USASMA's Learning Resource Center is named in memory of Sergeant Maj. Othon O. Valent who served on active duty for 32 years.
Valent was assigned to Coast Artillery, Airborne medical and Airborne infantry units. His greatest contribution to the Army was his personal concern and abiding faith for Soldiers in combat units; "The Cutting Edge" of the Army. His compassion for Soldiers, his knowledge of their needs, and the ability to transmit those feelings up the chain of command were amoung his greatest attributes. He was t
he epitome of what a senior noncommissioned officer should be in his relationship with junior enlisted Soldiers. Construction of the present LRC facility was completed in 1987. The spacious, two-story, 24,000 square foot building contains a large public reading area as well as small study rooms. The collection consists of more than 40,000 volumes and more than 300 periodical subscriptions. The LRC also has an online card catalog accessible via the Internet.
ATTN: SMC Class 70! Books are due back to the LRC NLT Friday 5 Jun 20. You are welcome to use the book drop on the westside of the LRC building and they will be cleared within a few days. Stay safe!
Welcome back students! Spring has arrived at the LRC!
Stop by the LRC - we are ready for the Holidays!
By David Crozier, Command Communications, USASMA
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s Othan O. Valent Learning Resources Center became the center of attraction October 27-31, as it was the temporary home of the colorful displays celebrating Día de los Mu***os, or Day of the Dead. On October 30 the international students of Class 65 were given a briefing by Angelica Garcia, director of the LRC, on the significance and history of the celebration which was followed by a viewing of the altars on display as well as being enjoying some traditional Hispanic cuisine – tamales.
Garcia explained to the students the Day of the Dead takes on a more festive flair rather than one of sadness and mourning.
“Día de los Mu***os is a celebration of life and is part of the circle of life for Hispanics,” Garcia said. “We look at death as a transition from one life to another on different levels of communication and that there is only one reality and that is the reunion of the living with the memory of the deceased.”
Sgt. Maj. Munemichi Yuasa, from Japan, found the part of it being a celebration interesting.
“In Japan we also have a similar day, but it is more of a memorial commemoration in giving respect to the ancestors,” he said. “But this day, Día de los Mu***os, is different in that they celebrate, put colorful things on the graves; which we don’t do. We put followers on the graves and clean the gravesite up, the grave stone, and go there just to remember our ancestors. I enjoy the difference between what we have and what we have learned today.”
Yuasa said Japan’s observance takes place in August and is usually around the 13th to the 15th of the month and is also the time they typically have their summer vacation. He added the day surrounds going to the cemetery, cleaning up the gravesites, praying and then returning home for a family meal.
Día de los Mu***os, while celebrated and observed on October 31 and November 1 and 2, is not associated with Halloween, Garcia explained, nor is it scary by any means, even though the use of skulls and skeletons is a prevalent part of the celebration.
The origins of the modern Mexican holiday can be traced back to the Aztec festival to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Garcia said it was a tradition long before the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico in 1519-1521.
“In their attempts to convert the Mexicans to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to put an end to the ritual but the indigenous people would not let it die,” she said. “Missionaries looked at Día de los Mu***os as being similar to the Catholic Church’s All Souls Day and soon it became accepted as something that would be a part of Mexican culture. So it never lost its indigenous soul.”
Garcia said she began putting up the altars in the LRC about five years ago because it was something that she herself wanted to show the students, staff and cadre of the USASMA what Día de los Mu***os meant to the Hispanic culture, something she came to realize some time back. To help her illustrate the tradition she said she picks a famous celebrity who has within the year as the motivation to create her altar.
“This year was Robin Williams, one year it was Steve Jobs; another it was someone else,” she said. “The other altars I solicit people in the academy to participate in the displays and create their own in honor of their passed loved one or friend.”
Garcia explained that her desire to help educate others about the Hispanic tradition of Dia de los Mu***os has grown to the point where the International Military Student Office asked her to brief the international students as part of their being exposed to the local culture.
Originally the Day of the Dead fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August, and was a month-long celebration. Today it is observed on November 1 and 2. Tradition has it that on October 31, All Hallows Eve, children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of deceased children) to come back for a visit. November 1, All Saints Day, is when the adult spirits will come to visit and November 2, All Souls Day is set aside for families to visit and decorate the graves of their relatives. Traditional decorations include marigolds – the flowers of the dead; mu***os, bread of the dead; sugar skulls; fruits and nuts; cardboard skeletons; candles; and personal possessions of the dead.
