Tennessee Army National Guard, P.O. Box 10167
Knoxville, Tennessee 37939-0167


Publishing Date 05 September 2003
Bulletin Number 09-03





a.   RETENTION AND RECRUITING  With all that has occurred in Iraq, mobilization of National Guard Enhanced Brigades are inevitable.  The 278th has not been called but odds are at some point in time it could happen.  During all the mobilizations, Personnel Readiness is the main issue.  Strength, MOSQ, and Physical condition are the critical issues.  Commanders, you have got to pay attention to these details.  We must have strength!  Revisit your monthly interview program.  Make sure that it's happening by establishing some type of suspense on soldier's ETS and use your unit admin person to remind you.


      Re-examine your relationship with your recruiter.  Make sure that you are both "paddling in the same direction."  Coordinate events that are high pay-off targets.  Do you have your unit members challenged to bring in new recruits or prior service?  Each unit is different and require different techniques but, Commanders, you must determine your technique and see to it that it is executed.


      The Army National Guard is going to become smaller by direction of our National Command Authority.  This means that some states that are not maintaining strength will have their units moved to other states that can.  I don't want the Regiment or parts of the Regiment moved to another state.  Your community will have National Guard Unit but it possibly is different from a CAV unit.  No one has discussed this but it is possible.  Let's get to work on our strength.


b.   NCO OF THE YEAR  Congratulations to SSG Jamey Murphy.  He won NCO of the year at 1st US Army and NCO of the Year at FORSCOM.  I hope everyone realizes just how big of a deal this is.  SSG Murphy worked very hard to compete in this event without missing a beat at his full-time job as the Regimental Schools Manager and Bradley Commander.  This is a great credit to SSG Murphy and the 278th ACR.


c.   COMMAND LOGISTICS REVIEW TEAM (CLRT)  We passed the CLRT!  Congratulations to all.  I know how hard people worked to make this a success but we now can't slip back to where we were before preparation began.  I hate to see soldiers in crisis management when it can be prevented.  Let's take the results, fix our shortcomings and maintain the edge.


d.   ANNUAL TRAINING  All ATs for 03 are now over.  Everyone did a great job in a very trying training environment (FT Knox).  We focused on Gunnery but now must also start re-building our skills in the tactical arena.  Next year will be team lanes and gunnery.  Crew stabilization and knowledge of SOPs will start the year off right.


e.   SECURITY CLEARANCES  Almost each day in the Regiment we face situations where someone can't be promoted or can't attend a school because they don't have the proper security clearances.  This is due to the fact that they haven't applied or have let their current clearance lapse.  The RS-2 office published guidance as to the proper process for obtaining and updating clearances.  Commanders must get on top of this situation.


f.    EANGTN/NGAT  Renew your membership now!  It is very inexpensive for enlisted soldiers to belong to THEIR association.  PSG/1SG/CSMs, please make an effort to get all soldiers members this year.  The NGAUS National Conference will be held in Biloxi, MS 14-17 SEP 03.





      LEADERSHIP  There is no greater privilege or honor than being allowed to lead and command American Soldiers.  The most rewarding aspect of being a leader is to have the respect of the soldiers you lead.  Soldiers will respect the rank, salute and say, "Yes sir", but they won't respect a leader who is not honest, fails to lead, or shares the hardships of soldiering.  Over the years, I have learned that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can never fool the troops!  Soldiers have this innate ability to recognize an officer who is a fraud the second he walks in the door.  I honestly don't know how soldiers can do this but believe me when I say they can.  


      Leaders who are respected by their troops lead from the front and lead by example.  They are unashamedly honest to the core.  If the troops are cold and wet, the leader should be cold and wet.  If the troops are hungry, the leader should be hungry and eats last after his troops.  If the troops are hot and dirty, the leader needs to be hot and dirty.  If the troops are driving long distances by convoy, the leader needs to be with them.  You can't lead soldiers from a hotel room, a swimming pool, a bar, or a golf course.  After mission accomplishment, your troops should come first.  


