Archives for: January 2013
By unitedweroll on Jan 30, 2013 | In Military News and Support
Captain Chad Hall will be attending Super Bowl XLVII as a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. A combination of goals has seen his journey make tracks through the Air Force Academy, where he played impressive football, then on to a few other twists and turns that eventually led him to being an Air Force Reserve officer and getting ready to play this Sunday in the champion of all football games, the Super Bowl. 'Hall attributes his success to his Air Force background. "The rigors of the Air Force Academy just furthered my discipline and my work ethic," he said.'
The words of Chad Hennings (in article below) who was one of the four AFA grads to play in past Super Bowls explains his experience so well: ""My Air Force Academy class ring means more to me than my Super Bowl rings, because it laid the foundation of professional success I had," he said. "That's where I learned the truths about honor, commitment, and integrity that helped me as a fighter pilot, helped me as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, and helped me in my professional life after football."
Captain Hall, I do not know what the proper saying is before a game, you know like actors on a stage say "Break a leg". So, in order not to jinx anything, we'll just wish you one heck of a lot of fun and we will catch up with you all on Sunday.
Face of Defense: AF Academy Grad Gears Up for Super Bowl
By John Van Winkle
U.S. Air Force Academy
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo., Jan. 30, 2013 - An Air Force Academy graduate -- now an Air Force Reserve captain and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver -- arrived in New Orleans Jan. 27 for Super Bowl XLVII.
Chad Hall was signed to the 49ers practice squad Nov. 27. He was released Dec. 14 as the team juggled its active and practice squad rosters, but he left an impression on the coaches, who signed the 5-foot-8, 187-pound Hall back onto the practice squad three days later.
"I've been preparing every week, and I was ready to go every week, in case I was called up," Hall said. "Every week, usually the defense has me play the role of their opponent's quickest receiver and slot receiver in practice. I'll do anything I can help in that way, and have been doing that ever since the first day I got here. Over the past couple of weeks, the offense has put me in for plays that are designed for me."
Hall has also been working as a backup punt and kick returner. "Hopefully, I can work my way into that role for next year," he said.
The 49ers moved Hall up to the active roster Jan. 19, which allowed him to suit up for the next day's NFC championship game against his hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons. "I love what I do. I love being able to put on a football helmet every day and able to compete physically and mentally," Hall said. There's not many jobs you get to compete physically with everybody on every day. It's a tough job mentally and physically, but I love what I do."
Hall attributes his success to his Air Force background.
"The rigors of the Air Force Academy just furthered my discipline and my work ethic," he said. "For the cadets at the academy now, I'd say just because you go to the academy, it doesn't mean you can't follow your dreams and do anything you want, whether it's right away or after finishing your service commitment. Whether it's flying an aircraft or playing professional sports, you just keep on grinding and keep on fighting for that goal. If you work hard enough, your dreams can come true.
"It's not easy, but the Air Force definitely got me prepped for that," he added.
The magnitude of the rare opportunity to be part of a Super Bowl team has just began to sink in.
"You think back to when you played football in your backyard at 6 years old, and now you're going to play in the Super Bowl -- only about 120 guys every year get to play in the Super Bowl. It's not something that happens often, so it's amazing," he said.
Hall's journey to the Super Bowl started at the academy, where he lettered for three years. During his junior season in 2006, he started all 12 games at halfback and led the team in rushing with 784 yards.
As a senior, Hall moved from halfback to wide receiver. But wherever he lined up, he was a weapon for the Air Force Academy Falcons and a headache for opposing defenders, averaging just more than 206 all-purpose yards per game. He led the 2007 team in rushing and receiving with 230 rushes for 1,478 yards, 15 touchdowns, 50 receptions for 524 yards, and one touchdown. On special teams, Hall was the primary punt and kick returner, returning 36 punts and kickoffs for a combined 681 yards.
Hall got the attention of NFL teams, but he had a five-year active duty service commitment to fulfill after graduating in 2008. Defense Department policy required him to serve at least 24 months of active duty before applying for an early release from active duty to transfer to the Guard or Reserve after being signed to play professional sports, so he went undrafted. He earned a minicamp tryout for the Atlanta Falcons, but they didn't offer a contract. A later tryout with the Buffalo Bills had similar results.
