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Rail Gunner Newsletter January 2013


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The official quarterly newsletter of the 41st Fires Brigade.

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Rail Gunner Newsletter January 2013

  1. 1. The Rail Gunner NewsletterVOLUME 5 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER ISSUE 1 Inside this issue Message from 2 RG6/RG9 Small Community Big on 3 Giving Celebration of Lights 4 41st Fires Bde. celebrates 5 St. Barbara Dalhart Texas Honors 7 Veterans Del Harris visits with 8 Rail Gunners Rail Gunners Return 9 Home Settling into Home 10 Teen receive extreme 11 Capt. Clifford Pullig, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery commander, 2nd Battalion, look into Army life 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade, hands off a box of toys donated to the Families of the brigade by the communities within Leon County, Texas, Dec. 12. Ft. Hood fighter no 13 lightweight Story and photos by Gary Maples and his wife Sgt. Garett Hernandez Susan transported the trucks full of 41st Fires Brigade, PAO toys. The Maples drove the 240 mile The Rail Gunner Leon County is located about round trip three times with the help Monthly Staff half way between Houston and Dallas of a few of their friends. Commander on Interstate 45 and has a population The second load of donated COL William E. McRae toys contained over 5,000 toys. The of approximately 16,000 people, ac- Command Sgt. Maj. CSM Antonio Dunston cording to the 2010 census. Wal-Mart Distribution center in Pal- Rail Gunner PAO The people of that county came estine, Texas, donated the toys to NCOIC together to donate thousands of toys Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), SGT Garett Hernandez to the Soldiers of the 41st Fires Bri- explained Gary. The VVA then heard gade, Dec. 12. they were donating toys to the 41st Continues on pg. 3
  2. 2. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 Rail Gunner 6 & 9 Send private, we must to be relentless in our pursuit of excellence. Command Sergeant Major Dun- ston and I have every confidence that our Soldiers and Families will meet and exceed established standards. I am confident that, because of the time and energy put in here at home station, the Soldiers that we send out will be able to succeed at any mission they are given. I know every Rail Gunner will make us proud. Again, welcome back and con- tinue to press hard in our enduring pursuit of excellence. RAIL GUNNER STRONG! Colonel Command Sergeant Major William E. McRae Antonio Dunston 41st Fires Brigade CDR 41st Fires Brigade CSM Rail Gunners, Family and Friends, Happy Hopefully everyone had a good New Year! holiday season. Col. McRae and I would Command Sgt. Major Dunston like to wish everyone in the Rail Gunner and I would like to welcome everyone Family a happy New Year. back to work. We hope you were able to Now that the half day schedule enjoy the holidays and spend some time has ended it’s time to train again. It’s time with Family and friends. With the holi- for the Noncommissioned Officers of the day season behind us, it is time to move brigade to start kicking their training forward with a “hit the ground running” schedules into high gear. It is up to our mind set. Combat readiness is my number fine NCOs to ensure that the Soldiers one priority! meet the training objectives. I am certain that this New Year I would challenge every one of will be both a challenging and rewarding our NCOs to strive for excellence and to time for our extended Rail Gunner Team help your Soldiers achieve excellence. as different elements prepare for upcom- After all, your Soldiers are reflections of ing deployments and rotations to our you. Help your Soldiers reach their full Combat Training Centers. In order to set potential whether that means going from the conditions for success, it is imperative passing their APFT to maxing it, or train- that as an organization, we continue to ing your Soldiers in duty positions that hone our skills and build upon the already are new to them. As an NCO you should solid teams we have formed. also be willing to improve yourself. This will often require long We, as an organization, can’t hours and lots of hard work. Now is the maintain excellence if we don’t continue time to regain our focus and composure to improve. Once again the Colonel and I when it comes to training and individual would like to welcome you back and wish readiness. This holds true for every you a happy New Year. member of the team. Across the organi- zation, from the Brigade Command Ser- RAIL GUNNER STRONG! geant Major and myself to our newest The “Rail Gunner Monthly” is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the “Rail Gunner Monthly” are not necessarily official views of or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of De- fense, Department of the Army or the 41st Fires Brigade. All editorial content of this publication is prepared, ed- ited, provided and approved by the 41st Fires Brigade Public Affairs Office. If you have any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions contact the 41st Fires Brigade PAO office at 254-287-0739 or email ga- Check out the unit’s Website at or on Face- book for additional information.
