DNA Casualty Identification is the DoD preferred standard
for positive casualty identification.
Units are taking all necessary measures to accelerate the
collection of DNA specimens from all active Army and
Reserve Component soldiers for casualty identification.
Effective immediately, soldiers are not deployable if
they do not have a DNA specimen collected. A single
diagnostic/dental treatment quality panograph is still
required. The absence of a panograph in dental records
renders a soldier non-deployable.
All service members and
DoD/DA civilians, who are being deployed must have a DNA
specimen on file.
The term, "collected" differs from having a
specimen "on file". A specimen is considered
"on file" if it appears on the DEERS System. A
specimen is considered "collected" if the
soldier provided the specimen during the deployment
Direct all questions
concerning DNA Casualty Identification policy to Lt. Col.
Mark S. Roupas, Department of the Army office of the
deputy chief of staff for personnel, DSN 225-5729,
Commercial (703) 695-5729.
Fast Food for the
can eat on the run by going to their favorite
drive-through fast food franchise. Soldiers in the field
will be getting the Armys version: a mobile ration
developed by the Soldier System Commands Natick
Research, Development and Engineering Center.
Mobility Enhancing Ration
Components, these "MERCs" can be eaten out of
hand and require no food preparation or eating utensils.
The new items supplement existing field rations such as
the meal, ready-to-eat, or could stand alone as an
assault ration. MERCs will support highly mobile and
forward deployed troops and are suitable for Arctic,
jungle, desert, mountain and urban areas.
health officials accept many Gulf War veterans are sick,
but they havent pinpointed a single cause. Theories
and explanations abound, blaming reported illnesses on
everything from stress to enemy nerve gas. Now DoD is
considering the possibility some sort of bacteria may be
"We have about 80
studies either under way, completed or on the drawing
boards which look at a wide variety of possible toxins or
... reasons why people became ill during the gulf
war," DoD spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Dec. 12,
1996, at a regularly scheduled press briefing. "Some
do look at low-level chemical exposure. Others look at
bacterial toxins and other toxins." Still other
studies focus on medicines administered to gulf war
participants and at the impact from oil well fires, Bacon
The possibility of a
bacterial cause for reported illnesses surfaced in
December when a West Coast newspaper reported the
research efforts of Garth Nicolson. A research biochemist
and scientific director of the nonprofit Institute of
Molecular Medicine, Irvine, Calif., Nicolson tested the
blood of hundreds of sick Gulf War veterans. Nicolson
said his research revealed a genetically altered
primitive bacterium called mycoplasma in
many samples. He concluded the germ had been deliberately
manipulated for use as a weapon, the newspaper reported.
Bacon said the findings
arent new. "We met with [Nicolson] in 1995 ...
and before that as well," he said. "He was
invited ... to submit a proposal for research which the
government would fund, and a formal call for such a
research proposal was issued in May of 1993."
Nicholson has not contacted the Pentagon, Bacon said. In
October, DoD launched its own study of mycoplasma
infections in gulf war veterans. The study is scheduled
for completion in August 1997. (Submitted by Douglas
J. Gillert, American Forces Press Service)
Defense Department is using unique DoD identification
numbers on checks and automated teller machine cards
instead of checks and automatic teller machine cards
provided by the banking program contractor.
Overseas customers are
receiving checks and ATM cards bearing the name
"Community Bank." Defense officials said this
new arrangement eliminates the need to change payroll
information and reissue checks and ATM cards each time
DoD selects a new contractor.
Officials said they expect
banking to be more efficient and cost effective than in
the past. They say the changes maintain a high-quality
standard and provide a significant benefit to American
military personnel and their families stationed overseas.
(American Forces Press Service)
Command Expands to Caribbean Area
responsibilities for the Caribbean basin will transfer
from the U.S. Atlantic Command to the U.S. Southern
Command on June 1, 1997.
Defense officials said
Defense Secretary William J. Perry recently approved
Phase II of DoDs Unified Command Plan Realignment.
With the approval, U.S.
Southern Command will expand to include covering the
Caribbean Sea and its island nations. These islands
include European possessions, Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. The command will maintain U.S. defense
responsibilities in the Atlantic Ocean south of 28
degrees north latitude and west of 58 degrees west
implements the changes to the Unified Command Plan
announced last February. Last January, the Southern
Command took defense responsibilities for the waters
adjoining Central and South America, and the Gulf of
Officials said the changes
satisfy two objectives. The first is to enhance Southern
Commands interaction with the navies of Central and
South American nations. The second is to have one
commander control all U.S. military activities in the
Caribbean basin and Central and South America. (American
Forces Press Service)
New Army Uniform
new or replacement Army uniform items are going into
soldiers duffel bags.
