Fort Meade Soundoff Feb 20, 2014

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Information about Fort Meade Soundoff Feb 20, 2014
News & Politics

Published on February 20, 2014

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Fort Meade Soundoff Feb. 20, 2014

Soundoff! ´ vol. 66 no. 7 Published in the interest of the Fort Meade community February 20, 2014 Smooth sailing Deionna Fye pushes her daughter Martha down a hill as the 8-year-old sleds near Burba Lake during last week’s snowstorm. The storm delivered between 10 and 12.5 inches in Anne Arundel County, forcing the installation to close for two days. For more, see Page 4. photo by nate pesce live green thank you Army program rewards residents for saving energy Fort Meade spouses bid farewell to NSA’s Debbie Alexander page 3 page 10 UPCOMING EVENTS today, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Black History Month Observance - McGill Training Center Feb. 27, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: “A Day of Financial Fitness” - Comm. Readiness Center March 6, 7 a.m.: Monthly Prayer Breakfast - Club Meade March 13, 11:30 a.m.: Women’s History Month Observance - McGill Training Center March 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Technical Job Fair - Club Meade

Soundoff! ´ Editorial Staff Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter Public Affairs Officer Chad T. Jones Chief, Command Information Philip H. Jones Assistant Editor & Senior Writer Rona S. Hirsch Staff Writer Lisa R. Rhodes Staff Writer Brandon Bieltz Design Coordinator Timothy Davis Supple­mental photography provided by The Baltimore Sun Media Group Guaranteed circulation: 11,285 Advertising General Inquiries 410-332-6300 or email If you would like information about receiving Soundoff! on Fort Meade or are experiencing distribution issues, call 877-886-1206 or e-mail Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Printed by offset method of reproduction as a civilian enterprise in the interest of the personnel at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, by The Baltimore Sun Media Group, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, every Thursday except the last Thursday of the year in conjunction with the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office. Requests for publication must reach the Public Affairs Office no later than Friday before the desired publication date. Mailing address: Post Public Affairs Office, Soundoff! IMME-MEA-PA, Bldg. 4409, Fort Meade, MD 20755-5025. Telephone: 301-677-5602; DSN: 622-5602. Everything advertised in this publication must be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, handicap or sex of purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation or rejection of this policy of equal opportunity by an advertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. Printed by The Baltimore Sun Co., LLC, a private firm, in no way connected with the Department of the Army. Opinions expressed by the publisher and writers herein are their own and are not to be considered an official expression by the Department of the Army. The appearance of advertisers in the publication does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army of the products or services advertised. You can also keep track of Fort Meade on Twitter at and view the Fort Meade Live Blog at Co n t e n t s News.............................. 3 Sports................................... 14 Crime Watch.................. 6 Movies.................................. 13 Community.................. 12 Classified.............................. 17  SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014 Commander’s Column Black History Month celebrates contributions of African-Americans During the month of February, our nation celebrates the culture, history, contributions and patriotism of African-Americans. As we pay tribute this month to these Americans, reflecting on their courage and inner strength, I am reminded that throughout our military history African-Americans have participated in every war fought by or within the United States. Their acts of patriotism include the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other minor conflicts. In all these military conflicts, African-Americans have been noted for their bravery, sense of duty, and loyalty to a country that did not always respect or appreciate their sense of patriotism. Fact is, many African-Americans served in our military at a time when our nation created social policies, such as slavery and segregation, that denied them civil rights and a fair opportunity to participate in the American dream. As a member of today’s military, I am proud that our armed forces, and in particular the U.S. Army, played a major role in helping pave the way to end discrimination and provide civil rights to all Americans. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, integrating the military and mandating equality of treatment and opportunity on July 16, 1948. And although it took years to complete desegregation, African-Americans — both men and women — continued to volunteer in large number to serve in our military. Throughout the history of our nation, AfricanAmericans have served our country with distinction, making valuable contributions to war efforts and earning high praise and commendations for COL. Brian P Foley . Garrison Commander their struggles and sacrifices. Today I am proud to say that as of June 2009, 88 Medals of Honor have been awarded to 87 AfricanAmerican recipients. Most noteworthy of these recipients is Robert Augustus Sweeney, who is one of 19 men — and the only African-American — to have been awarded two Medals of Honor. Due to the U.S. military’s policy of inclusion, African-Americans have been able to take advantage of opportunities to prove their loyalty and patriotism to our country and have greatly contributed to the success of our military and our nation. If your schedule permits, I invite you to join today’s celebration of Black History Month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center, 8542 Zimborski Ave. The keynote speaker is Claiborne Haughton Jr., acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for equal opportunity. Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you all there! Commander’s Open Door Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley has an open door policy. All service members, retirees, government employees, family members and community members age 18 or older are invited to address issues or concerns to the commander directly by visiting Foley’s office on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. at garrison headquarters in Hodges Hall, Bldg. 4551, Llewellyn Avenue. Visitors are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 301-677-4844.