  3. 3. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 Soldiers from across the 41st Fires Brigade sort toys first by gender then by age before dividing the toys between the battalions of the brigade, Dec. 12. The toys were collected by the communities within Leon County, Texas and donated to the Families of the 41st Fires Brigade, Dec. 12.Fires Bde., and gave them the Bde. mond Griffin, a Field Artillerytoys to donate, explained Maples. The toys and money for Automated Tactical Data Systems Gary and Susan are Veter- the toys were collected by busi- Specialist with Headquarters andans Service Officers and work as nesses in Leon County, Texas, Headquarters Battery, 41st Firesa team to help veterans of Leon Gary Maples explained. They Bde., who received toys for hisCounty gain access to their bene- collected over $3,500 to buy toys five children.fits. Both Gary and Susan Maples for the unit. “It’s something that weserved in the Navy. The toys were given to just want to do to give back. You Col. William McRae and the Soldiers who have children guys are on the frontlines, fight-Command Sgt. Major Antonio throughout the brigade to en- ing for our freedoms and we justDunston, commander and com- sure the kids would have a want to support you,” said Mr.mand sergeant major of the 41st merry Christmas. Maples.Fires Bde., were both on hand to “It makes me feel good The Soldiers of the Railreceive the toys for the unit. seeing that people do care…it’s Gunner Brigade send a huge This is the sixth year that nice knowing that people care thank you to all those who do-the communities of Leon County enough to take the time to buy a nated gifts and their time.have come together to donate toys gift and donate to Soldiers. It isto the Families of the 41st Fires a good feeling,” said Spc. Ray-
  4. 4. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 (Left) Soldiers and civilians light candles on menorahs during the seventh night of Chanukah. Soldiers from across Fort Hood and community members from the surrounding area gather at the Spirit of Ft. Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus for a Chanukah celebration, Dec. 14. (Right) Chaplain Capt. Karyn Berger, the Ft. Hood Rabbi, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade leads the congregation in prayer after lighting seven candles on menorah.Story by the temple. Instead of waiting for have a much larger congregation,”Sgt. Garett Hernandez more oil to be made, the Macca- said Spc. Daniel Najera from A41st Fires Brigade, PAO bees lit the menorah and rededi- Battery, 26th Field Artillery Regi- cated the Temple that day. The ment (Target Acquisition Bat- The Jewish Congregation oil miraculously lasted all eight tery), 41st Fires Brigade. “This isof Ft. Hood held its annual Cha- nights, added Berger. my first time being away fromnukah party at the Spirit of Ft. The celebration started Family celebrating Hanukkah.”Hood Warrior and Family Chapel when the lights were turned off in The services were not onlyCampus, Dec. 14. the room. Then one by one the open to Soldiers and their Fami- Chanukah, the Jewish candles were lit on the menorahs. lies, but also open to anyone incelebration of lights, commemo- As the candles were being lit the surrounding communitiesrates two miracles, explained Rabbi Berger began to sing. As that wanted to attend. Capt. Ber-Chaplain Capt. Karyn Berger, the the room filled with candle light it ger is one of only 12 RabbisFt. Hood Rabbi, 2nd Battalion, also filled with song as more and within the Army.20th Field Artillery Regiment, more people joined in singing. On “Without the Army we41st Fires Brigade. The first is this night seven candles would be would not have a congregationthe victory of a small group of lit on the menorahs marking the here,” said Aaron Beal who camefreedom fighters, the Maccabees, seventh day of the celebration. from College Station visiting hiswho prevailed against over- Following the lighting of parents.whelming odds to defeat an op- the menorahs there was Shabba The congregation has overpressive regime and took back the Services after which the food was 20 members, made up of SoldiersJewish temple. served. Rabbi Berger explains and civilians from the surround- After returning to their that during the eight day period ing communities.temple, the Maccabees discovered that fried foods are typically “My Family is away andonly one cruse of oil remained to eaten to commemorate the mira- the food is different, but all Jewslight the ancient menorah and cle of Hanukkah. Foods such as are Family. So I’m not reallyrededicate the temple. The oil potato pancakes and donuts arethat was left was only enough for away from Family, I just accepted traditional.only one night of light, when eight “It’s really a blessing to a new one,” said Spc. Najera.nights were needed to rededicate
  5. 5. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 Story by making of the traditional artillery induction into the Order of Saint Sgt. Garett Hernandez punch known as grog. Barbara, six spouses were 41st Fires Brigade, PAO The grog was made by inducted into the Order of Molly senior noncommissioned officers Pitcher; Jay Norman, Lorena from the brigade. Each senior Cantillo, Jessica Pullig, Laura NCO wore a comical costume and Glielmi, Megan Mendenhall, and made a theatrical entrance into Tiffany Trepanier. Only civilians the banquet hall to add his or her who have significantly ingredient to the grog. Each NCO contributed to their Field explained what the added Artillery or Air Defense Artillery ingredient symbolizes to the field community are inducted into the artillery. Order of Molly Pitcher. After demonstrating Mary Ludwig, alsoNew inductees into the Order of St. Bar- exemplary service to field known as Molly, was married tobara raise a glass of grog to toast their artillery, 23 Rail Gunners William Hays, an artilleryman inmembership into the order during the received a formal induction into the Continental Army. During the41st Fires Brigade’s annual St. BarbaraDay Ball, held at the Killeen Civic and the Order of St. Barbara battle of Monmouth, MaryConference Center, Nov. 30. “The new members of the brought pitchers of water to her order were selected for their collapsed husband and heated Every year artillerymen outstanding contributions to field cannons. She took his placegather in the name of the corps’ artillery,” said Maj. Charles swabbing and loading the cannon.patron saint, St. Barbara. Kean, 41st Fires Brigade After the battle, General This year the 41st Fires executive officer and master of George Washington issued MaryBrigade held its St. Barbara’s ceremonies during the ball. a warrant as a noncommissionedDay Ball at the Killeen Civic and The new inductees then officer, earning her the nicknameConference Center, on November raised a glass of traditional “Sergeant Molly.”30th. artillery punch to toast their “We have seen field According to the website induction into the order. artillery units not only, Barbara was Along with the fire support but also be battlesentenced to death after defyingher father. As her executioner,also her father, made his wayhome after the beheading, he wasstruck by lightning and his bodydestroyed by flames. With the introduction ofgunpowder into Europe, St.Barbara quickly became thepatron saint of artillerymen.Early artillery pieces were knownto explode before being fired, andartillerymen would pray to St.Barbara for protection. With the ball officiallyunderway and dinner served, thelights were dimmed for arecounting of the history of field Sgt. Maj. Glen Franklin, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, brigade operationsartillery within America. The sergeant major, adds his ingredient to the traditional artillery punch during the 41sthistory lesson then kicked off the Fires Brigade’s annual St. Barbara Day Ball, Nov. 30. Franklin added cognac to the grog to symbolize the French contributions to America.
