Links in Army Enterprise Email

This will probably be useful to only a few people, but maybe it will help someone who is frantically searching the internet for an answer.

Roughly a year ago, the Army changed its email service to an Exchange Enterprise system. The old address, which I have had for years (decades?) forwards to the new address, which I never can seem to easily remember. It seems, though, that links in forwarded emails are stripped out for security purposes. This is not a problem if the url is visible in the message, like this:

http://google.com

One can simply copy and paste the url into the browser. If the link is embedded into text or a graphic, though, there is nothing to copy. Any link seems to go to

https://web-cols01.mail.mil/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx

This makes it impossible to retrieve the original linked URL.

The problem that I had was with the Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP), which sells copies of Microsoft Office to military members at a very low price. For various reasons, I don’t like using Office, but it’s what the military uses, and I occasionally need it. Of course, to verify eligibility, the email had to be sent to a .mil address, and the link couldn’t be opened. I tried forwarding the email to a Gmail account, but the links were still broken.

The solution was to select “Options” for the message, and forward it as an attachment to Gmail. The links were still broken, but broken in a way that the original URL could be retrieved. After forwarding as an attachment, the link to Google would be

blockedhttp://google.com

Just copy the link, paste it in, and delete the word “blocked” before pressing the enter key.

It only took two months to figure that out. It might be better if I’d simply learn the new Enterprise address.

Visit to Ft. Moultrie

Yesterday, my class at the chaplain school participated in a staff ride to Charleston. “Staff ride” sounds more impressive than “field trip” but they mean the same thing. The highlight of the visit was a trip to Ft. Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island. The defense of the fort in 1776 was the first major victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. Standing on the high ground at Ft. Moultrie, you can look straight across the harbor and see Ft. Sumter. The attack on Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861 marks the beginning of armed conflict in the American Civil War. Then, if you scan to the left, you can see Morris Island, which is the site of Ft. Wagner. On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts assaulted Ft. Wagner, an event portrayed in the movie Glory. There, Sergeant William H. Carney secured the United States flag as the color-bearer fell, the first action for which an African-American would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

It’s a moving experience to see a century of history and heroism from one spot on the South Carolina coast.

Great Quote From Chaplain School

From a briefing given by an Army Chaplain about the new Inter-service Chaplain Center that is shared by the Army, Navy, and Air Force:

“We didn’t foresee the challenges that we would have with a building shared by the three services. Each service has its own customs, traditions, and even language. For example, we had to order three different signs for the restrooms – one that said ‘Latrine’ for the Army, ‘Head’ for the Navy, and ‘Powder Room’ for the Air Force.”

Back When I Could Run

I’m back at the Chaplains’ School for the first time in seven years. One of my classmates for this course asked me today if I was a runner. He said that I looked like someone who passed him on a 5-K in Baghdad. We were stationed on the same base at the same time, so I guess it was me. In honor of those memories, I posted a photo of the 378th Baghdad Army Ten-Miler group. This was before the race, I’m not looking so good in the after-race picture.

Army Ten Miler