The Ivy Leaf, volume 1, issue 18


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The Ivy Leaf, volume 1, issue 18

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 18 March 4, 2011 Iraqi Army battalion demonstrates combat Steadfast and LoyalWarrior readiness during Tadreeb al Shamil exerciseLongKnife IronhorseDevilFit for Any Test Fit for Any TestIronhorse Devil U.S. Army photo by Spc. Angel Washington, 4th AAB PAO, 1st Cav. Div., USD-N Iraqi soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, assault their second objective during a battalion live fire ex- LongKnife ercise at Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, Feb. 24, 2011. The LFX tested the IA unit’s cumulative skills taught by Soldiers assigned to 1stSteadfast and Loyal Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. Each company secured the objective, using tactics learned during Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All Inclusive Training. Tadreeb al Shamil is an Iraqi military training program facilitated by U.S. Soldiers deployed in support of Operation New Dawn to increase IA unit proficiency and war fighting capabilities. Spc. Angel Washington tion platform atop of a hill as fire exercise, Feb. 24, during vised the culminating training 4th AAB Public Affairs Iraqi forces moved tactically Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for event for the IA unit during a Warrior 1st Cav. Div., USD-N through a valley, demonstrat- All Inclusive Training, at Ghu- 25-day training cycle known ing their newly honed skills. zlani Warrior Training Center. as Tadreeb al Shamil, an Iraqi GHUZLANI WARRIOR Iraqi Soldiers assigned to U.S Soldiers of 1st Squad- military initiative to modern- TRAINING CENTER, Iraq ─ 2nd Battalion, 11th Brigade, ron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, ize IA unit tactics and test Iraqi Iraqi and U.S. leadership 3rd Iraqi Army Division, con- 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, watched from an observa- ducted the first battalion live 1st Cavalry Division super- See GWTC, pg. 3
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 multiple Improvised Explosive Devices, Ferguson took charge of the security element of the convoy, establishing a cordon and con- ducting a follow-on search of nearby buildings that resulted in the detention of suspects. “I thought the leadership and spirit Sgt. Ferguson displayed that day was inspirational,” said Master Sgt. Jim Meneley, noncom- missioned officer in charge of Force Protection for 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Division-North. Meneley said Ferguson, a native of Marion, La., has a good at- titude and his professional nature distinguishes him as one of the U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO best Soldiers he has ever worked with. Staff Sgt. Montral Ferguson, a combat engineer assigned to the Force “There is nothing I have seen that can get him in a bad mood or Protection Vulnerability Assessment Team, Company A, Division Spe- get him down,” said Meneley, who supervises Ferguson in the di- cial Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, inspects a defensive bar- rier for deficiencies at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, vision’s day-to-day force protection mission. “I’ve been with him March 1, 2011. When a convoy came under attack from extremists det- in the best of circumstances and the worst of circumstances. He onating multiple Improvised Explosive Devices, Ferguson established has been an even-keeled Soldier the entire time.” a cordon and led a follow-on search of nearby buildings that resulted After seven years service in the U.S. Army, and four deploy- in the detention of suspected IED emplacers. Ferguson earned recog- nition as the “Ironhorse Strong” Soldier of the Week for his actions. ments with the “Ironhorse” Division, Ferguson said his reaction that day was second nature. Noncommissioned officers get the job done to the expectations “When something happens, you have to react; you don’t even of superiors and subordinates alike, overcoming difficult circum- think about it,” said Ferguson. “It’s an honor to get recognized for stances to accomplish the mission. that.” Staff Sgt. Montral Ferguson, a combat engineer assigned to the Ferguson’s positive attitude makes him an outstanding part of Force Protection Vulnerability Assessment Team, Company A, the Ironhorse Team, said Sgt. 1st Class Lenard Thomas, NCOIC, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, earned Engineer section, 4th Inf. Div. and U.S. Division-North. recognition as “Ironhorse Strong” Soldier of the Week for his re- “He’s a seasoned, hard working NCO,” said Thomas. “There solve to protect his comrades following an enemy attack in north- has been a lot to do since we got to Iraq, but any task that we ern Iraq, Feb. 4. give him, he does it without question and that is typical of a good When a convoy came under attack from extremists detonating NCO—NCOs get the mission done.” Security barrier removal in Iraqi Security Forces, A day in the life of an Soldiers, professional Samara indicates progress emergency responders Infantryman fighters face off at UFC for citys revival graduate EMT course tour clinic Page 4 Page 5 Page 9 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 U.S. Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey 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. The appearance of advertising 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. Carmen Daugherty-Glaze marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other The Ivy Leaf Layout & Design – Spc. Thomas Bixler non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial 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 25th Infantry 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 March 4, 2011 Continued from GWTC, pg. 1 soldiers’ capabilities. “This is the exact reason why (Iraqi soldiers) came to GWTC,” said Lt. Col. John Cushing, commander of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., 4th AAB, 1st Cav. Div. “One month of “This advanced training sets the foundation for great training in the future.” training will enable “The soldiers leave here a more capable fighting force the Iraqi Army to ready to defend their country,” said the native of Rochester, defeat any