Are you "on loan" from the Army to the BSA? How come you have so much time to respond to so many Scouting things, and to go to Scout stuff, and to do all of this research? Does the Army pay you to do Boy Scouting stuff? Why don't you "go to the field" and blow up things like all other Army guys do? Are you retired from the Army? What is your "grade" or "Military Skill" (like "11-Bang-bang" or "41 Alpha")?
I am currently NOT on loan from the Army to the BSA (and that's not a "loophole" for me to say that I don't work for the BSA...) nor has the BSA requested me to be "on loan" from the Army to do these many things I do within the online Scouting community. At two times, my military duties also included Scouting duties. There are positions at military installations whereby Scouting or Community Liaison Officers and NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) support community and family programs like Scouting and I held that position twice on two separate Army bases. I do these online things simply because I love the program, have a deep appreciation for what Scouting has done for me, and I want to give back to other volunteers what I've been given.
I MAKE the time to do the research, to answer the emails and to compose the pages. Plain and simple. I have a great wife who sometimes gets upset when I choose to answer several hundred emails instead of going to dinner; there are some nights in which the Scouting stuff takes a back seat to dinner and being out with my wife and family (for instance Thursday nights). The Army, indeed the BSA, cannot pay me enough money for the work I do. And I truly don't want them to do so, because it'll take the fun out of the work I do!
I am not retired from the Army yet; I am a Reserve officer on an active duty tour and a civilian employee of the United States Army Reserve. I am eligible for retirement in 2011. I do "go out to the field" frequently; I was assisting with rebuilding after hurricanes hit Central America for six months in 1999; in Germany for four months off and on in 1998; and in Bosnia, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Sardinia and several other countries between 1996 and 1997. During "Desert Storm", I spent part of my tour in a "converted moving van". During "Joint Guard", I spent two weeks in a "police barracks". During "Noble Eagle" I was the public affairs officer on the ground as the first of several Army Reserve units were recalled and moved to the Washington DC area. During "Enduring Freedom," I was the commander of a public affairs operations center (PAOC), executing the Department of Defense's highly touted (and successful for my Soldiers and myself!) "media embedding" program. During "Iraqi Freedom", my unit and myself found ourselves one of the first occupants of Saddam Hussain's former "Presidential Palace" (now the home to the American Embassy and other Coalition agencies) and we worked closely with the President's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) which later became the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I was assigned to work with FEMA in New Orleans, Louisiana and at the Pentagon. During several contingency missions, I was in helicopters off a naval vessel, or a "main street" in an African country caked in dirt and dust, or simply working out of a hotel room reporting on what soldiers and Marines were doing on the streets below and around the corner from me.
Some guy asked me if "I have ever been dishonorably discharged" from the Army, because "If you're not in the Army any more, you must have been dishonorably discharged" NO, I have never been so. Whether I am on active duty, in the Guard or Reserve, I am "in the Army", as our nation has only ONE Army. Please don't confuse "active duty service" with "service period"; there are many Reservists and Guardsmen like myself whom frequently go back and forth between Reserve/Guard service and Active service with a set of orders and a plane ticket!
I have been on extended active duty four times during my military career (for periods longer than 90 calendar days; the average period of time is 140 days) and in all four times, I have received Honorable "discharge" (officers are "released from active duty", not "discharged") certificates and the all-important Department of Defense (DD) Form 214 which attests to my military experience, awards and decorations, and period of service. Because I was enlisted, I did also receive a discharge certificate and a NGB Form 22, which is the National Guard version of the DD 214, also honorably with only a 24 hour break-in-service between enlisted and officer status. I have had 9 other periods in which I have been on active duty performing an "active duty for special work" or "active duty for training" mission in excess of 90 days. Normally, for such "short tours", DD 214s are NOT issued to reflect that service period.
I am a "Forty-Six Chuck", a "Forty-Six Alpha", a "Twenty-Five Combat" and a "Forty-Two Everything" (46C, 46A, 25C, 42E) Officer; I am "coded" as an Public Affairs Contingency, Public Affairs Generalist, Tactical/Combat Signal, and Adjutant General Publications and Printing Officer. Additionally, I have skills as a Battalion/Brigade Signal ("SigO"), Audiovisual, Nuclear-Chemical-Biological (NBC, not to be confused with the television network) and as an Electronic Warfare Officer.
I am "dual tracked" as a Public Affairs (PA) and Adjutant General (AG) Officer, alternating between the two career fields in my career since 1990. Before that, I was single-tracked as a Combat Signal Officer. My basic branch is Signal; I have regimental affiliations with the 16th and 26th Infantry Regiments and with the Signal Corps Regiment. I am a very proud "Blue Spader", "Blue Devil" and "Signalleer".
Because I hold those special combination of skills, and because I have served in all three components of The Army, I am frequently asked to "come on tour" to perform one or several of those skills, mostly during a contingency mission or to train-up of soldiers and leaders to participate in such a contingency operation. I have been fortunate enough to work with other branches of the Defense Department (Navy, Air Force); the Departments of Homeland Security, Labor, Justice, and Commerce; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). I have also worked with military departments in Germany and Italy.
The Colonel (COL), Army Competitive Category promotion board results came out back in the fall and I did not make the cut in that first review. I was reviewed "below the zone" (in advance of my regular "appearance" before the Board) with my first "regular look" coming up in 2006. I am hopeful to be promoted ahead of some of my peers, but I can wait... I've been a Lieutenant Colonel since 2002.
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