To: 1998 JSR Commander
From: SGT Grose, 1997 JSR Commander
SUBJECT: JOINT SERVICE REVIEW TURNOVER
Congratulations to you for aspiring to the rank of Joint Task Force Commander. In the upcoming months, you will have numerous responsibilities and endless hours of work. If you work hard and have good people working for you, your reward will be an outstanding Review. This document will serve as a turnover and a collection of advice. I suggest you become familiar with it so you do not duplicate mistakes. Re-inventing the wheel seems to be the yearly theme for this event. Above all, work hard, lead well, and have fun.
What is JSR? The Joint Service Review (called Governor’s Day Review if the Governor attends) is not just simply an awards ceremony nor just a hassle we as ROTC members must endure. JSR is a ceremony we are privileged to organize and perform for the benefit of the attendees. These attendees are the family and friends we swear to protect. These attendees also include military heroes, distinguished men and women who have proven themselves worthy of our respect. All of them look to us as the present and future of the organizations they dedicated a large portion of their lives to. We have the honor and the privilege to show them the quality of men and women entering our armed forces today. Ensure your staff understands this.
I received a two page, hand-written passdown from 1996. Needless to say it was inadequate but I had been the MC in 1995, the adjutant in 1996, and the Commander in 1997 so I had some good experience. This does not mean I did not run into problems and that is why you need to read this turnover. My goal from the start was threefold. First, I wanted to put on the best review in ROTC history. Second, I wanted to purge the turnover jacket of irrelevant information. Third, I wanted to provide a thorough passdown, unlike the one I received. You are the beneficiary of my work so I hope you use it well.
This document is divided into five sections: JTF, XO/OPS, PAO, ADJ, and MISC. I tasked each one of my staff to contribute a record of their experiences, opinions, advice, gripes, and responsibilities during the entire evolution in order to provide your staff with individual turnovers. I compiled a list of miscellaneous information in the last section.
You should have the turnover binder and a set of disks that have all our work on it. We tried to document everything. The binder is broken into sections much like this document. I have left in what I think is pertinent information. All sections should have subsections for schedule and turnover, and then for specific responsibilities. You should also have video tapes of the 1996 and 1997 JSR’s.
I will most likely have an email account through AOL or some other provider. You can get with the Navy ROTC for my address and contact me with any questions not covered in this passdown. Again, good luck and work hard.
Joint Task Force Commander (JTF)
You are the boss. This does not mean you must be bossy but it does mean that you will have to answer for everything done (and not done) up until the day you turn over the billet. Holding the billet of JTF Commander will test everything you know about leadership. Here is what I suggest you do.
1. Read the turnover jacket from front to rear and rear to front. Know everything there is to know about the entire event including everyone else’s job.
2. Sit down and figure out a plan. Figure out what you are going to do the same and what you are going to do differently. This is “big arrow” stuff; do not delve into the minutia. See “Letter of Instruction” below.
3. Get your staff together and tell them your plan. Tell them how you want things to run and what you expect from them from the start. Approach this project as a team.
I rearranged the responsibilities and tried to distribute them evenly. I made MIDN Lowe my XO/OPS because I know I could trust him and he would be more available over the course of the event. I should have split this into two separate billets because he was overworked. The responsibilities are summarized below:
JTF Commander: SGT Grose
1. Operations order
Executive Officer / Operations Officer: MIDN 2/C Lowe
1. Awards process at ceremony
2. Awards / trophy organization
3. Guest social / reception
5. Drill teams
6. Color Guard
7. Back up JTF and be ready to assume command
Public Affairs Officer: Air Force
1. Contact media
4. Ceremony (setting up, tearing down)
Each of these responsibilities will be discussed in the individual sections of this turnover so I will begin with my specific responsibilities.
Letter of Instruction (LOI)
The LOI is a document that gives your official game plan for the event. It is a pretty standardized document so the only thing you have to do is update it with both the changes you make and the dates/times. It is a good source for keeping yourself on track and should be the first thing that you do.
Oh, boy. This is one of the “easiest in theory but hardest in reality” jobs you have. The problem I had was that I was a Marine enlisted man trying to squeeze money out of colonels. I did not carry much weight and had no leverage. Unless you are enlisted, you will probably have even less. My suggestion is to have your CO handle all money-collection matters. It’s a fight best left to the “birds.” This will not absolve you from the budget organization. Make a budget and then let your colonel do the collection.
