Wednesday, May 27, 2009

9 11 The Army Reserve Responds

By Lt. Col. Randy Pullen Public Affairs and Liaison Directorate Office of the Chief, Army Reserve (OCAR)

As we approach the 3-month mark since that awful September 11 morning, the Army Reserve’s
response exceeds what was asked of it during the Vietnam War 33 years earlier and was faster than its Gulf War response 11 years ago. On April 11, 1968, a partial mobilization was announced. The Army Reserve’s share of this was 42 units. These units had an authorized strength of 5,869 soldiers. This partial mobilization took place three years after ground combat
troops had been introduced into Vietnam. It was also three years after Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had recommended a much larger mobilization. On September 14, 2001, three days after the terrorist attacks on America, President George W. Bush ordered a partial
mobilization of the reserves. As of November 27, eleven weeks after the attacks, 249 Army Reserve units had been called up, nearly six times as many as had been mobilized in 1968.
Almost 9,000 Army Reserve men and women have been mobilized, with another 2,000 Army Reservists supporting operations in an other-than-mobilized status. Iraq Revisited
The last partial mobilization of the
nation’s reserve components took place
during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
Although the number of Army Reservists
called to active duty has not reached the
84,000 activated for that conflict, the
timelines have been dramatically shortened.
Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2,
1990. On August 22, President George
Bush issued a Presidential Selected
Reserve Call-up. Executive Order 12743,
the partial mobilization authorization,
was not signed until January 18, 1991,
one day after the air campaign against
Iraq had begun.
“This indicates just how serious these
attacks were for America,” said Lt. Gen.
Thomas J. Plewes, Chief, Army Reserve.
“During the Gulf War, we had a
Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up less
than three weeks after Iraq invaded
Kuwait, but a partial mobilization did
not occur until five and a half months
Reservists Answer the Call
The first call-ups under the partial
mobilization took place on September
22. Just as in 1990, however, the Army
Reserve was already engaged before the
orders came down. By the time the first
units were called up, the Army Reserve
already had seven units, one installation,
six facilities and approximately 2,300
personnel involved in support of operations.
Most units and personnel were in
a training status.
Some Army Reservists had been
engaged even quicker. That had been
on the front lines of the “the first war of
the 21st century” at the Pentagon and in
New York City on September 11.
When American Airlines Flight 77 hit
the west side of the Pentagon and a
number of Army offices, Active Guard
Reserve (AGR) Lieutenant Colonels Victor
Correa and Isabelle Slifer, both assigned
to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff
for Personnel (ODCSPER), Headquarters,
Department of the Army, helped others
escape the building.
Correa was knocked to the floor by
the plane’s impact. He picked himself
up and helped others out of the room.
Coming across a badly burned man in
the hallway, he and some others lifted
up the man and carried him to safety.
Correa had to break through a jammed
fire door to get the man out of the
building. He went back again to help
more people. When the smoke became
so thick that he could not see, he started
shouting. “Listen to me! Listen to me!
Follow my voice!” People guided on his
booming voice and escaped the smoke
and flames.
On October 24, in a ceremony at Fort
Myer, Va., Secretary of the Army Thomas
E. White presented the Soldier’s Medal to
Correa for his valor on September 11, as
well as the Purple Heart Medal for
injuries he received that day.
Twenty-one members of ODCSPER,
soldiers and civilians, were among the
125 Pentagon workers killed in the
attack. One of the ODCSPER casualties
was AGR Lt. Col. David M. Scales, the
Personnel Policy Integrator. He had
transferred to ODCSPER from the Force
Programs Directorate, Office of the Chief,
Army Reserve (OCAR), in May 2001.
On October 10, Scales was posthumously
promoted to colonel. The Chief
of the Army Reserve presented his
widow and 12-year-old son his eagles, as
well as the Purple Heart and Legion of
Merit Medals. Col. Scales’ remains were
inurned with full military honors at
Arlington National Cemetery on October
AGR Lt. Col. Sean Kelly and a coworker,
Capt. Darrell Oliver, lifted a desk
off of a secretary. Oliver then put the
woman on his back and carried her out
of the Pentagon. Oliver also received the
Soldier’s Medal and the Purple Heart on
October 24.
