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Archive for the ‘DOD’ Category

03.26.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Cyberwar: hype or reality; the import of CISOs; and evolving virtual worlds

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Happy Monday… did you have a good weekend? Here in Washington, it was rainy and relatively cool… I say relatively because it was close to 80 on Friday.

Photo: Flickr member CrazyGeorge http://bit.ly/GRadZ2

On this date 20 years ago — 1982 — there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The design was controversial at the time — the names on slate layed into the ground between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument… but the site has become one of the most popular memorials in Washington. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was officially unveiled in November 1982.

Remember earlier this month, we introduced you to Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America. She is a remarkable person working to make government better. Code for America is a non-profit that provides fellowships for technology experts to work in city government. Well, CNN spoke to her over the weekend. And she told CNN that reforming city halls in America requires the talents of a new generation of technology and design experts. Remember she told us about Adopt-a-Hydrant — it’s one of the apps that a Code for America fellows wrote last year for Boston. And it allows Bostonians sign up to dig out a fire hydrant when they’re covered with snow. Good work.

A busy week ahead… Wednesday is Federal Computer Week’s annual Fed 100 Awards gala… some really remarkable winners this year. Read the full list of winners. It’s a great opportunity to remember some of the hard work that has gone on.

And then on Thursday, I’ll be at the Acquisition Excellence conference sponsored by the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council. I’m moderating a morning panel that focuses on Acquisition Strategies in the age of austerity and how agencies can balance their needs with the reduced budgets. It should be a fascinating discussion.

But here today… we have a good program…

  • Cyberwar — hype or reality? We’ll have an assessment of a professor of war studies.
  • And then a very different perspective… as everybody looks to do more with less, some state and local governments are cutting their Chief Information Security Officers. We’ll look at that issue… and ramifications.
  • It sounds like something out of Star Trek — remember the halodeck… but the future of Virtual Worlds is serious business. The 5th annual Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds Conference is coming up in May. We’ll take a look at how these virtual worlds have changed and evolved over the past five years.

All that ahead…

But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Monday the 26 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

DorobekINSIDER: DOD doing more with less, and Cureton’s Leadership Muse

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Our first broadcast…

The Leadership MuseOne of the topics we will discuss often is leadership. And the way people talk about it, leadership has almost mystical qualities. How many conferences have we been to where people say that almost any problem can be solved with more leadership. And these days, leadership has nothing to do with a title. There are leaders at ever level of every organization. So leadership — and the challenges of leadership — will be a staple of our conversation. Later on, we’re going to talk about one person’s leadership quest. Linda Cureton is the chief information officer at NASA and she is the author of the book, The Leadership Muse. The book has very little to do with the challenges of being a tech leader at the world’s preeminent space agency. It is about leadership — and how you get there. We’ll talk to Linda Cureton just ahead.

And just head… doing more with less… the age of austerity. Everybody is having to deal with budget challenges. And that is true at the Defense Department too. We’re going to talk to an expert about the options facing DOD — and what sequestration means anyway. That’s just ahead…

But we’re going to start off with the stories that impact your life for Monday 5 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

* The Office of Personnel Management is in some hot water over its Presidential Management Fellows. The leadership development program is geared towards entry level feds who envision a long career in public service. The Washington Post says that California Congressman Darrell Issa and Florida’s Dennis Ross are calling on the Obama administration to explain recent mishaps with a prestigious program. They say the current mismanagement is threatening the prestige and the government’s ability recruit future fellows.

* The Air Force’s flight plans just got a little lighter. The Air Force Air Mobility Command has awarded Phoenix based Executive Technology a roughly 10 million dollar contract for 18-thousand iPads. NextGov says the tablets will replace paper flight charts and manuals that currently weigh as much as 40 pounds.

*These days, it seems like every agency is turning to challenges to solve problems and come up with innovative ideas. But successfully launching a challenge is easier said than done. That’s where the Office of Management and Budget comes in. They’ve come out with an F-A-Q — frequently asked questions [PDF] — to help agencies stay in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and navigate different platforms like challenge.gov.

* After tornados ripped through parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia over the weekend, FEMA is on high alert. But so far, the states have not asked for federal aide. FEMA does have teams on the ground helping to assess the damage.

