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News in brief

Published: 01:25PM September 12th, 2013

T2 now offering online problem-solving course

“Different situations require different problem solving skills” sounds like a truism to pass along to service members struggling with the transition to civilian life.

But it’s a reality for the team working on an online project mostly for military members called MovingForward, developed by the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology with the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is intended to provide therapeutic help in the privacy of the home.

The website, startmovingforward.org, guides users through eight modules focused on how to solve problems and reduce stress in the civilian world, from small ones to how to handle the death of a loved one after returning home from duty.

Pamela R. Murphy, a clinical psychologist, said the components of MovingForward would look familiar to any psychological professional because they are evidence-based and derived from common psychological theories. The project works directly with service members in mobile labs to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t, T2 Public Affairs Officer Joe Jimenez said.

The program introduces itself through the eyes of Brandon Miller, a 28-year-old former Marine, honorably discharged in 2010, divorced and afraid seeking help would make him look weak. After trying MovingForward, he learned how to handle the day-to-day problems of civilian life, and how to reduce stress to better solve problems.

There are tasks required at the end of each module. The homework is important, requiring the practice that helps make service members active participants.

At the end of the program, Murphy said, the service member should have an action plan to deal with a problem, as well as new coping strategies.

The course can be repeated as often as necessary.

The site is live and feedback is being taken “to heart to improve the usability of the site,” Murphy said.

Face-to-face courses are also available for service members, and call centers will receive training on when to recommend MovingForward.org.

Jake Dorsey: jake.dorsey@nwguardian.com

1st SFG DFAC Wins CG’s 2nd quarter Best Dining Facility Award

With more than 100,000 personnel residing on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, there are more than a few dining facilities available to ensure service members and their families are able to find a good healthy meal. The dining facility run by the Soldiers of 1st Special Forces Group stood out as the best, winning the I Corps Commanding General’s Best Dining Facility for the second quarter.

The award is given to the dining facility that best passes a comprehensive inspection covering food preparation and service, maintenance of equipment and even the morale and welfare of the Soldiers in the facility.

“I think everything has been done well in bits and pieces, and now we’ve put it all together to create the ultimate package to support the group,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nolan Kniss, the Food Service Adviser for 1st SFG.

“We’ve got some top-notch senior NCOs and I think we relate to the Soldiers not only on a professional level, but on a personal level,” Kniss said.

While receiving this award is a first for 1st SFG, the DFAC has won several awards through the years and built a reputation around the group and JBLM.

“We have other cooks from DFACs on (base who) come and eat here; we have the freshest, most nutritious food, the best quality, and the best-trained Soldiers,” Kniss said.

The 1st SFG cooks have also proven to be some of the best food service Soldiers in the Army, with several current and former members winning awards at competitions throughout the armed forces. Kniss and his team are among the most-frequently deployed food service Soldiers on JBLM, but work to maintain the DFAC’s service and reputation and their training.

Sgt. Michael Sword, 1st SFG Public Affairs

After 50 years, ‘hotline’ continues to promote dialog with Russians

WASHINGTON — In October 1962, the Cuban missile crisis put America on high alert. That confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union brought with it the possibility of nuclear war.

In the aftermath of that international crisis, a major event in the ongoing Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, a hotline was activated, Aug. 30, 1963. The hotline, which turned 50 years old recently, was expected to ensure better communication between the two countries as part of an effort to help prevent “mutually assured destruction.”

The hotline, or MOLINK, short for “Moscow link,” was actually a teletype with a paper tape reader. Monitoring teams included an officer translator, an enlisted translator and a teletype communicator.

The translator rendered the Russian Cyrillic text transmitted from Moscow into English.

Several presidents, including Kennedy and Johnson, used the hotline. It is widely reported that the hotline was in use during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967, during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War and during several other conflicts.

MOLINK is still in use today in the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon basement, with links to the White House and State Department.

To ensure reliability, MOLINK transmissions have been tested hourly by the Americans and Russians for 50 years. Computers have since replaced the old teletype machines.

David Vergun, Army News Service