Retired Army Reserve Col. William B.
Croom, Assistant Deputy, Office of the
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army
for Logistics and AGR Lt. Col. Douglas R.
Thomson, the Executive Officer and
Assistant for Army Reserve Logistics,
were both in their Pentagon offices
when the attack occurred. The force of
the impact was so great that it flung
people against the wall or out of their
chairs. Croom and Thomson went into
action immediately. Their concern was to
get people evacuated and to secure the
area. For seven hours after exiting the
building, Croom and Thomson assisted
medical personnel as litter bearers moving
injured people to a safe place, setting
up triage sites, and also acting as comforters
to soothe distraught victims
“I was just feeling like I needed to be
there to do whatever I could,” said
Also helping to treat the injured was
Col. Ed Wakayama, an Army Reserve
Medical Service Corps officer on a oneyear
tour of duty with the Director for
Operational Test and Evaluation, Office
of the Secretary of Defense. After exiting
the building, he helped perform triage
and administered IVs to those who were
in shock and who had lost body fluids.
He then turned to help the Red Cross in
setting up blood draw operations.
More Army Reservists headed to the
Pentagon from nearby Crystal City. Capt.
Calvin Wineland from OCAR Operations,
rushed from a computer class there to
check on his children at the Pentagon
childcare center. He found them and his
wife, Maj. Desiree Wineland, another
AGR officer assigned to OCAR in the
Public Affairs and Liaison Directorate.
All were safe in the area where the children
had been relocated after the plane
hit. Maj. Wineland had sprinted to the
childcare center from OCAR’s offices in
Crystal City.
Before he could take his family home
in their Sport Utility Vehicle, Capt.
Wineland was stopped and asked to take
a badly burned soldier to the hospital.
A multi-service group helped unload his
SUV and put the injured man in it. A
Navy sailor on a motorcycle volunteered
to lead Wineland, relatively new to the
Washington area, to a hospital.
Led by the sailor motorcyclist, they
made a mad dash for the hospital, running
over sidewalks, medians, and going
against traffic to get the wounded soldier
there. When they arrived at the hospital,
the motorcyclist admitted that he had
never been to the Georgetown Hospital
but somehow he led them directly there.
Days later, Wineland learned that one
of those who helped load the burned
soldier into his SUV was Army Reserve
Col. Robert O. Cortez, an Individual
Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) officer
with the Office of the Assistant Secretary
of the Army (Manpower and Reserve
Affairs). Cortez had been assisting with
the ARFPC meeting when the Pentagon
was evacuated. Following the attack, his
annual training at the Pentagon was
changed to annual training at OCAR
Operations where he met Wineland and
learned he was the SUV driver.
Fight the Fire First
The fire from the burning airplane and
reports of other airplanes approaching
the Pentagon kept the litter teams back.
They found other ways to support an
army of firefighters and other rescue
personnel that now descended on the
As soon as the Pentagon was hit, the
building housing most of OCAR in
Crystal City was evacuated. Many OCAR
staffers went to the Pentagon to see if
they could help. Most were turned back
by the police but some like medic
Master Sgt. Jacqueline Gopie, Medical
Policy NCO, and Lt. Col. Timon Oujiri, a
Legislative Affairs Officer who used to be
a mortuary assistant, were allowed
through the police lines. Like the others,
they were frustrated by the continuing
Pentagon fire and reports of inbound
aircraft from being able to go into the
building to find additional survivors.
They found other ways to help. Oujiri
started directing traffic to relieve the
flow of emergency vehicles in the congested
area. Maj. Michael Coughlin of
the OCAR Legal Counsel’s Office, became
the senior Army representative at the
on-site FBI Command Post, helping to
coordinate information. He later helped
set up the temporary morgue.