threat— Mich. internal or external.” Deployed in support of Operation New Dawn, “Head Hunter” Soldiers of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., worked side- ─ staff Brig. Gen. by-side with Iraqi soldiers during Tadreeb al Shamil, provid- Muhsen Sulman, ing the IA battalion a month of collective task training. operations officer of U.S. forces worked with Iraqi soldiers at GWTC to build Ninewa Operations light infantry skills, teaching IA units the fundamentals of Center. defensive operations, urban operations, mortar training and how to conduct an ambush. IA soldiers learned tactics at the squad level and pro- gressed to platoon and company-level operations before con- ducting the battalion live fire exercise. “This advanced training will enable the Iraqi Army to de- feat any threat—internal or external,” said staff Brig. Gen. Muhsen Sulman, the operations officer of Ninewa Opera- tions Center. During the LFX, the IA battalion, composed of three com- panies, moved from objective to objective, working together, using tactics learned during Tadreeb al Shamil, to engage tar- gets and complete the mission. As each Iraqi soldier moved closer to their final objective, U.S. Soldiers followed behind, ensuring their IA counter- parts completed the task successfully. “Having an actual live fire exercise is good because it in- tegrates live rounds into the training, making it more real- istic,” said Pfc. Joshua Jensen, cavalry scout, Troop C, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., currently serving his first deployment. During the 25-day training cycle at GWTC, U.S. forces led eight-hour training days with their Iraqi counterparts, six days-per-week, in preparation for the battalion exercise. Head Hunter Soldiers are training the Iraqi soldiers to be- come proficient in their infantry skills and operations, while also working to make the IA a self-sustaining force, said Jen- sen, a native of Sturbridge, Mass. “From day one (of their training) to now, they have im- proved ten-fold,” said Spc. Walter Moeller, a scout assigned to Troop A. “When they first got here, they couldn’t maneu- ver as a squad correctly but now they can move as a platoon.” “This training instills confidence knowing they can coor- dinate within each fighting position and not get hurt,” said Moeller, an El Paso, Texas native. “It shows their attention U.S. Army photo by Spc. Angel Washington, 4th AAB PAO, 1st Cav. Div., USD-N to detail.” Iraqi Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Divi- Squadron troopers continue to train Iraqi units at GWTC sion, get on line during training at Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, Feb. as part of Tadreeb al Shamil, leading Iraq’s soldiers to in- 22, 2011. U.S. Soldiers led IA units of 3rd IA Div. during the second iteration crease the proficiency of their units combat readiness in a of training at GWTC, part of Tadreeb al Shamil, an Iraqi training initiative to controlled, yet realistic environment. modernize IA division capabilities through collective unit-level training. Dur- ing the 25-day training rotation at GWTC, Iraqi soldiers trained with Troop Each Iraqi battalion that leaves GWTC takes away valu- A, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st able skills that will enhance their war fighting skills and Cavalry Division, in preparation for a battalion live fire exercise, Feb. 24, build their confidence in securing their country. 2011, the culminating training event for the training cycle. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 Security barrier removal in Samarra indicates progress for city’s revival Capt. Pete Cox so hard on this project for so are not the first to attempt res- Command Sgt. Maj. Berk 2nd AAB Public Affairs long, it is hard to believe it is fi- toration of Samarra to its po- Parsons, senior enlisted leader 25th Inf. Div., USD-N nally happening,” said Lt. Col. tential. of Task Force 2-11, conveyed Ghayath, director of the Samar- Two battalion commanders the significance of the T-wall JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq ra Joint Coordination Center, a who preceded Preston worked removal as an indication of – Two days before the fifth an- site designed to synchronize the alongside the leadership of progress in Samarra in terms of niversary of the bombing of Al security efforts of U.S. forces, Samarra through partnered ef- security. Askari “Golden” Mosque, the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, Fed- forts aimed at repairing dam- “The city of Samarra holds a security barriers protecting one eral Police and the Sons of Iraq. aged sections of the city and significant place in the history of the holiest Shia shrines in “The people of Samarra providing small business grants of Iraq,” he said. “Unfortunate- Iraq came down. wanted this for a very long time, to shopkeepers to help prepare ly, what most know about the “This is a great day for Sa- and the security forces made it their stores for the day when the city’s role is its contemporary marra, and a great day for all of possible,” said Ghayath, who T-walls would come down. history, specifically concerning Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Andy Pres- serves as the primary liaison “I wish I could see the faces its connection to the sectarian ton, commander, Task Force between U.S. forces and the of (Lt. Col.) Sam Whitehurst violence.” 