News Mock bills to be issued as community enters Live Army Green program By Corvias Military Living As announced last spring, Heritage Park residents living in homes that received utility upgrades last year are now entering the Live Army Green program. Residents are expected to receive their first mock bills in March for their electricity and gas usage. Mock billing will continue for six months, then the first statements will be sent out. Action is not required during the mock billing period. This time allows residents to review their gas and electricity usage and to make adjustments before actual statements are sent out by Minol, a thirdparty billing company facilitating the LAG program at Fort Meade. The LAG program is mandated by the Department of Defense with the goal to reduce the overall energy consumption at military installations. Under the program, homes that are the same, or similar, are grouped together to determine a baseline. Only homes with similar attributes, such as size, age and location, are grouped together. The baseline is created by averaging utility use of grouped homes. The baseline is averaged monthly so current conditions are automatically factored in. “If we are having a particularly hard winter, like this year, the baseline will reflect that,” said Maureen Van Besien, portfolio operations director for Corvias. Once the baseline is established, a 10 percent buffer zone is added above and below the average. When a resident’s use falls within the buffer zone, the resident will receive a “no action required” statement. If a resident falls outside the buffer zone, additional steps are taken. Families consuming above the buffer zone will receive a “balance due” notice on their statement, meaning a payment is due. Families conserving under the baseline will receive a rebate check, or reward statement, for their conservation efforts. However, payments or rebates accumulate and are not collected or distributed until a $25 trigger point is reached. “There are a few advantages to the trigger points,” said Aimee Stafford, lead community development operations specialist for Residential Communities Initiative. “If a family is a little over one month and then a little under the next month, their balance may not reach a trigger point. Also, this saves resources by not having to write and mail checks every month for small amounts of money.” Heritage Park is the first full community to enter the LAG program. “All of our newly constructed homes have been enrolled in the program, but this is our first entire neighborhood,” Stafford said. “We are working with the post to have meters installed on all the homes over the next several years.” For more information on this program, visit Corvias’s website at to view the Live Army Green brochure and the sustainability video linked at the bottom of the page. Corvias will host the next Live Army Green resident information session in March, after residents have received their first statement. The date and time will be announced later this month. Beware of computer tech support scams By Jane M. Winand Chief, Legal Assistance Division Perhaps you feel challenged by the complexity of your computer and its programs and would welcome tech support to help you understand your computer and protect it from attacks by hackers and viruses. One of the latest scams involves someone, allegedly from a well-known company like Microsoft, calling to warn you that your computer is infected with a virus and that it is imperative you act quickly to minimize the damage. Some scammers post fake tech support advertisements that will pop up when you do an online search in hopes that you will contact the scammer for help. If you fall for the story about the virus, the scammer will ask for remote access to your computer to fix the problem, for a fee. Of course, there was never a problem, but you are now minus the cash you paid for their fake virus-ridding service. As if falling victim to such a scam is not bad enough, now companies are surfacing to claim that, if you paid for tech support services and didn’t receive these services, they can help you get a refund. The scammer will contact you by phone or online and either ask if you were happy with the tech support, which you certainly are not because you had been scammed, or will inform you that the tech support company is going bankrupt and is now providing refunds to its customers. The alleged refund service will then request your credit card or bank account number to process the refund, or you may be asked to create a Western Union account in which the refund will be deposited. The scammer may offer to help you fill out the necessary claims forms — provided that you permit access to your computer. Once the scammer receives your credit card or bank account information or has access to your computer, the scammer makes unauthorized withdrawals from your bank and credit accounts, leaving you the victim of another scam. If you paid for bogus tech support services, do the following: • If you are contacted by someone offering a refund in exchange for your credit card or bank account information, it is a scam. Do not provide the information. • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at • If you paid for the tech services with a credit card, contact your credit card company and dispute the charge. • File a complaint with your state’s Attorney General’s Office. If you have been the victim of a computer tech support scam, you may schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney at the Fort Meade Legal Assistance Office at 301-677-9504 or 301-677-9536. Social Security field office service changes By Social Security Office To meet increasing service demands despite shrinking budgets, Social Security has invested in technological innovations offering more convenient, cost-effective and secure options for the public. As a result, Social Security has made some service changes in its field offices across the country. • Since Aug. 1, Social Security stopped offering Social Security number printouts. • Since Oct. 1, the offices no longer issue benefit verification letters. Agencies and organizations that routinely need access to these materials should use the data exchanges specifically developed for this purpose. Social Security has collaborated with other federal, state and local agencies to build hundreds of robust data exchanges during the past few years. Today, Social Security provides more than 1.6 billion electronic verifications of Social Security numbers or benefit information to employers, state and local agencies, and other authorized third parties. Agencies and organizations should use available data exchanges to get the necessary verifications. People needing proof of their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits can get verification letters online instantly through a “my Social Security” account at www.socialsecurity. gov/myaccount. They also can get one mailed to them by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 

C over S tory Snow removal crews use ATVs to clear a Fort Meade parking lot. photos by nate pesce Col. Donald Reese, commander of the Air Force Spectrum Management Office, shovels in front of his home in Heritage Park. RIGHT: Snow and slush cover the parking lot outside the Fort Meade Commissary and Exchange on Feb. 13. The installation was blanketed with up to a foot of snow. Snow bound Winter storm forces two days of reduced operations By Brandon Bieltz Staff Writer Fort Meade’s snowy winter continued last week as another snowstorm dropped up to a foot of snow in the area. The total accumulation for the surrounding area was between 10 and 12.5 inches, as the majority of the storm hit Wednesday night into Thursday, according to The Baltimore Sun. Other areas in the state received more than 2 feet of snow. The storm forced Anne Arundel County Public Schools to close Feb. 13 and Friday, while Fort Meade had “reduced operations” on both days after it was determined that the weather and road conditions had become unsafe. Another storm on Saturday delivered a few more inches to add to the large mounds of snow. The total snowfall was the most the installation has received in several years. Temperatures were forecast to warm this week as the installation begins to thaw.  SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014

