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Debra Roesler '86

Major Debra Roesler '86 sent this update from Camp Doha in Kuwait (3/21/03):

"I've been in Kuwait since October [2002] with CFLCC (Coalition Forces Land Component Command) in the C3. I was here last year many times as well as in Qatar. I was the planner of three major exercises in the AOR; in Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. My latest assignment was as the Army lead planner for BRIGHT STAR in Egypt, the largest peacetime exercise in CENTCOM, which I was heavily involved in until a short time ago. It was very exciting working with about eight countries and leading the ground ops.

"The exercise itself is unclassified, not involving any warplans, and includes field training exercises, situational training exercises, affiliation training, combined arms live fire exercises, and command post exercises. It is largely a logistical challenge (which is why I got the job as a Quartermaster Corps officer). But my most important role with the planning is leading the maneuver/ground ops working group that plans all the tactical training: basically, getting all the countries to agree on a three-week training schedule with many language barriers and competing priorities.

"We are now all actively engaged in the current situation here, and I'm tracking forces flowing into the theater. We are in the midst of what seems like hourly alarms going off. I spent most of the day/night in MOPP4 in a bunker and had the experience of feeling a Patriot missile fire right over my head; it felt like we were underneath an airplane on takeoff.

"I enjoy reading what's happening back there. I never thought this is what I'd be doing seventeen years later (from someone who never planned to stay in the military). But I enjoy the leadership experiences and working with other forces in so many places. This is fascinating watching all this unfold in the command center every day, being a part of the route of things.

"You never know who you run into in your career. When I was assigned at West Point, I sat right next to a classmate of mine from IUP [Dave Schofield ‘87] in daily meetings with the Commandant of Cadets. He and I were both in sororities/fraternities and couldn't believe that years later we both would be sitting with each other at USMA. My next door neighbor back in Atlanta is also an IUP grad and was also in ROTC [Kelly Stoltzfus Stewart '88], and we were in each other's weddings. I found out recently that an SF Major that I've worked with the past two years was in my platoon during advanced camp, as well as two other majors in the command center here. It is a small world!"