CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq - Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, commanding general of 1st Cavalry Division, visited soldiers assigned to 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., deployed to Contingency Operating Site Marez, near Mosul, Iraq, May 6-7.

Prior to joining other 1st Cav. Div. troops in Afghanistan and assuming authority of Regional Command-East, Allyn thanked the deployed 4th AAB soldiers for their hard work and dedication to the advise, train and assist mission in northern Iraq.

"You have run an incredible race here in Iraq in all that you have done," said Allyn during his speech to the Fort Hood soldiers.

"You want your reputation that you're remembered for to be the same championship effort that you've put forth here every day," said Allyn. "I'm proud of what you've been doing, and I challenge you to finish strong."

"Long Knife" troopers welcomed Allyn to their operating area and gave their commander a tour of COS Marez and Ghuzlani Eagle Training Site, where U.S. soldiers mentor Iraqi security forces.

Allyn also made stops at each of 4th AAB's battalions to recognize soldiers who have made outstanding contributions to the U.S. Division-North mission and present them with 1st Cav. Div. excellence coins.

"It was really great that he made it out here to see the troops, and wish us well on our journey home later this year," said Capt. Adam Shields, a brigade tactical operations center battle captain from Port Orchard, Wash.

As Allyn made his way to the various units, soldiers greeted him with loud and enthusiastic "Long Knife" and "First Team" salutations, echoing the mottos of 4th AAB and 1st Cav. Div., respectively.

Allyn received the loudest reaction from his brigade, however, when he asked them if they were ready to return home to Fort Hood, Texas, later this year. The 4th AAB troopers vocally acknowledged their commander with an enthusiastic, "Hooah!"

"It really helps us feel connected to home, and it feels good to know our senior leadership cares about us and what goes on over here, even though we are in a different overseas theater," said Shields.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 23:17