On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

Talking With Dogs

April 24, 2015, 7:46AM

Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Rettschlag talks to his military dog, Onur, during Gunfighter Flag 15-2 on Saylor Creek Range, Idaho, April 15. Air Force photo by Airman Connor J. MarthAir Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Rettschlag talks to his military dog, Onur, during Gunfighter Flag 15-2 on Saylor Creek Range, Idaho, April 15. Air Force photo by Airman Connor J. Marth

Up and Away

April 23, 2015, 7:45AM

An E/A-18G Growler launches from the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean April 20. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. PerezAn E/A-18G Growler launches from the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean April 20. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez

Hot Topics for April 22

April 22, 2015, 2:54PM

A brief history of Iran-U.S. naval altercations as tensions rise near Yemen (Washington Post)

ISIL takes body blows in Iraq while affiliates grow elsewhere (USA Today)

Some Who Left: A New Wave Of Russian Emigration (Radio Free Europe)

Sailors split over switching to a single dress uniform (Navy Times)

Pilot For A Day

April 22, 2015, 2:43PM

Airman 1st Class Luke Locken helps a child try on flight gear during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilot for a Day event on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina earlier this month. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley J. ThumAirman 1st Class Luke Locken helps a child try on flight gear during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilot for a Day event on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina earlier this month. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum

Air Force Staff Sgt. Kimberly Daugherty, a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 249th Airlift Squadron, holds a model of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Air Force photo by David Bedard Air Force Staff Sgt. Kimberly Daugherty, a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 249th Airlift Squadron, holds a model of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Air Force photo by David Bedard Since early childhood, Air Force Staff Sgt. Kimberly Daugherty has admired service members, especially those who fly. The shiny wings displayed on their uniforms filled her with a sense of wonder, she said.

When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Daugherty said she always responded with the same answer: an astronaut or pilot.

Unfortunately, Daugherty’s dreams were dashed when her parents told her she would never fly due to poor eyesight. At an early age, she started wearing glasses to correct her vision.

"My dream was already squashed by the time I was 6 years old. I didn't know what avenues I had," said Daugherty, who’s now a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster with the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron.

Disappointed that she couldn’t fly, Daugherty said her early adult years were spent without direction.

"After graduating high school, I was working in useless jobs that weren't going anywhere," Daugherty said. "It was just working to work."

Before long, she found herself working as a blood donor technician at a local mall. Little did she know, her life was about to change for the better.

Find out what happened next.

All Smiles

April 20, 2015, 9:45AM

Army Spc. Jeffrey Mitchell and his daughter, Ava Grace, talk during a daddy and daughter relationship cruise in Savannah, Georgia, April 2. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen LowersArmy Spc. Jeffrey Mitchell and his daughter, Ava Grace, talk during a daddy and daughter relationship cruise in Savannah, Georgia, April 2. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers

Line Jump

April 17, 2015, 9:43AM

U.S. and British paratroopers perform a static line jump over Holland Drop on Fort Bragg, N.C. on April 11. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean MartinU.S. and British paratroopers perform a static line jump over Holland Drop on Fort Bragg, N.C. on April 11. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin

Corner Shot

April 16, 2015, 9:42AM

New York Air National Guard members conduct a training course on the firing range in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., on April 9. New York Air National Guard by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. MuncyNew York Air National Guard members conduct a training course on the firing range in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., on April 9. New York Air National Guard by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Muncy

Seahawk Hoist

April 15, 2015, 9:39AM

A member of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon 621 is hoisted by an HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter during a mine disposal exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class William SpearsA member of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon 621 is hoisted by an HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter during a mine disposal exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class William Spears

Shorefront Snipers

April 10, 2015, 11:41AM

A Marine fires downrange on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on April 8. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Julian TembladorA Marine fires downrange on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on April 8. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Julian Temblador

Army Spc. Brian Slocum’s mission is to serve and protect soldiers and family members on Army installations throughout the Kaiserslautern Military Community and beyond. Depending on the day, he could start as early as 2 a.m. and never know when his shift will end.

This is the life of a military police soldier.