The Army Reserve Responds As vendors arrived at the scene to
bring support to the firefighters and rescue
workers, Swisher took charge of
coordinating their efforts. He also ran
back to his apartment and brought over
his pick-up truck to haul off trash.
When senior officers arrived and asked
who was in charge of this impromptu
logistics set-up, Swisher said that he was,
since no one had told him he was not.
They accepted his authority without
question. He continued his role as vendor
support officer-in-charge for the first
days following the attack.
Chaplains Pitch In to Help
Army Reserve Chaplain (Col.) Larry
Racster, Reserve Advisor to the Army
Chief of Chaplains, hurried to the
Pentagon and went to work. He set up a
central point near the crash site and
became officer-in-charge to a multi-service,
multi-denominational group of
chaplains ministering to first responders,
rescue workers, mortuary teams, Red
Cross, Salvation Army and other volunteers.
These chaplains went into the
Pentagon with the rescue and recovery
teams. They also counseled and prayed
with anyone and everyone, conducted
religious services on-site, and debriefed
rescue and recovery workers going off
As the chaplain “company commander,”
Racster kept a close eye on the
chaplains under his charge in the busy
and difficult days that followed
September 11, moving several of them to
other duties when they showed signs of
extreme stress themselves.
While all this was taking place at the
Pentagon, there was an even greater
tragedy unfolding in New York City.
Army Reservists were at “Ground Zero,”
too. Among the thousands of people in
the World Trade Center and the hundreds
of firefighters and rescue workers
lost while trying to rescue them were a
number of Army Reserve soldiers.
“Among the hundreds of firefighters
who lost their lives when the twin towers
collapsed are at least five of our own
— Army Reserve soldiers carrying out
their civilian jobs to help their fellow
citizens, “ said Plewes, one week after the
attacks. “We are still learning of others
who are missing.”
Many of the first to respond came
from the South Manhattan District fire
battalion. The fire battalion commander
is Bill Blaich, an Army Reserve colonel
who is an Individual Mobilization
Augmentee with the Military Traffic
Management Command (MTMC).
Days later, he was able to get to a
computer and send out an email,
explaining to his superiors at MTMC
that he was unable to be activated for
Reserve duty. He had been on the
Staten Island Ferry moving to the World
Trade Center when Tower 1 collapsed.
“This week has been a horror,” he
wrote. “Lower Manhattan collapsed. I
can’t answer your request for 72-hour
activation at this time. As soon as the
situation stabilizes I will gladly toss my
name into the ring.
“Regards to all and thanks for keeping
me in your thoughts. A little prayer for
the missing wouldn’t hurt either. We’re
looking for over 350 firefighters alone.”
His firefighter son was had been in
Tower 1 when it collapsed. Blaich called
his wife when he found out he had been
found alive and gave her the one-word
answer that meant their son was okay:
Blaich is a Vietnam veteran. An Army
Reservist since 1972, he was called up for
duty during the Gulf War and later for
Haiti. Now he is a veteran of a new war.
Quick Response
Among the first units to respond to
the World Trade Center disaster was the
77th Regional Support Command (RSC),
which is headquartered in Flushing, N.Y.
Key to the 77th’s quick reaction were a
trained and functioning Emergency
Operations Center and responsive units.
Hundreds of support items were appropriated
and delivered in short order to
assist in the disaster recovery effort. A
laundry and bath unit quickly set up to
support the mortuary operation.
Equally quick to respond and critical
to the recovery efforts were Army
Reserve Emergency Preparedness Liaison
Officers, who arrived on scene immediately
to facilitate support requests from
civilian agencies as quickly and effectively
as possible.
Army Reserve units and soldiers
around the country were soon coming
forward to serve in the aftermath of
September 11.
“As speedy as the partial mobilization
was — the President ordered it on
September 14 and the first Army Reserve
units were called up under it on
September 22 — Army Reserve men and
women were even quicker,” said Plewes.
