Thursday, December 10, 2015

Santa's Trip to be Tracked

NORAD officials say the command does plan to provide live tracking of Santa's travels on Dec. 24, a program the bi-national command has maintained since 1955. 

The Website provides holiday games and activities and will begin live feeds with "up-to-the minute reports and streaming videos from key stops on Santa's trip around the world," says a NORAD release

In 2007, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site received more than 10.6 million unique visitors from 212 countries. The NTS Operations Center, staffed by 1,012 volunteers last year, responded on Christmas Eve to nearly 95,000 phone calls and received 140,000 e-mails.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The president (as Commander in Chief) has made the following nominations:

Air Force Col. Charles S. Corcoran has been nominated for appointment to the grade of brigadier general.  Corcoran is currently serving as commander, 3rd Wing, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Air Force Col. Michael P. Winkler has been nominated for appointment to the grade of brigadier general.  Winkler is currently serving as commander, 354th Fighter Wing, Pacific Air Forces, Eielson, Air Force Base, Alaska.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Annual Tournament Raises $36,000 for JBLM Charities

America’s Credit Union (ACU) presented funds raised from its 15th annual golf tournament to the Santa’s Castle, Madigan Foundation, and the Food Basket Program on JBLM.  The tournament was held on November 6th and the community once again came out to help ACU raise money to benefit local military families.

The history of the tour- nament has evolved throughout the years. It was originally created to help the founder of Santa’s Castle get her program off the ground. Then it was expanded to help make sure JBLM military members have food for the holidays by supporting the Food Basket Program. The final piece was to help pay for military families’ medical costs, not covered through insurance, by donating to the Madigan Foundation. Because of the generous donations from the sponsors and the success of the Turkey Shoot golf tournament, ACU was able to raise $36,000 to donate to all three charities. An estimated $500,000 has been donated in the 15 years the tournament has occurred.

This year ACU was honored to include a new presenting sponsor Nisqually Red Wind Casino, graciously choosing to donate $7,500, to this year’s tournament.  ACU thanks the following sponsors for their support of this tournament:

  • Award Sponsor: Northwest Motorsports
  • Big Turkey Sponsors: Cigar Daddies, Swarner Publications, Tactical Tailor, Sunset Chevrolet, Cascade Print Media, and Fast Signs
  • Little Turkey Sponsors: Little Caesars and ACU 
  • Financial. Hole in One and Hole sponsors:  Proforma Strategic Advantage LLC, The Madigan Foundation,  Omni Financial, Cook Security Group,  US Family Health Plan, Sound Credit Union, Boom, Verizon Wireless, Airstreams, Geico, CUNA Mutual Group, Cannon Construction, Evergreen Home Loans, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter, and USO NW.

This year all the military that played were sponsored by local area businesses. The salute to the troops’ sponsors were:

  • Immedia, 
  • Arrow Cleaning
  • Clear Channel Outdoor
  • The Defense CU Coalition
  • Albers & Company
  • Custom Impressions
  • Immedia
  • Allied Solutions
  • Cigar Daddies, and 
  • USO NW

Thanks to Walmart Lakewood Store for donating 20 turkeys, Starbucks for donating the coffee and breakfast, Costco for hand warmers, and Dimitri’s Gourmet Mixes for continuing to make the event one that helps our golfers brave the elements in the spirit of charity.

Kenneth S. Leonard, President/CEO of ACU, shared with everyone the modest beginnings of the tournament and the commitment he has to our military. Ken said, “it’s a passion to grow this event each year in support of our military and all they do on a daily basis.” Ken and all the sponsors are honored to contribute to the morale and welfare of our military and their families.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that the president has nominated Air Force Col. Tyler D. Otten has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.  Otten is currently serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander, 11th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Aerospace Programs at Bates Technical College

Aerospace Programs at Bates Technical College 

Classes start January 4!

Information Sessions*
Friday, November 20, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Friday, December 4, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Friday, December 18, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Bates Technical College
1101 S. Yakima Ave Tacoma, WA 98405
Main Building, 3rd Floor Room 316

*Be prepared to complete CASAS Assessment and bring your 2014 Tax documents to complete your Financial Aid Application.

For more information, please contact Joanne Lee or call 253.680.7203

Friday, November 13, 2015

SSG Leo Gruba Named 37th Anderson Military Citizen Awardee

(l to r) Serena Gruba, SSG Leo Gruba and Amber Young, ACU

The recipient of the John Anderson Award for Military Citizen of the Year is Staff Sergeant Leo Gruba.

