News: 1-186 Infantry Battalion honored with Meritorious Unit Citation
By Staff Sgt. Jalayna Lagomarsino
41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
POWELL BUTTE, Ore. – The 1-186 Infantry Battalion, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard, was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation at Biak Training Center, in Powell Butte, Ore., July 26, for exceptionally meritorious service while conducting convoy security and force protection operations in Iraq during their 2009-2010 deployment.
According to the award narrative, the 1-186 Inf. Bn. was responsible for force protection at Camp Korean Village, as well as convoy security operations on routes throughout central and southern Iraq. The battalion’s security convoys were travelling at rates of 5,000 miles per week during the deployment.
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, addressed the Soldiers of the 1-186 In. Bn., and took a moment during the ceremony to mention a similar award given to the unit earlier in its history.
“Over 70 years ago your predecessors in the 1-186 received the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for action in Palawan Island,” Rees said. “Today you’re 21st century Soldiers receiving recognition for the great work you have done in Iraq and for the Global War on Terror.”
Lt. Col. Noel Hoback, who deployed with the 1-186 Inf. Bn. and took command of the battalion on the day of the ceremony, echoed praise for the battalion as he addressed his Soldiers by their unit motto, “Guardians of the western gate, you have shown time and time again that you are willing to support any mission given to you,” he said.
The protocol of the day’s ceremony differed slightly from other Meritorious Unit Citation ceremonies for Oregon National Guard units. Most units traditionally have their commanders affix the Meritorious Unit Citation streamer to the guidon. However, the command of 1-186 Inf. Bn. requested that Command Sgt. Maj. Theodore Santoyo do the honors.
After the ceremony, Santoyo commented on how the 1-186's mission of convoy security expanded the capabilities of his infantry Soldiers, “It wasn't an infantry mission, so my Soldiers learned a lot of new skill sets and gained a vast amount of knowledge on this deployment.”
The 1-186 Infantry Battalion’s July 26 ceremony was the fourth of seven recognition ceremonies for units of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard, that have received the Meritorious Unit Citation. Ceremonies have been conducted for the 1-82 Cavalry Regiment, the 2-218 Field Artillery Battalion, the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and the 141 Brigade Support Battalion. The 41 Special Troops Battalion ceremony will be conducted in August, and the 2-162 Infantry Battalion ceremony is scheduled to take place in November.
The Meritorious Unit Citation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of duties for at least six continuous months during a period of military operations against an armed enemy. While service in a combat zone is not required, the service must be directly related to the combat effort.