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    Bastogne Signal Company exudes warrior ethos, Accepts combat role outside of technical expertise

    Bastogne Signal Company Exudes Warrior Ethos, Accepts Combat Role Outside of Technical Expertise

    Photo By Master Sgt. Kevin Doheny | A Soldier from Charlie Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team,...... read more read more

    By Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Doheny
    1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

    TIKRIT, Iraq — I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.

    These principles have instilled a warrior's mentality for a generation of Soldiers, which was the vision of former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker when he had the Army adopt them. As the Army's top officer, he often stated that regardless of gender, rank or military occupational skill, Soldiers will live by the Soldier's Creed and do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission.

    "We need to encourage innovation and increase resiliency," he said, "and most importantly, we need to reinforce the Warrior Ethos in every Soldier."

    In the Salah ad Din province, the Spartans of the1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, follow this ideology and have expanded on their 'traditional' role of supporting the brigade in a variety of support missions.

    The Spartans still provide the support to the Bastogne Brigade, but have also taken on the additional security responsibility for a vast area of operations. Taking on this role with limited combat forces, the Spartans have adapted and employed their support Soldiers to conduct combat operations.

    The commander of the battalion, Lt. Col. Rick Rhyne, a Special Forces officer with experience in accomplishing missions with outside-the-box thinking, displayed his confidence in a group of support Soldiers during a recent air assault operation, Sept. 7, 2008.

    Operation Chalcis, an air assault operation targeting possible al Qaida in Iraq hideouts, wasn't performed by the battalion's attached infantry company or the commander's security team; it was conducted by its Signal Company.

    "The opportunity that the battalion commander bestowed upon my company to execute this operation shows his great trust and confidence of my Soldiers," said Capt. Alex Peake, commander of Charlie Company, 1st STB.

    The company's traditional role is centered on operating and managing the Bastogne Brigade's signal network operations. They are responsible for nearly all the communication across the province's vast area, which is roughly the size of Vermont.
    According to 1st Sgt. Juan Vasquez, his company's ability to balance both technical and tactical skills is a valuable asset to the battalion. He attributes this balance to the warrior mentality exhibited by his troops.

    "As the conditions on the battlefield change so must the mentality of our Soldiers," said Vasquez. "A never quit attitude puts them in a mindset to train on tactics that are not an inherit part of their jobs, however they are an inherit part of being a Soldier."

    Signal Soldiers often find themselves in maneuver units, thus being part of combat operations is nothing new to the mission. Signal Soldiers are often called upon to adhere to the high standards of their combat-arms brethren, while at the same time expertly providing their technical capabilities.

    However, command and control of an air assault is not "business as usual" for the Signal Corps Soldiers.

    Operation Chalcis was coordinated, planned and executed under the command and control of Peake and his platoon leaders. Ground breaking in itself, the air assault may have been the first of its kind, and the leaders of the company understand the legacy that they will leave behind.

    "I am proud to be in Charlie Co., 1st STB, and I'm proud to be a Screaming Eagle," said 2nd Lt. Jerome Jose, platoon leader. "I'm grateful that we have been given the opportunity and responsibility to carry on the tradition of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)."

    "Being a part of the 101st, it is expected for our Soldiers to adapt to new challenges and perform tasks they may not be familiar with," said 1st Lt. Scott Widener, platoon leader. "The Soldiers in our company are a testament to the Warrior Ethos."

    As the Army evolves as the battlefields change, Soldiers such as the Cannibals of Charlie Company understand that they must retain the Soldier-first mentality. This resonates throughout the ranks within the Spartan family.

    "I don't think your average Signal Company would have the opportunity to have command and control of an air assault mission, but then again, this is not a normal STB," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Wurm, platoon sergeant. "We are all Soldiers. We have a specific MOS, but any of us can be called upon to be a Soldier, not just a Signal Soldier."



    Date Taken: 09.15.2008
    Date Posted: 09.15.2008 03:52
    Story ID: 23650
    Location: TIKRIT, IQ 

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