N ews Retired Marine lands private sector job after ETAP/TAP By Lisa R. Rhodes Staff Writer After 20 years with the Marine Corps, Hank Brown decided to work for an entrepreneurial company. A retired lieutenant colonel, Brown sought independence with the challenge of merit-based pay. He was successful in achieving his goal, in part, due to his completion of Fort Meade’s Executive Transition Assistance Program Workshop and the Navy’s Transition Assistance Program a little more than a year ago. “It provided a venue that got me out of the near-term focus of my daily responsibilities on active duty,” Brown said. “[It] helped me to think and dream about what could be next.” He is now the managing director for the Washington, D.C., office of CAI, a medium sized, privately owned IT solutions company based in Pennsylvania. Brown, who resides in Severna Park, is starting a cyber practice in partnership with several local companies and is initiating teaming agreements with nonprofits. ETAP and TAP are open to military personnel of all service branches. ETAP is targeted to ranks E-8, E-9, W-4, W-5, and O-5 and above. TAP is offered to Soldiers with more than 180 days of continuous activeduty service and their families. The programs provide pre-separation counseling, employment assistance, relocation assistance, education and training, and information about health, life insurance and finances. Both programs arm service members with skills and knowledge to meet their professional goals after retirement or separation. Brown enrolled in Fort Meade’s ETAP because the Navy/Marine Corps did not offer a similar program on the installation. “The vast majority of our service members enter the military directly from high school or college. For the duration of their military service, they tend to largely focus on achieving the mission,” said George Matthews, Fort Meade’s Transition Services manager.  SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014 “TAP is extremely important in helping service members transition because it exposes them to all the benefits, services and contact points that can significantly increase their transition success. … Most service members only separate once, therefore there’s no track record of experience in knowing how to execute this action. TAP provides the tools that enable members to successfully navigate this critically important journey.” Matthews said Brown was successful in transitioning to the private sector partly because he was focused and he began the process early. Eighteen months before his projected retirement, Brown started the process with Countess Simiyu, the contractor installation manager at the Army Career and Alumni Program Center at Fort Meade’s Transition Services Program. Fifteen months out, he enrolled in ETAP and at the six-month mark, he enrolled in the Navy’s TAP at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. A congressional mandate requires all military members to start TAP at least one year prior to separation/ retirement. However, End-of-Term-ofService members may start the process two years from separation. Potential retirees may start the process during their 18th year of service. Matthews said that, unfortunately, many service members do not start a year ahead of time due to several assumptions that are not true. They incorrectly believe they must first have orders to retire or separate and that they must file for retirement. In addition, many ETS military members assume that if they start TAP, they will be compelled to separate. “ETS is a contract and a decision between the military service and the service member,” Matthews said. “Starting TAP does not impact that personnel action.” Brown said he thought about his future goals before enrolling in TAP, and knew he wanted to continue to serve. “Through a good amount of selfstudy and mentoring, I determined that independence was the most important criteria to me,” he said. “TAP helped me identify my goals and set the course to achieve them.” Brown said he refined his resume, updated his wardrobe and interviewing skills, and made an effort to seek out professional mentors and contacts through networking. “I think that some people who transition out of the military think that their perceived merit to a potential employer will be assumed because of their military service, or it will be accepted because of their qualifications on paper,” Brown said. “Written qualifications might be necessary to ‘open doors,’ but I think for most leaders in the civilian workforce, trust is the No. 1 qualification, followed by talent and work ethic.” Brown said that while the military selects candidates for important positions based on their performance record, civilians hire candidates who are “personally known, personally proven and personally trusted. ... “The trust that is implicit in the military is not assumed on the outside,” he said. Brown said that veterans, armed with ETAP and TAP, and their own personal initiative and hard work, can successfully transition to a job at a similar or higher level than they had in the military. “It is unlikely veterans will be given much in the private sector just because they are vets,” he said. “But by capitalizing on the qualities most of us developed in the service like integrity, work ethic, professionalism and flexibility, we can jump in to the civilian sector and flourish.” Due to his desire to continue to serve, Brown is helping other veterans transition to the private sector. “My office is engaged with the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment and other similar organizations for this reason, and I am personally mentoring transitioning veterans,” he said. “I find this to be fulfilling work, plus it is an opportunity to meet highquality individuals and form new relationships.” photo courtesy of hank brown Hank Brown, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, landed a job in the private sector after 20 years of military service. Brown was successful, in part, due to his completion of Fort Meade’s Executive Transition Assistance Program Workshop and the Navy’s Transition Assistance Program. Community Crime Watch Compiled by the Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services Feb. 15, Driving while under the influence of alcohol; driving while impaired by alcohol; drunk and disorderly conduct; exceeding speed limit 20 to 29 mph; refusing to sign a traffic citation after request: While on patrol, a unit observed vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Radar obtained a reading of 62 mph in a 40 mph zone. The officer observed that the driver’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech was slurred, and he had problems with divided attention tasks. The driver refused to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The driver further refused to take a test measuring blood alcohol content. For week of Feb. 10-16: • Moving violations: 21 • Nonmoving violations: 11 • Verbal warnings for traffic stops: 14 • Traffic accidents: 9 • Driving on suspended license: 3 • Driving on suspended registration: 1 • Driving without a license: 1

N ews 780th MI members win ‘Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge’ By Tina Miles, PAO 780th MI Brigade A “Digital Pearl Harbor” or “Cyber 9/12” are phrases that have become all too commonplace in today’s society. But what do they really mean, and what would we do — how would we respond — the day after a major cyber attack on the United States? Four members from the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion, 780th MI Brigade were given the opportunity to address that very question during the two-day Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative “Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge.” The event was held Feb. 7 and 8 at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. The 780th MI team — Team Phoenix — won both the “Best Oral Presentation Award” and first-place award in the final round. The Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge was the first student competition devoted to highlevel policy recommendations for day-after responses to a major cyber incident. The challenge consisted of a fictional simulated cyber-attack scenario that evolved over the course of the competition. Teams were provided with intelligence reports that set the scene for the fictional cyber attack. The competition involved three rounds, with 22 teams from 24 different universities participating. Twelve teams advanced to the semifinal round, and from there four moved to the finals. Awards were given to the top performing teams based on score, as well as team awards for best written briefs, best oral presentation, best teamwork and most creative policyresponse alternative. Team Phoenix included Mike Hooper, Maggie Smith and Rock Stevens of Eastern Michigan University, and Jason Rivera from Georgetown University. Their diverse composition and educational backgrounds gave Team Phoenix an advantage over teams made up of students from a single university program. “Our diversity gave us the ability to approach the problem from multiple vantage points and allowed us to generate policy recommendations that were creative, robust and supported by real-world experience,” Smith said. Team Phoenix responded to political, economic and security problems created by evolving fictional cyber-attack scenarios. They had to discuss their policy recommendations as they related to the challenges faced by state, military and industrial actors described in the fictitious cyber incident, and the presentation Photo by Lt. Col. Deitra Trotter Jason Rivera, team captain of Team Phoenix, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade team, addresses judges in the final round of the Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative “Cyber 9/12 - Student Challenge” held Feb. 7 and 8 at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Team Phoenix won “Best Oral Presentation” and first place for the overall competition. had to recommend appropriate actions and policy responses for those actors. During the course of the competition, the scenario continued to evolve, forcing advancing teams to focus on key priorities during a major cyber attack against the United States. Throughout this evolution, Team Phoenix confronted serious cyber security breaches by composing their ideal cyber policy recommendations and then justifying their decisions. Their performance was judged by some of the world’s leading cyber security policy experts, as panel members were drawn from the upper echelons of the White House, Department of Defense, Department of State and leading cyber industries. The judges consistently evaluated each team’s oral briefing and provided feedback to the team members. With each new level, the teams were given new scenario injects and worked to adapt policy responses. “Receiving the opportunity to participate in the student challenge was enlightening in terms of the breadth of cyber expertise we were exposed to and the diversity of the competing teams,” said Rivera, who noted that the 780th MI team greatly benefited from those experts in both the public and private sector who volunteered their time to the competition. “All around, this was an incredible experience.” The advancing teams delivered an oral brief to the panel of judges on their new policy recommendations given new developments. During each round, the presentations were limited to 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes to answer questions from the judges’ panel. “Team Phoenix rocked their presentation,” said their coach, Lt. Col. Deitra Trotter, commander, 781st MI Battalion. “Their practice paid off. They were poised, professional and refused to be rattled.” For the qualifying round, Team Phoenix had a month to prepare their oral presentation based on written policy brief prepared before the competition. Advancing to the semifinal round, Team Phoenix had literally overnight to prepare another 10-minute oral presentation based on a new intelligence report that altered the original fictitious scenario. After announced that Team Phoenix would move on to the final round, competing against Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins and the Harvard/MIT teams, Team Phoenix was given one last intelligence report detailing more changes to the scenario. The team had to respond with very little preparation time, testing its ability to quickly analyze information as a team and prepare a response. “The Cyber 9/12 competition was an amazing opportunity to extend the credibility of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade into academia,” Stevens said. “Facing opponents from prestigious universities such as Brown, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and MIT, we were able to leverage our realworld experience in the cyber realm to clinch the victory.” February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 

