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2017-3-16

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647th RSG Soldiers complete Best Warrior Competition

Soldiers assigned to 647th Regional Support Group, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, don protective masks during a battle drill of react to a nuclear, biological and chemical attack to earn points during a best warrior competition held by 647th RSG here Saturday. Courtesy photo.

Soldiers assigned to 647th Regional Support Group, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, don protective masks during a battle drill of react to a nuclear, biological and chemical attack to earn points during a best warrior competition held by 647th RSG here Saturday. Courtesy photo.

By Maj. Amabilia Payen, 647th RSG Public Affairs:

(El Paso, Texas, Jan. 12, 2017) The 647th Regional Support Group, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, planned and executed a best warrior competition here Jan. 6 through 8.

Four Soldiers assigned to 647th RSG competed, and two will be heading to the next level of competition with the 4th ESC at the end of January.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Powell, assigned to the 900th Quartermaster Company, 647th RSG, won the top score category for the entire event and received an Army Commendation Medal. Spc. Jordan Neiman, assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 647th RSG, won the top Soldier category and received an Army Achievement Medal. Spc. Andres Guiterrez, assigned to the 974th Quartermaster Company, 647th RSG, and Pfc. Mark McGee, assigned to HHC, 647th RSG, also competed and received an AAM.

The competition included a physical fitness test, a land navigation course, an M4 carbine qualification on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, a test requiring competitors to dissemble and reassemble the M4 carbine with a functions check, a six-mile ruck march, a written essay, and a leadership board with five sergeants major judging and executing an Army Service Uniform inspection.

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There were also four basic battle drills: a nine-line medevac, a functions check on a weapon, a reaction to a nuclear, biological and chemical contamination and set ups and communications on a Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and a Combat Net Radio.

Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Rouse, noncommissioned officer in charge of the event, said the competition has been dormant for four years but unit leaders have brought the completion back.

“I’m glad we started it back up and we hope to continue because this is really a good event for the Soldiers,” Rouse said. “It is a good morale builder for Soldiers and the units and we get a chance to showcase the best of the best against other Army components like the active duty.”

Spc. Jordan Neiman, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 647th Regional Support Group, listens to questions asked by a sergeant major board, hoping to respond correctly and earn points during a best warrior competition held by the 647th RSG, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, here Saturday.

Spc. Jordan Neiman, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 647th Regional Support Group, listens to questions asked by a sergeant major board, hoping to respond correctly and earn points during a best warrior competition held by the 647th RSG, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, here Saturday.

Having only one year of service, it was McGee’s first time competing. McGee, a military analyst for the 647th RSG, said he decided to give it a shot.

“On the first day, I was like ‘Yeah, I can do this,’ and then by the evening, reality hit me and I was like, ‘Ut-oh, I haven’t prepared!’ McGee said. “After actually going through it, I am glad I did it.”

McGee said he plans to compete next year and he looks forward to that goal. He advises his peers to compete as well.

“I would tell them to just do it,” McGee said. “Even if you haven’t prepared or think you will be good at it, just do it so that you can experience it and see how you do and then you will know what you need to do for next time.”

The competition ended with an awards ceremony Sunday that brought espirit de corps and camaraderie to the unit members.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Powell is a 2009 graduate of Greensville County High School. He is the son of Sherri Woodard and grandson of Geneva Woodard.

This article origanally appeared in the in the Fort Bliss Bugle.

Soldiers assigned to 647th Regional Support Group, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, attempt to disassemble and reassemble an M4 carbine in record time to earn points for a best warrior competition here Friday.

Soldiers assigned to 647th Regional Support Group, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Reserve, attempt to disassemble and reassemble an M4 carbine in record time to earn points for a best warrior competition here Friday.

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Activists, lawmakers demand attorney general resign

By Megan Schiffres, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Bearing signs that read “No Concessions for Sessions!”, “Perjury = Prison” and “Nyet Paid,” more than 50 protesters in downtown Richmond demanded the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.

Calling him racist and unfit, the protesters gathered outside the SunTrust building on Main Street, where Sessions addressed law enforcement officers on combating violent crime and restoring public safety. “President Trump gave us a clear directive. It’s the policy of this administration to reduce crime in America,” he said.

Sessions was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month despite previously being denied a federal judgeship because of accusations that he had made racist remarks. He has also been in hot water regarding allegations that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential race.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions denied having communications with the Russian government, but The Washington Post recently revealed that he had met twice last year with the Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. As a result, Sessions has had to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Russia tried to influence the election.

