FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 1B
2nd BCT enforces Air Force Thunderbirds
Class A uniform inspections • p.5B recognize accomplishments • p.9B
Strength of our Army - Pride of the Southwest
Unit briefs ...
I Soldiers, vets eat free: Applebee’s
Neighborhood Grill and Bar thanks veterans
and active-duty military personnel with a free
meal Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Veterans and
active-duty military must provide proof of serv-
ice, which includes U.S. Uniform Services
Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services
Retired Identification Card, current leave and
earnings statement, veterans organization card,
photograph in uniform or wearing uniform,
DD214 or Citation of Commendation. For more
information, visit www.applebees.com.
I St. Barbara’s Day Ball: All mem-
bers of the Order of Saint Barbara, the Order of
Molly Pitcher and the air defense community
are invited to attend a St. Barbara’s Day Ball at
6 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Centennial Banquet and
Conference Center. Cost is $35 per person.
Tickets are available through 32nd Army Air
and Missile Defense Command. For more infor-
mation, call Capt. Patricia Quigley at 568-0921.
I Thanksgiving assistance: Army
Community Service is sponsoring the
Thanksgiving Assistance Program to help eligi-
ble Soldiers and family members with purchas-
ing food items for a Thanksgiving meal. Food
vouchers issued by the program are $20 with PHOTOS BY 1ST LT. NICHOLAS GILEWITCH / 2nd Sqdn., 13th Cav. Regt.
checks payable to the Commissary. Pvt. David Love of B Troop loads the TOW during the Bradley Gunnery Skills Testing while Sgt. Matthew Goldsmith watch-
Nominations for the program will be taken es during the Oct. 21 testing at the squadron motorpool.
through Friday. Download the information
packet from www.blissmwr. com/frp, complete
2-13 Cav. Regt.
and return to ACS, Bldg. 2494 on Ricker Road.
Soldiers must have memorandum signed by
their first sergeant or commander. Family
members of deployed servicemembers must
have a signature by rear detachment, family
readiness group or a family readiness support conducts Bradley Gunnery Skills Testing
assistant. Notification of selection will be via e-
mail to recipients’ first sergeant or commander. 1ST LT. NICHOLAS GILEWITCH ing immediate action on the M240C
For more information, call 568-7088. 2nd Sqdn., 13th Cav. Regt. machine gun, loading and unloading
The 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry armor-piercing and high-explosive
Regiment, conducted Bradley ready box, loading, applying imme-
Gunnery Skills Testing at the diate action and unloading the feed-
squadron motor pool Oct.18 through er on the M242 25 mm machine
21. gun, crew fire evacuation drills,
Fiscal 2011 drugs by brigade/unit Working together, each Bradley crew rollover drills, misfire proce-
Unit Unit % of Bliss % of total Drug Drug Drug Total crew tested on the proper utilization dures on the 25 mm main gun, mis-
Strength Pop. Drugs (UA) Poss. Distro. Drug of their equipment and knowledge fire procedures on a TOW missile,
of troubleshooting the weapons plat- removing a misfired TOW, and
32nd AAMDC 212 1% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 form. removing and installing the M242
1/1 AD 3879 19% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 Each crew rotated through sever- Sgt. William Dayhoff, one of the pri-
25 mm main gun.
2/1 AD 2724 13% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 mary evaluators for the Bradley
al stations to pass tests on different “The GST allows us to evaluate a
3/1 AD 3180 15% 40.00% 0 2 0 2 Gunnery Skills Testing from A Troop,
4/1 AD 3337 16% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 skills. The stations included threat Soldier’s ability to troubleshoot observes Pvt. Jim Perez of B Troop as
5/1 AD 1107 5% 20.00% 1 0 0 1 vehicle identification, ammunition problems quickly and efficiently,” he disassembles the M240C during
FFID 88 0% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 identification, disassembling, said Sgt. William Dayhoff, one of the testing Oct. 21 at the squadron
Garrison 106 1% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 assembling and performing a func- the primary evaluators from A
11th ADA Bde. 2912 14% 40.00% 0 2 0 2
tions check, loading, and perform- Troop. “This is extremely important
31st CSH 284 1% 0.00% 0 0 0 0
when your battle buddy’s life is in
402D FA Bde. 211 1% 0.00% 0 0 0 0
USASMA 223 1% 0.00% 0 0 0 0
WBAMC 1045 5% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 Pvt. Jim Perez, a Soldier from B
93D MP 739 4% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 Troop, concurred with Dayhoff.
