Lt. Col. Mark Sullivan (right), from Huntsville, Ala., commander of 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, talks to battalion leaders after an awards ceremony on April 4 at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.
By Sgt. Natalie Rostek
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Eleven leaders of 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery received a Bronze Star Medal at FOB Hammer on April 3 for outstanding contributions during their tour.
“You have done a phenomenal job,” said Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “You have done so much. It’s just incredible what you all have accomplished.”
Five battery commanders and first sergeants and the battalion executive officer were awarded a Bronze Star Medal and the 1-10th FA coin, specifically designed for the unit’s deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom V.
Command Sgt. Maj. James Benedict, from Chestertown, Ind., 1-10th FA, explained that the back of the coin is designed with a guard tower representing the unit’s time at Camp Bucca, in Um Qasr, when the unit was attached to 16th Military Police Brigade, from Fort Bragg, N.C.
Grigsby is proud of the battalion Soldiers and leaders for their ability to change their focus and mission from field artillery to military police work. Soldiers of the unit were guarding detainees during the first eight months of the deployment.
“You grabbed that mission, wrapped your arms around it and said, ‘We can do anything,’” Grigsby said. “You did a great job down there. You set the standard.”
The 1-10th FA rejoined 3rd BCT in October and took responsibility of Butler Range Road and Narhwan, where they established Combat Outpost Salie.
“You are the best artillery battalion in the Army,” Grigsby said. “It honors me and the command sergeant major to put these awards on you. Wear them, be proud, and tell your story at home. You deserve them.”
The 1-10th FA, 3rd BCT, from Fort Benning, Ga., 3rd Infantry Division, has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007.