SSG Gruba’s efforts are focused on different fronts. In 2014, he was selected by his command to participate in a PBS two-hour special, which allowed the audience to see the inside of the file of a military member.  He and his family allowed cameras and strangers into their personal lives to record the joys, tears and challenges that define military families everywhere.

SSG Gruba is a member of American Legion Post 53 in DuPont.  These last two years, he helped with their annual scholarship program for soldiers, valued at thousands of dollars.

As a member of the Association of the United States Army, SSG Gruba worked an estimated 60 hours for Operation Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade for donated gifts during the holidays to active, Guard and Reserve families.

SSG Gruba also devoted an estimated 100 hours for time and mentorship at Clhoe Clark Elementary PTA where he serves as Vice President. He is responsible for fundraisers and school events for students and families.

He volunteers time at the Fisher House, which provides a “home away from home” for families with patients at Madigan Army Medical Center.  Similarly, he is the liaison  between his command and the Family Readiness Group, geared toward strengthening the Army Family Concept.

As a member of the DuPont Historical Society, he volunteered about 60 hours to plan the movement of the Society’s property from JBLM to the museum.

And, he is the Wolf Den Leader of pack 472, Boy Scouts of American, volunteering abut 100 hours.

He belongs to the Patriots Athletic League, volunteering as machine pitch and tee ball coach; as a Lion’s Club member he has worked on several projects in DuPont, including their I-5 “Adopt a Highway” clean-up project.

This past summer, SSG Gruba worked with DuPont businesses to collect and distribute comfort items to firefighters and National Guardsmen assisting in the complex wildfires throughout Washington.

Currently, he is working with the American Legion to organize a “Veterans Walk” this December in DuPont.

SSG Gruba is an excellent selection for the John H. Anderson Military-Citizen of the Year Award.  The many hours he has donated to our community will be appreciated for years to come.

About the Award
The Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber's presentation of the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to the outstanding military was begun to commemorate the civic contributions by our resident military personnel. 

About John H. Anderson
John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid-1950s. He was also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.  

About the Award Sponsor

America’s Credit Union has been serving the military here at Joint base Lewis McChord (JBLM) since 1954; ACU has been active in creating a community that is aware of soldiers needs and able to serve our military who give so much for all of us. The Award was presented by Amber Young, ACU.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced the assignment of Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel Jr., commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command; market manager, Puget Sound Enhanced Multi-Service Market; and chief, U.S. Army Dental Corps, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to commanding general, Regional Health Command, Central – Provisional; market manager, San Antonio Health System; and chief, U.S. Army Dental Corps, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day Rememberance

"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years ... and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace..." Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2003

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Facebook, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber To Host Free Workshop For Tacoma Veteran and Military Family-Owned Small Businesses

On Tuesday, November 10, Facebook will be in Tacoma, Wash., to teach local veteran and military family small business owners how to optimize their presence and engage customers on the world’s largest social network.

Facebook’s veteran and military family-focused Boost Your Business will be held in Tacoma in honor of Veterans Day, November 11. The event will be co-hosted by Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, with Congressman Derek Kilmer welcoming entrepreneurs.

“The skills our service members pick up in the military are often the very same skills that make for a successful entrepreneur or small business owner,” said Congressman Kilmer. “As more service members transition to the civilian workforce it’s important they get the support they need to be successful. This forum will give our local veterans a chance to learn how to sharpen their ideas and reach an even broader audience online to help their business grow, all while networking with other veteran entrepreneurs.”

The Boost Your Business seminar will include a presentation by a Facebook small business expert on the latest Facebook best practices and strategies for success. A question and answer session will follow, featuring a panel of local small business people that will share their Facebook tips, tricks and suggestions. The panelists are representing the following local small businesses: home décor store Westhouse Décor, family run winery Mill Lane Winery, clothing retailer Combat Flip Flops and non-profit running community wear blue: run to remember.

Before the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of local business development organizations and hear about community resources during the networking session.

How do Facebook and small businesses connect?

There are more than 45 million small businesses using Facebook to connect with customers.
Approximately 8 in 10 people in the US are connected to at least one small business on Facebook.

Members of the media who have any questions or would like to attend the event should RSVP to Samantha Spielman.

Tacoma, Wash. – Tuesday, November 10
Tacoma’s Landmark Catering & Convention Center (Plaza Grand Ballroom)
47 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
Check In/Networking: 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Presentation and Q&A: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
To register and for more information HERE.

WHAT: FREE seminar on how to use Facebook to grow your small business.

