Archive: First Army

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  • Downed aircraft radio communication training translates to life or death

    Apr 22, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas -- What do you do when your helicopter crashes, and armed civilians are rapidly approaching and firing small arms fire in your direction? In this instance, your ability to make speedy decisions, as well as quickly employing your communication gear is of life or death consequence.

  • Honoring Fallen's Sacrifice Inspires First Army Soldier's Service

    Apr 22, 2013

    First Army Soldiers are offered the opportunity to serve their country in many different roles throughout their military careers. 1st Sgt. Fletcher Whittenberg served at Arlington National Cemetary from July 2006 to December 2010.

  • MFO commander prepares next deploying NG unit

    Apr 22, 2013

    North Carolina National Guard Soldiers preparing to deploy to the Sinai as Multinational Force Observers recently sat down with the commander of the current MFO task force for a look at what they could expect during their upcoming deployment. Col. Robert D. Haycock, commander of Task Force Sinai, met with 630th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Soldiers, N.C. National Guard, during the unit's Combined Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.

  • Infantry Soldiers cross finish line at Army's post-Boston Marathon

    Apr 22, 2013

    TEMPLE, Texas -- Soldiers across the Army typically begin their day at 6:30 a.m. with an hour or so of physical training, every weekday, with weekends off.

  • Training for Combat Earns Army Superior Unit Award

    Apr 18, 2013

    First Army mobilizes, trains, validates, deploys and demobilizes Reserve Component units in support of worldwide contingency operations such as Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, the Horn of Africa, Kosovo Forces, and others. "Over the last several years, First Army has successfully mobilized more than 5,000 units and more than 260,000 Soldiers world-wide," said Col. Timothy Newsome, chief of operations, First Army Division East.

  • Terrazas earns 5th AR 'NCO of the Year' title

    Apr 17, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Every year, noncommissioned officers compete for the title of NCO of the Year.

  • 189th IN trainer/mentors support major Calif. exercise

    Apr 17, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Who trains the reserve force when the force is getting ready to deploy? That job belongs to trainer/mentors, Soldiers who educate and train reserve component Army units, and some active-duty Army units, as well.

  • 402nd FA supply sergeant earns multiple accolades

    Apr 16, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Tight budgets have always been a challenge for supply sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Gidget Borst, but the awards and commendations she has received show that she only exceeds limits when it comes to accomplishments. Borst, a member of 2nd Battalion, 362nd Field Artillery Regiment, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, received a commendable rating from Fort Bliss Mission Installation Contracting Command representatives after they inspected the battalion's government purchase card program in March 2013. Borst also received a commendable rating for meeting the highest standards for a logistics section after the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade's annual inspection of the battalion in November 2012.

  • Congresswoman Bordallo visits troops during mobilization training

    Apr 16, 2013

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo received a warm welcome from the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard during a recent visit to observe their mobilization training prior to their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

  • Division West Soldier hones trainer/mentor skills

    Apr 16, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Several years ago, a young man from New Jersey found his way out west and now is a Gunslinger. Sgt. 1st Class Donald Davis is a member of 1st Battalion, 363rd Training Support Battalion, the "Gunslingers," located in Dublin, Calif.

  • Promotion to brigadier general 'landmark' in career

    Apr 15, 2013

    In a promotion ceremony 33 years in the making, Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel promoted Col. Pete Bosse to the rank of brigadier general April 14th in Birmingham, Ala. "We are here today promoting a great Soldier who, looking back on decades of service, you can see the tremendous impact he has had on our force," Wendel, First Army Division East commanding general, told the Soldiers and Civilians of the 87th United States Army Reserve Support Command (East) and the 1st Mobilization Support Group in attendance.

  • North Texas mayor proclaims 'Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Day' in honor of Division West Soldiers

    Apr 15, 2013

    GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Mayor Charles England officially proclaimed April 6 "Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Day" here in honor of Army Reserve Soldiers in 2nd Battalion, 381st Regiment, "Dragons," 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West.

  • Division West Soldiers participate in Ride 2 Recovery

    Apr 12, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Six Division West Soldiers traded their baggy camouflage uniforms and bulky combat boots for skintight Spandex shorts and featherweight cycling shoes to ride in the Killeen-to-Waco leg of the Ride 2 Recovery -- Texas Challenge April 11.

  • 166th Aviation Brigade trains Texas Army National Guard unit for Kuwait deployment

    Apr 11, 2013

    With the recent sequestration and deep budget cuts underway across the entire Army, it was uncertain whether Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade would conduct training for the Texas Army National Guard's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, set to deploy to Kuwait, in the sophisticated flight simulation center at Fort Rucker, Ala., last month, said Col. Kevin Vizzarri, 166th Aviation Brigade commander.