142D CSSB 810 4% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 “The GST is proficient hands-on
TOTALS 20857 1 4 0 5 training. The more practice we get,
the better we are at troubleshooting
the equipment,” said Perez. “The
Fiscal 2011 DWIs by brigade/unit test puts more pressure on us to sim-
ulate having the stresses of a combat
Unit Unit % of Bliss % of total DWIs environment.”
Strength Population DWI “GST allows the squadron com-
1/1 AD 3879 19% 16.67% 2 mander and other senior leaders of
2/1 AD 2724 13% 16.67% 2 the squadron to evaluate the
3/1 AD 3180 15% 0.00% 0 progress and knowledge of the
4/1 AD 3337 16% 16.67% 2
5/1 AD 1107 5% 33.33% 4
Soldiers on their equipment. To me
32nd AAMDC 212 1% 0.00% 0 there is nothing better than knowing
11th ADA Bde. 2912 14% 0.00% 0 your wingman is capable of proper-
31st CSH 284 1% 0.00% 0 ly utilizing his weapons systems
93rd MP 739 4% 8.33% 1 when needed,” said Sgt. 1st Class
142nd CSSB 810 4% 8.33% 1
Alex Richardson, the squadron mas-
402nd FA Bde. 211 1% 0.00% 0
FFID 88 0% 0.00% 0
Garrison 106 1% 0.00% 0 The squadron is wrapping up the
USASMA 223 1% 0.00% 0 Sgt. William Dayhoff, one of the primary evaluators for the Bradley Gunnery Skills GST in order to go to the field in the
WBAMC 1045 5% 0.00% 0 Testing from A Troop, looks on as Pvt. Scott Gordon of B Troop disassembles all next couple of weeks to participate
TOTALS 20857 12 the pieces of the M242 25 mm main gun during the Oct. 21 testing at the in different live-fire exercises to
squadron motor pool. qualify the Bradley crews.
2B • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • FORT BLISS MONITOR
FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 3B
FIRE UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters insert the COLT team onto
Centennial Range Oct. 13.
PHOTOS BY SPC. MARCOS DEL VALLE / 4th BCT, 1st Armored Div. Public Affairs
COLT team trains with aviation support
SPC. MARCOS DEL VALLE The standard COLT consists of a driver, a gun-
4th BCT, 1st Armored Div. Public Affairs ner/observer and a team chief, the vehicle com-
oldiers of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st mander who oversees the operation and approves
Armored Division, assigned to 2nd fire missions.
Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment’s While other military occupational specialties may
Combat Observation and Lasing Team work in conjunction with the COLT (such as a sniper
Platoon, conducted a “call for fire” training exercise team), fire support team personnel remain its core
Oct. 13 with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade of element.
the 101st Airborne Division. Starting at McGregor Range, N.M., the COLT
The type of platoon, known as a “COLT,” is a platoon participated in a variety of classes involving
high-technology, deeply inserted, spotting/recon- their military occupational specialty to call for fire
naissance team often called on to maximize the use support from various weapons platforms. The main
of Global Positioning System-guided munitions like two focuses were the specs on the Air Force’s Reaper
the EXCALIBUR series weaponry/155 mm shell. drone and two of the Apache pilots they would later
work with that day.
After the classes, the team loaded into UH-60 Staff Sgt. Jeremy Saulnier, COLT platoon leader, pulls security after
Black Hawk helicopters and flew 30 kilometers dismounting from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter Oct. 13.
north to Centennial Range, a live-fire range used by
Apache targets to hone their skills with target acqui- (Above middle) The COLT team moves to occupy a position at the
sition. After a 15-minute flight, the Black Hawks training site.
touched down on their landing zones as the COLT
team dismounted and took up security positions
around the insertion area.
Once the Black Hawks took off and left the train-
ing zone, the team moved toward the makeshift city
to secure the area and take up a position with which
to guide the two AH-64 Apache helicopters overhead
to ground targets.
