Sunday, October 02, 2005

"Huddle Up!"

Now that the majority of our soldiers are co-located at FOB Speicher we have been able to have the occasional formation and award, promotion, or re-enlistment ceremony: formative events in the life of a professional soldier. In this picture, our Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Victor, speaks to his soldiers about their accomplishments and the importance of staying sharp and not letting down our guard. In some ways, being deployed in Iraq is not much different than the garrison environment back in Fort Stewart. Then again, there are plenty of things unique to deployment and combat that never let us forget that we are far from "home".
In this picture, First Sergeant Evans speaks to his Alpha company soldiers. (The picture below is Major Butts speaking to the battalion.) So much is going on at one time, that many soldiers need to be reminded of critical issues--this is especially true of junior soldiers. The seasoned non-commissioned officers like 1SG Evans and the other sergeants supporting and working for him have this as one of their primary tasks. Although soldiers are human, and prone to error, there can be little tolerance for mistakes in combat. Now that we have crossed the half-way mark of our deployment, some soldiers are experiencing an increased sense of caution. An increased awareness of our role as part of a larger team helps keep us sharp.

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