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    PRT Z Hellhounds earn combat patch

    PRT Z Hellhounds earn combat patch

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke | U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Rains receives his 3rd Infantry Division combat patch from U.S....... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Patrice Clarke 

    Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE SMART, Afghanistan - In keeping with tradition of every deployed Marne soldier, the members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team security force were presented with the 3rd Infantry Division patch, to be worn on their right shoulder signifying deployment in a combat zone, in a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Smart, Afghanistan, Dec. 24.

    The Hellhounds of Apache Troop, 5th Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, deployed from Fort Stewart, Ga., were presented the patch by their squadron commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher R. Jones.

    During the ceremony, Jones commented on the significance of the day.

    “I’m very proud of this entire unit and their accomplishments,” said Jones. “This unit is no longer a unit training for deployment but a fully capable combat unit.”

    According to Army regulations, the combat patch, or Shoulder Sleeve Insignia – former wartime service, is authorized for wear as soon as a soldier deploys to a combat zone.

    The Hellhounds are nearly three months into a nine-month tour with the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team and for a majority of them, this is their first combat patch ceremony.

    For U.S. Army Spc. Martin Orta, a Phoenix, Ariz., native on his first deployment, participating in the ceremony left an impression.

    “It felt great to be a part of this ceremony,” said Orta. “I follow in the footsteps of all of the other soldiers who proudly wear a combat patch. It makes me a part of a brotherhood of those who have deployed to a combat zone. Not everyone has one and it’s an honor that I do.”

    The ceremony also held significance for those seasoned deployers. U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jacque Manuel, a Baton Rouge La., native, has deployed four times and been with the 3ID for more than 10 years.

    “This is my fourth combat patch and it’s a little unnerving to know that I was the same age as a majority of these soldiers when I received my first combat patch,” said Manuel. “To those soldiers with their first combat patch but surely not their last, I tell them to share their knowledge, share their experiences with the next soldier. This isn’t something they will soon forget.”

    The ceremony, held on Christmas Eve, isn’t likely to be forgotten by any of the Hellhounds.

    “I really think it’s special to do this on Christmas Eve,” said Jones. “It’s a special day. They will remember this. They will remember how they received their first combat patch in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve.”


    Date Taken: 12.24.2012
    Date Posted: 12.27.2012 03:44
    Story ID: 99752

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