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The ivy leaf, volume 1, issue 46

  1. 1. Volume 1, Issue 46 September 16, 2011 Secretary of the Army McHughBlack Jack Steadfast and Loyal visitsHighlander troops Ironhorse Sgt. 1st Class Brent WilliamsDevil USD-N Public Affairs Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, commended Soldiers of U.S. Division – North during a brief visit to Contingency OperatingFit for Any Test Base Warhorse, Iraq, Sept. 14. Fit for Any Test Responsible for every aspect of the U.S. Army, from manpower and equipment to the Army’s fiscal budget, McHugh met with Soldiers of 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, to express his appreciation for their service while deployed in support of Operation New Dawn. McHugh pledged his support to the Soldiers and assured them the U.S. stands ready to provide theIronhorse resources necessary to accomplish the mission. Devil “I urge you to stay attentive to your mission,” McHugh told the “Mustang” troops of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, “and again, we deeply appre- ciate all that you do.” Highlander The 21st Secretary of the Army used the opportu- nity “to spend a little time with the Soldiers and hearSteadfast and Loyal what’s on their minds,” prior to a meeting with USD- N leaders to discuss efforts in preparation for U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011. Before opening the floor to Soldiers for an infor- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Williams, USD-N Public Affairs mal question and answer session, McHugh addressed BLack JAck Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, speaks with Soldiers of 1st the current budget deliberations in the nation’s Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry capital. Division, during a brief visit to Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Sept. 14, 2011. “This is the greatest land fighting force the world has ever seen … and it “This is a time of some uncertainty, not just here is our responsibility with whatever resources we are given to do the best job we in Iraq, but back home as well,” McHugh said. can to preserve it,” said McHugh, who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, from New York, from January 1993 to September 2009. See MCHUGH, Pg. 3
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 STAFF SGT. JAmeS cheAThAm Working at a high level and doing it with Teams’ missions, including numerous mis- ease is what sets Staff Sgt. James Cheatham sions around Contingency Operating Base apart from other Soldiers. Warrior in support of 1st Advise and Assist Cheatham, platoon sergeant for Troop Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, United A, 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment States Division – North, with a 100 percent is responsible for the all scheduled and un- mission success rate. scheduled maintenance on a troop of OH- “If any aircraft has something break, he 58D Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance/attack is the first line of defense to identify the helicopters. problem and set forth what procedures need The Houston native is serving as the to be done to return the aircraft to a flyable only platoon sergeant for a flight troop of status,” Woodell says. Kiowas while his 1st Platoon counterpart is Cheatham’s tireless work ethic and ex- on environmental morale leave. pert knowledge directly affected the mis- “He is not only doing the job of a ser- sion productivity and success of United geant first class, but he is doing the job of States Forces – Iraq and Iraqi Security two,” said 1st Sgt. Alex Woodell, first ser- Forces. geant of Troop A. “(Cheatham) insists on training two Cheatham’s professionalism and exten- levels down so his junior Soldiers will be sive knowledge base serves as an example ready when the time comes,” Woodell said. of excellence for two platoons of crew “This not only prepares these Soldiers for chiefs. this deployment, but sets the foundation for crew chief, cavalryman and trooper. Under Cheatham’s dedicated oversight the next generation of aviation maintenance For his dedication to the mission, and valued leadership, Troop A supplied six leaders.” Cheatham is this week’s “Ironhorse Strong” aircraft daily in support of Scout Weapon He exemplifies what it means to be a Soldier of the Week. For more "Ironhorse Strong" Soldier of the Week features from past editions of The Ivy Leaf, go to the Defense Video and Imagery Distributon System website: Highlanders hold 9/11 Dark Horse troops Everything must go! FSC Soldiers broaden remembrance dinner transition base horizons Page 4 Page 7 Page 8 Page 10 THE Ivy Leaf Task Force Ironhorse Commanding General – Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins The Ivy Leaf is an authorized publication for members of the Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey U.S. Army. Contents of The Ivy Leaf are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of the Army or the 4th Infantry Division. Everything advertised in this Task Force Ironhorse Public Affairs publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, TF Ironhorse PAO – Lt. Col. Steve Wollman marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other TF Ironhorse PA NCOIC – Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial The Ivy Leaf Editor and Layout & Design – content of The Ivy Leaf is prepared, edited, provided and approved Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich by the United States Division-North Public Affairs Office. 1st Advise and 2nd Advise and Do you have a story to share? The Ivy Leaf welcomes submissions Assist Task Force Assist Brigade from readers. Send to the USD-N PAO at 1st Infantry Division 1st Cavalry Division mil. The Ivy Leaf reserves the right to edit submissions selected for the paper. For further information on deadlines, questions or 4th Advise and comments, email USD-N PAO or call DSN 318-849-0089. Assist Brigade 1st Armored Division 2