  6. 6. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, receives a wooden model of a Multiple Launch Rocket System from Col. William McRae during the 41st Fires Brigade’s St. Barbara Day Ball at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, Nov. owners,” said Maj. Gen. the 41st Fires Brigade “The brigade had aAnthony Ierardi, Commander, 1st Commander, Col. William McRae successful event,” said Maj.Cavalry Division, and guest presented Ierardi with a small Timothy Ungaro. “Soldiers andspeaker for the ball . wooden statue of a Multiple Family members’ achievements Ierardi spoke about the Launch Rocket System. were recognized, they all lookedimportance field artillery plays in After all the formalities sharp, there was fellowship andtoday’s Army. were finished the dance floor was dancing, the 1st Cavs., band’s The formal portion of the opened up to Rail Gunners for pianist sounded great, andevent was brought to a close after dancing. everyone got home safely,”(Left) Crystal Buettner , a member of the 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade, Family Readiness Group passes outcandy to children during the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment and 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade,Halloween events. (Right) 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment and 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade in-vited its Soldiers to decorate the trunks of their cars with Halloween decorations and pass out candy to the kids of the two battalions.
  7. 7. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013Story by Before the Saturday’s Sgt. Steven Lonix, communicationsSgt. Garett Hernandez celebration the Soldiers were treated a Noncommissioned Officer and bugler41st Fires Brigade, PAO tour of CSS farms. CSS farms grow all for 41st Fires Brigade. of the potatoes used by H-E-B, for the grocery store’s own brand of potato chip. Most people in Dalhart depend on farming or ranching for their income. There are several large cattle feed lots and farms surrounding the town, according to Knight. On the day of the parade and celebration, the winds were blowing at 20 mph with gusts up 50 mph. The parade wound its way through town and ended in the town’s park where theCol. William McRae answers question ceremony was held. During the paradefrom a group of Cub Scouts from Dallam one, could hear parents andand Hartley counties before taking part grandparents telling the children toin Veterans Day celebration in Dalhart,Texas, Nov. 10. stand up for the American flag as it approached. Also, men could be seen Members of the 41st Fires taking their hats off and everyone,Brigade Color Guard along with Col. men, women and children, would placeWilliam McRae, 41st Fires Brigade their hand over their heart for thecommander, traveled to the small town Colors as well. When the memorial was The 41st Fires Brigade Color Guard postof Dalhart, Texas to take part in the the national, Army and brigade colors intown’s Veterans Day Celebration, Nov. dedicated on September 11, 2004 the front of the Dallam and Hartley Veterans10. veterans of Dalhart asked Brig. Gen. Memorial during the Veterans Day cele- The town of Dalhart is located Charles B. Allen, assistant division bration in Dalhart, Texas, Nov. the Texas panhandle and takes nine commander (support), 4th Infantryto 10 hours to drive there from Fort Division, to speak community duringHood. their celebration. Just two months later, The Soldiers were met by on November 29, 2004, Allen wasRichard Knight, himself a retired Army killed in an Army helicopter crashlieutenant colonel, when they arrived at outside of Waco, Texas.their hotel in Dalhart. The town Everyone really liked Generalwelcomed the Rail Gunners with open Allen and his aide 1st Lt. Christmasarms. and felt a real sense of loss when they Everywhere the Soldiers went died, Knight recounted.they were being thanked for their The town honored Brig. Gen.service by adults or asked numerous Charles Allen in 2007, the same yearquestions about what it is like to be a the 41st Fires Brigade headquartersSoldier by children. While in this small building was dedicated in Allen’scommunity the Rail Gunners were name, by adding a plaque to theirtreated almost like celebrities. memorial. Since that year, the 41st Meals were eaten in group Fires Brigade has sent senior leaders to A young boy holds his hand over hissettings with different members of the the town to participate in the Veterans heart as the 41st Fires Brigade Color Day celebration. Guard passes with the American Flagcommunity such as members of the during the Veterans Day celebration intown’s Chamber of Commerce, “It’s a big deal to know that Dalhart, Texas, Nov. 10.members of the Lions Club or the XIT citizens support you and that they areRangers, a local horse riding club. thinking of your welfare," said Staff
