The Ivy Leaf, Volume 1, Issue 39


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The Ivy Leaf, Volume 1, Issue 39

  1. 1. U.S. Division-North Volume 1, Issue 39 Established in 1917 to honor those who serve July 29, 2011 U.S. forces vacate COL K1, ISF assumes controlBlack Jack Steadfast and Loyal Sgt. David Strayer 109th MPAD USD-N Public Affairs CONTINGENCY OPERAT- ING LOCATION K1, IraqLongKnife – Soldiers of Company C, 1st Brigade Special Troops Bat- talion and 101st Brigade Sup- port Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Ironhorse Division, vacated and trans- ferred control of ContingencyDevil Operating Location K1 to Iraq Security Forces, July 25. Before the transition of the facility, combat engineers from Company C, 1st BSTB, workedFit for Any Test several days to dismantle and Fit for Any Test pack all U.S. equipment and systems to minimize any op- erational or physical ‘footprint’ left by U.S. forces following the withdrawal from COL K1. Sergeant Major Trennel Finch, Company B, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4thIronhorse Infantry Division, said the Devil transfer and signing over of COL K1 is a landmark event for U.S. forces as they work toward troop and equipment LongKnife consolidation. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Strayer, 109th MPAD The transfer is also signifi- Specialist Richard Baggerly, left, and Pfc. Cody Saenz, both combat engineers with Company C, BrigadeSteadfast and Loyal cant for Iraqi Security Forces Support Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, work into dusk dismantling the Light-weight Counter Mortar Radar system at Contingency Operating Location K1, Kirkuk province, in Kirkuk province, who now Iraq, July 24, 2011. Soldiers worked throughout the day to disconnect all non-essential electrical sys- gain an operational center that tems at the U.S.-controlled portion of COL K1 prior to the official transfer of the facility to Iraqi control. will help them facilitate their security mission, Finch added. forces assumed responsibility during Operation New Dawn, Finch. “As the noncommis- BLack JAck After years of residency of the base. said Finch. sioned officer in charge of base by U.S. forces and months of The handover of each U.S. “This would be the 15th closure for United States Divi- preparation, Soldiers of “Dev- installation to the Government U.S. installation that I have sion-North, I personally like to il” Brigade currently occupy- of Iraq exemplifies the progress helped to close down and hand ensure that we turn these instal- ing COL K1 witnessed the con- of Iraqi forces becoming self- over to the Government of Iraq lations over to the Government clusion of their efforts as Iraqi sustaining and fully capable since October of 2010,” said See VACATE, Pg. 3
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 To maintain the safety of fellow service members traveling through northern Iraq, U.S. Soldiers conduct counter-improvised explosive device operations, ensuring the removal of roadside bombs and the apprehension of those planting them. Specialist Patrick Taylor, assigned to the sniper section, Head- quarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was engaged by enemy fire while conducting counter-IED opera- tions near Tikrit, Iraq, July 12. "Taylor and his teammate were operating in the vicinity of Tikrit at an observation point, providing (convoy) security," said Staff Sgt. Mark Filip, sniper section sergeant with HHC, 1st Bn., 5th Cav. Regt. "After two hours they were engaged by small arms fire." Taylor spotted for his teammate, Sgt. Jonathan Clark, team U.S. Army photo leader assigned to HHC, who returned fire, wounding one enemy. Specialist Patrick Taylor, assigned to the sniper section, Headquar- During the firefight, Taylor radioed back to his unit for a quick ters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, reaction force, who apprehended the members of the attacking 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, provides over- watch for his unit during a mission in Salah ad-Din province, Iraq, July cell, including the wounded combatant. 27, 2011. Taylor and his teammate, Sgt. Jonathan Clark, suppressed The QRF Soldiers, thanks to direction from Taylor, disrupted an enemy small-arms attack against U.S. forces, July 12. direct fire and IED attacks along the supply route for the coming weeks, said Filip. Taylor planned to enroll in college with a slot in the Green to Taylor, who calls Madison Heights, Mich., home, stands out as Gold program to become an officer, but decided to deploy with a Soldier who will do whatever it takes to complete the mission, his unit. he added. "He volunteered to come on this deployment," said Filip. "He "Ive had him now for over a year," said Filip. "Hes the kind of dropped it all to come with us." guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty." His quick decisive actions resulted in the destruction and dis- Taylor also stands out for his unique status regarding his de- ruption of enemy activity, and earned Taylor the title of U.S. Divi- ployment. sion – North "Ironhorse Strong" Soldier of the Week. Deployed Soldiers join NCO Keeping spiritually fit in a Golden Lions on patrol Soldiers offer tips for Corps combat zone board success. Page 4 Page 5 Page 7 Page 10 THE Ivy Leaf Task Force Ironhorse Commanding General – Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins The Ivy Leaf is an authorized publication for members of the Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey U.S. Army. Contents of The Ivy Leaf are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of the Army or the 4th Infantry Division. Everything advertised in this Task Force Ironhorse Public Affairs publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage TF Ironhorse PAO – Lt. Col. Steve Wollman without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, TF Ironhorse PA NCOIC – Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other The Ivy Leaf Editor – Staff Sgt. Shawn Miller non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial The Ivy Leaf Layout & Design – Sgt. Coltin Heller content of The Ivy Leaf is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the United States Division-North Public Affairs Office. 