Friday, November 30, 2007

Redskins Cheerleaders Visit 3rd BCT Soldiers

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., fom Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, hands a certificate of appreciation to Jamilla Keene, who accepted the certificate on behalf of the Washington Redskins cheerleaders following their performance for Soldiers of the 3rd BCT, Nov. 26, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.



By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Direct from the U.S. nation’s capitol, eight members of the Washington Redskins cheerleaders paid a visit to Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Nov. 26, on Forward Operating Base Hammer.

The visit began with a tour of FOB Hammer. The cheerleaders, Chastity King, Tonya Helman, Abby Dymond, Anabel Dela Cerna, Tequia Hicks, Tiffany Mattingly, Heather Tran, and Jamilla Keene, visited battalion operations centers.

After the tour, the cheerleaders ate dinner with selected Soldiers in the FOB Hammer dining facility. While dining, members walked around the room shaking hands with Soldiers during a brief exchange of “thank you’s.”

“Doing tours like this and talking to the Soldiers really gives me a sense of comfort knowing we are building morale for them,” King said. “It also educates us because we can see firsthand what is going on in Iraq rather than what the media puts out.”

After dinner, the cheerleaders put on a show at the FOB Hammer stage. Their performance consisted of a variety of songs and dances.

“We try to appeal to everyone’s taste,” King said. The eight cheerleaders who volunteered to make the Thanksgiving tour in Iraq formed the most diverse group the squad has fielded, explained King.

“We have dark hair, blond hair, red hair, Jewish, Asian, African American. All men like different things,” King said.

According to Pfc. Steven Fleck, from Warner Robins, Ga., Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, the show was a success.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. “It really brought up our morale. It was great seeing something from home.”

Capt. Nancy Preston, from El Paso, Texas, engineer for the 3rd BCT agreed with Fleck.

“It was extremely entertaining,” she said. Preston explained her favorite part of the show was when Helman held a moment of silence for all of the fallen heroes. The cheerleader later explained her husband, whom she had met during one of their tours overseas, was just recently killed in combat.

“People say they support the troops but you don’t really know how deep their devotion is until you hear a story like that,” Preston said. “I think it’s great that Tonya still continues to support us by coming out here despite her loss.”

When the show was over, the cheerleaders were awarded a certificate of appreciation from Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd BCT and 3rd BCT Command Sgt. Maj. James Pearson. To end their visit, the cheerleaders signed autographs and posed for pictures with the Soldiers.

The 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Motivational Speaker Visits FOB Hammer

Chaplain (Capt.) Lex Reed, from Henderson, Texas, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, and Sgt. Marsha Vega, from Columbus, Ga., Company D, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, sing before motivational speaker Dave Roever spoke to 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Soldiers, Nov. 28, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq. Vega is currently attached to the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment.

Betsy Brown, from Houston, Texas, a singer with motivational speaker Dave Roever, sings to Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team before Roever spoke, Nov. 28, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq

Motivational speaker Dave Roever, from Fort Worth, Texas, receives a certificate of appreciation from Command Sgt. Maj. James Pearson, from Philadelphia, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, and Maj. Dewey Boberg, executive officer for the 3rd HBCT, after speaking to 3rd HBCT Soldiers, Nov. 28, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.

By Sgt. Natalie Rostek, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team were treated to an inspirational lunch, Nov. 28, when motivational speaker Dave Roever, from Fort Worth, Texas, came to Forward Operating Base Hammer to give a speech in the dining facility.
Roever, a former Sailor, received life-altering injuries when a white phosphorus grenade exploded in his hand after he was shot by a sniper while serving in Vietnam.

Since his recovery he has been delivering motivational speeches, many to Soldiers serving overseas.

"You are the bravest, most wonderful Americans I have ever met," Roever told the audience.
Before Roever spoke, Betsy Brown, a singer who travels with the speaker, sang to the Soldiers and gave them a little inspiration of her own.

"You are at the end of the earth here on FOB Hammer," she said. "I'm sure not many people come out here to say 'thank you,' but I want to say 'thank you for everything you do."

As Roever spoke, he grabbed the audience's attention with the story about his incident while serving overseas and his long, painful recovery.

Roever said he could see the damage the explosion did to his face and body through the reflection on a glass of beer. He said it was a face he did not recognize.

"I'm not proud to say this but I tried to take my life," he said. "But if I had succeeded, I would have missed life. I would have missed my grandbaby singing to me. I would have missed coming to FOB Hammer."

After a complete recovery, Roever was left with scars to his body and face.

"I overcame. I beat the odds. It was my faith that saved me," he said.

"You all have a spirit inside you that no enemy can take from you."

The motivational speaker's words touched 1st Lt. Wilford Garvin, from Longview, Texas.

"The speech was excellent," he said. "It really puts things into perspective. There is nothing you can't overcome. If you have breath in your lungs, you can make it."

The 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Live From Iraq

Filling in for Major Joe Sowers

How To Get A Flat Daddy


Several of you have inquired about getting a Flat son, daughter, husband, wife, daddy, etc. It's super easy. Just send a high quality digital photo to the website above and within several weeks you will receive your Flat Daddy. The photo comes as a poster on vinyl with a peel off adhesive. I went to the craft store and bought a piece of foam board the size of the poster. I adhered the photo to the foam board and then cut the photo out with an exacto knife. I then took a khaki colored marker and went around the edges of the foam board so the white didn't stick out so much.

It has been so much fun! Chris has gotten to do all the things we usually do as a family...He sits on his bed all day and we don't hear a peep out of him. His has really mellowed out lately...lol And...he doesn't give very good hugs these days but he ALWAYS has a smile on his face!

I encourage all of you to place your order for your Flat Daddy. It has really helped us through this very long deployment.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sometimes Life Comes At You Fast...

Since March, when Chris deployed I have been anticipating with excitement his 18 days of R&R and even more so his final return. For those of you that know me, you know that I tend to go overboard to make things perfect. As a distraction to Chris being deployed, I started a remodeling project on the house so when Chris came home, everything would be new and it would be a surprise to Chris. I had dreams of Chris walking in to a house full of Christmas spirits and all his favorites Christmas cookies baked and all his favorite foods on the menu. My dream was for a perfect homecoming.

Well, I found out yesterday that I go into the hospital next Tuesday for major surgery. I will be out of work for six weeks and will be very limited on my activity. Sometimes life comes at you fast and puts things back into perspective. After the shock of the news and the panic of how am I possibly going to be ready for Chris' homecoming, Christmas and Chris' wedding, I realized that the most important thing is that Chris would be home...not that I would have a perfect setting. The most important thing was that we would all be together for Christmas...not that I would have all the gifts bought and wrapped and under the tree and a table full of favorite foods. The most important thing is that Chris was getting married...not that I might not have the perfect dress to wear. I am a perfectionist and this is a challenge that I must and will overcome. I know that God is in control of things and this is the master plan.

Sometimes life comes at you fast and you just have to hang on for the ride!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

HHT, 3rd HBCT Conducts Change of Command

Lt. Col. Todd Ratliff, from Holland, Ohio, the commander of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, takes the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop guidon from Capt. Faye Cameron, from Clarksville, Tenn., the outgoing commander of the HHT, during a change of command ceremony, Nov. 23, at Forward Operating Base Hammer.
Lt. Col. Todd Ratliff, from Holland, Ohio, the commander of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, hands the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop guidon to Capt. Andrew Henning, from Charleston, S.C., the incoming commander of the HHT, during a change of command ceremony, Nov. 23 at Forward Operating Base Hammer. "I know you will give the brigade 100 percent to make this great troop even better," Ratliff said.