“Calling for fire isn’t only necessary; it’s awe-
some. I love my job,” said Spc. Christopher Ingram.
The COLT team took up position in one of the
makeshift buildings and began lasing targets for the
pilots overhead in a simulated barrage of hellfire
missiles onto their targets.
“It’s great that the brigade got this training for
us,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Saulnier, the COLT
team’s platoon sergeant. “The 101st really is the best
Spc. Christopher Ingram, a fire support specialist, in the air assault business. I’m really proud of my
uses a Vector 21 laser/optical device to designate a guys for impressing the 101st with guiding the
target during a close-combat aviation training exer- Apaches onto targets.” The COLT team dismounts from a Black Hawk helicopter onto
cise. Centennial Range.
4B • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • FORT BLISS MONITOR
FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 5B
PHOTOS BY LT. COL. DEANNA BAGUE / Fort Bliss Public Affairs
A line of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles stand ready at McGregor Range, N.M., to head down a 12-mile convoy live-fire range mount-
ed with Soldiers from 563rd Aviation Support Battalion. (Top right) A convoy travels down the convoy live-fire range mounted with Soldiers from
Fort Bliss ranges help train for the unexpected
LT. COL. DEANNA BAGUE reacted to unexpected situations and threats
Fort Bliss Public Affairs that were inserted to help prepare them for
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. – Soldiers combat.
from the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, “We want Soldiers to practice what
159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st would happen in the event that we would
Airborne Division (Air Assault) – the have enemy contact downrange,” said 2nd
“Screaming Eagles” – took a 12-mile drive Lt. Michelle Kimbrough, the convoy com-
inside Mine Resistant Ambush Protected mander for the 563rd ASB’s convoy live-
vehicles during a convoy live-fire exercise. fire exercise.
Unit officials said during their training Kimbrough said the 563rd ASB has
here they have run multiple ranges, includ- encountered gusts and high winds during
ing crew-served weapons and convoy live- their training, which suit them well because
fire exercises. Their training is in prepara- they expect more severe weather conditions
tion for an upcoming deployment to in theater.
Afghanistan. “This dust storm is actually perfect so
“As we came here we drew over 80 we can practice what would happen in a
vehicles from just here at Fort Bliss – and dust storm downrange in Afghanistan,”
that includes 39 MRAPs,” said Maj. Hank said Kimbrough. “It’s actually a pretty
Perry, the operations officer for the 159th good training tool so we can practice driv-
CAB. “We’ve had over 70 Soldiers train on ing in dust-out situations [and] firing in
MRAPs, and that facilitated and replicated dust-out situations.”
our mission downrange.” Other Soldiers from the unit said they
Perry said threat scenarios were injected also welcome the harsh weather conditions
Soldiers from 563rd Aviation Support in the convoy live-fire and in other com- and other stressors placed on them in
Battalion carry ammunition to prepare for a bined arms and some of the joint missions preparation for deployment.
convoy live-fire exercise at McGregor Range, the 159th CAB is executing here. They are “I believe this type of training brings
N.M. conducting air assault exercises with a everybody together, including NCOs, offi-
number of tenant units and each scenario cers and junior enlisted,” said Spc. Noe
has contingencies based on the mission and Juarez of A Company, 563rd ASB. ”It gives
based on the threat, he added. everybody the idea of what strengths every-
During the convoy live-fire, Soldiers body has – and weaknesses – and what we
from the 563rd ASB engaged targets and can improve on.”
(Far left) Soldiers from 563rd Aviation Support
Battalion receive a safety brief from 2nd Lt.
Michelle Kimbrough, their convoy command-
er, before participating in a convoy live-fire at
McGregor Range, N.M.
(Left) Soldiers from 563rd Aviation Support
Battalion participate in a convoy live-fire
exercise at McGregor Range, N.M.
6B • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • FORT BLISS MONITOR
2nd BCT enforces Class
A uniform inspections
SGT. R.J. GILBERT “I, of course, was in
2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div. my full regalia,
Public Affairs which was what I
Soldiers of the expected them to do.
