of you for a job well done!
3. "SABER 7" - COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR (CSM PIPPIN):
a. Loyalty: Loyalty is the faithful adherence to a person, unit, or Army. It is the thread that binds our actions together and causes us to support each other, our superiors, our family, and our country. Supporting the chain of command or a program even though peers or subordinates are openly criticizing it requires courage and loyalty. A loyal intermediate would try to explain the rationale behind the decision and support the decision-maker. When we establish loyalty to our soldiers, the unit, our superiors, our family, and the Army, we must be sure the "correct ordering" of our obligations is being accomplished. There is no clear rule as to which comes first. Sometimes it will be the service, sometimes the family, and sometimes the soldier. Open criticism and being disloyal to leaders, soldiers, and the Army destroys the foundation of the organization and results in diminished mission accomplishment. However, loyalty should not be confused with blind obedience to illegal orders. We all take the oath to obey the orders of superiors appointed over us according to law and regulations.
b. Observations: The beret is to be form-fitting to the head and hairstyles that distort the beret cannot be worn. Female soldiers with large braids, weaves and bulky hair must change their hairstyles to meet the regulation. This is the business of first-line leaders. Web belt extenders are used to extend the belt when wearing body armor and parkas. They are not for use when you have failed to properly adjust your belt or simply want the belt to be loose. Suspenders are adjusted in conjunction with the belt so that the web gear rides snugly on the hips, with the weight spread evenly from the shoulders to the hips. I still see the "gunslinger" mode, where the belt is low on the butt, or the "high-water" where the belt hangs near the ribs. It alarms me that we continually have to tell trained soldiers how to safely handle weapons. We have to tell soldiers, with NCOs and officers standing right there watching, to put blank firing adapters on weapons, and to cease firing at close range during force on force exercises. We still are telling our soldiers and leaders to put earplugs in before conducting any type of weapons firing, whether on the range or during an exercise. Pre-combat checks and inspections are not done to standard. You can tell when you look at a group of soldiers all wearing different equipment in different fashions, when soldiers arrive at training missing equipment necessary for the training, and when soldiers go on missions missing the batteries in their radios. It is my opinion that most first-line supervisors don't know how to perform PCC and PCI because the supervisor's supervisor has forgotten, or perhaps never learned. NCOs must get after this most basic responsibility.
4. "SABER 1" - PERSONNEL & ADMIN OFFICER (MAJ JONES):
a. OER's: Continue to be patient and work hard as we attempt to "catch up" on OER's. SGT Vineyard is the new POC for OER'S. He can be reached at (865) 582-3225 or TNNET 3225.
b. PERSONNEL CHANGES: The following personnel changes have been made in the RS-1 shop:
1. SSG Tim Prater: Enlisted Personnel Transactions Discharges, Promotions, Conditional Releases, and All orders. Phone extension: 3209
2. SGT Tom Vineyard: OER's, Officer Transactions and MWR request. Phone extension: 3225
3. SPC James South: EPPS, Awards, NCOER's, Strength Report, and the Postage Report. Phone extension: 3210
4. There is now a vacancy in the Regimental S-1 shop. The job is for 75H20 Admin NCO. The announcement was posted 23 August 2002 and closes 23 September 2002. All interested soldiers can get a copy of the announcement and job application from their unit.
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. If the comments do not substantiate the recommended award, there is a chance the award will be downgraded.
d. NTC CERTIFICATES: We have been working diligently on getting the certificates to the respective units. We are down to a minimal number of certificates to be distributed.
e. RETIREMENT WEB SITE: Here is a good web site to help those soldiers who are retired, or about to retire: <https://www.2xcitizen.usar.army.mil/>. We also have Dental Brochures discussing insurance here at Regimental HQ's explaining eligibility for retiring soldiers.
f. AKO ACCOUNTS: Another web site that is helpful to retirees as well as current members of the Army is <https://www.army.us.mil/>. We still have soldiers in the Tennessee Army National Guard that do not have an account. A suggestion, during our drill periods, the FTSP can set aside an hour or so to allow each respective section the opportunity to get the soldiers an account. Some of our soldiers do not have a computer at home; this will allow them access to AKO. AKO will lead soldiers and retirees to information they need to manage their careers and personal information.
g. ID CARDS: Id cards are only available for issue Monday through Thursday 0830 hours to 1530 hours. There will be no exceptions to policy.