You should have three phases to the budget. First, the initial budget. Go from my budget and work with those numbers. Second, a revised budget about a month before the event. Third, a final budget for next year’s commander.
University of Washington Tri-service Review Budget (UWTSRB): This is a $1800, two-year budget provided by the University. 1997 was on the tail end of this so you will have a full two-year amount in the budget. You can only spend half of this. Use this for parking, catering, and printing (If Air Force is unable to use McChord AFB printing services).
ROTC Facilities Budget:
This is the same budget we use to reserve HecEd for morning drills. Use this for reserving HecEd facilities and equipment for the ceremony. You can get the budget number from the Navy Supply Officer or your cadre.
This is each service’s amount they are responsible for. These contributions should be made to the UWTSRB and then you make payments by submitting receipts and a request to the University. A cadre member (Supply officer) should be used to do this paperwork
1. Reception Catering:
Use Eddie’s Catering. He does the best job and gives a discount: $1200 flat which includes everything (tax, gratuity, etc.) I highly suggest you stay with him. You must submit a request to the UW budget and they will send him a check. He is flexible about this arrangement and knows he will get paid after the event.
Printing: Try to use McChord AFB to save on costs
Copies: You need copies of the maps and invitation letter
Envelopes: Get with the Navy
Postage: Get with the Navy
3. Programs: Get these done early and try to use McChord AFB
4. Parking: Read about this under “MISC.”
How to figure contributions from each service:
Total costs - UWTSRB - Facilities Cost = Cost to each service
The Navy does not have allocated funds so they will pay in the form of services. They will pay for all envelops and postage. The Air Force can use McChord AFB printing services to print the invitations and copies of the maps that go in the invitations. These costs should be subtracted from the Air Force contribution amount.
This responsibility covers two aspects. You must hold both staff meetings and meetings with the CO’s.
With the staff, I made it simple: Each week we had three parts to the meeting: What they accomplished last week, what I assigned for the current week, and discussion of any problem, concerns, and/or suggestions. This kept the meetings short and I held each staff member responsible and accountable. I took notes and used the previous week’s notes as a template for the next meeting. YOU MUST PREPARE FOR THESE MEETINGS BY KNOWING WHAT YOU ASSIGNED AND HAVING THE NEW ASSIGNMENTS READY. I suggest you have outlines of each meeting to hand out and make your staff fill them out during the meeting.
One of the hardest things was finding a suitable time for everyone to meet. Try to establish this meeting time early and hold your staff accountable for showing up and showing up prepared. This event spans over two quarters so be prepared to make new meeting times as schedules change.
Meetings with the Commanding Officers: As soon as you get on your feet, set up a meeting with the CO’s. This, in itself, is a feat. You will get your exercise going from deck to deck trying to juggle three schedules. It is important that you take the initiative on this because they will be impressed if you are proactive. Presentation is half the game so come prepared, confident, and in immaculate uniform. Have a presentation ready and handouts for all of them, plus a couple extra for unexpected participants.
Your meetings should consists of an introduction, what you have done, what you are doing, and what you are working on. It should have specific questions you want to ask and be prepared to answer a variety of questions. Everything from your end should have a positive spin. If the CO’s lose confidence in you, your job will be infinitely harder.
You have to take advantage of these meeting because you will not get very many shots to have them all together. Nail down budget agreements right away with SPECIFIC AMOUNTS.
Finally, set up update meeting for every two weeks. I failed to do this and it came back to haunt me. Set up meetings for every two weeks and get them on all the CO’s schedules. this will force you to plan out and meet milestones while keeping the CO’s informed, happy, and available to defuse problems.
The bottom line is that you want to show them that you know what you are doing and everything is going fine. If things are not going fine, these meetings are opportunities to go to the top with specific problems but this should only be used as a last resort.
You must set up practice times the week of the event. These times must be given to wings/battalion as soon as possible. I suggest you set up to following times:
Key Staff (JTF Staff, Wing/Battalion Commanders, Guides, Squad leaders, MC, Drum, Color Guard)
Two last things I will suggest about the practices. First, you and your staff must know their parts before the first practice. This means you must know your spoken parts, the script, and your movements precisely. Second, let the Gunny (Assistant Marine Officer Instructor) from the Navy deck take charge of the practices. Be warned that he will in no way be easy nor forgiving but without him, you will not be able to have a successful ceremony. He is an expert at ceremonies and teaching those who participate in them. Be prepared to be stressed but for the love of God, do not cross him.