  3. 3. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 MCHUGH Contd from Pg. 1 “Budget challenges – I can’t tell you to the extent at this point, but obviously it’s going to have some effect, perhaps some signifi- cant effect, on the military and obviously on the Army.” McHugh also assured the troops that he and the Army’s newest Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, have the Soldiers’ best interest at heart and remain committed to the Army and its mission. “We’re working hard with the new Secretary of Defense to ensure that we are taking care of our people and their Families, and keeping our moral and legal commitments to all of you,” he explained, “so that even in this time of changing fiscal realities, we maintain the kind of Army all of us are proud of … no matter what the U.S. Army photos by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Williams, USD-N Public Affairs fiscal resources.” Visiting with Soldiers at Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq, Secretary of the Army, McHugh, who served as a member of the Honorable John McHugh, answers questions Sept. 14, 2011, about the effects of pro- posed budget cuts to the Department of Defense’s military budget over the next 10 years. the U.S. House of Representatives, repre- senting the state of New York from January McHugh explained that the Army has military leaders do not know exactly how a 1993 to September 2009, answered ques- had more than a year to begin preparing for reduced budget will affect the organization, tions about how budget cuts will affect the budget cuts and plan on doing “more and are conducting Total Army Analysis to manning, operations and services across with less.” answer the questions. the Army. “There are obvious ways in which we “I would rather have a smaller, su- Captain Thomas Spolizino, commander can control the size of the military that premely equipped, trained and cared for of Headquarters and Headquarters Com- doesn’t affect people who are currently in force than, as we’ve had in the past, a force pany, 1st Sqdn., 8th Cav. Regt., asked how uniform, such as accessions …,” he said, that is really big, but doesn’t have anything the budget being reduced over the next 10 “but to keep it balanced across the various behind it,” he said. years would affect troop readiness, man- ranks we may have to change the promo- Spolizino, an armor officer who hails power and advancement opportunities. tion rates in some of the officer grades and from Colonia, N.J., said he is satisfied by “I think we are going to get smaller,” enlistment grades.” the Secretary of the Army’s candid answers the Secretary of the Army told his audi- “I wish we could give you numbers, but and appreciated the visit from the Army’s ence. “That has happened infrequently in I assure you, we are looking and asking the most senior civilian leader. every post-war era you can name, but what same kind of questions you are,” he said. “It’s important, because it shows there the (Chief of Staff of the Army) and I are McHugh explained to Spolizino and the is still emphasis on what we are doing,” focused on is doing it right.” Soldiers gathered before him that senior Spolizino said. “The way everything is going lately, it can seem like we are forgotten a little bit, and his visit shows us that the Army and our senior leaders are still focused on Iraq and making sure the mission is completed properly, completed responsibly. “It’s a different deployment than we ever had before; it’s certainly a hard mis- sion, but the Soldiers are doing it well,” he said. "We removed a dictator, and then established a government that can take care of itself in an unstable region, take care of its own people, and be a reliable partner for the U.S.” Before departing COB Warhorse, McHugh assured the Soldiers, “This is the greatest land fighting force the world has ever seen … and it is our responsibility Col. John Peeler, commander of 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, de- scribes some of the features and benefits of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle with whatever resources we are given to do to McHugh during his visit with “Black Jack” troopers at COB Warhorse. the best job we can to preserve it.” 