      When I served in Vietnam, my platoon was attached for a period of time to Company C, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.  The company commander was a frail looking man who walked with his troops and carried his own equipment in the hot sun.  He dug his own hole at night and slept in it.  One of the benefits of being in the Cavalry in combat we could carry an ice chest in our tracks that we kept stocked with cold soft drinks and chocolate milk.  One very hot day during the dry season, the Company Commander stuck his head through the combat hatch in the ramp of my ACAV to tell me something.  He was hot and sweaty so I offered him a cold drink from my ice chest.   I could tell he really wanted it.  He said "If you can give one to every man in the company first, then I'll have one!"  Of course I didn't have one for everyman in a rifle company so he didn't take the cold drink.  He ate last when hot meals came in, he showered last, gave his own water to soldiers who were short of water.  He always put his troops first and they knew it.  They worshiped the ground he walked on and would have followed him to the very gates of Hell. 


      I tried to emulate this officer in all that I have done in my career.  I would suggest you do the same.





a.   INSPECTIONS  As FY 03 moves into its final two months we celebrate the end of inspections for the year.  We have passed the CLRT and now move into the sustainment period.  Just because the CLRT is over does not mean we can stop maintaining our equipment.  Continue to do the right things that got us through the CLRT and our equipment will continue to improve.


b.   SUPPLY ACCOUNTABILITY  Your commanders end balance hand receipts should reflect only documented shortages and un-issued items.  All other unit equipment should be on individual and section hand receipts with the document numbers where the shortages have been ordered.    Your section hand receipts should reflect all MTOE equipment that the section has inventoried and has on hand in a serviceable condition.  A further part of this is excess equipment you have on hand.  All excess equipment should be either ready for turn-in or awaiting a work order for serviceability checks.


c.   PERSONNEL ACTIONS  OER's and NCOER's and awards are what make the army work.  We are not getting OER's/NCOER's that reflect the quality of our soldiers.  If you want a soldier promoted the report card you write or have written about you is what gets that done.  A good report does not write itself and must be a reflection of the service that the soldier has performed.   The OER support form is a critical part of being able to write the OER and contributes to the quality of the report.  The NCOER should not be all "centers" to avoid having to write bullet comments.  If you want to keep the NCO, spend the time to write the comments. 


d.   OFFICERS ASSOCIATION  It's almost that time again.  The annual Holiday Ball in Gatlinburg will be upon us in 90 days.  Hard to believe Christmas is that close.  Check your calendars and plan on a great holiday event again this year. 


e.   CHANGE OF COMMAND  5 OCT 03 we will conduct a change of command between COL Haston and LTC (P) Adams.  The LOI has been published and the requirements set.  I expect each and every soldier to do his level best to make the event a special day for both COL Haston and LTC (P) Adams.  It has been a great 3 years with the 7th Colonel and promises to be high adventure with LTC (P) Adams.





a.   SOLDIER/NCO OF THE YEAR SELECTION  Congratulations to SSG Murphy for being selected as the NCO of the Year for Forces Command and First Army.  All units need to start preparing for the next Soldier/NCO of the Year selections.  All SOY selections will be completed by December of this year (03).   A Regimental SOY Board will be held in January 04.


b.   ENLISTED ASSOCIATION  All NCOs of the 278th ACR should have membership in the Enlisted Association.  Since you can not be in Washington, DC on a daily basis lobbying legislators for pay increases, equipment funding, soldier welfare and a thousand other requests, the Enlisted Association is doing that for you.  The annual cost of membership is nothing compared to what you spend on non-military things.  Join today and be a part of this great organization.  It is no excuse to say all they do is provide license plates.  Just look in your supply room, arms room, and pay voucher.  Do you have an armory?  The 278th ACR, as great as it is, needs to have 100% membership. 


