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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea (Feb. 28, 2014) -- More than 300 Soldiers filled an aviation hangar as they stood tall behind their unit's distinct white and red guidons and unit colors at the forefront of their formation. The colors, draped with streamers of past deeds, represented the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th United States Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
After patiently waiting, the squadron was called to attention. The Soldiers then roared their unit motto, "Fighting Six" as the 38th Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, entered the hangar during part of his visit to the Korean Peninsula, Feb. 24, 2014, at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.
"We've got to look to the future and respond to changing and complex environments," Odierno said. "We have to be prepared to respond to a variety of missions around the world, developing new technology."
Odierno went on to explain his top priorities for the future of the Army and told Soldiers that it is important that they stand by each other.
"In these very complex times, it is important that you are there every day for each other. I'm proud of what you're doing here." he said.
During his visit with 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, the chief of staff toured aviation assets and facilitated questions and answers session with the troops.
"I was nervous prior to my briefing with the CSA," said Capt. Devonne R. Johnson, Bravo Troop commander, 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, or ARS, and native of Fontana, Calif. "My job was to brief him on the over water training program with the OH-58D Kiowa helicopter. The brief went well and it was awesome that he came all this way to see 4-6 ARS in action."
Twelve Soldiers throughout the 2nd Infantry Division were chosen by their command to receive a coin from Odierno. Soldiers are given commemorative coins for achieving goals or accomplishments above and beyond the normal call of duty.
"Being a private and receiving a coin from a four star general has been the best experience in my military life," said Pvt. Nasha Desir, a unit supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and native of West Palm Beach, Fla. "I never thought I would have been chosen to receive this coin this early in my military career. Working hard really pays off. It was an honor to meet the Chief of Staff of the Army."
Leaders felt that the visit was a great opportunity for junior enlisted Soldiers to get a chance to see the CSA.
"It is very important that junior enlisted Soldiers get to see a four-star general," said Command Sgt. Maj. Stanley Williams, 4-6 ARS senior enlisted advisor, a native of Harker Heights, Texas. "It's not often that Soldiers have a chance to see those that are in charge of making Army-wide decisions. This visit was an opportunity for Soldiers to get honest feedback about the current state of the Army, as well as the future which included the reality of the drawdown."
Before leaving, Odierno stressed the importance of Soldiers remembering what is important and the heritage within the Army.
"We are responsible for what our Army will be in the future," said Odierno. "We stand on the shoulders of those that came before us, those that sacrificed in order to make the United States Army what it is today."