Lt. Col. Todd Ratliff, from Holland, Ohio, the commander of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, speaks during the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop change of command ceremony as Capt. Faye Cameron, from Clarksville, Tenn., the outgoing commander of the HHT, and Capt. Andrew Henning, from Charleston, S.C., the incoming commander, listen, Nov. 23, at Forward Operating Base Hammer. "Today's change of command is between two great officers," Ratliff said. "Both have a wealth of experience."


3rd BCT Soldiers Communicate With Their Kids

Sgt. 1st Class Kenya Berry, from Milledgeville, Ga., Headquarters Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, makes a recording of herself reading to her son Nov. 26 at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.


By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – With their deployment reaching its ninth month, Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team have been away from their children for some of the most cherished times. However, with the help of a video camera and the U.S. mail service, Soldiers now have the opportunity to be actively involved in their children’s lives.

According to Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Witt, from Pierce City, Mo., chaplain’s assistant for the 3rd BCT, Soldiers are able to sit in front of a video camera, record messages to their children and send the messages back home to the U.S.

“This is a way for Soldiers to keep in touch with their families,” Witt said.

Witt explained the project helps children recognize their parents and loved ones through video clips. He also emphasized it helps boost Soldiers’ morale.

“It makes me feel closer to my son while I’m over here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kenya Berry, from Milledgeville, Ga., Headquarters Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion.

Witt was inspired by a similar program at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, where the unit spent approximately three weeks before deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V.

At Camp Buehring, Witt made a video of himself reading a children’s book for his twin 19-month-old daughters and thought it would be a good idea for 3rd BCT Soldiers when they arrived at their permanent forward operating bases, combat outposts and patrol bases.

Approximately six months later, Witt said he gathered all the necessary equipment and, with the battalion chaplain assistants of the 3rd HBCT, started the program. The program currently has more than 300 participants.

Pfc. Courtney Stephens, from Jacksonville, Fla., the chaplain assistant for the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, said Soldiers from her unit read books, sing songs, show pictures, and teach lessons to their children through the project.

“Some people get on camera and hold up letter cards and number cards and teach their kids colors and stuff like that,” Stephens said. “It’s a great way for these parents to be involved with their children’s education.”

Witt said the program will help in the reintegration process when the 3rd BCT Soldiers return home. The children will recognize their parents’ faces instead of just hearing their voices through phone calls.

Stephens remembers one active participant explaining the difference between his first redeployment in 2005, and his return home for his 18-day environmental morale leave during 2007.

“One Soldier told me when he came home the first time he was over here, his daughter looked at him, kind of turned her head, then ran back to her mother,” Stephens recalls. “When he went home on leave this time, he said his daughter ran up to him and was excited to see him.”

Stephens explained some spouses and families back in the U.S. have specific times they play the tapes for their children.

“Some families play the videos before the kids go to bed,” she said. “Some play them when the kids wake up or before school. The Soldiers come in about once a week to make a new video so the kids don’t see the same one over and over again.”

Berry sends learning videos home to her 4-year-old son Christian.

“I read books, sing songs, teach colors and numbers,” she said. “He gets really interactive with the video. My family tells me he talks to the TV. He says things like ‘mommy wait, go back,’ like I’m really there reading to him.”

She will be going on leave soon and said she is preparing her son for her return.

Soldiers who are interested in recording messages and sending them home to their children and young loved ones should contact their battalion chaplain assistants.

The 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., has been deployed in support of operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Iraqi School Children Receive 1,422 Backpacks

A member of the Concerned Local Citizens group in Sabbah Nissan passes out backpacks provided by Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, to school children, Nov. 26.
Sheik Kassam, the leader of the Concerned Local Citizens group in Sabbah Nissan, passes out backpacks provided by Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, to school children, Nov. 26. Battery A has distributed 1,422 backpacks to the children of Sabbah Nissan since they came to the area in October.

Sheik Kassam, the leader of the Concerned Local Citizens group in Sabbah Nissan, passes out backpacks and candy provided by Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, to school children, Nov. 26. Battery A has distributed 1,422 backpacks to the children of Sabbah Nissan since they came to the area in October.


By Spc. Ben Hutto, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Soldiers from Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery helped the Concerned Local Citizens of Sabbah Nissan deliver backpacks to school children, Nov. 26.

Soldiers from Battery A have supplied 1,422 backpacks to the children of Sabbah Nissan since they took over the area in October.

During his short time in the area, Capt. Pat Moffett, from Manhatan Beach, Calif., the commander of Battery A, has seen noticeable improvements as a result of the battery’s humanitarian missions.

“On school days we are seeing a decrease in the numbers of children out on the streets,” he said. “It’s great, because they are going to school because they have the supplies to learn and succeed. We cannot drive down the streets here without seeing at least 100 children with those backpacks.”

In addition to supplying the children with backpacks, Battery A has supplied Sabbah Nissan with 7,000 cases of bottled water.

“We have an understanding with the people that as long as the region is stable and they help us keep insurgents in check, we will have more opportunities to help provide other services to them,” Moffett said. “Obviously, if the area was unstable, our main priority would have to be security. The people and the concerned citizens are a big reason this area doesn’t have those concerns.”

The 1-10th FA is part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.

Thanksgiving With Flat Chris

"Is it done yet, Mom?"

Saturday we had Thanksgiving at our house for my family and friends. It was wonderful to all be together...even Chris. I know some people might find it strange but Flat Chris was with us the whole day. The entire time I was cooking, Chris was sitting at the bar and I could just hear him saying, "is it almost ready". The joke was that Chris was sure eating light this year...must be getting ready for his wedding. Our Flat Chris has been a joy and softens the blow during special times and helps us make it through the sometimes very tough days. Nobody passes Flat Chris without making a comment or patting him on the shoulder...he is ALWAYS on our minds and in our hearts but it is sure great to see his smiling face!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Operation Varsity March Leads To Capture of HVI


By Spc. Ben Hutto, 3rd HBCT Public Affairs
Photos by Sgt. Timothy Kingston, 55th Combat Camera

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, captured 13 suspected insurgents during a nighttime air assault mission in Sayafiyah, a small village outside of Salman Pak, Nov. 24.

One of the detainees was a high value individual, who was a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq wanted for weapons smuggling and financing attacks on Coalition Forces in Salman Pak and Al Ja’ara.

“According to our intelligence, the insurgent we apprehended was an expert bomb maker and VBID (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) maker,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Barwick, from Lanham, Md., fire support officer for Co. B. “By apprehending him, we have taken a very dangerous person off the streets and made the area safer.”

During the course of the operation Co. B Soldiers cleared eight houses and barns while searching for the suspects.

“The operation went perfectly,” said Spc. Lyle Johnson, from Comanche, Okla., an indirect fire specialist in Co. B. “We cleared all of our objectives and got the No. 1 HVI and 12 of his partners. We did all of this without firing a shot, so I’d say it was a good operation.”