1st Advise and 2nd Advise and Do you have a story to share? The Ivy Leaf welcomes submissions Assist Task Force Assist Brigade from readers. Send to the USD-N PAO at 1st Infantry Division 1st Cavalry Division mil. The Ivy Leaf reserves the right to edit submissions selected for the paper. For further information on deadlines, questions or 4th Advise and comments, email USD-N PAO or call DSN 318-849-0089. Assist Brigade 1st Cavalry Division 2
  3. 3. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 A recovery vehicle from 101st rived in country during Opera- Brigade Support Battalion, 1st tion Iraqi Freedom. Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st “Moving out and allow- Infantry Division, lifts and loads a pickup truck during the first ing the ISF to move into this stages of a base transfer mission installation demonstrates the at Contingency Operating Loca- confidence we have in our Iraqi tion K1, Kirkuk province, Iraq, counterparts to carry out the se- July 22, 2011. U.S. forces vacated and signed over COL K1 to Iraqi curity mission here in Kirkuk Security Forces, who plan to use province,” he added. the center to continue training As U.S. forces move for- Iraqi Security Forces members. ward with Operation New be turned over from Location Dawn, Finch said continued Command to the 12th Iraqi base transitions are symbolic of Army Division,” said Hall. the partnership created between U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Strayer, 109th MPAD “The 12th IA is planning on us- U.S. and Iraqi forces, and the VACATE, Contd from Pg. 1 we also are transitioning much ing the K1 facility to support a ability of the Iraqi government of Iraq in a responsible way.” of it to the Iraqis.” new tank regiment that is form- to function independently. After advising and training In recent years, U.S. and ing. The regiment is not on the “We are on the right track Iraqi soldiers for the past year Iraqi forces used training cen- ground yet, but it is in the work- right now, we need to maintain during Operation New Dawn, ters at COL K1 as hubs for ing for the future.” the standard and accountabil- U.S. forces now look to return combined instruction between This base handoff, Hall ity,” said Finch. “We want to operating bases back to ISF U.S. Soldiers and various units said, and the responsible man- make sure that we preserve this control, providing locations to of Iraqi Security Forces, in- ner in which it was completed, great relationship that we have house the newly-trained units. cluding Iraqi Army infantry and is symbolic of everything that with our Iraqi counterparts so The transfer marked the offi- route clearance units. U.S. advisory teams have done that we move into the future to- cial signing over of all the facil- “This base will eventually here since the first teams ar- gether, as allies and brothers.” ities and equipment at COL K1 to the K1 Iraqi Location Com- mand, said Maj. Jeremy Hall, an engineer advisor to the 12th Iraqi Army Stability Transition Team, Company C, 101st BSB. “The Iraqi Location Com- mand is like one of our garrison commands back home; they are the command element here at K1,” Hall explained. After months of accounting for equipment, property and systems on the U.S.-controlled portion of the COL K1, Devil Brigade Soldiers prepared to sign everything that was not being taken with them over to the ISF. “Since U.S. forces began using the K1 facility, a lot of property has accumulated here that had to be accounted for so that we could make a respon- sible handoff to the Iraqis. We wanted them to know exactly what we were giving them,” said Hall, a native of Dickin- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Strayer, 109th MPAD son, N.D. “We downsized as much of our equipment and Private 1st Class Michael Groves, a combat engineer with Company C, Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, tosses a roll of electrical cable from one rooftop to property as we could by mov- another as he and other Company C Soldiers dismantle and pack non-essential electrical systems at Con- ing it to (another U.S. base) tingency Operating Location K1, Kirkuk province, Iraq, July 24, 2011. U.S. Forces at COL K1 removed the leading up to this base closure, systems before vacating and transferring the base to Iraqi control. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Deployed Soldiers join NCO Corps Spc. Andrew Ingram USD-N Public Affairs CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – Twenty-five Soldiers assigned to Division Special Troops Battal- ion, 4th Infantry Division, joined the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps during a ceremony at Contingency Operat- ing Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27. During the ceremony, the new NCOs, each promoted to the rank of sergeant dur- ing the battalion’s deployment to northern Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, crossed the "Line of Authority" represent- ing their readiness to train and lead Sol- diers, and officially entered their name into the induction book. “Today, almost a decade after our nation was attacked, marks the occasion of your transition from simply being a great Ameri- can Soldier serving your nation, to being U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO a inducted into the Corps of Noncommis- sioned Officers and becoming a leader of Noncommissioned officers assigned to Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Divi- sion, celebrate the NCO Corps and the NCOs’ roles as leaders and trainers of Soldiers during great American Soldiers,” said keynote an NCO induction Ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27, 2011. speaker, Sgt. Maj. John Turkal, senior en- listed leader for information operations, be surpassed whenever possible,” he told “Yesterday, during my promotion, was 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Division – the new NCOs. “Reward those who set probably one of the best moments in my North. themselves apart as above the standard. As life,” Cruz said at the ceremony. “You go Turkal encouraged the inductees to lead noncommissioned officers, you must attain from being just one of the Joes one min- by example, exceed the standard and exude the highest standard possible and you must ute to being a leader the next. Now I got to excellence as they transition from being a demand these high standards of your sub- share that with all of my peers who received junior Soldier to a mentor of others. ordinates.” that responsibility at the same time.” “Nurture the idea that minimum stan- Turkal’s words set the bar for the new Sergeant Winney James, a human re- dards, while acceptable for the newly ini- NCOs, said newly-promoted Sgt. Jose sources specialist from 101st Human Re- tiated into the profession of arms, are to Cruz, a combat medic assigned to Head- sources Casualty Team, attached to DSTB, quarters Support Company, Division Spe- called the ceremony a life-changing experi- cial Troops Battalion, 4th Inf. Div. ence that marked the transition from junior “His words were inspiring,” said Cruz, Soldier to leader and role model for others. who calls Colorado Springs, Colo., home. “I am proud to be a part of such an out- “He hit the nail on the head in regard to standing corps,” said the Castries, St. Lu- what an NCO should be, and what an NCO cia, native. “As an NCO, I will strive to set should do.” the standard, maintain it, and then enforce Cruz said he was honored and ready to it for my Soldiers.” join the ranks of Army leaders who make NCOs enforcing those high standards up the “Backbone of the Army.” set the U.S. Army apart from every other military in the world, said Turkal. Sergeant Jose Cruz, a combat medic as- “To our newest noncommissioned offi- signed to Headquarters Support Company, cers, I extend my congratulations for earn- Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infan- try Division, crosses the “Line of Authority,” ing your place in our coveted corps,” Turkal joining the Noncommissioned Officer Corps said. “You have my utmost respect, as well and becoming a leader of Soldiers, during as my gratitude for accepting the incredible an NCO Induction Ceremony at Contingency responsibility of leading America’s greatest Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27, 2011. Cruz, a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., as we seek to prosecute those who attempt said he is proud to join the ranks of military to destroy our way of life and wish to bring U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO leaders call “The Backbone of the Army.” harm to those we are charged to defend.” 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Keeping spiritually fit in a combat zone Sgt. Justin Naylor gence officer for 3rd Battalion, “I only had the Bible that my can’t go back to the ones you 2nd AAB Public Affairs 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, mother gave me,” said the Kan- love or even talk to them,” ex- 1st Cav. Div, USD-N “Red Dragons,” 2nd Advise sas City, Kan., native. plained Dillard. “Those are the and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Dillard said it was his Bible, times that you have to rely on JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Division, served as the guest and his fellow Soldiers be- your spiritual strength, and the As 1st Lt. Jeremy Dillard pre- speaker for spiritual fitness side him, that helped him stay strength of those around you to pared to jump into Iraq as a training at Joint Base Balad, strong through his deployment. make it through.” member of the 173rd Airborne Iraq, July 19. “It was that spiritual aspect For Dillard, spiritual fitness Brigade during Operation Iraqi Dillard spoke about his pre- and being able to talk to and training like this is a great op- Freedom, he carried only one vious combat deployments, rely on one another that got us portunity to strengthen the personal item with him: his and how staying spiritually fit through,” Dillard said of his mental and emotional aspects Bible. helped keep him safe and men- unit. of his life. Now, years later, he strives tally ready. Spiritual strength really “You can look around here to explain to Soldiers the im- During his first deployment helps you get through those dif- and realize that you are not portance of staying spiritually to Iraq, Dillard met regular con- ficult times, he continued. alone,” he said. fit while deployed. tact with enemy forces