Like I stated earlier, you are responsible for everything done or left undone. While I cannot outline every detail for you, I will try to highlight points of interest, confusion, etc. in the miscellaneous section..
EXECUTIVE OFFICER / OPERATIONS OFFICER (XO/OPS)
Starting up and designating Joint Task Force staff.
This year the JTF staff was designated much too late. Compared to the last few years, this was done nearly 2 months behind schedule. Because of this, duties were assigned behind schedule and the staff as a whole got a late start on the entire operation. Many problems were caused, including the late compiling of the guest list and the late sending of the invitations.
Operations would run smoother and tasks would be assigned and completed in a much more efficient manner if the JTF staff were designated by December of the year preceding the next Joint Service Review. Then the staff could formulate and assign tasks beginning in January. This would alleviate many problems from a late start.
The establishment of an Executive Officer position. This has not been done in the recent years past. The goal was to create a role to which the rest of the staff (ADJ, PAO) would be accountable, allowing the JTF Commander to concentrate on the big picture instead of dealing with the minute problems of every staff member. This year the XO position was combined with the OPS position.
The XO position is a job in itself. Accountability for the rest of the staff and to the JTF Commander is of utmost importance. It also requires much time and energy. Combining this position with OPS makes for a very busy billet, and can take the attention of OPS away from his traditional duties.
The establishment of a separate XO position, filled by one who performs only XO duties, would free this person to concentrate solely on accountability and allow OPS to concentrate on operations.
In early February, the entire JTF staff was designated. Cadet Joseph Albrecht was named our ADJ. He compiled and completed our massive guest lists and composed initial parking and transportation plans. Yet about 1.5 weeks before the actual ceremony, he quit his post without any prior warning.
Cadet Albrecht's replacements (Cadet Zerline Danseco and
Cadet Rob Johanek) performed in an outstanding manner. Yet, having Albrecht do all the initial
work, the quit, was a serious glitch in our operations. To be honest, Danseco and Johanek impressed
me more that did Albrecht, but the point still remains that his replacements
were forced to catch up on months of work and push on in just a few days.
Cadet Albrecht gave early indications of deficient performance. I believe that if, at that time, a replacement had been found--one that could prove his/her abilities--the that person would have had much more time to get into gear. I believe that settling for this deficient work put us back significantly and stalled much of our progress. Ensuring that the ADJ gives not even a sign of slowness is a key to a successful ceremony.
The Hec Ed staff did not seem to take kindly to our operation. They were unable to perform those duties promised to us months before the ceremony. These duties included clearing the floor of bleachers and pulling the usable bleachers all the way out. They were
also very slow in other efforts, including the drapery of the stage and stairs, and the addition of chairs and tables.
Without these changes at Hec Ed, we were forced to compromise much of the ceremony. Guests were unable to reach the lower bleachers from above and forming up the battalions/wing was an unnecessarily difficult process.
If the Hec Ed staff do not cooperate, informing the host Commanding Officer is a primary task. These battles are fought with birds, not with MIDN/Cadet stripes!
The UW Parking Division was unable to provide the service promised us. They did not give us as many parking passes as promised and they basically informed us that next year's staff would not be received nicely. They just don't like us down there.
A good parking plan is essential to JSR. Without cooperation from the Parking Division, this is impossible.
Tread lightly. Be nice.
The guest lists were completed much too far behind schedule. Thus, the invitations could not be sent out in time.
Without early notice, some guests were unable to plan their schedules accordingly or RSVP in time.
Start the lists early. Ensure that this is the ADJ's primary initial duty.
The Joint Service Review has originally been called the Governor's Day Review, with the idea that the Washington State Governor would attend and speak. This year, we had the King County Assessor.
Getting the Governor to attend gives the JTF staff a LOT of pull when dealing with the UW. Also, it's pretty cool the have the Governor there.
The JTF staff should request that the host CO contact the Governor's office ASAP, i.e., at least 4 months in advance, to invite the Governor to speak.
