WTU/AW2 Connection
January 2014
CG-Corner
CSM-Corner
AW2 Update
We Want to Hear From You
Did You know
CG Corner General Bishop

Launch of the New WTC Website

The Warrior Transition Command (WTC) is excited to launch the new WTC website which will provide wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families, Caregivers and Cadre with increased access to information. Based on research and feedback directly from you, we are launching a more user-friendly website with in-depth information on all aspects of the recovery and transition process.

Visit the new site at www.WTC.army.mil. To learn more, check out the public website redesign factsheet at this link. In the digital world of the 21st century, we understand how important it is to be able to access resources online, including on your smartphone, tablet and desktop computer. WTC will use today’s technology to provide Soldiers, Families and Cadre with information and tools about programs, resources and benefits.

In July 2013, recovery and transition experts from WTC, Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and other elements of the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) began assembling and posting additional information on the topics you wanted to know more about, including but not limited to:

You can navigate the site by topic of interest, by stage of recovery and by role, so you can find the information you need faster and easier. Within the reorganized WTC Community Support Network (CSN) page, it’s easier than ever to find free or discounted products and services. WTC will continue to provide robust information on additional topics of interest throughout 2014. The site will continue to grow to keep up to speed with the information you need.

We welcome your feedback on the information you need. What would make an Army warrior care website most valuable to you? What functions do you like to use on other websites? Tell us: usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil

Army Restructures Warrior Transition Units

The population of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers across the Army has steadily declined over the last 14 months. There are 7,070 Soldiers assigned to Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and Community-Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs) as of January 2, down from a high of 12,551 in June 2008.

We have not seen numbers this low since September 2007, when we had 6,283 assigned to these units. As the service prepares for a scheduled withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and a continued decline in the number of combat wounded, this downward trend will likely continue.

In response to this downward trend, WTC is restructuring the Warrior Care and Transition Program. These changes will improve the care and transition of Soldiers through increased standardization, increased Cadre to Soldier ratios, improved access to resources on installations, and reduced delays in care. They are not related to budget cuts, sequestration or furloughs.

As part of the restructuring, the Army will inactivate five WTUs and establish 13 Community Care Units (CCUs) across 11 installations by September 30, 2014. The transition to CCUs will result in the inactivation of all nine Community-Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs).

Community Care realigns the management of Soldiers healing in their home communities to a Community Care Unit embedded within a Warrior Transition Battalion at an installation. Cadre will provide medical management and mission command of Soldiers within their designated area of responsibility. These Soldiers will continue to receive the benefits of a dedicated unit of Cadre, Triad of Leadership, Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) staff, Warrior Transition Battalion staff and installation resources to ensure that all Soldiers have the same experience across the program. Like CBWTUs, CCU Soldiers will heal in their home communities primarily using the TRICARE network.

Thirteen CCUs will stand up at the following Army installations: Fort Carson, Colo.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Forts Hood and Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Forts Benning, Stewart, and Gordon, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Belvoir, Va. Forts Belvoir and Knox will each have two CCUs. All nine CBWTUs are identified for inactivation: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Utah and Virginia. The Puerto Rico CBWTU will become a Community Care detachment under the mission command of the Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion.

WTUs slated for inactivation include: Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Each location has fewer than 38 Soldiers assigned to the WTU (as of Dec. 20). Every attempt will be made to allow Reserve Component (RC) Cadre to serve out their tours.

Active Duty personnel assigned to units set for inactivation or force structure reductions will be reassigned in accordance with current Army Human Resources Command policies.

Civilian employees impacted by the force structure changes will be reassigned based on their skill sets, the needs of the Army and available employment opportunities.

If you have any questions about the WTU Force Structure changes, ask your local Commander or visit our website at http://www.wtc.army.mil/announcements/wtu_force_structure.html.

Operation Warfighter Changes

Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a DoD-sponsored internship program for wounded, ill and injured service members recovering at military treatment facilities across the United States providing an opportunity to gain valuable work experience through federal internships.

