We've got to overcome the cynical voices warning that America's best days are behind us. Because if there is anything our veterans teach us, it's that there is no threat we cannot meet, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.
- President Barack Obama, paying a tribute to America's veterans, at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Nov. 11, 2011.
Obama pays tribute to America's veterans
My biggest hurdle was I couldn't go back to the Army. That's what I wanted, and I didn't know what I was going to do and didn't necessarily care. I fixated on what it was I couldn't do and lost track of [options].
-Tristan Wyatt, an Army veteran wounded at age 19, is now an inspiration to new prosthetics patients as an assistant chief of the prosthetics service at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Wounded warrior inspires fellow veterans
Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System
What is it?
The Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPASS) is the Army's way of accounting for personnel and families after catastrophes. It is a web-based, user-friendly system that enables the Army to collect accurate and timely reports in times of emergency. All Soldiers, civilians, family members and overseas defense contractors must report their status and whereabouts following any natural or man-made disaster, if directed to do so by the Secretary of Defense.
What has the Army done?
DOD mandated that each of the services procure an automated accountability system after difficulties accounting for personnel during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. To comply, the Army established ADPAAS in 2008 and it is populated with personnel information from both the Active and Reserve components. ADPAAS was first put to use after Hurricane Ike in September 2008 and successfully accounted for over 24,000 people. It has also been tested through exercises, including several Army Headquarters and National Level Exercises. Since 2008, ADPAAS has been used to account for Army personnel after numerous real-world disasters. ADPAAS was recently used to account and track evacuation of Army family members after the Japan earthquake in January 2011 and when Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico in 2011.
Why is this important to the Army?
ADPAAS is the only way the Army will accept status reports from Soldiers, civilians, families and overseas defense contractors following a disaster. It enables commanders to identify and account for those in their command that have been affected by a disaster through consolidation of reports submitted by Soldiers, civilians, family members and overseas defense contractors via the Internet and phone. In addition, ADPAAS allows sponsors and family members affected by a catastrophe to request assistance which in turn helps leaders prioritize the type and quantity of resources where most needed.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The ADPAAS team will visit installations this year to train personnel and answer questions. All Army personnel and families are urged to visit the ADPAAS website to become familiar with how it works. The Army can only ensure accurate and timely accountability of its Soldiers, civilians, families and contractors if everyone knows how to use the system before disasters strike.
U.S. Army Hurricane Relief Efforts
Army Information Hotline: 1-800-833-6622 (Select OPTION 3)
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