The protesters marched around the perimeter of the SunTrust building, led by an enthusiastic woman rhythmically banging a pan with a wooden spoon and chanting, “No bans, no walls, sanctuary for all” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Jeff Sessions has got to go.” Many of the demonstrators objected to Session’s alleged involvement with Russia, his record on civil rights and his stance on immigration.

“He’s the person who’s supposed to hold other people accountable for their incongruities and their unlawfulness, and I’m very concerned about those characteristics and those qualities in our attorney general,” said Rev. Jay McNeal, executive director of United Faith Leaders, an interfaith interdenominational group that helped organize the protest.

A number of progressive organizations including the Sierra Club, Indivisible Richmond, Equality Virginia, and ICA Out of RVA collaborated to organize Wednesday’s rally. The American Civil Liberties Union was not involved in organizing the protest, but legal observers from the group were there to ensure that no one’s First Amendment rights to free speech and to organize were violated.

Charlie Schmidt, public policy associate for the ACLU of Virginia, said he is concerned that the top prosecutor for the country will negatively impact civil rights in the U.S.

“The administration has a lot of leeway to say, ‘Well, we’re not going to hire any more staff attorneys for the Office of Civil Rights; we’re not going to investigate police when there’s misconduct.’ They have a lot of discretion and a lot of power,” Schmidt said.

Last month, in his first speech as attorney general, Sessions said the Justice Department will pull back its monitoring of police departments with civil rights abuses. He said that the authority of police departments had been undermined by scrutiny from the Justice Department, and scaling back on federal oversight would improve their effectiveness.

“We want the Justice Department to continue to root out corruption and racism in our police department, instead of falling into the false narrative that police are the victims,” said Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

A few minutes before the protest, Swecker and several members of the General Assembly held a press conference and called on Sessions to resign for misleading the Senate. The legislators, all of them Democrats, included Dels. Delores McQuinn, Jeff Bourne and Betsy Carr of Richmond and Sen. Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg.

While in Richmond, Sessions praised Project Exile, which imposes a mandatory five-year prison sentence on felons convicted of possessing firearms.

While crime rates have been at historic lows nationwide, Sessions said violent crime has been increasing in some cities, including Richmond. He blamed the increase in part on the growing opioid epidemic, saying, “We have too much of a tolerance for drug use.”

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Colonoscopies are a Slam Dunk

EMPORIA, VA - According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the top five most common cancers in the United States—and it is the third leading cause of death by cancer in Americans. Colorectal cancer often goes undetected because symptoms do not usually occur until the disease is advanced.

“Colorectal cancer affects both men and women equally,” says colorectal surgeon Homayoon Akbari, MD, PhD, FACS. “Because your risk for the cancer increases after age 50, regular screenings are recommended for adults age 50 and older. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, certain gastroenterological conditions or diseases, eat a diet high in fat content, or smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.”

The good news is that with early detection – through a colonoscopy – the survival rate dramatically increases. If colon cancer is detected before it spreads, the five-year survival rate is about 90 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute, but if not caught before the cancer spreads to other organs, the survival rate dips to about 14 percent.

“A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor, usually a gastroenterologist, to see inside the colon and rectum,” explains Dr. Akbari. “Used as either a screening test or a diagnostic tool, it can help your doctor investigate early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum, as well as help diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits, including abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and unexplained weight loss. If anything abnormal is observed, such as a polyp or growth, it is painlessly removed at that time and later tested in a laboratory for signs of cancer.”

Depending on your age, a colonoscopy screening may be a covered “wellness” test under your insurance plan, and most plans cover a colonoscopy completely as a follow-up test or diagnostic tool. To find a doctor or learn about the colonoscopy and other gastroenterology and surgical services offered at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, visit SVRMC.com. And as you watch the basketball games this month, remember that the ball is in your court to take action to reduce your risk for this preventable cancer.

Board certified in general and colorectal surgery, Dr. Homayoon Akbari practices at Southern Virginia Medical Group. Dr. Akbari specializes in colon and rectal surgery, including the treatment of colorectal cancer, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and constipation. He is an active member of the medical staff of both Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center and Southside Regional Medical Center.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces February Employee of the Month

February 2017 SVRMC Employee of the Month,

Emporia, VA – Virginia Worrell has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for February 2017. Ms. Worrell, who works in SVRMC’s Environmental Services Department, has been employed at SVRMC since June 1993.

Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for February was Communication.  Ms. Worrell’s nomination included the following statement: “Virginia has exemplary communication skills.  She always introduces herself to our patients prior to going into their room and always greets everyone she meets in the hallways with a smile.  When answering the phone, she is always polite and utilizes proper phone etiquette, you can hear Virginia’s smile through the phone.Virginia is well deserving of the Employee of the Month.”  

As SVRMC’s February Employee of the Month, Ms. Worrell received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

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