WHO:  Representatives from Facebook, Congressman Derek Kilmer and veteran- and military family-owned small businesses.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Survey Shows South Sound Residents, Businesses Like JBLM, Hate Traffic

Survey Shows South Sound Residents, Businesses Like JBLM, Hate Traffic
Full results to be presented on November 12 to the Public at SSMCP Annual Forum

In September 2015, the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) conducted a survey of Pierce and Thurston County residents and businesses regarding their knowledge of, attitudes about, and dependence on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

47% of responding residents stated they lived in a neighborhood with active duty service members and 82% stated that they were supportive of JBLM service members in the community.   40% reported that they were a veteran household.  48% percent saw JBLM as a positive economic engine for the region; 19% saw it making the South Sound safer. 

46% of residents saw JBLM as a significant cause of traffic congestion and 23% saw JBLM as causing significant negative noise.  27% of residents felt there were no negatives impacts of JBLM’s presence. 

46% of area businesses reported having veteran employees; 56% have a veteran hiring preference.  80% of responding businesses have JBLM related customers.  84% reported that JBLM is a good or excellent neighbor.   

61% of businesses reported that they felt JBLM had a significantly negative influence on area traffic congestion.

The survey results reflect a perception that JBLM causes traffic congestion.  However, I-5 has not been widened in the JBLM area since 1975, and is inadequate to meet today’s civilian demand.  Between 1970 and 2010, the population of Washington State almost doubled, Pierce County grew by 95 percent, and Thurston County grew by 228 percent. 

The full results of the SSMCP’s Business & Community Survey will be presented at its November 12 Annual Public Forum.  Register at

The mission of the SSMCP is to foster communication, understanding and mutual benefit by serving as the most effective point of coordination for resolution of those issues which transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the South Sound region.  The group is open to any group, agency, or organization interested in community/military issues in the Pierce and Thurston Counties areas.  Learn more at

Veterans' Honor Run

Click on Image for a Larger View

Vets & Film in North Cascades

Please join us! You are invited to a free screening of short films and discussion with veterans and filmakers this Wednesday, November 4th at the McGavick Conference Center in Lakewood, starting at 7pm. (subject matter may at times be appropriate for mature audiences). Free Event.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Facebook's Boost Your Business Seminar Here

Facebook’s Boost Your Business seminars give you the change to learn from community leaders and Facebook small business experts. 

They also connect you with business resources in your community and help you find the solutions you need on Facebook.  Whether you just started your business or want to take things to the next level, you don’t want to miss this event.

Tuesday, November 10th
9:30 AM –   Check in begins / Networking Expo begins
9:50 AM–    Special Guest, Rep. Kilmer arrives
9:55 AM –    Photo opportunity with Special Guest, Co-host, and Facebook Team
              -     Presentation Begins ----
 10:00 AM – Brief welcome by Facebook Small Business Expert
 10:01 AM–  Brief remarks by co-host (introduces Rep. Kilmer)
 10:02 AM–  Welcome remarks by Congressman Kilmer about the importance of small business for the                      local economy (kicks off FB Training re-introduces FB Expert)
 10:05 AM – Facebook's Small Business Training Session: Learn from the experts about the latest                             Facebook best practices, strategies and success stories (speaker)
 11:00 AM–  Small Business Q&A Panel: local Small Businesses success, stories and experience with                       small business owners in your community!
 11:55 AM–  $500 ad credit give away (3 total; winners must be present to win!)

 2:00 PM–    Event Concludes

Celebrate Nat'l Vet Small Business Week

Join the conversation at #MyVetBiz to share veteran stories, encourage community members to highlight local veteran-owned businesses in their community, and show gratitude and support to veterans and their families.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Camo2Commerce Top 3-Finalist for National Award

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced that Camo2Commerce is one of three finalists for the 5th Annual Hiring Our Heroes Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment.

Camo2Commerce is among 21 finalists nominated for six awards because of demonstrated efforts to connect veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses with meaningful employment opportunities both within the company and throughout the private sector.

“Camo2Commerce has been a true small business leader in the movement to hire and support our nation’s veterans and military spouses,” said Eric Eversole, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes.

Camo2Commerce understands the value in hiring the men and women who have served our country and has dedicated extraordinary efforts toward improving the lives of America’s veterans and military spouses.”

