By Shawn Morris
50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two of the New Jersey National Guard's top leaders met with deployed "Jersey Blues" Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during a trip to Iraq, Nov. 18-20.
Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, the adjutant general of New Jersey, and New Jersey State Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins visited many of the 3,000 Garden State troops currently deployed to various duty stations in Iraq, including those serving as the Joint Area Support Group-Central at the U.S. Embassy Annex in Baghdad's International Zone.
"I've had a great opportunity to visit Soldiers down at Camp Victory and over here in the International Zone," Rieth explained. "For everything were asking our kids to do - from guarding detainees to working very complex issues here within the International Zone - we should all be very proud"
The 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers have been performing their mission since arriving in country in September. The brigade is scheduled to remain deployed until summer 2009.
"Coming up to the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas – it's going to be a tough time for the families, but I think the families recognize that the Soldiers have a job to do," said Rieth. "And they're doing it in a superb way."
Rieth spent his three-day visit touring the IZ and other parts of Iraq, giving him the opportunity to see where his Soldiers are living and working.
"I couldn't be more proud of the 50th IBCT and what they're doing for our nation, and how they've integrated into being part of this interagency and multi-component team here on the ground in Iraq," Rieth said.
"To all the Soldiers of the 50th Brigade - Hooah!" he added.