  8. 8. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013Story bySgt. Garett Hernandez41st Fires Brigade, PAO On November 19, Basketballcoach Del Harris visited AbramsPhysical Fitness center to talk to the41st Fires Brigade about team building. Del Harris is currently thegeneral manager for the TexasLegends, the developmental team forthe Dallas Mavericks. Harris has beenhead coach to National BasketballAssociation teams such as the HoustonRockets, Los Angeles Lakers, theMilwaukee Buck and the DallasMavericks. Harris has coachedinternationally as well, coaching theteams from Puerto Rico Team, China’snational team and the DominicanRepublic team. Harris talked in basketball Del Harris speaks to the Soldiers of the Rail Gunner Brigade about the importance of team build-references during his speech. Talking ing during his visit to Abrams Physical Fitness, Nov. 19th. Del Harris is currently the generalabout the importance of not only the manager for the Texas Legends the developmental team for the Dallas Mavericks. Harris hasstar players but the supporting players been head coach to National Basketball Association teams such as the Houston Rockets, Losand focus. After his inspiring speech Angeles Lakers, the Milwaukee Buck, and the Dallas Mavericks.Harris took question from the Soldiersof the brigade. “It was nice to see someonefrom the NBA or that level ofcompetition, come and talk to us,” saidPfc. Brandon Moorman, a UtilitiesEquipment Repairer with B Battery,589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41stFires Brigade. At the end of the question andanswer segment, Soldiers were invitedto compete for a signed copy of Harris’new book. The Soldiers shot basketsfrom the free throw line unit there wasonly three Rail Gunners were left. Basketball Coach Del Harris takes time after his Harris also took time to sign speech to sign autographs and pose for pictures withautographs and poses for pictures with Rail Gunners. Del Harris visited Abrams Physicalany Rail Gunner that asked. Fitness center to talk to the 41st Fires Brigade about “It was really motivating,” said team building, Nov. 19. Col. William McRae presents DelPfc. Jordon Olmsted, a Multiple Harris will a Cavalry Stetson from theLaunch Rocket System crewmember 41st Fires Brigade in appreciation forwith A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th taking his time to talk to Rail Gunners.Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Del Harris is currently the generalBde. manager for the Texas Legends, the developmental team for the Dallas Mavericks.
  9. 9. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 “I nodded [yes] because I couldn’t speak, I was crying,” said the future bride, Santiago. Soldiers of 1-21st Field Artillery Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade “Rail Gunners”, march into the 1-21st Field Artillery Battalion headquarters area, to a round of applause from the gathering of Families and friends, Sept. 1. The Rail Gunners have Sgt. 1st Class Sheena Ferrell, just returned from their deployment to Afghanistan where they provided communitarian section transportation and security for NATO personnel in and around the Afghan capital noncommissioned officer in charge, 1- city of Kabul. 21st Field Artillery Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade, holds her daughter Faith as Soldiers from 1st crowd was witness to Spc. Alberto they wait to greet Staff Sgt. Tommybattalion, 21st Field Artillery, Sdelamora’s marriage proposal to Ferrell after returning from his41st Fires Brigade, returned to his girlfriend, Mariaya Santiago. deployment to Afghanistan in support ofFort Hood safely from their Operation Enduring Freedom, Sept. 1.deployment to Afghanistan in Sdelamora,a motorsupport of Operation Enduring transport operator in 575th FieldFreedom, Sep. 1. Support Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, The Rail Gunners were 41st Fires Brigade, made theresponsible for the transportation proposal over the loud speakerand security of members in system after informing the crowdsupport of the NATO Training that he had an announcementMission Afghanistan, in and that he would like to make.around the Afghan capital city ofKabul. “I couldn’t feel my legs because I was so nervous,” The Soldiers received a Sdelamora said.round of applause when they Mariaya Santiago accepted Spc. Albertomarched into the 1-21st Field There was a collective Sdelamora’s, a motor transport operatorArtillery Battalion headquarters “ahh” from the crowd of Families in 575th Field Support Company, 1-21starea where Families and friends and then the moment was Field Artillery Battalion, 41st Fires celebrated with another ovation Brigade, marriage proposal after hegathered to great the troops. returned from deployment to after Santiago accepted Afghanistan in support of Operation The night became even Sdelamora’s ring. Enduring Freedom, Sept. 1.more extraordinary when the
