Pacific Soldiers, Civilians host 153rd Signal Regimental Week
September 30, 2013
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii- Signaleers and civilian partners from around Oahu came together for Signal Regimental Week to share best practices and commemorate the 153rd birthday of the United States Army's Signal Corps.
Maj. Gen. James Walton, Commanding General, 311th Signal Command (Theater), and 311th SC(T) Command Sgt. Maj. Travis Cherry, hosted the event that brought over 800 Signalers together for a weeklong celebration of the Signal Corps.
Senior enlisted leaders and commissioned officers collaborated and shared best practices during two intense days of professional development seminars and a senior communicator's forum.
Forum topics and discussions included LandWarNet 2020, Army Baseline Services, and Unified capabilities.
Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson, Commanding General of the Signal Center of Excellence discussed his top priorities and way ahead for the Signal Corps, during his Regimental Address, which was delivered via video teleconference.
"As our nation's defense focus shifts to the Pacific, it will be the 311th that will provide the example of communications readiness for the rest of the Army," said Patterson.
The annual traditions of the SCRA golf scramble at Mamala Bay Golf Course and the Signal Regimental run on Schofield Barracks, received overwhelming participation. This year for the first time, a Zumba class was offered on Weyand Field for civilians, non-runners and family members.
311th also welcomed the Signal branch team from Human Resources Command, a Signal week first. This team provided a detailed update brief, conducted a question and answers session, and held one-on-one counseling with Signal personnel to help facilitate career progression and professional growth.
"Our engagement with the 311th Signal Command and Signaleers throughout Hawaii was beneficial to the Soldiers and our Army," said Sgt. Maj. Gilbert Sutton, Enlisted Signal Branch, Operations Support Division Sergeant Major. "As we continue with the drawdown of the Army, our top priority is ensuring that we are providing support to the Soldiers in the field to help them remain fully qualified for continued service in our Army."
Another new addition to the Signal Week calendar was the motorcycle safety ride around the island.
The 516th Signal Brigade Chaplain (Maj.) Carron Jones hosted a prayer breakfast at the Nehelani Club on Schofield Barracks. Chap. (Col.) Jonathan McGraw, the 311th Signal Command Chaplain, was the guest speaker.
"Sometimes life brings us unexpected challenges," McGraw said. "Just like a wave we either ride it out to safety or are crushed by it."
The week culminated on Sept. 20, with a Regimental Ball at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
For spouses who needed a gown but could not afford one, there was a free option thanks to Beverly Kavalawski, an Information Technology specialist for the 30th Signal Battalion, who facilitated the donation of numerous gowns from several local businesses and gave them to the unit's Family Readiness Group. She also helped make more than 900 floral arrangements and favors for the tables at the ball, which saved the command thousands of dollars.
"It makes everyone happy, and contributes to a very important event for the Signal Corps, and I'm honored to be a part of it," said Kavalawski. "It's just being part of a family, and I've been with the 30th since 1981, so it really feels like a family to me."
The ball included many events, from the posting of the colors to a performance by the University of Hawaii Dance Troupe, and a regimental cake cutting ceremony, culminating with an address by keynote speaker General Vincent Brooks, Commanding General, U.S. Army, Pacific, and a presentation of awards.
During Brook's address, he discussed the importance of Signal in the Pacific.
He also thanked the Civilians and Families of all the organizations of the Pacific for their hard work and Patriotism.
The official portion of the evening came to a conclusion with a presentation of the Signal Corps Regimental Awards and retiring of the colors, ending the long and eventful week with dancing.