* How effective is the SEC? Much better, if you listen to officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC officials have been citing a jump in the number of enforcement actions last year as proof that an overhaul of the agency’s investigative force is bearing fruit. But an analysis by Bloomberg finds that claim isn’t supported by a detailed examination of the statistics. SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami has said that the unit filed 735 actions in fiscal 2011, but 31% of those weren’t new – they were follow-on administrative proceedings. If you exclude those, “the SEC filed 499 original cases last year, fewer than the 520 in 2009, the year before the reorganization.”

* And on GovLoop we’re talking citizen engagement…. you’re on all these social media platforms. Now what? That was the subject of a GovLoop webinar with Digital Gov Group. A few tips: Review your social media policies — make sure you have one — and train your folks about how to use these tools.

On the program today:

* DOD doing more with less: Todd Harrison is the Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. His analysis: Strategy In a Year Of Fiscal Uncertainty

* Linda Cureton is the author of The Leadership Muse. She is also the chief information officer at NASA. Her GovLoop post: Hero-Leaders: The Oasis in Today’s Desert of Leadership – Thoughts from Chapter 37 of The Leadership Muse

 

Written by cdorobek

March 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Posted in budget, DOD, Management

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: Finding needles in haystacks — and the changing government market

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GovLoop InsightsHey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome to the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek.

Each week, our goal is to where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

This week, we’ve talked about the challenges of dealing with big data. We’re going to tell you about a company that is going just that — for the intelligence agencies… for the Recovery Board… it’s a story of the Silicon Valley coming to Washington successfully, and it may also be an indication of the direction of government contracting. We’ll talk about the company Palantir.

And as we head into the weekend, we’ll have your weekend reading list… weekends are a time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work be innovative… to think outside of the box. We’ll have information about the DorobekINSIDER Book Club — it’s coming up on Tuesday Wednesday at the Adobe Government Assembly… and we’ll have details.

But… after the break… we start off as we do every week with a look at the week that was for government… for the first week of February 2012…

 

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Written by cdorobek

February 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

DorobekINSIDER: The 100 most read items for 2010

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Happy New Year! What a great time to look back – and look forward… and to think about fresh starts.

The coming months are going to be interesting, no doubt.

All week, I’ll bring the most read items across Federal News Radio’s programs – Mike Causey tomorrow; the Federal Drive on Wednesday; FederalNewsRadio.com on Thursday; and In Depth on Friday.

But today, the 100 most read items on the DorobekINSIDER:

POLL: What do you think of the proposed pay freeze?
Federal pay up over 400 percent since 1969
Managing the fear of cutbacks among federal workers
IRS releases TSP contribution limits for 2011
Obama orders cuts in federal building costs
DorobekINSIDER poll: Did OPM make the right decision to open DC offices on Friday?
TSP end-of-year deadlines approaching
Analysis: What the pay freeze means to feds
Thrift Savings Plan update
Boeing may be losing edge in Air Force tanker award
Why TSP calculators don’t always work
How safe are your federal benefits?
Chances good for passage of TSP/annual leave bill
More TSP participants taking out money early
Federal intern program violates hiring rules
OPM targets poor-performing feds
Toss out that time card, get more productive employees
Why your office fridge could be hazardous to your health
Should feds work on Columbus Day?
POLL: How will the new Congress affect your job?
Why there’s been a backlash against feds lately
Analysis: What will happen to your pay?
Obama: Federal jobs may stay vacant
POLL: How big is the ‘bad government worker’ problem?
DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
TSP contribution limits for 2011 explained
How to manage older workers
TSP funds climb in July
Super bar codes gaining popularity in U.S.
Do agencies keep poor performers on the job?
Long-term tips for your Thrift Savings Plan
Your wireless router could leave you vulnerable
Are teleworkers happier?
DorobekINSIDER: An open letter to OMB: Stop the public sector bashing
How to make that performance review work for you
Budget top issue at TSP meeting
Author explores age of entitlement in “The Narcissism Epidemic”
POLL: Deficit commission recs hit feds
Rep. Connolly: Pay freeze unfair to feds
Most TSP funds suffer losses in May
FBI shuts down Sentinel computer program
TSP funds show gains in October
New TSP website launches
Berry lauds agencies for vet hiring
How to tune out noise in your office
Analysis: Causey and Miller on the pay freeze
Cool Jobs: USPS preserves stamps in cave
New Air Force motto gets mixed reviews
Investors make slight shifts to higher-risk TSP funds
Al Qaeda magazine calls for attacks on D.C. government workers
Elective deferrals for your TSP explained
TSP readies for debut of L-2050
How to make telework really work
Why continuous monitoring is gaining popularity
DorobekINSIDER: OMB’s government performance self-assessment
DorobekINSIDER poll: What should be the federal government’s operating status for FRIDAY?
The TSP as a model for other 401(k)s?
For TSP investments, most play it safe
DorobekINSIDER: Back to work for feds in DC, OPM defends closure decisions
TSP updates website, automatic enrollment options
Grassley: DoD IG’s lax oversight results in fraud
Was the Smithsonian haunted?
Vampire killers under federal contract?
The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
Government still faces numerous teleworking challenges
2010 and Beyond: Causey on the ups and downs of the year
Board objects to proposed TSP fund
Causey on health plan options in Open Season
DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy
Analysis: What does public anger mean for feds?
Rule would change contractors’ hiring practices
Fantasy TSP – Are you in?
How to get more minorities, women to participate in TSP
Coast Guard Academy named top college
Dorobek Must Reads – June 2
Telework requires ‘culture change’
Poll results: Should feds work on Columbus Day?
Automatic enrollment in TSP starts next week
Fed satisfaction survey reveals vast amount of info
‘Government Doesn’t Suck’ rally puts human face on government
Causey: How agency budget cuts will affect you
Can a Facebook post get you fired?
Public-private pay gap is widening
Federal pay raises safe … for now
TSP numbers: Look past the short term trend
DorobekINSIDER: GSA reorganizes, Interior shuffles – and the CIO (apparently) moves
Survey: Performance reviews get poor ratings
Election watch 2010 – and what it means for porn
Hiring reforms could mean big changes for veterans
Will feds get a half-day off on Dec. 23?
Google sues U.S. government
Last-minute open season tips
How to get your TSP questions answered
Comments needed for TSP beneficiary designation
Can Facebook get you fired?
DorobekINSIDER: Helping out a Postal employee in a time of need
Inside the secret new Internet browser

