Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sequestration Prompts Force Reductions at JBLM

The US Army has released a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) for additional reductions in response to the current Congressional Sequestration budget (and defense) reductions.

You may also refer to the US Air Force's response to the current Congressional Sequestration budget (and defense) at our earlier C-9 Blog article.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DOL Golf Scramble Date

The Directorate of Logistics announces its 2014 Annual Golf Scramble Tournament:

For more info, contact the event coordinators: or

Living Together: JBLM & the Surrounding Communities

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is changing, and so are the communities in the south Puget Sound region.

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Now, the organization that’s working to ensure effective communication and collaboration between the base and its neighbors is looking to engage the community in planning for the areas surrounding the base.

The project, called the JBLM Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), focuses on the region’s long-term land use plans, with goals of supporting the military mission at JBLM, ensuring public health and safety throughout the region, and protecting the neighboring communities’ abilities to plan for development.

The JLUS project team is seeking public input from military and non-military members of the community, and invites you to attend an upcoming public meeting to learn about the project’s process and timeline; review issues that have already been identified as needing further study; talk with the people directly involved in the study; and provide comment at this early stage.

Get into the action early at an upcoming public meeting: 
Wednesday, June 25 5:00–7:30 pm DuPont City Hall, 

1700 Civic Drive, DuPont

A special website for the JBLM JLUS has been created and is now live:  As the project progresses, study summaries and preliminary findings will be posted on the website, as will notices for future public meetings and working group and oversight committee meetings.  Individuals can sign up on the website to be notified by email when new information is posted.   Computers available for community use may be found at public libraries throughout the region.

The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership, or SSMCP, is coordinating the JLUS for its partner communities and organizations in Pierce and Thurston Counties, with financial and technical assistance from the Department of Defense.  The SSMCP’s mission is to foster effective communication, understanding, and mutual support around issues that transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the JBLM region.

Press Release - South Sound Military & Communities Partnership

Airman Apprecation Night

Airman Appreciation Night

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June is "Veteran Advantage Month"

The Chamber salutes the Pierce County Council and Executive for the proclamation that June 2014 is "Veteran Advantage Month" in Pierce County.

This action supports the many local organizations, partnerships, and activities that work tirelessly to accentuate the extraordinary asset and resource that our Veterans and separating service members represent to our communities, businesses, and economy.

From the proclamation: “The Pierce county business community must seek all advantages to increase its competitiveness in the current environment of global competition....... Veterans represent a workforce advantage for Pierce County businesses as Veterans have an abundance of marketable skills that are transferable from the military to all sectors of the economy, are highly productive and motivated men and women who have a strong work ethic and strong character, know the value of hard work, and can fill critical civilian jobs ...”

“...It is in the best interests of the citizens of Pierce County and the Pierce County business community to support the successful transition of Veterans and their families from military to a fulfilling and rewarding post-military career...The Council and Executive hereby proclaim the month of June 2014, to be ‘Veteran Advantage Month’ in Pierce County, Washington and encourage all businesses in Pierce County to hire Veterans as a way to increase economic growth and prosperity, to support our Nation's security, and to honor the many sacrifices made by our Veterans and their Families".

Our country is founded on the promise of opportunity, community, and rewarding work which supports healthy families and thriving neighborhoods. The Pierce County Council and Executive have led the way to honoring and utilizing the training and talents of these women and men who, by their service and actions, are a credit to our way of life. The Chamber applauds their leadership and joins them in this on-going work.

Guest Author: Greg Mowat, Specialist, Veteran & Business Service

Friday, June 13, 2014

Chamber Honored by Hiring Our Heroes with Chamber of Valor Award

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced that the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has been honored by Hiring Our Heroes with the Chamber of Valor award.

The Chamber was recognized for joining the Hiring Our Heroes mission of finding meaningful employment for veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

Chamber of Valor award recipients submitted applications to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to be considered for the award. Applications were scored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation staff and honorees were awarded at the one-, two-, and three-star levels. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is a three-star Chamber of Valor award recipient largely due to the work of the Veteran & Business Service.

The Veteran & Business Service is a valuable program for our businesses to tap into our wonderful workforce of transitioning vets that our partnership with WorkForce Central allows us to do, said Tom Pierson, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO.

Many resources are available to assist businesses when they hire transitioning service members, added Linda Nguyen, WorkForce Central CEO.  Through this partnership, we facilitate the match between the service members and employers, supporting the success of both parties after the match.