c.   NCOES/MOSQ/HT/WT/APFT  The Regiment has been hit hard with soldiers not meeting the requirements associated with school's pre-execution checklists.  During the last several months over 19 soldiers have been returned to their home station from schools due to not meeting the HT/WT/APFT requirements.  Leaders must do a better job in enforcing the standards.


d.   CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY  I am expecting all leaders to make sure the COCC is one of the Regiment's best.  Your soldier and uniform requirements will soon make it to your desks.  You must be concerned about soldier standards as outlined in the order.  All units will have a 9'6" staff for their Colors and a 7'6" staff for their Guidons. All staff tops will be of the spear type. Colors and Guidons will be cleaned and pressed.


e.   RETENTION AND RECRUITING  Adventure, challenge, being part of a team, facing and overcoming obstacles are all part of why young men and women join and soldiers stay in the Tennessee Army National Guard.  I stayed in the TNARNG because a number of great NCOs really showed me what the Army is all about: camaraderie, cohesiveness, duty, honor, and country.





a.   RETIREMENT SEMINARS  If you have 19 good years of service or more and have not been to a retirement seminar, please schedule one through your unit clerk.


b.   DIRECT APPOINTMENTS  If you are an E-5 with a BS degree and have 2 years experience in the Army National Guard you may be eligible for direct appointment to 2LT.  Please contact CW2 Fly at 865-582-3206 for more information.


c.   OPMF ON LINEU  Officers you may check your microfiche on-line @ Army Knowledge On-Line.  Please make sure all documentation is contained on your microfiche.


d.   MYPAY   PIN numbers are now available on line for your Mypay account.


e.   OCS RECRUITING  Recruiting for Officer Candidate School will begin shortly.  If you are interested in OCS please contact your unit clerk immediately.  If you are under the age of 40 and have 60 semester hours of college you might be eligible for OCS.


  1. NCOERs  Please ensure you are up-to-date on all your NCOERs.  NCOs it is your responsibility to ensure your NCOERs are current.  Delinquent NCOERs could affect your standing on the promotion list.  Get with your rater and full-time personnel and ensure your NCOERs are current.





a.   VIRTUAL FLAG From 6 through 14 August, the Regimental S2 and 278th MI Co ACE participated in a joint, virtual training exercise called VIRTUAL FLAG with USAF and Active Army units from across the U.S.  During this exercise, the Ace's Common Ground Station (CGS) received a simulated JSTARS data feed via a T1 line from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, as well as UAV imagery from a simulator at home station.  The T1 connection also provided digital voice communications between CGS operators nationwide and Kirtland AFB.

      The main focus of the exercise was the fusion of the virtual JSTARS feed, synthetic UAV imagery, and all-source intelligence into a timely, accurate battlefield picture.  Based upon the ACE's analysis, digital calls for fire were initiated back across the T1 to an AFATDS system at Kirtland AFB.  BDA from those fire missions was then assessed via UAV imagery.  This was an excellent opportunity for our soldiers to participate in a state-of-the-art Intel exercise while remaining at home station.  The 278th was the ONLY Reserve Component unit invited to participate.

      The 278th ACR will continue its involvement in Exercise VIRTUAL FLAG from 2 to 4 times annually.  Availability of REDTRAIN and other exercise funding will dictate the manning levels for each event.  There may be future opportunities for Squadron-level 35D/96B personnel to participate from time to time.  Interested personnel should contact SGT Joe Holloway at (865) 582-3227 or


b.   IPB IN THE CONTEMPORARY OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT (COE)  There have been many comments the past year regarding "the COE".  First, a quick reminder, we aren't fighting "the" COE, the COE is the realistic environment we fight in.  Next, the most obvious question is how do you template a threat that is not templatable (or supposed to be).  The following is a brief description of how to Determine Threat COA (IPB step 4).