2-11, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Samarra Operations Center. and (Lt. Col.) Eric Timmer- “The progress of the Samar- Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise The Samarra Operations man when they hear the news,” ran government and the Iraqi and Assist Brigade, 25th Infan- Center, the command that over- Preston said of the commanders Security Forces set the condi- try Division. sees all Iraqi Security Forces in of the last two U.S. units in Sa- tions which allow the city to “I’m happy for the citizens Samarra and much of southern marra—both personal friends. begin its return to its former of Samarra, who will finally see Salah ad Din, developed the “I know that they truly cared prestige,” Parsons said. “The their city restored,” said Pres- plan to leave T-walls around about the people of Samarra removal of the T-walls is a tan- ton, who hails from Edmond, the mosque in place until a new and that they would love to be gible symbol and a phenomenal Okla. permanent protective structure able to celebrate with their old progression towards the city’s Following the bombing of is built, said Ghayath. friends.” restoration.” the Al Askari Mosque Feb. 22, ISF will maintain the re- 2006, U.S. and Iraqi Security established security in Samarra Forces implemented enhanced using additional police, secu- security measures to protect the rity cameras, X-ray machines mosque and the Shia pilgrims and better control of the site, he who visit each year. said. "T-walls," tall expediently Although the combined emplaced concrete barriers planning team primarily fo- were erected throughout the cused on security for pilgrims, city to reinforce security in Sa- local citizens and the mosque, marra and prevent further acts other issues played an impor- of insurgent violence against tant role. Iraqis. “One of the biggest prob- After Iraqis rebuilt the lems we faced in Samarra was mosque, the T-walls remained, the lack of available employ- blocking pilgrims from the ment,” Preston said. “No mat- once vibrant marketplaces ter where you are in the world, U.S. Army photo by Capt. Pete Cox, 2nd AAB PAO, 25th Inf. Div., USD-N which colored the streets lead- people with no money and no Soldiers of Battery A, Task Force 2-11, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artil- lery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, ing to the holy site. prospects are more likely to converse with Iraqi Army soldiers while maintaining security during Iraqi Security Forces re- turn to crime and violence than T-wall removal in the city of Samarra, Salah ad Din province, Iraq. Lt. quired visitors to be escorted those who have the ability to Col. Andy Preston, commander, Task Force 2-11, and Lt. Col. Ghayath, through blockaded T-wall chan- make a way for themselves le- director of the Samarra Joint Coordination Center, led the planning team that developed the Samarra security project, which includes the nels to and from the mosque, a gitimately. Re-opening these removing T-walls on the streets leading to the mosque, revitalizing process which drastically im- markets by taking down the markets on those streets, and installing new security equipment to paired the tourism-based econ- T-walls will provide that legiti- maintain security for pilgrims, Samarra citizens and the mosque itself. omy of Samarra. mate opportunity.” The removal of the security barriers signified vast improvements in security for a once embattled city. “We have been working Preston and his task force 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 Iraqi Security Forces, emergency responders graduate Emergency Medical Technician course Spc. Kandi Huggins 1st AATF Public Affairs 1st Inf. Div., U.S. Division-North CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq ─ “I’m proud to call ev- ery one of you my colleague,” said 1st Lt. Jordan King, platoon leader of the “Thun- derhorse” medics assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, attached to 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kan., acknowl- edging the achievements of 38 men in front of him. “It’s been a pleasure working with you and I look forward to our strong partner- ship,” King continued at a graduation cer- emony honoring members of Kirkuk prov- ince’s Iraqi Police, Emergency Response Unit and fire departments. The graduation ceremony concluded U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO, 1st Inf. Div., USD-N the four-week training, the first Emergency 1st Lt. Jordan King, medic platoon leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bat- Medical Technician course held at Kirkuk talion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, attached to 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divi- sion, returns a salute to an Iraqi Police officer before presenting a certificate of completion to Training Center in Iraq, Feb. 28. the graduate for finishing a four-week Emergency Medical Technician course, Feb. 28, 2011. During the month-long course, U.S. troops mentored Iraqi police officers, first King said his primary responsibility was The Iraqi emergency service personnel responders and fire fighters with the pur- to advise the instructors, assist with plan- received good training that will make ISF pose of increasing Iraqi Security Forces’ ning and supervise training. more proficient in providing the city with medical proficiency when responding to “We need this training in all the centers security and safety, said Brig. Gen. Kawa, emergencies. throughout the city, but for now I’m thank- Dean of the Police Training Center. The training centered on evacuations, ful we have proficient members of the ISF “I am thankful to Gen. Jamal for his ad- tactical combat casualty care and emer- to promote this city’s safety and security,” vice and cooperation as well as the coali- gency medicine, said King, a Hudson, Ohio he said. tion forces for this training,” said Kawa. native During the ceremony, ISF students Kawa continued his praise of the gradu- “This course was an improvement from watched a video highlighting training dur- ates who received hands-on training from the previous EMT training of the various ing the four-week course, which was su- the U.S. forces and the joint cooperation emergency response units, because it was pervised by medics of 2nd Bn., 12th Cav. between the various ISF, who work to completely Iraqi-ran,” said King. “We Regt., deployed as part of U.S. Division- maintain the peace in the city of Kirkuk. used Iraqi supplies, conducted the training North in support of Operation New Dawn. “We are all here to help our families at their training center and the instruction The video featured ISF emergency ser- and our community,” explained Kawa in came from the Iraqis.” vices personnel conducting training exer- both Arabic and Kurdish. “What you’ve cises and working together as a unit, prac- learned, pass it on to the public—to our ticing emergency medical care to increase brothers and other members of the IP.” their proficiency with the newly acquired Concluding the ceremony, Kawa and knowledge. King presented the EMT graduates with certificates of completion and combat life- Lt. Col. Joseph Holland, commander of 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, attached