As OWF grows, WTC continues to work with the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower & Reserve Affairs (ASA, M&RA) developing guidance for the entire Army population on private sector internship opportunities. WTC will ensure WTU Commanders and staff are informed of any updates or changes to policy that will expand OWF internship opportunities into the private sector.

Visit the WTC website for more information on internships, and visit the manuals page for a step-by-step guide for Commanders on establishing and managing an internship program at the WTU. Manuals for the Soldier and the Transition Coordinator will be published within the next few months and a manual for the Squad Leader/Platoon Sergeant is in the works.

 
CSM Corner

CSM Mark DennisTeam, first off let me wish all of you a “Happy New Year” as we transition into 2014. I hope that all of you had a fantastic holiday season and took advantage of the time to spend it with Family and friends! We have started the New Year off with some extremely cold, frigid weather basically almost all across the country, so keep safety in mind and insure that you prepare properly to deal with the cold.

Our population numbers have continued to decline over the past several months and much of this due to the changes in our operational tempo and improvements in the IDES processes. In September 2013 we had about 7,790 Soldiers assigned and as of January 2, 2014, we are down to 7,070. I think with the decrease in numbers this will be beneficial in allowing a more focused attention due to the reduction in ratio for Squad Leaders, Nurse Case Managers, and Primary Case Managers, although all of these professionals have always done a fantastic mission in taking care of our Soldiers.

Congratulations to the Army seated volleyball team who played in the Joint Services Sitting Volleyball tournament at the Pentagon on November 21, 2013. They played some outstanding volleyball, but came up just a little short against the Marine Corps. More importantly, they helped raise awareness of the military’s commitment to warrior care across the services and to the benefits of adaptive reconditioning. We look forward to the 2014 tournament!

And lastly, our 2014 Warrior Games will be sliding a bit to the right this year to September 2014 due to other events the United States Olympic Committee is currently working. The event will still be held in Colorado Springs, Colo. as in previous years and will also be the premier competitive event to attend as in years past. We had over 300 athletes compete for the team last year and we look forward to seeing as many or more this year. Regardless of whether you desire to compete, continue to work out hard and participate in your adaptive sports programs. Staying fit, eating right and getting the right amount of rest is important to a healthy lifestyle. Take care, stay warm and be safe!

AW2 Update

Col. DavisThough 2013 has ended, our important work at AW2 is far from finished. Our accomplishments over the past year have laid a strong foundation upon which we will continue to build in 2014. As always, our greatest measure of success can be seen in the triumphant stories of our AW2 Soldiers and Veterans as they continue to succeed in all they do.

Our AW2 Advocates played an important role in this success. Each and every one has forged a strong bond of trust and dedication within our AW2 population. When an AW2 member requires assistance, he or she will confidently contact their Advocate and know the issue will be addressed with haste. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful team of patriots within the Advocate ranks.

As we begin the new year, I also want to highlight the good work and expertise of the professionals in our Advocate Support Branch. As our population has grown, so have the capabilities of our organization.

  • Our Career and Education section connects Soldiers and Veterans with employment opportunities more successfully than ever before, and helps program participants land jobs at a variety of public and private organizations.
  • Through the tireless assistance of our AW2 Advocates, a large number of Soldiers and Veterans received mortgage-free homes. In addition, many Veterans were awarded grants and donations to make home improvements to assist with their full transition to independent status. The sea of goodwill from a grateful nation has made a positive impact on all of us.
  • Our AW2 Finance section helped countless Soldiers and Veterans cut through red tape to tackle a range of finance issues.
  • Our VA Liaison resolved and expedited issues with claims, erroneous debts and pending foreclosures.
  • AW2 Eligibility and Operations gained access to the Electronic Physical Evaluation Board System. Through a cooperative workgroup between AW2 and the Physical Disability Agency, we now have direct access to documentation for determining eligibility and DA199s for cases in the board process.
  • AW2's New Hire Orientation and professional development training has saved WTC and AW2 thousands of dollars by institutionalizing its methods of virtually distributing Advocate training information through Defense Connect Online.
Please join me in celebrating our organization's many accomplishments over the past year as we set our sights on an eventful and productive 2014. Remember that you played a valuable role in our past success, and your hard work is vital to future efforts in service to our Soldiers and Veterans.
WTU Spotlight

Fort Hood Electrical Apprentice Training Program
By Gloria Montgomery, WTB PAO

Warrior Transition Brigade Soldiers transitioning to the civilian workplace now have an additional skill set, thanks to Gateway Skillpoint Alliance’s electrical apprentice training program.

