Army News Overwatch

Moms and Dads Make a Big Difference!

    Research shows when parents are involved in helping their children learn, good things happen. Children get better grades, behave better in class and are more likely to go to college. As a parent, here's what you can do: Volunteer for school activities and stay in regular touch with teachers. Read to your very young children and share books with your older children. Limit television to no more than two hours on a school night. And talk with your youngsters about the values you want them to have and about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. (ARNEWS; information provided by Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education)

Officers Get New Internet Job Search Service

    Active duty and retired military officers can access civilian job information from the Internet through a service started by The Retired Officers Association (TROA) in Alexandria, Va.

    The Internet page lists job openings from over 2,000 civilian employers. Anyone can access TROA's main web site, but program users must be active duty or retired TROA members and register with TROA's Officer Placement Service (TOPS). Initial information is available from TROA's web site: or by calling (703) 838-8117.

Gulf War Illness Investigation Broadens

    Deputy Secretary of Defense John White took control of the Pentagon's investigation of illnesses reported by Gulf War veterans on Sept. 25.

    Over 3,000 Desert Storm veterans have complained of fatigue, headaches, sore joints and other maladies they believe may have been caused by Iraqi chemical weapons.

    Initially, investigators said they could find no conclusive evidence any Gulf War veterans were exposed to chemical weapons. This summer, however, the Pentagon announced Army engineers destroyed Iraqi ammunition at the Khamisiyah weapons storage complex in southern Iraq on March 10, 1991. The munitions may have contained the chemical nerve agents sarin and cyclosarin, Pentagon officials said.

    On Sept. 18, White expanded the notification program to Gulf War veterans who may have been exposed to low levels of chemical agents resulting from the munitions demolition. Veterans who were in the Khamisiyah area in March 1991 and have not already enrolled in either the DoD or Department of Veterans Affairs registry and examination program should call

DoD at 1-800-796-9699 or VA at 1-800-749-8387.(American Forces Press Service)

Changes in Army Women's Uniform

    Clothing designers and project managers at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command have redesigned uniforms for women in the Army.

    “Throughout the design process, we focused on improving the fit, size, comfort, appearance and style of the women's uniform.I think female soldiers will really appreciate the changes that we've made, especially in the areas of fit and comfort,” said Maj. Julia Cook, special assistant to Project Manager-Soldier.

    As of October 1, the new items were issued to female soldiers at Recruit Centers and were available for purchase at Military Clothing Sales Stores.

    These uniform items are the first to use the new DoD Sizing System, which uses actual body measurements (i.e., waist, hips, bust) rather than an arbitrary size (i.e., 8, 10, 12). There are three different size ranges as well as three height ranges. Most women will discover they wear a smaller size in the new clothing items. For more information, call Susan Anninger at Soldier Systems Command, 508-233-4300. (ARNEWS)

First Biological Defense Company Activated

    The Army is filling a void in the nation's defensive capabilities by training and activating the 310th Chemical Company (Biological Integrated Defense System) (Reserve). The company's mission is to combat the threat of biological warfare directed against U.S. troops and allies. The unit was redesignated Sept. 16 to reflect its new status as the Army's first, and only, BIDS company.

    The Biological Integrated Defense System is a sheltered, biological detection laboratory mounted on a HUMVEE and equipped with air sampling, detection and identification equipment. Two soldiers operate the equipment inside the vehicle.

    Within 30-45 minutes, operators can “presumptively” identify a suspected biological agent and warn soldiers within the corps area of operations to take appropriate action. The identification is presumptive while the samples are moved to a laboratory for positive confirmation. In the meantime, soldiers on the battlefield can take appropriate protective action. (ARNEWS from Hershal M. Chapman, Fort McClellan, Ala.

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   Last Updated: January 23, 1997