      A lot of folks make this hard, but it is not.  When the old Soviet Union was the threat, templating them was like making a cake from a mix - empty the box into a bowl - add eggs, milk, and/or water and cook it (take their rigid doctrine and fit it onto the terrain you are fighting on).  Templating today's threat is more analogous to going to the kitchen cabinet, taking inventory of all your ingredients and determining what kinds of cake you could make, which kind suits your tastes, and then start from scratch making your cake, or pie.  And because you're a little unpredictable, you may go cook all or part of your cake in your neighbor's oven.

      We have gathered all of our ingredients and are now ready to determine what kind of cake it will make. The starting point of developing a COA for an adaptive threat is to ask these questions:

What would hurt us?

Where/when are we vulnerable?

What does the threat want to accomplish?


      When you determine where your force is vulnerable and how the threat is capable of exploiting that vulnerability you have a concept for the COA.  To further develop the COA, ask how the threat could create a window of opportunity to exploit this vulnerability.


      Another important thing to remember, sound military tactics and procedures will always apply.  The threat (or OPFOR) knows how to prepare a defense in depth, provide security, over watch while moving, fire & maneuver... etc... Just because he is adaptable and unpredictable, doesn't mean he will act stupid and violate basic tactics and principles.





  1. KFOR  The Department of the Army has provided funding for five officers and seven NCOs to assist STARC and the 278th with 4/278th and MI Company's upcoming KFOR/SFOR rotations.  MAJ Bobby Graves is currently assigned to Nashville, CPT Ben Graves is assigned to Knoxville and Captains Guy Jester (Alcoa), Steve Todd (Smyrna) and 1LT Kellon Moore (Smyrna) are assigned to 4/278th Headquarters.


b.     AT04  We do not have any resource commitments from Fort Knox, Kentucky for AT04.  Decisions will be made very soon as to wether or not we will continue to go to Fort Knox or to another military installation.


c.      ADA & 4/278 LFX  These exercises have received funding from STARC and are now back on the calendar.  These units are scheduled to be at Ft Bliss this month.


d.     CAV 101  We have just about completed a booklet-form, handout which you will be able to give to your friends, family and neighbors -anyone in the community-- which will tell what the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment is and what we've accomplished over the years to serve our country and our state.  This booklet will be out soon in print and electronic versions.





a.   CLRT  Thanks to all the squadron FTSP who helped mentor and coach the units that received the CLRT.  We have a long way to go to comply with our day to day activities as a Regimental whole.


b.   NEW EQUIPMENT FIELDING  New Medical Equipment Set was cancelled.


c.   COMET  2005 scheduled has been published and forwarded to units.  The ADA Btry and MI Co still have COMETS within the next two months.  Work hard and pass!!!


d.   MATES / UTES HAND RECEIPTS  Every unit with equipment and MATES and UTES must update its Hand Receipts from that organization annually.





      "CAS IS YOUR FRIEND"  For those that participated in this year's regimental Warfighter exercise, I hope each of you learned as much as I did during the event.  Although sometimes painful, the lessons learned during the short-duration exercise were greater than any I could have learned during a normal two-week AT period, and I look forward to the next training opportunity to exercise what I learned during this year's exercise.


      Although I took away many different lessons, one of the most important I learned was how great an asset close air support (CAS) can be during a battle.  I truly learned to appreciate the phrase, "CAS is your friend."  Although it took a little time to work out the bugs of the SEAD-CAS drill, once the regimental FSE got the drill down, we began to have some devastating effects with CAS, destroying over a battalion's worth of vehicles during the defensive fight.  In essence, I'm changing my thought process from one where I based my plan around field artillery assets being my primary killer at regimental level to one where I'm going to insist that we war-game CAS assets as a primary killer as well.  While artillery assets are great and can be devastating, artillery is simply no match for the flexibility, speed and accuracy close air support brings to the battlefield.  I believe that there are few tools in the maneuver commander's tool box of assets available that can more quickly and accurately shape the maneuver commander's battlefield than can CAS when planned properly. 