Army Reserve Military Police units
were soon providing force protection,
security, investigation and port security
support at locations nation-wide.
Others provided garrison and headquarters
augmentation and logistics support.
They served as volunteers in a training
status until the call-ups began, then
Holiday Message
from the CAR
Even with the unprecedented events
of September 11, this has been a
year of success and accomplishment
for the Army Reserve. This year
started on a high note. Once again, the
nation’s military — to include Army
Reserve soldiers from Fort Meade, MD —
took part in that great ceremony of
American democracy, the inauguration
of a freely elected President in January.
We completed the 10th anniversary
commemoration of the Persian Gulf
War, honoring our great Army Reserve
veterans and pausing to remember the
sacrifice of our comrades lost in that
By the mid-point of 2001, the longawaited
dream of a third star for the
Reserve Chief had become a reality, a
tribute to the achievements and hard
work of every citizen-soldier and
recognition of the importance of the
Reserve to the nation.
Army Reserve soldiers continued to
live the Army Reserve vision by serving
honorably and well across the globe, by
being trained and ready, by continuing
to be the most diverse of all the reserve
components and by continuing to
stride forward in Army Transformation.
And then came September 11.
I can only repeat the sentiment that
so many others — to include President
Bush and Mayor Giuliani — have said:
this was not only America’s worst day
but also its finest.
As unimaginable horror came to our
country, Americans rose to the occasion.
There were heroes everywhere that
day, in New York City, at the Pentagon
and in the skies over Pennsylvania.
These heroes were citizens and citizensoldiers.
All Americans are proud of
We in the Army
Reserve are especially
proud of our own who
displayed the highest
qualities of courage
and selflessness on
September 11, whether
that meant rushing
into the World Trade
Center, helping injured
comrades out of the
burning Pentagon or
organizing rescue and
recovery activities,
regardless of personal
safety concerns. We
will never forget what
they did.
As the flames continued
to be fought at
the Pentagon and in
New York, the Army
Reserve went into
action all across
America. Thousands
of trained and ready
Army Reserve men
and women came forward,
first as volunteers and then in
response to the partial mobilization
ordered just three days after the attacks.
They came quickly, more quickly
than ever before, conducting hasty
mobilizations or mobilizing on the go.
Arriving at their places of duty, they
immediately started their missions:
force protection and security at installations
and facilities, intelligence and
investigation support, training and
training validation, headquarters augmentation
and historical documentation,
logistics and transportation operations.
Whatever the National
Command Authority needed the Army
Reserve to do, we did it.
Two months after the attacks, there
are almost 10,000 Army Reserve soldiers
on duty, accomplishing the core competency
missions mentioned, as well as
other assignments. They are part of
the more than 50,000 members of the
nation’s reserve components on duty
today defending the homeland. All of
them put aside their own lives and
concerns for the good of the nation.
No acts of terror could ever deter patriots
like these.
Backing up these magnificent men
and women is a united nation. One
part of this nation is particularly supportive
— that quiet group of heroes
who are the family members, those
who support and love their citizen-soldiers
with all their strength.
At this special time of year and with
all the uncertainty we face as we continue
the struggle against terrorism, let
us remember the unconquerable
strength that resides within our national,
Army Reserve and personal families.
Now, more than ever, celebrate and
enjoy the closeness of family and
I wish all of you a very happy holiday
season and a happy new year.
LTG Thomas J. Plewes
Chief, Army Reserve

most of these units and individuals
simply changed their duty
status but continued doing
these vital missions without
missing a beat.
An example of how quickly
the Army Reserve could go into
action was that of the 311th
Quartermaster Company
(Mortuary Affairs) from
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
The mortuary affairs soldiers
of the active Army’s 54th
Quartermaster Company from
Fort Lee, Va., were on site at the
Pentagon by September 12. It
was soon clear that more highly
trained mortuary affairs specialists
were needed to recover the
remains from the Pentagon with
the efficiency, dignity and
honor required.