to saver bags complete with fresh medical 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infan- supplies. try Division, presents an Iraqi Police officer During the ceremony, King thanked the a certificate of completion for graduating a instructors for their dedication and the new four-week Emergency Medical Technician course during a graduation ceremony at EMT graduates for a job well done. Kirkuk Training Center, Iraq, Feb. 28, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kandi Huggins 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 ‘Warrior’ Support Battalion builds sustainment operations at KMTB 1st Lt. Jay Jones TF 225, Brigade Support Bn. 2nd AAB Public Affairs 25th Inf. Div. USD-N KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq ─ Support Soldiers of Task Force 225, 2nd Brigade Support Bat- talion began a hands-on “train the trainer” program with Iraqi soldiers at Kirkush Military Training Base during February. U.S. Soldiers of 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th In- fantry Division led Iraqi Army officers and noncommissioned officers in conducting individu- al and collective support train- ing as part of a 25-day training cycle in support of Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All Inclu- sive Training. The training curriculum, U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Jay Jones, TF225, BSB, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div., USD-N ranging from vehicle mainte- Sgt. Douglas Kahala, right, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic from Company B, Task Force 225, Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, instructs Iraqi Army soldiers on proper nance and driver’s training to preventive maintenance checks and services, Feb. 9, 2011, during Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All Inclu- medical support operations, is sive Training, at Kirkush Military Training Base in the Diyala province of Iraq. part of the task force’s mission to advise and assist Iraqi Army has executed four iterations of Headquarters Company, 2nd Iraqi leaders at the first and units building an enduring ca- technical training in mainte- Battalion, 21st Brigade, 5th IA second levels of maintenance, pacity for the Iraqi military nance, medical tasks and com- Division. “Now we’re going to communicating their needs to to sustain itself following the munications skills for Iraqi (observe) their maintenance op- each other and executing,” he departure of U.S. forces, said Army soldiers and their units. erations in full effect.” explained. Maj. John Tulifua, battalion op- In mid-February, Soldiers The maintenance training By focusing on where main- erations officer, 2nd BSB, 25th of Company B and the TF 225 program began with proper tenance issues originate, the Inf. Div. Stability Transition Team re- preventive maintenance checks STT hopes to eliminate cycles The goal of the training pro- located to KMTB to support and services, ordering parts, that impede progress, said Mu- gram led by Task Force 225 Tadreeb al Shamil, an Iraqi-led trouble-shooting and establish- wwakkil. Stability Transition Team is initiative to train Iraqi Army ing systems in the motor pool “The final iteration will be to create a sustainable support units in an effort to develop that ensure work is completed Iraqi trainers and those at the system at KMTB, while en- Iraq’s conventional army, mod- to the proper standard, said Sgt. second level of maintenance hancing IA units’ capabilities, ernizing its capability to defend Maj. Darren Hargrove, battal- sustaining the entire fleet for said Tulifua. the country. ion STT noncommissioned of- the 5th IA,” he said. “If we The train the trainer course, “Now, we will be managing ficer in charge. focus on these key problems focusing on maintenance and and educating the Iraqis in their The maintenance training we’ve identified, we’ll make a support operations, is not the facilities and in their operating will show IA units how to track difference.” first time TF 225 partnered with area,” said 1st Lt. David Rey- and receive parts, and build Muwwakkil said by the last soldiers of 5th Iraqi Army Divi- man, maintenance operations trust in confidence in their sup- iteration of instruction in May, sion for training. officer in charge, Company B, port systems, said Maj. Ra- Task Force 225 hopes to dem- Since the beginning of train- Task Force 225, who works sheed Muwwakkil, team lead onstrate to senior leaders, 5th ing efforts in support of Opera- alongside the maintenance of- for the STT, TF 225. IA Div. maintenance operations tion New Dawn, the battalion ficer from Headquarters and “A successful outcome is functioning independently. 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 A ‘Devil’ Soldier’s fight of firsts Pfc. Alyxandra McChesney described the struggles of being a teenage Alcee said she wanted to dedicate her 1st Advise and Assist Task Force PAO parent and how she overcame obstacles to service to those who died during the terror- 1st Inf. Div., U.S. Division-North obtain her goals and dreams. ist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, “I had a beautiful daughter at the age 2001, and to the men and women who dedi- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE of 16,” explained Alcee, “and there was a cated their lives to ensuring that Americans WARRIOR, Iraq ─ “I watched from my time when I wanted to give up—not finish can live in freedom. office as people made the decision to burn school, but one day, I woke up and realized In 2009, Alcee enlisted in the U.S. Army or jump from the World Trade Center win- that I didn’t want to be a statistic; that I was with a four-year contract as a human re- dows on 911,” described Spc. Natalie Al- going to make something of myself.” sources specialist. cee, an Ozone Park, N.Y. native, serving Alcee not only completed high school The duties and responsibilities of a hu- with 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st with her graduating class but also received man resources specialist include managing Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infan- acceptance to the John Jay College of the readiness, health and welfare of all Sol- try Division, from Fort Riley, Kan., who Criminal Justice. In just three and a half diers and providing postal