Hall began his active-duty career as a maintenance officer in the 421st Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, but kept his goal of playing pro football alive and worked out at the University of Utah's Pro Day in March 2010. It was there that Philadelphia Eagles scouts signed him, giving him his first shot at playing pro football. Hall then transferred to the Air Force Reserve and pursued his NFL dreams.
Hall played in eight games in the 2010 season, starting once. He ended the season with 11 catches for 115 yards and his first NFL touchdown, along with nine rushes for 29 yards.
His 2011 and 2012 seasons started the same way.
"It was my third year with the Eagles," he said. "For the first two years after camp, they released me and brought me back, and I ended up playing. I busted my butt for three years, and if they didn't think I could play for them from the beginning of the season, I thought it was time to try for another team."
As the 2012 season rolled on, Hall kept training and staying in top physical condition, waiting for his next NFL opportunity. He got a couple of calls, and two tryouts. But nothing happened until San Francisco called him.
Now, Hall can become the latest in a very short list of Air Force Academy graduates to make it to the Super Bowl. That list currently sits at four: Chad Hennings (defensive tackle, 1993, 1994 and 1996), Steve Russ (linebacker, 1998-1999), Bryce Fisher (defensive end, 2006) and Joe Lombardi (quarterback coach, 2010).
"It's very special, because it's one of the greatest sporting events in the world and certainly the greatest sporting event in our nation," Hennings said. "But to be able to play on that type of stage at a professional level, it's the pinnacle of professional football.
"You appreciate the sacrifice of making it to a Super Bowl and winning it," he added. "But then it's like, 'Hey we won one, but let's go get ready to win another one.'"
Hennings also remembers what it took to get to that pinnacle of professional sports: for him, it started with his time at the Air Force Academy.
"My Air Force Academy class ring means more to me than my Super Bowl rings, because it laid the foundation of professional success I had," he said. "That's where I learned the truths about honor, commitment, and integrity that helped me as a fighter pilot, helped me as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, and helped me in my professional life after football."
U.S. Air Force Academy
By unitedweroll on Jan 29, 2013 | In Military News and Support
... "Personnel actions accomplished using MilPDS like reenlistments, enlistment extensions, promotions, unit transfers, discharges and retirements should be completed before the MilPDS upgrade in March to avoid processing delays with military pay and benefits eligibility issues." ....
Release No: 014
Jan. 29, 2013
By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
(Editor’s note: This story is a part of a series of articles to inform and educate total force Airmen about personnel programs impacted by the Military Personnel Data System upgrade occurring in March.)
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Department of Defense and Air Force officials are encouraging Airmen to review their personal data in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, and accomplish personnel transactions before the service upgrades the Military Personnel Data System in March.
Personnel actions accomplished using MilPDS like reenlistments, enlistment extensions, promotions, unit transfers, discharges and retirements should be completed before the MilPDS upgrade in March to avoid processing delays with military pay and benefits eligibility issues. Airmen are encouraged to access the milConnect website at http://milconnect.dmdc.mil to review their personnel information prior to March. Airmen can use milConnect to check personnel information listed in DEERS as well as view their TRICARE coverage, Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits, life insurance coverage, and other benefits.
“milConnect is an excellent tool available 24/7 for Airmen to review and update certain DEERS data at any time,” said Mary Dixon, Defense Manpower Data Center director. “milConnect will be particularly valuable to assist Airmen in ensuring their records are up-to-date if changes occur during the shutdown period.”
DMDC receives over one million transactions each year from the Air Force and about 66,000 represent new enlistments in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard. Information sent to DMDC also determines TRICARE eligibility for almost one million sponsors and family members and plays a critical role in medical, dental, and pharmacy claims processing. Data sent to DMDC and DEERS supports the transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for more than 87,000 active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen.
The upgrade project is scheduled to take about 23 days to complete while the Air Force Personnel Operations Agency here upgrades and transfers MilPDS to the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Defense Enterprise Computing Center. During which time, MilPDS will not be available.
MilPDS is the records database for personnel data and actions that occur throughout every total force Airman’s career. MilPDS is also used to initiate Airman pay actions, maintain Air Force accountability and strength data. MilPDS also supports a host of interactions with other active duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard systems and processes that rely on this personnel data.
