Joint Logistics Command — Haiti Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Unified Response gathered on U.S. Army vessel LSV 1 to re-enlist Feb. 27.
Nineteen Soldiers from Fort Knox's 3rd Sustainment Command, Fort Eustis's 7th Sustainment Brigade, and Fort Lewis's 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion raised their right hands and recited the oath of enlistment with Col. (Promotable) Robin Akin, the 3rd Sustainment Command's commanding general who presided over the event.
"We gather today to remind ourselves that our mission as fighting men and women must continue," Akin said. "And to continue — we must have those that are willing, able, and are inspired to raise their hands again and again to be counted with those that came before them."
Akin drew the re-enlistees' attention to the significance of re-enlisting on this particular deployment.
"Like those fighting for survival here in Haiti — American Soldiers bring the hope of peace, freedom, and a better day. When others turned away, it was our Soldiers who were willing to stand up, be counted and put their lives on the line - yesterday, today and tomorrow," said Akin
At the conclusion of Akin's speech, the formation of service members raised their right hands and swore in — once again.
"It was just an awesome feeling, re-upping with all those guys," said 3rd ESC Soldier, Spc. Brandon Bowen, who is from Dickson, Tenn.
The event was designed to honor the commitment of the re-enlistees and was the first ever mass re-enlistment in the 3rd Sustainment Command — on water.
"It was pretty cool, the fact that we were on a big ship. The whole thing was enjoyable," added Bowen.
Accumulatively, the Soldiers pledged more than six decades of additional service to their country. The Soldiers came from 10 different states and Puerto Rico.
Upon conclusion of the ceremony, the re-enlistees were treated to a hot steak dinner and cake — a special treat for Soldiers who have been eating MREs since arriving in Haiti about a month ago.
Since switching over to an all-volunteer force in 1973, the armed forces have depended on re-enlistments to retain qualified personnel, which has become more critical in the face of the ongoing operations around the world.
This work, Deployed Sustainers re-enlist in Haiti, by LTC Paul Hayes and SFC Dave Mcclain, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.