DorobekINSIDER: It’s officially official: Takai named DOD CIO

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In a town that has become accustom to long and tangled appointments, this one may go down in the books, but it is officially official this morning: Defense Secretary Robert Gates named Teri Takai to be the Defense Department’s chief information officer, ostensibly replacing John Grimes, who retired in April 2009. Takai will start her new job on Nov. 7.
 

Takai is widely respected in the state CIO community having served most recently as the CIO for the state of California, where she carried out an enormous consolidation of the state’s data centers. Before that, Takai was the Michigan CIO.

Teri Takai

She was first rumored for the DOD CIO post back in February and then officially nominated in March, but that nomination was waylayed — and eventually withdrawn — as Defense officials reinvented the position.

And, in fact, there are changes to the post. Previously the DOD CIO also served as the Assistant Secretary of Networks and Information Integration. That part of the position is gone and Takai will just serve as the DOD CIO.

Takai is already building a strong team. Rob Carey, the former Navy CIO who is widely respected in the federal IT community, will serve as the deputy CIO. He replaces Dave Wennergren, who will leave his position of four years as the Defense Department’s deputy CIO to be the new assistant deputy chief management officer for the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Carey started in his new post yesterday.

The DorobekINSIDER also heard that Cheryl Roby will serve as Takai’s chief of staff.

While many are heartened that there is a named DOD CIO, there are still questions about the CIOs role within DOD.

Here is Takai’s note to the California CIO staff:

From: Takai, Teri@CIO
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 1:03 PM
To: CIO All
Subject: Thank You

Dear Friends and Colleagues, I have accepted a position in the Obama Administration as the Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Department of Defense, and my last day of service in California will be November 5, 2010.  Chief Deputy Director Christy Quinlan will be Acting Chief Information Officer during the transition. It has been a tremendous honor to serve as Governor Schwarzenegger’s chief technology advisor and State Chief Information Officer, especially during a critical time of change for California’s IT program.

When I arrived in Sacramento nearly three years ago, the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) had just been created in statute.  We set out to implement the Governor’s agenda to transform and modernize California’s aging technology infrastructure.  Starting next year, the California Technology Agency will move forward as envisioned by the Legislature and Governor as technology continues to play a vital role in delivering services to our constituents. Although there is still a lot to be done, so much has been accomplished thanks to the hard work, vision and support of Governor Schwarzenegger, Susan Kennedy, cabinet members, legislative leaders and IT professionals throughout the state.

