News: Rear Detachment committed to family cause
Story by Sgt. Alun Thomas
FORT HOOD, Texas – When the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade deploys to Iraq later this year, the job does not end for those remaining behind who must continue the day to day operations of the "Warriors" on home soil.
The 1st ACB Rear Detachment command group, headed by Maj. Daniel Legereit, rear detachment commander, and 1st Sgt. Dara Wylder, rear detachment acting sergeant major, are committed to maintaining the quality of life for the Soldiers under their command as well as the families of those deployed.
"My main job is taking care of the Soldiers, making sure training happens and any tasking that arises," said Wylder, of Houston. "I will be the senior [non-commissioned officer] for the brigade who keeps the troops online and gets them downrange."
The Rear Detachment is important because family members get left behind when Soldiers deploy, Wylder said, adding, helping these families is of utmost importance.
"The families must continue on without a key member, and when issues arise, we can help facilitate the problem solving," Wylder said.
Wylder was happy to accept a position on the Rear Detachment team, saying it is important to find the correct people to head the command group.
"You want the right person who is going to stay back, do the job and is going to make it work for you," Wylder explained. "The families are key -- as you can't do the Army's mission if you don't take care of the Soldiers. The Soldiers can't do their mission if you aren't taking care of their families. This is why Rear Detachment is so important."
Legereit, of Metropolis, Ill., who also states the welfare of Soldiers and their families is the main priority for himself and Wylder.
"We also support the forward deployed unit with any issues they may need resolved back here," Legereit said. "Facilitating the support of the family members and Soldiers back here and any issues that need to be dealt with so we can continue the fight and win the war in Iraq is another important aspect."
Maintaining communication with the leadership in Iraq and fulfilling their intent is a vital part of his job, which entails making sure Soldiers are receiving the proper medical treatment so they can deploy forward – increasing combat power, Legereit added.
"Business will continue here as usual, but we have the responsibility of passing information forward to the families and giving them the support they need," Legeriet said.
Legereit returned early from a deployment in Iraq with the 4th Infantry Division to voluntarily take command of the 1st ACB Rear Detachment in order to work with 1st ACB commander Col. Douglas Gabram.
"I commanded two teams under him in the 101st Airborne Division," Legereit said. "He's a great team leader and team builder which led me to come back and work for him and help build this team and support him back here."
Wylder admitted she has mixed feelings about not deploying with the rest of the 1st ACB.
"It's a little painful but being the first sergeant of a company is a huge responsibility and something I absolutely enjoy," Wylder said. "It was hard for me to step down as a first sergeant, but now I have an even larger role of taking care of family members."