The Hiring Our Heroes awards are given in six categories: Veteran and Military Spouse Employment; Post-9/11 Veteran Employment; Wounded Veteran and Military Caregiver Employment; Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring; Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment; and Individual Leadership.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment, for demonstrated leadership by a small business or organization (less than 500 employees) in hiring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses: Afterburner Inc.; Camo2Commerce; Greencastle Associates Consulting
  • Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award, for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses: Comcast NBCUniversal; Hospital Corporation of America (HCA); Union Pacific Railroad
  • Steve Robinson Post-9/11 Veteran Employment Award, for effective and sustained efforts to enhance the ability of post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members to find meaningful employment: Hilton Worldwide; J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.; PNC Bank; Roush Enterprises; Starbucks
  • Don Weber Wounded Veteran and Military Caregiver Employment Award, for demonstrated leadership in addressing the unique challenges and demands for wounded, ill, and injured veterans as well as military caregivers in their search for meaningful employment: APi Group Inc.; Ryder Systems; SunTrust Bank
  • Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring Award, for demonstrated hiring, mentorship, and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment: First Command Financial Services; Prudential Financial; United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
  • Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment, for an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses: Mike Kelly, Assistant Vice President for Military Advocacy, USAA; Keith Nattrass, GM Military & Veteran Affairs, Global Diversity, General Motors; Blayne Smith, Executive Director, Team Red, White & Blue; Kris Urbauer, Program Manager for Military Recruiting, General Electric.

The Hiring Our Heroes Awards Committee will select the winners, which will be announced on November 10, 2015.

Since Hiring Our Heroes began in March 2011, more than 1,500 companies have hired 27,200 veterans and military spouses as a result of 900 hiring events. In March 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 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. This milestone was achieved in June 2015 when more than 500,000 veteran and military spouse hires were confirmed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

37th Anderson Military-Citizen Event Features RAdm. as Keynoter

Military Affairs Committee


37th John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year
Award sponsored by America’s Credit Union

NOTE:  The regular monthly Military Affairs Forum will be cancelled for support for this special event

The Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award is presented in coordination with Rotary Club of Tacoma #8, to an exemplary recipient who has demonstrated the contributions that active-duty persons make to our community.  This award is the longest tenured award of the Chamber, and a major initiative of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee.  Please attend to show your support for the recipient.  Award Sponsor:  America’s Credit Union

Date/Time Information
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Guests Should Arrive at 11:45 a.m., program 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
$20.00 At the door
Reservations (NO PREPAYMENT):  Online
Contact Information
Janice Hutchins, 253.627.2175 send an email
Event Location
Rotary Club of Tacoma #8/Landmark Convention Center
47 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 view a map
*Parking directly across from the Landmark is paid for. 

The Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award is presented to an exemplary recipient who has demonstrated the contributions that active-duty persons make to our community. 

About John H. Anderson
John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid-1950s. He was also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.

Keynote Speaker

Rear Admiral Jeffrey Ruth

About RAdm Ruth

Commander, Navy Region NW, Rear Adm. Jeffrey Ruth served as commanding officer USS Nimitz (CVN 68) from March 29, 2012 until July 8, 2014. He also commanded the Rooks of Electronic Attack Squadron and the U.S. 6th Fleet’s flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) home ported in Gaeta, Italy.

Ruth graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering.   He reported to Flight School at Naval Air Station Pensacola and was designated a naval flight officer. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University, attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, MD, as part of the NPS/TPS Co-op program.

Upon completion of the course he was awarded a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.   He has also served as an operational planner on the staff of the Commander, Allied Forces North Europe in Brunssum, the Netherlands and attended Nuclear Power Training.

Ruth has been awarded the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Awards), the Air Medal (five individual Awards with Combat “V” and eight Strike/Flight), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three Awards, one with Combat “V”), and other personal, unit and campaign awards. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced the assignment of Brig. Gen. Gregory J. Mosser, U.S. Army Reserve, deputy commanding general, Troop Program Unit, 99th Regional Support Command, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to commander, Troop Program Unit, 364th Sustainment Command, Expeditionary, Marysville, Washington.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

SSMCP 4th Public Forum

SSMCP 4th Annual Public Forum - register today

You are invited to the 4th Annual Public Forum of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP).  This no-cost event (thanks to the sponsors) is open to anyone wanting to learn more about federal, state and local priorities related to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  The Forum will be held Thursday, November 12 from 7:30 -11:00 am at the McChord Club.

The SSMCP 4th Annual Forum will feature:

  • JBLM Installation Commander Colonel Morgan, 
  • I Corps Leaders, 
  • Congressman Denny Heck, 
  • WA State Legislators concerned about veteran and military issues, 
... and

  • news from the WA Department of Commerce 
  • news from SSMCP 

... about:

  • the 2015 Community and Business Survey* conducted around JBLM, 
  • the 2015 JBLM Joint Land Use Study (see article here), and 
  • the new Washington Defense Supply Chain Modeling Tool.  

You don’t want to miss this meeting!

PLUS – immediately after the Forum, a tour of the Western Air Defense Sector will be open to the first 50 attendees who register for it.  This is a private tour not open to the general public.