Those specialists were in the
Army Reserve and they were in
Puerto Rico. The call went out
on September 14 to the 65th
Regional Support Command,
the 311th’s higher headquarters.
The first 85 soldiers from the
company left Puerto Rico that
same day.
They were at work in the
north parking lot of the
Pentagon on September 17,
working side-by-side with the
FBI, searching tons of debris for
evidence and human remains.
The 311th had been called up,
deployed and started operations
within 72 hours.
“This unit mobilized here, not
at home station,” Plewes said.
The rest of the company,
another 105 men and women,
joined the first 85 soldiers on
September 26.
For some of the 311th’s soldiers,
the first drill with the unit
since graduating from
Advanced Individual Training
(AIT) at Fort Lee had been the
one on September 14.
One of these was Pvt. 2
Wilnette Perez-Padilla, who
graduated from AIT on August
No Shortage of Volunteers
“They asked for volunteers,”
she said. “My hand went up.
It’s a sad situation but I’m
extremely proud to be here to
help our nation.”
Before she began work on the
17th, she first met someone who
wanted to thank her and her
fellow reservists, President
George W. Bush. Perez-Padilla
was present when the
Commander-in-Chief shook
hands with members of the
Reserve and Guard called to
duty at the Pentagon. When
told that the 311th was an
Army Reserve company from
Puerto Rico, the President
exchanged a few words in
Spanish with the company
commander, 1st Lt. Hector
After also meeting the Chief
of the Army Reserve, Perez-
Padilla and her fellow 311th
soldiers were soon in biohazard
going through the debris. The
first, working in two 12-hours
shifts, they went truck 14 trucktrailers
full of rubble.
It was a difficult mission but
the younger soldiers were
under kept under the close eyes
of a strong core of experienced
leaders. Several of their NCOs,
to include 1st Sgt. Jose Santiago,
had been with the company
when it deployed to the Persian
Gulf and knew first-hand the
sort of work being done and
the signs of stress to watch for
among the mortuary specialists.
The company makes sure the
soldiers make frequent phone
calls to family members back
home. There have also been
video-teleconference sessions
from Washington to the families
gathered in the reserve center
in Puerto Rico.
Having finished the mission
of recovering remains and
pieces of remains from the
Pentagon, the 311th took on the
mission of collecting and processing
personal effects from
the victims and the damaged
Pentagon offices. It a way, it’s
as emotionally troubling as
their previous mission. Each
item belonged to someone or
was important to the people in
the office, people who are no
longer living.
Fifty days after September 11,
there are thousands of Army
Reservists like those of the
311th on duty, doing a multitude
of missions in support of
the recovery efforts and
Homeland Security.
Among the missions being
performed by Army Reserve
units and soldiers are the following:
security and force protection,
intelligence support,
headquarters and garrison augmentation,
mortuary affairs,
port security, engineer support,
traffic management, communications
support, investigation
support, historical documentation,
training and validation of
the readiness of activated
reserve component units.
Further demands by the
National Command Authority
may be made for the capabilities
already used as for additional
Army Reserve capabilities
to support operations against
the terrorists and to help
humanitarian relief efforts.
One month after the attacks, the
Chief of the Army Reserve
addressed what the Army
Reserve had done and what it
may be called upon to do. His
words still apply at the 50-day
mark and for as long as the
nation may call on the citizensoldiers
of the Army Reserve.
“For a month, we have been giving
our national leaders a lesson
about the capabilities, experience
and dedication of the Army
Reserve. For a month, we have
been demonstrating a small part
of what we can do all across
America today. We are ready.
Our nation needs us. We will
do what needs to be done.”
Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Plewes October 11,
(Lt. Col. Gloria Davis and Capt. Rebecca
Leggieri of the Public Affairs and Liaison
Directorate of OCAR and Sgt. 1st Class
Anthony J. Martinez of the 96th RSC
Public Affairs Office contributed to this

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