'Warrior' Soldiers re-enlist aboard historic WWII battleship
January 22, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - "The Mighty Mo," the famed ship on which Japan formally surrendered to the Allied Forces, ending World War II, emerged from the dock at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where U.S. Navy crew and military personnel repainted and refinished the ship's wooden deck, and reclaimed its position on Ford Island's "Battleship Row," roughly two miles away.
However, before the ship officially came to rest by the USS Arizona Memorial, dozens of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines raised their right hands and re-enlisted with their chosen branch of military service.
Fifteen Soldiers currently serving with the 2nd "Warrior" Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division vowed to continue their service to the U.S. military aboard the historic EX-USS Missouri (BB-63), during a multi-service re-enlistment ceremony, Jan. 7.
Standing in the ranks were several Soldiers with the 185th Military Intelligence Company, 2nd SBCT, 25th Inf. Div.
Although these Soldiers are in the process of preparing for a brigade-level deployment to Iraq in the coming months, they welcome the hardship and sacrifices as an opportunity to serve and support.
"It was a commitment for myself and my family," said Sgt. Benjamin Crawford, a Soldier with the 185th M.I. Co., whose family lives on the mainland. "I wanted to be there to support my unit."
The dedication and support of Soldiers such as these could be seen as invaluable to the 2nd SBCT, with many of these Soldiers having deployed with their units during the previous rotation.
Many believe the retention of experienced and dedicated service members is essential to mission success and Soldier growth.
For Spc. James Parker, a Soldier who served as a team member during the 185th M.I. Company's previous deployment to the joint-base of Camp Taji, Iraq, the chance to apply what he has learned and mentor the inexperienced provided the motivation to re-enlist.
"I wanted to help out and become a team leader," said Parker. "I want to use my experiences down range to help the younger Soldiers who haven't deployed before."
"What they've already done and have already been through is going to help them so much on this deployment," said Sgt. 1st Class Mary Victor, a career counselor with 2nd SBCT. "These Soldiers will definitely be the leaders and mentors for the upcoming deployment to Iraq."
In attendance of the Mighty Mo's return to the sea were friends, family, and Mighty Mo veterans gathering to celebrate the event.
One military father couldn't help but proclaim pride for his son's opportunity to re-enlist aboard the historic battleship.
"I couldn't be prouder," said Sgt. Maj. Raymond Rodriguez, the personnel sergeant major for the 25th Inf. Div., whose son serves with 2nd SBCT's 225th Brigade Support Battalion. "This ship is where a big part of our history ended and it's great to see so many others continuing our history here. It's amazing."
During the reenlistment, attendees witnessed the commitment of military service members dedicated to the service of their country.
Although they had their own reasons for reenlisting, the experience of standing together aboard the battleship EX-USS Missouri will be a memory not soon forgotten.
"My grandfather was on a ship adjacent to the Missouri when the surrender treaty was signed," said Sgt. Benjamin Crawford, a Soldier with the 185th M.I. Co. "He was there. It's very cool to be here now."