N ews Staff photo by xyxyxyyyx Audrey Rothstein (center), wife of retired Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein; Lee Foley (left), wife of Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley; and LeAnn McCreedy, wife of retired Garrison Commander Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, are among the guests at the farewell. The event was co-hosted by the Officers’ Spouses’ Club, Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club, Enlisted Spouses Club and the National Security Agency’s Family Action Board. Touching say farewell Tribute Military spouses to NSA’s Debbie Alexander By Lisa R. Rhodes Staff Writer In a heartfelt tribute, Debbie Alexander was honored for nearly nine years of service on Fort Meade as the leader of the military spouse community. Alexander is beginning a new chapter of her life as her husband, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, is expected to retire in March as the leader of the nation’s premiere intelligence organizations. The general is commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service. On behalf of the Fort Meade community, the Officers’ Spouses’ Club, Retired Debbie Alexander slips on a pair of glittering red slippers before traveling down the “yellow brick road” during her farewell luncheon inspired by “The Wizard of Oz.” 10 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014 Officers’ Wives’ Club, Enlisted Spouses Club and the NSA’s Family Action Board bid farewell to Alexander in a luncheon Tuesday at Club Meade. “It’s been great,” said an emotional Alexander. “There’s always new chapters and new beginnings. ... You’re leaving something that you love so much.” The two-hour luncheon featured a menu of quiche and salad. The theme was “The Wizard Of Oz” and included a yellow brick road, “Glinda the Good Witch” and a recording of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Alexander’s four daughters, Julie Bailey, Heather Burton, Diana Glaser and Jen Leonard, and her infant grandson Gage — one of 16 grandchildren — joined in the celebration. “The Wizard of Oz” theme was used to share Alexander’s 40-year journey as a military spouse. She and her husband met in high school and married in June 1974. Air Force Chaplain (Col.) Michael Heuer, staff chaplain of the NSA/CSS, delivered the invocation: “Thank you for Debbie Alexander and for all she has done in her decades as a military spouse ... and for all she has meant to us,” he prayed. Throughout the event, guests showered Alexander with gratitude and gifts includ- ing a gingerbread version of the couple’s new home in Maryland baked by Genny Bellinger, president of the ROWC, and a painting of her Fort Meade home from OSC, ROWC and ESC. Cyndi Gilbert, chair of the Family Action Board, which supports NSA families, and Karen Hall, a member of Work/Life Services, which supports NSA employees, thanked Alexander for her dedication. “You are genuine and you gave every ounce of your whole heart,” Gilbert said. She noted that Alexander was “100 percent committed” to her volunteer work and made it a priority to help NSA families adjust to their new assignments, celebrate births, mourn deaths and grapple with the challenges of military life. “We’re gonna miss her,” Gilbert said. Luther Alexander, administrator of the Religious Affairs Office at the NSA, said he will miss seeing Alexander at new employee orientations and during the organization’s tea tours for new spouses. “Thanks for your support and cooperation,” he said. “We’ll just say ‘so long’ for now.” Lee Foley, wife of Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley; Audrey Rothstein, wife of retired Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein; and LeAnn McCreedy, wife of retired Garrison Com

