Army Harnessing Power of AI to Build Smarter Robots

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Army_Robots

By David Vergun, Army News Service

It’s time for robots to replace soldiers for certain specialized tasks involving “dull, dirty or dangerous work and to reduce their cognitive load,” said Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins.

So the Army is now investing $30 million to harness the power of big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to create unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, such as future vertical lift and the next generation combat vehicle, said Wins, who is the commander of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM).
 
PHOTO CAPTION: Rear Adm. Michael P. Ryan, the U.S. Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for Capability (2nd from right) and Capt. Mark J. Shepard, commander of the USCG’s National Strike Force (right) hear about the array of robots the PEO CS&CSS Robot Logistics Support Center manages. The RLSC transferred 18 robots from its life cycle management team to the USCG for use in the fleet’s Strike Force Teams in May. The RLSC will also provide training and support for all 18 systems. CREDIT: MICHAEL J. MALIK
 
First, RDECOM, which is a subordinate command of Army Materiel Command, will instead fall under Army Futures Command once it is stood up this year, he said. This will allow AFC to enlist the talent and resources of some 10,000 engineers and scientists in RDECOM, along with its vast network of partnerships throughout industry and academia.

Besides investing in this new, enabling technology, the Army has taken two other significant steps toward enhancing robotics, he said.

Second, RDECOM has entered the Department of Defense’s Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team, code-named Project Maven, he said.

Project Maven was stood up to “integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning more effectively,” according to an April 26, 2017, memorandum from then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, announcing its establishment.

“Although we have taken tentative steps to explore the potential of artificial intelligence, big data and deep learning, I remain convinced that we need to do much more, and move faster …” the memo states.

The project is divided into two phases, he said. Research in phase one involves developing computer decision algorithms to help analyze full-motion video input. Phase two consists of improving on the first phase by broadening the scope, scale and speed of the process to analyze data more quickly and comprehensively.

Although this all sounds simple, it’s really not, he said.

“To maximize big data, you need a very, very, very robust high-performance computing capability, focused on being able to deal with the volume of information, harness the speed by which data can be generated, and be able to deal with the diversity of data to make it meaningful and informative for the user and then having the ability to trust the information and verify and validate that data and then make it useful,” he said.

Why invest in this?

“The operational risk is if we don’t pursue these, we will continue to plow down the road of the status quo,” he said. “That means while we’re not taking advantage of these technologies, our adversaries will. And, we will continue to put soldiers in harm’s way when this meaningful technology might allow soldier s to avoid coming to harm.

Besides powering robots, the Army has other areas of interest for AI, machine learning and big-data analytics, said Brig. Gen. Rodney Fogg, commandant, U.S. Army Quartermaster School.

AI, big data and machine learning could utterly transform mission command, he said. The technology is already there to do it, and it’s very likely that will happen in five to 10 years.

Fogg provided an example of what the technology could do for mission command during a battle.

Imagine an operations officer at a command post directing a battle, he said. With an AI system in place, the soldier could voice-activate a smart computer by saying “logistics updates.”

An AI-driven system would then quickly respond with an update on quantities and types of ammunition on hand, fuel, maintenance required and medical readiness across the brigade, he said, to include sustainment estimates for the next 48 hours.

The computer would also inform the soldier when the next resupply mission will arrive and what it is carrying, he said.

All of this would be possible with powerful software, sensors in vehicles monitoring fuel level and maintenance requirements and relaying it wirelessly to the soldier in a useful and easy-to-understand, secure format, he said.

Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, G-4, said that the Army has already begun to leverage big data in useful ways.

“Last year, we successfully finished fielding the first increment of the Global Combat Support System—Army,” he said. “Now, we are working to bring in aviation units, and provide business intelligence capabilities through the employment of big data. This will move us close to our goal of total asset visibility.”

GCSS-Army does things like track supplies, spare parts, organizational equipment, maintenance, total cost of ownership and other financial transactions related to logistics for all Army units.

“We have changed the way we manage our supply chain,” he continued. “We’re giving units repair parts that we have concluded will be the parts most needed in austere and high op-tempo environments.