To celebrate their achievements, the 11-member class was honored Dec. 12 during graduation ceremonies held at Belton’s Goodwill Learning Center. The class included 10 WTB Soldiers and an Army veteran.

Sgt Myers Guest speaker for the event was WTB Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Bailey, who praised the students for their initiative in obtaining a marketable skill and for their professionalism.

“Your pride and professionalism that military service demands puts you one step ahead of your peers,” he said.

The five-week course prepares students to work as an electrical apprentice and covers electrical theory, code, circuitry, conduit bending, switches and raceways.

Spec. Raymond Crumrine, who plans on entering the electrical trade when he transitions out of the military, said his favorite part of the course was wiring.

“It was a very satisfying feeling when you flip a switch and that light comes on,” he said. “You know you did something right,” adding that he is thankful that he can take his newly-acquired skills directly into the civilian workplace.

Sgt. Jean Cox, who is married to an electrician, said the class has provided her with a future.

“It’s great that WTB Soldiers have these opportunities,” she said, adding that the worst part of the class was conduit bending. “It’s takes a lot of strength, but it was worth it because I have a new skill set.”

One of the instructors for the class, Phillip Mishoe, praised the Soldiers for their discipline and teamwork.

“They just get it done,” he said, adding that teaching a class of Soldiers was very rewarding. “They pulled together as a team and made my job easier. I never had to get on top of them.”

Mishoe said it was fun teaching them, especially seeing their faces when they turn on a light switch and the lights come on.

“It may be a simple thing, but to them it’s a special moment,” he said, “because it showed them that they did something right. It’s always fun for me as a teacher to see that because you see something in the students that they didn’t know before.”

For Oklahoma National Guardsman Master Sgt. Herbert Tate, who plans to return to the U.S. Postal Service, the class is going to assist him with maintenance duties at his rent houses.

“Once you have rent houses, you need to do that stuff on your own,” he said, adding that he was “shocked and saw flashes of light” before him the first time he attempted electrical repairs. “That was my electrical understanding, but now I can go to my rent houses and hook things up without any problem.”

Tate said he was grateful to Gateway for the educational opportunity.

“You can’t go wrong learning a trade,” he said, encouraging his fellow Soldiers to take advantage of the program. “How many electricians and plumbers do you see out of work?”

The electrical apprentice class is the second Gateway program offered to WTB’s injured and wounded Soldiers. In November, the non-profit graduated its first class of certified nurse’s aides.

This month, they will be offering a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning class.

“This direct job training has provided our Soldiers with opportunities for success,” said Jessie Saucedo, WTB’s vocational skills coordinator, adding that there is a high demand for technical skill workers. “This training has opened up the doors for our Soldiers to get into the civilian community.”

Saucedo also praised Skillpoint Alliance for offering the free course to the WTB.

“These folks are true to their word,” he said. “They ask nothing of them and just want to put our Soldiers back into the workforce.”