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members are not required to take any immediate actions unless they are notified by their MPS. MPSs will receive specific instructions for active duty, Air National Guard and Reserve on unique personnel and pay processes related to accessions, unit training assemblies and participation, mobilizations and activations and casualties. Other personnel and pay processes will be held during the cutover period and processed once the upgrade is complete. Servicing MPSs will notify their affected members as soon as possible of any required personnel follow-up actions. More information is available on the ARPC public website at http://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil and the myPers website at http://mypers.af.mil.
Air Force officials will continue to release additional information and guidance to the Air Force’s manpower, personnel, services and pay communities and total force Airmen to continue to educate them on how the service will perform critical personnel and pay tasks during the MilPDS upgrade. For more information about DMDC, visit http://www.dmdc.osd.mil. For more information about the MilPDS upgrade, visit the myPers website at http://mypers.af.mil.
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By unitedweroll on Jan 29, 2013 | In Military News and Support
The members of our US Team in this competition have already won our respect, great pride and deep gratitude during their miliyary service as they stood guard over our country and our freedom. Now they have won a whole new set of pride and respect as their incredible talents, perseverance and dedication have brought them to team up for the USA in the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships.
Cheerleaders in all shapes, sizes and ages will be waiving our flags from home and wishing our team the greatest of success through all of the events and a truly wonderful trip in every way.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 29, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ¯ U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today that five athletes will represent the United States at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships, Feb. 23-March 5, in Solleftea, Sweden. The roster includes U.S. Navy Lt. Dan Cnossen (Jamestown, Mich.) and Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), retired Army, who combined for five medals at the recent IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup event in Cable, Wis.
“We are excited to enter a strong team of athletes for the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships,” said John Farra, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Nordic skiing. “All of the athletes selected are coming off a very successful IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup on home soil in Cable, Wis., where Dan and Andy medaled. The other three have closed the gap and are climbing toward the podium. It is going to be fun to see what Team USA can do next month.”
Team USA has never medaled at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships.
Each athlete on the U.S. team is an active duty or veteran serviceman. Competing for the United States in Solleftea with Cnossen and Soule: Eric Frazier (Maple Hill, N.C.), retired Marines; Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Twin Lakes, Idaho), retired Air Force; and Jeremy Wagner (Honolulu, Hawaii), retired Army Reserves.
Team USA won 13 medals at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Cable. Cnossen led the way with four medals, two in biathlon and two in cross-country, while Soule won a silver medal in the middle biathlon event. At the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Soule won a bronze medal in 2.4km biathlon, becoming the first U.S. athlete to medal in biathlon at the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games.
An estimated 150 athletes from 15 countries will compete in biathlon and cross-country races at the competition, which marks the final world championship before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. The event will be the third world championship for Nordic skiing. Previous IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships took place in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, in 2011, and the inaugural event was in Vuokatti, Finland, in 2009.
U.S. roster for 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships
• Lt. Dan Cnossen (Jamestown, Mich.), Navy
• Eric Frazier (Maple Hill, N.C.), ret., Marines
• Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Twin Lakes, Idaho), ret., Air Force
• Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), ret., Army
• Jeremy Wagner (Honolulu, Hawaii), ret., Army Reserves
For more information on the U.S. Paralympic Nordic athletes or program, please contact John Farra at 719-351-1594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By unitedweroll on Jan 28, 2013 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 01/29/13 1:00pm- 4:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 01/30/13 6:00pm- 9:00pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners -
We thank you for joining us on Tuesday, January 29th of 2013.
This Tuesday, we bring you five new outstanding and very informative visits with deployed members in the US Air Force and US Army, who are serving in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and in Afghanistan. By listening to these visits we have the opportunity to learn about the very special men and women who serve and the wide variety of missions and jobs they carry out while on duty far from home.
Be sure to tune back in at 10am Central on Saturday morning (2/2), when we will
bring you three more new and interesting interviews with deployed members from
the 1st Sustainment Brigade.
United We Roll at Stardust Radio Network, Inc
www.stardustradio.com - click Listen Live button
1:00pm - Introduction / Announcements
376 AEW "Liberandos"
Interview #1 (appr 1:10pm) - SSgt Moli Waldron
376th EFSS / Transit Center at Manas
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
HHC 4-9 Infantry Regiment
Interview #2 (appr 1:39pm) - 1SGT Lesley B Tener
HHC 4-9 IR, CTF 4-2
1st Sustainment Brigade
Interview #3 (appr 2:20pm) - SGT Colin Swanson
147th FMSD, 1SB
Interview #4 (appr 2:58pm) - SPC Curtis Holden
147th FMSD, 1SB
Interview #5 (appr 3:37pm) - CPT Alicia Grados
Show ends at appr 4:00pm Central
If you are not able to stay through the show this afternoon,
it will repeat on Wednesday 01/30 evening at 6:00pm Central.