New wind breakers are made
of polyester and wool (65/35 percent, respectively) with
a Velcro-attached liner. The officer windbreaker has a
knit collar, cuffs and waistband. The enlisted
windbreaker has a standard collar, knit cuffs and
Replacement short sleeve
and long sleeve male AG 415 shirts have pleated pockets
and are made of heavier material. The new short sleeve
shirt has a stand-up collar. Mandatory possession date
for the new shirts (two short sleeve and one long sleeve)
is Oct. 1, 1999.
The replacements for female
short sleeve and long sleeve shirts tuck-in shirts in
heavier material. Mandatory possession date for both
shirts is Oct. 1, 1998.
Males and females must
begin wearing the Army green shade 489 uniform on Oct. 1,
1999. At that time, females must have one coat, two
skirts and two pair of slacks; males must have one coat
and two pairs of trousers.
The Enhanced Hot Weather
Battle Dress Uniform replacement includes a fabric change
to 50 percent nylon/50 percent rip-stop; fused
collar/pocket flaps; removal of waist of tab; waist
suppressed three inches and no knee pleats. Mandatory
possession date is Oct. 1, 1998.
The enhanced hot weather
battle dress uniform cap and the temperate battle dress
uniform cap may be worn interchangeably with the either
uniform until the mandatory possession date of Oct. 1,
1997. On October 1, 1997, the enhanced cap will be worn
with the enhanced hot weather battle dress uniform or hot
weather battle dress uniform, and the temperate battle
dress uniform cap will be worn only with temperate battle
The mandatory possession
date for the black all-weather coat, double breasted,
belted, in a 65/35 poly/cotton fabric, is Oct. 1, 2001. (Army
Joint Combat Camera
Joint Combat Camera Center web site has moved to
Alexandria, Va., setting up shop at the Defense Visual
Information Office. Its new web site is: www.dodimagery.
afis.osd.mil and called "DoD Images On-Line."
The new site makes it easier for technicians loading
images and managing the huge database and for users
wanting faster responses to their search requests.
Two other web sites
complete the menu of imagery data bases available to DoD
users. Visitors to the Defense Visual Information Center
(www.dodmedia.osd.mil/index.html) can obtain information
on ordering historical videotape and still photography as
well as the CD-ROM collections. For details, visit the
web site or call the center at March Air Force Base,
Calif., at (909) 413-2522 or DSN 348-2522.
The Defense Automated
Visual Information System offers on-line search access to
more than 10,000 training and information videos created
by DoD, with ordering information. (Douglas J.
Gillert, American Forces Press Service)
7,500 known computer viruses exist worldwide, and as many
as 200 new ones pop up each month, according to the
National Computer Security Association in Carlisle, Pa.
During a recent software
upload, a network server was infected with a virus called
the Barrotes-1310. Within minutes, the virus spread to
other servers and threatened the entire network. It was
slowed only by the anti-virus software that many network
security officers had properly installed.
A virus is a computer
program written specifically to infect and alter other
computer programs. It can easily infect the system
memory, partition table, boot sector, executable files
and system files.
viruses are spread unknowingly by using contaminated
diskettes or by downloading contaminated programs or data
from networked systems. With stand-alone computers,
infection can happen only by using contaminated
diskettes. In networks, most file virus contamination can
spread in a matter of seconds.
Your computer may have a
virus if its operation seems sluggish, programs take
longer to load and/or available disk space decreases
rapidly. Computer virus symptoms also include files which
disappear mysteriously or programs which encounter
What do you do if you
suspect a virus attack? Immediately stop work on the
system, isolate and contain all diskettes in the area.
Ensure others do not use your computer. Immediately
report the incident to your computer system security
officer (for stand-alone computers) or the network
security officer (for computers connected to a network).
If they are not available, contact your
installations computer security manager or the help
The best way to protect a
computer is to use anti-virus software, make backups and
use good computer security practices. Backups of programs
and operating files should be made regularly.
Restrict physical or
electronic access, control all diskettes and install and
use automated protection such as passwords. Finally, have
a clean, write-protected boot diskette with key files and
anti-virus software on it. If you have questions, consult
your computer security manager. (Senior Master Sgt.
Gregory Barnes, 786th Communications Squadron Ramstein
Air Base, Germany: Army News Service, courtesy USAFE News