After six weeks of joint training exercises in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) exercise between the 3rd U.S. Marine and Special Operations Command Battalion (USMARSOC) and the Brazilian Marine Corps’ elite Fuzileiros Navais concluded in late September. Lieutenant Colonel Jon Duke, Commander of the 3rd Marine and Special Operations Battalion explained that the JCET team has been preparing to increase their engagements with the Brazilian Marine Corps since 2010 with the purpose of deepening their relationship with their Brazilian counterparts. “Due to Brazil’s increasing role as a global power and important U.S. partner, the USMARSOC JCET team prepared, for this exercise for 18 months,” said LtCol Duke. The military-to-military engagement with the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais focused on the exchange of tactics procedures including direct action and special reconnaissance tactics such as close-quarters battle skills. For his part, Colonel Fernando Jose Afonso Ferreira de Sousa, commander of the Toneleros, the special operations battalion within the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais, stated, “The exchange between the units was important to learn from the experiences of each other.” Some of the highlights included seeing the different types of terrain that Brazilian Fuzileiros train and operate in, because the participating U.S. Marines were used to operating in the Middle East. “An overall lesson we all took back is that Marines are Marines all around the world,” stated LtCol Duke. Among others, the participants also trained in specific marksmanship skills, including sniper skills that are beneficial to both sides. “We were very impressed with the Fuzileiros’ professionalism and experience in reconnaissance skills,” said LtCol Duke when discussing the lessons the U.S. Marines took from their Brazilian counterparts. “The Brazilian culture is so rich, it was an impressive aspect of the overall experience, too,” he added. But in working together, the U.S. also left behind important lessons for the Brazilians. The integration of intelligence and operations at the team level and the integration of intelligence at a very tactical level were important aspects of the joint training that the U.S. Marines showed their Brazilian partners. “The MARSOC team provided the highest quality personnel, training, and capabilities, and developed a lasting camaraderie with the Toneleros”, added Col. Ferreira de Sousa. During the six weeks of training, the participants of both countries built solid relationships that will pave the way ahead for future engagements. By Dialogo October 12, 2011
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Andrea Finn is continually available to members on social networks that never sleep.IN TODAY’S DIGITAL AGE, social media moves at the speed of thought, and those who are experts have learned to sprint along with it.It’s a good thing that Andrea Finn has the energy of an Olympic athlete with reserves to spare.As the digital marketing specialist at Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., Finn is continually available to members on social networks that never sleep.“If a member needs my help, I’m there for them seven days a week. Activity really heightens on nights and weekends,” says Finn.Since 2012, Finn has put all of her drive, energy, and passion for Royal Credit Union into its social media platforms.“Credit unions have something very special that other industries do not, and that makes us unique in a way that is easy to share with others,” Finn says.“I’m inviting our members in, not just pushing messages out,” she continues. “I’m having one-on-one conversations with our members, which is so important. It’s what makes the social space so unique from all of our other marketing efforts.”Finn renews her vigor and dedication daily through learning new things and simply saying “yes.”“I always say ‘yes’ to opportunities that come my way and I try to make sure that each and every one of them turns into a learning avenue for me. I strive to be smarter and better than I was the day before because it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day,” she adds.Finn’s enthusiasm shows in the high quality of her work. Her colleague Jan Johnson, executive vice president of organizational agility, says that Andrea is often sought out by other credit union organizations for “her expertise, creativity, and the results she has achieved.” continue reading »
Indianapolis, In. — This month, 55 years have passed since the tragic day America lost a young president to the evil act of a radical assassin. At his death, John F. Kennedy was only 45 years old. His time as president all too brief, he nonetheless provided a legacy that continues to inspire current generations.On many subjects, President Kennedy spoke words that nowadays we often quote when expressing our nation’s highest aspirations and ideals. Civility was one of the many virtues JFK urged us to practice.“So let us begin anew,” he said at his 1961 inaugural address, “remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness. . . . Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”At the time, Kennedy was discussing international relations, but he just as easily could have been referring to domestic relations among American citizens of differing ideologies, worldviews and political loyalties.It’s a sad irony that Kennedy’s death itself served as a unifying event in America as virtually the whole country came together to mourn the loss of their fallen president. In much the same way, other largescale tragic events – such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the 9-11 terrorist attacks – have given rise to national unity.We need to come together now – as one nation under God, indivisible – rather than waiting until the galvanizing effects of some new crisis or moment of great loss.Today, unfortunately, echoes of incivility reverberate across America seemingly in louder tones than we have experienced for decades. Throughout all sectors of culture and society, we seem more prone to insult and denigrate one another than to engage in meaningful dialogue.In the political realm, members of both parties are failing the civility test. The tone of our politics arises from the increased polarization vibrating from the populace. Candidates for office too often stoke this divisiveness when they believe it accrues to their strategic advantage.America and indeed the world desperately need an increase in genuine conversation and a decrease in mindless shouting matches. Even when we disagree, we all can learn from one another if we develop a willingness to listen.Indeed, the future peace and prosperity of our free republic is linked to our ability to practice civility. Constant, sustained rancor puts a steady strain on our democratic institutions.“World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor,” JFK said. “It requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.”Beyond paying lip-service, let us all aspire to practice civility in both our personal interactions with others and in our civic duties in the public square.As President Kennedy reminded us in a pre-Thanksgiving proclamation just days before his untimely death in Dallas: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”Curtis Hill is Indiana’s attorney general.