  • Remembering victims, honoring survivors and protecting the future

    Apr 11, 2013

    Tears were shed on more than one occasion during the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the 174th Infantry Brigade at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., March 8, 2013. The Patriot Brigade's 1st Battalion, 314th Infantry Regiment worked with joint base partners to facilitate a touching and educational event. Service members and civilians in attendance honored both those who lost their lives during the Holocaust as well as those who survived the atrocities perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

  • VOW/TAP offers a smooth transition to civilian life

    Apr 11, 2013

    As deployments draw down and employment rates continue to fluctuate, First Army Division East is committed to helping Reserve and National Guard Soldiers face the challenge of returning to their civilian lives with financial and career planning.

  • First virtual Battle Staff class graduates at Camp Shelby

    Apr 11, 2013

    The First Army Training Academy held a commencement for 15 students attending the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course Video Teleconference Training recently. This was the first time the FATA hosted the VTT course.

  • Train for Combat, Not Just a Motto

    Apr 11, 2013

    "Train for combat" is the motto of First Army Division East; it is what they do every day. "Our brigade exists solely to prepare service members for deployment; therefore, we must be expert trainers," expressed Col. Craig A. Osborne, commander, 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, in his vision and command philosophy.

  • First Army Lifesavers Prepare Sailors for Combat

    Apr 10, 2013

    Sailors grunted, shouted commands and worked together as a team to carry 200-pound dummies under the barbed wire and dirt. Through the cloud of yellow smoke, horizontal figures emerged, helmets close to the ground, sweaty faces determined to get their "casualties" to safety. "It's very realistic," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory Burkholder, one of the sailors preparing to deploy with U.S. Navy Customs. "You've got the background noise, the bombs going off, and you have to take cover; you have to pull security and take care of your teammates out there."

  • 5th AR trains Fla. Reserve Soldiers in unarmed self-defense techniques

    Apr 10, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted unarmed self-defense training here March 25 for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 724th Military Police Battalion from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The MPs are training for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Sgt. 1st Class David Parish, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, Public Affairs)

  • 5th AR Soldiers build team unity

    Apr 9, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, increased their unit cohesion and esprit de corps with a Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Family and Team Building session on the Leaders Reaction Course here March 14. The course gave Soldiers an opportunity to step away from the training lanes where they prepare joint warfighters to deploy. (Photos by Capt. Kevin Lockett, 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • 5th AR conducts non-lethal weapons training for deploying Guard engineeers

    Apr 9, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Several noncommissioned officers from Division West's 5th Armored Brigade and Soldiers from three deploying Army National Guard units recently trained here on a non-lethal weapons system used for riot control operations.

  • Division West officer to compete for All-Army bowling team

    Apr 8, 2013

    Later this month, he will go to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to attempt to secure a position on the All-Army Bowling team.

  • 189th IN takes safety seriously during training

    Apr 5, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Capt. Jack Defabio of Charlie Team, 2-358th Armor Battalion, 189th Infantry Brigade, Division West, is a trainer/mentor who takes his role very seriously. During the two-month Operation Warrior Protector training exercise here, Defabio's role is not only to train and mentor, it's to make sure the training is safe.

  • 402nd FA supports Army Reserve's annual Warrior Exercise

    Apr 5, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Soldiers from the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade's California-based 3-356th Logistics Support Battalion, the "Wild Stallions," are anything but tame when it comes to supporting major training exercises. They know that no exercise would be successful without personnel, equipment and other logistical services. So, as part of their annual training last month, the battalion rode in and laid the logistics support framework for the Army Reserve's annual Warrior Exercise and Combat Service Training Exercise held here March 9 through April 26.

  • 5th AR Reserve battalion assumes MRAP training mission

    Apr 5, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE BASE CAMP, N.M. -- For longer than two years, Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, trained deploying service members to operate Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles here. But, last month, they handed over their duties to another 5th Armored Brigade battalion, this one composed entirely of mobilized Army Reserve Soldiers.

  • 5th AR trains Guard units on route clearance techniques

    Apr 4, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade recently conducted route clearance training for four Army National Guard companies from Arizona, Georgia, Iowa and Ohio. The units are training for their upcoming deployments to Afghanistan.