1st Armored Divi- I should be the one
sion’s 2nd Brigade setting the standard
Combat Team par- as the battalion com-
ticipated in the long- mander and making
held tradition of sure we have every-
Class A uniform one else up to that
inspections Oct. 28 standard. That is just
and 29 at East Fort what being a leader
Bliss. is all about. You set
Those assigned the standard as a
to 1st Battalion, 6th leader.”
Infantry Regiment, One of the na-
opened ranks on the tion’s most celebrat-
first day, while the ed generals, Gen.
uniforms of Soldiers George S. Patton,
from the brigade’s once commented on
Headquarters and setting and enforc-
Headquarters ing standards.
Company, Special “It is absurd to
Troops Battalion, believe that Soldiers
were scrutinized the who cannot be made
next. to wear the proper
Leaders led from Lt. Col. Robert J. Purvis, commander of uniform can be
the front as they 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, induced to move
inspected every joins other battalion leaders as they forward in battle,”
Soldier, dressed in walk between ranks, inspecting he said. “Officers
their own Class A’s. Soldiers’ Class A uniforms during an who fail to perform
“The way I see it, Oct. 28 inspection at East Fort Bliss. their duty by cor- PHOTOS BY SGT. R.J. GILBERT / 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div. Public Affairs
is I won’t ask my recting small viola- Staff Sgt. Kershunda L. Nedd, personnel noncommissioned officer assigned to
Soldiers to do anything that I wouldn’t tions and in enforcing proper conduct Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat
do,” said Lt. Col. Robert J. Purvis, are incapable of leading.” Team, 1st Armored Division, examines a Soldier’s coat collar to ensure each accoutrement
commander of 1st Bn., 6th Inf. Regt. of the Soldier’s Class A uniform adheres to Army regulations.
FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 7B
Soldier receives special, expedited U.S. citizenship
STAFF SGT. APRIL MELTON included Supervisory Adjudication
5th Armored Bde., First Army Div. West Officers Carlos Cornett and James
A Cambodian refugee and Soldier of Spurling.
3rd Battalion, 356th Logistics Support This is a unique expedited benefit for
Regiment, 402nd Field Artillery members of the U.S. military and an
Brigade, stood next to the U.S. flag on incentive for U.S. legal permanent resi-
the second floor of the U.S. Department dents considering joining the U.S. mili-
of Homeland Security Customs and tary.
Immigration Service field office in El “The biggest challenge is to identify
Paso Oct. 15. Soldiers who are deploying in time to
With his right hand raised, he recited, complete the (expedited, yet thorough)
“I take this obligation freely. So help immigration process prior to their
me, God.” departure,” said Kirchberg.
As he said these final words of the Although servicemembers can, at no
Oath of Allegiance, he became an cost, begin the naturalization process in
American citizen. basic training, the best time for them to
Now as a U.S. citizen, doors of apply for citizenship is once they arrive
opportunity have opened up for Spc. Ny at their permanent duty station.
K. Sok. “It is difficult for the original
“After 9/11, he couldn’t do much, but [USCIS] field offices to track where a
now he can, like getting a security clear- Soldier is assigned after basic training,”
ance,” said his wife, Megan. [And now, said Kirchberg. “It then becomes the
without restriction], we can travel out- Soldier’s responsibility to stay in
side the United States.” touch.”
As a refugee, Sok became a perma- The no-cost citizenship route for
nent resident of the United States while U.S. servicemembers also contrasts dra-
still a child. Now a Soldier in the Army STAFF SGT. MICHAEL CHAPMAN / 402nd FA Bde. matically with the thousands of dollars
Reserve, he began his naturalization Spc. Ny K. Sok of 3rd Battalion, 356th Logistics Support Regiment, 402nd Field Artillery the average nonmilitary immigrant will
process shortly after arriving in El Paso, Brigade, raises his right hand during his Oath of Allegiance ceremony at the Department spend in application and procedural fees
but wanted to complete the Oath of of Homeland Security building in El Paso, Oct. 15. with the USCIS to gain citizenship. The
Allegiance before moving to Virginia. message this sends is clear – the U.S.