“The goal is to have these parts mobile so our units can move in one lift. We are already finding it is saving money. We are filling more of what is demanded. And we are repairing weapons systems faster. All of this has already improved readiness in our formations,” he concluded.

Retired Lt. Col. Jennifer Chronis, general manager, DoD Amazon Web Services, added that soldiers are already harnessing the power of big data through cloud services, utilizing computing storage and power right to the forward edge of the battlefield.

The cloud offers secure data transfer and storage, she said. It is being used by Army cyber protection teams and others to analyze data 500 times faster than before, she said, adding that their analysis has resulted in identifying 60 malicious activities recently.

Source: army.mil

Seaman Apprentice Serves Aboard Versatile Warship Half A World Away

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seaman Aprrentice Chance Coogle poses in military uniform

By Lt. Jake Joy, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Seaman Apprentice Chance Coogle, a native of Huntington Beach, California, said serving in the Navy is a “family thing.” “I’m the seventh generation of Coogle to enlist, and none have retired – it’s a neat tradition,” he said.

“They were all in the Navy. My dad served in the Gulf War, my grandfather in Vietnam, my great-grandfather was a gunner’s mate in WWII, it goes on and on like that.”

Now, two years after taking his own oath, and half a world away at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Coogle serves aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, patrolling one of the world’s busiest maritime regions as part of the leading-edge of U.S. 7th Fleet.

“It’s cozy,” Coogle said. “Everything’s right where you need it to be, you’re not really going to get lost. It’s like a little town. I like it, you get to see everybody every day. Of all the ships to be on, I think this is a good one.”

Coogle, a 2017 graduate of Edison High School, is an operations specialist aboard the Yokosuka, Japan-based ship, one of several in its class forward-deployed to the region.

“I track air and surface contacts and can contact them over international air distress channels, it’s pretty important,” Coogle said. “If we identify them incorrectly, that aircraft is at higher risk of getting shot down … those times I get to do my job, I feel fulfilled.”

Coogle credits part of his success in the Navy to lessons learned in Huntington Beach.

“‘It is what it is,’ was a pretty big quote around the house and I certainly carried it into the Navy,” he said. “Biggest thing I’ve learned is how important family is … I haven’t seen them for just about as long as I’ve served, but I know I can still depend on them, which is really important.”

U.S. 7th Fleet spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of operations encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors.

“I’m meeting people of all walks of life, especially being close to Tokyo,” Coogle said. “I definitely think that being stationed in the 7th Fleet has given me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have had back home. Hanging out with the Japanese is cool, and the stories I’m going to be able to tell when I get back are going to be rich and full of excitement.”

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment.

“The Navy is forward-deployed to provide security and strengthen relationships in a free and open Indo-Pacific. It’s not just the ships and aircraft that have shown up to prevent conflict and promote peace,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “It is, and will continue to be our people who define the role our Navy plays around the world. People who’ve made a choice, and have the will and strength of character to make a difference.”

Destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. They are 510 feet long and armed with tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, Standard Missile-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family, advanced gun systems and close-in gun systems.

Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the precondition for everything else the Navy does. It cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.

John S. McCain has anti-aircraft capability armed with long range missiles intended for air defense to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles.

Serving in the Navy means Coogle is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

There are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career. Coogle is appreciative of the places he’s seen and explored, like climbing Mount Fuji and watching the sun rise off the coast of China.

“I’ve gotten to really find out about how big and expansive the world is outside of home. It’s pretty nice, I’m pretty proud of that actually,” said Coogle.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Coogle and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“As much of a mixed bag as service is, it’s more pros than cons,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to college. I’m 20, living on the other side of the world, basically on my own. It teaches you how to be an adult, whether you’re ready for it or not.”

Source: navyoutreach.blogspot.com

Photo credit: Senior Chief Petty Officer Gary Ward

Tee It Up for the Troops Donates 20th E-Z-GO Vehicle to Fisher House Foundation to Assist Disabled Veterans and Their Families

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Tee it up for troops logo

A golf car is a nice amenity on the golf course, but for families of veterans and active duty service members who are being treated at Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers, golf cars are a valuable and needed mode of transportation.