5. "SABER 2" - INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (MAJ KIEFER):
a. Farewell. First I would like to thank and offer best wishes to CPT Murray on his new assignment to 1st Squadron. He will be missed. CPT Murray's selfless service to the 2-Shop over the past several years has been greatly appreciated by myself and my predecessors and the section.
b. Personnel Security - The Regiment is doing better, but there are still too many Periodic Reinvestigations outstanding. TS clearance requires a reinvestigation every 5 years, Secret requires a reinvestigation every 10 years and Confidential requires a reinvestigation every 15 years. The Regiment, not STARC, will administratively downgrade the clearance of any soldier who PR is delinquent beginning 01 OCT 2002.
c. Physical Security - CEP Staff visits will begin soon. Each unit should have a CD with all forms/order formats and Regulations. If your unit needs one contact the RS-2 and a CD will be provided.
d. Equipment - Common Ground Station will prove to be a great combat multiplier, as soon as we get to use it. It is imperative to use your ASAS LT every month. The tools available to the Intel community on this system will help us paint the picture for the commander. It is like all skills though, "use it, or lose it".
e. Doctrine - The Regiment will fight the COE during the WARFIGHTER. We fought most of the COE during the rotation. Tapes and CD's will be in distribution soon.
f. ADSW Opportunities - There are several opportunities for MI ADSW tours at NGB. These are both Officer and Enlisted. If you are interested contact CPT Mitch Murray at (856) 582-3229 or [email protected] <>.
g. Musings from the RS2 - While we have cleaned the Mojavian sand off of our equipment it is time to focus on the BCBST and WFX in this training year as well as the Contemporary Operation Environment (COE) OPFOR. As the last rotation to fight Krasnovia we saw a lot of COE without realizing it. The following is a portion of an excerpt from a developer of the COE doctrine that is applicable to our future training events. Focus on the Myth vs. Truth as you prepare for BCBST and WFX.
1. Much has been said concerning the Contemporary Operational Environment (COE) in the past two years and much is left to be said. But before we go much further, I'd like to give the Army an azimuth check on what COE is and, almost more importantly is not, before we go too much further down the road and before too many more misperceptions crop up in 'perception papers', 'smart books' and training CD's.
2. COE Myth: The US is the only nation in the world to have certain military technologies. We are supposedly the only country in the world with UAV's, automated fire control, access to space, precision munitions, combat helicopters, cruise missiles, digital communications, etc.
3. COE Truth: While we enjoy general 'overmatch' technologically across the entire spectrum of operations, many countries (and some non-countries) are capable of matching us or even exceeding our capability in niche areas. 50+ countries have UAV programs, some with as many as 15 different active programs and several fielded systems. We have yet to field a UAV to our own Army. Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a war with automated fire control. A GPS jammer is currently capable of being deployed in a system the size of a carton of cigarettes. My team includes six senior intel analysts who further have access to every corner of the US intelligence community and some other countries' besides. Before you say: 'hey, only we have that' - be sure you know what you are talking about.
4. COE Myth: BCTP WFX's reflect a COE OPFOR that is too powerful and unrealistic.
5. COE Truth: If you bring seven heavy brigades, five artillery brigades, several squadrons of B1/B52/A10/F15E and every AH64 in the Army inventory to a fight, expect a powerful OPFOR. The OPFOR's job is to provide a challenge. If you just want targets for your shaping ops or only need a terrorist cell and an insurgent company to mess with your SASO operation, the 7-100 series can do that too. But if you want a ground fight in a Corps WFX, you will get an OPFOR that is designed to contest the execution of your METL.
