• Spc. Heather White, a signal support systems specialist, of Littleton, Colo., Company B, 3rd STB, 3rd AAB, 4th Inf. Div., recites the enlistment oath during her reenlistment ceremony on the top of the Ziggurat of Ur near Camp Adder Dec. 7. The "Iron Brigade" set a division record by meeting its annual reenlistment goal in 61 days.

    Deployed brigade reaches reenlistment goal in record time

    Spc. Heather White, a signal support systems specialist, of Littleton, Colo., Company B, 3rd STB, 3rd AAB, 4th Inf. Div., recites the enlistment oath during her reenlistment ceremony on the top of the Ziggurat of Ur near Camp Adder Dec. 7. The "Iron...

According to Department of the Army goals, the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, had one year to reenlist 427 Soldiers starting Oct. 1.

It took them 61 days.

Not only is this accomplishment a first within the "Iron Brigade," but it is a new record for the entire 4th Inf. Div. The 3rd AAB was also the first brigade in Iraq to reach its annual reenlistment goal.

The brigade deployed to Iraq in April and falls under the operational control of the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters as part of United States Division-South.

The brigade retention team credits dedicated Soldiers and leader involvement for its reenlistment success.

"You can't achieve this type of accomplishment without having command involvement," said Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Zielsdorf, of Conroe, Texas, brigade senior career counselor, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd AAB. "I firmly believe that each commander, each first sergeant, and each platoon leader is actively engaging their Soldiers and saying, 'Hey, we want you to stay on the team.'"

Reenlistment goals are broken down into a series of categories, such as initial reenlistees and career reenlistees. The brigade has reached or surpassed every category.

Along with the brigade's overall reenlistment goal, some battalions within the brigade have achieved similar success. The 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, and the 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment have all reached their goals in every category, with the rest of the battalions close behind.

Zielsdorf said the brigade retention team always considers the short and long-term goals of each Soldier, and the team's recent success is proof that they stand firm in doing what is best for the Soldier, the brigade, and the Army.

For example, Spc. Joshua Morris, network systems operator, Company B, 3rd STB, reenlisted for the option to go to college for his business administration degree. Reenlisting Soldiers are afforded the opportunity to take a semester of college upon redeployment.

"I just wanted to set myself up for life after the military," he said.

A large number of Soldiers reenlisted for their choice of another duty station.

"There's nothing wrong with moving," said Zielsdorf. "I've moved six times in my 15-year career. A lot of Soldiers joined the Army to see the world."

With the annual goal of 427 met, the 3rd AAB isn't slowing its push for Soldiers to stay Army. The brigade is currently up to 470 reenlistments, and counting.

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