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Highlanders hold 9/11 remembrance dinner Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek 4th AAB Public Affairs 1st Armored Div., USD - N On a sunny Tuesday morning in 2001, the percep- tion of time seemed to have froze in place as hijacked passenger jets crashed into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa. The world watched in awe as the attack, much like Pearl Har- bor, brought the United States into one of its darkest hours in history. However, under the cloud of dust and debris, a wave of unity and patriotism surged through the American people, raising their spirits and lifting the nation up from underneath the ashes of terror. As Americans took a moment to recognize the 10th anniversary of that infamous day, they were joined by Soldiers from 4th Advise and Assist Bri- gade, 1st Armored Division, who are currently de- ployed to Contingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq. The “Highlanders” held a special memorial dinner Sept. 11 at the Marez dining facility to share Sol- diers’ experiences and remember the events that took place a decade ago. With place cards lining rows of neighboring ta- bles, Soldiers in attendance represented each of the 50 states to express the unity shared by Americans in the wake of disaster. “This is a time of remembrance and prayer,” said Col. Scott McKean, brigade commander and San Jose, Calif. native. “Although it was a tragic time for our country, it was also a time that our country came together and made us stronger.” Regardless of profession, color, gender, or wealth, everyone came together and bonded to show Ameri- ca’s resilience, said McKean. Sitting among those in attendance was a Soldier who was called to action on that tragic day. “9/11 started for me when I was a (private first class),” said Staff Sgt. Shawn C. Gourdine, a military police officer with the 105th Military Police Com- pany from Buffalo, N.Y. 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 U.S. Army photos by Spc. Brandon A. Bednarek, 4th AAB, 1st Armored Division Soldiers with 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, attend a memorial dinner, Sept. 11, 2011, at the Contingency Operat- ing Site Marez, Iraq, dining facility to observe the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Colonel Scott McKean, commander, 4th AAB, 1st Ar- mored Div., cuts an American flag cake with a “High- lander” sword during the memorial dinner. Staff Sergeant Matthew Hoover, a military policeman with Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th AAB, 1st Armored Div., recalls where he was and how he felt during the World Trade Center attacks. “My first memory of 9/11 was seeing the glow, at night-time, of the towers burning,” Gourdine said. Within hours of the attack, civilians, federal agents, law enforcement, and volunteers were at the scene to help in a time of crisis, he said. Gourdine and his unit were responsible for maintaining order and providing security for those who were working at Ground Zero. “9/11 changed everyone’s lives,” he said. Several other Soldiers also took a moment to share where they were at the time of the attacks, with responses ranging from actively serving on a military installation to sitting in a classroom as an elementary school 4th grader. Staff Sergeant Shawn C. Gourdine, a national guards- man with the 105th Military Police Co. from New York, “Whether you think you’re making a difference shares his experience from September 11, 2001. Gour- or not – you are,” McKean told Soldiers. “You dine was a private first class charged with providing should be proud of everything that you do. Not ev- security for emergency personnel at Ground Zero. eryone has the courage to do what you’re doing.” 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Wounded Warrior continues to serve Soldier shot in eye by sniper reflects on attack Spc. Crystal Hudson 29th MPAD USD - N Public Affairs Sergeant Aaron Manis, a human resourc- es specialist with 101st Human Resources Company, calmly walks the halls of the division main building at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, hoping to share his positive attitude with everyone he passes. “He is a quiet professional with a strong work ethic that completes the mission,” said Capt. Johnny Jun, human resources opera- tions officer, 4th Infantry Division. Manis, a native of Huntington, W.V., is very discreet about what he has experienced during his 10-year career. Most Soldiers would never know the noncommissioned of- ficer helping them with their paperwork was U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD, USD-N Public Affairs seriously injured during his last tour in Iraq. Sergeant Aaron Manis, casualty noncommissioned officer in charge, 101st Human Resourc- es Company, 4th Infantry Division, works at his desk at Contingency Operating Base Speich- A day to remember er, Iraq, Sept. 7, 2011. The Huntington, W.V., native successfully returned to active duty after being injured in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. On August 7, 2006, his life was changed forever. Manis, an infantryman at the time, Soldiers in the vehicle with jokes so they Recovery and his team were on a presence patrol in would not worry about the incident. “My wife was heartbroken. I had to calm Baghdad, on a day like any other, when they Manis was evacuated to Germany for her down,” Manis said. “It is just something got called to another area to check out a treatment, and eventually transferred to that happens, it comes with the territory.” possible threat. There was nothing odd about Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the Manis spent six months in recovery at the area so, with their mission complete, hope of repairing the damage to his eye. Walter Reed. He said that he did go through they loaded up to head out. “When the bullet entered, the force and a dark time at the hospital. Manis popped into the gunner’s hatch the heat of the round forced the retina to “I accepted