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    Infantrymen of the Oklahoma Army National Guard receives honor

    Infantrymen of the Oklahoma Army National Guard receives honor

    Photo By Maj. Joshua Page | The Combat Infantryman's Association honored both the Oklahoma Army National Guard and...... read more read more

    NORMAN, OK, UNITED STATES

    08.05.2018

    Story by Sgt. Anthony Jones 

    45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    NORMAN, Oklahoma -- An organization dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of infantry Soldiers recognized combat infantrymen of the Oklahoma Army National Guard (OKARNG) and the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during a ceremony in Norman, Oklahoma, Aug. 5.

    U.S. Army Col. (ret.) J.L. Rhodes, commander of the 5th Division of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, presented both the OKARNG and the 45th IBCT with a statuette of the famed “Follow Me” statue located at the Army’s infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia.

    To graduates of the infantry school, the statue is known as “Iron Mike” named for Lt. Gen. John W. “Iron Mike” O’Daniel.

    Rhodes is a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and served more than 38 years in the Army. He said being an infantry Soldier, who has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, means that Soldier is the best of the Army.

    “To earn the badge, you will serve with a group of elite people,” Rhodes said. “We know what we did to earn the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. We are brothers and sisters.”

    The CIB is awarded to Infantry Soldiers who have engaged in active ground combat.

    “It’s good to know we have the support of combat Soldiers who have come before us,” said Sgt. James Wagoner, of Yukon, Oklahoma, and a Soldier with the 45th IBCT. Wagner earned his CIB while fighting in Afghanistan and was happy to see his unit recognized with the statue.

    Maj. Gen. Michael C. Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma and a recipient of the CIB, accepted the first statuette from Rhodes and Col. Chris Chomosh, a CIB recipient and commander of the 45th IBCT, accepted the second on behalf of his Soldiers.

    Thompson thanked the association for the awards and told the Soldiers in attendance how he earned his CIB while serving with the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th IBCT.

    Thompson was part of Task Force Tomahawk, which was comprised of Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry who were deployed to the Middle East to defend Patriot Missile batteries, and were further tasked to assist in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    “We were the first Thunderbirds since the Korean War to earn both our Combat Infantryman’s Badges and double Thunderbirds,” Thompson said, referring to the 45th’s patch.

    “These will be displayed in headquarters and offices,” Rhodes told Soldiers and combat infantry veterans at the ceremony. “But they belong to you and they are for the infantrymen.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.05.2018
    Date Posted: 08.08.2018 16:51
    Story ID: 287359
    Location: NORMAN, OK, US 
    Hometown: YUKON, PA, US

    Web Views: 106
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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