With limited parking and specialized transportation needs, many veterans and their elderly family members are unable to make the journey around a VA hospital campus.

That’s why Tee It Up for the Troops, with their national headquarters in Burnsville, Minn., has partnered with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, manufacturer of E-Z-GO vehicles, to donate customized vehicles to Fisher House, a foundation that provides comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay free of charge. Tee It Up for the Troops has donated a “battalion” of E-Z-GO vehicles to Fisher House facilities nationwide, with the recent 20th new ride delivered to the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System in California.

For the last seven years, Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, in partnership with E-Z-GO distributor Versatile Vehicles of Prior Lake, Minn., have delivered several vehicles a year to Fisher Houses across the nation. The first was delivered to the Augusta VA Medical Center in Georgia in 2012, with others reaching the East Coast’s Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, the West Coast’s Camp Pendleton in California, and midwestern Fisher Houses in Milwaukee, Wisc. and Minneapolis, Minn.

“Tee It Up for the Troops has been there for us and has provided a vehicle to every one of our houses on a VA property that has needed one,” said Brian Gawne, Vice President of Community Relations for Fisher House Foundation. “Parking and getting around on a VA campus is always a challenge, and some families are not mobile. Thanks to Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, these cars are a godsend when families are facing a tough medical crisis.”

“Recently we had a veteran discharged from the hospital after kidney removal surgery and it would have been extremely painful for him to bend into a vehicle to get back to Fisher House,” said Jenny Hall, Manager of the Alaska Fisher House. “The golf car allowed him to easily slide in and out at a comfortable height with minimal pain.”

“It’s great teaming up with E-Z-GO and working together to make our heroes’ lives better,” said Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director for Tee It Up for the Troops. “I truly believe our veterans and their families are entitled to be taken care of, and donating these vehicles is just one way we do that.”

Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted 500 fundraising events in over 40 states over the last 15 years, allowing the non-profit organization to donate over $10 million to military service organizations that provide critically needed services to combat veterans and their families.

“Electric shuttles that are quiet and efficient can take a whole family or injured warfighter from a Fisher House around the campus to receive therapy or see a doctor,” said Brandon Haddock, Director, Communications at Textron Specialized Vehicles. “The vehicles can traverse facility paths, parking lots, and even into the entry of a VA hospital. It’s great to see how excited people are about the shuttles and to give the veterans something they really need.”

“These stretch electric shuttles, which can comfortably accommodate six passengers, are customized with many added features for the comfort and safety of veterans,” said Gaby Accad, owner of Versatile Vehicles, whose distributorship customizes many of the Fisher House vehicles. Additions include safety lights, turn signals, a rear seat that can convert to a flatbed to carry a wheelchair or other equipment, and a retractable windshield to block wind and rain.

Accad works with local companies to donate custom features, including red, white and blue premium seats embroidered with the Tee It Up for the Troops logo, decals that are applied to the custom-painted cars, and shipping of the cars at donated or reduced rates to their destination.

“What this country has provided to me, it’s the least I can do for our soldiers who put their lives on the line for us to enjoy our freedom and the things we cherish in this country,” Accad said.

Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO first learned of the need for a small, efficient vehicle to transport wounded warriors in 2011, when they shipped a vehicle to a military base in Afghanistan to help move soldiers to field hospitals and to get those recovering from injuries around the base. From there, the need to meet increased demands for transport of returning service members with disabilities and their families escalated stateside.

“This is just a continuation of our support for veterans who do incredible things for our country,” Wegscheid said of the vehicles.

About Tee It Up for The Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops, Inc, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves U.S. military veterans and their families.  Based in Minnesota, Tee it Up for the Troops inspires communities across the country to organize golf events to raise funds for partnering veterans service organizations who deliver critically needed services to military families.  These locally-supported events greatly assist returning service members to successfully reintegrate into their communities.  Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 475 events in more than 40 states and has donated over $10 million to more than 335 various organizations serving veterans across the country.  In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited more than 300 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries or changes in rehabilitation status.  Through these reunions, participating veterans enhance their transition process into productive and fulfilling civilian lifestyles. For more information visit: teeitupforthetroops.org.