      I encourage all of you to make close air support a central part of your war-gaming process when you know it is available.  As the Regimental FSO, I will always push our higher headquarters to push forward as much CAS as possible.  When used properly, CAS can change the shape of the battlefield instantly.





a.   RTO HANDBOOK  There is a good document on the Center For Army Lessons Learned entitled "The Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) Handbook" and can be downloaded in Adobe PDF format or HTML. Simply go to this link and get your copy; http://call.army.mil/products/HANDBOOK/03-15/toc.htm.  Make sure you pass the word about it to all of your RTOs and their supervisors. It's well worth reading.


b.   RTOC INPUT  Just a reminder to all SIGOs, that if you have any input for changes to the Regimental TACSOP as regards signal procedures, please get them to me NLT the end of September.





a.   NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR  Staff Sergeant Jamey M. Murphy took top honors as both the 1st Army and FORSCOM "Noncommissioned Officer of the Year".  Staff Sergeant from Corrytown, Tennessee is assigned as a Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (CFV) with Headquarters/Headquarters Troop, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Knoxville.


      The NCO of the Year competition includes a series of rigorous board interviews and evaluations.  The process begins at the unit level and progresses through brigade level, Major Command, state, regional and national competitions.  Soldiers competing are evaluated on multiple areas including; weapons, demolition, first-aid, NBC, map reading, field sanitation, physical fitness, current events, the NCO Creed and military leadership.


      Once again, Staff Sergeant Murphy has made himself, the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Tennessee Army National Guard proud.


b.   CHANGE OF COMMAND FOR 4/278TH ACR  Lieutenant Colonel Ronald K. Herrington relinquished command of the 4th Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment to Major Robert C. Covert in a change of command ceremony on August 3, 2003 at the 4th Squadron Armory in Smyrna, Tennessee.


      Major Covert was born and raised in Wisconsin.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.  He enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National guard in 1982.  In 1985, upon completion of the University of Wisconsin ROTC program, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Infantry Branch.


      During his career, Major Covert served at several duty stations including Wisconsin, Illinois, Fort Rucker, Fort Polk, Fort Bliss, Yongsan Korea and Tennessee.  Major Covert graduated from Initial Entry Rotary Wing School in 1989.  He is qualified in the UH-1, AH-1, OH-58 and the UH-58 and the UH-60 helicopters.  He has served in a variety of positions to include Rifle Platoon Leader, Mortar Platoon Leader, Attack Platoon Leader, Assistant S-3, Battalion S-4, Attack Troop Commander, Brigade Plans Officer, Unit Trainer, Regimental S-3 Air, Squadron S-3 and Squadron Executive Officer.  His awards and decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Bronze Hourglass Device, Tennessee National Guard Commendation Ribbon, Tennessee Volunteer Ribbon, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, as well as other individual achievement awards.


      Major Covert is married to the former Miss Rebecca Hair.  They have three children James, Danielle and Casey.  He is the son of Donald and Ellen Covert of Platteville, Wisconsin.  He is an active member of Rockford Baptist Church.


c.   AWARDS CEREMONY  On August 2, 2003, at the armory in Knoxville, Tennessee, the 278th ACR of the Tennessee Army National Guard presented the Distinguished Service Medal to two heroes that had earned it 48 years ago.  In 1955 while at Annual Training, William Ramsey and William Rains, saved the life of fellow National Guard member Paul Cox after he had been struck by lightning.  Mr. Ramsey was present and accepted the award.  Mr. Rains received the award posthumously; his brother accepted the award in his stead.


      According to Ramsey, the troops were out in the field when a large thunderstorm moved into the area.  "Lighting started to strike in the general vicinity; I had a gut feeling someone was hurt, when Rains and I heard yelling off in the distance."