Policy Updates Policy Update

WTC recently published two Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) policies:

  • WCTP Policy 13-009, WTU/CBWTU Soldiers Medical and Military Responsibilities, published November 8, 2013 provides guidance regarding expectations for the personal conduct of Soldiers and outlines Soldier and Cadre responsibilities in supporting the Comprehensive Transition Plan, including all clinical and non-clinical care. Ready the full policy online here.
  • WCTP Policy 13-010, WTU/CBWTU Risk Assessment and Mitigation Policy and Behavioral Health Processes, published November 15, 2013, identifies actions and processes to reduce high risk outcomes, including behavioral health risk, which may result in harm to the Soldier and others, directs risk assessments and reassessments of all Soldiers, and outlines mitigating actions for Soldiers assessed as high risk. Details on the processes for the Risk Mitigation Policy will be further described in the Comprehensive Transition Plan Guidance that is in the draft phase and expected for release in the coming weeks. Read the full policy online here.
WTC Communications Update WTC Communications Update

The WTC Communications Division—formerly known as “WTC Stratcom”—continued to communicate WTC’s messages and deliver timely and accurate information to WTC stakeholders in 2013.

In addition to the extensive information on the new WTC website and working with traditional media, WTC’s social media presence continued to grow in 2013. WTC’s Twitter account gained over 700 new followers, and the WTC Facebook page received 1,300 new likes. WTC’s YouTube channel had over 10,000 views in 2013, and the Flickr page was updated with photos from Warrior Games, Warrior Care Month, the Joint Sitting Volleyball tournament and other WTC events throughout the year. These social media tools provide the WTC community with several outlets to connect with WTC and learn about programs, events and activities.

Overall the WTC blog and WTC’s Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube accounts:

  • Highlighted stories and experiences from wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, Families and Caregivers with 63 posts on the WTC blog, seen by over 1 million visitors.
  • Alerted the WTC community of changes and updates to 11 WCTP policies that were posted online.
  • Produced content like the Did You Know? series, an effort to respond to requests from the WTC community for more information on specific subjects like SCAADL, the WTC Community Support Network (CSN), Transition Coordinators, Internships and Adaptive Reconditioning.
  • Promoted Warrior Games with 131 total Tweets and Facebook posts, 78 photos posted on Flickr and 11 YouTube videos profiling the 50 Warrior Games athletes and their accomplishments.
  • Successfully promoted Warrior Care Month through 142 Twitter and Facebook posts, with the Warrior Care Month logo reaching an estimated 60,000 Facebook users.
With 2014 underway, it’s a great time to take a look at WTC’s social media and online platforms. This year we will also commemorate the 10th Anniversary of AW2. WTC Communications is actively exploring innovative ways to use social media and digital technology to commemorate this anniversary and reach more people.

Follow WTC on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest WCTP policies, information on specific programs, stories from the field about wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, Families and Caregivers and to stay in touch with WTC command and let your opinions be heard.

 
We Want to Hear From You!
WTU/CBWTU Cadre Collaboration Portal now LIVE

The Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) and Community Based Warrior Transition Unit (CBWTU) Cadre Collaboration Portal is now "LIVE" on milBook. This site was developed as a secure online method for the WTC staff and WTU cadre to collaborate, exchange information, share best practices, and store knowledge. It is available at https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/wtucadre and also includes links to the WTC PCM Forum, NCM Professional Forum, and WTC TC Group.

Follow the directions below to access the Cadre Collaboration Portal:

  1. Open the following URL: https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/wtucadre
  2. If not yet logged in to milBook, you will be required to authenticate. Click on the ‘I AGREE’ button and, if prompted, select your CAC certificate and enter your pin number.
  3. If you already have a milSuite account, skip to step 5. Otherwise, click on the link that reads ‘Click here to register!’ Your personal information will be pulled automatically from DEERS. If all data appears correct, click on ‘Create New Account’.
  4. You will receive a confirmation page stating that ‘You have successfully created a milSuite account!’ At this time, you will need to reenter the URL found above.
  5. Before you can view any site content, you will need to be approved to join the group. Click on ‘Ask to join this group’ on the right-hand side of the page.
  6. You will receive an email notification when your membership has been approved.
  7. Use the URL above; also found in the email you will receive, to access the portal.

 

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

US Army Warrior Transition Command
Wounded Soldier Family Hotline: 1-800-984-8523
Online www.WTC.army.mil Blog https://WTC.armylive.dodlive.mil