Fort Polk Guardian 11-01-2019

4/ Guardian Nov. 1, 2019 Army news Army wrestler takes silver at Military World Games WUHAN, China — One of the Army’s fiercest competitors on the wrestling mat isn’t what you’d ex- pect. Standing at 5 feet and 3 inches tall with long blonde hair, this Sol- dier took silver during the 7th CISM Military World Games here. Staff Sgt. Whitney Conder, from Puyallup, Washington, has been a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, for the past six years. She and 11 members of the Armed Forces Wrestling team were selected to represent the United States in the CISM wrestling compe- tition, which featured Greco-Roman as well as men’s and women’s freestyle. Conder, who has been wrestling since she was eight years old, said, “I grew up watching my brothers wrestle who are eight and 10 years older than me. While watching them as a little kid, I was like I want to try it too, so my dad started coaching me until I started junior high school. “I wrestled on the Puyallup High School boys’ team and I ended up being the first girl in the state of Washington to place in the state competition.” In China, she competed in the women’s freestyle 50-kilogram events and took on Belarus wrestler Kseniya Stankevich during her first match. Conder won the match 9-2. “I knew she was a tougher oppo- nent. She could be down at the be- ginning of the match, but come back and win the match,” Conder said. “For me, I just had to focus on wrestling a really smart match. I was scoring and I had to think, OK this is where she turns it on. She got a takedown because I let her and I was able to pin her when she tried to turn me.” During her second match, Con- der defeated Egyptian wrestler Nada Ashour with a score of 11-0. “Whitney has been my teammate for a quite a while,” said Sgt. Ellis Coleman, who wrestled Greco-Ro- man at 97 kg. “I didn’t expect any- thing less than that out of her. I knew she was going to get a medal and I think they’re just going to pile on for her.” Conder had competed against Ashour before and knew she was a strong opponent. She looked for weaknesses before turning her to score points. “I talked to my coach before the match to remind me of what to do against her, but I had to go with what worked,” Conder said. “You can go in with a strategy, but you use what you can to get points.” The team’s coach, Staff Sgt. Spenser Mango, said even though Conder lost gold to China, it came down to a couple of small mistakes. “It was a very close match, but I think we’ve all learned from that match,” Mango said. While Conder lost to China’s Li Yuan, 6-5, she said that she was grateful to be able to represent her country, the military and her family. “I am thankful for my team and their support, as well as my family,” she said. “I’m so glad to be here and doing what I love.” Army Staff Sgt. Whitney Conder with the U.S. Armed Forces Wrestling Team competes against Egypt in the 50 kg. weight class at the Council of International Sports for Military games (CISM) in Wuhan, China Oct. 22. SPC. 1st CLASS IAN CARVER/ARMY NEWS SERVICE Dislocation allowance now available before PCS moves FORT MEADE, Md. — Soldiers and their Fam- ilies can now receive dislocation allowance ahead of a permanent change of station move after the Army updated its policy to reduce the burden of moving. The new policy was effective Oct. 10, when Gen. James C. McConville, chief of staff of the Army, and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. Mc- Carthy signed the policy. Soldiers who possess an individually-billed government charge card are eligible for the advance payment. Dislocation allowance, or DLA, partially reim- burses Soldiers for the expenses incurred while relocating to a new duty station on PCS orders. Payment rates can range from about $978 to nearly $5,000, based on rank or if a Soldier has dependents. The allowance does not have to be paid back. The change comes after McConville asked for a review of certain policies to alleviate the peak PCS season that occurs every summer. “His intent was to try and lessen the burden of a PCS move on Soldiers and Families,” said Lar- ry Lock, chief of compensation and entitlements at the Army’s G-1 office. “This was just one of those areas that we took a look at and saw that we had the policy flexibility to make those changes.” The new policy modifies a 2014 policy that di- rected government charge cards to be used for all PCS travel and relocation expenses. That policy, officials said, was to benefit cardholders so they wouldn’t have to pay for moving expenses out of their own pocket. Officials still urge Soldiers to use their travel cards for PCS moves. “The new policy change only affects DLA,” Lock said. “The policy still requires the use of the government travel card for all other travel al- lowances.” To request a DLA advance, Soldiers need to fill out the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Form 9114. Or, they can receive the DLA after their move is completed when they fill out their Defense Department Form 1351-2 travel voucher. The Army is also pursuing efforts to ease other challenges during PCS moves. One initiative be- ing considered is getting Soldiers their orders 120 days before their PCS date, said Maj. Gen. Michel M. Russell, G-4 assistant deputy chief of staff. Further, the Army is developing a knowledge- based smartphone application to assist with the household goods, or HHG, process, he said. The app will streamline all HHG resources and poli- cies into one location, allowing Soldiers and their families to discover benefits that can help them before, during and after the HHG process. “People are not aware of all the benefits that they have,” Russell said at the forum. “One of the things that we’re going to get after is making sure everybody understands how to empower themselves and take back the household goods move.” McConville said the Army is looking to incen- tivize “do-it-yourself” personally procured moves for Families interested in doing so, which could put less strain on commercial movers dur- ing peak periods. Soldiers are now eligible for 95 percent, and sometimes up to 100 percent if approved, of what the government would pay a commercial mover as part of a personally procured move. The change to an automatic 100 percent pay- ment for PPMs, which currently make up less than 2% of all PCS moves, is currently being worked on. Lock said it was a necessary thing to do to help Soldiers and Families. “If we have the flexibility to do it,” he said, “without bringing on additional burden adminis- tratively for the Army and at the same time help- ing Families, it’s a win.” By SEAN KIMMONS Army News Service By Petty Officer 1st Class GULIANNA DUNN Army News Service