For most, the path to U.S. citizenship officer. Depending on where the appli- some areas of the country, it can take as values those willing to serve and defend
can often be a lengthy, confusing and cation is filed, it can take between five long as two years based on the number this nation.
costly process with no guarantees of months and two years to receive an of applications and resources. “It took me 33 years to get here,”
becoming a citizen, depending on the interview. In contrast, with the assistance of said Sok. “If it wasn’t for the military
applicant’s eligibility. Qualified applicants are then sched- Sgt. 1st Class Michael Kirchberg of the and the few I had direct contact with
According to the U.S. Department of uled for a swearing-in ceremony before 402nd FA Bde., a USCIS and U.S. State that helped me from the beginning to
Homeland Security Citizenship and a judge or an officer delegated the Department visa liaison, and the El Paso the end, I wouldn’t be where I am. … I
Immigration Services’ website, each authority by the director of USCIS to Field Office DHS-USICS staff, Sok was had a great support network. The
person filing an application for natural- administer the Oath of Allegiance. The able to complete his interview and recite process was very simple thanks to those
ization with all the required documents ceremony can be scheduled between the Oath of Allegiance on the same day. few.”
is interviewed by a USCIS adjudication one and 180 days after the interview. In The dedicated El Paso Field Office staff
8B • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • FORT BLISS MONITOR
‘Starfish’ students visit Future Force Integration Directorate
ANNIE GAMMELL According to Rotkoff, TRADOC Commander Gen.
FFID Martin E. Dempsey read Brafman’s book and liked the
Leaders from the Future Force Integration Directorate concept of decentralization, so the Starfish courses are a
hosted the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s result of his desire to learn how the Army can apply the
second “Starfish” class during a visit to the organization principles mentioned in the book. This time the teaching is
Oct. 18. more focused on leader development and creating a “trust-
They gave the students an overview of how FFID based” leadership platform, Rotkoff said.
employs “Starfish” principles in carrying out its mission The first Starfish course was based in Augusta, Ga., in
of modernization for the Army. February and March of this year and consisted of three
FFID Director Maj. Gen. Keith Walker first welcomed phases – an academic phase consisting of reading, an
the group before FFID Chief of Staff Douglas Fletcher application phase when students visit organizations that
gave them a briefing. are already applying Starfish principles, and a third phase
“When you put new equipment in the hands of where students learn to build a circle of trust or a network.
Soldiers, they will determine the kind of value it has,” he The second class is being conducted in Watsonville, Calif.,
said, explaining how FFID is making incremental changes ANNIE GAMMELL / FFID
Brafman said, and it has been shortened from eight to five
every two years, a quicker turnaround than the Army’ pre- Spc. Joshua Gabbard, B Co., 2nd Combined Arms Bn., 5th weeks. Braufman said FFID and the AETF were selected
vious five-year cycle. Fletcher explained the cycle of test- Bde., 1st Armored Div., Army Evaluation Task Force, right, for site visits because they are already embracing Starfish
ing the FFID’s Army Evaluation Task Force goes through discusses the features of the Small, Unmanned Ground principles.
and how Soldiers are providing honest feedback on how Vehicle with Starfish class members, from right, Charles The stated purpose of the visit was to “establish an
well the equipment works and its value in a combat envi- Guyette, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy; Dale extended network across Army domains, which, in turn,
ronment. Waldon, Training and Doctrine Command Initial Military allows Starfish-empowered leaders to create and exploit
“Our goal is to build a versatile mix of tailorable capa- Training office; and Wes Headman, Aviation Center of opportunity and distribute the power to act to the level of
bilities packages,” he said, which he explained would be Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala. greatest understanding” by exposing students to a “variety
accelerated to the brigade combat teams in the field. In of organizations that have embraced the Starfish approach
addition, he noted, “FFID is preparing to become the Rotkoff, deputy director of the University of Foreign to problem solving.”
Army’s centerpiece for network integration and evalua- Military and Cultural Studies, Red Team University, at AETF Soldiers from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion
tion.” Fort Leavenworth, Kan. were on hand to show the class members features of the
Next, Mike McCarthy addressed the group before tak- Brafman’s book examines some similarities and differ- equipment they have been testing, such as the Small,
ing them on a tour to see virtual training in the Mission ences between a starfish and a spider. Although they both Unattended Ground Vehicle. Asked what he thought of the
Command Complex firsthand and later some new equip- have multiple appendages, he explained, if a spider loses robot, Spc. Joshua Gabbard of B Company said, “It’s a
ment the AETF Soldiers are testing and evaluating. a leg, it must survive with fewer legs, and the leg that was great idea, but it needs a greater range.”
McCarthy is the deputy director of the MCC, where the cut off will die. Privates Kenneth Adam and Julio Espinoza of D
group had assembled. He explained the “Connecting Because the spider has a central brain in its head, it will Company showed the Starfish class features of the
Soldiers to Digital Applications” program, which involves die if its head is cut off. A starfish, on the other hand, can Tactical and Urban Unattended Ground Sensors.
issuing smart phones to Soldiers, who are testing military survive if any of its arms are cut off, because it has no head Explaining the display of the Network Integration Kit
applications on various models using various service or central brain; its major organs are replicated in each of mounted in a Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected All-
providers. its arms. If separated from the whole, each arm can even- Terrain Vehicle were Sgt. Wilson Lopez and Spc. Thomas
What “Starfish” and FFID have in common is best tually grow into another starfish, which is an advantage of Manderle of B Company and Sgt. William Heuisler of
explained with an overview of a book entitled “The being decentralized. In the book, Brafman discusses Headquarters Company. Other 2nd CAB Soldiers also
Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of organizations that operate in a decentralized manner, like explained the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Class I, Block 0,
Leaderless Organizations,” written by Ori Brafman and starfish, and gives examples of some that are currently which can hover over an area and send video to the NIK.
Rod Beckstrom. functioning and thriving in business, institutions and gov- All participating Soldiers answered questions about the
Brafman was part of the group, which included a class ernments. Each Starfish class visits several organizations equipment from the group and pointed out the changes
of 15 students, mostly civilians assigned to various that operate more like the starfish than the spider, and and improvements that their feedback has already
TRADOC organizations, and their class leader Steve FFID was on the list for the second time. inspired.
FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 9B
Air Force Thunderbirds recognize accomplishments of ‘Ready First’ Soldier
KOSTANDINA MAXWELL visor was not the one who recommend- Undernehr said he strives to set an
Special to The Monitor ed his recognition – it was his first ser- example for new Soldiers and those
A 1st Brigade Combat Team Soldier geant – Staff Sgt. Nicholas Brzeski said with whom he works; conversely, he
was one of five recognized Oct. 24 dur- he “fully agreed” with the first sergeant said he’s always open to learn what his
ing the Amigo Airsho for accomplish- in doing so. NCOs and officers have to teach him.
ments in their units. Undernehr was chosen because of his “Outside of work, it’s the same
Members of the Air Force’s stellar work ethic, said Brzeski, who thing,” Brzeski said of Undernehr’s
Thunderbirds demonstration team rec- added that Undernehr was new to the good attitude. “He is a hard worker, a
ognized Spc. Elijah W. Undernehr, B company’s Headquarters Platoon but good guy, willing to help anybody, and
Company, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor had excelled in the line platoon he was he is real reliable. Both sides, on and off
Regiment. serving with before. duty, Spc. Undernehr is a real stand-up
Undernehr said it was an honor to be “I didn’t really know Spc. Undernehr guy.”
recognized and that a lot of good before deployment but during the
Soldiers in the battalion do a lot of good deployment I was really impressed with
work. Being recognized among them, his ability to adapt to all different jobs,” Spc. Elijah W. Undernehr of B Company,
he said, was a particular honor. said Brzeski. “Coming from a line pla- 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 1st
The entire Thunderbird cadre was toon and being a rifleman, I believe he BCT, 1st Armored Division, shows off the
there to recognize the Soldiers, from the spent some time with a [M249] Squad coin he received from 2nd Bn., 3rd Field
Thunderbirds’ lieutenant colonel all the Automatic Weapon – the diversity at the Artillery Regt., for becoming the brigade
way through their noncommissioned platoon level down on the line and then Soldier of the Quarter during his recent
officer support channel. coming up to a headquarters element deployment to Forward Operating Base
Though Undernehr’s first-line super- and being successful.” Warrior in Kirkuk, Iraq, earlier this year.