The 1-15th Inf. Regt. is part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.

3RD BCT Prepares for Thanksgiving Day

Shafique Islam, a cook from the Timimi contracting company, carves a fish into a watermelon, Nov. 20, in preparation for a Thanksgiving Day dinner at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.

By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – More than 6,100 miles away from friends and families, Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team are preparing to bring a taste of home to Iraq and celebrate Thanksgiving with their military family.

The 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division has more than 800 Soldiers living in combat outposts and patrol bases within the Mada’in Qada, located southeast of Baghdad, the brigade’s area of operation.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Rory Williams, from Columbus, Ga., non-commissioned officer in charge of the dining facility on Forward Operating Base Hammer, the Hammer dining facility’s Thanksgiving Day menu will consist of the traditional holiday spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cornbread, and pies.

Williams said the meal will also contain some untraditional yet favored foods such as roast beef, crab legs, shrimp, and macaroni and cheese.

“It’s hard being away from home,” Williams said. “Thanksgiving is a happy time! It’s a time to celebrate and we want to try to bring a little taste of home. We may not be with our family, but we are with our military family.”

The decorations in the dining facility are what you might find in a fancy restaurant. Williams explained that a contracted food service has already begun carving ice sculptures and constructing Styrofoam decorations.

“The building and the cakes are already decorated,” Williams said. “I think we all did a great job with the decorations.”

Although the combat outposts and patrol bases are not as equipped to handle a full spread like the dining facility at FOB Hammer, each is creating the holiday festivities in different ways.

“The COPs and PBs don’t have the equipment like we have at FOB Hammer so some of the food is already pre-cooked,” Williams said. “This makes it easier for the cooks to prepare the foods.”

While FOB Hammer has contracted cooks to prepare a full holiday spread, Soldiers at the COPs and PBs rely solely on Soldiers to prepare their Thanksgiving Day meal.

According to Sgt. Jimmy Bolden, from Pine Bluff, Ark., dining facility manager at COP Cahill, Soldiers will be treated to a meal including steak, shrimp, turkey, and ham cooked in many different ways. He said he is also planning on having some of the traditional foods.

“There is really nothing difficult about this meal,” Bolden said. “I just recently took over the dining facility, so I’m doing things my way. I love my job.”

A traditional Thanksgiving Day meal is important in creating the holiday-at-home feel, but according to Sgt. Eric Stallings, from Kansas City, Mo., non-commissioned officer in charge of the dining facility at COP Cashe-N, togetherness and family are what makes Thanksgiving special.

Although most of the units in the 3rd BCT are having their Thanksgiving dinner early, Stallings said the Soldiers at COP Cashe-N will be sitting down as a family after most of the Soldiers are finished with their daily tasks and missions.

“We are one big happy family here,” he said. “After everyone comes off their missions, we are going to sit down as a team and have Thanksgiving dinner.”

Camaraderie is what will get many Soldiers through this holiday season, according to Pfc. Salem Auclair, from Burrillvill, R.I., Company B, 1-15 Inf. Regt., who resides at COP Cleary.

“It’s hard being away from our families, especially during the holidays,” Auclair said. “But it’s good to have your buddies here with you.”

The 3rd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. is has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

3rd Infantry Division Celebrates 90th Birthday

Lt. Col. Ryan J. Kuhn, from Clarks, Neb., 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commander, speaks to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians during a dinner celebrating the 90th birthday of the 3rd Inf. Div. at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.
Lt. Col. Ryan J. Kuhn, from Clarks, Neb., 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commander, shouts 'Rock of the Marne' as he and Spec. Kily-Scot Ingersoll, from Honolulu, Hawaii, a supply specialist in the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and youngest Soldier serving on Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq, cut the 3rd Inf. Div. birthday cake at FOB Hammer.

Lt. Col. Troy Perry, from Belfast, Maine, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, speaks to Soldiers during a dinner commemorating the 90th birthday of the 3rd Infantry Division at Forward Operating Base Rustimiyah, Iraq. (Left to right) Cpl. Jeffrey A. Zimmerman, from Petoskey, Mich., a mechanic in Company F, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, Staff Sgt. Wade T. Weitzel, from Reno, Nev., a field artilleryman in Company D, 2-69th Armor Regt, Staff Sgt. Lucas C. Trammell, from Ocala, Fla., Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Staff Sgt. Stephen E. Burden, from Lima, Ohio, a tanker in Company D, 2-69th Armor Regt., stand behind Perry.

Pfc. Kira Gumbs, from St. Thomas, Company F, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, Lt. Col. Troy Perry, from Belfast, Maine, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Proft, from Phenix City, Ala., command sergeant major of the 2-69th Armor Regt. cut the 3rd Infantry Division birthday cake during a dinner commemorating the 90th birthday of the division at Forward Operating Base Rustimiyah, Iraq.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment sing the 3rd Infantry Division song at a dinner celebrating the 90th birthday of the 3rd Inf. Div. on Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.



by Maj. Joseph Sowers
3rd Headquarter Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division gathered in dining facilities and mess tents throughout the Mada’in Qada and Baghdad Nov. 21 to celebrate the 90th birthday of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Lt. Col Ryan J. Kuhn, from Clarks, Neb., the deputy commander of the 3rd HBCT, hosted the ceremony for Soldiers residing on FOB Hammer.

Maj. Dewey Boberg, from Anaheim, Calif., executive officer of the 3rd HBCT, took a small contingent of Soldiers from the 3rd HBCT headquarters to FOB Rustimiyah to commemorate the occasion with Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. The 2-69th Armor Regt. is currently detached from the 3rd HBCT and serving under the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in the Karada district of eastern Baghdad.

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., the commander of the 3rd HBCT, and Command Sgt. Maj. James M. Pearson, from Philadelphia, the 3rd HBCT command sergeant major, attended a ceremony at Victory Base Camp hosted by Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Inf. Div. and Multi-National Division - Center. Grigsby and Pearson attended a re-enlistment ceremony earlier in the day at Camp Victory that included 58 Sledgehammer Soldiers.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment celebrated at Combat Outposts Cleary and Cahill. Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment celebrated at COPs Cashe – North and Cashe – South and Patrol Base Assassin. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment celebrated at COP Salie.

Kuhn complemented the Soldiers and recognized Sailors, Airmen and Marines for their contributions to the legacy of the 3rd Inf. Div. during his remarks at the dinner on FOB Hammer.

“Let’s face it. The Sledgehammer Brigade has made more of an impact on the pages of history than almost any other Army unit, and it’s not just because we’re the most deployed brigade in the United States Army,” Kuhn said. “Our nation has called upon us to perform a difficult mission, and we have done it with a determined purpose and an unbeatable team spirit.”

Following a review of the 3rd Inf. Div. history and Kuhn’s remarks, Kuhn and Spec. Kiley-Scot Ingersoll, from Honolulu, Hawaii, a supply specialist in the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, cut the 3rd Inf. Div. birthday cake. Ingersoll is the youngest Soldier serving on FOB Hammer.

Boberg explained that it was important for members of the 3rd HBCT to join Soldiers from the 2-69th Armor Regt. on the special occasion.

“They are still members of the Sledgehammer Brigade and the 3rd Infantry Division,” Boberg said. “We all share in the pride and traditions of this great division.”