6. COE Myth: COE OPFOR is 'untemplatable'. I've heard every version of this one. The COE OPFOR can do anything anytime anywhere. The COE OPFOR has no realistic restrictions placed on it. The COE OPFOR has an infinite number of COAs available to it.
7. COE Truth: First, let's help Mr. Webster. 'Templatable' isn't a word. Ok, now that we have that settled, everyone must realize that military common sense and METT-T were not thrown out the window during the development of COE OPFOR doctrine. What is true about the COE OPFOR is that you can't usefully predict his COA on the basis of his battlefield geometry alone. But of course, you could NEVER do that - it's just the way all of us Intel analysts were taught. Once you have the enemy's terrain and his effective OB and some idea of what he needs to do to be successful, his COA possibilities will fall out. The COE OPFOR was designed to teach the Army to describe an enemy force in terms of the functions (fixing, assaulting, exploiting, shielding, etc.) of its sub-elements and not in terms of where it might be found on a linear battlefield (2d echelon, main defense belt, etc.).
6. "SABER 3" - OPERATIONS OFFICER (MAJ ARCHER):
a. Farewell. Effective in October, I will become "Thunderbolt 6", the Support Squadron commander. While I look forward to the challenge and excitement of my new assignment, I am saddened to leave this post. Being the RS-3 is high-pressure and high-adventure most of the time, especially during the train-up for and execution of the NTC! Except for a 6-month assignment as the 1/278th XO, I have been either the Assistant RS-3 or RS-3 for 10 years. I've enjoyed working at the Regimental level because I got to meet and work with some great people, both inside and outside the Regiment. Hopefully, I've made a positive impact on the Regiment, too! I welcome LTC Dennis Adams as the next "Saber 3." Support him like you've supported me and he'll do great and so will the Regiment. 'Til we meet again, Saber 3, OUT.
b. Officer Advanced/Captains Career Course. I have seen numerous applications for LT's to attend OAC/CPT's career courses. In light of this, the state training officer issues the following as policy guidance on OAC/CPT's career course attendance. Priority for submission of applications will be:
1. 1st - Senior Captains
2. 2nd - Junior Captains
3. 3d - Branch Transfers
4. 4th - LT's identified as "fast track”. The definition of fast track is (1) - acceptance into the "leadership development initiative" and (2) - LT's identified as such with memorandum requested through the chain of command to DCSOPS (state training officer). Upon receipt of the authorization for "fast track" from the state training officer, ATRRS applications will be accepted for reserve component course applications.
c. Cardiovascular Screening for attendance at Professional Development courses. Memorandum, Office of the Surgeon General, DASG-HS-AS, 30 November 2000, subject: SF 88, Report of Medical Examination; SF 93, Report of Medical History; Medical Exam Requirements; and the Cardiovascular Screening Program (CVSP), Enclosures 2 and 3, revised the requirements for medical examinations and CVSP. This change will be incorporated into the revised AR 350-1. Effective immediately, soldiers are no longer required to hand carry a copy of the Cardio-vascular medical screening to service schools. Units will place the physical date from the SF 88 or DD Form 2808 on the pre-execution checklist Part II, in the operator license information block, write "curr. Phys: YYMMDD" until the TRADOC TASS Directorate (DCSED) posts a revised checklist. This will confirm that the soldier has been medically screened within the last 5 years. DA Form 4970-E is obsolete. All Soldiers MUST have a current physical, within the past 5 years, IAW AR 40-501 for course enrollment.
7. "SABER 4" - LOGISTICS OFFICER (MAJ DARNBUSH):
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 100 % Equipment Accountability. All After Annual Training 100% inventory must be complete by 13 Sep 02. Reference memo published by PBO.
d. CEP and CSDP. RS-4 office plans conducting a focused CEP on each Squadron Hqs two times a year and Separate units once a quarter. Memo TBP.
e. CLRT. The CLRT from NGB is scheduled for August and September 2003. Develop your individual plans now to ensure success.
f. 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!