Fire Prevention Week is October 5 - 11. Stop by for handouts and giveaways while they last!
LRC Open House and "Taste of El Paso" in the courtyard! Come join us!
Welcome SMC Class 65! We are here to help!
Throwback Thursday . . . LRC Dedication 10 October 1974!
Congratulations to SMC Class 64! Graduation Day!
Photos By David Crozier, Command Communications
It was a Good Day to Sink Your Teeth into Good Books March 3, in the Othon O. Valent Learning Resources Center, located on the campus of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, as the staff invited all to help celebrate Read Across America Day. While the crowd was a little sparse, the magic of Dr. Suess could be heard through the story telling of Sgt. Maj. Dale Perez, executive officer for the Sergeants Major Course and Sgt. Maj. Dawn Charleswell, the Academy’s HR sergeant major. Perez read Dr. Suess' book, "Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You" while Charleswell read “The Foot Book.”
But it was all just Green Eggs and Ham, there was some monkey business taking place thanks to the efforts of Capt. Lauren Simon of the Fort Bliss Dental Clinic and her friend Mojo the Monkey. The two paired up to help teach the attendees a thing or two about the proper way to brush your teeth and how to keep them clean. Besides enjoying some good books and learning about dental hygiene, attendees were also treated to some prizes and keepsakes to mark the event.
The Othon O. Valent Learning Resources Center (LRC) provides library materials and information services to the students, staff, and faculty of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. Collection emphasis is on the Army Noncommissioned Officer Corps, military history, leadership, military science, and management. Primary focus is to encourage scholarly research and to educate its patrons about sources available to them that support the USASMA curriculum and their college and university studies.
Backdrop is ready! Stop by the LRC for your photo with Santa starting tonight!
The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy hosts its annual graduation Friday June 21st, 9 a.m. - noon MDT (11 a.m. - 2 p.m. EDT) for the 646 students who make up Class 63 of the Sergeants Major Course. Upon graduation these new senior NCOs, including students from sister services as well as international students from partner nations, will be filling senior enlisted leader positions throughout their respective services. Army Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond
Chandler will be in attendance. General Odierno will be the guest speaker at the graduation.
The graduation can be viewed live by clicking on the following link:
Live from Fort Bliss Feed begins at 1100 EST
Learn more about Dr. Seuss and his work here. Also, join us for his birthday celebration, Thursday, March 1 at 4:00-6:00pm
Welcome to Seussville
COME TO the lrc DR. SEUSS Birthday Celebration! Thursday, March 1st 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
CAT IN THE HAT STORYTIME
TAKE THE GREEN PLEDGE!
“THE LORAX” MOVIE OPENS NATIONWIDE, MARCH 2ND!
It’s that special time of year again, when we celebrate Twelve Days of USASMA. If you haven’t been to any of the events, you’re missing out. Check out the timeline of events and these photos:
Veteran’s Day is coming up on November 11, 2011, and all of November is Native American Heritage month. The LRC carries a few books related to these two subjects (for reading ages: children/juvenile).
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Fire Prevention event today at the LRC! A special thanks to Mrs. Weygandt for her excellent story-time reading and CSM Weygandt for his help in scheduling a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog and local fire fighters. We had a good turnout. We learned about fire prevention, we laughed, heard some good stories, and ate cup cakes. As you can tell from the photos, even the adults had fun.
Fire Prevention Week at the LRC.
Fire Prevention Week starts on October 9-15. The LRC is having an event on October 12, Wednesday, at 1600-1800 hrs (4-6pm civilian time) to mark the occasion. Story time readings will be held in the children’s section of the LRC, Bldg 11294 at USASMA (Mrs. Stacey Weygandt will be reading from three books: The Fire Cat, by Esther Averill; Going to the Firehouse, by Mercer Mayer; and Arthur’s Fire Drill by Marc Brown). There will also be refreshments and face-painting for the kiddos. Come on by!