KOSTANDINA MAXWELL / Special to The Monitor
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10B • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • FORT BLISS MONITOR
Face of defense: couple deploys, re-enlists together
STAFF SGT. BRANDON MORENO Ashleigh and Matthew said not much
U.S. Division Center has changed between their first deploy-
BAGHDAD – “Go big or go home” ment to Iraq together and their current
is what Sgt. Ashleigh Berg told her hus- one, but it is not always easy, it’s the lit-
band, Sgt. Matthew Berg, when they tle things that count.
decided to re-enlist here for four more “From the last deployment to this
years Oct. 21. one, we never really worked too far
Ashleigh, noncommissioned officer from each other,” Ashleigh said.
in charge of the secretary of general Matthew said Ashleigh can some-
staff for 1st Armored Division, U.S. times work very late, and while she is
Division Center, and Matthew, a vehicle nearby, he may go the whole day with-
maintenance noncommissioned officer out seeing her. However, he is glad to
with the headquarters motor pool with see her at the end of the day, as opposed
1st Armored Div., have been married for to being separated by thousands of
more than five years and have many miles.
experiences most civilian couples do “Coming out here today was awe-
not share. some,” Ashleigh said about the opportu-
“We met at Camp Red Cloud [in nity to re-enlist in front of the crossed
South Korea] while doing gate guard sabers that mark the ends of what used
duty,” Matthew said. “During our duty, to be Saddam Hussein’s military parade
STAFF SGT. BRANDON MORENO / U.S. Division Center
we had a good chat, and after that I grounds. “I had the chance today to get
started showing her around Korea.” Sgt. Matthew Berg and his wife, Sgt. Ashleigh Berg, re-enlist Oct. 21, in Baghdad.
out and see a real part of Iraq.”
“In a way, he almost became my Matthew said the day was exciting –
sponsor, as he showed me around the their terms of service, they decided to had both purchased webcams and had his second time in a helicopter – and
different parts of Seoul,” Ashleigh said re-enlist for the first time, and were sta- Skype downloaded onto our comput- that he felt fortunate to see a little bit of
while looking over at her husband with tioned in Germany. ers,” Ashleigh said. “We also kept open what Baghdad actually looks like, while
a smile. “Germany was great,” Matthew said. lines of communication between each some people go a whole deployment
After spending time with each other “We kept traveling and got to see most other leading up to the deployment so, seeing nothing but dirt and concrete
and traveling together, the Bergs’ rela- of the country, and even some other in a way, we had both mentally prepared blast walls.
tionship developed and they eventually countries like Austria. We even took ourselves for this.” Deployments are not easy, and the
became engaged to be married. The advantage of the [Edelweiss Lodge and However, the couple was apart for added stressors of a relationship can be
couple took advantage of the unique Resort in Garmisch, Germany], which only months before Matthew was an extra challenge to manage, but
opportunity to get married in the South was a lot of fun.” informed he would be joining his wife Ashleigh and Matthew agree that
Korean capital of Seoul. In their third year of marriage, in Iraq with 1st Armored Division. whether pulling guard duty, traveling or
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Ashleigh Ashleigh found herself packing her bags “The transition of having him come re-enlisting, they are truly in step with
said. “I mean, there are not many people and kissing her husband goodbye for a in was actually an easy one,” Ashleigh each other. And on a deployment, they
I know who have a wedding certificate deployment to Iraq, but the two set up said with a small laugh. “About two said, that can make all the difference in
in Hangul,” the alphabet of the Korean solutions to keep communication flow- days before he came to join me, my the world.
language. ing while she was away. roommate at the time had moved out, so
As both Soldiers neared the ends of “Before I left Iraq, we made sure we he was able to literally just move right in.”
For Prospective Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 Saturday, Jan. 8, 2010
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2010 Check-in: 8:00 a.m.
Exam: 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. Cost: $30.00
Questions and Answers
Tour of the Academy
A TRADITION OF
For more information or to register for exam
Call 566-8400 ext. 1109
1300 Hardaway - El Paso, TX 79903
FORT BLISS MONITOR • NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • 11B
Best Warrior Competition:
Sgt. Larry J. Isbell of Oklahoma
City, Okla., representing the
National Guard, watches his firing
lane for targets during the M4
range qualification event during
the Department of the Army’s
10th annual Best Warrior Compe-
tition held at Fort Lee, Va., Oct. 21.
VENESSA HERNANDEZ / U.S. Army