8. "SABER REDLEG" - FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER (MAJ HART):
a. Many of you have heard of the mobilization of the 3/115 in Memphis, TN. Yes, this is the same FA BN that provided our direct support artillery at NTC. These REDLEGS have been mobilized and assigned a mission to provide base security for various CONUS installations. Staging for their mission will occur at Ft. Bragg, NC. We all should wish our fellow REDLEGS ' GOOD LUCK and GOD'S SPEED. '
b. Personnel strengthen is always a concern. While not all of our units are at an optimal strengthen level (greater than 90%), there are other parameters to consider. Battle roster crews for each howitzer section and FIST/ COLT team deserves special attention. When at all possible, emphasis in staffing these 13Bs & 13Fs positions should be given. Six gun batteries are the standard; not three or four tubes per battery.
c. We will not be conducting Old Bill's University this year due to AFATDS fielding. Expect it back on our training calendar in TY-04. Remember the ageless CAV motto of "Sempre Flexilis" (Always Flexible)."
d. This is the time of year that the Regiment undergoes personnel changes. Don't be distracted by the rumor mill. The RCO has a definite plan and timetable for execution. Rest assured, the Regiment will be well represented by quality soldiers, both officers and NCOs. All of us should take pride in these appointments of our professional colleagues.
e. I'll sign-off this month with a quote from GEN. George Patton on synchronization of BOSs on the battlefield:
"There is a tendency in each separate unit . . . to be a one handed puncher, by that a rifleman wants to shoot, the tanker to charge, the artilleryman to fire . . . that is not the way to win battles. If the band played a piece first with a piccolo, then with the brass horn, then with the clarinet, and then with the trumpet, there would be a hell of a lot of noise but no music . . . to get harmony in battle, each weapon must support the other. Team-play wins. You musicians of Mars . . . must come into the concert at the proper place and at the proper time."
9. "SABER MIKE GOLF" -- REGIMENTAL MASTER GUNNER (SFC FOUTS):
a. AFIST XXI News. We have received all of the systems except for 3/278th ACR still has 1 system that will be received after all tanks return to home station.
b. COFT- RE-HOST News. At the present time we have one system being worked on to have the package installed. The Regiment is the test for this, so once again the 278th ACR leads the way.
c. A/B FIST News. The Regiment is in the loop to review the systems operation of the soon to be tested M3/M2 AFIST system. We should be in the testing and fielding process some time in the early part of TY-03. Verification testing should be on or about mid Feb 03.
d. GUNNERY MEETING News. On 23 Aug 02, we had our TY-03 gunnery training review plan. Results of the meeting
1. Review of all 3 Sqdns' plans for obtaining the Goal of 100% Q
2. Support requirements for each event (ie, money, bus, training areas). I'll remind you that each squadron must submit their bus support request ASAP!
3. Development of a new External range support package for GT VII and GT VIII
4. Review and finalization of the new Gunnery SOP.
10. "SABER SAFETY" -- REGIMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER (CW4 STONE):
In my share file in Network Neighborhood on the RCAS System (Wv7pt1-s1-w001), I have a folder called 278th ACR Safety that can be accessed by anyone with an RCAS computer. In this folder I have the Regimental Risk Management Worksheet for IWQ. All units (squadron/company/troop/detachment) need to print out the worksheet and use it as a guide for managing their IWQ. Add to it or apply it in more detail to your situation such as unit, equipment, and location. Everyone is different. You may have hazards due to inexperience in leadership or weapons use. You may be using a range that has problems with congestion or needs a rest area marked. You may be firing an M60 that may require other safety considerations. You need this worksheet for planning and you need to have it filled out, approved and available for review during the exercise.
You should also find an APFT Risk Management Worksheet in this share file.
Remember. You must also do a site survey prior to every training exercise so there are no surprises when you get there.
Now you are ready to give your safety briefing.