Thoughts while working out in the gym
Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Commanding General:
The Army 10 Miler
I spent this past weekend in Washington, D.C., where I ran the Army’s most prestigious athletic competition: the annual Army Ten Miler. Four teams representing Team Bliss competed this year. The men’s master’s team, comprised of Soldiers aged 40 and above, won silver, finishing second in a very competitive division. The Team Bliss women’s team placed third out of more than 50 teams competing in their division. I am very pleased with the performance of all of our Fort Bliss teams. Next year we will get the gold!
All of our runners did great. Spc. Czypruna, HHBN, 1 AD, ran the race of his life, finishing 55th overall out of more than 30,000 runners with an incredible time of 54:30.
This year’s race was the last for Team Bliss stalwart Staff Sgt. Lawrence Smith, HHBN, 1 AD. Smith has served as Team Bliss assistant coach for the past eight seasons and is now retiring. We thank him for all his support for this program and wish him a fond farewell.
This past weekend, more than 90,000 Soldiers and civilians converged on Fort Bliss and attended the 31st annual El Paso Amigo Airsho. It was a treat to see the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and several top-notch aerial acts. The pilots, musical performers, vendors and static displays were great for children and adults alike.
The El Paso Amigo Airsho is the third largest air show in America. This was a team effort among El Paso and Team Bliss, and we are proud of how well the event came together.
Our Army has many tools designed to help Soldiers and their families keep and save their hard-earned money. The financial advisors at the Fort Bliss Army Community Service are trained to assist you with them.
As a minimum you should strive to maintain about two months of pay in a savings account at all times for emergencies. This could help with emergency leave, car repairs, or other unanticipated emergencies. We advise all of our Soldiers to go even further.
By investing in your retirement now you’ll be far better prepared to transition into the civilian job market once you retire. An individual retirement account, or Roth-IRA, is designed by you and secures annual funds into an account for retirement. It gains interest and is generally non-taxable until used after you leave the Army.
We also encourage you to invest in the Army Thrift Savings Plan. You can determine how much of your pay you want to invest now, which will determine how much you will receive later.
Another important tool out there for our Soldiers with children is the 529 Plan. If you plan to send your children to college, you should research this program. Details of how the 529 account works varies from state to state, but, it allows your child’s college savings to grow tax-deferred and you can put an almost unlimited amount a year into the account (up to $55K a year).
Respect and Dignity Tip
Interpersonal respect is a base human desire and one of the elements that maintains a functioning society. This month’s tip is geared towards a change in Army society.
One year after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, openly gay Soldiers are serving with distinction and valor in our military without hurting morale. In the Army we reject bigotry in all forms. Be cognizant of the words you use when joking around with your buddies or your office mates. No fellow Soldier deserves to be offended by the words you use, even if you use those words without intended malice.
Remember to treat all Soldiers, regardless of ethnicity, religious preference, or sexual orientation, with the dignity you expect for yourself.
Unit Update: 2/1 AD
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is in the middle of a five-week Network Integration Exercise, where they are testing new communication equipment for potential implementation into the Army inventory. The Iron Brigade is conducting multi-echeloned, holistic training at areas across Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The brigade’s training exercise incorporates newly developed communication platforms.
Many of the most state-of-the-art communications systems for both military and commercial use will be incorporated into the NIE. Our 2/1 AD Soldiers will be working these systems 24-hours a day, seven days a week in the most austere conditions to test these systems in realistic training exercises.
Soldier and Leader Risk Reduction Tool
Last month, the Army’s new Soldier and Leader Risk Reduction Tool replaced the FORSCOM Risk Assessment Tool. This new tool is unique in the Army because it is designed to generate conversation between a Soldier and his or her first line leader. The tool establishes twenty-seven items of discussion which are beneficial to the first line leader in shaping an objective view of his or her Soldier and Soldier’s life.
Command teams, mentor junior leaders on making an assessment based on the results of this conversation as an outgrowth of the risk reduction tool. Good leaders have conversations with their Soldiers all the time. This particular conversation is one that is structured, recorded and used to identify level of risk. As we get more comfortable with using this tool, our ability to know our Soldiers will increase and the quality of our overall command climates will continue to be positive.
Fort Bliss Marathon (Nov. 3)
Registration for the Nov. 3 Fort Bliss Marathon/Half-Marathon/5k Fun Run is now underway at Stout Gym, Soto Gym or online at active.com. Soldiers may register for free until Wednesday. Civilians, retirees and community members are encouraged to come out and run with us as well. This is our first-ever Fort Bliss-sponsored marathon and it should be a great event for both Fort Bliss and the entire El Paso community.
Well back to the gym! I am going to start early on being as fit as I can for this spring. Get ready now for the Post Fun Run Nov. 20. All Soldiers, family members, Fort Bliss civilians, pets, bicycles, etc. are welcome to run with our unit formations as we prepare for Thanksgiving. Go Cowboys!
Be fit, be healthy, recycle and be Iron Strong!
Iron Soldiers! A Bias For Action!
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