I especially want to thank the agency and department CIOs for their leadership and many contributions to our community.  On behalf of the OCIO, we appreciate the support, interaction and time spent to dive with us into the details of policies and projects. Most of all, I want to thank the OCIO Team, including the Program Management Office, IT Policy Office, Office of Information Security, Public Safety Communications Division, Office of Technology Services, Enterprise Solutions and Services Unit and Executive Office for working so hard to serve the people of this state.  Whether working nights and weekends to move a data center with no interruption of service, building high-profile websitesor designing the next generation of emergency radio systems, the talent and dedication of our Team is unparalleled.  With the budget crisis, organizational changes and so many challenges to overcome, you have done such an incredible job, and with a great attitude and true spirit of public service.

I will miss working with you all – keep up the terrific work! I will cherish my time spent here in California and look forward to serving the public in my new position.

Teri Takai
State Chief Information Officer

Written by cdorobek

October 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Connecting Toy Story and government and innovation

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Toy Story 3 opened… big… great reviews… and a big box office.

What does that have to do with government?

But did you know that the technology that spurred the creation of Pixar was funded in the 1960s by… anybody? … the Advanced Project Research Agency, the precursor to today’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Yes, one of the biggest users of the Pixar-like animation technologies is the Defense Department — for simulations and other purposes.

Pixar Touch bookThat is one of the delicious facts that are packed in a wonderful bookThe Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company by David Price. The book is about the creation of Pixar. (Many more wonderful tidbits here, such as… did you know that Steve Jobs made big bucks from Pixar, not from Apple?)

The story is also one of remarkable innovation and learning to take risk. Wired magazine last month had a wonderful story headlined Animating a Blockbuster: How Pixar Built Toy Story 3.

Pixar has been owned by George Lucas… and then by Steve Jobs… back when it was a software company. Yes, Pixar was originally seen as a software company… and evolved into a movie studio — and one of the most successful movie studios out there. Pixar was sold to Walt Disney in 2006 for $7.4 billion, the studio has seven consecutive blockbusters.

The book also talks about the process of innovating — and taking risks.

The book is a fun read — and interesting even if you didn’t grow up in California. And as you watch the box office of Toy Story, the government can relish in the role it played in innovation.

Written by cdorobek

June 21, 2010 at 10:28 PM

DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy

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UPDATED… 5:20p ET

The Defense Department today issued its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy.

This afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to David Wennergren, the Defense Department deputy CIO, about the document. Find

Meanwhile, read it here or it is posted below:

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

February 26, 2010 at 1:18 PM

DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO

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The much respected California CIO Teri Takai will be named the Defense Department CIO, insiders confirm. She told her staff yesterday.

The Takai appointment was first reported by NextGov’s Bob Brewin, but the official announcement could come very soon, insiders say.

The DOD CIO post has been vacant since John Grimes retired in April 2009.

Takai is widely respected among state CIOs. She has served as the California CIO since December 2007. Before that, she served as the director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology from 2003 to 2007.

Takai has been expected to take a federal post. It just wasn’t clear what job she would take.

Brewin says:

If Takai gets the nod, she would be the first woman Defense CIO and the first without any experience in the military.

Takai’s bio from the State of California:

On December 6, 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Teri Takai as Chief Information Officer for the State of California. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, she advises him on the strategic management and direction of information technology resources as the state works to modernize and transform the way California does business with its citizens.

Prior to her appointment in California, Takai served as Director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT) since 2003, where she also served as the state’s Chief Information Officer. In this position, she restructured and consolidated Michigan’s resources by merging the state’s information technology into one centralized department to service 19 agencies and over 1,700 employees. Additionally, during her tenure at the MDIT, Takai led the state to being ranked number one four years in a row in digital government by the Center for Digital Government.

Before serving in state government, Takai worked for the Ford Motor Company for 30 years, where she led the development of the company’s information technology strategic plan. She also held positions in technology at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corporation. In 2005, Takai was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine. She is Past-President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves as Practitioner Chair of the Harvard Policy Group on Network-Enabled Services and Government.

Takai earned a Master of Arts degree in management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Written by cdorobek

February 4, 2010 at 4:46 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Operation Jump Start is a GO for tonight

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We told you last week about Operation Jump Start, the marvelous program that helps soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers.

Washington has a chance of snow tonight — and there have been a number of questions about whether the event was a go. I just got word — it’s a go!

From the organizers:

Like the service men and women we are honoring and serving tonight we are undaunted by threats of any kind and “OPERATION JUMPSTART VI WILL BE HELD TONIGHT AS PLANNED! So don’t let a few snowflakes stop you from coming out tonight. BE BRAVE!

