Fort Polk Guardian 04-03-2020

NewScope /3 Guardian April 3, 2020 Student personal items Vernon Parish Schools will now open their schools from9 a.m.-noon on Tuesday to allow parents to pick up their student’s personal items. If you need an essential item from school call on Tuesday between 9 a.m.- noon to set up an appointment to come in during the given hours, You may also email your pricipal. Email addresses can be found on the website directory. Principals are asking that only one par- ent enter the school with their child and that items retrieved should be essential items such as medication, prescription glasses, or high value items. Absentee voting If you want to vote absentee visit or stop by the Fort Polk Installa- tion Voting Office at 920 Bell Ricard Ave. Capt. Justin Smith is the installation voting assistance officer. Call him at 531-0886 or email . Resilience module The American Red Cross offers a free virtual resilience module titled “Stress Management and Relaxation” to anyone who lives or works on Fort Polk. Contact the Amertican Red Cross on Fort Polk at for more information of to schedule the train- ing. Family Life chaplains Soldiers, dependents and Department of Defense civilians can set up visual telecon- ferences with the Fort Polk Family Chap- lain from the comfort of home. Send an email to or call 531-1161 to request a time and day that works best for you. You will be sent a URL link by email. Click the link to begin a confidential coun- seling session. All you need is an adequate internet connection, a computer or smart phone and current military identification to get started. The Chaplain Family Life Center pro- vides faith sensitive counseling and trauma therapy to military individuals, couples and families in need. Family life teletherapy is end-to-end en- crypted confidential communication that is Health Insurance Portability and Account- ability Act (HIPAA) compliant for securing your protected health information (PHI), and is pastoral and clinically based for meeting behavioral, relational and spiritual needs. Briefs FORT POLK, La. — More than 500 Soldiers be- gan testing for the Expert Infantryman Badge and Expert Soldier Badge March 23 on the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk after a two-week train up. On March 27, 160 EIB candidates and 17 ESB candidates “survived” to compete in the final event — a 12-mile foot march in the heat and hu- midity of Louisiana. When the 3-hour time limit for the march ex- pired, 143 Soldiers had earned the EIB and 13 the ESB. The graduates received their badges in a ceremony on Fort Polk’s Honor Field that was streamed live on the JRTC and Fort Polk Face- book page due to social distancing constraints necessitated by COVID-19 concerns. Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, commander, JRTC and Fort Polk, joined the candidates for the march and said their willingness to conquer the grueling 12-mile foot march over an extremely difficult route and in energy-sapping humidity was a great professional accomplishment. “I’m very proud of them, both EIB and ESB,” Frank said. “It was outstanding vision by the Army to bring ESB in with EIB. Our next step will be to bring EFMB into this also — all three together.” Frank said comments from those who took part in the testing say volumes about the non- commissioned officers on JRTC and Fort Polk. “As you went around the site, what you saw were professional noncommissioned officers all across JRTC and Fort Polk,” he said. “It was a to- tal effort across the installation.” As for why he showed up at 3 a.m. to join the Soldiers for the foot march, Frank said the an- swer was easy: “I love being with our Soldiers. This is the essence of the Army this morning — to come out and do a 12-mile foot march with these Soldiers and to see them out there cheering each other on. They’re congratulating each other; it’s the camaraderie of being a Soldier. You gotta love it.” First Lt. Preston Bentley, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was the first EIB Soldier to cross the finish line. He said when he saw he had finished the foot march in less than 3 hours it was a great feeling. “I never have to do this again,” he said. Bentley said the key for him was hydrating the First Lt. Preston Bentley, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, is the first Soldier to cross the finish line of the 12- mile foot march, the final event in the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Soldier’s Badge testing March 27 at Fort Polk’s Honor Field. CHUCK CANNON / GUARDIAN Newest EIB, ESB graduates pin on badges By CHUCK CANNON Guardian editor Please see EIB , page 5