SSMCP 4th Annual Public Forum - register today!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

NCFA Visited MARAD Vessels at Sperry

An earlier blog article wrote of the upcoming visit by the National Commission for the Future of the Army’s (NCFA) to JBLM and the public hearing available to the community to share its comments with the commission.

The NCFA is a non-discretionary Federal advisory committee established by the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive study of the structure of the Army, and policy assumptions, related to the size and force mixture. The NCFA visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) September 22-25.

During the public hearing, members of the community, including the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber, the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership, the Washington (State) Military Alliance/Washington State Dept. of Commerce and the City of Lakewood spoke of logistics, the Great Circle, quality of life, the Pivot to the Pacific, relationships with the Washington National Guard and other matters relevant to a grand design for tomorrow’s Army from the perspective of the Pacific Northwest and JBLM.

However, an aspect of their visit not reported has been the NCFA’s visit to the MARAD vessels in ready reserve condition at Sperry Ocean Terminals (aka Sperry Dock) at the Port of Tacoma, Commencement Bay.

On September 23, Miguel Jimenez, Director PNW-D and Christopher Donohue, PNW-D Marine Cargo Specialist joined with the Port of Tacoma (Andre Elmaleh, Military Liaison; Sean Eagan, Director Governmental Affairs, Robert Meyer, Senior Manager Port Operations, Gerry Fiola, Chief of Security, Louis Cooper, Senior Director Security and Labor Relations, and Bari Bookout, Executive for Non-Containerized Business and Commercial Strategy) and Military Sealift Command (MSC) (Bruce Leach, Director), and the USCG (Captain of the Port,CAPT M.W. “Joe” Raymond) to welcome the NCFA members at the Port and aboard the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) vessel CAPE ISLAND berthed at the Sperry Ocean Terminals. The joint team facilitated the continuation of JBLM's presentation to the NCFA addressing the unique regional power projection capabilities at JBLM and the PNW Strategic Seaport.

Jimenez began the discussion by setting the stage with some history about military port operations in the PNW, transitioning to present SDDC PNW-D capabilities. He explained the difference between Strategic and Alternate Seaports noting all of the key ports in the PNW and the metrics measured through Strategic Analysis through the Ports for National Defense program conducted by SDDC, Transportation Engineering Agency. The Port of Tacoma highlighted their ability to rapidly receive, stage, and load military cargo. MSC discussed how they are postured regionally and along the West Coast to support rapid movement from the PNW. The Commission asked questions regarding the life of steam powered ships (both CAPE I vessels berthed at the Sperry Dock are steam powered). The Captain of the Port discussed water side security response and relationships through committees like the Port Readiness Committee.

The Commission members included Thomas Lamont, former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower, former Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, III (retired), and LTG Jack Stultz (retired).

The Commission will issue its report no later than February 1, 2016.  Contact:

Col.Kristen Dixon, Public Affairs Officer, Commission Staff, 571-294-2914, NCFA or Joe Eule, 571-256-2643, or at 2530 Crystal Drive, Taylor Bldg., Suite 5000, Arlington, VA 22202, (o) 571.256.2651. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Please join the Puget Sound Regional Council for a work session in your area on the update to the regional centers framework.

They want to hear your thoughts on key central places in Pierce, King, Snohomish, and Kitsap County and what defines them.  Of interest and part of the centers update is the discussion about how military installations should be recognized and incorporated into land use and transportation planning by the Puget Sound Regional Council and local governments.

Attend to discuss how the region supports these important central places and the objectives of the centers framework update.    

Pierce County | FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16th, 10:00-Noon | PUYALLUP CITY HALL, 333 S Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371

Please RSVP! Email Sara Maxana to hold your spot!

These sessions are open to the public. They will be of particular interest to public officials and local planning and transportation staff that work on issues related to planning in centers and neighborhoods.

(Click on Image for a Larger View)

The Puget Sound Regional Council is working with its members and other partners to evaluate the regional centers framework and recommend structural changes to recognize both regional and subregional centers using consistent designation criteria and procedures. If adopted, the new centers framework would inform future regional and local planning and investments.

The project includes five phases. They are currently in the Research Phase that will produce a Background Paper that evaluates existing designated and undesignated centers and how they are supported through regional investments, and a Centers Market Study that identifies market indicators and estimates growth demand for centers.

The work sessions will help inform the Research Phase of the project by providing stakeholder input to shape additional research questions and allow PSRC staff to ground-truth preliminary findings of the research phase.  Please attend and lend your perspective and expertise to this process!