“It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” This year, our campaign is all about keeping you, your family, and your community safer from fire. You'll find educational material and tip sheets on the leading causes of home fires, information about protecting your home and families with...
LRC OPEN HOUSE
The LRC is having an open house event this Saturday, August 20, 2011, from 10:00 am- 12:00 pm to welcome SMC Class 62, promote our resources and to mark a change in hours of operation (we’ll now be open Saturdays from 10 to 2 pm). Parents and children are invited! There will be refreshments, face-painting, balloons and story-time for our guests. Hope to see you there.
CSM Harold Hunt, US Army Retired, signed books at the LRC. There was a good turnout- thanks to everyone who came by! CSM Hunt is author of ‘100 Sergeants Major of Color,’ and ‘Black Female Sergeants Major, Transforming the Ranks.’
People who attended also received a few goodies: shirts and caps (and autographed photos, too). Angie Garcia, LRC Supervisory Librarian, received a pink cap and got several books autographed by the author. A few of those books will go in the LRC’s autographed book collection.
Interestingly, CSM Hunt has a son, Harold Hunt Jr., who is a Sergeant Major and works at USASMA. Additionally, he also has a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Shirley Hunt, who is also a Sergeant Major and works at USASMA. They have also made the history books. Awesome!
Come Meet the author! CSM Harold Hunt, US Army Retired, author of the book entitled - 100 Sergeants Major of Color - will be at the LRC on Thursday 31 Mar 11. He will be available from 3:00 - 6:00 pm to answer any questions. Stop by and have some light refreshments.
This March 2nd is Read Across America day, the annual national reading-awareness program, and also happens to be Dr. Seuss's birthday. To help promote reading the LRC has on display a selection of Dr. Seuss books, as well as other fun children’s books, ready to be checked out to you. Stop by the LRC when you get a chance and also pick up a Dr. Seuss book log, sticker, bookmark, and a cat-in-the-hat hat.
The Haack family knows what we’re talking about. Here, Mrs. Ann Haack, Sophia and Eli pose in front of the Cat in the Hat Piñata and Dr. Seuss book collection.
Hey, where’d you guys get those cool hats?
If you would like to find out more about this national literacy-promotion event, you can read more about it here:
Ms. Melissa Cooper, who previously worked at the LRC and then went to work for the NCO Museum for nearly two decades, has come back to work at the LRC. Today is her first day as the reference librarian. Please come by and introduce yourself.
To celebrate her arrival we are currently serving Krispy Kremes, so come on by and say hello and have something to snack on. Get ‘em while they’re hot!
This Valentine’s Day, you can send a Veteran a Valentine’s Day card. Drop-off box is located at the Mainstreet X-press Café, at the soda fountains. USASMA Students, faculty and staff can donate (just cards, no money or gifts!). Your card will be distributed to Veterans at the Fisher House at WBAMC. Thanks!
USASMA Twelve Days of Seasonal Holiday Celebrations
It’s that time of year again, twelve days of USASMA holiday celebrations, when the Christmas decorations go up, along with the mistletoe, USASMA employees compete for the Best Door Decoration prize, fun indoor activities for the whole family at the LRC- maybe a singing elf might too- and of course, when Santa himself pays the academy a visit and takes down your wish.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see our Day of the Dead exhibit. A special thanks to Mr. Freddy Escamilla for his help in setting up the displays and his donation to the Tamales Fund.
Well do this again next year. Yum!
Well, Halloween is over, but there is still a chance to get some more goodies before the Thanksgiving holiday. November 2nd is Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday where the dead are remembered by setting up altars in their honor and death is made fun of by dressing up as skeletons, decorating sugar skulls with your name on it, and basically just having a good time. Come see several displays currently on exhibit at the LRC, and come join us tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2nd, for some Mexican food treats: green and red chile tamales, hot chocolate, and Mexican sweet bread. Event starts at 10:00 am.
In honor of Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other famous stories, and whose birthday is on September 13, the LRC is having a small event, from 4 to 6 pm, tomorrow- Wednesday, September 1, 2010. We will have a few scrumdidiliumpcious snacks, (and of course someone will win a Golden Ticket for a special treat), a showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie based on the book, and face painting (don’t worry, we promise not to turn you into an oompa loompa).
So take a trip to the library and also pick up scrumptious book!
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