U.S. and Iraqi partners share recognition
May 20, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq- Partnership is the term
used by U.S. military officials to describe the cooperative relationship between Iraqi
Police, Iraqi Army soldiers and U.S. Soldiers following the Security Agreement signed
between the two countries January 1. This includes daily missions maintaining security
in Kirkuk province, and it also means sharing in accomplishments.
Iraqi Emergency Services police in Kirkuk city, Iraq, witnessed a reenlistment
ceremony for two Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment "Red
Dragons," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, May 11, at the Emergency
Services Unit station.
The "Red Dragons" also awarded Army Achievement Medals to five of the
Shurta, or Iraqi policemen at the event.
The ceremony began with dozens of ESU Shurta standing in formation to watch
the unfurling of the U.S. flag and the reenlistment of Sgt. David Crebo,and Spc.
Jonathan Real, both artillerymen with Battery B, 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt.
"There is nothing more fitting than for these Soldiers to raise their right hand and
reenlist with their Iraqi partners present," explained Lt. Col. Terry Cook, the commander
of the 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt.
Aside from wanting to extend their time in the military, there were additional
reasons they chose to reenlist with their Iraqi partners beside them.
"We are in their country," said Real. "We wanted to show them how we [U.S.
Army Soldiers] do our ceremonies."
Crebo explained that the ESU has been a great partner and this ceremony
symbolized that partnership between the ESU and the U.S. Army. It also gave the
Shurta an example of how to conduct their own reenlistment ceremonies.
Following the reenlistment, the five Shurta receiving AAMs stood before the
assembled Iraqi police and U.S. Soldiers.
By Army regulation, the AAM can be awarded to any member of the Armed
Forces of the United States, or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign
nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself by
meritorious service or achievement.
According to Brig. Gen. Khatad, the ESU chief, the five Shurta were being
rewarded for their outstanding work and for setting an example for their fellow
"I've seen the Shurta within Kirkuk city working at an exceptional level," said
Cook. "We are honored and humbled to be able to serve with such a fine organization."
For one Shurta in particular, the award had special meaning.
"It is very unusual for us to receive awards for doing our job well," explained
Anies Fandi Naijm Muter, an ESU Shurta. ""I am very proud."
"All my fellow Shurtas are going to try and prove that they can be better than me
now," said Muter. "It's a great program, and it is great that we are being rewarded for
doing what we love."