and went “There are going to be This is an opportunity to Dillard, a former paratroop- nearly three months before be- times when you get homesick, gather with other spiritual peo- er and now the assistant intelli- ing able to change clothes. when you have a bad day and ple and support each other, he continued. “We must be able to turn to each other in times of difficulty.” The class is a chance to get together, share a meal, offer up prayers, and listen to the guest speaker, said Chaplain (Capt.) Darrell Burriss of Cincinnati, chaplain for 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt. Burriss explained that the goal of the classes is to give Soldiers of various back- grounds and faiths a common forum to express themselves and learn from one another. Everyone has different ex- periences and strengths, and everybody can contribute to building up one another, Bur- riss said. Additionally, these classes are a nice break from the stress of deployment, he added. “What I want to show Sol- diers is that it’s not just the chaplain; anyone can rely on spirituality to sustain them,” added Burriss. The “Red Dragon” unit min- istry team regularly holds spiri- tual fitness training and encour- ages all Soldiers to work on U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO building their spiritual fitness First Lieutenant Jeremy Dillard, of Kansas City, Kan., assistant intelligence officer for 3rd Battalion, 82nd to help sustain them through Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, reads his personal Bible at difficult times during deploy- Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 26, 2011. Dillards mother gave him the Bible prior to a deployment in 2003. ment. 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Information systems NCO provides technical support to Cavalry troopers Sergeant Matthew Cogburn, a native of Round Rock, Texas, and senior information systems noncommissioned officer assigned to Company B, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, prepares a computer to test a Harris 7800W radio at Contingency Operat- ing Site Marez, Iraq, July 21, 2011. a cook. Despite only serving two years in his current job field, his supervisors said the senior information systems NCO performs his job well above standard. “He clearly is highly technical, more so than his peers who have the same military occupational specialty,” said Williams, a native of Atlantic City, N.J. “He learns oth- er systems that he doesn’t typically work on. He is at the staff sergeant level or above as far as his technical expertise.” Cogburn operates the equipment neces- sary to provide signal support to the bri- gade along with five other Soldiers during the night shift. He also serves as the troubleshooter for the outlying areas of the brigade’s operat- ing environment – roughly the size of West Virginia. “I provide digital communication so the brigade commander can communicate to leaders throughout the brigade via video conference, e-mail or phone – no matter where they are,” said Cogburn. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Angel Turner, 4th AAB PAO Aside from performing his job above Spc. Angel Turner as, earned the title of “Long Knife Strong” standard, Cogburn also encourages his fel- 4th AAB Public Affairs Soldier of the Week for his technical abili- low Soldiers to further both their military 1st Cav. Div., USD-N ties, knowledge and mentorship of fellow and civilian education. Soldiers. As a result of Cogburn’s encourage- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE While deployed to northern Iraq, Cog- ment, his peers completed more than 500 MAREZ, Iraq – Soldiers deployed in sup- burn trained nine NCOs and 20 Soldiers on hours of military correspondence courses port of Operation New Dawn rely heavily the small aperture antenna used to support and 50 college credit hours while deployed. on communications to conduct their daily one of the brigade’s battalions and provided “Taking college courses is very impor- operations, whether it means sending an e- tactical communications to eight combined tant to your professional development in mail or making a phone call. checkpoints and joint security stations. the Army, and it is a good development tool Sergeant Matthew Cogburn, senior in- “He’s like our ‘go-to guy’ for all of all around,” said Cogburn. formation systems noncommissioned of- our signal operations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Cogburn also personally completed five ficer assigned to Company B, 4th Brigade Caroline Williams, telecommunications online classes as part of his network secu- Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and systems chief platoon sergeant assigned to rity degree. Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, en- Company B, 4th BSTB. “It feels like I am a vital part of the sures Soldiers stay mission-ready by suc- Cogburn enlisted in the military follow- team, because I’m doing something im- cessfully maintaining communication lines ing the 9/11 attacks. He has served in the portant,” Cogburn said. “It’s rewarding to throughout the brigade. Army for seven years, but just recently re- know I’m providing services that affect so Cogburn, a native of Round Rock, Tex- classed to his current job after serving as many people.” 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 GOLDEN LIONS ON PATROL Expanded CSF conducts first full-strength mission after graduation U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Strayer, 109th MPAD Sgt. David Strayer Sierras, senior enlisted leader mission-capable out here.” out for them.” 109th MPAD of Company A, 2nd Bn., 12th Now a full strength, battal- “We were really there to USD-N Public Affairs Cav. Regt., 1st AATF. “It was ion-sized combined element just pull outer security for much more than a normal pa- with their own base for opera- them and be there in case they CONTINGENCY OPER- trol; it gave the new additions tions in the Combined Secu- needed us since this was their ATING SITE WARRIOR, to the (eCSF) some experi- rity Area and Kirkuk City, the first patrol as a battalion,” he Iraq – The newly expanded ence out in sector, which is Golden Lions assumed sole added. “They did very well; Combined Security Force important, and it boosts their responsibility for the safety they really didn’t need us conducted its first patrol as confidence level.” and security in the area, al- there.” a full-strength element with The final company of eCSF lowing U.S. forces to now In recent months, U.S. members of 1st Advise and members recently graduated remain in a “back seat” role, forces transitioned to an ad- Assist Task Force, 1st Infan- from training and joined the lending support or assistance visory role in the security of try Division, manning an out- ranks of the force known as only if requested. Kirkuk province as the Gold- er security cordon in villages the “Golden Lions.” “This patrol was mostly a en Lions became a fully func- north of Kirkuk City, Iraq, “With that company’s presence patrol for the (eCSF) tional battalion. July 19. graduation, the (eCSF) has a to give them the opportunity “Getting out there amongst Soldiers of Company A, full battalion of trained, up- to get out in sector and let the the people, however, is just as 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry to-speed guys from the Iraqi citizens see them in action,” important as anything else,” Regiment, 1st AATF, served Police, Iraqi Army, and the said Sgt. Michael McCor- said Sierras. “The citizens in in a support-only role, stand- Kurdish Regional Guard; they mick, a squad leader assigned the Combined Security Area ing by to provide assistance if all bring something differ- to Company A, 2nd Bn., 12th now know that there is a ca- requested by the eCSF ground ent to the table,” said Sierras, Cav. Regt. “It’s reassuring pable, combined force present commander, Capt. Ahmmad. a native of Martinez, Calif. when you can show the citi- and tangible in their villages, “This patrol served several “That is one of the things that zens that they have a capable and they can feel safer as a purposes,” said 1st Sgt. Steven makes them so flexible and force there to protect and look result." 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 COB Speicher Soldiers, civilians share talents U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO Staff Sergeant Alvin Swayzer, an infantryman assigned to Company D, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, showcases his original hip-hop rhymes for a judge’s panel and audience made up of service members and civilians deployed to U.S. Division – North during a talent show at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 22, 2011. Spc. Andrew Ingram Eddin said he hoped Soldiers would better things.” USD-N Public Affairs continue using their gifts to lift their com- Service members deployed away from rades’ spirits over the course of their de- their homes and Families need events like CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ployment. the talent show give them a brief reprieve SPEICHER, Iraq – Service members and “It’s great to get up and sing in front of from the rigors of their daily tasks, said civilians deployed to northern Iraq in sup- people,” said Jose Flores, a lab technician Pvt. Isaiah Plummer, Company E, 1st Bat- port of Operation New Dawn spent a night for the COB Speicher Waste Department, talion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise showcasing their talents at Contingency who won the competition. “I came back to and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. Operating Base Speicher, July 22. Iraq not just because of a job, but because “Everybody did a really good job to- Contestants at the base talent show dis- I’m a veteran and I wanted to support the night,” said Plummer, who hails from Vir- played vocal talents ranging from R&B to troops, and I really think I was able to raise ginia Beach, Va. Rap to Gospel as they vied for the approval some spirits tonight.” “I think everybody that went up on stage of the judges and audience. The audience offered Flores, or “Flo” to had a good time, and I know we had a great “We had a lot of talented people come his fans, a standing ovation for his rendi- time in the audience,” he added. out to perform,” said Sgt. Maj. Jerry Ed- tion of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” Plummer said he hopes to see more op- din, 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Divi- “Nothing beats a good gospel song,” portunities for service members to social- sion – North senior enlisted advisor for said Flores, who calls Bellmore, N.Y., ize and share their talents in the future. force protection, who served as a judge for home. “I’ve been in country now for about “We need to be able to relax and mix it the event. “A lot of people were willing to two weeks and it just hit me when I saw up with our peers and everybody out here share their gifts and I think everyone en- the signs for the talent show that I should on the COB,” said Plummer. “We have to joyed it. Soldiers need events like this out get up and sing for everybody. I hope I was remember that there is more to life than just here, it brings them back home.” able to lift their spirits and remind them of the work we are doing out here.” 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Black Dragons bring ‘Smoke,’ train troops Spc. Terence Ewings 4th AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD-N CONTINGENCY OPERAT- ING SITE MAREZ, Iraq – Most often known for their duties as platoon sergeants and senior enlisted section leaders, sergeants first class are charged with the responsibility of train- ing and mentoring Soldiers. Sergeant 1st Class Bobby “Smoke” Brewster, an artillery platoon sergeant assigned to the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, performs these duties on a daily basis while deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. “As a platoon sergeant, it’s very important to get my Sol- diers trained and ensure they carry out the mission and com- plete operations (in a safe man- ner),” said Brewster, the field U.S. Army photo by Spc. Terence Ewings, 4th AAB PAO artillery platoon sergeant for Sergeant 1st Class Bobby “Smoke” Brewster, a field artillery platoon sergeant assigned to 2nd Platoon, Battery B, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Platoon, Battery B, 5th reviews a maintenance checklist for an M198 155mm howitzer with 2nd Iraqi Army Division soldiers during Bn., 82nd FA Regt. a training exercise at the Ghuzlani Eagle Training Site, near Mosul, Iraq, July 19, 2011. Currently on his seventh overseas tour, and fourth to “I know more about this and he is doing a phenomenal working to ensure his Soldiers Iraq, Brewster is the master equipment, so I made sure job training the U.S. and Iraqi receive nothing short of ex- gunner and noncommissioned my Soldiers were trained to field artillerymen,” said 1st Sgt. cellent training. All the work officer responsible for teaching standard prior to teaching the Mario Lindsey, senior enlisted ‘Smoke’ and his troops are classes on M198 155mm how- Iraqis,” said Brewster. “Most of advisor assigned to Battery B, doing is paying off,” Lindsey itzers at the Ghuzlani Eagle my guys have never used this 5th Bn., 82nd FA Regt. added. Training Site on Contingency equipment, so it’s good training In addition to training the After serving in the Army Operating Site Marez. for both sides.” Iraqi soldiers, Brewster and his for more than two decades, “This is my second time here In advanced individual platoon are also responsible for Brewster said he still has a cou- in Mosul, Iraq, training Iraqi training, field artillery Sol- conducting security missions ple of years left in him after this Army soldiers,” said Brewster, diers are taught how to use and escorting the Ninewa Pro- deployment. a native of San Diego. “This the M109 howitzer, which is a vincial Reconstruction Team “I’m going on 22 years of time around, I’m showing them self-propelled howitzer, allow- throughout U.S. Division- being in the military, and I’m how to operate the howitzers, ing crews to maneuver it on a North. still having fun,” said Brewster. which adds another piece of tracked platform as opposed to “I have watched Brewster “It’s all about training and be- equipment to their arsenal and the M198, said Brewster. and his platoon switch from ing able to be with the troops. I allows them to provide better Brewster and the other conducting security missions to love doing it, so I think I got a security.” “Black Dragon” Soldiers began training brand new IA soldiers couple of years left in me.” Prior to teaching the IA field training their Iraqi counterparts and turning them into compe- Meanwhile, the Soldiers of artillerymen how to proficient- on the indirect fire weapon sys- tent artilleryman by utilizing 4th AAB will continue their ly operate the weapon system, tem in June. the crawl, walk and run meth- deployment supporting opera- Brewster trained the majority “Brewster is the most experi- od,” said Lindsey, a native of tions in U.S. Division – North of his troops on how to operate enced artillery platoon sergeant DeFuniak Springs, Fla. before heading home later this the “old school” howitzer. that we have in the battalion, “He’s spent countless hours fall. 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Soldiers offer tips for board success Montemayor said Soldiers typically just rely on study guides when they are prepar- ing for the board. “Study guides don’t al- ways go over everything,” she warned, and went on to explain that it is also a good idea to look into the regulations behind them. After thoroughly studying, Montemayor and Warner recommend holding mock Sol- dier of the Month boards. During the mock board, peers and su- pervisors quiz participants on everything learned, and throw in some questions about current events, chain of command, and anything else that might be asked about during the real board, said Warner. Such events are chances to assess every- thing learned before going to the real com- petition, he continued. Besides simple studying, Warner also said one of the most important elements to winning is being confident. “At first you might be a little nervous, maybe even a little shaky, but be confident U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO in what you say,” he explained. Sergeant Elianna Montemayor, left, a native of La Porte, Texas, and training room noncommis- When Warner lost his first Soldier of the sioned officer with Company B, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Bri- Month competition, he said his nervous- gade, 1st Cavalry Division, checks on her Soldier, Spc. Patrick Eakin, a Winfield, Kan., native, ness was a contributing factor. If you lose and orderly room clerk with Company B, at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 23, 2011. at the board, study even harder and then go Sgt. Justin Naylor During the board, a group of senior back and try again, he added. 