Photo by Rachel Larue
Staff Sgt. Jennifer Johnson works at her desk on the Fort McNair portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Oct. 2, 2013. Some civilian workers were furloughed due to the federal government shutdown. The Pentagram takes a look back at the top photos of 2013.
At the start of each year, the Pentagram staff takes a look at the top photos and stories from the previous year and compiles them into on annual year-in-review edition. The Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall community accomplished many great things in 2013.
"I look back and say, wow, what a great staff I have," said JBM-HH Commander, Col. Fern O. Sumpter. "Look at all the great things we did together."
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Grant Hall on the Fort Leslie J. McNair portion of JBM-HH, which signaled the completion of the third floor renovations where the trials of the Lincoln assassination conspirators were conducted.
Renovations were completed and ribbon-cutting ceremonies were also held at Wainwright Hall and the Old Post Chapel. The Marines held ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the new High Intensity Tactical Training facility inside the Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gym as well as at the newly renovated Marine Barracks Lounge in Bldg. 416 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. The Cody Child Development Center’s outdoor playground went through a total overhaul thanks to support from Army leadership.
"Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall became the center of the Army’s initiative to revamp the entire Army Child and Youth Services program," Sumpter said.
The year also started with plenty of pomp and circumstance. President Barack Obama’s second inaugural was held Jan. 21, 2013 and many members of the JBM-HH community, Military District of Washington and Joint Task Force-National Capital Region took part in the event.
Airman 1st Class Quinten Lisiniki, who has been in the Air Force for about two years, marched in the inaugural parade. "I felt lucky to be marching in the parade," he said.
The new year also brought changes in leadership. Welcomed were Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Col. Anthony S. Barnes, Lt. Col. John J.E. Orille, Lt. Col. Mark Biehl, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey S. Hartless and Command Sgt. Maj. Alex L. Pratt to new positions.
One of the most talked-about topics throughout 2013 was sequestration and its effects on operations and personnel throughout the federal government. Civilian employees began July with one-day-a-week furloughs. The furloughs brought some closures and amended operating hours for services and activities on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, but throughout the duration of the summertime furloughs, customer service remained the focal point of JBM-HH operations.
"Sequestration forced me and other members of the community to manage our expectations," said Sumpter. "We focused on what we can afford versus what luxuries we had. We had quite a few luxuries that we were able to do away with."
Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall Commander, Col. Anthony S. Barnes said one positive outcome of sequestration was it reinforced teamwork throughout the ranks. He explained that with limited resources, everyone had to work more closely together to continue to complete the mission.
While the year may have been a tough one for many throughout the National Capital Region, there was still some celebration to be had. Margaret Webber Smith earned her commission after nine years of enlisted service. Jeff Brooks auditioned and earned a position with The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and also got married in 2013.
Staff Sgt. Gerry Johnson had a banner year as well. "In 2013 I got remarried, my family grew and I came here to a new duty station. 2013 was awesome."
Sumpter agreed with Johnson about the year, "2013 was an awesome year. We did a lot of work; we did a lot of great things."
But she added, "2014 is going to be a hard year too. All the things we neglected because we were so focused on the big things last year, now we’re going to start fixing some of those other things."