Monday, May 14, 2012

Civil War Ironclads, the Georgia Guard and the most recognized consumer brand name in the world

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
May 14, 2012

Captain Ben Penton squinted against the sunlight as it reflected off the rippled surface of the Chattahoochee River some 30 miles south of Columbus, Ga. The air was perfumed with diesel exhaust, and the rumbling groans of hydraulics betrayed the source of the Captain’s interest. Along the river bank, bulldozers of the 560th Engineer Battalion worked to clear mud from a massive wooden form. Penton inspected the object thoughtfully. It was a vessel, wooden framed, and massive. Half of its 220-by-60-foot frame had been excavated from the river mud, and Penton could clearly see that many of the vessel’s pine timbers were badly charred. Observing the work of the Guard engineers and civilian excavators, it is doubtful Penton knew that nearly a century earlier Guard and civilian volunteers had been engaged in a far more desperate struggle over control of these very timbers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Diversity as a matter of perspective

By Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson, Jr.
State Command Sergeant Major
Georgia Department of Defense

About a month or so ago, I engaged in a philosophical discussion with one of my colleagues (a senior leader) on the subject of how the military recognizes various ethnics groups that make up the Armed Forces. One question that stemmed out of this discussion was: was it more important that I be personally recognized as the first African-American State Command Sergeant Major in Georgia, or was it more important to be recognized for doing a great job and being a good leader whom all members of the Ga. DoD would wish to emulate – a leader who just happens to fit into a certain ethnic group?

From that thought exercise, the conversation spilled over into the need for diversity in our force and what diversity means in the Armed Forces. I might have simply left the conversation where it ended if it weren’t for the subject being such a thought-provoking one. So, I’ve decided to float the question to you.