We would never be able to do the work we do without the tremendous support of local chambers and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce is setting a standard for other chambers to follow, said Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber been instrumental in educating and influencing employers about the great value veterans and military spouses bring to the workforce. 

About the Veteran and Business Service
The Chamber’s Veteran and Business Service is designed to bring the winning attributes of veterans and the Chamber’s business members together for success. A partnership between the Chamber and WorkForce Central; the program strives to assist Chamber member employers in understanding the benefits available as well as the skills, knowledge and abilities that veterans bring to a workplace and to direct avenues to access Veterans as employees

About Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. To date, more than 1,500 companies have hired over 23,000 veterans and military spouses as a result of more than 720 hiring fairs. In March 2012, the U.S. Chamber and Capital One launched Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a national campaign to engage the business community in committing to hire half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. Thus far, more than 1,500 businesses of all sizes have pledged to hire 411,000 heroes toward this goal. To date, 255,000 hires have been confirmed.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

County Considers "Vet Advantage Month"

The Pierce County Council will host a hearing on:

Proposal No. R2014-70, a resolution of the Pierce County Council and Executive Promoting the Hiring of Veterans and Proclaiming the Month of June 2014, as "Veteran Advantage Month," in Pierce County, Washington.

The Final Council hearing on this proposal is set for June 17, 2014, at 6:30 pm in Council District No. 7. Each year the Council hosts meetings in each of its seven districts.

The final Council hearing will be held at the Key Peninsula Civic Center, Whitmore Room, 17010 South Vaughn Road KPN in Vaughn, WA. This meeting will be in lieu of the regular 3 pm Council meeting.

Use this link for Proposal information, including hearing dates and related documents.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Veteran & Spouse Networking Event

Veteran Networking Event June 19th 2014. Opportunity to meet area businesses and discuss career opportunities. This event is for the Veteran and their spouse.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Murray Receives Congressional Leadership Award for Work with Military Communities

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered remarks upon receiving the Association of Defense Communities’ 2014 Congressional Leadership Award honoring her work to help military communities and veterans in Washington State and across the country.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks at the event:

“Good morning!

“Thank you so much for that introduction.

“I’d also like to thank ADC board member and Lakewood, Washington resident, Dan Penrose, for his support in my nomination and his years of excellent work with the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership.

“And of course, thank you to everyone at ADC for this honor.

Senator Murray with Rear Admiral (ret.) Craig Quigley, Vice President-Elect, Association of Defense Communities, and Celeste Werner, ADC Awards Committee Chair

“Serving our men and women in uniform has been a life-long interest of mine. As some of you know, my father was a veteran –and as one of the very first American servicemembers to reach the beaches of Okinawa - my father didn’t talk about his experiences during that time. In fact, we only really learned about them by reading his journals after he passed away.

“When I got older, I again saw first-hand the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make.

“In the summer of 1972, I took an internship in the mental health ward of the Seattle VA. It was there I saw how our nation’s heroes were so easily slipping through the cracks of the system – leaving so many jobless, homeless, and frankly – helpless.

“And as we all know, the system is still failing far too many men and women, even today.

“So when I got to the Senate, not a day went by when I did not think about these experiences and the opportunity I had to do right by these men and women. And although I am no longer the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I have continued my work on behalf of veterans in my role as Chairman of Senate Budget Committee.

"And that includes making the transition home for our separated veterans as seamless as possible. Because – as you all know – our men and women in uniform have leadership ability, discipline, and technical skills to not only find work but to excel in 21st Century workforce.

“But despite the facts, they continue to struggle. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, veterans ages 18-24 have unemployment rates over 20 percent.

“That’s why I was proud we took a major step towards solving this crisis when President Obama signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act in 2011 – legislation I co-authored with Republican Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida.

“Among other things, this law: provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire veterans, makes participation in the Transition Assistance Program mandatory for most separating servicemembers, and expands the education and training we provide transitioning servicemembers.

“Thanks to this legislation we have been able to take a real, concrete step to help our servicemembers as our military draws down and they begin to transition home.

“In fact, before this law – participation in the Transition Assistance Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in my home state of Washington was at approximately 45 percent. Now, roughly 90 percent of transitioning JBLM servicemembers are taking advantage of these important programs.

“However, this law is only a first step. That’s why I am so glad part of ADC’s mission is to foster public/private partnerships in military communities. Because these types of relationships are an important part of the next step in encouraging businesses to hire our nation’s heroes.

“So I’d just like to touch on a few things we all can be doing when working in our own communities to help connect our nation’s heroes to businesses large and small.