After recording just one run on four hits in the first game of its doubleheader against North Dakota State, the University of Wisconsin softball team was able to alter its approach in Game 2 and hold off the Bison.NDSU pitcher Allison Bakke demonstrated exactly why she is the ace of the Bison staff, as she kept Wisconsin’s hitters uncomfortable and off-balance for the entirety of Game 1. Bakke notched seven strikeouts in her complete game effort, and at one point sat down 14 UW hitters in a row before centerfielder Sam Polito reached on an infield single.Throughout the first contest, Bakke was able to rely on her changeup whenever she found herself behind in the count, which resulted in several foul balls and weak groundouts off the Badgers’ bats. In counts where UW hitters would normally be able to sit on a fastball, Bakke would go off-speed and catch Wisconsin unprepared.”Her changeup was pretty fat,” third baseman Athena Vasquez said. “But we weren’t reacting to it; we weren’t seeing it.”Junior right fielder Katie Hnatyk agreed that Bakke’s changeup was a tough pitch to hit, but that wasn’t why UW had a tough time hitting it.”We were just thinking way too much,” Hnatyk said. “She had the changeup, we knew she had the changeup, and we were thinking about it way too much instead of just reacting to it.”And UW head coach Chandelle Schulte didn’t pull any punches when asked about her team’s initial performance.”Our first game was terrible,” Schulte said. “We didn’t adjust at the plate, and we gave up too many runs. We have to show up and play, and we didn’t, and we’re going to get beat every time if we do that.”But it wasn’t only Bakke’s changeup that left Wisconsin hitters shaking their heads.”It was everything,” Schulte said. “But we knew that coming in. She’s got a really good ERA, and she’s got the record, but it was the changeup, and it was the curveball. She threw a nice mix.”Following the Game 1 loss, Schulte gathered her squad in the locker room for what some would call “constructive criticism” of their collective hitting approach.Whatever the course of discussion took, Wisconsin looked like a completely different team in the second half of the doubleheader. Allison Bakke was in the circle again for the Bison, but she wouldn’t stay there for long. After Athena Vasquez reached base on an error in the bottom of the second inning, Ricci Robben tagged Bakke for a two-run home run to deep left-center, giving the Badgers a 2-0 lead. Bakke got out of the inning with no further damage, but didn’t return for the third.The third inning saw UW continue its offensive onslaught against a new face in the circle, ND State pitcher Bekki Rasmussen. It was a tough day for Rasmussen, as she surrendered four consecutive singles to begin the inning, and was yanked before recording an out. The Badgers totaled four runs in the frame, including one on a suicide squeeze executed to perfection by first baseman Alexis Garcia.”I knew they’d come out and start [Bakke],” Schulte said. “I would have. But we hit her early, and we made better adjustments.”Badger pitchers Letty Olivarez and Leah Vanevenhoven were able to shut the Bison down from there, but the two-run jack from Ricci Robben proved to make the difference for Wisconsin. “It was huge because Ricci came up in the first game with runners on first and second twice with two outs and didn’t put the ball in play,” Schulte said. “Most kids wouldn’t be able to come back in that same situation. To me [the difference] was mental fortitude.”It was good because we got the run,” Schulte added, “but it was more important because mentally, she was committed to getting it done.”Robben added a double in the fifth and finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate. “I was seeing [the ball] a lot better than the first game,” Robben said. “I knew what [Bakke] was going to throw me, and I just sat and waited for my pitch.”