RSVP:  Hold your spot by sending an email to Sara Maxana at

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WA Ranks 7th in Defense Receipts

A two-volume DoD report on 2014 military spending reveals Fairfax County, VA, is the top recipient for defense dollars, raking in $19.1 billion on contracts and money earned by uniformed and civilian workers. Rounding out the top five are San Diego County, CA; Tarrant County, TX; Los Angeles County, CA, and Santa Clara County, CA.

The report shows why states fight so hard for military bases and business. On average, states received $8.2 billion in defense spending. Virginia received $54.7 billion, making up 11.8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

Read the report: Part 1 and Part 2 .

(Click on Image for a Larger View)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Forum on Plan for an Unstable Defense Future


Military Affairs Committee

Date & Time:  Wednesday, Oct. 14, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place:  La Quinta Inn | 1425 E. 27th St. | Tacoma 98421
Register: Register Online

Event Sponsor:

The event fee will be complimentary, hosted by our sponsor for invited Military Personnel who reserve with Janice Hutchins, (253) 683-4882 or

The Current State of Military Affairs in WA & How We Plan for an Unstable Future

Introduction:  Kristine’ Reeves,
Governor's Sector Lead & Director | Military & Defense Sector
Program Director | Defense Industry Adjustment Program
Executive Director | Washington Military Alliance

1. DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant update by
James Evans, Program Manager, Defense Industry Adjustment, Department of Commerce

Military downsizing, future of the Army and force realignments are all making the news, but what about impacts to the defense businesses around the base supporting billions in the state economy?  Join us for a presentation on the state's efforts to “map” the DOD supply chain in WA, better prepare for defense budget cuts and support local communities.

2. Military compatible land use by
Jeff Wilson, Director, & Deanah Watson, Growth Management Services, Department of Commerce & Xandre Chateaubriand, Policy Advisory, Governor Inslee

Think JBLM is the only base in WA or the only county challenged by encroachment or incompatible land use?  Interested to see how other states are tackling this challenge or how WA is needs your help to do the same here?  Join us for an update on the report going to the legislature focused on taking steps to address this issue.

November 12 John Anderson Military Citizen of Year with Rotary Club #8

Visit the “Tacoma-Pierce Co. Veteran & Business Service” Facebook page.  Like the page to stay informed of workplace opportunities for transitioning vets and vets as well as current information.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Vets & Supporters Awarded

The Chamber has focused military and veterans affairs by awarding three local companies at its 2015 Spotlight on Business Awards ceremony.

Odd Otter Brewing Company’s Slogan says it all: they are not like the “Otter” guys. Five friends – including three current and past military members united to open Odd Otter Brewing Company. Crowdfunded through a kickstarter campaign, Odd Otter is helping to contribute to the ever growing downtown brewery district with their unique blends and brews.

Congratulations Odd Otter Brewing!

When USO Northwest opened its door sin 1996 there were 4 employees. Today, 10 employees at USO Northwest serve more than 600,000 military members and their families throughout the Pacific Northwest through centers at Portland Airport, the Shali Center on McCord JBLM, their mobile canteen, and Seatac Airport, the busiest USO in the country. USO Northwest’s Helping Hands program is supported by the Combined Federal Campaign; 100% of these donations received through the CFC go directly to supporting military and families. Last year USO Northwest’s helping hands program served over 89,000 local military and their families.
Congratulations USO Northwest!

The Geneva Foundation was founded in 1993 by Jane Taylor, a critical care nurse, at the request of Madigan Army Medical Center. Since its inception, Geneva has supported medical research at over 50 Federal Laboratories and Military Treatment Facilities worldwide. Geneva sets itself apart by offering military researchers an exceptional level of service and expertise through our commitment to shared values of integrity, superior customer service, quality, teamwork, innovation, and respect for all. The  Geneva Foundation  recognizes that innovative collaboration is vital to medical advancement. Through collaborations with Industry and medical leaders, exciting new ideas are developed. These ideas have the power to improve patient lives and to provide security for the health and well-being of U.S. service members, their families, and the global community.

Congratulations to the Geneva Foundation!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2015

The Air Force Association's annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition runs Sept. 14-16, 2015, in National Harbor, Md.

It features a range of speakers, including Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, as well as many industry leaders.

Topics range from the challenges of sequestration to opportunities in artificial intelligence, all focused around aerospace, cyberspace, and the US Air Force.

For up-to-date information from AFA about the conference, click here. Track the conference on social media by following us on Twitter and Facebook or by using #ASC15.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

WA Service Member for Life Two

Washington State Service Member for Life Transition Summit

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 9:00am to Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 4:00pm
Hiring Our Heroes
Joint Base Lewis-McChord,
WA 98433 United States

See map: Google Maps

Join us at the Washington State Service Member for Life Transition Summit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

This three-day summit brings together key federal and state agencies, influential military leaders, innovators in the business and employer community, and local community leaders with transitioning service members, veterans, and their families.