it. I am the one who signed and turned to the rear of the vehicle to make scrunch up,” Manis said. up to be an infantryman,” Manis said. “That sure it was clear. Doctors at Walter Reed did all they could was the only way that I could heal, by ac- “There was a guy 150 feet away and he to help restore the vision he lost. Unfortu- cepting.” decided he wanted to be a sniper and tried to nately, the damage was very extensive and Manis said that the Soldiers he encoun- take me out,” Manis said. Manis is now blind in his right eye. tered at Walter Reed and his Warrior Transi- The bullet went in on the right side of his tion Unit are the best group of Soldiers he face near his eye and exited there. has ever met. “I will never forget the heroes “I never lost consciousness,” Manis said. I worked with that helped me out in my time "When the bullet entered, “It felt like a big rock being thrown at the of need, and all the friends I’ve made since side of (my) face.” the force and heat of the then.” He recalls putting his hand to his face, round forced the retina to and looking at his hand covered in blood. He scrunch up." Transition then dropped down into the vehicle and let From Walter Reed, Manis went to Fort the vehicle commander know he was hit. Campbell, Ky., to begin his medical board “The medic came and he performed first Sgt. Aaron Manis process. He was recommended for reclas- aid,” Manis said. “There is not really much Casualty NCOIC sification and became a human resources that you can do but put a bandage on it.” 101st Human Resources Co. He remembers trying to soothe the other See WOUNDED, Pg. 11 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Dark Horse troops transition base U.S. hands over equipment, keys to Iraqi Security Forces Sgt. Quentin Johnson The battalion left behind 2nd AAB Public Affairs buildings, t-walls, and other non- 1st Cav. Div., USD - N military equipment, said Wil- liams. For more than two years, “They are going to get a lot of Contingency Operating Base great gym equipment, fully func- Cobra, in Diyala province, Iraq, tioning dining facility … some of increased its capabilities while the things we left behind (have) serving as a base of operations provided so much to us,” said U.S. Army photos by 2nd Lt. Randy Warren, 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div. for deployed Soldiers. Ray. Soldiers with 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and On Sept. 8, 2011, U.S. forces Leaving behind equipment Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North, and local transitioned COB Cobra to the is only part of what took place Iraqis load various commercial products and goods onto a truck at during the transition, said Ray. Contingency Operating Base Cobra, Iraq, in July. The consolidation Iraqi Security Forces. and shipping of the supplies supported efforts to clear the base as Throughout the month of Au- “Dark Horse” battalion helped the battalion began the transition of COB Cobra to the Iraqi Army. gust, the last of the U.S. Soldiers control multiple checkpoints stationed at COB Cobra departed within the Combined Security the base, signing property over to Area throughout northern Diyala the Iraqi army, said Capt. James province. Ray, commander of Headquar- Companies from the battalion ters and Headquarters Troop, worked for weeks transitioning 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regi- each checkpoint to the IA and ment, 2nd Advise and Assist Kurdish Peshmerga, he added. Brigade, 1st Cav. Division, U.S. Combined efforts like the Division – North. checkpoints are lasting memo- Soldiers from 4th Sqdn., 9th ries that many U.S. Soldiers can Cav. Regt., spent weeks unload- take joy in when thinking about ing containers, clearing build- how their hard work has paid off, ings, packing, prepping and said Williams. Training the Iraqi shipping material goods remain- Security Forces played a part in ing on COB Cobra, said 1st Sgt. transition as well. Captain Matthew Jung, commander, Troop B., 4th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Michael Williams, HHT first ser- “Soldiers of (the battalion) Regt., 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., prepares to hand over checkpoint geant. have invested quite a bit of time equipment container keys to Iraqi officers from the 1st Iraqi Army Division, during the transfer of authority for a checkpoint in northern “It has been a long and te- in training the Iraqi Army and Diyala province June 30, as part of the transition of COB Cobra. dious process of playing ‘What’s getting them set up to be able to in the connex?’” said Williams. stand on their own,” said Wil- to build up their security forces through the last days of closure, With the base fully operation- liams. “So it’s gratifying to see in support of their government,” explained Garcia. al for more than two years, mass and do that (training) and to be said Ray. His team assisted the ISF in amounts of supplies accumulat- able to hand them a facility like Security was an issue associ- providing security as the last ed, explained Williams. this, they can use after we are ated with the transition, said Lt. convoys of U.S. Soldiers left Since U.S. and Iraqi forces gone to train future generations Col. Paul Garcia, commander COB Cobra. shared the compound, large num- of the Iraqi Army.” of the 4th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. Dark Horse pride was seen