  10. 10. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 The Soldiers of the 41st Fires Brigade pose for a picture with the Pierce Family after completing the yard work for the Family’s new home, Sept. 15. Pierce was paralyzed from the chest down after his vehicle drove over a 300 pound bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Jan. 9, 2010. (Courtesy photo)Story by national non-profit organization Acquisition Battery), 41st Fires Bde.Sgt. Garett Hernandez founded in 2004. The organization pro- In the spirit of volunteering vides houses to disabled veterans. and the good-natured gesture, the Sol- The building of the house be- diers from the 41st Fires Bde. received Despite the cloudy skies and gan June 15 and the yard was the last an equal sized payout by knowing theirthe threat of rain, 22 Soldiers from step to complete the new home. The time was used to help someone inacross the 41st Fires Brigade met at lot homes that are provided by Homes for need.14 on Key Wish Drive in Morgan’s Our Troops are given at no cost to the “It makes me feel good, help-Point Resort, Texas, to help a fellow disabled veterans. ing others out,” said Spc. Steven Dego-brother-in-arms by adding the finishing “It’s a warm feeling, knowing nia, a heavy wheel mechanic, 589thtouches to his new home, Sept. 15. that Soldiers from my unit would come Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires In all, approximately 55 Sol- out here to donate their time to help Bde.diers across Fort Hood gave their time someone else,” said 1st Lt. AnneMarie The leaders within the brigadeto assist a fellow service member. Sol- McCreight, the executive officer for made a point to lend a helping hand.diers of all ranks – privates, Noncom- Headquarters and Headquarters Bat- With all the volunteers on hand, themissioned Officers, and officers alike, tery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery yard was completed quickly. The entiregave up their Saturday morning to help Regiment, 41st Fires Bde. “To come yard was finished by noon.former Marine Staff Sgt. Jack Pierce. out and lend a hand to help him live a “I can’t ask these Soldiers to The Soldiers lay patches of better life outside of the uniform is give up some of their time to be outsod, planted trees, bushes and flowers easy motivation to come out here,” here if I’m not willing to give up somein front of the newly constructed home said McCreight. of my time,” said Command Sgt. Maj.provided to Pierce, who was paralyzed As the Rail Gunners gathered Antonio Dunston, the brigade com-from the chest down after his vehicle to lend a helping hand, the physical mand sergeant major for the 41st Firesdrove over a 300 pound bomb in Hel- labor that helped finish the new home Bde. “It’s one of the most rewardingmand Province, Afghanistan on Jan. 9, also helped to polish the Rail Gunners’ things I could ask for, seeing these Sol-2010, through the Homes for Our team and boost the esprit de corps. diers volunteer their time on a week-Troops program. The house was built “Doing something outside of end,” said allow Pierce the freedom of move- your normal duty will help bring ament allowing him to live more inde- team together,” said 1st Sgt. Jeremypendently. Hall, the first sergeant for Battery A, Homes for Our Troops is a 26th Field Artillery Regiment (Target
  11. 11. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013Story and photos byStaff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson During the last few weeks ofsummer break, some teenagers frantic-ally scramble to prolong their leisuretime. Some attempt to extend their va-cation by collecting extra hours ofsleep, work, traveling, training for fallsports or playing countless hours ofthumb-numbing video games. How-ever, a small group of teens took anuncustomary break from the normalteenage-routine and launched them-selves into the world of field artillery. Twenty-five teens volunteeredto give up the comforts of their day toparticipate in the first Teen Extremesummer event hosted by the 41st FiresBrigade Tuesday on Fort Hood. The group was weaned from Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Land, HHB, 1-21 FA Regt., 41st Fires Bde., explains thethe refreshing feel of air-conditioning functioning of the squad automatic weapon to his son, Andrew, 14, during the Teen Extreme summer event hosted by the 41st Fires Bde. Tuesday. Parents were allowedfor a day and met face-to-face with the to attend and participate in the training with their children. Staff Sgt. KyleCentral Texas heat. The Teen Extreme Richardson, 41st Fires Bde. Public Affairsevent provided them with an opportu-nity to experience life as “Rail Gun-ners.” them with exposure and just show The weapons familiarization They began the day as an unor- them how much fun their parents can may not have taught the teens how toganized group, but the cluster of disor- have doing our jobs, and also provide handle a .50-caliber machine gun likeganized youths was quickly reorgan- the children some mentorship along the the movie character John Rambo, butized by Master Sgt. Theodore Durand, way.” they were able to visualize the realityTeen Extreme noncommissioned offi- The teens picked partners and and potential behind the weapon.cer-in-charge. The gruff NCO with created battle-buddy teams to assist “I play Call of Duty, and whenmore than his fair share of years and each other throughout the day. Then I got out here, I found out that this wasexperience, called the group to atten- they were transported to the engage- nothing like my video game,” Danieltion having the teens create a tight tra- ment skills training center to receive Nunez, 15, Teen Extreme participant,ditional rectangular formation. weapons familiarization and convoy said. “I usually beat everyone in the Throughout the day, Durand – training. game. I think I only hit one target outwith the help of several NCOs and jun- At the EST center, the teens here. I understand what Soldiers