Monday, March 31, 2008

3rd BCT Bids Farewell to Law Enforcement Expert

Jeff Gordy, from Columbus, Ga., a law enforcement professional who worked with 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, poses with local children Oct. 18 while on a patrol in Narhwan, Iraq.

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

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – He rode his $76 Huffy mountain bike to work for the last time March 22 to give a short farewell speech before leaving FOB Hammer, Iraq, headed home to Columbus, Ga.

“I’ve learned a lot working with you guys,” Jeff Gordy, a law enforcement professional formerly attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, told members of the intelligence section he had worked closely with. “You bring a lot to the fight. I want to thank you for everything. You have been a family to me.”

Gordy was first introduced to 3rd BCT Jan. 22, 2007. Most of the unit’s Soldiers were deployed to Fort Irwin, Calif., attending the National Training Center.

When the unit returned to Fort Benning, Ga., Gordy said he had just enough time to get acquainted with those he would be working with before he deployed with the unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Gordy’s extensive background in law enforcement made him a valuable component to 3rd BCT, said Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., brigade commander. He had previously worked in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Columbus Police Department.

Before that, Gordy served in the Air Force as a security policeman and in the Army National Guard.

“Once he adjusted to our terminology, he did well at finding out how he could fit into our operations,” said Capt. Frank Bird, from North Country, N.Y., an intelligence officer in 3rd BCT who worked closely with Gordy.

According to Gordy, brigade Soldiers had the skill and intelligence to find and capture insurgents but did not have the experience to investigate crime scenes.

“His biggest contribution was in developing case files to send detainees to court.” Bird said. “We as Army Soldiers don’t train in that. That’s what his expertise is in.”

Gordy said during his time with 3rd BCT Soldiers, he taught the process of investigating detainees. Part of that was collecting and tracking evidence to help push the suspected criminal through the Iraqi court system.

This is the first time Gordy has been deployed and said he has learned a lot about military operations and tactics.

Gordy said he plans on at least one more deployment to Iraq. He hopes to spend another year deployed with 3rd BCT.

“There was some trial and error this time,” Gordy said. “Next time we’ll be able to step up to the plate and get the bad guys from day one.”

Until then, Gordy said he plans teaching what he has learned from this deployment at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.

“I’ve learned so much here,” he said. “There is so much I can bring to the table at Fort Polk.”

Gordy has begun his journey to rejoin his wife, Pat, and two daughters, Sarah and Emily, but said he will always remember his time spent with 3rd BCT.

Many 3rd BCT Soldiers have left a lasting impression in his mind, Gordy said.

“I saw a lot of young Soldiers preparing for a mission without one ounce of fear in their eyes,” he said. “That motivates me.”

The 3rd BCT, from Fort Benning, Ga., 3rd Infantry Division, has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007.

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