This summit features participation by and speakers from the Washington State government including the Washington State Department of Commerce, The Office of Governor Jay Inslee, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor' Veteran Employment and Training Service, the Joint Services Support-Washington National Guard, the U.S. Army's Soldier for Life and Installation Management Command, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Camo 2 Commerce, the U.S. Department of Defense's Transition to Veterans Program Office, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington State Military Transition Council, and local chambers of commerce, as well as the launch of the Onward to Opportunity program.

The three-day transition summit will feature seminars, roundtables, panel events, recruiter training, and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans, and military spouses in addition to networking opportunities for all involved.

Day 1 is for senior leaders including companies and employers, senior military leaders (O-3/E-6 or above), local support organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, CEOs and regional support organizations.
Day 2 will focus on Transitioning Service Members, Family Members, National Guard and Reserve Members and Veterans looking for employment.
Day 3 will bring together job seekers, employers, and other leaders and culminate in a hiring fair, college and apprenticeship fair, and small business fair.

This summit is held with support from Starbucks, Capital One, First Data, and Camo2Commerce.
Employers: Learn how to make the most of these Transition Summits here.

? Job Seekers, Employers, and Service Organizations: Click here to register.

Why register? Job seekers can upload their resumes to be viewed by employers ahead of the event.

For general questions about Hiring Our Heroes, please visit our FAQ page or email us.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Future of the Army Public Meeting

Commissioners will conduct a public meeting to hear comments pertinent to the mission of the National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA.)

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
Time:  3:00 – 5:00 pm
ADDRESS: Red Lion Hotel Conference Room, Red Lion Hotel – Tacoma, 8402 S. Hosmer Street, Tacoma WA

SMA Raymond F. Chandler
HON Thomas R. Lamont
LTG Jack C. Stultz

NCFA Mission
In light of the projected security environment, conduct a comprehensive study of the roles and structure of the Army, and policy assumptions related to the size and force mixture of the Army, in order to:

1. Make an assessment of the size and force mixture of the active component of the Army and the reserve components of the Army.
2. Make recommendations on the modifications, if any, of the structure of the Army related to current and anticipated mission requirements for the Army at acceptable levels of national risk and in a manner consistent with available resources and anticipated future resources.
3. Make an assessment of proposed AH-64 transfers from Army National Guard to the Regular Army.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Registration: Individuals and entities who wish to attend the public hearing and meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2015 are encouraged to register for the event with the DFO using the electronic mail and facsimile contact information found in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 4 CONTACT section below. The communication should include the registrant’s full name, title, affiliation or employer, email address, day time phone number. This information will assist the Commission in contacting individuals should it decide to do so at a later date. If applicable, include written comments and a request to speak during the oral comment session. (Oral comment requests must be accompanied by a summary of your presentation.)

Registrations and written comments should be typed.

Oral Comments: In addition to written statements, one hour and forty minutes will be reserved for individuals or interest groups to address the Commission on September 24, 2015. Those interested in presenting oral comments to the Commission must summarize their oral statement in writing and submit with their registration. The Commission’s staff will assign time to oral commentors at the meeting; no more than five minutes each for individuals. While requests to make an oral presentation to the Commission will be honored on a first come, first served basis, other opportunities for oral comments will be provided at future meetings.

Written Comments:  The public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Commission in response to the stated agenda of the open and/or closed meeting or the Commission’s mission. The Designated Federal Officer (DFO) will review all submitted written statements. Written comments should be submitted to Mr. Donald Tison, DFO, via facsimile or electronic mail, the preferred modes of submission. Each page of the comment must include the author’s name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. All comments received before Wednesday, September 23, 2015, will be provided to the Commission before the September 24, 2015, meeting. Comments received after Wednesday, September 23, 2015, will be provided to the Commission before its next meeting. All contact information may be found in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.

TO REGISTER AND FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Don Tison, Designated Federal Officer, National Commission on the Future of the Army, 700 Army Pentagon, Room 3E406, Washington, DC 20310–0700, Email:  Desk (703) 692–9099. Facsimile (703) 697–8242.

