Archive | July, 2010

Military Assists Pioneering Merit Badge at Jamboree

Military Assists Pioneering Merit Badge at Jamboree

Posted on 29 July 2010 by admin

Soldiers out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., with the Joint Task Force-National Scout Jamboree man the pioneering merit badge booth and assist boy scouts with the tasks necessary to earn the badge at the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Boy Scout Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., July 26 through Aug. 4.

Military service members from all five branches of the United States military and Department of Defense employees alike are some of the thousands who swarmed to Fort A.P. Hill, Va., as part of Joint Task Force National Scout Jamboree for the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

The JTF supports the Jamboree in a variety of ways — from providing jamboree security and medical assistance to setting up, and manning, merit badge booths.

“It was actually sponsored by the engineer school at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for us to come out here and work a few merit badges,” said Mark Dean, a Department of Defense videographer and producer from Fort Leonard Wood and an Eagle Scout, working at the pioneering merit badge booth. “Engineers typically provide the support for the pioneering merit badge and the drafting merit badge.”

There are quite a few tasks scouts must master in order to earn their pioneering merit badge, Dean explained, including how to make a rope from different materials, knot tying, lashing things together, block and tackle methods and erecting a double-A tressel bridge.

“The military still uses certain types of hasty bridges for really quick work,” Dean said. “That’s one reason why the engineers are supporting this. It’s actually an Army skill.”

The last task necessary to earn a pioneering merit badge is for the scouts to cross their own bridge, Dean said.

“They’re building their own confidence,” he explained. “They have to do their knots right to be able to support their own weight.”

On top of the excitement generated by the military services working together with boy scouts, the jamboree also provides the Department of Defense with a chance to provide service members and civilians with valuable training.

“The Army uses this as a training exercise for the Soldiers and even us civilians,” Dean said. “We learn a lot. It’s a huge, logistical exercise for the Department of Defense.”

On a whole, said Dean, this is a good experience for everyone involved.

“I can see how this is very valuable to both the military and the scouts,” he said. “Both sides benefit and work together really well.”

Story and Photo By: Spc. Alisha Hauk

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Eagle Scouts Soar in Utah Intelligence Battalion

Eagle Scouts Soar in Utah Intelligence Battalion

Posted on 29 July 2010 by admin

A total of 83 Soldiers from the Utah National Guard's 141st Military Intelligence Battalion have earned the distinction of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America.

The Utah National Guard’s 141st Military Intelligence Battalion will deploy to Iraq in a few weeks with a total 83 Soldiers, who have earned their Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America.

“It’s easy being a battalion commander of Eagle Scouts, because you don’t have to worry about them,” said Lt. Col. Matt Price, the battalion commander and a scout leader for his sons, including three Eagle Scouts. “They have high values, because they have been taught that as young men. You can trust them.”

The 286-member unit is currently in field training at their pre-mobilization site, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

During a recent meeting with civilian employers, Price asked all the Eagle Scouts in the room to stand. Almost half of his unit stood up, he said.

So, during the next battalion formation, the Eagle Scouts were asked to stay behind for a group photo. That is when they counted off as 83 Eagle Scouts representing all ranks and many military occupational specialties.

The unit’s command sergeant major, Michael Lofland, is also a scout master.

“We feel like the scout program,” Price said. “To me the scout law is similar to Army values.”

Price said he believes Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts, would be proud of his creation. “We’re celebrating 100 years of Boy Scouting this year, and if he could look back and see what is going on he would be quite happy.”

In Iraq, the battalion will conduct human intelligence missions with Iraqi security forces. “We will be directly training and advising them how to do force protection,” he said.

Price said he appreciates the uniqueness of his citizen Soldiers. They are older and college educated with more real world experience as teachers and police officers.

“I am bringing a group of community leaders with me to Iraq,” he said.

Price said his Eagle Scouts also bring additional skills to the Guard. “The Boy Scout program itself teaches young men to be men,” he said. “You teach them values. The scout law … You are teaching them survivability skills. They are used to camping and used to roughing it.”

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men, according to published reports. The title is held for life.

Between the ages of 12 and 18, a Scout will work to achieve this accomplishment by earning 12 required merit badges and nine elective merit badges.

He must also demonstrate “Scout Spirit” through the Boy Scout oath and law, service and leadership, which includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.

Earning the Eagle Scout’s badge was “the only thing I had done in my life that led me to think that I could make a difference; that I could be a leader,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told an estimated crowd of 45,000 gathered on 12,000 acres on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., as part of the annual National Scout Jamboree yesterday.

“It was the first thing I had done that told me I might be different, because I had worked harder, was more determined, more goal-oriented, more persistent than most others,” said Gates, who is also an Eagle Scout.

Price said the key to scouting is service to others.

“To be able to protect yourself and your family but also look outwards and help others,” he said. “These are different kinds of Soldiers. They look beyond themselves. We are bringing a higher quality of citizen-Soldier with us, who is looking for ways to help other people.”

Story By: Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
Photo By: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Faddis

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Public Health a Top Priority of Joint Task Force at Jamboree

Public Health a Top Priority of Joint Task Force at Jamboree

Posted on 29 July 2010 by admin

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan III, commanding general of United States Army North, speaking with emergency services members from Joint Task Force - National Scout Jamboree at Wilcox Camp July 28.

Anyone who has ever hiked through the trails of Fort A.P. Hill, Va., may have come across the ominous “Warning: Tick Habitat” signs posted throughout the woods.

Or perhaps they’ve even seen the black, red, yellow or green flags flown throughout the post that correspond with the heat index as the temperatures slowly climb toward triple digits in the Virginia summer.

And maybe they’ve noticed the multitude of reminders posted around that remind people about the importance of hydration as well as water preservation, especially as so many people gathered here are reliant on the same water source.

In order to keep Scouts, Scout leaders and visitors abreast of the various factors of camping outdoors, Joint Task Force National Scout Jamboree’s Public Health Task Force worked with post and civilian officials to ensure the public’s safety and general health during the 2010 National Scout Jamboree here, July 26-August 4.

The task force has been assigned to handle public health matters such as potable water availability, insect control, protection from slips-trips-falls, electrical hazards, heat-stress related issues and any other relevant health and safety topics that may come up during the Jamboree.

“All the groundwork and preparation that’s gone into this between all the military forces and civilians to make sure that this is a safe and healthy environment before they get here has been remarkable,” said U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Kimberly Moore, 2nd Medical Brigade preventive medicine officer, with JTF-NSJ. “It’s neat to see the Boy Scouts and how excited they are to be here. And, as Armed Forces, we’re excited to protect people and make sure they’re safe.”

Moore and other public health personnel work behind the scenes to administer water sanitation, conduct food inspections at the post dining facilities and assist assets who go out on tick drags—the process of examining ticks for potential carrying any diseases.

Public health teams take temperature condition readings every hour and make recommendations through the use of the color-coded flags.

The teams also test the pH levels of the drinking water and ensure there is enough water available around the campgrounds.

“We’re constantly making sure people are staying hydrated and getting proper rest in the shade so they’re not standing in the heat for extended periods of time because of the potential heat-stress issues that may occur out there,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. James Speckhart, a safety and environmental health officer with JTF-NSJ.

The Jamboree became a place for the task force members to not only protect the public, but make good memories. .

“I’m also glad to be here as a service member and as former Eagle Scout,” Speckhart said. “I’ll have plenty of patches to pass out to friends of mine who couldn’t make it.”

Story By: Airman 1st Class Joe Mcfadden
Photo By: U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Richard Ricciardi

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