• Sgt. Rafeeq Qadir Khidir, a policeman in Kirkuk city, Iraq, looks up for a moment from
reading his U.S. Army Achievement Medal after receiving the award from Lt. Col. Terry
Cook, the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at a police station in Kirkuk city, May 14. Nine
policemen were awarded AAM's for their hard work and dedication.

    Sgt. Rafeeq Qadir Khidir, a policeman in Kirkuk...

    Sgt. Rafeeq Qadir Khidir, a policeman in Kirkuk city, Iraq, looks up for a moment from reading his U.S. Army Achievement Medal after receiving the award from Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd...

  • Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, awards the U.S. Army Achievement Medal to an Iraqi Policeman who works on maintaining police vehicles in Kirkuk city, at an IP station in downtown Kirkuk May 14. The medals were awarded to nine IP, five of which serve the city by working on the streets and improving safety, and four that work on keeping police vehicles working and mission ready.

    Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander of 3rd...

    Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, awards the U.S. Army Achievement Medal to an Iraqi Policeman who works on maintaining police vehicles in Kirkuk city, at...

  • Lt. Col. Terry Cook (right), the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, faces off against an Iraqi police officer during a soccer match at an IP station in Kirkuk city, Iraq, May 14. The U.S. team went on to lose 5-4, but both sides left the field with smiles on their faces.

    Lt. Col. Terry Cook (right), the commander of...

    Lt. Col. Terry Cook (right), the commander of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, faces off against an Iraqi police officer during a soccer match at an IP station in Kirkuk city, Iraq, May 14...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq- Nine Iraqi Police in Kirkuk city received U.S. Army Achievement Medals, awarded by 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, May 14, at two IP stations in the city.

The first five awards went to IP who maintain safety of the city through effective
patrolling.

Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander of 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt., said it's vital that
the IP continue to work hard since insurgent activity within the city still exists. He cited
the case of a suicide bombers attempted attack at a local mosque thwarted by IPs.

The awardees are working to set an example for other members of the Kirkuk
police, and they are teaching themselves and us what it means to serve tirelessly, said
Cook.

"They [IP] do this and they serve without asking to be recognized," Cook
explained. "These medals are our way of saying thank you, not just for what you do for
the city of Kirkuk, but also for helping U.S. military forces who work in the city as well."

The commander of the police within Kirkuk province, Maj. Gen. Jamal Tahir
Bakir, had a few things to say about these particular IP.

"I am very proud of everyone, especially these five," Jamal said. "Not just for
what they are doing daily, but also for what they have sacrificed for their city.

"I hope and believe that other IP are going to follow these five as an example for
how to serve and protect the city," he continued.

Jamal also took the chance to elaborate on how his policemen are responding to
the insurgency within the city.

"Terrorists who try to hurt us do not affect our morale," he explained. "Our morale
comes from doing our best to fight these insurgents, and we will not hesitate to sacrifice
ourselves for our service and our country."

With the support of various police and military agencies around the province, we
will defeat terrorism in Kirkuk, stated Jamal.

For the IP that received the awards, the event was a rare opportunity.

"I volunteered to be an IP so I could serve my country," said Sgt. Rafeeq Qadir
Khidir, a policeman in Kirkuk city. "We are doing our best and it is great that we are
being appreciated."

After finishing the first award ceremony, Soldiers from 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt.
moved to another station, where IP from the vehicle maintenance section were
recognized.

"You work extremely hard, but you barely get recognized," Cook told the four
maintenance police officers. "You make it happen behind the scenes."

Cook said police missions could not get accomplished within the city without the
work of the police who maintain the vehicles.

"It is important to recognize anyone that is doing a good job," Cook continued.
"We let them know 'hey, you guys aren't going unnoticed.'"

Following the presentation of the awards, Soldiers from 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt.
were treated to a friendly soccer match against their police counterparts.

"It was a great game," explained 1st Lt. Danema Fatha Zaneel, a maintenance
officer at the station. "It is great that U.S. military forces could reward these policemen,
and also make time to play soccer with us."

Although the Soldiers lost to the policemen 5-4, it was still a relationship building
experience on both sides.

"We are building camaraderie and relationships, and it is great that we get to get
out and have fun together," said Capt. Stephen Clark, the information officer for 3rd Bn.,
82nd FA Regt.

After the match, the Soldiers returned to Forward Operating Base Warrior and
the IP continued on with their work in the city, nine with a shiny new medal in their
pockets, and more with a victory on the soccer field fresh in their minds.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16