Boberg said that the deputy commander and command sergeant major of the 2-2nd Inf. Div. told him they have been impressed with the “superb performance” of the 2-69th Armor Regt. while serving in the Karada district.

Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Proft, from Phenix City, Ala., the 2-69th Armor Regt. command sergeant major, remarked on the magnitude of the 3rd Inf. Div. birthday.

“I think about the Soldiers that served before me and how hard those guys had it,” Proft said. “When they come up to me and thank me for my service, I’m just honored. It is an honor to serve in the same division as those veterans. To be put in the same company is a real honor. It is something that is hard to describe.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Letter From Captain McGrue

25 November 2007


Greetings, Hellraiser Family,

I sincerely hope that this letter finds everyone doing well and restful after the long weekend. As for the men and I, we are doing well.

Since I have last written, the Can Do Task Force has executed several successful operations further enhancing the stability and security within our region; and Hellraisers have had the opportunity to play major roles within these operations. Whether it is the S3 Soldiers monitoring the radio to properly battle track the operation, the Scouts standing by at a location ready to assist if needed, or the Mortars executing their tasks, each Hellraiser has played an increment role allowing the mission to be successful and I am thankful to be serving with them. I often travel the battle space to meet with the men. Each time I visit with them, they display a positive and can-do spirit. Your loved ones are amazing a s they continue to complete their tasks on a daily basis.

When I wrote last, I could not remember the third question that was proposed to me at the time of the FRG Meeting. Shortly after sending the email, I remembered that the wives wanted to see more pictures of their loved ones. So as I continue to go out and visit with the men, I take my camera in hopes of capturing them in their everyday activities so you can see up to date pictures of them. Now I just have to find by USB cable so I can download those pictures, so please be patient with me.

I want to commend all those that are participating in the FRG Program. I am amazed how far our FRG Program has taken off and I know it is through all of you back there supporting it. Please continue to do so for only we can be successful together.

As the holiday season is upon us, we are attempting to bring some of the festive spirit here. We presently have a tree posted in the company command post here on FOB Hammer. Ursula has sent another tree which will be posted at COP Cleary when it arrives. Please feel free to send your loved ones an ornament to help them decorate the tree.

Lastly, as we end this Thanksgiving weekend, I want to thank all of you back home continuing to support your loved ones. The support you give them is what keep these men going and it is truly appreciated.

Take care and God bless,


‘Gru
--
Respectfully,

Captain Arthur L. McGrue III
Company Commander
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This Week's Dog Face Daily's

Aviation support, Birds can’t fly without them; Father, son reunite at Hammer; Chaplain: Be careful how you use your tongue...

23 November 2007
Courthouse opens in Salman Pak; Iraqi Police make move toward self-sufficiency; TF Marne celebrates Thanksgiving...

22 November 2007
Couple celebrates first family holiday together; Marne Soldier reflects on Thanksgivings past; Commitment, thankfulness continues in combat...

21 November 2007
Marne 6 SENDS: Happy Birthday, Dog Face Soldiers! - MG Rick Lynch; MARNE 7 SENDS: Phenomenal acts will fill history books - Command Sgt Maj. Jesse L. Andrews; Frontier of Freedom: Guardian Soldiers Serve with Pride; Today in Marne History: The 3rd Division is born...

20 November 2007
U.S. State Department praises paratrooper; A birthday message from MNCI; Drug hitmen snatch buddy’s body from morgue; Mice, roaches close home of $25,000 dessert; Hotline created for ‘immature’ lottery addicts...

19 November 2007
Rakkasans start Marne Courageous with a bang; Soldiers compete in ‘Truscott Trot’ fun run; Sect holes up in cave to await end of world; Behave or lose monthly allowances, residents told...

Marne Fous 22 November 07

Friday, November 23, 2007

Father and Son Reunite at FOB Hammer

On Nov. 17,1st Lt. Marcus Brown (right), from Lawrenceville, Ga., 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, helps his father, Master Sgt. Roy Brown, from Pace, Miss., the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation on Forward Operating Base Hammer, measure stall widths for the new internet cafĂ© that will soon be coming to FOB Hammer. First Lt. Brown was allowed to visit his father for five days before his unit redeploys back to Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by FOB Hammer Mayor’s Cell)




FOB Hammer

Months of planning and long conversations with his chain of command came to fruition for 1st Lt. Marcus Brown, from Lawrenceville, Ga., 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, when he stepped off a helicopter at FOB Hammer and saw his father waiting for him.

Master Sgt. Roy Brown, from Pace, Miss., the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation on FOB Hammer, waited patiently at the airfield an hour and a half for 1st Lt. Brown to arrive so he could spend some quality time with his son.

The younger Brown has been serving with the 5-82nd FA at FOB Endurance, south of Mosul, for the past 13 months and wanted to see his father before his unit redeploys in the coming months. For the last year and a half, the two had communicated by telephone.

On Nov. 14, father and son were finally reunited for five days.

This was 1st Lt. Brown’s first deployment to Iraq, but he had frequently called his father to get advice. Both men explained that they have tried to talk to one another at least once a week, but Master Sgt. Brown explained that his chief concern was to get his son to call his mother back in Atlanta.

“He called me a few times when he first came over here, but I told him his main focus was really to call his mother,” Master Sgt. Brown said. “With me being in the military, it was easier for me because I knew what he would be going through and understood it.”

The younger Brown acknowledged that his father has helped during the current deployment. When asked what the best piece of advice he received from his father was, the elder Brown replied for him.

“I told him to make sure you listen to your platoon sergeant,” Brown said with a laugh.

Both father and son admitted that although their time together has been short, they have enjoyed it.

“I’m glad I got the chance to come here,” 1st Lt. Brown said. “It’s been a year and a half since we’ve seen each other. It was a short time, but I didn’t consider it father/son time. It was family time. We had a chance to catch up and talk about a lot of things that have happened during the last year and a half. I’m glad I got a chance to come down here and see what he does.”

Since his arrival, Lt. Brown has followed his father and helped him with the various projects that keep him busy at FOB Hammer.

“He’s been really busy since I’ve been here, coordinating things and making sure the MWR is running smoothly,” 1st Lt. Brown said. “I didn’t realize that he would be ripping and running around so much, but it’s been a good experience. I definitely have a better appreciation of how hard he works out here. I can see who I get my work ethic from.”

The two have worked to get the new MWR trailers set up, helped set up computers, checked on the progress of the new post exchange that will be opening soon and even refereed a few intramural sports events together.

“I knew he couldn’t stop what he was doing because I was here, but it wasn’t that big a deal,” said Brown about his father’s busy schedule. “The fact that we were together was all that really mattered to me.”

Master Sgt. Brown explained that one of the main benefits of the visit was that it allowed them to both talk to his wife at the same time.

“She is a very strong woman and she is very supportive,” Brown said, describing his wife. “As long as she is doing well, we are doing well. She was very excited that we got to see one another.”

First Lt. Brown explained that both he and his father try to keep in contact, but that it can be difficult.

“We both try and call her once a week, but she understands that operations can get hectic out here,” he said. “No matter how busy we are out here, we both make every effort to e-mail or call her.”