mander Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, also acknowledged Alexander for her community service and her example as a military spouse. Doris Tyler, director of Fort Meade’s Army Community Service, noted that Alexander accomplished much “behind the fence” in her support of military spouses and families. Emcee and OSC President Jen Moesner, ESC President Laura Livingston and Bellinger each praised Alexander for her dedication, humbleness and selflessness. “If Debbie doesn’t know you, she will make sure to introduce herself to you — not because she wants you to meet her, but because she truly wants to meet you,” Moesner said. Alexander has been an advisor to the OSC for nearly nine years. After lunch, Lorrie Short, a member of OSC who portrayed “Glinda the Good Witch,” led Alexander, who wore a pair of red glitter slippers and a yellow corsage, along a yellow brick road to each luncheon table. The tables were decorated with colorful signs noting each duty station where the Alexander family lived during the general’s career. When Alexander arrived at the Fort Meade table, the family’s final duty station, Debbie Alexander, wife of Gen. Keith B. Alexander, is given lollipops during her farewell luncheon Tuesday at Club Meade. The Alexanders are retiring from Fort Meade after 40 years of service in the military. TOP LEFT: Debbie Alexander holds a framed copy of the poem “Making of a Military Wife” presented by her daughters Diana Glaser and Julie Bailey (both right) at the farewell luncheon. A gingerbread house, fashioned after the Alexanders’ new home in Maryland, was baked by Genny Bellinger, president of the Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club. Glaser shared a few childhood memories. “I’m so amazed at my mom,” she said. “She made our childhood seem so normal to us.” When her father was away at war and her mother was sad and worried, “she made us feel that everything was going to be all right,” Glaser said. “She taught us to be proud to be an American and that the military was such an important job.” All four daughters presented Alexander with a framed copy of the poem “Making of A Military Wife.” In her remarks, Alexander was grateful to all who attended. “It’s a gift to me that you’re here to share this day with me,” she said. Alexander said she has often been asked to name her favorite place to live. Fort Meade, she said, fits the bill. “We’ve been here eight years, the longest we’ve ever been any place. ... We grew roots,” Alexander said. “The friendships that we made are deep and meaningful. You’ve all touched my life. I thank you all for that.” The tables at the farewell luncheon are decorated with colorful signs listing the duty stations where the Alexander family resided during Gen. Keith B. Alexander’s 40-year military career. Debbie Alexander visited each table as she traveled down “the yellow brick road” on her journey down memory lane. February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 11

C ommunity N ews & N otes available at commissaries worldwide or on the Internet at Applications must be turned in to a commissary by Feb. 28. Packages must be hand-delivered or shipped via the U.S. Postal Service or other delivery methods, not emailed or faxed. This year’s award amount has risen to $2,000. The program awards at least one scholarship at each commissary with qualified applicants. Applicants should ensure that they and their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database and have a military ID card. For more information, students or sponsors should call scholarship managers at 856-616-9311 or email militaryscholar@ The deadline for Soundoff! community “News and Notes” is Friday at noon. All submissions are posted at the editor’s discretion and may be edited for space and grammar. Look for additional community events on the Fort Meade website at www. and the Fort Meade Facebook page at For more information or to submit an announcement, email Philip Jones at philip. or call 301-677-5602. NEWS & EVENTS Black History Month Observance The Fort Meade Garrison and the Equal Opportunity Office will celebrate the 2014 African American/Black History Month Observance today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McGill Training Center, 8542 Zimborski Ave. The event is hosted by U.S. Army Cyber Command. The theme is “Civil Rights in America.” The keynote speaker is Claiborne Douglass Haughton Jr. From 1979 until his retirement in 2002, Haughton served in the top DoD career Senior Executive Service position for military and civilian equal opportunity programs. The free event, open to military, civilians and family members, will feature food samplings. For more information, call Sgt. 1st Class Donnel Cabanos of Cyber Command at 301-677-4022 or Sgt. 1st Class Torey Palmore of EOO at 301-677-6687. Spring Quarter Auction The Enlisted Spouses Club is hosting its Spring Quarter Auction on March 1 at Jessup Community Hall, 2920 Jessup Road, Jessup. Doors open at 5 p.m. Play begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $6 and includes two paddles, or $20 for a group of four and includes eight paddles. Cost for additional paddles is $2. Register at For more information, email Jummah prayers Individuals interested in participating in Jummah prayers on Fort Meade should call 301-677-1301. Fort Meade has a room available at Argonne Hills Chapel Center, 7100 Rockenbach Road. 12 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014 Free classes photo by philip h. jones MILITARY SAVES WEEK Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley signs the proclamation for Military Saves Week, which runs from Monday to March 1, alongside Doris Tyler, division chief, Army Community Service; Ryan D. Yarnell, an ACS Personal Financial Readiness specialist; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Latter (far right). Military Saves encourages military families to save money every month. “Military Saves Week: A Day of Financial Fitness” will be held Feb. 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Readiness Center, 830 Chisholm Ave. The event will feature a variety of classes including financial planning, credit management, and home buying; a free lunch; and door prizes. Registration is required at Eligible participants are: active-duty and retired service members, Reservists and National Guard (on active duty) and their family members, and DoD civilian employees. For more information, call 301-677-5590 or 301-677-9017. The community also is seeking individuals to join in a morning prayer on Fridays. EDUCATION Evaluation training The U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Officer Evaluation Report (Revised) Mobile Training Team will provide handson training March 3-7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Smallwood Hall, Building 4650. All Army commands supported by Fort Meade are required to send a representative to complete this “train the trainer” course and train other human resource professionals and officers within their units. Units must select a primary and alternate officer/HR professional to attend this weeklong training. To reserve a seat, call Jannette Bolling at 301-677-2903 or email jannette.o.bolling., or call Jolynda Thompson at 301-677-7036 or email jolynda.e.thompson. Scholarships for Military Children Program Applications for the 2014 Scholarships for Military Children Program are The Navy Fleet and Family Support Center offers free classes at its new facility at 2212 Chisholm Ave. Registration is required for each class. • Meet and Greet: Today, 5-7 p.m. Join us for friendship, food, prizes and to learn about Maryland and Fort Meade. • Retiree Brief: Monday, 8-11:30 a.m. For participants within two years of retirement eligibility. • Paying for College: Monday, 1-3 p.m. Participants will learn to evaluate college funding options and identify resources for researching financing alternatives. • First-Term Financial Readiness (online class): Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Job Search Strategies: Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon To register or for more information, call 301-677-9017 or 301-677-9018. ACS classes Army Community Service offers free classes at 830 Chisholm Ave. Registration is required for each class. • 1st Term Financial Readiness: Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Military Saves: “A Day of Financial Fitness”: Feb. 28, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register or for more information, call 301-677-5590. YOUTH Youth Center events The Youth Center is offering the following events for grades six to eight: • Breakfast for Dinner: Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. Participants will assist in creating