do,ior-enlisted Soldiers – shaped, molded trained on an M9 pistol, M4 semi- and it’s tough. That .50-cal was prettyand conditioned the teens into fine ar- automatic rifle, squad automatic heavy, the marching was hard, and it’stillery Soldiers. weapon and an M2 .50-caliber machine hot. This experience has changed my “We didn’t want to come out gun. During the simulation portion of whole perspective of Soldiers.”barking, yelling or beat them down the training, the teens were able to After weapon’s training, thewith the training, because none of them work in squad-sized elements, use their next point was learning how to call forare in the Army,” said Durand, who is honed first-person-shooter video fire on an enemy position. The vehiclesassigned to the Headquarters and games skills, eliminate enemy threats were parked and they prepared them-Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, and move tactically from one point to selves for the walk ahead. Most of the20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st another. Enthusiastic smiles spread teens donned their parents’ body ar-Fires Bde. “We wanted to provide across the mini-Soldiers faces as they mor, rucksacks and Kevlar helmets and laughed and joked after each scenario. went on a grueling half-mile foot
  12. 12. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 march, with a tormenting mid-day sun excellence from the commander. overhead. “Teen Extreme was very fun “I’m very proud of my son,” and a great way to spend the day,” said Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Land, Kevin Padilla, 16, said. “This changes HHB, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artil- the way I view my dad. I didn’t know lery Regiment, 41st Fires Bde. “It that he did all of this. I can respect him shows that he has the physical and for going through all of this for me – mental strength to push himself to for supporting us and giving us a great limits. He learned that Army life house, what he does is really extraordi- isn’t as easy as the video games.” nary.” From the call for fire center, the group headed back to the Rail Gun- ners’ footprint for some precision drill and ceremony training, physical readi- ness training and a push-up competi- tion. And no Army gathering is com-Kelly Padilla, 16, receives some guidance plete without the customary tug-of-waron the M2 .50-caliber machine gun from competition.Sgt. Michael Smith, instructor, Head- As the training subsided, thequarters and Headquarters Company, teens fell into formation – standing tall589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st like proud Soldiers. The top performers Twenty-five teens participated in a footFires Bde,, during the Teen Extremesummer event hosted by the 41st Fires excelling in the various areas were pre- march during the Teen Extreme summerBde. Tuesday. Staff Sgt. Kyle Richard- sented with certificates of achieve- event hosted by the 41st Fires Brigade at Fortson, 41st Fires Bde. Public Affairs ments and everyone received coins of Hood, Texas, July 24.From the Safety Corner: had a blood alcohol concentration level  Serve one drink at a time and serveRail Gunner Super Bowl Party of .08 percent or higher. measured drinks.Suggestions for Hosts Here are some tips to think for  Only serve alcohol to guests over 21 From the Command Team of the your Super Bowl Party: years of age.41st Fires Brigade to the National Football  Make sure all of your guests designate  Determine ahead of time when you’llLeague (NFL), TEAM Coalition, the U.S. their sober drivers before kick-off or stop serving alcohol, such as one hourDepartment of Transportations National help arrange ride-sharing with other before the party ends or at the end ofHighway Traffic Safety Administration sober drivers. the third quarter (just like NFL(NHTSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving  Find unique ways to recognize the stadiums) and begin serving coffee(MADD) and the HERO Campaign all designated drivers at your party. and dessert.have one clear and loud message: "REAL  Give them a great spot to watch the  Add the numbers of local cabFootball Fans Dont Let Fans Drive game. companies into your phone so they areDrunk.”  Whatever non-alcoholic beverage they just one touch away. According to the National are drinking, make sure their glass is  Take appropriate steps to preventHighway Traffic Safety Administration, always full. anyone from driving while impaired.Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the  Let them have the first pass at the  Be prepared for guests to spend thenations most dangerous days on the buffet table. night if an alternative way home is notroadways due to impaired driving.  Make sure their cars are easy to access available.NHTSA statistics show nationally on when it is time to start driving people  Be prepared to call your guests OIC/Super Bowl Sunday (which runs from home . NCOIC or the staff duty officer should12:01 a.m., Sunday, to 5:59 a.m.,  Serve plenty of food. your guest insist they are sober (whenMonday), 48% of the fatalities occurred in  Offer a variety of non-alcoholic they are not) to drive home. Do not letcrashes where a driver or motorcycle rider choices like soft drinks, juice, and them drive drunk! water.
