KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - 15th Sustainment Brigade soldiers kicked off the new fiscal year by participating in a mass re-enlistment ceremony held at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Oct. 11.
The 15th Sustainment Brigade is responsible for providing sustainment support to U.S. forces and select coalition forces throughout Regional Commands South, West, and Southwest in addition to assisting with synchronizing and executing the movement of retrograde equipment.
Ten Soldiers from the 15th Sustainment Brigade answered the call of duty as they filled the Kandahar fest tent stage alongside fellow Soldiers from three different units.
Staff Sgt. Gideon Abebe, Staff Sgt. Javorris R. Scott, Sgt. Abraham I. Magallon, Sgt. Irvin Sanchez-Paez, Sgt. Keith B. Macdougall, Spc. Brittany A. Griffith, Spc. Christian Rosendo, Spc. Nathan A. Barbee, Spc. Patrick A. Vernon and Spc. Zachary R. Flores, all of the 15th Sustainment Brigade, were among the 54 Soldiers who reenlisted, swearing to safeguard freedom at home and abroad.
According to the 15th Sust. Bde. Senior Career Counselor, Sgt. 1st Class Javier Avila, this is one of the largest re-enlistments ceremonies held on KAF.
“This is a rare opportunity,” said Avila. “Our soldiers have the privilege of reenlisting in a foreign country and being sworn in by a general officer.”
Among the dignitaries present was Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commanding general of the Combined Joint Task Force, who served as the re-enlisting officer as well as the event's honored speaker.
"We have a group of American soldiers re-enlisting to once again stand ready to protect our nation in a time of war," LaCamera said. "The fact that these young Americans are raising their hands once again, to continue to serve our great nation - in Afghanistan – speaks volumes about their strength, dedication and immense level of loyalty to each other and our military."
For Spc. Brittany A. Griffith, a native of Lewistown, Pa., this marks her first re-enlistment and considers it an honor to be sworn in by the commanding general.
"I’ll always remember this experience," Griffith said. “I also appreciate what our retention team did to put all this together, especially Staff Sgt. Carlos Ledesma for his hard work, dedication, and mentorship.”
“Our mission is to retain highly qualified soldiers,” said Ledesma, the career counselor for the 15th Special Troops Battalion. “We do this by communicating with unit level commanders and adhering to the retention parameters set by Army G-1. I’m proud to serve alongside each one of them.”
The three other units who also took part in the mass reenlistment included the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division.