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FLETC Hosts Operation Warfighter Appreciation Ceremony

Glynco, GA Nov 15, 2011

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the U.S. Army Fort Stewart hosted a joint luncheon/ceremony to recognize the first anniversary of their partnership on the Operation Warfighter (OWF) Program and those individuals who were critical to its success at the FLETC in Glynco, Georgia, on November 9, 2011.

During the event, FLETC Director Connie Patrick and Fort Stewart’s Warrior Transition Battalion Commander Lt. Col. William Reitemeyer gave brief remarks and presented Department of the Army Achievement Medals to five civilians and two Soldiers.

These medals were presented in appreciation to those individuals who envisioned and implemented the OWF at the FLETC. The awardees are: (from the FLETC) Jim Bryant, human resources specialist; Ted Sparks, FLETC Cheltenham site director; Glenn Guy, instructor; Kirt Rothe, branch chief; and Matthew Joyner, instructor; (from the Fort Stewart Warrior Transition Battalion) Debra Dehart, occupational therapist; Master Sgt. Aaron Hoelzer and Staff Sgt. Tracy Smith.

According to Lt. Col. Reitemeyer, the actions of these awardees provided motivational and professional guidance to the Fort Stewart Warrior Interns assigned to the FLETC to ensure they received the best opportunity to learn the FLETC mission and prepare themselves for the transition to civilian life.

“The Fort Stewart Warrior Transition Battalion is the smallest in the US Army and yet we have over 10 percent of the participants. This is an amazing testament to the commitment of the FLETC and U.S. Army to assist our wounded, injured and ill Soldiers. It is the combination of Soldier and mentor that creates the learning environment and bond that develops, the positive impact on mental and physical healing, and just overall well-being that can occur when we put the two of them together,” said Lt. Col. Reitemeyer

The FLETC/Fort Stewart OWF pilot program began in November 2010 with three Warrior interns. Today there are 29 Warrior interns at the FLETC. In fact, veterans makeup 40 percent of the permanent FLETC workforce. The FLETC’s commitment to veterans is also evident through the more than $10 million dollars of contracts it has with veteran-owned businesses, with more than $8 million of that total going to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

“Through the Operation Warfighter Program, the FLETC empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries, but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success,” said Director Patrick.

The OWF Program, which was established in 2008, is a temporary assignment/internship program, developed by the Department of Defense, for service members who are convalescing at military treatment facilities -- initially in the National Capitol Region, but increasingly throughout the United States. The program provides recuperating service members with meaningful activity outside of the hospital environment and offers a formal means of transition back to the military or civilian workforce.

In remembrance of  Veterans Day,  Director Patrick said, “While we gather here to extend appreciation for those who established our Operation Warfighter Program, it is also a time to reflect on those who have made and continue to make extraordinary sacrifices in defense of our Nation.”

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