2nd AAB Public Affairs NCOs tests Soldiers. “Always be resilient and strive to be 1st Cav. Div., USD-N “They ask questions and you answer better. I was more confident the second them to the best of your ability,” he con- time,” explained Warner, who won the sec- JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Going to a tinued. ond board he attended. Soldier of the Month board can be a nerve- During the Soldier of the Month board, For senior leaders running the board, racking experience for a young Soldier, Soldiers compete against fellow junior en- there are often a few key things they look but with adequate preparation and a little listed troops. for in the Soldiers competing. advice from someone who has been to one Both Montemayor and Warner agree, “I am looking for the total Soldier before, it can be much easier. the first thing a Soldier should do before package,” said Sgt. 1st Class Clem Strait, Sergeant Elianna Montemayor, a na- going to the board is intensive studying. a Wichita Falls, Texas, native, who has tive of La Porte, Texas, and training room “I spent countless hours studying before served on multiple Soldier of the Month noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Frank I went,” said Montemayor. boards. Warner, a wheeled vehicle mechanic from Warner’s advice is to study alone and “Before a Soldier even walks into the Tampa, Fla., both with Company B, 15th then have a friend help review the material. board, I’m going to be looking at their Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Advise and If possible, he said, have it be someone physical fitness test scores, their weapons Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, have who has already gone to a board who can qualification card, their education level, their fair share of board experiences and a tell you about the experience. and reading about what they’ve accom- few tips on how to win. Warner even developed a special study plished and what they are doing to help Both Soldiers recently won NCO or system that worked well for him. their fellow Soldiers,” he continued. Soldier of the Month competitions and the He studied one subject repetitively, and “Anyone can study,” he said. “You brigade’s quarterly NCO and Soldier com- then moved on to the next subjects. Finally, have to be able to implement what you’ve petitions, respectively. he would put all the subjects together and learned. The information should be part of The boards are an assessment of a Sol- have a buddy ask questions about them. you. Take it to heart.” dier’s knowledge of key military subjects, “That way you’re not overloading your Although not all Soldiers will win every explained Warner. head with every subject at once,” he said. See BOARD, Pg. 11 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 ‘Long Knife’ Soldiers assist Iraqi and Kurdish relations Spc. Terence Ewings Ky. “We work with the ISF 24 4th AAB Public Affairs hours a day, and we’ve been 1st Cav. Div., USD-N able to see them grow and gar- ner a better understanding of CONTINGENCY OPERAT- each other.” ING SITE MAREZ, Iraq – Es- Since deploying to Iraq last tablished in 2009, the Ninewa fall, 4th AAB Soldiers worked Combined Coordination Center to improve communication be- is the organizational center for tween Iraqi and Kurdish forces all missions, activities and op- by conducting regularly sched- erations conducted within com- uled meetings and briefings, bined security areas throughout which allow both forces to hear the province. the other parties’ proposals. Soldiers from 4th Advise U.S. forces still act as a and Assist Brigade, 1st Cav- neutral third party, but every alry Division, partner with Iraqi day Soldiers see encouraging Army, Iraqi Police and Kurdish changes between the two forces U.S. Army photo by Spc. Terence Ewings, 4th AAB PAO Security Forces at the NCCC to that will hopefully lead to cohe- oversee operations and provide sive operations independent of Staff Colonel Hasen Ali, senior Iraqi Army officer for the Ninewa Com- bined Coordination Center, speaks with Lt. Col. Ted Stuart, command- security throughout the region. U.S. assistance, Stuart said. er of the NCCC, about current operations at the center, July 25, 2011. “What we’re trying to do Stuart said Iraqis and Kurds here is a pretty important part in the area have built significant “We’re training and ready- vision, witnessed changes and of the overall American effort – mutual trust since the NCCC ing them to fill our shoes once effects of the NCCC since he leaving behind a stable, peace- first opened. we are gone,” said Maj. Joseph started working back in 2009. ful Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Ted Stu- “But by the time we got Lendo, deputy commander “The relationship between art, commander of the NCCC. here, their relationships had of the NCCC. “They sit in on the Iraqi and Kurdish forces In addition to advising and changed and we noticed they all the daily meetings, and we is very strong and very good,” training Iraqi counterparts on were pretty close with one an- mentor them on how to run said Waleed, a native of Zakho, how to enhance their security other,” said Stuart. the tactical operating center. Iraq. “We are now capable of operations, Stuart and other