The ceremony practices put out by the JSR letter of instruction (LOI) did not seem to be enough to ensure that all personnel looked good at the ceremony.
Looking bad is bad.
This is a recommended practice schedule for the week preceding JSR (if on a Friday):
Monday JTF staff
Tuesday JTF staff and key personnel (includes BN/WG commanders, guidons,
squad leaders, MC, color guard, awardees and award escorts)
Wednesday All hands
Thursday All hands
Friday JTF staff and key personnel
Ceremony ushers (who direct guests and hand out programs) were stationed in Hec Ed too late. Many guests arrived early and did not know where to go and did not receive programs.
All guests should get programs on time and should not have to wonder where to go.
Station ushers at least 1.5 hours before the ceremony begins.
Many in the JTF staff, as well as many of the key personnel in the ceremony, were very unfamiliar with the actual ceremony and the movements required.
This caused very avoidable problems at the ceremony practices, as personnel were very clueless as to their movements and Gunny Buckley was forced to "communicate" at a much more personal level.
The JTF staff and the key personnel should view the old ceremony video tapes at least one week ahead of time.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER (PAO)
Cadet Devin L. Shanks
1. PA should gain control of MS Access lists. PA has the motivation (the mail-out) to complete the list ASAP.
2. OPS/ADJ/PA jobs should not rotate yearly. Transition would be much more efficient and junior staff members would have the proper experience for moving into the senior positions the next year.
3. Person in OPS/ADJ/PA position and in same service as the JTF/CC should be second in command.
4. The Guest Lists should be started in November by the Cadre of each service. Having them complete in January would be a great benefit.
5. Some way to invite JROTC & CAP needs to be found. Adding this task to PA makes the job too big. Maybe each service should take care of this type of invite; similar to how friends and family are invited.
6. PA should lose the Corpsman Support job.
7. Get someone to post by the doors the athletes use to keep them from walking across the Parade Ground.
8. Split the Air Force Wing into 2 squadrons.
9. Have a few cadets out of formation (with water) helping the Corpsman Support with those that feint.
- understand how MS Access works FAST!
- Civic VIPs need to be VIPs?
- they got DGs in 97; I think they should get VIPs
- make sure the University Important Guests list has been updated
- each service gets only 12 VIPs
- transition binder should contain previous year’s VIP/DG/Awards Presenter
(AP)/Civic VIP letters
- VIP/Civic VIP/AP letters get all three COs signatures
- DG letters get sponsors service COs signature only
- update parking procedure and RSVP person
- each letter must be personalized with guests name; done through MS Access & Word
- check on how guest should be addressed in letter; last name only, rank
- if you do not know how to merge the names into the documents, find someone who does and learn!!
- 12 VIPs/service, 18 Civic VIPs, 200? DGs , 30 APs, 52 Univ. Important Guests
- transition binder should contain previous year’s invitation; VIP & DG/AP
- note that invite does NOT say the Governor “will be” speaking
- find new service emblems, these are copies of copies of copies...
- need 3*12 + Civic VIPs? + extra VIP invites; 70 ESTIMATE
- need 300 + extra DG/AP invites; 350 ESTIMATE
- created from MS Access list; you must figure out how to do this FAST!
- MS Access recognizes Avery labels when merging...
- make sure types are separated (VIP/DG/AP/Civic VIP)
- I printed these from an EE machine
- printing at McChord of easy items is simplest
- like the program, maps, any standardized items
- letters needing separate names on each (VIP & such) can be printed at Suzallo
- there is a maximum amount of printing you can do in a day
- so do not do it all in one day...
- each package must include a Letter, Invite, and Map
- the map should be updated, some feel it is not too clear...
- envelopes need to be acquired (Navy supplied in 97)
- more than likely, the AP information will not be ready for the Feb. mail-out
- keep on who is in charge (OPS) until you get what you need
- previous year’s press release should be in
- list of news agencies to send press releases to needs work
- the MS Access list contains MANY agencies
- organization/understanding of the MS Access list is necessary
- have included a short list of local agencies used in 97
- put together a package for the Daily? (program, details on VIPs, etc.)
- address labels are required
- transition binder should contain last year’s program
- update names ASAP (speaker, COs, awardees, etc.)
