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Friday, January 26, 2007

NGAUS Notes: 1/26/2007

Guard Suffers Highest Combat Fatality Incident in 50+ Years.
Ten Army National Guardsmen were among 12 U.S. soldiers killed in a helicopter crash near Al Jadidah, Iraq, on Jan. 20.

It was the highest number of National Guard fatalities in a single combat incident during the five-year war on terror, and it marked the highest number of Guardsmen killed in a single combat incident in more than 50 years, according to National Guard Bureau (NGB) officials.

Fatalities included Staff Sgt. Darryl Booker, 37, from Virginia; Sgt. 1st Class John Brown, 43, from Arkansas; Lt. Col. David Canegata III, 50, from the Virgin Islands; Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Haller, 49, from Maryland; Col. Paul Kelly, 45, from Virginia; Sgt. 1st Class Floyd Lake, 43, from the Virgin Islands; Capt. Sean Lyerly, 31, from Texas; Maj. Michael Taylor, 40, from Arkansas; 1st Sgt. William Warren, 48, from Arkansas.

Also killed was Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn Gabbard, 46, of Iowa, who was the national secretary for the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and the Iowa Guard’s first female command sergeant major.

“I cherish their service, honor their sacrifice, and mourn with their families,” said Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, NGB chief. “These National Guard soldiers were bearers of the torch of freedom carried from one generation of Americans to the next since 1636.”

Active-component soldiers Col. Brian Allgood, 46, from Oklahoma and Cpl. Victor Langarica, 29, from Georgia were also among the fatalities.

Jan. 20 was one deadliest days for U.S. forces in Iraq with 25 troop deaths across the country.

Common Health Record System on Tap for DoD, VA.
The Defense Department and Veterans Affairs announced plans this week for a common inpatient electronic health record system.

The two departments now have separate systems that require upgrade.

“This collaboration is a further extension of the highly successful partnership we have established with the Department of Veterans Affairs and is another example of the commitment our departments have made to work hand in hand to provide continuity of care for our beneficiaries,”said William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

Both VA and DoD have been independently working on the enhancement and improvement of their respective inpatient electronic health record tools, officials said. AHLTA, DoD’s electronic health record system, supports the documentation and management of outpatient health care for nearly 9 million beneficiaries worldwide.

VA is planning to modernize VistA, its own electronic health record system, including its inpatient module. Common need and the potential benefits led the two departments to discuss the feasibility of jointly implementing a common inpatient electronic health record, officials said.

Despite mission differences, such as DoD’s requirements to support its combat theaters, pediatric and obstetrical patients and VA’s requirements to support domiciliary care, officials said, both agencies believe the similarities in clinical and business processes may make the adoption of a common inpatient electronic health record a viable option.

Both agencies will examine their respective clinical processes and requirements and assess the benefits and the effects on each department’s timelines and costs before making a final decision on the inpatient electronic health record.

Military Channel Wants Stories from War on Terrorism.
The Military Channel is asking service members across the armed forces to submit videotaped stories about their war service for broadcast on television.

“We want to give a voice to the troops to allow them to tell their stories,”Jill Bondurant, Military Channel publicist, said during an interview with American Forces Press Service Jan. 19.

The Military Channel will use service member-submitted video for broadcast during nightly one-hour programming blocks beginning in early February, but the specific dates are not yet determined.

Service members can submit digital or taped video online at My War Diary, through e-mail at My War Diary or by regular mail to:
Military Videos
c/o Discovery Productions
8045 Kennett Street
Silver Spring, Md. 20910.

The initiative seeks to illustrate some personal stories of military service during wartime, Military Channel spokesman and former soldier Pat Lafferty told the Pentagon Channel in a recent interview.

“There’s only so much that the normal media can get out as far as the stories [and] what’s going on,” Mr. Lafferty said. “And, oftentimes, that really isn’t the story about individual service members and what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

A component of Discovery Communications, the Silver Spring, Md.-based Military Channel was the first television media outlet to collaborate with America Supports You, a Department of Defense program connecting public and corporate support for the troops to service members and their families.

Communications Dept. Seeks Seasoned Staff Writer.
The National Guard Association has an immediate opening for an experienced staff writer. Selected candidate will contribute to NATIONAL GUARD, the association’s monthly magazine, NGAUS NOTES and the NGAUS Web site.

Duties include writing short news stories and covering a variety of hearings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

For the magazine, the successful candidate will contribute at least one substantial feature story each month and assist in editing and producing the final product. Some travel is required.

Candidates must have five years of reporting experience. Familiarity with the military and the National Guard is preferred.

Interest in writing about military/legislative topics a must. Car required. Salary: low- to mid-40s. Excellent benefits include health and dental coverage and a 401k plan. Convenient Capitol Hill location.

Please send cover letter, resume and three writing samples to:
Communications Department
National Guard Association of the United States
One Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C., 20001.

Fax: 202-682-9358.
E-mail: Chris Prawdzik.

Please enter “Application” in the subject line if sending e-mail.

NGAUS History.
Maj. Gen. William H. Harrison Jr., then-NGAUS president, announced the appointment of the National Guard Memorial Commission in November 1959, established to set policy for the operation and maintenance of The National Guard Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Maj. Gen. James F. Cantwell, who would later serve 10 years as NGAUS president, was named chairman. Other members included Maj. Gen. Ellard A. Walsh, Maj. Gen. Milton A. Reckord, Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Nelson and Brig. Gen. Howard T. Markey.

The commission’s first order of business was to develop a program for procuring and placing busts of former U.S. presidents who served in the militia or Guard. It also sought to obtain a Minuteman statue for its entrance.

Its mission was a success. The busts are on display at the memorial, including a bust of President Bush, which was unveiled in February 2006.

This Week in Guard History.
Jan. 25, 1787: Springfield, Mass. - Nearly 2,000 farmers and laborers led by Daniel Shays storm the federal arsenal looking for arms in what became known as Shays’ Rebellion.

In the years following the end of the American Revolution, Americans faced many problems—from a poor economy and nearly worthless currency still issued by each state, but not honored in other states, to the imposition of a “poll tax” to keep the poor from voting.

Shays and other Massachusetts farmers, unsuccessful in the courts, took violent action to prevent friends from serving jail time for unpaid debts.

The revolt—one of several in the 1786 to 1787 period—started in August when Shays’ men seized the courthouse in Northampton, Mass. About 1,200 militiamen repulsed the attack and captured Shays. He was sentenced to hang but was soon pardoned.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to ngaus@ngaus.org. NGAUS members can sign up for electronic delivery of NGAUS NOTES at NGAUS.org.

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