News: 'Signal Day' recognizes Air Cav efforts
Story by Sgt. Alun Thomas
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - The U.S. Army Signal Corps and its Soldiers are responsible for keeping the communications of any unit up and running.
The signal section of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade is no exception and as a show of appreciation for their efforts on the current deployment, Dec.12 was named "Signal Day" in their honor, here.
The event was initiated by leadership of the brigade's communication section, said Master Sgt. Jeffery Jackson, from Columbus, Ga., who added that recognition for the Air Cav. signal community was overdue.
"We wanted to give them a token of gratitude for what they've done to make our job a little easier," Jackson said. "We had been thinking about doing this since the halfway point of the deployment and thought it would be a good time to give back to them because they're always working and working."
To make the day special, Jackson helped create a unique signal coin, which was presented to all those involved in the 1st ACB communication shops.
"The cost didn't matter, it was the thought behind it and it made it a big difference being a personal gift from myself and Maj. Burks [the brigade's communications officer]," he said.
Seeing the looks on the Soldiers faces receiving the coins was an uplifting experience, Jackson said.
"As we presented the coins, I saw their faces lighting up; they were surprised to see it," Jackson said. "It was the least we could give them for the job they do."
Lt. Col. Rodney Garfield, from Portsmouth, Va., the 1st Cav. Div. communication section commander, also attended the day's events.
"It's times like this that we must take the time to recognize these deserving Soldiers," said Garfield. "It's especially humbling that the brigade S-6 is going around recognizing all the signal support specialists in the brigade, which is why I came today.
Garfield, who was joined on the visit by Sgt. Maj. Maurice Rambert, 1st Cav. Div. G-6 sergeant major, said he was impressed with the concept behind having a special day specifically for signal.
"I think this is something the Soldiers will remember and hopefully it will turn into a tradition, which is something the Signal Regiment has gotten away from," Garfield said. "I think the 1st ACB is paving the way, and this is something I plan to put in my kitbag and take with me back to the division level."
The visit was well received by Chief Warrant Officer Lau San Foster, from East Orange, N.J., a signal support technician with 1st ACB, who said Garfield and Rambert are the best command team he has known in his 12 years of service.
"They're always ready to lend an ear, give advice and have never turned us away or failed to take care of us," he said.
Foster said the day was especially gratifying for some of the younger Soldiers, who deserve to be lauded.
"When I was younger we didn't have stuff like this going on ... this helps every Soldier feel recognized, which is good for them and what they're doing," Foster said. "It gives them more incentive to keep working hard."