bers of supplies were kept on site Ray, who agreed with Wil- There is always an added risk through their tireless efforts as for the IA and the Iraqi Security liams, said the transition was when troops maneuver from site they successfully transitioned the Forces, said Ray. successful, and it allowed the to site. “We were transitioning base to Iraqi control, said Ray. The transfer of the remaining battalion to leave the IA with out of here and we were in a peri- “In the end, this (transition) equipment to the Iraqis is part something that will help to im- od of increased risk for all forces is extremely satisfying … it’s of the Foreign Excess Personal prove the IA’s training and secu- involved,” said Garcia. more than just another notch in Property Program, designed to rity. In light of the risks, Dark the belt. It’s a successful mission; re-utilize all types of items pur- “It’s a nice area for them to Horse Soldiers remained vigilant something we can hang our hats chased by federal entities. … conduct training and continue and kept an offensive posture on as we move on.” 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Everything Must Go! Task Force Devil, Property Assistance Team transfer $50 million in equipment Staff Sgt. Robert billions of taxpayer dol- redeploying units with the the MRPAT helps the Army DeDeaux lars,” said Meka Williams, resource-intensive and time- better allocate assets to units 1st AATF Public Affairs Wholesale Responsible consuming tasks required in across the Army, and how 1st Inf. Div., USD-N Officer, Team Five, 402nd recording, shipping, fixing identifying repairable equip- Army Material Command. and tracking millions of dol- ment allows it to possibly be Soldiers of the 1st Advise “This whole process is about lars of equipment, allowing reused for training purposes and Assist Task Force, 1st responsibility and account- units to focus more on their or for another deployment. Infantry Division transferred ability. We take responsibility tactical missions, said Meka. Any equipment valued more than $50 million in for the equipment ... with The units must still supply less than what it would cost military equipment to the hand receipts ... accounting a work detail and a logistics to be shipped elsewhere Mobile Redistribution Prop- for its cost and recording its officer to help clear the units’ was offered to the 12th Iraqi erty Assistance Team Sept. next destination.” hand-receipts, and make sure Army, the partner unit of the 11, 2011, as a part of the task All of the equipment, billeting and travel are ar- 1st AATF, said Pilkington. force’s final logistics mission vehicles, and weapons in Iraq ranged, continued Meka. A company of Iraqi soldiers before leaving Contingency amount to billions of dol- “The MRPAT provides collected items they were Operating Site Warrior. lars over the last eight years (1st AATF) with property willing to receive and signed Throughout the next few that must be accounted for, reduction and reset,” said hand receipts, accounting for weeks, the MRPAT will continued the Vienna, Ga., Cpt. Obadiah Pilkington, that equipment. account for and assume re- native. 1st AATF Deputy Logistics The 10-year Army veteran sponsibility of the 1st AATF’s The MRPAT operating on Officer. from northern Georgia con- vehicles and equipment that COS Warrior consists of De- Pilkington further detailed cluded, “The end state is to need to return to the unit’s partment of Defense employ- how the process of reset and get all of the property turned home station. The team will ees with the Army Material reduction will allow two im- in correctly and responsibly also ensure excess equip- Command and Soldiers of the portant things to occur: finan- in the most efficient way ment, received as theater pro- 473rd Quartermaster Com- cial accountability for all of possible to ensure tax payer vided equipment, is placed pany, assigned to the Army the equipment remaining and dollars are not wasted.” back into the military supply Field Support Brigade. the opportunity to identify system. They travel to camps repairable equipment. “We are accounting for throughout Iraq to assist the Pilkington explained that (Left) Soldiers from the 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divi- sion, along with Soldiers from Team 5, 2nd Battalion, 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, prepare to trans- fer excess body armor to the Mobile Redistribution Property Assistance Team at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Sept. 10, 2011. (Right) Captain Obadiah Pilkington, Deputy Logis- tics Officer, 1st AATF, 1st Inf. Div., inspects a genera- tor before transferring it to U.S Army photos by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF, 1st Inf. Div. the MRPAT. 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Troops visit kids at orphanage in Tikrit U.S. Army photos by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD, USD-N Public Affairs Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, handing out gifts to kids at an orphanage in Tikrit, Iraq, Sept. 12, 2011. The infantrymen gave out school supplies, personal care items and clothing to the children. Spc. Cryatal Hudson (hospital staff),” he said. “It is a token of tion Team, from Houston. 