      They both hastily went in the direction of the yelling and discovered Mr. Cox in a prone position halfway under the vehicle and not moving.  Ramsey and Rains started administering an early version of CPR called the "Silvester" method.  When the active duty medics arrived, they "checked to see how I was doing," said Ramsey "I was doing fine.  They informed me I had a good rhythm and to keep it going.  I rode along with the medics to the hospital.  Cox's heart started and stopped a couple of times before we got to the hospital, but by the time we got there his heart beat was on a regular rhythm and his breathing was strong."


      The awards should have been presented decades ago, but for unknown reasons they were not.  COL Terry "Max" Haston, 7th Commander of the 278th ACR and CPT Bobbie M. Sprouse, Regimental S-1, presented the awards.


d.   HOMETOWN NEWS  Hometown news can be a great recruiting asset for the Tennessee Army National Guard.  Every unit in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment should have a representative who can contact their local newspaper with an article of such things as promotions, reenlistment, or awards.  You have better connections in your local area than regimental headquarters or state.  Let's try to acknowledge the accomplishments of our soldiers and advertise the Tennessee Army National Guard.








a.  ACCIDENTS  In a series of recent accidents, U.S. Army Safety Center investigators have noted an increase in leaders failing to enforce standards defined in unit SOPs, gunnery manuals, or operator manuals. Identified acts of noncompliance include supervisors allowing operations with untrained/uncertified crews or fewer crewmen than required.


b.  TRAINED CREWS  For weapon systems to function as designed, crews must be trained. For reasons such as personnel turbulence, short-notice deployments, or simply a lack of assigned crewmen, units sometimes find themselves without enough trained, qualified, and certified crews to operate assigned systems. Unqualified crews and reduced-personnel crews cannot accomplish every task to the standards defined in the system operators or gunnery manuals. Shortcuts can lead to errors, which often result in death, personnel injury, and equipment damage.


c.  CERTIFICATION  Commanders are required to certify all crews as proficient in mandatory tasks for all major weapons systems prior to the execution of live-fire gunnery. Before authorizing a deviation from established procedures or standards, commanders must first determine if the benefits of executing the mission outside of published procedures or standards outweigh the risks involved. If so, hazards associated with the deviation must be identified. Control measures to mitigate the associated risks must then be developed and implemented. Finally, commanders must decide that the training benefit of continuing the mission with these controls in place outweighs the residual risks. In all cases, commanders and leaders must provide the supervision necessary to ensure that sound risk management decisions are made and then enforce identified control measures.


d.   COMMANDERS SAFETY COURSE  I need emails sent to me on the names of every commander in every unit in the Regiment - to include squadron commanders - telling me which ones have completed the CSC course.  ASAP!


e.   ALCOHOL & DRIVING  Can you believe just last week a soldier in the Regiment was killed and another soldier killed a pedestrian (both off duty)?


      Can you guess what was involved in each death?


Alcohol and Driving


      This is ridiculous.  We have got to stop it.  Think about a few things:


      If you are going to drink at all, pick out a designated driver before you start and give him/her your keys.


      Consider whether you really need to drink at all.  If you are with friends, you probably are excited and feeling good in the first place.  How much better can you get?


      Drinking won't improve your personality.  You have a much better chance of making a fool of yourself or saying something stupid.


      Consider drinking a glass or two of water between each drink.


      If you have had a few drinks and are feeling good, why do you need anymore?  I mean, how high can you get?  There is a limit.  Then it turns ugly quick.


      If you are driving and you have only had a drink or 2, do you really think you are OK?  Yes, you may be legal to drive, but I guarantee you cannot respond as well as you do when you have no alcohol in your system.  You will make small mistakes:  knock over a cup, forget your sweater, and put the wrong key in your car lock.


      Cut back on the booze, it does not make you a happy person.


      I will put a PowerPoint presentation on email.  Take 10 minutes this weekend and have your soldiers watch it.   Call me for help.