Story By Maj. Rich Komurek, Joint Force Command Brunssum Public Affairs
In September 1944, Maastricht was the first Dutch city to be liberated by the Allies during World War II. By Dec. 16, the day the Battle of the Bulge began, Allied troops had set up camps and were using a network of man-made caves in the region to store supplies and seek refuge from the war. It was a bitterly cold with plenty of snow as 200-300 troops gathered in the Schark Cave in Maastricht to celebrate a Christmas Mass before returning to battle.
Seventy years later, hundreds of American and Dutch military personnel, family members and local citizens know this wartime story not from a history book, television program or the Internet, but first-hand from a Soldier who lived it.
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Beginning Jan. 5, 2015, visitors to Fort Detrick and Forest Glen Annex will be subject to a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) background check. Visitors with issues such as an outstanding arrest warrant, recent felony conviction or being listed in the Terrorist Screening Database will not be allowed access, and if appropriate, will be turned over to legal authorities.
Total Army Strong succeeds the Army Family Covenant, and provides a broader, tailorable platform from which commanders can deliver essential programs to support a ready Army. Commanders will have flexibility to prioritize and adjust installation programs and services regardless of geographic location or component. Total Army Strong continues and underscores the U.S. Army's commitment and responsibility to the total Army family -- Soldiers, family members and civilians.
Total Army Strong reaffirms the Army's commitment to the total Army family, builds trust and faith between the Army and its most precious resource, the people, and sets the foundation for a balanced system of programs and services. These programs and services will meet the unique demands of military life, foster life skills, strengthen and sustain physical and mental fitness and resilience, and promote a strong, ready, and resilient Army.
Under the Army Family Covenant, the Army doubled its investment in base funding for Soldier and family programs from fiscal year 2007 to 2010. This investment funded Survivor Outreach Services, new child development centers, youth centers, and Soldier and Family Assistant Centers for Wounded Warriors. It also improved Army housing and increased accessibility to health care. These enhancements built a better environment for Soldiers, family members and civilians to thrive.
Total Army Strong marks the evolution of the Army Family Covenant. As the nation and the Army prepare for the future, the needs of Soldiers and families also will evolve. The Army will find a new balance to support the premier, all-volunteer Army through responsible stewardship, program assessment and the promotion of self reliance. Decisions to adjust programs will be made strategically, but will be executed locally at the installation level. This will ensure a sustainable balance of services to promote long-term Soldier and family readiness. The Army will continue to refine programs to ensure they efficiently serve the most critical needs of the Soldiers, family members and civilians. The Army will keep the force healthy, self-reliant, ready and resilient.
Major General Brian Lein
Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick and Deputy for Medical Systems to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology
MG Brian Lein grew up in New York and attended the United States Military Academy. He graduated in 1984 as a Distinguished Military Cadet with a Bachelor of Science, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. He then attended Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He graduated in 1988 as an Alpha Omega Alpha Scholar with an MD degree. He completed his Internship in General Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1989. He completed his Residency in General Surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital in 1993. He is board certified in general surgery.
The US Army Garrison, Fort Detrick, provides sustainable base operations support, quality of life programs, and environmental stewardship to facilitate the sustainment of vital national interests.
The US Army Garrison, Fort Detrick, supports five cabinet-level agencies: The Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services.
Within the DoD, Fort Detrick supports elements of all four military services. Major Department of the Army mission partners include the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the 21st Signal Brigade.
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