The 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 92nd Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, is responsible for security and law enforcement on U.S. Army installations in Kaiserslautern and other areas of Germany.

Army Spc. Brian Slocum, a military police soldier, inspects a vehicle during a patrol April 8 at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Burnett Army Spc. Brian Slocum, a military police soldier, inspects a vehicle during a patrol April 8 at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Burnett The company has three shifts each day. The soldiers begin physical readiness training four hours before their shift starts to ensure patrols begin on time. Every patrol can be called in at any time for a height and weight assessment.

“As military police on patrol, it’s important that we uphold the Army standard,” Slocum said. “If a soldier is overweight or can’t pass an Army physical fitness test, it would reflect badly on the MP corps and our unit. We just can’t have that.”

Routine Start of the Day

After physical training, Slocum’s shift begins as he draws weapons and ammunition at the provost marshal’s office on Vogelweh Military Complex, followed by a shift change and team briefing. The patrol leaders present a different law-enforcement topic each day.

“Sometimes the briefing will cover how to respond to a domestic dispute; others it will cover how to detain someone,” Slocum said. “Our noncommissioned officers want to keep our tactics and procedures fresh in our minds, so we are always ready on patrol.”

After the soldiers complete their briefing and sign for their patrol cars, they inventory their their equipment. They also conduct basic preliminary safety and maintenance checks on their vehicles before the patrol starts.

“These soldiers patrol all over Kaiserslautern and all the way into Mannheim. We have one of the largest patrol areas in Germany,” said Army Sgt. Kenneth S. Farrell, an assistant squad leader with the 92nd MP Co. “These vehicles have to take us to all these places, and we have to have the proper gear when we get there. Attention to detail is extremely important.”

12 Hours On, 12 Off

With maintenance and inventories complete, Slocum can begin his patrol route. While patrolling in the KMC, he is responsible for conducting perimeter and fence checks, random access inspections and responding to emergencies within the community.

“Some days we can patrol for an entire shift and not have a single incident,” Slocum said. “We conduct our perimeter and security checks and stay ready to answer a call. Other days we respond to multiple calls from the community ranging from domestic violence to driving under the influence.”

As each patrol ends, Slocum and his fellow soldiers fuel their patrol cars, brief the incoming shift and turn in their weapons. As they go home, they know in 12 hours or less they will be back on duty, serving and protecting the KMC again.

“It is hard at times, working the long hours and not getting the same days off that other soldiers do,” Slocum said. “But when you help out on something big, like a child missing or a domestic violence incident, it’s all worth it. It’s worth it to help my fellow soldiers in this community.” 

Snow Slog

April 8, 2015, 11:07AM

Two M1A1 Abram tanks sit on a snowy hill during a Marine Corps Combat readiness evaluation on Fort Pickett, Virginia, on March 28. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexander MitchellTwo M1A1 Abram tanks sit on a snowy hill during a Marine Corps Combat readiness evaluation on Fort Pickett, Virginia, on March 28. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell

Put It There

April 7, 2015, 9:29AM

U.S. soldiers shake hands with Afghan children while patrolling through a village near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The soldiers are assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class David WheelerU.S. soldiers shake hands with Afghan children while patrolling through a village near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The soldiers are assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler

Filling Up

April 6, 2015, 9:25AM

Air Force Staff Sgt. Chance Italiano moves the refueling boom from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft into position to refuel a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle during Exercise Forceful Tiger near Okinawa, Japan, on April 1. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Maeson L. EllemanAir Force Staff Sgt. Chance Italiano moves the refueling boom from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft into position to refuel a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle during Exercise Forceful Tiger near Okinawa, Japan, on April 1. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Maeson L. Elleman

Goat Locker Challenge

April 3, 2015, 9:46AM

Navy Chief Petty Officer Alexander Thomas shuffles across an obstacle during the 2015 Goat Locker Challenge on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Norfolk, Virginia, March 30. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Danian C. DouglasNavy Chief Petty Officer Alexander Thomas shuffles across an obstacle during the 2015 Goat Locker Challenge on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Norfolk, Virginia, March 30. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Danian C. Douglas