Junior officer excels during major exercise
U.S. Army Soldiers, U.S. civilian, Republic of Korea Army, and ROK civilian takes a group photo, after all their hard work for Ulhi Freedom Guardiann in August 17- 29. (Courtesy photo)

YONGSAN South Korea- Entering the Army can be a life-changing experience. Undergoing this process itself can be uncertain; one can be ready for the steep learning curve or acquiring a high level of expertise in a short amount of time.
Army 2nd Lt. Jeremy Tomaino, an ammunition platoon leader from Battery B 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division proved he had what it takes to be an Army officer by his successful performance during Ulchi Freedom Guardian, an annual peninsula-wide training exercise in August 17- 29.
Tomaino's job during the exercise was Master Scenario Event List Cell Scripter and Editor. He overlooked and made sure that all scenarios relates to the exercise before approving them to be interjected in the system. This was the first military training exercise for the Cincinnati native who has only served in the military for less than two years and was given a challenge at a higher level.
"His [Tomaino] job would be equivalent of someone that would have at least eight years experience," said Army Maj. Rizaldo L. Salvador, a Cleveland native, an exercise planner in the United States Forces of Korea Combined Joint Forces. "He's done an outstanding job, he holds his ground, and he grasps the concept of his job fast and is able to perform his duties without being supervised."
Tomaino's experience during the exercise has helped him understand the importance of U.S. joint forces being stationed in and partnered with Korea.
"My experience in the UFG 13 has given me a greater understanding of how important it is for U.S. Forces to be here and help protect Korea," said Tomaino. "I have a greater understanding of how operations and decisions are made from the top and brought down to the subordinates command."
Tomaino's role required that he work with a group of Republic of Korea Soldiers.
"I worked with a very talented and experienced group," said Tomaino. "During the exercise, I never felt that our mission or priorities were separate. We depended on each other and we were able to successfully complete our mission."
The experience has given Tomaino the opportunity to grow at an advanced level and enhance his leadership skills while working with his counterparts.
"Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a critical Alliance exercise to sustain the readiness of the Republic of Korea, U.S. Forces and the Sending State Forces," said Gen. James D. Thurman, commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea. "It is based on realistic scenarios and enables us to train on our essential tasks with a whole of government approach."
The UFG training, originally called Ulchi Focus Lens, is a regularly scheduled peninsula-wide exercise.
UFG is one of the largest computer simulation-aided military exercises in the world.
With the evolving mission, the aim of UFG is to improve participating units' readiness in order to maintain stability of the Korean Peninsula. UFG is planned months in advance and is not connected to any current world event.
"I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to train with our Alliance and be prepared to fight tonight," said Tomaino.
After accepting the challenge and being successful in the UFG exercise, Tomaino can walk away with his head held high and being ultimately prepared to fight tonight.
The 2nd Infantry Division continues to train and partner with its ROK army counterparts, to continue the enduring mission of the 60-year Alliance remaining ready to fight tonight.

Page last updated Wed October 9th, 2013 at 00:00