C ommunity N ews & N otes breakfast for dinner in honor of National Hot Breakfast month. Sign-up ends today. • Grillin’ & Chillin’: Feb. 28, 6 to 8 p.m. Menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs and sides. Cost is $5. Sign-up ends Feb. 27. For more information, call 301-6771437 or 301-677-1847. Teen Center events The Fort Meade Teen Center is offering the following events for grades nine to 12. • Movie: Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. The center is showing the movie “42” in celebration of Black History Month • Chess Tournament: Feb. 28, 3 to 6 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, call 301-6776054 Romp ‘n Stomp Romp ‘n Stomp playgroup for children age 5 and younger and their parents meets Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. from September to June at the Youth Center gym at 909 Ernie Pyle St. and from June to August at the Boundless playground on Llewellyn Avenue. For more information, call 301-6775590 or email colaina.townsend.ctr@ RECREATION Out & About • The Naval Academy Band Brass Ensemble will perform Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., Baltimore. For more information, visit the Naval Academy Band website at mil or Facebook page, or call 410-293-1262. • The American Craft Council Winter Show will be presented Friday through Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center, One W. Pratt St. The event features more than 650 artists of contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor from across the country Hours are Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for a one-day pass; $30 for a three-day pass; and free for children 12 and under. Admission Friday evening is $5 after 5 p.m. Discounted tickets are available online. The event will feature demonstrations and tastings of the Balvenie, the world’s most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky. For more information, go to shows. or call 410-6497000. • The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum, located at Martin State Airport in Middle River, offers free, year-round admission to military families with military ID. The museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free. Indoor exhibits include “They Answered the Call,” “The Martin Company,” “The Lockheed History,” and displays on astronaut Tom Jones and the Maryland Air Guard. There is also an outdoor aircraft display. For more information, call 410-682-6122 or visit • Leisure Travel Services is offering its next monthly bus trip to New York City on Saturday, with discounts to attractions. Onboard prize giveaway will be offered. Bus cost is $60. For more information, call 301-677-7354 or visit MEETINGS • Prostate Cancer Support Group meets at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on the third Thursday of every month. The next meeting is today and March 20 from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the America Building, River Conference Room (next to the Prostate Center), third floor. Spouses/partners are invited. Military ID is required for base access. Men without a military ID should call the Prostate Center 48 hours prior to the event at 301-319-2900 for base access. For more information, call retired Col. Jane Hudak at 301-319-2918 or email jane.l.hudak. • Meade Area Garden Club will meet Friday at 10 a.m. at the Jessup Community Hall at the corner of Route 175 and Wigley Avenue. Stephen McDaniel, a master bee keeper who is knowledgeable about the important relationship between bees and the environment, will present the program “Save the Bees!” No reservations required. Refreshments will be served. Those interested in our club may attend one program before being asked to join for the annual fee of $20. If Anne Arundel County schools are closed or opening late due to inclement weather, the meeting will be canceled. For more information, call Jennifer Garcia, membership chairman, at 443-949-8348 or Sharon Durney, club president, at 410-7615019. • Society of Military Widows meets for brunch the fourth Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Lanes. The next meeting is Sunday. For more information, call Betty Jones at 410730-0127. • Calling All Dads meets the second and fourth Monday of every month from 4 to 5 p.m. at Potomac Place Neighborhood Center, 4998 2nd Corps Blvd. The next meeting is Monday. The group is for expecting fathers, and fathers with children of all ages. Children welcome. For more information, call 301-6775590 or email colaina.townsend.ctr@mail. mil. • Single Parent Support Group meets the second and fourth Monday of the month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at School Age Services, 1900 Reece Road. The next meeting is Monday. Free child care is provided onsite. For more information, call 301-677-5590 or email • Bully Proofing Support Group meets the second and fourth Monday of the month from 4 to 5 p.m. at Potomac Place Neighborhood Center. The next meeting is Monday. The group is geared for school-age children and parents. For more information, email • Marriage Enrichment Group, sponsored by Army Community Service, meets the second and fourth Monday of every month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Community Readiness Center, 830 Chisholm Ave. The next meeting is Monday. For more information, call Celena Flowers or Jessica Hobgood at 301-677-5590. • Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 254 meets the fourth Wednesday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Building 9801 at the National Security Agency. The next meeting is Wednesday. For more information, call 443-534-5170 or visit • Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club will hold its next monthly luncheon on March 4 at 11 a.m. at Club Meade. The program, “All You Need To Know About Furs,” will be presented by Mano Swartz Furriers, along with a mini fur fashion show featuring ROWC models. Learn how to choose and care for furs as you use them for warmth and fashion. Cost of the luncheon is $18. Reservations are required by Feb. 27. Call your area representative or Betty Wade at 410-5517082. Membership dues are $25 per year, but you may join from February through May now for half price. Members may bring guests at any time to the luncheons, which are held on the first Tuesday of each month, except June, July, August, and January. For more information, call Genny Bellinger, president of the ROWC, at 410674-2550. M ovies The movie schedule is subject to change. For a recorded announcement of showings, call 301677-5324. Further listings are available on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service website at Movies start Wednesdays to Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. PRICES: Tickets are $5.50 for adults (12 and older) and $3 for children. 3D Movies: $7.50 adults, $5 children. Today through March 2 Today: “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (R). A recent high school graduate begins experiencing a number of disturbing and unexplainable things after the death of his neighbor. As he investigates, it isn’t long before he finds he’s been marked for possession by a malevolent demonic entity. With Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh. Friday: “August: Osage County” (R). A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. With Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney. Saturday: “Walking With Dinosaurs” (PG). See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages. With the voices of Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice. Sunday, Wednesday & March 1: “The Nut Job” (PG). An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel finds himself helping his former park brethren raid a nut store to survive, that is also the front for a human gang’s bank robbery. With the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson. (3D Wednesday) Feb. 27: “The Legend of Hercules” (PG-13). The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. With Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins. Feb. 28 & March 2: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (PG-13). Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. With Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley. February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 13