  13. 13. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013Story byStaff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson It was the final fight of thenight and one of the most antici-pated matches of the tournament.Sgt. Jason Reyes, in a calm butfocused manner, crossed the plat-form to the cage. The referee in-spected him from head to toe. Hethen applied a thin layer of petro-leum jelly to Reyes’ face. Heslowly walked through the opencage door. In a volcanic roar, thecrowd erupted with cheers. Spc. Nathaniel Freeman, astout but massive competitor,stood in the blue corner patiently Sgt. Jason Reyes (blue), Fort Hood, and Staff Sgt. Lonnie Kincaid (red), Fort Riley, go toe-to-toeawaiting the only sound that mat- on the mats in the semi-final rounds in the heavyweight division during the 2012 U.S. Armyters – the starting bell. Combatives Championship Friday at Fort Hood. Reyes won the match with an arm-bar At the sound of the ding, submission and moved on to the finals, where he finished as the runner-up to Fort Stewart’s Spc.the two fighters ran toward eachother. Out of respect for one an- kick for kick and head shot for man’s ground-and-pound sessionother, they touched gloves and head shot, the heavier fighter before he found himself on hisquickly separated during the took him to the ground for the back again in the second round.championship heavyweight match advantage. The two fighters maneu-of the 2012 U.S. Army Combat- Out of the blue corner, vered their way around the cage,ives Championship held at Fort Freeman’s coach yelled “Kisa battled for the upper hand, butHood’s Abrams Physical Fitness Katame, Kisa Katame” and the the referee called a stop to theCenter Saturday. fighter reacted. He positioned energy-packed match. In the end, Freeman, standing at 5- the majority of his weight on only one hand was raised. Free-feet, 8-inches tall and 286 pounds, Reyes’ rib cage and went to iso- man won the match by technicalfighting for, 3rd Infantry Divi- late an arm. Reyes fought knock-out and was the new All-sion, Fort Stewart Ga., wasted no bravely from his back, attempt- Army heavyweight champion.time to pin Reyes, the taller ing a well-needed submission, “It was a good fight,”fighter at 6-feet, 1-inch, to the but Freeman was able to isolate Reyes said, tired but not defeatedsteel fence. his arm and began methodically in spirit. “I was the lightest Reyes, assigned to the delivering punches to Reyes’ heavyweight in the tournament.Headquarters and Headquarters head. In the end, my weight countedBattery, 41st Fires Brigade and As the heavy hits con- against me. Now, that’s not tofighting for the III Corps and Fort nected like a hammer to a nail, take away from Freeman’s abili-Hood combatives team, lacked the Reyes showed his never-quit ties. He’s a really good guy and abody weight like the other heavy- attitude and strong chin to hold tough opponent.”weight contenders. He weighed in out until the end of the round. At last year’s All-Armyat 220 pounds, and although he The corner break only gave tournament, Reyes weighed-in atput up a good fight and traded Reyes a reprieve from Free- 185 pounds to fight in the cruiser-
  14. 14. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013Story byStaff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardsonweight division with a fourth-place finish. Reyes started increasinghis body-weight in March tofight in the light heavyweightdivision. The team lost its heavy-weight, so he was asked to puton more weight to accommodatethe team. “There are no individualson the team,” Reyes said. “I didwhat the team needed me to do.Most importantly, we’re here toget the trophy together, andthat’s exactly what we did.” Sgt. Jason Reyes, Fort Hood, secures an arm-bar from the bottom position while working to As the smallest heavy- submit Staff Sgt. Lonnie Kincaid, Fort Riley, in the semi-finals of the heavyweight divisionweight, Reyes entered the tour- during the 2012 U.S. Army Combatives Championship Friday. Reyes won the match to move on to the championship bout. Daniel Cernero, Sentinel Sports Editornament as the dark horse defeat-ing his first two opponents in astature like David against Goli- ple belt in jiu-jitsu, so I’m always training. He said it didn’t matterath. going to respect that, but the if he won or lost but that he did “A lot of people bow down great thing about this sport is his best and made his Familyto bigger opponents,” Reyes said. that anybody can be tapped out proud. He plans on continuing to“I had to let them know that I at any given time. It doesn’t work with the Fort Hood combat-wasn’t one to go out so easily.” matter if you’re a white belt or a ives team and coaches and train In his semi-final bout to black belt.” for some of the upcoming ama-advance to the championship Reyes’ combatives career teur fights.bout, Reyes sent the gym into a began seven years ago when he “Jason has grown throughfrenzy with his improbable de- joined the Army. As his experi- the years that I’ve worked withfeat of Staff Sgt. Lonnie Kincaid, ences increase in combatives and him,” said Jarrod Clontz, IIIon the team from Fort Riley, martial arts, he considers it a Corps head coach.Kan. way of life rather than a sport. “I used to be able to sub- With a slap that echoed “I’ve been around the mit him when I wanted,” thethrough the gym setting the tone mats for a long time,” Reyes coach said in a raspy voice fromto start the match, Reyes quickly said, with his lean physique yelling instructions over theworked for a submission once on showing off his years of hard cheering crowd. “Now, I rarelythe ground. training. “To me, combatives and submit him. His technical ability Reyes found that submis- martial arts is more than just has blown through the roof, assion in the form of an arm-bar. doing it, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about well as his conditioning.” In the finals, Freeman taking care of yourself and out- While Reyes took secondpaid his respect to Reyes and doing yourself from the last place in the heavyweight divi-was thankful for the opportunity time. You have to be respectful sion, his fights during the tour-to fight. and keep your head. You have to nament added to the Fort Hood “I have a black belt in learn when to fight and when to combatives team overall score ofjudo and a blue belt in Brazilian shut off your aggression.” 441 points for the first-place fin-Jiu-Jitsu,” the heavyweight Reyes has dedicated him- ish. The Fort Hood combativeschampion said. “Reyes has a pur- self to his Family, God and his team is the only post to win the tournament three years in a row.
