Around the Force

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A spot check of events happening in the military

Brig. Gen. Utley reassigned
to command post at Aberdeen

Department of Defense
Brig. Gen. Peter Utley, deputy chief of staff, operations and training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Va. and formerly chief of staff at Fort Knox, is moving to  be the commanding general, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
Suicide not new problem,
but our problem

American Forces Press Service
Suicide prevention is not a new problem, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Jan. 16, “but it’s our problem.”
Building resilience into the force is essential to preventing suicides, Marine Corps Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia said during one of several enlisted calls. The military, he said, doesn’t teach turning around and running away from problems.
Total Force Fitness, a holistic approach to mental and physical health intended to build resilience, will help service members and their Families deal with challenges, the sergeant major said.
The concept, developed by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, consists of eight wedges, each with a particular influence on mental and physical health.
The military teaches service members to assess a problem and develop courses of action, the sergeant major said, adding that service members should take that same approach to their personal lives.
Building resilience is an art and a science, Battaglia said.
Part of the art of resilience hinges on leader engagement, he said. He called on enlisted leaders to help in preparing service members accustomed to a warfighting setting to serve in a garrison-focused environment.
Total Force Fitness plans will differ from person to person, he said, as each tailors it to meet their own needs to improve and stay resilient.
Gen. Allen cleared of
misconduct allegations

American Forces Press Service
A Defense Department inspector general investigation into allegations of professional misconduct has cleared Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Tuesday.
In a statement, Little said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was pleased to learn the investigation didn’t substantiate the allegations and that the inspector general has closed the investigation.
On Oct. 10, President Barack Obama nominated Allen to serve as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, now in that position, is scheduled to retire.
In November, while Panetta was traveling in the Asia-Pacific region, the FBI referred a matter involving Allen to the Defense Department.
Panetta directed that the matter be referred to the DoD IG for investigation. He informed the chairman and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
The secretary also asked the ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay a confirmation hearing scheduled for Nov. 15 on Allen’s pending NATO nomination until the matter was resolved.
On Dec. 3, the Senate confirmed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., assistant Marine Corps commandant, as the next commander of ISAF and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Panetta, Little said in his statement, “has complete confidence in the continued leadership of Gen. Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan.”
Space Command adding
cyber professionals

American Forces Press Service
The Air Force Space Command expects to be directed to add 1,000 new people, mainly civilians, to its base of about 6,000 cyber professionals for the 2014 fiscal year, the command’s chief said in Washington Friday.
Speaking with reporters at a meeting of the Defense Writers Group, Air Force Gen. William Shelton said direction for the hires would come from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, fueled by the U.S. Cyber Command.
If budget restrictions allow the increase in personnel, they will be hired over two years beginning in fiscal 2014, and 70 percent to 80 percent will be civilians “if it turns out like we think it’s going to turn out,” the general said.
Shelton said one of his biggest problems in planning for the future, including the future of Air Force cyber and space operations, is the uncertainty of the DoD budget process.