and personnel worked at a law firm a few blocks down years, Alcee graduated with a Bachelor of accountability support. Alcee also retains the street from the two towering buildings. Science in Legal Studies with a double mi- the responsibility of maintaining emergen- “That day I knew I was going to serve nor in English and Law while maintaining cy notification data and preparing casualty for what our nation stands for, our free- two jobs and raising her daughter. reports. dom,” continued Alcee. “I was the first person in my Family to Aside from fulfilling her daily duties as Sitting in the conference room of 101st go through high school here in the United a Soldier, she manages her time to continue BSB at Contingency Operating Site War- States, the first to go to college and gradu- expanding her knowledge. rior, Kirkuk, Iraq, Feb. 24, Natalie Alcee ate, and the first to serve my country,” said Attending Trident University Interna- shared her life experiences; illustrating Alcee. tional online, with a focus in Business Ad- the events that gave her the ambition and “I always wanted to join the service and ministration, Alcee hopes to receive her desire to continuously broaden her knowl- I knew I was going to, but as a mother I had first master’s degree in Business Manage- edge and fight for her nation. obligations to wait until my daughter was ment and graduate with a 3.9 grade point With a rigid New York accent, Alcee of age before I could join,” she said. average. “Even though I have a full-time load at work, I manage my time to study, com- plete homework, and still have the time to sit back and relax,” said Alcee. “One way I like to get away from everything is (play- ing disc jockey) at Salsa night.” Alcee’s story inspired her peers and mo- tivated her leaders to strive for excellence beyond the call of duty. Inspired to broaden her educational horizons, Alcee’s mentor, Staff Sgt. Erica Ortiz-Burgado, a native of San Juan, Puer- to Rico and military intelligence sergeant assigned to 101st BSB, 1st AATF, enrolled into online classes. “Her motivation is contagious,” said Ortiz-Burgado. “She pushed me to stop talking about my dreams and to get up and make those dreams reality.” Ortiz-Burgado explained her feelings of how Alcee is a great asset to the Army and to 101st BSB. “As a Soldier she has accomplished U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Alyxandra McChesney, 1st AATF PAO, 1st Inf. Div., USD-N so much, and as a person she has accom- Spc. Natalie Alcee, a human resources specialist assigned to 101st Brigade Support Battalion, plished even more,” said Ortiz-Burgado. 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kan., manages the “She is always striving to better herself, readiness, health and welfare of all 1st AATF Soldiers and provides postal and personnel ac- countability support for the Soldiers deployed in support of Operation New Dawn. Along with and in the process she inspires the people accomplishing her duties as a Soldier, Alcee is attending Trident University International online around her to do the same.” working on a master’s degree in Business Management. 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 ‘Living Up to Your Potential’ TF Ironhorse celebrates African American heritage Lt. Col. Keith Hayes, deputy information operations officer, 4th Infan- try Division and U.S. Division-North, addresses an audience with his speech, “Living Up to Your Potential,” during an African American His- tory Month Celebration at the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Center on Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Feb. 26, 2011. During his speech Hayes, who hails from Columbia, S.C., shared the story of the African American’s struggle to become fully integrated and ac- cepted as part of the U.S. military. Hayes shared the stories of the “Black Rangers” of the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company, and the 555th Parachute Infantry Company, “Triple Nickel,” the first African Ameri- can paratrooper company and many others. known much about until now,” said Hayes, who led the observance titled “Living Up to Your Potential.” Hayes, a native of Columbia, S.C., shared stories of largely unsung African American military milestones, such as the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as “Harlem Hell Fighters,” a New York National Guard unit that fought alongside the French in the trench- es of World War I, and the 555th Parachute Infantry Company, “Triple Nickel,” the first African American paratrooper company formed in 1944. Hayes also told the story of his father Melvin Hayes, who after six months in Vietnam found out he was sent in the place of an- other Melvin Hayes due to a clerical error. Hayes explained his father decided to finish his tour to stand in place of his brother, Keiths uncle, who was slated for deployment to the front lines later that year. “It is that spirit, camaraderie and closeness we share with our fellow Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, that bind us together regardless of color, gender, religion, heritage or financial status,” he said. The U.S. military saw the need to foster a diverse culture within its communities to overcome widespread bigotry and racial segre- gation, said Hayes. “Today’s military is one in which every individual gets to play on an increasingly level field,” he said. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO The men and women serving at COB Speicher attended the Spc. Andrew Ingram event to show more than just their appreciation of African Ameri- U.S. Division-North Public Affairs can history; they came together to remember their home, said Capt. Larry Burney, U.S. Division-North, a working group action CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – As Af- officer, Company B, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infan- rican American History Month neared an end, service members try Division. and civilians gathered to celebrate African American history and “Some friends of mine and I decided we wanted to formally culture at the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Center on Contin- celebrate this month,” said the New Orleans native. “This was par- gency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Feb. 26. ticularly important to me, because it is African American History During the African American History Month Celebration, ser- Month, but we hope to have more events like this to give everyone vice members related stories of African American heroes, such as a break from the monotony of work, gym and sleep.” Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recited poetry written It is important to remember the struggles that history’s forefa- by renowned African American wordsmiths like Maya Angelou, thers went through, said Spc. Darnell Crater, vocalist, Ivy Division and shared personal musical talents. Band, DSTB, 4th Inf. Div. “This month is important,” said keynote speaker, Lt. Col. Keith Crater, who hails from Lynwood, Ill., said without the efforts of Hayes, deputy information operations officer, 4th Infantry Divi- those who came before, the U.S. would not have the best military sion and U.S. Division-North. in the world. “Our future is shaped by our past; Black History Month gives Following the ceremony service members of many races and us the opportunity to learn the stories of those we may not have creeds ate together, relaxed and fellowshipped as a unified force. 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 A day in the life of an infantryman Spc. Andrew Ingram spected the school for potential USD-N Public Affairs threats and guarded the com- pound’s perimeter as the PRT CONTINGENCY OPERAT- representatives met with teach- ING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq ─ ers and administrators. Monday morning Soldiers of Once the mission was com- 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, “Black plete, the platoon returned to Sheep,” Company A, 1st Bat- COB Speicher. talion, 27th Infantry Regiment, This is just a typical morn- woke up at 5:30 a.m., heading ing for 3rd Platoon, said White, to the gym at Contingency Op- who hails from Chicago. erating Base Speicher. After White’s squad mates agreed two hours pumping iron, the in- that despite doing similar rou- fantrymen proceeded to break- tines and missions day after U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO fast at the dining facility, then day, solid training and constant First Lt. Ty Lin, platoon leader, and Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Maney, made their way to the Stryker vigilance keeps the troops sharp platoon sergeant, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infan- Armored Vehicles lined up near and ready for action. try Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, explain the route and their containerized housing “Most of us were expecting security precautions for the day’s mission in support of the Tikrit Pro- vincial Reconstruction Team during a mission brief at Contingency units. a lot more action this deploy- Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Feb. 28, 2011. “We don’t have a very excit- ment than we’ve seen so far,” ing mission today,” said Spc. said Spc. Kurt Brown, an in- my guys get chow, and then with a movie or talk to loved Fredrick White, infantryman fantryman from Atlanta. “But we get on our correspondence ones online. and a squad automatic weapon in Iraq things could change in courses, training or PT,” said Time to unwind maintains gunner, Company A. “We’re a heartbeat, and we have to be the Cheney, Wash. native. morale and helps keep the 2nd going out to provide security ready for anything.” Heparnold said he makes Squad Soldiers focused and for a Provincial Reconstruction After the platoon returned Army education a priority for motivated during missions, Team inspection. It should be from mission, they set about his Soldiers, because he be- Heparnold said. pretty simple, but we can’t get cleaning the vehicles, and then lieves it is the best way for Each squad member spends complacent.” it was back to the dining facility troops to gain the technical and his free time a little differently, The Black Sheep picked and onto the company area. tactical competency to further and all agreed it is necessary up members of the Salah ad Leaders of Company A and their military careers, and the to get away from the comrades Din Provincial Reconstruction 3rd Platoon make training and promotion points to become they eat, work, train and sleep Team and headed north to a education a high priority, said noncommissioned officers. around nearly 24 hours-a-day. Ministry of Labor and Social Cpl. Jeffrey Heparnold, team By 6 p.m., the Soldiers be- “Sometimes it gets tough Affairs vocational school near leader, 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon. gin drifting off in different di- being around everybody all the Tikrit. “After we get back from rections. Some head back to the time. You really don’t get a lot On site, the Black Sheep in- mission every day, I make sure gym, others their rooms to relax of privacy, and you get sick of each other,” said West Palm Spc. Fredrick White, infantry- man, Company A, 1st Battalion, Beach, Fla. native, Spc. Trevor 27th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Ad- Legg. “But at the end of the day, vise and Assist Brigade, 25th they are still your friends, and Infantry Division, trains his we all care about each other.” eye through the scope of his M249 squad automatic weapon, Legg said most of the friend- searching for potential threats ships stretch back to Schofield while providing security for a Barracks, Hawaii, where the Provincial Reconstruction Team 2nd Squad Soldiers met and visiting an Iraqi Ministry of La- bor and Social Affairs vocational trained for the deployment school north of Tikrit, Feb. 28, in support of Operation New 2011. After mission, White, A Dawn. Chicago-native and fellow Sol- Friends or not, Spc. Rob- diers of 3rd Platoon, Company A, returned to Contingency Operat- ert Wright explained rivalries ing Base Speicher, ate lunch and and competition between the spent the afternoon conducting squads and platoons is a small physical training and furthering their education. See Life, pg. 11 U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD-N PAO 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 Soldiers, professional fighters face off for UFC Tour clinic on COB Speicher U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller, 109th MPAD, USD-N PAO Capt. Angel Vega, Company B, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, bottom, grapples with Ultimate Fighting Championship star Kyle Kingsbury during a UFC-headlined workshop at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Feb. 24, 2011. Sgt. Shawn Miller nity to grapple with Swick and and fighting techniques, before ches, Texas. 