About E-Z-GO
E-Z-GO is an iconic, world-renowned brand in golf cars and personal transportation vehicles. Products sold under the
E-Z-GO brand include RXV® and TXT® fleet golf cars, Freedom® RXV and Freedom TXT personal golf cars, E-Z-GO Express™ personal utility vehicles, and the 2Five® street-legal low-speed vehicle. Known for innovation in electric-vehicle technology, E-Z-GO’s newest offerings include the ELiTE series of lithium-ion powered golf cars and PTVs. Founded in 1954 in Augusta, Ga., E-Z-GO became part of Textron Inc. in 1960, and today operates as part of the company’s Textron Specialized Vehicles division.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information visit: textron.com.

About Fisher House

Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 82 comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.  These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, and in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths.  Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room.  Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee.  Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. For more information visit: fisherhouse.org.

It’s Life or Death for a Puppy in the Middle East

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Bucky with soldier stationed in the Middle East

May is Military Appreciation Month.  What better way to wrap up the month, then by helping our heroes overseas? Morale can be tough to keep when you are a soldier stationed in the Middle East.

Each day brings challenges and often despair. For one soldier and his crew stationed in Kuwait, that all changed when one, tiny puppy entered their camp.

Before the tiny stray made his way into the life of 21-year-old SPC Dakota J. Campbell and his crewmembers, morale was at an all time low. Then one day, the soldiers witnessed a puppy run by their site, being chased by a larger dog. The men proceeded to scare off the dog, and the puppy scurried to hide and got his self stuck in a cement barrier.

As the soldiers saved the puppy from near death, it didn’t take long before they realized that the puppy actually saved them. They named this little guy Bucky and he lifted their spirits, gave them hope, and helped inspire them each day. With Bucky around, they felt a sense of home.

“We can only imagine the difficulty these soldiers in war torn areas face on a daily basis,” explains Robert Misseri of Paws of War. “The fact that this dog helped our heroes get through some of the darkest days in their life is testament to the abilities of a dog. We must try to get Bucky to the United States.  It is the least we can do for SPC Campbell and the crew.”

Now Campbell is heading back to the states, where he will be stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. Rather than leave Bucky in Kuwait, where his fate would be certain death as a street dog, he is reaching out to us all to get Bucky to America, where he can live his life in security and peace with SPC Campbell, and they can both have a genuine, true sense of home.

“Bucky may have saved us, but I can’t bear to leave him behind, it’s time for me to once again save him,” added Campbell. “I have one dog at home, which is like my only son, and I can’t wait for Bucky to meet him. It will be a dream come true for me to be able to bring Bucky to Texas.”

Bringing a dog back to America from the Middle East is no easy task, and it’s a costly process. Paws of War is supported solely by donations and has helped numerous soldiers to bring their rescued dogs back from the Middle East. To help make the mission possible, they are asking everyone to pitch in and thank this Army team for protecting our freedom by donating toward Bucky’s journey to the U.S. Every dollar makes a difference.  To learn more about Campbell and Bucky’s story and to make a donation, log online: pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/saving-bucky.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a non-profit 501c3 charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs to be service dogs, and provides therapy dogs to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or make a donation visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

Lowe’s announces new partnerships with military organizations

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Lowe's building sign with a flag in the background

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, Lowe’s is pleased to announce three partnerships allowing for deeper relationships with the military community nationwide.

Each partner, including the United Service Organizations (USO), American Veterans (AMVETS) and Operation FINALLY HOME, now connects military to Lowe’s resources from workforce training to affordable housing for veterans and more.

“Lowe’s commitment to the military is longstanding and partnerships with these organizations allow us to form stronger connections with the military community,” said Joe McFarland, U.S. Marines veteran and Lowe’s executive vice president of stores. “We look forward to working closely with each organization to serve the military community through programs focused on safe, affordable housing and transitioning military into dynamic careers.”

