Information systems NCO provides technical support to Cavalry troopers in Iraq

United States Division-North
Courtesy Story

Date: 07.24.2011
Posted: 07.25.2011 01:16
News ID: 74244
Information systems NCO provides technical support to Cavalry troopers in Iraq

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq – Soldiers deployed in support of Operation New Dawn rely heavily on communications to conduct their daily operations, whether it means sending an email or making a phone call.<br /> <br /> Sgt. Matthew Cogburn, senior information systems non-commissioned officer assigned to Company B, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, ensures soldiers stay mission-ready by successfully maintaining communication lines throughout the brigade.<br /> <br /> Cogburn, a native of Round Rock, Texas, earned the title of “Long Knife Strong” Soldier of the Week for his technical abilities, knowledge and mentorship of fellow soldiers.<br /> <br /> While deployed to northern Iraq, Cogburn trained nine non-commissioned officers and 20 soldiers on the small aperture antenna used to support one of the brigade’s battalions and provided tactical communications to eight combined checkpoints and joint security stations.<br /> <br /> “He’s like our ‘go-to guy’ for all of our signal operations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Caroline Williams, telecommunications systems chief platoon sergeant assigned to Company B, 4th BSTB. <br /> <br /> Cogburn enlisted in the military following the 9/11 attacks. He has served in the Army for seven years, but just recently re-classed to his current job after serving as a cook.<br /> <br /> Despite only serving two years in his current job field, his supervisors said the senior information systems non-commissioned officer performs his job well above standard.<br /> <br /> “He clearly is highly technical, more so than his peers who have the same military occupational specialty,” said Williams, a native of Atlantic City, N.J. “He learns other systems that he doesn’t typically work on. He is at the staff sergeant level or above as far as his technical expertise.”<br /> <br /> Cogburn operates the equipment necessary to provide signal support to the brigade along with five other soldiers during the night shift.<br /> <br /> He also serves as the troubleshooter for the outlying areas of the brigade’s operating environment – roughly the size of West Virginia.<br /> <br /> “I provide digital communication so the brigade commander can communicate to leaders throughout the brigade via video conference, e-mail or phone – no matter where they are,” said Cogburn.<br /> <br /> Aside from performing his job above standard, Cogburn also encourages his fellow soldiers to further both their military and civilian education.<br /> <br /> As a result of Cogburn’s encouragement, his peers and subordinates completed more than 500 hours of military correspondence courses and 50 college credit hours during the deployment.<br /> <br /> “Taking college courses is very important to your professional development in the Army, and it is a good development tool all around,” said Cogburn.<br /> <br /> Cogburn also personally completed five online classes as part of his network security degree.<br /> <br /> “It feels like I am a vital part of the team, because I’m doing something important,” Cogburn said. “It’s rewarding to know I’m providing services that affect so many people.”