And if you haven’t registered, you and your donation are welcome at the door!!

Last week, Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris spoke to Ed Meagher, who spearheads this event.

It’s a remarkable event to help some remarkable people.

Written by cdorobek

February 2, 2010 at 1:11 PM

DorobekInsider recommended event: Operation Jump Start VI – helping transitioning soldiers

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It’s just a few days away — and it is one of the most marvelous events of the year if you’re looking to help other people and have a dramatic impact on somebody’s life — it is called Operation Jump Start.

The long and short of it is this: Help soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers.

Suits from Operation Jump Start 2009

This is now the sixth year of Operation Jump Start, which is co-sponsored by the Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media, and TechAmerica — along with AFCEA Bethesda, ACT-IAC and AFFIRM— and it is open to anybody who wants to help.

Details:

Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Army Navy Country Club
1700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA

See coverage of last year’s event here. And hear Ed Meagher talk about the event from last year — we’ll be talking to him later this week.

More information is available on Facebook here… and I’ve posted some details below…

Register here

Or just donate here

As I’ve said before, one of the most touching parts of this event happens near the end of the evening when soldiers are trying on the suits.

But if you don’t have suits left over, there are other ways to donate.

SPECIAL NOTE: Organizers are only able to take items on that night only — this is a volunteer run organization so they don’t have resources to pick-up and transport items. That being said, if you want to get things to the event but you’re not able to get there on that night, if you can get it to me here at Federal News Radio 1500 AM in Northwest DC, I’ll make sure it gets there.

All the information is posted below:

Please join the organizing sponsors, Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media and TechAmerica on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 as we hold our sixth annual “Operation Jump Start VI” event to help the soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers. The event is also supported by AFCEA-Bethesda, AFFIRM and ACT-IAC and open to all who want to give.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Honorary Chair from our community – the Honorable Roger Baker, CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs.

Event Details
Please join us for hors d’oeuvres and the music of the Bank Street Band. There will also be a cash bar. We will also have special VIP visitors from Walter Reed Medical Center and anticipate a full house, so registration is required!

To Register: Please register online at https://1105govinfoevents.com/EventRegistration.aspx?Event=OJS10
Registrations will be accepted through January 30th. In case of Inclement Weather the day of the event, please check the website. IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND, and want to contribute – you can!! Go to: http://www.techamerica.org/donate/operation-jump-start.cfm?&nossl=1

Admission:
The price of admission is a donation to support the soldiers as they “jump start” their new career.
Suggested and valued donations are as follows:

Donations
All Phases: Cash donations
Cash donations are always appreciated and will go into a special, non-profit, tax-exempt fund established for the soldiers and their families. Make checks payable to the 501(c)3 organization The Aleethia Foundation, Tax id #51-0529300. This fund is used 100% to support special needs for the recovering soldiers and their families as they work to build new lives, whether it is a “first month/last month” deposit, bills forgotten while recovering or to meet other educational/emotional needs.

Phase 1: Still in the Hospital, Keeping in Touch, Building up Strength
1. Gift cards in $5 increments from Dunkin Donuts or Burger King (all at the hospital).
2. Gift cards for a nice meal out with the family – Macaroni Grill is close to Walter Reed
(Takoma Park/Silver Spring metro) – in increments no larger than $25 please.

Phase 2: Transitioning to the Work Force, Moving Up and Out
1. Dry-cleaned mens and ladies suits, coats, ties, etc. for office wear. This is not a
clothing drive; emphasis is on mint quality, not quantity. Donate only what you
would be proud to see our soldiers wearing as they dress for success on the way
to a new career.

PLEASE MARK CLOTHES with a TAG indicating the SIZE of the item (makes
disbursement easier).
SPECIAL NEED FOR LARGER SIZES 44 -48+!!
ALSO, formal wear for both men and women appreciated, as many of these soldiers and their spouses are invited to attend formal functions around town.

2. Gift Certificates to Target (daily shuttle), Macy’s, and Safeway (in increments of $20-25 denominations makes disbursement easier). All are within easy access of Walter Reed/Navy Bethesda.
3. Thumb drives
4. New Laptops

What has made this event so successful in the past is that everyone is there to give back to the soldiers for giving so much for us. Although the event is sponsored by several organizations and companies for monetary and organizational support, all are doing this for one purpose – the soldiers. Thank you.

Written by cdorobek

January 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM