The ivy leaf, volume 1, issue 43


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Daisy and the Dukes stand watch
Texas congressmen visit Ft. Hood troops
‘Black Jack’ Soldiers transition KMTB
Iraqi Forces take responsibility for training post

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The ivy leaf, volume 1, issue 43

  1. 1. U.S. Division-North Volume 1, Issue 43 Established in 1917 to honor those who serve August 26, 2011 Daisy and the Dukes stand watchBlack Jack Steadfast and Loyal Spc. Andrew Ingram USD - N Public Affairs CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – By 8:30 a.m., the IraqLongKnife sun is already baking the flat landscape of Contingency Operating Base Speicher as six “Duke” Soldiers of Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment, 214th Fires Brigade, conduct mainte- Ironhorse nance on their Q-36 Counter Mortar Ra- dar system.Devil “The heat alone is rough on our equip- ment,” said Staff Sgt. Blake Sachs, sec- tion sergeant for the Dukes. “Add to that all the dust we get out here and it becomes very important for us to perform mainte-Fit for Any Test nance checks on these systems every day Fit for Any Test to keep them from breaking down.” The Q-36 Counter Mortar Radar sys- tem enables the Dukes to track incoming mortar, artillery and rocket attacks, and alert COB Speicher personnel to dan- ger before the round detonates. Mainte- nance and upkeep are high priorities for the safety of everyone on the COB, saidIronhorse Sachs, who hails from, Kansas City, Mo. Devil “I think we have done a pretty good job of it,” Sachs said. “We have to work long hours to get it done, but we are keep- ing the rest of the Soldiers here safe and LongKnife that makes it all worth it.” Sergeant Anthony Barges, a multipleSteadfast and Loyal launch rocket system operations and fire direction specialist, explained that Dukes spend most of their time ensuring their system is in working order and monitor- ing the radar from a shelter the Soldiers BLack JAck have nicknamed Daisy. See DUKES pg. 3 U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO Specialist Adrian Montez, a multiple launch rocket system operations and fire direction specialist assigned to Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment, 214th Fires Brigade, sights a Q-36 Counter Mortar Radar system at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, August 20, 2011. Montez, who hails from San Diego, Calif., uses the radar to identify and track incoming mortars, rockets and artillery.
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 A Soldier’s actual duties are not always implicit in their job title. Sometimes cooks pull guard duty or combat engineers pack shipping containers. Sometimes it means stepping up, taking initiative, and shouldering more responsibility to ensure the completion of the mission. Private First Class Chip Williams, a wheeled vehicle mechan- ic from Jacksonville, Fla, exemplifies that versatility while serv- ing in Company A, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, in northern Iraq. As a part of the security platoon, Williams primarily serves as a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle driver during force protection missions in and around Kirkuk City, said his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Brent Budd, who hails from El Dorado Spings, Mo. “He’s my go-to guy for just about everything,” said Budd. “On mission he can do it all: drive, dismount, gunner. He is re- ally knowledgeable and I can trust him to get the job done.” In addition to performing all the duties of a combat arms Soldier during missions, back on Contingency Operating Base Warrior, Williams uses his training as a mechanic to service and maintain his squad’s vehicles. “(Private First Class) Williams handles all the maintenance U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO for my squad,” Budd said. “He gets out there and works on the diers in his squad, said Budd. vehicles with the maintenance section because he wants to make “He is always willing to use his time to help another Soldier sure it is done right. His efforts have gotten our squad the best out,” Budd said. “He is a good example for the other guys and I maintenance record in the platoon.” am glad we have him in this squad.” By putting in the extra hours and maintaining a hard-charging For his versatility and dedication to duty, Williams is recog- attitude, Williams sets a good example for junior enlisted Sol- nized as this week’s “Ironhorse Strong” Soldier of the Week. Texas Congressmen Visit Ft. Black Jack Soldiers Pride and motivation drive Red Dragon medics train Hood troops Transition Base Destroyer Soldier Iraqi counterparts Page 4 Page 6 Page 9 Page 11 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 – Sgt. 1st Class Rob Barker non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial The Ivy Leaf Layout & Design – Spc. Andrew Ingram 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 August 26, 2011 Dukes Contd from pg. 1 the first sergeant. It’s a great responsibility “Complacency cannot be a factor in for all of us really. To be self-sustained out what we do.” Barges said. “Our mission is here has required a lot of discipline from to keep COB Speicher safe, and we cannot all of us, and I see it as a great accomplish- let anything deter us from that mission.” ment that we have sustained our mission.” While the days are long, the Dukes are The greatest challenge, becoming certi- motivated by a desire to keep their com- fied on the system, came prior to their De- rades safe, said Spc. Adrian Montez, a mul- cember 2010 deployment. tiple launch rocket system operations and “Back in the rear, they sent me to a war- fire direction specialist. rant officer course designed for an entire “This job can be pretty boring, because year, and they condensed it into a four- we sit in front of a screen all day waiting month class so we could deploy on time,” for something to happen,” Montez said. said Sachs. “The junior guys, on the other “But when you track your first live round hand, only got a two-week crash course coming onto the FOB you start to gain a in the system, so we did a lot of hours of different perspective. If it wasn’t for us, training in just a few months before we we wouldn’t know (whether) rounds were deployed. We were a bit nervous when we incoming or where they came from. It’s a went to get certified on the system but we job that you can take pride in because you passed with flying colors.” know that you are looking out for all of Despite the challenges he and his Sol- U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO your battle buddies.” diers have faced, Sachs said he feels sat- Specialist Nicholas Badda, generator me- The Dukes’ sense of responsibility is isfaction for everything they have accom- chanic, Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field plished. compounded by the fact they are deployed Artillery Regiment, 214th Fires Brigade, per- forms routine maintenance on a portable to a completely different part of the country “I’ve taken a great deal of pride in this generator at Contingency Operating Base than the rest of Battery B, said Sachs. job,” Sachs said. “To know that we have Speicher, Iraq, Aug. 20, 2011. Bacca and five “One of the biggest benefits and chal- tracked (each) round that has come onto other members of the of the “Dukes” section this base with such limited training and ex- lenges on this deployment is that we are operate and maintain Counter Mortar Radar system, which alerts personnel to incoming operating on our own,” said Sachs. “I am perience speaks very highly of my Soldiers mortars, rockets and artillery fire. the battery commander for these guys. I am and all that they have done.” U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO Specialist Charles Schindler, a Radar technician from Lake Home, Fla., assigned to Battery B, 2nd Bn., 4th FA Regt., 214th Fires Bde., performs routine maintenance checks on a Q-36 Counter Mortar Radar system at COB Speicher, Iraq, Aug. 20, 2011. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 Texas congressmen visit Ft. Hood troops Spc. Angel Turner Cav. Div. “We trained Iraqi Se- and the current budget crisis 4th AAB Public Affairs curity Forces on multi-echelon "You guys are doing a were also discussed. 1st Cav. Div., USD - N levels, focusing on the things tremendous job. Thank “You all have very intelli- CONTINGENCY OPERAT- that would make them more ef- gent questions and this speaks ING SITE MAREZ, Iraq – U.S. fective.” you for everything." highly of the Army force,” Representatives John Carter “Long Knife” troopers de- Carter said. and Michael Burgess, both rep- ployed to Iraq to advise, train -Michael Burgess Individual Soldiers spoke resenting Texas, visited U.S. and assist the ISF, giving them Congressman (Texas) with the congressmen, having Soldiers currently deployed the tools and opportunity neces- greater access to elected leaders in support of Operation New sary to establish better security Long Knife leaders, both Bur- than most citizens. Dawn at Contingency Operat- in the region and target violent gess and Carter had dinner with “It was an enjoyable event,” ing Base, Marez, Iraq, Aug. 13. extremists. Soldiers from central Texas. said Capt. Aaron Childers, Carter and Burgess met with “The ISF are effectively pro- Soldiers had the opportunity commander of Headquarters brigade, battalion and stabil- tecting the population in this to discuss current U.S. affairs and Headquarters Company, ity transition team commanders area,” Winski said to the con- that are affecting the nation and 4th AAB. assigned to 4th Advise and As- gressmen. military. “I was able to get a perspec- sist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divi- Burgess and Carter have “When it comes to the mili- tive on the people who represent sion, from Fort Hood, Texas, seen the improvement. tary, I don’t think there will not just my family, but all of the to discuss the unit’s mission in “I am surprised by how be any attack on retirement or troopers in D.C.,” said Childers, Ninewa province before it cul- much progress has been made your pay, but TRICARE may a native of Plano, Texas. minates in September. here,” said Burgess. "You guys (be affected,)” said Carter, in Carter and Burgess will con- “We had 15 combined secu- are doing a tremendous job. response to a Soldier’s question tinue to travel to southern Iraq rity areas that we were respon- Thank you for everything you about possible retirement cuts. to visit other deployed Soldiers sible for,” said Col. Brian Wins- do.” Texas border security, cohe- before the congressmen return ki, commander of 4th AAB, 1st Following the meeting with siveness in Washington, D.C., to Washington later this month. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Angel Turner, 4th AAB PAO Captain Aaron Childers, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, speaks with U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, of Texas, during the congressmans visit to the Contingency Operating Site Marez, in Ninewa province, Iraq, Aug. 13, 2011. Childers, who hails from Plano, Texas, and other constituents discussed current political and military affairs with Burgess and Representative John Carter prior to the cavalry troopers’ redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas, later this summer. 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 A cut above the rest Spc. Crystal Hudson earned a reputation for being dependable 29th MPAD and selfless. USD - N Public Affairs “No matter what you need him to do, CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE he is going to make it happen,” Warren WARRIOR, Iraq – Taking care of people said. “I never have to worry about Demers is what Spc. Brad Demers is all about. He being the one to gripe, argue, fuss or any- works as a medic for Company C, 101st thing that would delay a task from being Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Advise and completed.” Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, Warren said Demers consistently takes in support of Operation New Dawn. an active role with other Soldiers in his Demers trained in the culinary arts be- platoon. fore he enlisted in the Army, a skill set “Whenever it comes time to do (physi- that he continues to use while deployed. cal training), he might not have wanted to “He will use it occasionally to raise do it, but he knew other people wanted to morale,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mike Warren, do it, so he jumped in there,” Warren said. treatment platoon sergeant for Company “He keeps people motivated.” C. “He has gone to the kitchen early in the Demers said he enjoys the camaraderie morning and made cupcakes. He uses his that his job provides. own time to benefit others.” “We are all new to this. We have really U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD Using a combination of supplies sent been able to come together and support from home and basic ingredients available each other,” Demers said. “We have been Specialist Brad Demers, a medic with Company C, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Advise in the dining facility, Demers prepares fa- lucky to be able to do our jobs, to treat and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, as- miliar foods in an unfamiliar place. people.” sists a soldier during sick call at Contingency “It is definitely limited, but you do Demers is in the process of complet- Operating Site Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 22, 2011. what you can,” Demers said. “You make ing a flight medic packet, with hopes of to continue to grow in his career field. do.” continuing his medical training after the “He has done nothing but take care of In the kitchen or at the aid station, De- end of the deployment. His chain of com- others this whole tour,” said Warren. “So mers uses his skills to provide comfort to mand is fully supportive of his aspirations now it is time to take care of him.” Soldiers in need. “Home baked goods are something that make you feel comfort,” said Demers, a Southbridge, Mass., native. “I have a set of skills that allows me to do it, and if I have the resources, why not?” Like cooking, being a medic allows Demers to help people. “The best thing about the medical field is that people come to you when they don’t know what else to do,” Demers said. “It gives you a sense of accomplishment to be able to help in a way that no one else can.” Demers also uses his sense of humor and compassion to put people at ease dur- ing a stressful time. “There really wasn’t any other job that I wanted to do in the Army,” he said. “I never worked in the medical field before and I was curious about it.” His curiosity has expanded to a pos- sible civilian career as a medical profes- sional. Demers’ ultimate goal is to go to medical school and become a doctor after his military service is complete. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD During this deployment, Demers has Demers checks the vital signs of a Soldier during sick call at COS Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 22, 2011. 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 ‘Black Jack’ Soldiers transition KMTB Iraqi Forces take responsibility for training post Sgt. Quentin Johnson 2nd AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD - N CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – A training base, full of history between the Iraqi army and U.S. forces, transitioned Aug. 21. Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, officially transi- tioned Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, back to the Iraqi army. For weeks, Soldiers of Company A worked tirelessly to clean the area and conduct sensitive item sweeps to ensure the IA received the base in serviceable condition, said Capt. Jesse Harden, com- mander of Company A. “We turned (the base) over with the same standards as we would expect to U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. James McGregor, 2nd AAB PAO have received it,” said Harden a Killeen, Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Texas native. Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, load equipment to assist with movement of equipment during the transition of Kirkush Military Training Base, in Diyala province, Iraq, Aug. 11. The transition comes after years of training that took place on the small compound, said Harden whose company conducted Tadreeb al Shamil, or all-in- clusive training. Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infan- try Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Divi- sion, were first to step back and let Iraq- is lead the training at KMTB. They led training and advising the year prior to 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., taking command of the base. “We realized we were giving these guys training, but they really had noth- ing to sustain it after they received the training,” said Sgt. Christopher Mola, an infantryman, who was attached to Com- pany A, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., in March 2011. “After we leave, they’ll have the in- structors here to continue the training, whether it’s here at KMTB or at their own individual units, to ensure that the U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller, USD-N PAO soldiers retain the knowledge they gained A 4th Battalion, 21st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division jundi, Arabic for soldier, sprints to his next by coming here,” said Mola months ago. firing position during a live fire exercise at KMTB, March 9. Iraqi instructors led the exercise as their U.S. counterparts from 1st Bn, 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div. observed the Recently, Soldiers of Company A in- training. U.S. forces transitioned full control of the training program to Iraqi Army leadership at structed Iraqi soldiers on a variety of the base in April. Soldiers handed over full responsibility of KMTB Aug. 21. military tactics and standards during 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 each 25-day training cycle, including in- dividual weapons qualification, platoon live-fire and company training events. KMTB is full of training history and provided a starting point for Iraqi sol- diers to become self-reliant. “This is where it all began,” said an Iraqi training officer, describing the training grounds at KMTB. “This is where one of the first soldiers was trained to pick up a rifle and begin the steps to protect their country. This is also where we teach them to protect themselves, and protect the people of Iraq.” The growth of the Iraqi forces and their training continued to expand with each passing month at KMTB. “It’s very, very useful for us. We are doing the training, and we are the in- structors now,” said Staff Sgt. Ayad, a 5th IA Div. instructor at KMTB. “We know (U.S. forces) will try as much as possible to help us stand for ourselves. We’re trying to get the most important training that we’ll need to defend our people and our country,” ex- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller, USD-N PAO plained Ayad. Sergeant Stephen Miller, an infantryman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infan- U.S. forces continued to motivate try Regiment, provides guidance to 5th Iraqi Army Division instructors prior to the start of a live fire exercise at KMTB, March 9. Following feedback provided by U.S. advisors, the Iraqi and train Iraqi forces with great success, instructors took the lead role in teaching the exercise to the IA units while U.S. Soldiers ob- added Harden. The culmination of train- served. The 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., "Gimlets," part of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th ing and transition was “bittersweet” for Infantry Division, transitioned full control of the 25-day training cycles, known as Tadreeb al him. Shamil, Arabic for All-Inclusive Training, to their Iraqi counterparts in April. Tadreeb al Shamil is an Iraqi military initiative for IA units to develop the ability to train and lead individual and “We saw a lot of progress with unit collective training necessary to sustain a modern army. discipline. It was refreshing to see (Iraqi soldiers’) commitment to the training sitioned, resulting in a greater need for and themselves,” said Harden. force protection, said Sams. First Lieutenant Kellan Sams, execu- In the end, Iraqi soldiers on KMTB tive officer, Company A, agreed with provided security for the base as the last Harden about the progress of the Iraqi of U.S. forces at the Commando com- soldiers. pound left. “The Iraqi army soldiers are motivat- ed and always ready to get at (the train- ing),” explained Sams. "We know (U.S. forces) will Additionally, the Iraqi soldiers never try as much as possible to failed to show gratitude to Soldiers of Company A, added Harden help us stand for ourselves. “There was a lot of thanks on an in- We’re trying to get the most dividual level,” he said of the Iraqi sol- important training that diers. Harden’s appreciation went to his Sol- we’ll need..." diers, who trained more than 1500 Iraqi -Staff Sgt. Ayad, soldiers within two months, and didn’t allow complacency to set in. 5th IA Div. “(Soldiers) were more focused on the mission … focused on the basics and Iraqi Army soldiers fire at targets during M-16 rifle qualifications at KMTB in Diyala prov- took accountability everyday,” added ince, Iraq, Jan. 5, 2011. The Soldiers of 1st Harden. Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd Advise and Assist Staying focused was important when Brigade, 25th Inf. Div., serve as advisors for the advise, train and assist mission tran- Iraqi Army battalions cycling through KMTB. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch, 2nd AAB PAO 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 Whats your personality? Sgt. Quentin Johnson 2nd AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD - N CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – A “Personality In- ventory” resiliency class was conducted at the Contingency Operating Base War- horse, Iraq, chapel for Soldiers of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, to help Soldiers discover and understand their personality type and reduce miscommu- nication. The class, third in a five-part resil- iency class series, introduced Soldiers to four common personality types: Domi- nant, Influential, Supportive and Compe- tent, said Chaplain (Maj.) Donald Ehrke, 2nd AAB chaplain. Someone with a dominant personality is described as being task oriented and U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd AAB PAO very outgoing, according to the “Under- Chaplain (Maj.) Donald Ehrke, chaplain for 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divi- standing the Love of Your Life” study sion, U.S. Division – North, instructs Soldiers on personality types during a “Personality Inven- tory” class, held in the chapel on Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq, July 19, 2011. guide. This is opposed to an individual with a competent personality type, who enhance communication as well. sonality type has made him more self- focuses on the task in a reserved manner. Leaders and their Soldiers will know aware. A person with the influential personal- how to respond to each other when deal- Saunders added, being a competent- ity type won’t focus on a specific task, ing with issues during deployment, stated type personality he tends to over-analyze but on the people associated with it. That Ehrke. These issues may cause unneces- most of what he does. Recognizing this same personality has a lot of energy and sary stress on a Solider, such as Family as a hindrance to his work, Saunders can is outgoing. Much like the influential per- issues, and cannot always be handled in adjust, making him more proficient as sonality, the supportive type is also fo- person because of the deployment. a human resource specialist for the 2nd cused on people but in a more reserved Personality conflicts increase between AAB. manner. Soldiers and their spouses or loved ones By understanding personality differ- Learning the personality types helps back home, he said. Understanding a ences, communication between his su- leaders and their Soldiers build stronger Soldier’s personality helps Family mem- periors, co-workers and himself, will im- working relationships, alleviate miscom- bers acknowledge their Soldier’s difficult prove, explained Saunders. munication and increase Soldier-Family times, while affording Soldiers an oppor- Everyone should attend a personality togetherness, explained Ehrke. tunity to help their family deal with is- inventory class, he said. Not only was it Building those leader-Soldier relation- sues back home. intriguing and insightful, but understand- ships is easier with deployments, said Another benefit to conducting a per- ing the different personalities other Sol- Ehrke. However, he added, when you in- sonality inventory is self-awareness, ex- diers possess encourages clearer commu- teract with the same people everyday for plained Ehrke. nication and stronger relationships. an extended amount of time, personali- Self-awareness opens a Soldier up to ties can clash. discovering their weakness, he said. This Understanding someone’s personality is vital for any Soldier who wants to be a “If I understand what helps ensure work relationships comple- better person and understand what moti- motivates me, I can ment each other in any circumstance, he vates others. understand other people said. Work then becomes interpersonal. “If I understand what motivates me, I “When leaders understand subordi- can understand other people better,” said better,” nates, they reach out to them and put Ehrke. -Chaplain (Maj.) Donald Ehrke, them in a job (position) that is best fit for Pfc. Ryan Saunders, from Katy, Texas, 2nd AAB chaplain them,” said Ehrke, adding that this will said having an understanding of his per- 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 Pride and Motivation: Sgt. Kandi Huggins I was preparing for the board, are helpful.” ‘Destroyer’ Soldier wins battalion board Harris is not the only 1st 1st AATF Public Affairs and my sergeants would tell A lot of people are scared Bn., 5th FA, Soldier to win a 1st Inf. Div., USD - N me the board members were to do it, but as they continue recent board. Soldiers and people just like to participate in boards, it will “Since 2009 our com- CONTINGENCY OPERAT- I was,” said Harris. “I had help develop their confidence pany has won every Soldier ING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq to study a lot… but winning and knowledge, even if they and NCO board,” said Mar- – Enlisted Soldiers test their allowed me to accomplish don’t win. If they do win, it tin. “That shows our NCOs knowledge and military bear- something I thought I could will be one thing that will set want our Soldiers to improve ing by participating in Soldier never do.” them aside from their peers, and to continue improving of the Month boards. Winners The confidence is translat- especially when being select- throughout their career. Har- are normally those who are ing into her job performance. ed for certain positions and ris can definitely do anything able to overcome the board’s “She definitely feels more duties, he said. she wants to do and nothing greatest obstacle: them- secure in her position and While Harris said she cur- can stop her.” selves. understanding more about rently plans to stay enlisted Overall, Harris said the One “Destroyer” Soldier the Army,” said Martin, a and grow through the non- experiences she gained in from 1st Battalion, 5th Field Miami native. “This deploy- commissioned officer ranks, her two years of being in the Artillery, said confidence and ment alone has helped her un- she has also considering go- Army continually shows her knowledge allowed her to win derstand a lot more than just ing to school and becoming a growth as a person and as a not only her company-level her job because all she did at officer. Soldier. board, but also her battalion garrison was cook. Now she’s “I want to conquer every “I need to be able to grow, board. become more diversified with aspect of the Army,” said to stay in the Army, to pro- Private First Class Tiffany not just the board, but work- Harris. “The higher I get en- vide for my baby, and develop Harris, food service special- ing outside of her job to get listed, the more I’ll do things my career,” said Harris. “The ist, Company G, 1st Bn., 5th more experience.” I never thought I could do, more I try to do things I don’t FA, said her greatest chal- Harris also attributed her and the more experience I think I can do and accomplish lenge since being a Soldier success to her biggest motiva- will have. I want to conquer them, the more I feel I can do has been a struggle with her- tion, her one-year-old daugh- everything I possibly can, but anything. self and her attitude. ter. still have the competence and “I know the areas I need to “I didn’t think I would “She is my strongest moti- experience when dealing with work on, and I’m improving have been considered for vation,” Harris said. “Half the Soldiers to tell them I did on them, but as far as any- (a) board because I used to stuff I do, I wouldn’t do it if what you did and that’s why thing else, it is mine and I’m have an issue with my atti- I didn’t have her because she I’m here.” going to take it.” tude and sassiness,” said the makes me look beyond my- St. Louis native. “Whenever self so that I can provide for I felt something was unfair, her.” I would just react to it. I’ve Since Harris deployed to learned maintain my military Contingency Operating Site bearing, and composure and Warrior, Iraq, in support of go about the proper way of Operation New Dawn, Mar- handling situations.” tin said she has worked at the Harris’ peers and leaders class one yard, in operations, have noticed the change. as a driver for guard mounts, “Her disrespectful attitude and in the dining facility. left after I became her pla- He said she is definitely toon sergeant… now what multi-tasking, and everything she shows is a pride and re- she is doing will give her ex- spect for herself,” said Staff perience through other means Sgt. Paul Martin, platoon ser- than just training. geant, 1st Bn., 5th FA. “She definitely has an edge While the board proved on her peers,” said Martin. “I to be stressful for her, Harris try to tell all the Soldiers they U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO said she was grateful for the have to continuously gain Private First Class Tiffany Harris, food service specialist, Company G, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, logs information from an incoming sergeants in her company who knowledge, they have to get call over the radio at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Iraq, Aug. helped and studied with her. schools and go to boards, be- 22, 2011. Harris, a St. Louis native, proved her competence and knowl- “I got a lot of advice when cause boards are a plus and edge by winning her battalion’s Soldier of the Month board. 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 The foundation of his sacrifice Deployed Soldier honors fallen heroes Sgt. Kandi Huggins Bedwell, chaplain assistant, 1st When Bedwell asked for them, our fellow brothers and 1st AATF Public Affairs Special Troops Battalion, 1st volunteers, Moreno was enthu- sisters,” Bedwell added. “If 1st Inf. Div., USD - N AATF, 1st Inf. Div., and other siastic about helping to honor you take a look around, you servicemembers touch-up the his brother-in-law. will see the aftermath of the CONTINGENCY OPERAT- names of fallen Soldiers paint- “Unless you’ve been in fights here, and around this ING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – ed on the Warrior Memorial that position, where you’ve area, and acknowledge that It’s never easy to hear news of Wall at Contingency Operating lost someone on the wall, these guys were in the fight a fallen comrade. Site Warrior. The names, which people don’t really understand since OIF.” “All I could do was stand have faded over the years, now the sacrifices,” he continued. Moreno also remembers there,” said Spc. Rodolfo include those who have given “And for (the wall) to be there, Garcia, who was a scout with Moreno, recalling hearing the their lives in support of Opera- it helps them understand… 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry news his brother-in-law and tion New Dawn. It makes you stop and think Regiment, 2nd Brigade Com- close friend, Sgt. Israel Devo- “When the decision was ‘that could’ve been me or that bat Team, 1st Armored Divi- ra-Garcia, was killed in Bagh- made to move the memorial could’ve been my battle bud- sion, by giving back to his com- dad while supporting Opera- wall to the center of COS War- dy.’” munity through a foundation in tion Iraqi Freedom. rior, I felt it was our duty, as A lot of time and effort went honor of Garcia and other local “Maybe it’s different be- fellow Soldiers, to ensure the into painting the wall, and fallen heroes. ing in the military, and be- wall was complete, by adding Bedwell said it was their duty Moreno said the foundation ing around family and friends the names of those fallen dur- to not let the work go to waste. does a lot of charity events in when we hear something like ing Operation New Dawn,” “We are now able to hand raising money for kids to go to that, because we try to be a lit- said Bedwell, a Little Rock, over responsibility and bring school, and sponsoring meals tle stronger, but I know inside I Ark., native. closure to this war because of around the holidays. was hurting badly,” said More- no. “I’ll never forget that day. I got the call from a friend late at night on April fool’s Day, but of course, nobody jokes around like that.” That was six years ago when Moreno, now a finance clerk with 4th Financial Manage- ment Company, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, received the news about Garcia. Moreno deployed a year later to Iraq and felt it was his duty to serve and find a way to give back to the community in memory of Soldiers who sacrificed their lives while de- ployed. “After he passed, I felt more obligated to be here and be with him because this is where he is now,” said Moreno, who hails from El Paso, Texas. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO Now on his second deploy- Specialist Rodolfo Moreno, a finance specialist from the 4th Financial Management Company, 1st Ad- ment to Iraq, Moreno had the vise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, repaints the name of his brother-in-law, Sgt. Israel Devora-Garcia, who died while deployed to Baghdad in 2005, on the Warrior Memorial Wall at Contin- opportunity to remember Gar- gency Operating Site Warrior in Kirkuk province, Iraq, Aug. 6, 2011. “I am grateful for the opportunity to cia and other fallen heroes. He give a little back,” Moreno said. “I just want people to know we’re still here and some of our comrades volunteered to help Spc. Faith are going to be here forever because this is where they gave their lives.” 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 “People need some help ev- their families, and taking their ery now and then,” he said. patriotism and commitment to Moreno said Garcia’s sacri- their country to the next level. fice brought a lot of patriotism “I’m proud of what I do and in their hometown. of his sacrifice. And not a day “We were from a small goes by where I don’t think town… a farming community,” about him,” said Moreno. “I said Moreno. “We have veter- just want people to know we’re ans, but when Garcia (passed), still here and some of our com- we started getting more atten- rades are going to be here for- tion, military-wise, and people ever because this is where they opened their eyes more in sup- gave their lives.” porting troops.” He said his community be- Moreno refurbishes the name of his fallen brother-in-law, Sgt. Is- came more open minded to rael Devora-Garcia, on the War- what Soldiers are doing in rior Memorial Wall at COS War- combat zones, being away from rior, Iraq, Aug. 6, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO ‘Red Dragon’ medics train Iraqi counterparts 2nd Lt. Josiah Metzger 2nd AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD - N JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, trained Iraqi Army soldiers on various medi- cal tasks to help ensure they have the knowl- edge and capability to take care of injured comrades. Capt. David Marcoux, a Lancaster, Ohio, native and physician assistant for “Red Dragons,” and a team of medics trav- eled to 4th Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Bri- gade’s compound and conducted medical training exercises. The instruction ranged from evaluation and treatment of specific injuries, to ad- U.S. Army photo vanced subjects such as pulmonary systems Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and As- and orthopedics, he explained. sist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, observe and give advice to an Conducting hands-on training is very im- Iraqi doctor and medics during a medical procedure near Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 15. portant to the Iraqis since they do not have many live-action training scenarios where Red Dragon medics also instructed Iraqis minor to moderate wounds,” said Staff Sgt. they can hone and practice their medical on how to best control and expedite the flow Richard Tyree, the treatment noncommis- skills, Marcoux said. of patients during hours of operation, as well sioned officer in-charge for 3rd Bn., 82nd Sick call provides the best training op- as proper