FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.

Category: I Corps


New JBLM division leader talks pot, Pacific shift and health in TV interview

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza last week sat down for an interview with TVW’s Austin Jenkins, covering a lot of ground from how to talk about mostly legal marijuana in the Evergreen State to the recently reactivated 7th Infantry Division’s growing command responsibilities over combat brigades.

Above is an excerpt showing Lanza reiterating that Lewis-McChord soldiers cannot smoke marijuana even though the drug is now legal under state law. Federal law applies to service members, he said, and regular urinalysis tests for cannabis will continue.

Lanza arrived at Lewis-McChord last fall to reactivate

Read more »


Update: Forced budget cuts already impacting training at JBLM; DOD civilians preparing for pay cuts

4:30 p.m. update: Tightening constraints on federal spending are already taking a bite out of military training exercises for Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, the base’s senior Army officer said today.

The Army has cancelled two rotations for Lewis-McChord soldiers to the National Training Center, a southern California base where units demonstrate that they are ready for deployments, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown said.

Brown said the Army also is scaling back its use of the Yakima Training Center in central Washington. That high desert expanse is prime training territory for the Army because units can fire heavy weapons with fewer considerations

Read more »


Navy admiral visits JBLM to shift focus from Afghanistan to the Pacific

The Defense Department’s highest ranking officer in the Pacific is visiting Joint Base Lewis-McChord today to get battle-hardened Iraq and Afghanistan veterans thinking about new challenges in Asia.

Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear’s trip to Lewis-McChord is another signal in the Pentagon’s shift in focus from wars in the Middle East to emerging threats and neglected alliances in other parts of the world.

“We can’t stay Middle East-focused forever,” Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told Lewis-McChord I Corps troops today.

The base south of Tacoma supplied about 10,000 soldiers a year to Iraq and Afghanistan for much of the past

Read more »


Inslee’s tax credit for hiring veterans and a Seattle job fair aim to smooth transitions for soldiers


Lt. Gen. Robert Brown visited Amazon this week to praise the company’s veterans’ hiring initiatives. Photo by Maj. Johnpaul Arnold.

Army and state leaders this week put a spotlight on programs aimed at hiring more veterans, seeking to build ties between the military and private employers as the Armed Forces enters a period of downsizing.

Gov. Jay Inslee today proposed a tax credit that would go to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.

His proposal says the credit would be up to percent of wages (maxing out at $3,000) for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans or

Read more »


Army secretary launches resiliency campaign at JBLM, gives an update on PTSD reviews

 Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday. Photo by Peter Haley/The News Tribune.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh on Monday launched an initiative to promote life skills in military families, seeking to streamline and advertise behavioral health resources so soldiers know where to turn in moments of need.

He signed a memorandum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday steering more resources to so-called “resiliency” programs, which the Army uses to promote overall health among soldiers and their families.

They’re one component of the Army’s push to reverse a disturbing rise in soldier suicides

Read more »


Army communities getting first look at how drawdown could unfold in their backyards

The Army study that lays out one path for the service to reduce its ranks over the next seven years is rippling out among military communities all over the world, conveying a message that the Army is serious about looming cuts.

The News Tribune published a story on the proposal Saturday, highlighting a scenario that could trim the number of active-duty soldiers at Joint-Base Lewis-McChord by 8,000.

That would mean a loss of some 20,000 residents from Pierce and Thurston counties, and another 10,100 jobs from the region. I have not seen reports on possible cuts

Read more »


Keep wounded JBLM soldiers in your thoughts and follow these stories of recovery


On Sunday we published this feature on 1st Sgt. Mike Leonard’s long road to recovery since he lost a leg an Afghanistan almost three years ago while serving with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade.

I wanted to talk to him because he’s years into his rehabilitation, and I felt he could teach us about what challenges lay ahead for families of recently wounded Lewis-McChord soldiers coming home from last year’s major deployments. As his wife says, learning to live with prosthetic limbs can feel like “two steps forward, three steps back.”

Several of the younger

Read more »


Bayonet! Army ceremonies revealing role for new division HQ at JBLM

I haven’t heard anyone sing the 7th Infantry Division song yet, but Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s newest command is starting to flesh out its place in the Puget Sound military community.

The newly reactivated 7th Infantry Division took leading roles in recent weeks at memorials to fallen soldiers and the deployment ceremony for the Afghanistan-bound 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Those troops now belong to the 7th ID.

These gestures reveal that the 7th ID will be as integral to Lewis-McChord as units like the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

At Fort Bragg, the 82nd often is the dominant

Read more »