S ports Stroking skills Fort Meade swimmers qualify for junior championships Story and photo by Brandon Bieltz Staff Writer Over the course of three days, Sophia Czaja will swim more than 3,000 meters as she competes in 10 separate events with the opportunity to bring home a handful of titles. The 14-year-old is among the dozen Fort Meade Patriots swimmers who will compete March 15-17 in the Maryland Junior Championships in Saint Mary’s City. The installation’s youth swimming team is training for the meet as members prepare to compete against some of the top swimmers in the area. “I feel really proud of myself and very excited to know I’m that fast,” Sophia said. Head coach Marc Czaja said swimmers are currently working on conditioning while continuing to improve stroke techniques. “It’s not just refinement,” he said. “I believe in swimming better, not just harder. ... As we get closer and closer, what I’ll do is I’ll be backing off a lot of the distance and really be focusing on more rest and more performance.” The training schedule, he said, is also key to preparing for the championships. “It’s tapering towards the big race, but it’s a timing thing,” Czaja said. “You have to do it so they don’t get over-rested and they end up swimming tired, and I can’t do it too late where they don’t get enough rest.” Several swimmers, including 18-year-old Ian McElroy, have experience competing at the championships and are eager to take a shot at a title. “It’s always a lot of fun,” McElroy said. “It’s a fun meet.” Next month’s meet will wrap up the short-course portion of the season for the team of 35 swimmers, which featured several more meets than in past years including out-of-state tournaments. The Patriots will then move into the long-course season. The short-course season is “a lot more intense” as swimmers compete in nine or 10 events in multiple day meets, Czaja said. In both the long-course and short-course seasons, the Patriots compete in the USA Swimming Association. But Czaja also coaches the Fort Meade Dolphins, which competes in the Amateur Athletic Union during the summer. In USA Swimming, swimmers compete individually against hundreds of teams while in AAU the team competes in duels against a single team. Many members of the Patriots also swim for the Dolphins, which finished their past season undefeated. Despite losing several experienced swimmers due to graduation, Czaja said the Fort Meade swimming program has continued to be competitive this year. “Kids that have remained have all improved,” Czaja said. “There hasn’t been any sort of letdown at all.” Cordell Morgan is one of the more improved swimmers since last season. A year ago, he was disqualified in swimming events for improper techniques with strokes and flip turns. This year, he qualified for the 200-meter individual medley. “He was new to it, he’d never done competitive swimming,” said Travis Morgan, the 13-year-old’s father. “He’s really taken off.” Fort Meade Patriots’ Luke Czaja, 8, swims during a meet on Saturday morning at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville. A dozen members of the youth swimming team have qualified for the Maryland Junior Championships next month in Saint Mary’s City. Both Travis and Cordell credit the coaching staff for the quick improvement. “He couldn’t have done it without good coaching,” Morgan said. “They get more personal attention from our coaches. ... It’s really helped Cordell a lot. He can get a lot more one-on-one time.” Czaja said the coaching staff takes pride in developing the swimmers. With a small team, the coaches are able to work with swimmers individually to help them improve. “I think that’s something that we can afford to do as a smaller team because our coach-to-swimmer ratio is really small. They can give them a lot of attention,” he said. Nina Huff, who qualified to compete in the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle at the championships, said the coaching staff has also helped her improve her times over the two years she has trained with the Patriots. “I came in with a :36 time for my 50, now I’m swimming a :30,” the 11-year-old said. “The coaches have really been helping me to improve my strokes.” Sophia, who swims on the team with her siblings Luke and Ana, said her times have also improved over the course of the season. “I think I made a lot of improvements this year,” she said But Czaja isn’t just concerned with how his swimmers compete in the pool. He also hopes help them mature outside of the sport as well. “I want to see each child attain a personal achievement, then I also really try to teach them life lessons through swimming and through competition,” he said. “It’s really important to me that they not only succeed as swimmers but as kids.” Fort Meade Patriots exit Capital Classic early By Brandon Bieltz Staff Writer The Fort Meade Patriots’ trip to the Capital Classic basketball tournament at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall ended early last weekend as the short-handed team lost twice in Day 1 of the three-day competition. “Everything actually went well,” said head coach Ronny Cunningham. “I was missing two-thirds of my front line and my starting point guard.” 14 SOUNDOFF! February 20, 2014 The team opened the tournament on Saturday with an 80-65 loss to Camp Lejeune, sending the Patriots to the loser’s bracket where they defeated the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office team from Fort Belvoir, 85-80. In the second round of the loser’s bracket, the Patriots played Washington Area Military Athletic Conference opponents Fort Lee. With only five players — Brian Burns, Ruffin Wallace, Tarus Newby, Gary Robinson and Dararius Evans — the Patriots lost to Fort Lee 91-83. Despite wanting to call the game with eight minutes left in the second half after Evans was injured, Cunningham said the team refused to leave the game and ultimately forced overtime. Although the loss sent the Patriots home, the coach said he was satisfied with his team’s efforts. “I really believe we can be special this year,” he said. This weekend, the Patriots will play at Fort Belvoir (0-4) on Saturday and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (1-1) at Fort Meade on Sunday. “We still have to improve on our interior defense and rebounding,” Cunningham said. “We are giving up too many inside baskets and not communicating on defense. ... If we focus on defense, I really believe we can win the conference and the tournament.”