After the repeat show has been broadcast, an MP3 copy will be posted on the
Stardust Radio Network Inc Archive site at www.stardustradio.info.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
By unitedweroll on Jan 28, 2013 | In Military News and Support
I thank God every day for the incredible young men and women who continue to join our armed forces, who protect our country, our freedom and our American way of life. I also pray that we do not run out of special people such as these or our country could be in great danger.
Marine Corps Cpl. Rocio Sanchez is one of these very special people for whom we give our deepest appreciation and pride.
... "Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be in the military, just like I had wanted to be a singer. I wanted to be four things when I was little: a teacher, a singer, a Marine and a police officer. I've done the first three so far." ...
Face of Defense: Former USO Performer Deploys to Afghanistan
By Marine Corps Cpl. Timothy Lenzo
Regional Command Southwest
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Jan. 28, 2013 - Three years ago, Marine Corps Cpl. Rocio Sanchez was entertaining troops in Iraq with her vocals during USO shows. Now she is serving as an electronic key management systems clerk here.
"I traded in my high heels for combat boots and my microphone for an M-16," said Sanchez, currently deployed with Retrograde and Redeployment in support of Regional Command Southwest's Reset and Reconstitution Operational Group. "In May 2009, we went out to Iraq for a two-week tour."
Sanchez, from South Gate, Calif., already had made her decision to join the Marines before the tour. She joined the Marine Corps delayed entry program earlier that year.
"Looking back on it, I was sort of living a double life," Sanchez said. "I was doing the [pre-enlistment] functions, and at the same time preparing for the tour as a performer."
Shortly after the tour, Sanchez informed her band that she was joining the Marine Corps.
"I told my band I was sorry, but I had to do this," she said. "Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be in the military, just like I had wanted to be a singer. I wanted to be four things when I was little: a teacher, a singer, a Marine and a police officer. I've done the first three so far."
Sanchez said she's met only one person who recognized her from her Iraq performance tour. While she was at Marine Corps recruit training, a drill instructor who had been in Iraq and attended her USO concert noticed her. Her commanding officer, Marine Corps Col. James Clark, said he was at one of the bases Sanchez visited, but that he did not attend the concert.
"From what I understand, she's a very good singer, but I know for a fact that she's a very good Marine," Clark said.
Many Marines are surprised to hear Sanchez was a USO performer -- until they hear her sing. "I heard her sing in church, and I told her maybe she should go on one of those shows, like 'The Voice,' and that's when the story came out," said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Mark Neil, electronic key management system manager.
Sanchez no longer gets on a stage for service members, but that does not keep her from singing.
"Her voice is beautiful," said Neil, from San Diego. "She also sings around the office. I told her we are happy to have her in the Marine Corps, but I thought she could have made it as a singer."
Sanchez deployed to Afghanistan only a couple months after her first child, David Sanchez III, was born. Giving up a career as a singer was hard, she said, but leaving her son was harder.
"I left him when he was 6 months old," Sanchez said. "He couldn't even sit up by himself. That was the hardest thing I'd ever done in my life." David is at home with Marine Corps Sgt. David Sanchez Jr., Sanchez's husband a military policeman with the provost marshal's office at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
For the singer-turned-Marine, deploying to Afghanistan was a necessity to grow as a leader and a Marine. When the opportunity came, she said, she jumped at the chance.
"I need to better myself in order to lead others," she explained. "I have to have that experience. I decided to join the Marine Corps, and I take responsibility for my job. I wasn't afraid to deploy, because I knew it was part of the job."
Sanchez has stepped into her job at Camp Leatherneck and has impressed the Marines around her with her maturity and work ethic.
"She hasn't missed a beat," said Clark, from Tollesboro, Ky. "She's been highly professional out here, and I'm really thankful she was willing to come. She's just a tremendous young lady, and someone the junior Marines can look up to. She is a great example of what hard work and dedication will get you."
NATO International Security Assistance Force