documentation on a patient’s illness, FA Regt. “Thanks to the efforts of our bat- portunity for the Iraqi medics because it is a injury history and prescriptions. talion, and the one we replaced, the clinic time when sick soldiers or those with minor In addition to training their IA counter- is now much more operational.” injuries can be treated by their medics, said parts, the Red Dragons have also helped them With Iraqi Security Forces firmly in the Marcoux. outfit their clinic. lead of combat operations, IA soldiers with When U.S. medical personnel were pres- “Last deployment, this Iraqi clinic had the 4th Bn., 17th IA Bde., can enter the bat- ent for IA sick call hours, they provided di- barely anything – no chairs for the medics to tlefield knowing their medics and doctors rect oversight, by coaching and mentoring work out of, no stretchers with which to load have trained with their U.S. counterparts, the Iraqi doctors and medics as they treat and attend patients, barely any medical equip- and that they have a fully functional clinic patients, continued Marcoux. ment, and barely enough supplies to patch up to return to if they get injured. 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf August 26, 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: Get ‘em while they last Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Hurst ing facility or losing your Sniper Hill ac- Get ‘em while they last! Why should Deputy USD-N Chaplain cess. I am referring to making good use of you consider attending chapel during the our remaining Sunday’s here on Speicher final weeks at whatever COB you reside? Nothing beats a “Philly-hot-pretzel” and attending service at Ironhorse Chapel The most immediate answer is that wor- with mustard bought from a roving street before it closes forever. ship is an aspect of spiritual resiliency. vendor in the City of Brotherly Love. We Ironhorse Chapel will hold its final wor- The reason the USD-N Chaplain’s office moved our family to Philadelphia in 1982 ship services, both Catholic and Protestant, moves our Catholic Chaplain around the in order to attend seminary. As a result, Sept. 18. We will then move services to the AO is to enhance the worship of Catholic whenever anyone asks where I am from, Ivy Room in the DFAC for the remaining Soldiers at remote locations, and build the short answer is always, “well, we raised weeks until the end of mission. spiritual resiliency. In the same way, we our kids in Pennsylvania.” One of the strategic missions for the will be promoting the up-coming Jewish It wasn’t long after our arrival that our Chaplain Corps during this deployment celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom children discovered the gourmet delicacy has been the sanitization and closure of Kippur. Soldiers are strengthened through of Philadelphia hot pretzels. The vendors dozens of chapels across Iraq – specifically the worship opportunities provided by Unit would frequent our neighborhood every 14 chapels in the U.S. Division – North Ministry Teams across USD-N, at every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. As our son area of operations. Chaplain assistants at phase of the mission. and daughter would be playing outside, both the brigade and battalion levels have A second reason to attend a chapel they would hear the pretzel man coming diligently cleaned and removed equip- service in the weeks ahead is because it is a down the street, pushing his cart full of ment and religious supplies from chapels concrete encouragement to other Soldiers. steaming hot pretzels. For a mere crisp and storage rooms in order to turn over Your presence, your handshake and your dollar bill, I could buy six hot pretzels, facilities. Sacred religious items have been fellowship has a positive impact on the oth- with mustard, and satisfy the palates of the collected from each chapel and stored in er folks in attendance. This is the commu- whole family. Given the popular demand brigade containers. These containers were nity aspect of worship. We do not worship for “Philly-hot-pretzels,” the challenge inspected, then shipped to Sierra Army as individuals but as part of a sacred com- was always to “get ‘em while they lasted.” Depot for proper disposition of religious munity. It is the effect of meeting together Heaven forbid the vendor would run out of supplies. as a worshiping community, together seek- pretzels before reaching our neighborhood. Each of our brigades tracked their ing God’s grace and mercy, that reinforces I am not expecting to hear the sound chapel closure procedures while at the hope and peace in an environment that is of a Philly street vendor on Contingency same time maintaining the ability to offer uncertain. Your presence helps others. Operating Base Speicher yelling, “Get on-going religious support to their Sol- After more than eight years of use and your hot pretzels now!” But I want to alert diers. Expeditionary religious support is ministry, our chapels are going away; most you to something else that you need to get the operative term as we transition out of have already closed. Please use the weeks while they last … no, I’m not talking about theater. The endstate is to leave Iraq with ahead to attend the worship of your choice the end of soft serve ice cream in the din- dignity and honor. and “get ‘em while they last.” 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