Ironhorse Brigade units recognized for retention achievements
April 22, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Senior leadership from the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division recognized the 115th Brigade Support Battalion and Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment for retention achievements at a ceremony held here April 15.
Roundup, Mont., native Col. Paul E. Funk II, commander of the brigade, presented the " Ironhorse" Brigade's First Strike Retention Award to 1st Sgt. Ivan McStay, the top noncommissioned officer of 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., who hails from Camden, N.J., for meeting and surpassing retention goals for fiscal year 2007.
Dickinson, Texas, native Capt. John Burrescia, Co. E, 2nd Bn, 8th Cav. Regt., gave credit to McStay and the Soldiers in his company for winning the award.
"The high retention is due to the continuing leadership of noncommissioned officers like 1st Sgt. McStay," said Burrescia. "The Soldiers wanted to stay with this company, because they wanted to show their continuing support for what we do."
Spc. Pablo Salinas, a Beeville, Texas, native and engineer with Co. E showed his continuing support for his company by re-enlisting while in Iraq in October 2007.
"I re-enlisted in Iraq, because I can't see myself doing anything else," said Salinas. "I love what I do."
The 115th BSB took the brigade's Top Battalion Retention Award for retention for the first quarter of 2008. Ashville, Penn., native Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney J. Rhoades of 115th BSB, received the award on behalf of his battalion.
Lt. Col. Tyler Osenbaugh, who hails from Toledo, Ohio, and is the battalion commander for 115th BSB, credits the retention rate to Rhoades.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Rhoades and the other NCOs have created an environment that Soldiers want to stay in," said Osenbaugh. "We met the retention goal with 92 percent, and we now stand at 100 percent."
Laredo, Texas, native Sgt. 1st Class Humberto Flores, senior career counselor for 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div., believes the continuing support of the NCOs and the Soldiers is directly responsible for winning these awards.
"Winning these awards is a direct reflection of the great leadership we have here," said Flores. "It speaks highly of the Soldiers we have in the Brigade. It's a great accomplishment to have the highest re-enlistment in the brigade."