- get order of the awards presentation ASAP
- get speaker’s biography ASAP and include into program
- Everett Naval Station supplied Corpsman support in 97 for any emergencies
- contact ? at ?
- copy of letter sent should be in transition binder
- I had nothing to do with reserving anything for the 97 JSR.
- PA must supply personnel to hand out programs and help guests during Event
- personnel can come from any service
- will not be formation but must remain on hand during ceremony to help out
- used approximately 10 in 97
- one in each hall out to seating
- three for the VIPs
- help out the best you can
- inform Cadet CO of practice schedule ASAP and required cadets at each
- have her/him supply key staff
- do not forget the Regimental Headquarters or that the JTF staff must have 8 members
NOTE: I (Devin Shanks) should be available to answer questions next year. I will be stationed at McChord AFB until 26 April 98 (I will be gone most of February to EFSP).
First day of Winter Quarter
Obtain VIP/DG/Civic VIP/AP Lists from all units
Have List Finalized
7 February 97
Letters, Invitations, Maps, & Address Labels Finalized & Printed (Don’t Forget the COs Signatures!!)
21 February 97
Letters, Invites, & Maps Mailed
28 February 97
Inform each Service they Must take care of their own Friends & Family
7 March 97
Press Release Mailed
14 March 97
WARNING: Finals & Spring Break can cause Problems!
17-28 March 97
Corpsman Support acquired
4 April 97
Arrange Photographers from each Service
11 April 97
Program Finalized & Second Press Release Mailed
25 April 97
Program to printers
28 April 97
Program back from printers, have program ushers picked and ready
2 May 97
Package to Daily?
9 May 97
For the Governor's Day Review, I served as the "behind the scenes" Adjutant after the changeover in leadership on April 28th. My assigned responsibilities included transportation/parking, setup and teardown for the ceremony.
As the Transportation POC (Point of contact), I was in charge of the final details on parking and transportation. This included the transport of people and equipment to and from Hec Ed. My job was to ensure that parking lots were reserved for VIPs and Distinguished guests by having parking permits and debit cards available. These items gave both guests free parking in E8, E9, E10, or E1. A parking sign and a disabled parking space was coordinated through Joanne Taylor.
In addition, I worked respectively with the following individuals: Christine (Events Program-543-2246), Joanne Taylor (Parking Division-543-0654), and OC Carter (Navy van POC).
I worked with OC Carter in delegating the task and location of each shuttle van for the GDR. Each of the four vans (2 Navy, 2 Army) moved VIPs to/from Clark Hall or between E1 and Hec Ed Pavilion. It is vital that drivers have a map of the route and a walkie talkie. At least a week or two prior to the GDR, it is pertinent to check and see if there is no change to the van drivers.
Next year, there will be new equipment installed in E1 (Mountlake parking lot). Drivers will pay as they enter. No keycards will be issued starting next year. The new Adjutant needs to establish a plan that will help traffic run more efficiently. Moreover, it is VERY important to have signs directing guests to Hec Ed. Parking division has reserved parking
signs. Events only has signboards to attach one's signs. As a result, you will need to generate your own signs, preferably on a computer.
My second POC was Christine from Events. Her staff is in charge of equipment and building reservations, setup and teardown. For the future, it is HIGHLY suggested that the task force create a master list of stuff that is needed. I had no previous lists to work with. I seriously believe that this will help avoid any last minute reservations or problems
Because most of the groundwork was previously arranged before the changeover, I only had to take care of contingencies. Most of my problems came from parking and setup. The debit card machine broke down in Parking Division, so my volunteers had to issue quarters to the Distinguished guests. These guests were guaranteed free parking.
It would have been feasible, in this situation, to have Parking Division employees issue the quarters. However, one has to deal with these things. I was assigned 6 volunteers from ROTC. However, you will need more in case some of them do not show up.
Other than award presenters, parking attendants are crucial to the operation of the parking lots. Whoever is in charge of recruiting them should note any time conflicts for each volunteer. I had people who could not volunteer due to class or drill. It should be highly emphasize within the ROTC units that they volunteer. There were some people who were at the GDR, but decided not to help out.
The setup of Hec Ed went smoothly, despite previous attempts to fix the bleachers and reserve equipment. Again, this problem could have been avoided with a master list. It is vital to have the Adjutant or an assistant supervise setup on the day of GDR. I did this and proved to be very effective. I pointed out to the Events staff any changes that needed
to be done. If they had any questions, I was available to them.
