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Meet Your Military: Airman Manages Learning Resources

[caption id="attachment_3922" align="alignleft" width="300"]AirmanManagesLearning Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oswald Steley, left, talks with Air Force Staff Sgt. Gavin Ramos at a base in Southwest Asia, April 8, 2010. Steley is deployed from the 60th Force Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol[/caption] SOUTHWEST ASIA- Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oswald Steley does everything he can to provide servicemembers deployed here with morale, welfare, recreation and education support.
Steley is the manager of the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron's learning resources center here, where servicemembers can check out movies, educational material, music and language CDs and fictional, biography and reference books. He works six-days-a-week, 12-hours-a-day."The [learning resource center] is a morale-booster for all our deployed troops," said Steley, who is deployed from the 60th Force Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. "It helps improve the quality of life for people who are far from home by providing movies for entertainment, educational material for college work, training resources for learning a new language and a whole lot more."Steley not only maintains a hefty volume of material for the center, but also provides on-the-spot customer service."I have a lot of customers who come in and tell me it makes them feel a little more at home by having the LRC available to them," Steley said. "I'll usually help them find what they need, tell them a little about what we have available, and make sure their visit was a successful one." As a services craftsman, Steley supports more than 1,900 deployed servicemembers for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. Support programs cover a variety of areas, and Steley has to be ready to support any one of them in addition to managing the center. Services airmen manage and direct programs, operations and retail sales. They also supervise and work in appropriated-fund food service and lodging activities, recreation, fitness and sports programs, linen-exchange operations, mortuary affairs programs, honor guard teams and services readiness programs. They also identify facility requirements and conduct surveys to determine renovation, construction and modernization needs, the job description states. In deployed locations, they establish and supervise bare-base facilities that provide food, fitness, lodging, sports management, recreation, laundry, mortuary services and field exchange operations. In all the services functions, Steley has to maintain mandatory job knowledge in areas such as accounting procedures, management principles, merchandising, marketing, automated information systems, food service facility operations, subsistence management, requisition and issue procedures, menu planning and lodging operations. "I've done a lot of different jobs in my more than 15 years in this career field," Steley said. "In services, we work in many different places, and I know all of them. I think the most rewarding for me though was working for eight years as a fitness trainer." Steley said he wanted to see the world when he left his hometown of Metter, Ga., to join the military. "Being deployed applies to my original goals to see the world," Steley said. "I've been able to see different cultures and experience the diversity. I've been able to see a lot and have enjoyed every bit of it. I'm glad I joined." The technical sergeant added that he always has been proud to serve and will proudly continue to do so. "I serve now so my son doesn't have to," Steley said, expressing the importance of defending America's freedoms, to include freedom of choice. "It will be a choice for him like it was for me." April 29, 2010: By Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol- 380th Air Expeditionary Wing ***SOT***

Meet Your Military: Airman Advances Afghan Women's Cause

[caption id="attachment_3928" align="alignleft" width="300"]AirmanAdvanceAfghan Air Force Lt. Col. Lisa Pike, right, contributed to standing up the first army officer candidate course for Afghan women during her recent deployment to Afghanistan. Courtesy photo[/caption] RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas, Recent efforts by airmen and their coalition partners have led to opportunities for women in Afghanistan to serve as commissioned officers in the Afghan army.
Pike served as the chief of staff for the Combined Training Advisory Group Army, a subordinate command of NATO Training Mission Afghanistan and the U.S. military’s Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan. Her mission focused on helping to train, advise, coach and monitor the Afghanistan National Army Training Center in establishing a doctrine and education and training system capable of supporting the Afghan army’s development.Creating the first women’s officer candidate course included working with potential students to discuss the course and outline the commitments they’d have to make to participate."I counseled our Afghan counterparts on the program and met with women currently in the [Afghan army]," Pike said. "I discussed with them the fact that they are the first for all of these initiatives, and their success is very important not only to women in Afghanistan, but to the future of their country and its army." In addition to opportunities available through the officer candidate course, National Military Academy of Afghanistan officials noted that the academy admits 10 women per year. Women attending the academy make long-term commitments that involve studying at the academy for one year, attending medical school for six years and committing to the army for 20 years. "I am very proud of all these women for stepping forward and taking a chance on making a difference," Pike said. "I think it is important to have representation of an entire nation when building for the future, and it is essential for all people of a nation to be educated. Education is the key to success." Pike said she used these opportunities not only to tell Afghan women about the education and training programs available to them, but also to serve as a role model and to provide mentorship. "I, along with other coalition women, have provided a positive example of what women can contribute, when given the chance, to the leaders of the training center and army," she said. Pike's dedication and professionalism played a critical role in the Afghan army’s development, said British Brig. Gen. Simon Levey, Combined Training Advisory Group Army’s commanding general. "I have no doubt that it was due to her endeavors as a female role model that the commander of [the training center] decided to run the first female officer candidate course," Levey said. "She was his inspiration, as she was for the coalition staff." The creation of regional military training centers has doubled the training center's capacity, Pike said. During the majority of her tour, she added, the focus was on growing the army. That focus recently changed to developing the army. "With that comes the creation and implementation of branch-specific schools in order to train and educate a more balanced force for the future," she said. Pike said she learned a lot during her deployment and developed many relationships with her coalition co-workers and Afghan counterparts that were mutually beneficial to the success of their training mission and to the future of the Afghan people. "The relationships we have built with our Afghan counterparts and the work they and our team have done to increase both the quantity and quality of training for the Afghan National Army has been exceptional," she said. "I think I contributed to the senior [training center] leadership's ability to see that women can be professional and competent officers, and that women can participate in their army and in the development of their country." April 28, 2010: By Air Force Staff Sgt. Steve Grever- Air Force Personnel Center ***SOT***