109th MPAD mixed martial arts fighter Kyle signing autographs and posing Now on their second tour to USD-N Public Affairs Kingsbury during the UFC for photos. Iraq, Kingsbury and Swick said Tour at Contingency Operating “Fighters have to be in tip- they enjoy spending time with CONTINGENCY OPERAT- Base Speicher, Feb. 24. top shape, and obviously what- the troops and helping in any ING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – Swick and Kingsbury, ac- ever they’re doing is working way they can. “So who wants to roll?” asked companied by Octagon Girls for them,” said Sgt. John Dean “I feel very fortunate to be Ultimate Fighting Champion- Amber Miller and Natasha from 34th Engineer Company able to come out here and rep- ship welterweight Mike Swick, Wicks, met with service mem- (Sapper), attached to 326th En- resent the UFC,” said Kings- surrounded by Soldiers de- bers and civilian contractors gineer Battalion, 20th Engineer bury. “We really enjoy getting ployed to northern Iraq in sup- during a workshop hosted by Brigade. to come out, especially down- port of Operation New Dawn. Morale, Welfare and Recre- “The more I can apply that range.” Eager to test their mettle ation. to my own physical fitness it’s Following the forum, Swick on the mat against two of the The UFC fighters held an going to help me with my phys- and Kingsbury demonstrated UFC’s top fighters, several open discussion with the au- ical training and my job,” said Soldiers jumped at the opportu- dience about nutrition, fitness Dean, a resident of Nacogdo- see UFC, pg. 12 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 Chaplain’s Confession is good for the soul ... Corner: The Great Pumpkin Orgy Lt. Col. Jeffrey Houston In the middle of the night, every single to get to a watermelon or pumpkin every Chaplain, U.S. Division-North one of the Snow Monkeys went over the time they get the opportunity with no guilt electric fence to raid our beautifully deco- or conscience. Let me say right up front … I swear rated festival tent. All night long they had People are far different from the Snow that what you are about to read is all true! a pumpkin orgy, gorging on pumpkin and Monkeys; for people, living in denial is Years ago, I had a fascinating job work- watermelon, destroying everything. It was a frustrating and unhappy state. Unfortu- ing at a drive-thru animal park. Most of us one of the worst messes I have ever seen. nately, all of us have, and will spend time have driven through an animal park of one Trust me, Snow Monkeys can be unbeliev- in that little state we call “denial.” kind or another. Feeding the animals that ably destructive! The cure for living in denial is confes- come up to your car as you drive through I was one of the first to arrive on the sion. We confess to each other; more im- is loads of fun. In my job, I did not work scene of the crime the following morning. portantly, we can confess to ourselves, and directly with the animals, but did advertis- As I rounded the corner in my truck, I saw most importantly, we can confess to God. ing and public relations—still it was a fun the last couple of monkeys scramble back Interestingly enough, the word “con- job! over the fence into their enclosure. What a fess” in the Bible does not mean that I am Every autumn, the animal park held mess! Pumpkin guts were everywhere! telling God something he does not already a big fall festival in the parking lot. We As we set about the task of cleaning know. It is more of an acknowledgement rented a large tent, set up tables, hired a up the mess, we noticed that all the Snow that God has always known something band and had pony rides—the whole bit. Monkeys had gathered next to the fence— about me, and now I am finally at a place On the night before the festival began, with their backs turned toward the mess where I agree with Him, admitting what we set out traditional fall decorations— they had created. They were making an God already knows. When I do that, I have lots of pumpkins, cornstalks and fall flow- obvious statement, but I had no clue what immediately left the lonely and unhappy ers, as well as a truck load of watermelons they were communicating. state of “denial.” waiting to be put on ice the following I finally asked one of the animal keep- The Snow Monkeys had no conscience morning. ers what it meant. She told me that when whatsoever, denying the “pumpkin orgy” It was a lot of work, but still a lot of they all turned their back on the mess, it was not a problem for them. We, however, fun! Yet, despite all the planning and meant in their little minds the destruc- have a conscience that can make us very preparation for the event, this one par- tion never happened. They ignored it, and unhappy when we continue to turn away ticular year we made a critical error! The therefore it just went away. from things in our lives that we very much whole festival—with all the pumpkins, What a vivid and humorous illustration need to face. corn, flowers and watermelons—was set of what you and I call “denial.” Denial I encourage you to be honest with oth- up right next to a large fenced area holding is when we lie to ourselves, or pretend ers, be honest with yourself and be honest fifty Japanese Snow Macaques—those that reality is one thing, when we know with God. Some things are easy to face, furry little monkeys you see on the cover down deep inside that the opposite is true. other things are painful. of National Geographic with the snow on I realized that the Snow Monkeys were If you have things in your life that are their heads. perfectly happy to live in denial day in and difficult to face, talk to your Chaplain. Get The temptation was too much for them. day out, ready to climb an electric fence help, and don’t live in denial. Continued from LIFE, pg. 9 but important dynamic for the deployed unit. from the shower trailers and spotty heat, they would never take the “There is some rivalry that goes on between the squads and amenities of home for granted again. more between the platoons in Company A,” he said. “Most of