"Dagger" mechanic makes mid-tour switch
February 10, 2009
BAGHDAD - Since the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, assumed control of their operational area in November 2008, Soldiers of the "Dagger" brigade have performed a multitude of missions to secure the citizens of Baghdad and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
For Sgt. Patrick Chambers, 2nd HBCT, 1st Inf. Div., a recent change in jobs took him from vehicle maintenance to brigade leadership protection.
Chambers, a native of Denton, Texas, recently volunteered to serve as a member of the "Dagger" Brigade's personal security detachment. It is a dramatic change from working in the motor pool, but for Chambers it is a switch he was more than ready to make.
"Being in the motor pool is the same thing every day," said Chambers. "Once you fix something, you have more things rolling in; I just wanted a change. I wanted to try something new."
The PSD section was in need of a noncommissioned officer to perform the role of team leader. Leaders also identified that other PSD's in the brigade had the advantage of internal maintenance support.
"There is maintenance personnel in the Special Troops Battalion PSD; there are also maintenance personnel in the Military Police platoon," said Chambers. "The brigade PSD's didn't have any maintenance personnel and one of the squad leaders had been working to get me into the platoon for a while."
Staff Sgt. Galo Roman, of New York, N.Y., routinely encountered Chambers at the battalion motor pool. Roman was well aware of the advantages of having a trained mechanic as a part of the platoon, but with a little luck he was able to get more than he bargained for.
"I was very excited when it was brought to my attention that Sgt. Chambers was going to join the PSD platoon," said Roman. "Furthermore, I was excited when I learned he was going to come to my squad. He is an outstanding NCO with multiple deployments under his belt and he will be a vital asset to our PSD section."
Once the transition to the PSD was complete it was time for Chambers to find his place on the team. This meant learning the role of a team leader in the squad.
"I'm doing my left seat, right seat ride right now; getting the routes down, just learning the way the team does things," said Chambers. "The biggest thing is learning how the team does things so I can slide into the team leader position and fit well with the team."
As Chambers learns his new position, it is his prior experience as a mechanic that makes his arrival on the team stand out to the PSD section.
"He knows the ins and outs of the motor pool and he knows the key personnel in the maintenance section," said Roman. "Now instead of spending six hours in the motor pool, he will be able to facilitate a new standard for the section to uphold with the maintenance of our vehicles."
As Chambers prepares to spend the remaining months of the brigade's deployment supporting the PSD's mission, the operational tempo the Soldiers maintain is the exact change he was looking for when he took the job.
"My favorite part of the new job is just getting out," said Chambers. "Just being able to get out there, get on the roads and see what's going on in Baghdad rather than always being on the FOB."