• Staff Sgt. Starla Hawkins, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provides security at an entry control point for a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Hawkins, a Charleston, S.C., native, serves as a combat medic in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-286

    A Legion of Angels

    Staff Sgt. Starla Hawkins, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provides security at an entry control point for a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly...

  • Members of the Afghan Uniformed Police and U.S. Guardian Angels, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, receive instructions from Cpt. Johanna Smoke, Female Engagement Team-Chief, for a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Smoke is a Shelburne, Vt., native. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-289

    A Legion of Angels

    Members of the Afghan Uniformed Police and U.S. Guardian Angels, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, receive instructions from Cpt. Johanna Smoke, Female Engagement Team-Chief, for a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels...

  • Staff Sergeant M'Rissa Cuff, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, watches the medics care for a patient during a shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Cuff, a Topeka, Kan., native, serves as the command's executive assistant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-298

    A Legion of Angels

    Staff Sergeant M'Rissa Cuff, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, watches the medics care for a patient during a shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on...

  • Sergeant 1st Class Rebecca Hamby, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, posts on one corner of the female clinic during a shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Hamby serves as a military police in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-299

    A Legion of Angels

    Sergeant 1st Class Rebecca Hamby, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, posts on one corner of the female clinic during a shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut...

  • Sergeant 1st Class Wendi Jeter, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, overlooks the shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Jeter serves as an operations sergeant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-300

    A Legion of Angels

    Sergeant 1st Class Wendi Jeter, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, overlooks the shura conducted with the Female Engagement Team-Chief in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to...

  • Private 1st Class Jo Marie Rivera, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, posts on a corner of the female clinic overlooking the entrance while Sgt. 1st Class Rebecca Hamby, Guardian Angel, maintains security for the Female Engagement Team-Chief during a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Rivera, a San Francisco, Calif., native, serves as a human resource specialist and Hamby serves as a military police in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-302

    A Legion of Angels

    Private 1st Class Jo Marie Rivera, Guardian Angel, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, posts on a corner of the female clinic overlooking the entrance while Sgt. 1st Class Rebecca Hamby, Guardian Angel, maintains security for the Female Engagement Team-Chief...

  • The Guardian Angels, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provide security for key leaders after a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security, allowing them to concentrate on the mission at hand. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs) 130918-A-FD969-312

    A Legion of Angels

    The Guardian Angels, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provide security for key leaders after a shura conducted in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013. Guardian angels help cut down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant on security...

ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Women of the International Security Assistance Forces within the Zabul Province, continue supporting the efforts of training, mentoring and assisting the people of Afghanistan by carrying out the duties and responsibilities entailed by their specific job.

All except a select few, who, not only fulfill their daily tasks, but also have taken on the additional duty of being guardian angels.

In March 2012, U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan assigned guardian angels as part of a series of increased security measures to protect troops against possible rogue attacks.

"GAs effect the overall mission success because, if you have to constantly worry about your surroundings, how can you accomplish the mission?" said Sgt. 1st Class Wendi Jeter, Operations Sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion. "Having a GA present cuts down on the key leaders having to constantly be vigilant [on security], and allows them to concentrate on the mission at hand."

During a shura held in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District Sept. 18, 2013, Jeter, along with the other guardian angels, provided security for Combined Task Force Duke's Female Engagement Team. During the shura they assisted with providing medical care and a safe environment for the local women to have the opportunity to register to vote.

So far Jeter has conducted three shura and three key leader engagement missions.

A good experience the Spotsylvania, Va., native, said she has witnessed so far is being able to see how fantastic their team performs, from the medics, translators, to the Directorate of Women Affairs, and their guardian angels.

"The combination of us all proves to be effective by the success of the mission's we have conducted," said Jeter.

With their primary jobs ranging from military police, human resource specialist, analyst, medic, to operations sergeant, Jeter said they conduct training to ensure they are all operating on the same sheet of music.

"Being a GA on a FET team allows you the opportunity to see a different view of our Afghan partners," said Jeter. "It is one of the hardest jobs I have had to do because you have to always be focused and constantly have your guard up. It is an honor and a privilege to work with these fine young ladies and to be a part of the FET team."

Page last updated Sat September 21st, 2013 at 00:00