Partners and details include:

The USO is known as the Force Behind the Forces® and strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Lowe’s national partnership with the USO will support military spouse programming and the USO’s Pathfinder® program, which offers a network of resources and personalized support throughout all aspects of transition during their military careers.

“The USO is honored to partner with Lowe’s to offer service members and military spouses interactive workshops and networking opportunities designed to help them land apprenticeships and jobs in the skilled trades,” said Lisa Anastasi, USO Chief Development and Marketing Officer. “Together, we will connect them to the training and support they need to thrive in these career fields while navigating the frequent transitions of military life.”

AMVETS is the nation’s most inclusive congressionally-chartered veterans service organization representing the interests of 20 million veterans.

Lowe’s partnership contributes scholarships and workforce training, helping veterans transition from military service to employment nationwide.

“With Lowe’s, we’re looking to close the gap and offer scholarships and programs that place the military in highly-trained positions,” shares Rege Riley, national commander at AMVETS. “Through this effort, we plan on reaching 3 million individuals across our military channels.”

Operation FINALLY HOME provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes and home modifications to wounded, ill and injured veterans and the widows of the fallen from all branches of the military. Lowe’s current partnership contributes home building and modification support to projects across the country.

“Lowe’s is an outstanding fit as we continue to bring builders, developers and volunteers together to help our heroes and their families,” said Rusty Carroll, executive director at Operation FINALLY HOME.

Continue on to Lowe’s Newsroom to read the complete article.

After Winning Medals In Afghanistan, Veteran Brings Number One Home Inspection Company To Pasadena, CA

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Spencer Velez poses in uniform) in a military vehicle

Spencer Velez knows how to use his expertise and skills. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 14 years. The now 35-year-old deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for superior performance of duties while serving in a direct combat service support role.

As if those achievements weren’t enough, Velez then completed graduate school at the University of Southern California (USC) earning a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) degree in a program designed to leverage the management and leadership experience gained during military service.

While attending graduate school, he applied these skills to his role in Corporate Compliance with The Walt Disney Company. In that role, he ensured wherever Disney products were manufactured, the workers were provided a safe and inclusive environment.

In May, he added a Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise to round out his business skills. Velez will serve homebuyers and sellers throughout Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Alhambra, Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Rosemead, Monterey Park, Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

Spencer Valez smiling in headshot
Spencer Valez, Pillar to Post Home Inspectors

The brand is a favorite among veterans such as Velez. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is a member of VetFran, a program of the International Franchise Association that helps vets purchase franchises and it has achieved 5-star status in that program, the top ranking possible. In 2018, one-third of new Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchisees were military vets. “Pillar to Post provides a service that brings people happiness and positively impacts the community by educating the client about the home – purchasing a home is a big and exciting step and we are a part of that journey,” said Velez. “I have great plans to grow the business to its maximum potential with multiple professional home inspectors and valuable services. I will be a leader built on a reputation of respect and hard work which I learned through my military service.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit pillartopostfranchise.com.

How to Celebrate Memorial Day at the Office

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Woman veteran in office wearing US Flag pin

By Hiliary Innerbichler

Stuck at work on Memorial Day Monday? Here are some ways to celebrate.

Honor the Fallen
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans—the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—established Decoration Day, now Memorial Day, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. So honor the fallen by taking an office field trip to a local cemetery to lay flowers on a veteran’s grave.

Dress in Red, White, and Blue
A simple but classic way to show your support for our nation’s fallen heroes is to dress in the patriotic colors of the flag.

Run a Book Drive
Ever heard of Operation Paperback? Now celebrating its 20-year anniversary, nonprofit Operation Paperback has sent over 2,853,347 books to deployed troops, veterans, military families, VA hospitals, USOs, and Red Cross units in 35 countries. Have your office pitch in and send a collection of books to Operation Paperback!

Take a Moment to Observe
Established by Congress, the National Moment of Remembrance asks Americans to pause in an act of national unity at 3:00 p.m. local time for one minute to honor those who died in service to our country.

Share on Social Media
Have you lost a family member who died in military service? Take a moment on Memorial Day to remember them by posting a picture on your social media platform and sharing your thanks and love.