Regarding seating arrangements, the Public Affairs Officer should be in charge of this. This is because he/she is in charge of ushers. I created a seating plan for VIPs and their spouses. However, some VIPs brought more guests. In the future, whoever is in charge should ask VIPs how many guests they intend to bring. Moreover, there MUST be an updated listing of VIPs and Distinguished guests. There were people not on my original list for seating. Furthermore, it was VERY frustrating to lack ushers until 30 minutes prior to the GDR.
The teardown phase of the GDR went according to plan. However, it would be more helpful to have more volunteers taking down the flags. I mostly had to recruit from Army ROTC. This is an implied task, but every cadet and midshipman should go out of their way to help their peers.
Finally, the most important lesson is to maintain accountability of all equipment that you asked for. This includes keycards, which should not be a problem next year, since they will be discontinued. Be prepared for any contingencies. Have walkie talkies (from Events program) to maintain communication with some of your volunteers and van drivers.
Ensure that any equipment used by ROTC, etc. is properly returned.
It is my hope that my advice will serve to guide you in the future as Adjutant. HUSKIES STAND TALL!
Relationship with Staff
The first thing I did was to reorganize the duties associated with the staff positions. See above for the new assignments. Once I saw what each position entailed, I assigned a service to each one. I chose the Air Force for the PAO position because they had the most resources for printing and computer work. I chose the Navy for the XO/OPS position because I needed someone I could work with on a daily basis and I knew MIDN Lowe was up for the job. In hindsight, I would have split the positions.
I chose to go through my XO for everything. He was my link to the others and their link to me. I would pass down orders to him and he would ensure they were carried out. I gave him authority to assign tasks as he saw fit and I went to him when there was a problem from below. This freed me up to work on the higher level matters. The staff knew that they had to go through him before they came to me unless it was an emergancy. This way, I did not get a deluge of details. This is how a staff is supposed to operate and worked well, except MIDN Lowe had to pull double duty. May you have someone as capable!
Relationship with CO’s
My big mistake was not keeping up with the weekly meetings. Set milestones and keep them. Then show them what you have accomplished. Address any problems you have and they will make it happen. I let this opportunity pass by and lost some confidence from above. Don’t make this same mistake. You should also provide updated scripts to them at these meetings and let them know of any big changes.
Relationship with ROTC’s
Get the Battalion/Wing commanders together for a meeting. Keeping them in the loop is a sign of respect and a opportunity to pass word to their respective units. Give them a practice schedule as soon as you can and ensure they let their units know about practices and Gunny.
Before the Cermony
Have ushers there two hours before the ceremony because that is when the guests will show up. Have plenty of water on hand because it will be hot.
Have your XO, who will not be part of the ceremony, take care of last minute details. He should be executing your orders rather than you running around. You need to relax and concentrate on your performance.
Make sure the state flags are hung in order. You can get these flags from the Army.
During the Ceremony
Set a muster time for the units and ensure that the battalion/wing commanders enforce it. KEEP THE UNITS OUT OF SIGHT UNTIL THEY MARCH IN. The drill teams perform for the audience, not for them.
Have difinate cues for the start of the drill exibitions, the start of the MC lines, and the start of the adjutant’s first line. After that, it’s all auto-pilot.
After the Ceremony
After the ceremony, you are to report to the guest social and you will stay until everyone leaves. All awarddes should pick up their awards and go to the socail to thank their respective award presenters.
This is very important. DO NOT SECURE UNTIL EVERYONE ELSE IS SECURED AND ALL MATTERS ARE RESOLVED. You and your XO should be the last two to leave HecEd.
· All materials are returned to HecEd (radios, keys, etc.).
· Parking materials, including cones, are picked up.
· Awards not claimed get back to Clark Hall
· Keys to the vans are returned to Clark Hall
JSR is a long series of organizational nightmares, leadership challenges, and infinite details. This turnover cannot address every aspect of such a complicated evolution but we have tried to provide you with all the pieces of the puzzle and some advice on how to put it together. We wish you well and challenge you to put on a better Review than we did. You might be able to pull it off, but I doubt it: WE WERE GOOD!