29th MPAD our appreciation.” Ruth said Soldiers take part in humani- USD - N Public Affairs The Soldiers were joyful while handing tarian missions to show that U.S. Forces out the gifts to the children, Matus said. have considerations for the people of Iraq. Soldiers from Company B, 1st Bat- “(The gifts) increase the morale and The U.S. Forces have been getting better talion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise spirits of the people occupying or visiting at performing humanitarian missions over and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, the hospital,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Ruth, the years, Ruth added. handed out gifts to more than 50 children commander, Salah al Din Stability Transi- “I wanted to take the Soldiers by to at a teaching hospital and a nearby orphan- have a deep appreciation for what they are age in Tikrit, Iraq, Sept. 12. doing in Iraq,” Ruth said. “A lot of times The infantrymen gave out school sup- it is hard for them to see and understand plies, clothing and personal care items to why they are here.” the children at both locations. The Soldiers The goal of this mission was to build a also had gifts for the mothers at the hospi- stronger relationship with the community. tal and the care providers at the orphanage. By doing this the people understand what “A lot of the things that kids take for U.S. Forces are doing and can begin to granted in the U.S. are pretty hard to come see the value in the progress made in Iraq, by here,” said 1st Lt. Luis Matus, platoon Ruth said. leader for Company B’s 3rd Platoon. “It allows you to connect with the hu- Items like crayons, colored pencils and man factor while you are here,” he said. coloring books are a luxury to these unfor- “Whenever you get to see it up close and tunate children, Matus said. personal and see the smile on their face, it “Hopefully, (the children) will see U.S. makes you more human.” Forces as good and not threatening,” he In this environment that human aspect said. is important to maintain, Ruth said. Matus said this was not one of his pla- “Connecting to people allows you to toon’s regular missions, however, the gifts see why you’re doing what you’re doing,” were handed out in a familiar place. Spc. Michael Raneo, an infantryman with Ruth said. “We are trying to create better Company B, 1st Bn., 5th Cav. Regt., 2nd “It is a good gesture with the rela- AAB, 1st Cav. Div., hands out a bag of security and stability for a future better tionship we have been building with the school supplies to a girl at the orphanage. way of life for (the people of Iraq).” 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 FSC Soldiers broaden horizons 2nd Lt. Hoang Le 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., U.S. Division - North Soldiers pride themselves at being good at their jobs, and some Soldiers go above and beyond by becoming proficient in ad- ditional skills to support the mission. Maintaining vehicles and essential equipment is Sgt. Brian Stoller’s primary military occupational specialty, but he contributes to his company’s mission in a much different manner. He serves as his company’s intelligence support team non- commissioned officer in charge. The La Crosse, Ind., native takes pride in his contribution to the mission of Forward Support Company G, 3rd Battal- ion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, “Red U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Theresa Hickman, 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., USD-N Dragons,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Private First Class Alan Legardo, a food service specialist for Forward Support Company G, Cavalry Division, U.S. Division – North. 3rd Battalion, 82d Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divi- “I like being a part of the COIST, sion, United States Division - North, and native of Columbus, Mo., visually inspects night vi- sion goggles maintained in his company arms room, Aug. 10, 2011. because of how it affects the battlefield and your fellow Soldiers”, said Stoller. “Never G. “His hunger for knowledge in the intel- food service specialist. before have I been in a duty position that ligence arena is what makes him stand out. Legardo was also assigned the ad- allowed me to directly observe effects He is resourced by other batteries’ COIST ditional duty of being the unit’s primary on the battlefield the way working in the and by battalion intelligence analysts for armorer shortly after his arrival to the unit COIST cell does.” mission essential products. They all func- and completion of an armorer course. COIST utilizes the military decision- tion well together as a team.” “Legardo was highly recommended as making process to provide commanders Stoller’s predictive analysis has benefit- the right person for the job. His attention situational awareness on how intelligence ed the company’s logistical patrols to the to detail and level of maturity enables us affects elements above, adjacent to, and Samarra Joint Coordination Center. to trust him with the responsibility he now below a specific unit’s echelon of opera- Stroller uses trend analysis and compiles has,” said his section leader, Sgt. Jeffery tion. The detailed analysis provided by historical data for improvised explosive Taylor, a Temple, Texas, native. the COIST, such as trends in attacks or device engagement areas along key routes Legardo welcomes this opportunity to placement of improvised explosive devices, in Southern Salah ad-Din province. This broaden his horizons. shapes the decisions