The Commission is tasked to submit a report, containing a comprehensive study and recommendations, by February 1, 2016 to the President of the United States and the Congressional defense committees. The report will contain a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission, together with its recommendations for such legislation and administrative actions it may consider appropriate in light of the results of the study. The comprehensive study of the structure of the Army will determine whether, and how, the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Army in a manner consistent with available resources

Background of the National Commission of the Future of the Army  (
Purpose: The National Commission on the Future of the Army was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Pub. L. 113-291). The Commission will submit a report containing a comprehensive study and recommendations by February 1, 2016 to the President and Congress of the United States.

Overview: The Commission will examine the structure of the Army and policy assumptions related to the size and force mixture of the Army in order to make an assessment of the size and force structure of the Army's active and reserve components. The Commission will make recommendations on modifications, if any, to the structure of the Army related based on current and anticipated mission requirements, acceptable levels of national risk, in a manner consistent with available resources, and anticipated future resources. In accordance with legislation, the Commission will specifically examine the transfer of Army National Guard AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the Army National Guard to the Regular Army.

Membership: The Commission consists of eight Commissioners; four appointed by Congress and four appointed by the President. The Commissioners will use their decades of public service and expertise in national and international security policy and strategy, military forces capability, force structure, organization, and employment, and reserve forces policy to provide recommendations that will strengthen the future Army.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Opportunity with Government Contracting

Businesses looking to win government contracts will have the opportunity at the Greater Pierce County Purchasing Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the STAR Center, 3873 S 66th St in Tacoma. Click here for map and directions.

Learn first-hand how to register and compete for contracts with federal, state, and local government agencies, meet one-on-one with purchasing agents, network with other Pierce County business owners and managers, and participate in breakout sessions.

  • Panelists and exhibitors include 
  • Pierce County
  • City of Tacoma
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Washington State Department of Enterprise Services
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
  • Native PTAC
  • NAVSUP Fleet Logics Center-Puget Sound
  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • Tacoma Public Schools
  • Pierce Transit
  • Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council
  • King County Director Association (KCDA) School Purchasing Consortium
  • Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises

Register online or contact Hans Kueck at (253) 798-2335 or email.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Military Medicine: The Foundation and MAMC


Military Affairs Committee

Date & Time:  Wednesday, Sept. 9, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place:  La Quinta Inn | 1425 E. 27th St. | Tacoma 98421
Register: Register Online

Event Sponsor:

The event fee will be hosted by our sponsor for invited Military Personnel who reserve with Janice Hutchins, (253) 683-4882


Col. Michael Place
Madigan Army Medical Center

Col. Place came to Madigan after serving as the senior medical advisor in the Army Secretariat, assigned as the Assistant Deputy for Health Affairs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Washington, D.C.

As the commander of Madigan Army Medical Center, he leads an organization of about 5,300 staff members who provide health care to more than 105,000 beneficiaries.

Colonel Place entered the Army as the Distinguished Military Graduate from Johns Hopkins University where he was also recognized as a George C. Marshall Award recipient.  After medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, he completed his internship and family medicine residency as chief resident at Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, GA.

Place, a family physician, earned both the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star during a career that included assignments with the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division, and deployments to Hungary in support of the Kosovo Air Campaign, and to Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Place also commanded the 10th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Carson, Colo., including a year-long deployment to Afghanistan as a medical task force commander.

Jane S. Taylor
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Geneva Foundation

Ms. Taylor founded The Geneva Foundation in 1993. Ms. Taylor has a known track record for successfully leading and growing for-profit and non-profit organizations. After working as a Critical Care nurse, she moved into the field of pharmaceutical research.

Following work at Syntex Laboratories, Ms. Taylor founded Pacific Coast Clinical Coordinators, Inc. ("PC3Inc"), a Site Management Organization providing clinical, administrative and regulatory support to physicians conducting pharmaceutical research trials. PC3Inc.

In 1995, Ms. Taylor founded Northwest Kinetics (NWK), a Phase I pharmacokinetic clinical research unit. Then, Ms. Taylor directed her attention to the Middleton Foundation for Ethical Studies, a non-profit organization focused on establishing ethical standards for clinical research in developing countries. Ms. Taylor has remained active in community work by serving on numerous boards for non-profit organizations.

The Geneva Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports and advances innovative medical research and excellence in education within the U.S. military. With over 450 employees worldwide.  Since its inception, Geneva has supported medical research at over 50 Federal Laboratories and Military Treatment Facilities worldwide.  Geneva works with researchers from idea inception through the successful completion of the program: accommodating individual research interests, locating suitable funding sources, developing research proposals, and managing research projects.

October 14 Military Affairs Forum
November 12 John Anderson Military Citizen of Year with Rotary Club #8

Visit the “Tacoma-Pierce Co. Veteran & Business Service” Facebook page.  Like the page to stay informed of workplace opportunities for transitioning vets and vets as well as current information.