- Monday, 15 July 2019
- Written by JEFF THOMPSON
Fort Bragg is probably best known as headquarters of the famed 82nd Airborne Division. But it’s one of several major combat commands on post. They include U.S. Army Forces Command, Army Reserve Command, 18th Airborne Corps, Army Special Forces Command, the Army Special Operations Command, Joint Special Operations Command, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) and the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne). An estimated three dozen general officers, including a four-star and half a dozen three-star generals, are stationed at Pentagon South, as Fort Bragg is colloquially known.
A veteran of the 75th Ranger Regiment is on his way to Fort Bragg to become senior NCO of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command. Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Bishop is currently the senior non-commissioned officer of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was named to replace JSOC Command Sgt. Maj. David Blake, according to a Pentagon press release.
JSOC oversees elite special operations strike forces, including the Navy’s SEAL Team six, the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron and the Army’s Delta Force, officially designated the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment. JSOC is also responsible for studying special operations requirements, ensuring equipment standardization and developing joint tactics among special operations forces.
Bishop enlisted in the Army in September 1992 from Sweetwater, Tennessee. Over the course of his Army career, he has performed all NCO leadership positions, from team leader to command sergeant major for the 75th Ranger Regiment. Bishop has been through all levels of the NCO education system, including Special Operations Command Summit course and the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy.
Bishop will serve under Air Force Lt. Gen. Scott Howell, JSOC commander and the first Air Force general to lead the legendary unit that was born out of the Iran hostage crisis in 1980.
Since 9/11, few elements of the U.S. military have been more involved in the fight against terrorism than soldiers of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, or USASOC. Established at Fort Bragg on Dec. 1, 1989, to enhance the readiness of Army Special Operations Forces, USASOC also functions as the Army component of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and numerous other hotspots around the world, USASOC soldiers have been among the first forces to deploy in support of U.S. and coalition force objectives.
Many of these soldiers, most of them having served in numerous combat rotations, remain deployed to those locations along with conventional forces and multinational partners to help ensure the success of all GWOT operations, whether in a frontline combat role or a humanitarian assistance function. Green berets ordinarily serve shorter deployments than traditional forces but are sent into combat more often.
Photo: Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Bishop
- Monday, 15 July 2019
- Written by JEFF THOMPSON
Cumberland County’s collective graduating class of 2019 has racked up more than $92 million in college scholarships. Local high school graduates earned $74.7 million in academic scholarships and $5.5 million in athletic scholarships, a Cumberland County Schools news release said.
Military scholarships, including those awarded by West Point Military Academy, Virginia Military Institute and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, totaled $10.2 million. Other awards of community and civic scholarships amounted to nearly $2 million.
This year’s scholarship dollar totals surpassed the class of 2018 by more than $800,000. The class of 2019 graduates will also be financing their higher education at Methodist University, Fayetteville State University, Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Morehouse College, Ohio State University, Livingstone College and dozens of others.
Department of Social Services helps fund those in need during the summer heat
The Cumberland County Department of Social Services is accepting Crisis Intervention Program applications from individuals and families who are in danger of experiencing cooling-related crises. Households are being served on a first-come, first served basis. The CIP fund will be in effect until all funds are exhausted.
Eligible families may receive more than one payment during the year. Benefits will vary based on the amount needed to alleviate the crisis, but will not exceed $600. Funds are paid directly to the utility provider.
A household is considered in a crisis if there is a person experiencing or in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency when assistance is not available from other sources.
Applications are accepted Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at reception desk 23 on the second floor of the DSS building, 1225 Ramsey St. For information regarding eligibility criteria, call the Department of Social Services at 910-323-1540.
Register of Deeds staffers may beat their own school supply drive record
The Cumberland County Register of Deeds office is holding its 10th annual school supply fundraiser for homeless school children through Aug. 1. Individuals, businesses, civic groups and churches are encouraged to give. The Register of Deeds office hopes to collect supplies to fill 850 book bags, which will be donated to the estimated 650 homeless children in county schools. Some of the book bags will be set aside for relief events and the American Red Cross to help families that have experienced disasters.
The following school supplies are needed: pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, composition books, folders, notebook paper, pencil sharpeners, erasers, glue sticks, crayons, toothbrushes, toothbrush cases, toothpaste and hand sanitizer. In addition to school supplies, gift cards or cash donations will be accepted. No checks, please.
Donated items can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Register of Deeds office in Room 114 of the Cumberland County Courthouse, 117 Dick St. For more information, call 910- 678-7775.
Vacation time at City Hall
It’s July, which means local government bodies are taking time off. Fayetteville City Council and Cumberland County Commissioners won’t be conducting regularly scheduled meetings until August. Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett took some time off last month so he can be on hand in the event something comes up.
National Airborne day
The 79th anniversary of U.S. Army airborne forces coincides with the 19th anniversary of the opening of downtown Fayetteville’s Airborne & Special Operations Museum. It opened Aug. 16, 2000.
The ASOM Foundation chose to celebrate National Airborne Day on Saturday, Aug.17, to maximize the opportunity for the public to visit and celebrate the museum’s anniversary. Visitors will see iconic static displays of the XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army Special Operations Command, and 82nd Airborne Division, as well as period reenactors in the world-class museum.
ASOM is owned by the U.S. Army but operated by a local foundation. Local military and civilian officials decided to construct the facility in downtown Fayetteville rather than on Fort Bragg. They said at the time it was the most significant Army edifice in the civilian domain.