  16. 16. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 THE RAIL GUNNER NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2013 During the months of October, November and December 95 Rail Gunners reenlisted: From 1st Bn., 20th FAR; Spc. Abad Jonas Carino Jr, Spc. Alexius Ren Andrew, Spc. Alviar Christopher Lee, Spc. Axtell Brennan D, Spc. Barnes Corey Alan, Spc. Bergan Anthony Francis, Spc. Bitz Jesse Douglas, Spc. Dubois Seth Gabriel, Spc. Groves Adrian Lamar, Spc. Harris Shawn Temple, Spc. Hoyt Michael Robert, Spc. Hubbard Dominique Chavez, Spc. Linares Elsa, Spc. Lopez Adrian Manuel, Spc. Martinez Eric Frank, Spc. Mckinney Kyarra Chanta, Spc. Ralston Jared Coley, Spc. Seely Richard Guy, Spc. Sorm Dalyson Lee, Spc. Stewart Kevin Nicholas, Spc. Tribble Johnathan Randall J, Spc. Wallace John Darrin, Spc. Wichman Sarah Michelle, Spc. Williams James Matthew, Sgt. Davis Antonio Darius, Sgt. Felts Christopher Michael, Sgt. Ferguson Jacob Darin, Sgt. Jackson Dalmar Patterson, Sgt. Lamb Bo Austin, Sgt. Patterson Joseph Alan, Sgt. Pennington Joshua Downey, Sgt. Poveda Erik J, Sgt. Rodriguez Nelson Jr, Sgt. Southwick Daniel Parr, Sgt. Towns Cassius Devonta Derea, Sgt. Young Travais Warren, Staff Sgt. Borja Travis Ivan Stol, Staff Sgt. Fuller Noah Tremayne, Staff Sgt. Gehrke Joshua Allen, Staff Sgt. Jackson Anthony Ray, Staff Sgt. Mack Casey Benjamin, Staff Sgt. Salazar Johnboyd Faisao, Staff Sgt. Starling Thomas Norman Jr. From 2nd Bn., 21st FAR; Spc. Arredondo Chad Eric, Spc. Brisell Brandon Matthew, Spc. Carlton Kyle Wade, Spc. Garza Matthew Eugene, Spc. Halona Jeffery Pete, Spc. Hughes Marvin Fitzgerald, Spc. Pape Andrew Thomas, Spc. Schaefer Eugene Jon, Spc. Valentine Sheryl Annette, Spc. Whatley Dennis Lamar Jr, Spc. Winemiller Justin Brett, Sgt. Buffum James Erickrobert, Sgt. Conwell Keith Dontay, Sgt. Jean Gersone, Sgt. Laplace Jeremy Joseph, Sgt. Nelson Wykeese Jamal, Sgt. Willis Shane Wesley, Staff Sgt. Thiers Ryan Francis, Staff Sgt. Waycaster Dennis Robert, Staff Sgt. Young Alex Lee, Sgt. 1st Class Moody April Tamara . From the 589th Bde. Support Bn.; Spc. Dunbar Joseph Nathaniel Ii, Spc. Hall Nicole Michele, Spc. Miller Christina Marlena, Spc. Prich Jessica Marie, Sgt. Barreto Gadiel, Sgt. Dean Casey Lee, Sgt. Ford Rashad Andre, Sgt. Gonzalez Emily Selena, Sgt. Kopakowski Michael David, Sgt. Maza Reyes Manuel Iii, Sgt. Pettigrew Chermark Joseph, Sgt. Robinski Shawn Michael, Sgt. Villafane Luis A, Staff Sgt. Carter Byron Lee Smith, Staff Sgt. Hagler Felisha Juvole. From HHB and A Battery, 26th FAR; Spc. Derrington Melanie Jeannine, Spc. Parker Keisha Monique, Spc. Pilling Thomas Jon, Spc. Priester Marquis Davon, Spc. Bennett Robert Donato, Spc. Frauenfeld Edwin Bennett, Spc. Jeterperry Terrance Montrel, Spc. Kinsey Tylor Patrick, Spc. Lattner Steven Andrew, Spc. Moore Tia Jene, Spc. Rivas Samuel, Sgt. Guardado Raul Jr, Sgt. Jackson Yolanda Marie, Staff Sgt. Anderson Fernandez Dominic, Staff Sgt. Stjoy Alex, Sgt. 1st Class Oros Israel PerezWe would like to congratulate all of the Rail Gunners that were promotedduring the months of October, November and December:OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBERSgt. Tamara M. Becker Sgt. Keith D. Conwell Sgt. George GalvanSgt. Jeremy J. Laplace Sgt. James L. Hill Jr Sgt. Joel A. Sgt. John M. Houck Gonzalezmercado Sgt. Bo A. Lamb Sgt. Alexandrea S. Long Sgt. Allan L. McDaniel III Sgt. Keineth A. Scaggs Sgt. Jonathan E. Nelson Sgt. Brent A. Schmidt Sgt. Orlando S. A. Smith Staff Sgt. Kyle V. Lewis Staff Sgt. Luis A. Villafane Want more news and information, become a Facebook fan of the 41st Fires BDE
  17. 17. To send your story ideas and pictures to the 41st Fires Brigade Public Affairs Office! SGT Garett Hernandez: