Thoughts while working out in the gym
Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Commanding General:
Zero Preventable Soldier Deaths
We have surpassed 75 days without a preventable Soldier death. This is great news; keep it up! It takes everyone looking after each other to continue to eliminate preventable Soldier deaths at Fort Bliss. Each of us is a valued member of the overall team. Don’t forget, our resilience theme this month is “connection.” Leaders, make sure you are connecting with all of your Soldiers; battle buddies look out for each other and reach out to help when your buddy is in need.
MFLCs – A Valuable Resource
If you are feeling out of control, depressed, anxious, or are having relationship problems (Family, work, etc.) please reach out for help. It is the right thing to do – and I encourage you to seek help immediately. We have a variety of resources available. One great resource is the Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC). MFLCs are licensed counselors who provide support, coaching, education, and problem solving consultations for all military personnel and their Families. The sessions are confidential – no records are kept! They are also short termed and solution focused. We now have MFLCs available at the brigade level and through ACS. For more information, call 915-525-4330.
It does not matter which resource you choose to use, just please get help if you are hurting. We all need help at times. People want to help you. Call a friend or call the 24-hour Chaplain at 915-637-4265, the Team Bliss Operations Center at 915-744-1255, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.
Unit Highlight – 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
This week we welcome new 2/1 AD Commander, COL Thomas Dorame and his family. He and CSM Arthur Conners will continue to lead by example and provide the training we are so well known for here at Fort Bliss. In a bittersweet ceremony on Tuesday, our team said goodbye to COL Dan Pinnell, who will soon deploy to Afghanistan. We appreciate all of COL Pinnell’s leadership and experience as he led the brigade through a dynamic transition over the past few years.
We are proud of the long legacy of the Heavy Metal Brigade, especially here at Fort Bliss. After multiple deployments during the unit’s long history of service, 2/1 AD was assigned as the Army’s Evaluation Task Force (AETF) and attached to Brigade Modernization Command in February 2011. Since then, Heavy Metal Soldiers have undergone three Network Integration Exercises within a 14-month period, evaluating new technology for the Army’s future networking systems. These exercises are instrumental in determining how we fight and operate on the battlefield, today and in the future.
The Brigade is made up of six battalions, 1-6 IN BN, 1-35 AR BN, 1-1 CAV, 4-27 FA BN, 2BSTB, and 47 BSB. 2/1 AD won the Sullivan Cup Competition this year – making the four-man crew the best tank crew in the entire Army. We are all very proud of 2/1 AD “Heavy Metal.”
USASMA Graduation and SMA Visit to Fort Bliss
Congratulations to our 564 United States Army Sergeants Major Academy graduates this week, including students from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, along with 38 international students representing 30 countries. We are proud of your success and look forward to watching you continue as great leaders worldwide!
We are also honored to host Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler and his wife during his visit to Fort Bliss this week. In addition to attending the USASMA graduation ceremony, SMA Chandler is also visiting 1AD Soldiers.
Marine Detachment Graduation and Deactivation
On June 29, we say goodbye to our Marine Detachment here at Fort Bliss. Since 1967, the Marines have trained here, graduating approximately 75 students per year most recently. The Marine Corps is combining their air and air defense schools, therefore, closing their training facility here. Marines have been, and continue to be, an important part of Team Bliss. We congratulate the last graduating class from the Low Altitude-Air Defense course and wish them farewell during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29, at the Old Fort Bliss Theater on Ricker Road/West Fort Bliss.
Independence Day Holiday
For everyone making plans for the Independence Day Holiday, here is a quick look-ahead at the holiday schedule: Fort Bliss Soldiers will observe a four-day weekend from June 29 – July 2. We will return to work on July 3. July 4 is the federal holiday. Then, we will resume normal work days again on July 5. Enjoy the break and stay safe!
The Fort Bliss Combatives Championship is underway! The competition continues today, Thurs. June 21, beginning at 8 a.m. at Soto Fitness Center. The tournament wraps up Fri., June 22, with the Advanced Rules Championship at 6 p.m. Come out and sit ringside to cheer on your favorite Fort Bliss fighters!
Just Call Me ‘Coach’
I am honored to be selected as the El Paso Elite’s Basketball Coach for this year’s Summer Slam Jam Streetball game at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center this Saturday, June 23. The El Paso Elite will be competing against the All-Stars, coached by Pooh Heff from Hit 104 radio. On my team, we will have a mixture of “the best players not in the NBA today,” Fort Bliss Soldiers, and El Pasoans, including our team captain, Montwood High School grad, Zig Zag. Also on the El Paso Elite, I’ll be coaching the always entertaining Circus and the dazzling dunk sensation, Werm.
Come out and watch us as we show off our high flying dunks and crippling crossovers, and beat the All-Stars, featuring Hot Sauce, Kenny Dobbs, and Roberto “Exile” Young. The pre-game show starts at 6 p.m. this Saturday. Military discounts are available at all ticket outlets, including ITR, the UTEP Box Office, and Ticketmaster.
Well, back to the gym. Getting ready for the beach gets harder and harder as we get older; but, I still enjoy trying! I also have to get ready for the big game on Saturday. Keep working out!
Be combat ready, be fit, be resilient, and be Iron Strong!
Iron Soldiers – A Bias For Action!
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