Two Unforgettable Classics, ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ Return to Cinemas This June, Each for Two Days Only

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Saving Private Ryan and Forest gump Posters

Two beloved and critically acclaimed films starring Oscar®-winning* actor Tom Hanks return to more than 600 cinemas nationwide this June from Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures: “Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump.”

Each film commemorates a notable milestone: “Saving Private Ryan” plays June 2 and 5, in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day; “Forrest Gump,” which plays June 23 and 25, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. All presentations screen at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time each day.

Tickets for each film are available beginning today at FathomEvents.com and at participating theater box offices.

Director Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed epic “Saving Private Ryan” stars Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon and Tom Sizemore and is considered one of the greatest WWII films ever made in large part because of its astonishingly realistic recreation of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. In addition to its critical acclaim, it was also the highest-grossing film of 1998.

A different war plays a prominent role in the treasured cinematic classic “Forrest Gump.” Director Robert Zemeckis’ film about one man’s unique view of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century was the top-grossing film of 1994. Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field, “Forrest Gump” won six Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth), Best Film Editing and Best Visual Effects.

In addition to its two-day-only theatrical presentations from Fathom Events, “Forrest Gump” will be available in a newly remastered two-disc Blu-ray beginning on May 7, and is also available on 4K Ultra HD and Digital. “Saving Private Ryan” is available in a three-disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack and on Digital.

“These two films not only demonstrate why Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood history, they are both among the most acclaimed and most popular movies of the 1990s,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas. “On the big screen, both ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ are incredible experiences and strengthen our robust line-up of classic film presentations for the year.”

About Fathom Events

Fathom Events is the leading event cinema distributor with theater locations in all top 100 DMAs® (Designated Market Areas) and ranks as one of the largest overall theater content distributors. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L), Fathom Events offers a variety of unique entertainment events in movie theaters such as live performances of the Metropolitan Opera, top Broadway stage productions, major sporting events, epic concerts, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series, inspirational events and popular anime franchises. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes for unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live Digital Broadcast Network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 1,010 locations and 1,628 screens in 182 DMAs. The company also provides corporations a compelling national footprint for hosting employee meetings, customer rewards events and new product launches. For more information, visit FathomEvents.com.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kimjonard Hugo-Potter Supports Critical Navy Mission in the Middle East

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Hugo-Potter_Kimjonard

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David R. Finley Jr., Navy Office of Community Outreach

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN – Petty Officer 1st Class Kimjonard Hugo-Potter’s, an Anaheim, California, native, father served in the Philippine Army and encouraged him to give the military a shot.Now, 13 years later and half a world away at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Hugo-Potter serves at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) / U.S. 5th fleet.

“The most exciting part is just getting to serve in the Middle East,” said Hugo-Potter.

Hugo-Potter, a graduate of Gilbert High School, is a hospital corpsman at U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain.

“As a hospital corpsman, we are responsible for the overall health of our deployers,” said Hugo-Potter. “We provide medical and dental support with limited emergency treatment capabilities.”

Hugo-Potter credits success at U.S. 5th Fleet, and in the Navy, to many of the lessons learned in Anaheim.

“Back home, we have a very diverse population and I grew up being around people from different walks of life,” said Hugo-Potter. “This helps we while serving in the Navy because we have bases all over the world.”

U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.

“My job is very important because we are providing medical and dental care for sailors who deploy in the 5th fleet,” said Hugo-Potter. “We ensure they are always ready to perform their duty when called on.”

The Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of ocean, and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points; the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

“The fast operational tempo and busy schedule makes the time go by fast,” said Hugo-Potter.

Serving in the Navy means Hugo-Potter is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Hugo-Potter is most proud of the job he does as a hospital corpsman.

“One of the biggest accomplishments for me is to earn the respect of my sailors and Marines,” said Hugo-Potter. “Not a lot of people can say they have saved lives in the battlefield and I definitely have.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Hugo-Potter and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“As an immigrant, serving in the Navy is an opportunity to repay and show gratitude to the country who gave me all the possibilities to succeed in life,” said Hugo-Potter.

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson G. Brown