commanders make on analysis enables him to identify the most “Being an armorer is a great learning a daily basis. likely engagement areas the patrol oper- experience. Before I got into the Army, I “Stoller is a great asset to our team,” ates within to conduct resupply and counter worked in a local retail store where weap- said Capt. Crystal Chatman, a native of Na- indirect fire patrols. ons were sold, but I’ve never done a job cogdoches, Texas, and commander of FSC Though he has spent little time as the like this,” said Legardo. COIST NCOIC, he has learned essential Responsible for the maintenance and skills quickly. upkeep of more than $4 million worth of “I spent no time attached to an intelli- weapons, Legardo holds his position in gence company or military police element. high regard and enjoys the idea of embark- I simply used all the information that I’ve ing on new experiences. received from my training”, said Stoller, “The arms room is a good change who added that the level of enjoyment from the dining facility. This broadens my gained from doing his job sparks his enthu- knowledge about the Army. I prefer the siasm. “I love what I do, and I love teach- arms room over the dining facility because ing others how I get at my analysis.” it’s a new challenge.” Sergeant Brian Stoller, a mechanic and cur- Stroller isn’t the only Soldier in the Although Soldiers are trained in a rently an intelligence analyst for FSC G, 3rd company who works beyond the param- certain MOS, they must be prepared to do Bn., 82nd FA Regt., 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., eters of his duty description. something else based on the Army’s current from La Crosse, Ind., uses specialized com- puter software to build imagery of his com- In 2010, Pfc. Alan Legardo, a native of needs, even something drastically different pany’s area of responsibility, Aug. 10, 2011. Columbus, Mo., enlisted into the Army as a from their main occupation. 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Hey Doc: Is low back pain preventable? Sgt. Mitchell LaFleur, lift an object. When picking up of the three areas of weakness work on a regular basis and my Patient Admin. NCOIC a load or pulling a load, always that contribute to LBP: ab- LBP disappeared. I was able Division Surgeon, USD-N let your legs do the work, not dominal muscles, hamstrings, to return to my regular life and your back. and the lower back itself. have rarely had any symptoms “Hey Doc, It’s getting close Second, prevent injuries by Often not considered, weak since. to re-deployment and between strengthening your legs and abs are a common suspect Even more surprising, LBP packing connex’s and pushing lower back through exercise. for low back pain. Whoa! can also be caused by tight it in the gym, I’ve noticed my Always consider this in your This doesn’t make sense, hamstrings. We engage these lower back seems to be aching personal exercise program. right? How could my stomach muscles to walk, run, stand all the time. How can I get Choose exercises with tech- muscles make my back hurt? and pretty much do every other rid of these pains and avoid niques that improve back and In fact, abdominal muscles activity. Failure to stretch these further injury? leg strength without potentially support the upper body up active muscles results in ten- causing more harm due to poor when standing. If the abs are sion. This can cause a muscle Signed, form or excessive weight. If weak, then the body may stoop imbalance, leading to LBP. Achy Breaky Back you are unsure about these forward, putting undue stress Posture is extremely impor- types of exercises, contact your on the lower back. Eventually, tant to reduce back pain. Since Achy Breaky, unit’s master fitness trainer or this can cause weakness and our bodies were not made to Your question hits the nail medical personnel. pain in the lower back. sit for long periods of time on the head regarding prevent- After a personal experience In my case, this was the at a computer, it is important able back pain. With all of the with back pain, I was reminded problem. I started doing ab that we maintain good posture. recreational and operational This means sitting square to physical activity involving our desk with even distribution back and spine use, we could of weight on our buttocks. Our all use a little education to shoulders are rolled back and prevent low back pain. not hunched forward. Also, LBP can be boiled down to ensure that you are not sitting two categories: work related of more than one hour without and poor muscular structure/ taking a walk or stretching out. posture. Minimize caffeinated or The most common type of dehydrating beverages and low back pain is a strain or drink plenty of water, as dehy- “pulled muscle” from overuse dration can further worsen or or accidents. There are two cause muscle pain and discom- ways to prevent LBP. fort. First, be safe and aware of Remember: knees bent your back when doing physi- leads to a safe back cal labor. Always bend at your knees when bending over to Taskforce Ironhorse! WOUNDED Contd from Pg. 9 specialist. Manis is a living example of the Army the injury really well while the other may This tour, his third in Iraq, has been Warrior Ethos: he placed the mission first, struggle with it, Manis continued. unlike his other deployments as an never accepted defeat and never quit, Jun Manis’ decision to return to active duty infantryman. Manis