Currently, NCCC officials They’re making good progress, solving problems and making U.S. Soldiers act as neutral me- are working to ensure the Kurd- and I believe they will continue decisions faster than in the past. diators and liaisons for the Iraqi ish and Iraqi forces will be ca- to do so in the coming months.” The teamwork and partnership and Kurdish forces. pable of sustaining security First Lieutenant Waleed Ra- between all the military forces “It’s a rewarding job,” said operations in Ninewa province mabhar, an intelligence officer here gives me confidence in our Stuart, a native of Fort Knox, after U.S. forces leave. assigned to 3rd Iraqi Army Di- mission." BOARD, Contd from Pg. 10 “It’s a good feeling to win,” board, the preparation can be a said Montemayor. “That’s reward in itself. when you know all your hard Studying all the information work, all the time you spent needed for the board is going to studying, has paid off.” help progress Soldiers’ careers Sergeant Elianna Montemayor, and help them develop as pro- left, a La Porte, Texas, native and fessionals, she continued. training room noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Frank Warner, a Preparing for and competing wheeled vehicle mechanic from at a board helps a Soldier excel, Tampa, Fla., both with Company and it shows peers that those B, 15th Brigade Support Battal- Soldiers are not content to sim- ion, 2nd Advise and Assist Bri- gade, 1st Cavalry Division, read ply meet the minimum require- through new promotion regula- ments, said Strait. tions at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Once you win, you’re not July 23, 2011. Both Soldiers are just a mechanic, or a clerk, or recent winners of quarterly NCO or Soldier competitions, respec- whatever your job is, you’re tively, and both said it is impor- also a Soldier of the Month tant to stay current on current winner, he continued. military regulations. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf July 29 , 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: spouse and children will continue to pay dividends far into the future. Our absence from our Families creates tangible debts that need to be filled with Where’s my NFL? our currency of emotional involvement, honesty and encouragement to them. Chaplain (Maj.) Kenneth Hurst in people. I grew up in Canada amongst What are you doing to communicate Deputy Chaplain avid hockey fans. It was always funny to that currency with those at home? U.S. Division-North observe my grandmother, a saintly old Solomon gives us wise counsel in woman, watch a Montreal Canadiens Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like There has been an obvious uptick in hockey game. She could not sit passively a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and attitude and atmosphere around Division and take in the game, but was constantly health to the body.” Main these days. I doubt it is related to animated, bouncing from chair to chair Emotional investment comes through any new decisions being made by higher in the living room, frantically screaming gracious words; words that bless the or greater variety of healthy meal choices and gesturing at the television as if it was hearer and give them grace. Our culture in the dining facility. somehow in submission to her will. She has minimized the power of words to bless No, it has far deeper roots and origin, was emotionally involved. by reducing them to digital shorthand. Use impacting the mental health of many Counselor and author Winston Smith descriptive words frequently with your Soldiers across U.S. Division – North. wrote, “Emotions are the currency of per- loved ones. I am referring to the settlement of the sonal involvement.” As we come to the last 90 days of this National Football League players’ lockout He went on to explain, emotions com- great mission in U.S. Division – North, and the return of professional football to municate the value you place on some- let us persevere in blessing our Family, our hearts, minds and favorite American thing the same way a price tag does. The children and friends for their investment Forces Network channel. image of “currency” is very useful to our in our lives. Speak to your children and/or This is a topic overflowing with energy understanding of how relationships work. grandchildren frequently. Use expensive and emotion. Now we can enjoy the What do you do with “currency?” emotional currency statements like, “I love distraction of essential player trades, once You can save it, invest it, spend it, you; I miss you; I can’t wait to be with again asking if Brett Favre will come out share it and value it. I am guessing that you …” of retirement. And, will Tim Tebow start at one of the things that you do not do is ig- Sweeten them with the graciousness quarterback for the Denver Broncos? nore it. Folks who ignore “currency” tend that comes from your full heart, separated Oh, the delight and distraction of anoth- to lose it – not a preferred option! by all these miles. In the meantime, I am er NFL season. And to think it was almost While we may invest a fair degree of going to continue to root for the Philadel- lost to labor a lockout. emotional currency in our favorite sports phia Eagles and try not yell at the TV in Sports bring out incredible emotion teams, the currency we invest with our my room whenever they lose to Dallas. USD-N Social Media To read more stories and see the photos that go with them, as well as some videos, check out the links below. Read and share what you see and pass along the Soldiers stories. 12