First Lt. Brown plans to visit his mother when he redeploys back to Fort Bliss, Texas, but he doesn’t plan on using many of his leave days.

“I’m not going to take a lot of leave when I get back,” he said. “I want to save my leave days so I can be there (at Fort Benning) when he gets off of the plane.”

While that time is still quite a ways off, Master Sgt. Brown is thankful for the past five days.

“It’s been a while since we’ve got to spend father and son time together like that,” he said. “We had a chance to talk, referee a basketball game together and just be together. I think it was a very good visit.”

The 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, is from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving From Major General Lynch


Thanksgiving at Patrol Base Assassin

Chaplain Randall blesses Thanksgiving meal at Patrol Base Assassin

Thanksgiving meal at Patrol Base Assassin


As we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving dinner, my mind was thousands of miles away. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of day Chris was having...where was he, was he getting Turkey and all the trimmings, was he safe, was he in good spirits? Shortly after lunch, all my questions were answered. We got the much hoped for phone call that set our minds at ease. Chris had eaten a wonderful meal at Patrol Base Assassin, complete was Pecan Pie (one of his favorites). He was excited that he had gotten to see Sgt. Andreade and all the guys from his old Platoon. He was in great spirits and said he had a great day. It was so great to hear from him. I was afraid that we might not be able to hear from him due to availability of a phone but we were so happy to get that very special call and be able to hear his voice.
This Thanksgiving I give thanks for the wonderful men and women that are proudly serving our country so we can enjoy our freedom. The many sacrifices that they make and the challenges that they encounter will never be forgotten and a mere "thanks" doesn't even begin to say how much we appreciate all they have given.
Holidays are the hardest but I am so happy that we got to hear Chris' voice today. It was a very emotional day but I remained strong until I said goodbye and then the tears began to fall. We miss him so much and are counting the days until his R&R. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and God Bless Our Troops!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"I Appreciate Your Son and What He Is Doing"

The very last thing I do every night is check one last time to see if I got an email from Chris or any news about our Soldiers...it's my closure to the day. Lastnight I received an email from my dear friend, Lidia who's son Anthony deployed at the same time as Chris. The email truly touched me and made me so proud of what our Soldiers are doing. It's so nice to know that the Soldiers are appreciated, not only by us but also by the Iraqi's... Thanks my friend for sharing!

Today started as any other day, off to the high school where I am a substitute teacher. The group today would be students learning English as a Second Language. These students are always eager learners for they have to learn English to survive their high school years. It was not until 3 period that I met a very interesting young man. There was something about him, maybe his smiling face but more so his spirit that seemed full of kindness and behind those beautiful eyes was a story. As I went around the class asking where they had come from, how long they had been here and what brought them to America their stories unfolded. One from Venezuela, one from the Dominican Republic, the other from Viet Nam and lastly one from Iraq. I immediately told this young man that my son was stationed in Iraq and his reply without hesitation was, "God Bless Him". His very words wrapped around my heart like a huge band-aid that gave me healing. Here an Iraqi child was giving my son a blessing and with a sincerity that I cannot convey through words. Later on in class I was able to speak with him about his feelings of the war and the troops that were sent to help the Iraqi people. He told me of the atrocities that were done to the Iraqi people by the , "worst dictator the world has ever seen" and how his family fled to Jordan to escape this dictator. How most of the Iraqi people are grateful for what our soldiers have done and are doing to help their country. He left behind many relatives that say ( he mentioned that he spoke with them just yesterday) things are getting better in and around Bagdad and how they now have running water most days and electricity. Before leaving class he stopped and said with such conviction that it brought tears to my eyes was, " I appreciate your son and what he is doing" Friends I believe that there is hope for the Iraqi people and that they are beginning to believe this themselves. This young man's spirit is filled with hope and I am thankful that I was placed in that classroom today.

May you and yours be Blessed in wondrous ways this Thanksgiving

Lidia PAM of Anthony

Happy Birthday, Dog Face Soldiers!


Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, MND-C Commander

Today is about you – the Soldiers of Task Force Marne…you magnificent Dog Face Soldiers. You are deployed to freedom’s frontier because America needs you.

American needs you to protect our freedoms and our way of life. Today we celebrate 90 years of rich Marne history. We pause to remember all of the great Dog Face Soldiers who preceded us...who fought and sometimes died to preserve our freedoms.

The 3rd Infantry Division deployed only eight months after activating 90 years ago. Along the banks of the French Marne River, the Division defended itself against two enemy German Divisions and earn the nickname “Rock of the Marne.”

Our Division is made up of heroes, both past and present. The Division had two Medal of Honor recipients during World War I and 36 during World War II. The most decorated World War II Soldier, Audie Murphy, was a member of the Marne Division when he earned 33 awards and decorations.

Dog Face Soldiers went on to fight in Korea, Desert Storm, and peace keeping missions in Kosovo. In 2003, the 3rd Infantry Division led the charge into Baghdad with its famous “Thunder Runs.” Sergeant 1st Class Paul Smith became the Division’s 51st Medal of Honor recipient for defending his position against Iraqi insurgents just footsteps away from our Division Headquarters.

Everyone has a choice in life: you can make history or read history, and each of you are making history every day. You are the reason the 3rd Inf. Div. has such a rich heritage, and you are the reason we celebrate today. Tomorrow’s history books will be full of stories of your wonderful contributions. As you sit in years to come with your grandkids on your knees, and the world is at peace, you can highlight the fact that you were in Iraq at this pivotal time, making a difference every day.

More than 33,000 Dog Face Soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice, but not in vain. The freedoms we enjoy today are a direct result of their sacrifices. We owe it to our children and their children to keep up the fight. Today we are decisively engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, and we are making unbelievable progress. We take the fight to the enemy every day so we never have to fight terrorism at home.

I am so very proud of you, and humbled to serve with you here in Iraq. People ask me all the time how I can have so much confidence. It’s easy…I am around you magnificent Soldiers every day.

Happy Birthday! Rock of the Marne!

Franken Wishes Happy Birthday

Al Franken Wishes Dog Face Soldiers A Happy Birthday

Sandler Wishes A Happy Birthday

Adam Sandler Wishes the Dog Face Soldiers A Happy 90th Birthday!

The Third Infantry Division at 90


Third Infantry Division - 2007 - Rock of the Marne

On November 21, 2007, the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division celebrates its 90th birthday and service to America, dating back to World War I when it’s "Dog Face Soldiers" first blocked German troops from entering Paris and earned them the nickname, "The Rock of the Marne."

From that day forward, the Third Infantry Division was on the front line of every campaign over the next nine decades.

In World War II, 3 ID crisscrossed Europe and Africa pushing back Nazi offensives.

In Korea, they protected Seoul from the Chinese Army.

Throughout the Cold War, their presence was felt in Western Europe.

In the Balkans, 3 ID deployed to maintain security in Bosnia and Kosovo.

During the Persian Gulf War, the proud Soldiers of the Third Infantry Division helped liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation.

Currently back in Iraq for their third tour of duty under Operation Iraqi Freedom, 3 ID is supporting the Iraqi people as they build toward a country free from terrorism and extremist ideology.

This birthday means a great deal to the men and women of the Third Infantry Division. A Soldier defines his identity by his unit, those other men and women he serves beside everyday. When Soldiers go to war, that identity and faith in their commitment to each other, coupled with the lessons passed down by previous generations, helps them meet the challenge of putting their lives on the line for future generations of Americans.