“First, we need to get the word out to companies to educate their human resources teams about the benefits of hiring veterans and how skills learned in the military translate to the work a company does. I can’t tell you how often I hear from veterans who tell me that the terms they use in interviews and on resumes fail to get through to interviewers.

“Second, we need to help companies provide job training and resources for transitioning servicemembers.  This is something I’ve seen done at large organizations like Amazon and Microsoft in my home state, but also at smaller companies in conjunction with local colleges.  In fact, the most successful of these programs capitalize on skills developed during military service but also utilize on-the-job training.

“Third, we can all work to let business leaders know how important it is to publicize job openings with Veterans Service Organizations, at local military bases to help connect veterans with jobs, and to work with local One-Stop Career Centers.

“Fourth, we must encourage businesses to develop an internal veterans group within your company to mentor recently discharged veterans.

“And finally, businesses must reach out to local community colleges and universities to help develop a pipeline of the many, many veterans that are using GI bill benefits to gain employment in their particular area.

“If we can spread the message on just a few of these steps, I’m confident that we will be able to continue to build on the success we have had in hiring veterans.  Members of America’s Armed Forces don’t ask for a lot and too often they are coming home and facing unnecessary stresses and struggles.

“We all need to work together to guarantee our nation’s heroes get a fair shot.  That they are not measured by fear or stigma – but what they can do, what they have done, and what they will do.

“So thank you again for being here this morning and for this honor. I am proud to be your partner in the U.S. Senate and I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of our military members and their families.”

Defense Community Award Recipients Hit on Theme of Collaboration

Partnerships are key to supporting installations and communities near them, according to several recipients of the 2014 Defense Community Awards, which were presented at a special ceremony Thursday on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Patty Murray was one of five U.S. senators to speak to the audience of about 150 attendees, which included members of Congress, Pentagon VIPs, congressional staff, defense community leaders and industry representatives.

Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), May Landrieu (D-La.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also accepted Congressional Leadership awards. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) helped present the Installation Excellence Award to the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.

One of two Military Leadership Awards was presented to Col. Kathryn Kolbe, commander of the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for innovative installation-community collaboration.

“Especially during times of hardship, where fiscal austerity is a necessity for continuing our military operations and our resiliency is being tested, it is to the advantage of both our great nation and our defense, for entities like ADC to exist and promote synergy among the military, our local communities and the private sector,” Kolbe said at the ceremony.

The full list of honorees includes:

Congressional Leadership Award
•    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
•    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
•    Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
•    Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
•    Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
•    Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)
•    Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
•    Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)

State Leadership Award
•    Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.)

Community Leadership Award
•    Bruce E. Miller, Port San Antonio, Texas

Military Leadership Award
•    Col. Kathryn Kolbe, Hill AFB, Utah
•    Steve W. Zander, Air Force Community Partnership Initiative, Washington, D.C.

Base Redevelopment Excellence Award
•    The Riverbank Industrial Complex at the former Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant, Riverbank, Calif.

Community or State Excellence Award
•    Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor, Harford County, Md.

Installation Excellence Award
 •    U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Ala.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Longest Day

And so it began. . .


The annual Educators and Practitioners Summit "Discovering Communities of Practice and Career Pathways in HSEM" is taking place on June 17, 2014, at the McGavick Conference Center in Lakewood, WA.

The Summit focuses on discovering and defining the broad educational career pathways available to people in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors of safety and security, Cyber Security, risk and all hazards emergency management.

These "communities of practice" will come together to share their knowledge and expertise and provide participants an opportunity to network with educators from around the country, emergency management practitioners, program administrators, public organizations, business, and industry professionals and students from across the state and region.

The Summit is free thanks to Supporters and Sponsors.

2014 Summit Registration link here.

Reasons to attend:
•    Learn about the rapidly growing and expanding field of All-Hazard Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
•    Gain an understanding about the diversity and variety of educational pathways that can assist you with career direction, educational advancement, course work collaboration and program development.
•    Hear from business and industry about the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) they are looking for to help their companies and organizations be prepared and disaster resilient.
•    Learn about new educational pathways for HSEM careers, trends and innovations in eLearning and designing and delivering quality online curriculum.
•    Participate in an interactive Cyber Security exercise and discussion, and learn about tools and resources to help managers integrate and use new technologies.
•    Understand what the difference is between disaster recovery and business planning and why Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and business continuity are so important to any organization and business and need to be part of our HSEM curriculum.
•    Network and connect with leading educators, practitioners and innovators who are actively applying the new technologies and techniques and integrating all-hazard emergency management KSAs into their businesses and curriculum.

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