Meet Your Military: Sailor Interprets for African Counterparts

[caption id="attachment_3938" align="alignleft" width="300"]SailorInterpretsFor Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Chirstelle Byll, right, interprets a lecture on physical security planning to sailors and coast guardsmen from Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Equatorial Guinea during a port security class aboard the USS Gunston Hall, April 13, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class John Stratton[/caption] DAKAR, Senegal  A U.S. sailor born and raised in Togo has found herself back in Africa on a unique mission aboard USS Gunston Hall supporting Africa Partnership Station West.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Chirstelle Byll, an operations specialist, moved to Baltimore from her native Togo at age 19 and joined the Navy in December 2005. Currently assigned to USS Stout, she was selected to assist instructors from the Security Force Assistance Detachment of the Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Assistance Training Command, using her native French-speaking skills to interpret the course material for sailors from various French-speaking African nations."A friend recommended me," Byll said. "I jumped right on it, knowing it would be a great opportunity to come back to Africa and help out. I went through an instructor school before joining the team. I then had to familiarize myself with the course material that we would be teaching to the African sailors."Byll interpreted for the port-security and train-the-trainer classes taught by Navy Chief Petty Officer Jerry Mosley that included sailors and coast guardsmen from Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Equatorial Guinea. "Byll is a great asset to the team," Mosley said. "She brings with her an understanding of the African culture and can also relate to being a U.S. sailor." Byll agreed that her background is an asset. "I believe the African sailors relate to me a little more than the other instructors," she said. "They feel more comfortable asking me questions if they need help." Byll added that she hopes the students can take the training and apply it when they return home. Chief Petty Officer Joseph Ndiaye of the Senegalese navy said he was thrilled to have the African-born U.S. sailor interpret for him. "I was unaware at first that she was from Togo," he said. "This was a big surprise and a great opportunity, because she knows both cultures." Byll said she plans to make a career in the Navy, noting she eventually wants to obtain an officer’s commission. The training being conducted through Africa Partnership Station West is part of an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. It’s designed to enhance professional development and provide a valuable motivational and instructional experience to increase the awareness of maritime safety and security, officials said. April 27, 2010: By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class John Stratton- USS Guston Hall ***SOT***


Meet Your Military: Lieutenant Gives Back to College

UniversityofAlaskaELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska  The commander of the 3rd Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight here has provided a $750 scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage's ROTC program.
Air Force 1st Lt. Christina Geller presented her first check for the scholarship April 23 at the ROTC's leadership lab.The lieutenant said she wanted to give back to the school that had helped to kick off her career.An Anchorage native, Geller started UAA's ROTC program in May 2004. She graduated in 2006, and then was assigned here. She said she plans to continue the scholarship for 10 years. Nobody from her family had attended college, Geller said, so the odds were stacked against her. But she was able to attend college by receiving numerous scholarships. "Not having money to go to college should not be a reason," she said. "By providing a scholarship, it enables somebody to potentially to go to college and earn a degree and do something they are passionate about." Geller said the ROTC program did great things for her, allowing her to gain the self-confidence and leadership skills she needs as she pursues her Air Force career. The Air Force ROTC detachment commander at the University of Alaska Anchorage expressed gratitude for the scholarship. "This scholarship is great," said Air Force Lt. Col. Doug Smith. "It serves two purposes. First, it will help offset college expenses for a hard-working and deserving underclass cadet who is pursuing a commission in the Air Force. This will, in turn, allow our program at the university to retain high-quality candidates as future Air Force officers. Second, it helps fortify the efforts to maintain an active and involved … alumni association." Geller said she hopes the financial help will influence others to consider signing up for the ROTC program, and that they'll be up for the challenge. The scholarship’s first recipient will be chosen in time for the fall semester. April 26, 2010: By Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross- 3rd Wing ***SOT***


Easter 2010

Easter2010GroupEaster is a message of love for others, and of sacrifice for others. And around this world our troops sacrifice daily for the betterment of others. They risk their lives and health to set others free. They risk them to protect children. They risk them for other men. They risk them for other women. They risk them for their fellows. They risk them to build free nations for others. To build schools for kids. To protect woman and children from oppressors. To build people up. They do great and wonderful Good at risk to themselves. thumb_EasterGWStampAnd they ask nothing in return
It is often said that only two people have ever offered to die for us.  Jesus Christ and the  American Soldier.  One for your soul,  one for your freedom.
And therefore I give this Easter prayer for the young men and mature men, and the young women and mature women, who risk themselves daily for me and for you and for others. May He watch over you. May He guide you and keep you safe. May He comfort your soul and give you peace from the things you see. May His love, kindness and mercy follow you each day in each step. May He favor you over those who risk little yet expect much. May He walk with you and protect you by his presence. May He bless you, wrap you in his presence, and show you the way. May He make his face to shine upon you in your times of need. May He grant you peace from the storms within all the days of your life. Martin C. Boire Easter, 2010

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