the The freedom and security offered in the United States would time, it’s fun. Nothing too serious, but it keeps us busy.” never be far from Wright’s mind said the Sterling Heights, Mich. Rivalries motivate the Soldiers to do their best, whether the per- native, while Maroon and Brown said they are looking forward to sonal competitions are physical training, weapons qualifications, returning to their Families and loved ones. combat drills or video games, Wright said. After two deployments to Iraq, Heparnold said he is content Even if the rivalries are minor, 2nd Squad is the best squad knowing that Iraqi Security Forces can competently take charge of in the company, said Pfc. Thomas Maroon, an infantryman from the security of their nation. Wood River, Ill. “This is nothing like my last deployment where we did almost The deployment to northern Iraq is teaching the Black Sheep all the work,” he said. “The ISF knows how to do the job now; they Soldiers to appreciate what they have back home, said the Soldiers just have to take the reins.” of 2nd Squad. Tuesday morning the Soldiers of 2nd Squad woke up at 5:30 Both Legg and White agreed after months of walking to and a.m., went to the gym and began another day in Iraq. 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf March 4, 2011 Hey Doc: How do I work out smartly? Capt. Stephen, Hill MS, RD, LD approach. A journal can help organize your workout schedule and Task Force 256th Combat Support Hospital make your workouts more effective. Keep track of what settings U.S. Division-North you use on each machine, how much weight you lift, how many repetitions you do, etc. These details provide information which “Hey Doc: I want to get buff while deployed. Any tips?” helps you retain optimal form and remain consistent which facili- – Signed “Gun Show” tates growth of muscle tissue. Additionally, you can review your past workouts and motivate yourself with objective evidence of Dear “Gun Show,” deployment is a perfect time to improve growth. your fitness. You get free, unlimited carbohydrates and protein Confuse your muscles. from the DFAC; the U.S. Army “foots” your gym membership; Your muscles do not like exercise. They will try to adapt and get and you have less external demands for your time! through the movement with as little damage to the muscle tissue A good fitness program needs to include some important com- as possible. If you do the same workout using the same routine, ponents. As a dietician and exercise physiologist, I have some same weight, etc., your body adapts and you don’t get the muscle ideas you can incorporate to make your workout more efficient damage you need to grow. Sticking to predictable and consistent and fun. routines is a big reason a lot of people plateau in their growth. For Don’t over train. this reason, consider mixing your exercises up a bit. You can mix During exercise, your muscle tissue is damaged. Muscle growth the type and order of exercises you do. You can vary the repeti- occurs after the workout when your muscles are being repaired. tions, for example do five to seven repetition workouts one day You need a full day of rest between workouts for optimal muscle then seven to 10 repetition workouts the next physical training ses- repair in order to maximize growth. Pay attention to which mus- sion. You can also mix the use of free weights with machines, and cles are utilized in different workouts so you don’t inadvertently change the angles of the movements. work on the same muscle on consecutive days. For instance, iso- Good nutrition. lating biceps one day, then isolating back muscles the next may Proper nutrition is vital to ensuring a successful workout pro- be counterproductive for biceps growth, as biceps are involved in gram. If you do not fuel your muscles before and after workout, pulling movements. your body will have to work harder to convert glycogen to fuel. In addition to the day of rest between workouts pay attention Hydration is also important. Proper hydration facilitates the de- to other rest you are getting, namely sleep. You should try to get livery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. eight hours of sleep each night as growth hormone is the highest Remember “Gun Show,” developing a plan and exercising dis- and muscles are recovering during this time. cipline is the biggest key to remaining healthy and physically fit. Keep a journal. See you in the gym Taskforce Ironhorse, and keep those ques- Working out different muscles haphazardly, may not be the best tions coming! Continued from UFC, pg. 10 various techniques and sub- courage and the Warrior Ethos mission moves used as part of to meet against professional their MMA regimen, similar to fighters on a mat proves to me that of the U.S. Army’s Modern that I’m able to meet any chal- Army Combatives Program. lenge that I want to meet in the After the instructional phase, future,” he said. “If I can meet a the UFC stars offered a chal- professional fighter, I’m pretty lenge to grapple with anyone sure that I’m going to be able willing to step in “the ring.” to meet an enemy on the battle- Soldiers are warriors regard- field.” less of duty position or rank, Sharing knowledge and ex- said Capt. Angel Vega of Com- perience with Soldiers is better pany B, Special Troops Bat- than simply signing autographs talion, 4th Infantry Division, and taking photos with the who jumped at the opportunity troops in Iraq, said Kingsbury. to test his skills and learn new “Something that separates techniques. us from the rest is we’ll actu- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller, 109th MPAD, USD-N PAO “I’m a big fan of UFC, and ally get on the mat and roll with Spc. Alexander Quebedeaux, a petroleum supply specialist assigned I’ve been doing martial arts for the guys,” he said. “I think ev- to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), bottom, grap- ples with Ultimate Fighting Championship star Kyle Kingsbury during over 18 years,” said Vega, who erybody just wants to get out a UFC Tour mixed martial arts workshop at Contingency Operating hails from Puerto Rico. there, have a roll with us, and Base Speicher, Iraq, Feb. 24, 2011. Kingsbury and Swick invited ser- “Being able to have the have a good time.” vice members to test their skills and learn new techniques on the mat. 12