As today’s “Dog Face Soldiers” carry on this tradition of honor and sacrifice, we invite you to celebrate that tradition with them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

1-15 Inf. Regt. Soldier Re-enlists After Stop-loss

Sgt. Adam Hedrick, from Corona, Calif., a Soldier in the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, raises his right hand and promises three more years to the Army during a re-enlistment ceremony, Nov. 15, at Combat Outpost Cleary, Iraq.


Lt. Col. Jack Marr, from Minneapolis, commander of the1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, and Sgt. Adam Hedrick, from Corona, Calif., a Soldier in the 1-15th Inf. Regt., proudly display Hedrick’s re-enlistment certificate during a ceremony, Nov. 15, at Combat Outpost Cleary, Iraq.

By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd Brigade Combat Team

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – A 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Soldier re-enlisted Nov. 15 at Combat Outpost Cleary, after being deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V on stop-loss status.

Sgt. Adam Hedrick, from Corona, Calif., a Soldier in 1-15th Inf. Regt., was scheduled to end his three-year term of military service in March. As part of the surge, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, deployed to Iraq three months early. Instead of getting out of the Army, Hedrick was put on stop-loss status, keeping him in the unit through the deployment.

“I didn’t have a solid plan for getting out so the stop-loss didn’t bother me as much as some may think,” Hedrick said. “I had options, but I hadn’t decided on anything.”

Hedrick, who re-enlisted for three more years, said re-enlisting had always been an option for him. He just wanted to make certain it was the best to achieve his goals later in life.

“I want to use the time I re-enlisted to go to school,” he said. “This way, when my contract runs out again, I’ll have a better foundation for a future as a civilian.”

Lt. Col. Jack Marr, Minneapolis, commander of the 1-15th Inf. Regt., said he had been trying to talk Hedrick into re-enlisting. He realized Hedrick’s talent as a Soldier was something the Army couldn’t afford to lose.

“He is a great young man,” Marr said. “The Army needs him to stay for his experience and his ability to lead and train Soldiers.”

Hedrick was previously deployed in support of OIF III, serving with Company A, 1-15th Inf. Regt. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant, Nov. 1.

The 1-15th Inf. Regt. has had great success in re-enlistment, according to Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Olsen, Goldendale, Wash., non-commissioned officer in charge of re-enlistment for the 3rd BCT. The unit had the highest number of Soldiers re-enlist out of the entire brigade for fiscal year 2007.

Sgt. 1st Class David Shannon, from Columbia, S.C., attributes this success to the leadership in the battalion.

“The morale in 1-15th Inf. Regt. is among the highest of any unit I have ever served in, in the 17 years I’ve been in the Army,” Shannon said. “Command climate has everything to do with the reason Soldiers re-enlist.”

Shannon said he doesn’t look at success in terms of numbers.

“It’s not about the numbers,” he said. “It’s about the individual Soldier. What is the best plan of action for each individual Soldier?”

The 1-15th Inf. Regt. is assigned to the 3rd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Courthouse Opens in Salman Pak

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., far right, from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, walks with Col. Aamir Khamees Hameed, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, and a local sheik following the opening of the new court house in Salman Pak, Nov. 17.


Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., far right, from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, meets with Col. Aamir Khamees Hameed, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, and a local sheik following the opening of the new court house in Salman Pak, Nov. 17.


Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, speaks with the Iraqi media following the opening of the new court house in Salman Pak, Nov. 17.


Story and photos by Spc. Ben Hutto, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – In an important step forward, the people of Salman Pak opened a court house in their community, Nov. 17.

Eventually four judges, 30 support staff workers and security guards will operate out of the building.

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., the commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, toured the building and spoke with Iraqi media afterward.

“We just opened a brand new courthouse in Salman Pak and the rule of law is coming back to the Mada’in,” Grigsby said. “The great people of the Mada’in Qada can come and get marriage certificates, birth certificates and just basic fundamentals of normal living.”

Maj. James Carlisle, from West Palm Beach, Fla., the civil-military operations officer for the 3rd HBCT, explained that the 3rd HBCT has been working for the last six months to help invigorate the justice system in Salman Pak.

“The building is symbolic of the improved security in Salman Pak and sets the stage for governance in the area,” Carlisle said. “Judges are important because they are the investigators in criminal cases. The people in Salman Pak currently have to travel to Jisr Diyala for that. In addition, they will now be able to get deeds for property, licenses and have an authority to settle civil disputes outside of the church.”

Carlisle was confident the Joint Security Station in Salman Pak will provide a stable environment around the courthouse.

“The Iraqi police have vowed to keep the building secure and the judges safe,” Carlisle said. “The IP wants this as much as any citizen there. The presence of judges and rule of law will make their lives much easier.”

The 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. is from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Happy Birthday to the Third Infantry Division



THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

November 7, 2007

I send greetings to those celebrating the 90th anniversary of the 3rd Infantry Division of the United States Army.

Since the founding of our republic, every generation of Americans has produced proud patriots willing to sacrifice for the liberty and security of our Nation. These heroes have demonstrated that freedom is the mightiest force on Earth and set a standard of idealism and courage for the world. Since World War I, the "Rock of the Marne" has defended the United States in times of need and established a lasting heritage of service to our country. From the banks of the Marne to the Tigris River, the 3rd Infantry Division has proudly upheld the noble tradition of duty, honor, and love of country. All of us who live in liberty live in their debt, and we will never forget their sacrifice.

On behalf of a grateful Nation, I thank all members of the 3rd Infantry Division, both past and present , for protecting our citizens and laying a foundation of peace for generations to come. This event is an opportunity to renew the strong bonds of friendship you forged in adversity and celebrate the proud history and achievements of the "Dog Face Soldiers." Your continued commitment to each other and our country is an inspiration.

Laura and I send our best wishes on this special occasion. May God bless you, may God bless our troops, and may God bless America.


George W. Bush

Monday, November 19, 2007

Soldiers Move Into Newest Post

Combat Outpost Salie has become home for some of our 3 ID Soldiers such as Chris' best friend 1 Lt. Nick James. See article on page 7.

3-1st Cav. Regt. Captures High-value Individual

By Spc. Ben Hutto
3rd HBCT Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Scouts from the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment’s Time Sensitive Target Team apprehended an insurgent during a night raid near Tameem Nov. 13.

Leaders in the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, considered the insurgent a high-value individual.

Second Lt. John Lorme, from Aberdeen, Md., team leader of the TST, explained that the capture of the individual was another big step in clearing 3-1 Cav. Regt.’s area of operation of insurgents.

“This is the nineteenth HVI (high value individual) we’ve gotten in eight months here,” Lorme said. “Missions like this are becoming more of a battle drill for the platoon. From our youngest private first class to our platoon sergeant everyone is doing great.”

The detainee was wanted in connection to indirect fire attacks on Combat Outpost Cashe and improvised explosive device attacks on 3rd HBCT forces in 3-1st Cav. Regt. and 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment’s areas of operation.