is currently working said. after his injury, enables him to provide as the casualty NCO in charge for the 4th Manis draws experience from his time actual combat experience to his current Infantry Division, U.S. Division – North. in the WTU and applies that knowledge to position. He sets a positive example for all “Sgt. Manis’ personal experience in the his current leadership style. of the Soldiers he encounters, Jun said. Army casualty reporting process provides “I took one thing from the WTU – “You don’t have to be wounded or, him a unique knowledge base, which every Soldier is unique,” he said. “Two sadly, lose your life in combat to be a bolsters his abilities to lead a critical mis- people might have the same injury on pa- hero," Manis said. "Just wear that uniform sion,” said Jun, a native of Huntington per, but it is not the same injury to them.” and serve your country and do it the right Beach, Calif. One Soldier may be able to handle way. You will be a hero.” 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf September 16, 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: Lessons from the Dust Devils Chaplain (Maj.) Kenneth Hurst fied and it speeds up. There is a fine bal- and attitudes as we change chapters in Deputy Chaplain ance here between the rising hot air car- the great book that is the story of the 4th U.S. Division - North rying the dust and the cooler low-pressure Infantry Division. One of the frequent daily sights here in air which sinks and reinforces the funnel The second place for endurance is Iraq, as well as many southwestern states structure. As long as there is a sufficient your personal faith and walk with God. back home, are the tornado-like vortices supply of warm unstable air, the dust devil During this deployment, many Soldiers commonly called “Dust Devils.” They will continue to move across the ground, have grown spiritually. The things they have absolutely nothing to do with the due to the conservation of momentum. have done, while here in country, to build devil and everything to do with dust and Dust devils generally reach wind and strengthen their faith must continue sand. You can easily spot two or three speeds of 45 to 60-plus miles per hour and once we return. The Apostle Paul wisely while on your way to the DFAC for lunch reach altitudes of normally 500 to 1,000 encourages believers, “the things you have or perhaps have one cross your path while feet. Some have extended several thou- learned and received and heard and seen in doing PT in the afternoon. Before we con- sand, but they are rare. me – practice, and the God of peace will sider some lessons from this phenomenon, Ok, avoiding the obvious lesson of “too be with you.” (Philippians 4:9). let’s understand how they form. much hot air,” what can we take away Finally, the third area for endurance is As we can tell from observing our sur- from this popular piece of nature and in that of personal hardship and struggle. roundings, dust devils form where there is physics? During this year away, there have been strong surface heating from the sun on dirt The most significant lesson from dust many folks who have experienced per- fields and flat areas. Preferred conditions devils is the very important quality of en- sonal hardship at home. While this is typi- include clear skies and light winds. Two durance. As we see every day, dust devils cal for a deployment, it is still extremely simple principles are at work: hot air is do not last long. They have a normal life painful for our troops. Again, consider the less dense and rises (cooler air sinks), and span in the tens of minutes, with the larg- dust devil: given the proper conditions it the conservation of angular momentum. est possibly lasting a half hour. They are can maintain momentum and reach great As the sun heats the ground and the air mostly sensitive to changes in temperature heights. Hang in there dear brother or sis- just above it, it creates an unstable condi- and air pressure. The finely-tuned balance ter; the Lord will care for you and we will tion with the cooler air higher up. The hot that creates them can easily be upset and be home soon. air on the ground tries to rise through the the dust devil will dissipate. One final piece of trivia to close cooler air around it. This rapidly rising I want you to consider three areas of this topic: where are the most distantly pocket will begin to rotate. If conditions endurance at this stage. First – endur- observed dust devils? Those are the dust allow it to grow, it will pull in more hot air ance with the mission. If you are leaving devils observed on the planet Mars and form its surroundings and begin to stretch on Main Body 2, the mission doesn’t end photographed by the Mars rover Spirit vertically. when you get on the plane; it simply trans- in 2005. Who would have thought – dust As more hot air (and dust) rushes to- fers to Fort Carson. Those of us remaining devils in space! Still, the same rules apply ward the developing vortex, replacing the longer should stray engaged and vigilant. and endurance is equally a factor for these hot air that is rising, its rotation is intensi- We need to maintain those key skills Martian equivalents as it is for USD-N. USD-N Social Media To read more stories and see the photos that go with them, as well as some videos, check out the links below. Read and share what you see and pass along the Soldiers stories. 12