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The 'why' generation Courtesy Photo

Pfc. Tabatha Krohn, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, mans the radio desk at entry control point five, Sept. 5, 2011. Krohn is responsible for helping conduct background checks of personnel identified through biometric checks at Contingency Operating Base Adder. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Jennifer Farland)

By Capt. Chris Prange
HHC, 3BSTB, 1st Cav. Div.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq – The current generation of soldiers are part of what has been titled by many as the “Why” generation. They are the ones always asking questions and wanting to know the reasoning behind a task. They are a generation defined by curiosity and a need for explanations. They are a generation that often infuriates previous generations with their questioning.

For the soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, that are manning the Entry Control Points on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, being part of the “Why” generation has proven to be a blessing. Go to any one of the various search points at either of the ECPs and you will hear a word repeated like it is part of a mantra: Why?

Why does this man have three cell phones in his car?

Why is this man bringing in empty fuels can and rubber hoses?

Why was this person banned from another United States military installation?


“Yes, we do want to stop unauthorized weapons from entering the forward operating base, but we also have to look beyond that. We look for potential threats, whether by the actions of terrorists or simple criminal acts.” said 1st Sgt. Helbert Izquierdo with HHC, 3BSTB.

Each civilian accessing COB Adder, whether coming on for the first time or someone that has been driving convoys for years, falls under the same level of search.

In an era of technological advances, security inside the wire has never been more certain.

“We have all of these great electronics that enhance our capabilities,” said 2nd Lt. Jennifer Farland, ECP 5’s officer in charge, “but nothing replaces our soldiers … actually conducting a hands-on search. You won’t be able to always find a [memory card] in someone’s wallet with a metal detector or a knife hidden on a semi truck.”

While these systems have served as excellent deterrents, it is the soldier on the ground whose inquisitive nature and inability to stop asking “why” that has led to the success of the security operations in support of COB Adder.


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This work, The 'why' generation, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:09.15.2011

Date Posted:09.16.2011 01:51



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