“The capture of a suspected Shia extremist with experience conducting explosively formed penetrator attacks and 107 mm rocket attacks on coalition forces is a huge success for 3-1 Cav. and the 3rd HBCT,” said Maj. David Fivecoat, from Delaware, Ohio, the operations officer of the 3rd HBCT. “His detention eliminates a dangerous insurgent from the Mada’in Qada.”

The 3-1st Cav. Regt. and 1-15th Inf. Regt. are both assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. from Fort Benning, Ga., and have been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

1-15th Inf. Regt. Soldiers Conduct Operation, Detain One Insurgent

Sgt. John Harris, from Cheyenne, Wyo., Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, guides the M88 Wrecker operator to place a jersey barrier at a Concerned Local Citizen checkpoint, Nov. 15, in Al Bawi, Iraq.


1st Sgt. Troy Moore, from Bronx, N.Y., Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, talks on the radio that Pfc. Jeff Bailey, from Virginia Beach, Va., Co. A, is holding, Nov. 15, in Al Bawi, Iraq.


By Sgt. Natalie Rostek, 3rd BCT Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment conducted a two-day operation to construct checkpoints for Concerned Local Citizens, Nov. 15, in Al Bawi, resulting in the detention of one suspected insurgent.

With the help of Iraqi security forces and concerned citizens from Al Bawi, Co. A Soldiers constructed four checkpoints by emplacing jersey barriers, Hesso baskets, and concertina wire at the checkpoints for defensive positions in case of an attack.

"The checkpoints are more obstacles put in place to help eliminate extremist traffic throughout the area," said 1st Sgt. Troy Moore, from Bronx, N.Y., Co. A, 1-15th Inf. Regt.

According to Moore, Al Bawi is one of the latest areas to start a Concerned Local Citizens program. He says it is due to the high level of enemy contact in the area. Moore said Co. A's area of operation, consisting of Al Bawi and Salman Pak, has the highest rate of enemy contact in the entire 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division's area of operation known as the Mada'in Qada.

"With the concerned citizens and the Iraqi security forces in the area, we are stopping the infiltration of extremists crossing the Tigris River," Moore said. "We are slowing the traffic of improvised explosive devices, explosively formed penetrator devices, and bomb-making materials into Baghdad."

The mission began as Company E, 1-15th Inf. Regt., an engineer unit, and Co. A, followed the concerned citizens down a route the checkpoints were to be emplaced. This route is heavily traveled by U.S. and Iraqi security forces. Engineers worked with CLCs to clear the route of IEDs and any other suspicious material.

After the route was cleared, Co. A and members of the ISF in Al Bawi emplaced jersey barriers, creating the checkpoints.
During the operation, Co. A, the CLCs and ISF took small arms fire, indirect fire, and heavy machinegun fire. Company E also found one IED during route clearance.

Members of the CLCs also located an Iraqi man thought to be involved in an IED incident which killed three Company A Soldiers early November.

The 1-15th Inf. Regt. Soldiers brought the insurgent to Combat Outpost Cahill for questioning.

The 1-15th Inf. Regt. is assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga. and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Troops to Devour 171 Tons of Turkeys


By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer

Unlike Charles Dickens’ hungry orphan, Oliver Twist, who begged of his master, “Please sir, may I have some more?” many troops dining in the war zone this Thanksgiving will have all the turkey and trimmings they can eat.

Dinner organizers have planned meals for an estimated 350,000 soldiers, contractors and other hungry invitees working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Dubai and Djibouti.

For this year’s holiday, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia began shipping food to theater in July. Last month, it was parceled out to dining facilities using trucks, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

“We cannot bring the families of the troops together on Thanksgiving Day, so our goal is to bring a taste of home to our troops in harm’s way,” Ray Miller, director of the DSCP’s subsistence directorate, said in an e-mail.

Responding to requirements from chow hall managers who placed their orders in May, the DSCP has sent more than 171 tons of whole turkeys, turkey breasts and turkey thighs to those serving in the Middle East.

For meat lovers who want a little variety, there will also be about 60 tons of shrimp, 81 tons of beef and 44 tons of ham.

The shipment also included 15,340 containers of stuffing mix, 13,008 containers of potatoes — no peeling required — 41,004 cans of sweet potatoes, 9,995 cans of cranberry sauce and 15 tons of corn.

To finish off the meal, there will be an assortment of 163,464 individual pies.

At a cost of $7.4 million, the meal is the king daddy of morale boosters for those spending the holiday so far from home.

The menu for the Christmas meal is identical, except for larger quantities of turkey breast meat, potatoes, cranberry sauce and corn. And the cost is a bargain: $5.6 million.

“It takes a long time to get the bird to the plate, especially to remote bases, so when we see the troops enjoying their holiday meals, and it’s a confirmation of a job well done, it’s nothing short of a broadcast throughout [the directorate]. It puts smiles on everybody’s faces,” Miller said.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Soldier

A Soldier

There is discipline in A Soldier
you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier
you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier
you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier
that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier
that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier
that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isn't a title any man
can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man
buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier's job isn't finished after
an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier
even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first
and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what
comes first in a civilian's mind.
If you are civilian -
I am saying this to you.....
next time you see A Soldier
remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land
is 'Home of the free',
A Soldier is the one that is brave
protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier -
I am saying this to you.....
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER
Thank God for what YOU do!
(unknown)

Col. Grigsby and Command Sgt. Maj. Pearson Sends Video to FRG



Col. Grigsby, Command Sgt. Maj. Pearson send a command message to the Family Readiness Group at Fort Benning, Ga. thanking them for their support.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

This Week's Dog Face Daily's


Friday, 16 November 2007

MPs train future Iraqi police; Violence down, reconstruction underway in Baghdad; Swiss tell German guy to learn German; Online furniture thief arrested...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

MEDEVAC crew gets battlefield patients where they need to go; Leaders welcome new INP commander; Pet rescue fatality; Officials call for UFO probe; Bank manager gives woman loans for sex.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

terrorists killed in Adwaniyah; Powers of Attorney; Convenience may also bring danger to deployments; Warrant officers receive Air Medal; China...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Adwaniyah CLCs stand up new CPs; Father follows son to war; Retired top general sends Veterans Day message; Safety Thought of the Day: Low-Risk Mi...

Monday, 12 November 2007

Doctors treat hundreds in MEDOP; Soldier skills, strength defi ne competition; Toilet humor controversy; office advice book...


Sunday, 11 November 2007

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America; MARNE 6 SENDS: Be proud to be a veteran; Soldier in for the long haul; Today in M...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Benning Soldiers Provide Resources to Strengthen CLC Checkpoints

Capt. Brian Jennings, from Topeka, Kan., executive officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, downloads concertina wire during the Company’s assessment of Concerned Local Citizen checkpoints in Vinn Jahn Village Nov. 14.

Spc. Benjamin Block, from Sierra Vista, Ariz., Company C, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, leads the way as 1st Lt. Aaron Wilkerson, from Columbus, Ga., fire support officer for Company C, an interpreter and concerned citizens follow him down a dirt road on the way to Concerned Local Citizen checkpoints in Vinn Jahn Village Nov. 14.

A concerned citizen from Vinn Jahn Village, along with Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, looks over an area checkpoint Nov. 14.


By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.

COMBAT OUTPOST CLEARY, Iraq – Soldiers and leaders of Company C, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, visited Hajji Vinn Jahn, the sheik of Vinn Jahn Village and leader of the Concerned Local Citizens group in the area, to coordinate checkpoint improvements and check on their new partners Nov. 14.

During the meeting, Hajji Vinn Jahn expressed his concern with small arms attacks on his concerned citizens checkpoints. He described instances where insurgents fired upon his volunteers and then dispersed.

“There is a message the terrorists are giving when they run,” said Capt. Brian Jennings, from Topeka, Kan., executive officer of Company C. “They are not strong enough to stand and fight against the concerned citizens.”

After the meeting, Jennings, 1st Lt. Aaron Wilkerson, from Columbus, Ga., the fire support officer for the company, and other Company C Soldiers walked to each checkpoint in the village to visit with the concerned citizens that were manning them.

The guards at each checkpoint, dressed in their khaki cargo pants and yellow shirts with the Iraqi flag proudly displayed on the sleeve, welcomed the group with smiles and handshakes.

“We visit the checkpoints to ensure all the concerned citizens have the necessary supplies to carry out their mission as the first line of defense for Vinn Jahn Village,” Wilkerson said.

Company C Soldiers unloaded concertina wire, sandbags, and wood for the checkpoints, and Jennings explained more supplies are still to come.

Jennings said the force protection material is to improve the security of each checkpoint. The unit plans to deliver additional materials such as concrete barriers and towers. These materials will help with the safety of the guards at the checkpoints while allowing the concerned citizens full view of the surrounding areas.

Jennings further explained Company C is working on getting more cold weather attire for the group.

Wilkerson expressed his pride in the Concerned Local Citizens of Vinn Jahn Village. Every time Company C Soldiers visit the checkpoints, all members of the Concerned Local Citizens group are in the correct uniform, they carry their weapons properly and are manning the checkpoints throughout the entire day. He said they abide by all the regulations stipulated in their group contract.

“They contribute to the safety and security of Vinn Jahn Village in two ways; they call us when they witness insurgent activity in their village, and they deny insurgents freedom of maneuver in the village,” Wilkerson said. “They have a genuine concern for the safety and security of their town and the families they protect. They share the same interest with us in that respect.”

Company C, 1-15th Inf. Regt. is assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V since March.

Way To Go

The above photo was taken Monday at an awards ceremony where Chris received the Army Commendation Medal. He was awarded the medal for a narrative he wrote on his unit. Of coarse he said it was no big deal but Mom sure is proud. He continues to like what he does and continually insists that they are making a huge difference. He is even more upbeat than usual as it is getting close to R&R and he is very excited! Way to go Chris...we are very proud of you!

The Army Commendation Medal

The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the Army after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself/herself by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Award may be made to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, after 1 June 1962, distinguishes himself/herself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the United States.

Awards may be made for acts of valor performed under circumstances described above which are of lesser degree than required for award of the Bronze Star Medal. These acts may involve aerial flight. An award may be made for acts of noncombatant-related heroism which do not meet the requirements for an award of the Soldier's Medal

History and inception:

In a summary sheet, 5 November 1945, WDGAP, Personnel Division recommended that an Army Commendation Ribbon of distinctive design be established to recognize meritorious service in an area at a time for which the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded. The recommendation was approved by the Secretary of War and the ribbon was established by War Department Circular 377, dated 18 December 1945. This circular authorized award to "members of the Armed Forces of the United States serving in any capacity with the Army for meritorious service rendered since 7 December 1941, not in sustained operational activities against an enemy nor in direct support of such operation, i.e., in areas and at times when the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded because of its operational character". Authority to award the Commendation Ribbon was delegated to Major Generals or commanders of any command, force or installation normally commanded by Major Generals.

In a DF, 29 April 1948, from the D/PA to the Quartermaster General, the Personnel & Admin. Division indicated that the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force had authorized a medal pendant to be established for the Commendation Ribbon and requested that a proposed design be prepared. The design was approved by both Secretaries on 8 July 1948. The Medal Pendant for Commendation Ribbon was announced in Department of the Army (DA) Circular 91 (AF Letter 35-25) dated 20 July 1949. On 20 March 1950, the Secretary of the Navy approved the Navy Commendation Ribbon, and authorized use of the same pendant with a different ribbon on 6 April 1950.

DA General Order No. 10, dated 31 March 1960, renamed the Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant to the Army Commendation Medal. President Kennedy, in a memorandum to the Secretary of Defense, dated 1 June 1962, authorized the award of the Army Commendation Medal to members of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations who, after 1 June 1962, distinguished themselves by an act of heroic, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coalition Partners Meet at FOB Hammer

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George's County, Md., commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, greets Col. Abdul, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, before a meeting with Iraqi Security Forces and civic leaders of the Mada'in Qada at Forward Operating Base Hammer.
Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George's County, Md., commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, speaks to Amir Turky Jabbar, the al Mada'in investigative judge operating in Jisr Diyala, during a meeting at Forward Operating Base Hammer.

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George's County, Md., commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, greets Col. Abdul, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, before a meeting with Iraqi Security Forces and civic leaders of the Mada'in Qada at Forward Operating Base Hammer.


Story by Spc. Ben Hutto
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Leaders from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, the national police and the Iraqi army met to coordinate their efforts in Mada’in Qada at FOB Hammer.

The leaders discussed operational successes during the past two weeks and focused on streamlining the operations of the three joint security sites in the qada, helping displaced families regain their homes and planning joint operations to disrupt insurgent cells working in the Mada’in Qada.

“We’ve made some great gains over the last eight weeks but, more importantly, we’ve made some great friends,” said Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., commander, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division. “Friends of honor and friends that have been working side by side with us.”

Maj. David Fivecoat, from Delaware, Ohio, the operations officer of the 3rd HBCT, explained that the murder and attack rates in the qada during the month of October were significantly down from previous months and early indicators in November indicated that the trend was continuing.

Fivecoat outlined the recent success, but explained that Coalition Forces needed better reporting from the various joint security sites in the qada. He said leaders needed to improve their cooperation and do a better job of synchronizing their operations.

Col. A’amir, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, agreed with Fivecoat, but stressed that his brigade was shorthanded and needed help at the moment. He also asked the 3rd HBCT to help communicate with the Iraqi government to get more jobs for local residents.

Amir Turky Jabbar, the Al Mada’in investigative judge operating in Jisr Diyala, was present to explain his role in the qada and changes he would like to see. He cited security in Salman Pak as one of his chief concerns, but listened as Aamir and Grigsby explained that the area has become more stable, citing recent successful 3rd HBCT and NP operations.

“Rule of law is an important component for the people of this qada,” Grigsby said. “A characteristic of a successful nation state isn’t just security. The people need to be able to go before judges and have their disputes settled in a civilized manner by rule of law. That is why your presence in the qada is so important.”

A’amir believed that the presence of a judge in Salman Pak would do even more to secure the area. He explained that criminals had been able to operate without fear of prosecution. A judge, he said, was crucial in bringing these men to justice and getting them off the streets.

Grigsby ended the meeting on a positive note by inviting everyone back to discuss future operations.

“The great thing is that we are all focusing together to get rid of the bad people operating here so the good people of the Mada’in Qada can prosper,” Grigsby said.