S ports Former Soldier wins Olympic bobsled bronze Story and photo by Tim Hipps U.S. Army Installation Management Command KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Former U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsledder Steven Holcomb and Team USA civilian brakeman Steve Langton became the first U.S. athletes in 62 years to win a two-man bobsled Olympic medal by taking the bronze at Sanki Sliding Center on Monday night. They secured the medal aboard the USA-1 sled with little room to spare — finishing only 0.03 seconds ahead of the fourth-place duo of hosts Alexander Kasjanov and Maxim Belugin, who finished with a four-run cumulative time of 3 minutes, 46.30 seconds. WCAP bobsled pilot Sgt. Nick Cunningham, who drove USA-3 to a 13th-place finish with teammate Sgt. Dallas Robinson aboard, was the first to mob Langton and Holcomb when the USA-1 sled came to rest. They were joined in the frenzied celebration by WCAP brakemen Robinson and Capt. Chris Fogt, among other Team USA bobsled athletes and coaches. Fogt pushed Cory Butner to a 12th-place finish aboard USA-2 with a time of 3:47.19. “I’m just enjoying the moment,” Butner said. “We threw down today and gave it our best shot. It’s a dream being here, and I am so proud to have had Captain Fogt in my sled.” Fogt spent a year deployed in Iraq following the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, yet managed to work his way back onto Team USA for the Sochi Games. “To see the Stars and Stripes out here in Russia and have everyone cheering USA has been humbling,” Fogt said. “To be here representing the USA in a different way has been awesome.” Cunningham and Robinson finished just behind Fogt with a time of 3:47.69 aboard USA-3. “We gave it all, all the way to the last corner of the last run,” Cunningham said. “We wanted to medal, but it’s really about wearing USA on our backs and being a part of this amazing team.” U.S. men’s Olympic bobsled head coach Brian Shimer also got caught up in the shining moment. “I think I’m more excited for this bronze than I was for mine,” said Shimer, who was part of the 2002 Olympic team that broke a 46-year medal drought in four-man bobsled. “I’ve been a part of a lot of historic events in my career in bobsled, and I’m just glad to be a part of this one, too. “Bronze may seem like a step down from what we were expecting, but with the challenges we had and the hurdles we had to get over, it was a great ending.” During the second heat on Sunday, Holcomb strained a calf muscle while pushing the USA-1 sled off the starting block. Into Monday morning, he received treatment on the leg. “I let my horse here take over,” Holcomb said, pointing at Langton. “We pushed harder than I expected, and going into that last heat, we knew we had to bring everything we had if we wanted to bring home a medal. There was a lot of pressure.” Holcomb and Langton pushed the BMW sled off the block for a start time of 4.92 seconds, and they maintained a hold on third place with a third heat time of 56.41 seconds. The competition was closing in, and the race for bronze came down to the fourth and final heat. Holcomb and Langton powered USA-1 to a start time of 4.88 seconds to remain in medal contention and maneuvered through the course quickly enough to end a 62-year, two-man bobsled Olympic medal drought for Team USA. “This is the second 62-year medal drought that I’ve broken, which is awesome,” Holcomb said. “If anybody else has a 62-year medal drought they need to break, just let me know and we’ll try to help you.” Since snapping a 62-year, gold medal drought in four-man bobsled at the 2010 Vancouver Games, Holcomb set his sights on accomplishing the one thing missing from his bobsled resume: an Olympic Former U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsled driver Steven Holcom raises his fists in celebration of his Olympic bronze medal performance with Steven Langton aboard USA-1 in the twoman bobsled event on Monday at Sanki Sliding Centre in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. medal in the two-man event. “It was the missing piece,” said Holcomb, 33, who spent seven years honing his craft in the WCAP. “There’s so much that goes into this, and there are dozens of people behind this team. We may be the only two standing up here, but there’s a huge team behind us pushing us.” Army daughter wins bronze in Olympic team figure skating By Gary Sheftick Army News Service SOCHI, Russia — Before receiving a bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic team figure-skating event, Ashley Wagner spent more than 20 years as an Army family member and said the experience helped strengthen her skating. Growing up with the military broadened her horizons and exposed her to many different people, she said, and some of those folks helped sharpen her skating skills. They also helped instill a competitive spirit, stamina and determination, especially after she moved nine times as a youth. Wagner, 22, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and began skating at age 5 near Fort Richardson, Alaska (now Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson). Her mother offered her the choice between ballet lessons or skating. Wagner told other media she “never liked the pink tutus,” so she picked ice skating. Installations where she lived as a youth include Campbell Barracks, Germany, and Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She’s now a student at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, Calif. Her father is a retired lieutenant colonel who worked at the Pentagon during the 9/11 terrorist attack, and he still lives in Alexandria, Va. Her dad has always supported her in skating, she Ashley Wagner said, and he’s in Sochi watching the competition. “It’s the thrill of a lifetime,” Wagner said about earning an Olympic medal. “It’s what I’ve always dreamed about.” She was selected for the Olympic Winter Games is Sochi despite falling twice on the ice during her free skate at the National Championships in Boston and ending up in fourth place. Members of the national governing body for figure skating reportedly took her overall winning record into consideration. She was the “Four Continents” champion in 2012 and finished fourth in the World Championships that year in Nice, France. Last year she finished fifth in the World Championships and second in the Grand Prix in Sochi. Over the past month, Wagner said she has stepped up her training routine, working harder than ever. On Feb. 8 in Sochi, she finished fourth in the Ladies Team Short Program, with an overall score of 63.10, earning Team USA a total of 7 points. That score put the USA among the top five teams and enabled Gracie Gold to continue the next night in free skating. Gold finished second Feb. 9 in free skating, scoring 67.49 to earn 9 points and guar- antee a bronze medal for Team USA. The team competition includes four events: men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs and ice dancing. The USA ice-dancing duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White scored 114.34 during the final team competition Feb. 9, earning 10 points for the USA and setting a new record for ice dancing. This was the first Olympics for the team event in figure skating. Russia took the gold with a total score of 75. Canada took silver with 65 points, and Team USA finished with a total of 60 points. Italy trailed in fourth place with 52. Japan was fifth with 51. The last time a new event was added to Olympic figure skating was in 1976, officials said, when ice dancing was introduced. This means that a competitor can now win more than one medal in figure skating at an Olympic Winter Games for the first time in 78 years. In 1936, Ernst Baier from Germany won gold in the pairs event and silver in the men’s singles. February 20, 2014 SOUNDOFF! 15

S ports Sports Shorts Flag Football Child, Youth and School Services’ Youth Sports is now offering NFL Flag Football through USA Football for ages 6 to 13. Cost is $55 per player and includes an NFL-branded jersey, flag football belt, game shorts and participation trophy. Two practices and one game will be held each week at the Fort Meade Youth Sports Complex. Games will played Friday evenings. Flag football will be played as a spring and fall sport. For more information, call 301-677-1329 or 301-677-1179. Spring sports Registration for spring sports is underway at Parent Central Services, 1900 Reece Road. Spring sports include soccer, swimming, baseball, track, flag football and basketball. Participants can register at the CYSS Central Registration Office at 1900 Reece Road or online at For more information, call 301-677-1149 or 1156. Dollar Days Dollar Days at the Lanes is every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bowlers receive a game of bowling, shoe rental, a hot dog, hamburger, small fries, pizza slice or small soda for $1 each. For more information, call 301-677-5541. Texas Hold ‘em Texas Hold ‘em no buy-in games are played Mondays and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at

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