  • 5th AR Soldiers mentor elementary students

    Apr 4, 2013

    EL PASO, Texas -- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry Regiment, "Task Force Warhawg," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently mentored and coached Collins Elementary School students who were selected to spend time with positive adult role models.

  • 166th AV Family adopts two local boys

    Apr 3, 2013

    GATESVILLE, Texas --Even with four back-to-back deployments, fertility issues, timing constraints, and an eight-year-old daughter, Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Oravetz of Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade and his wife, Stephanie, "felt a calling to adopt" another child to add to their Family.

  • Massachusetts National Guard unit tests engineering skills

    Apr 3, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- The 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West recently trained the Massachusetts Army National Guard's 188th Engineer Detachment (Facility Management) here on engineering and inspection skills for the unit's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

  • 5th AR solidifies partnership with Casa Ford

    Apr 3, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- After more than a year of courtship, the Casa Ford vehicle dealership and Division West's 5th Armored Brigade made their relationship official last month when Casa Ford joined the Bradley Strong Guardian Program, becoming the brigade's guardian. The Bradley Strong Guardian program is an initiative of the Association of the United States Army to connect the El Paso community and businesses with Fort Bliss Army units. It allows corporations such as Casa Ford to sponsor unit events with monetary donations.

  • Reserve Soldiers work as Opposition Forces during training exercise

    Apr 2, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- If you're going to train the "good guys" in a military exercise, then someone has to play the "bad guys." In most military training, the "bad guys" are the opposition force, or OPFOR. These Soldiers simulate the people and scenarios a unit may face when deployed to certain environments. For Operation Warrior-Protector, a two-month training exercise held here for reserve units from across America, hundreds of individuals were needed to play OPFOR and create a series of simultaneous events to challenge the units being trained. Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade, "Task Force Cold Steel," supplied those individuals.

  • First Army Soldiers provide realistic training while minimizing risk, reducing cost

    Apr 1, 2013

    Using the Training Aids, Devices, Simulators, and Simulations facility, a virtual simulation training facility, Soldiers of the 1-335th Infantry Regiment, 205th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, develop realistic training scenarios for the units they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa.

  • Smooth transition for continued operations

    Apr 1, 2013

    CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER -- Pre-deployment site surveys prepare units for deployments and helps First Army trainer/mentors develop training that is relevant, realistic, and that reflects the most current conditions Soldiers will face in theater. "This training will prepare them for the current hostile operational environment in country," said Col. John S. Prairie, commander of the 4th Cavalry Brigade, Fort Knox, Ky.

  • 479th FA Soldiers work with Gatesville Primary students

    Apr 1, 2013

    GATESVILLE, Texas -- The Gatesville Primary School and 1st Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, have been enjoying a newfound relationship since the start of the calendar year. Soldiers from the Coyote Battalion are finding time in their busy days to volunteer at the school and participate in classroom activities.

  • Florida National Guard prepares for Qatar security operations mission

    Mar 29, 2013

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Florida National Guard Soldiers are in the final training phase of the unit's mobilization. In a matter of weeks, they will deploy to Qatar to conduct security operations missions. The unit recently participated in a culminating training exercise designed by Trainer/Mentors (TMs) assigned to the 177th Armored Brigade, First Army Division East.

  • 5th AR trains La. Guard engineers for deployment

    Mar 27, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted combat live fire exercises here recently for Soldiers of the Louisiana Army National Guard's 922nd Horizontal Engineer Company from Gonzales. The engineers are training for a deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Seth Detavenier, 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade)

  • Citizen-Soldiers find employment assistance through VOW/TAP

    Mar 27, 2013

    Division West's 402nd Field Artillery Brigade and the Directorate of Mobilization and Demobilization recently began implementing the training as part of the 14-day demobilization process for all redeploying Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers.

  • 402nd FA Soldiers, civilians brave Bataan Death March

    Mar 26, 2013

    WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- Braving blistering heat and blisters on their feet, a group of 402nd Field Artillery Brigade Soldiers and civilians took on the challenge of the 24th Annual Bataan Death March held here March 17.

  • 5th AR Medical Training Team expand medical training to fit mission

    Mar 26, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --The 5th Armored Brigade Combat Lifesaver program is designed to provide all joint warfighters with the basic skills necessary to aid fellow service members who are injured in combat. Due to the ever-evolving battlefield, the CLS program has updated its tactics, techniques and procedures since 2003.

  • Students celebrate, honor women who inspire

    Mar 26, 2013

    In the 27 years Lt. Col. Kerry E. Norman has been in uniform, more career fields and educational opportunities have become available to women. Recently, as part of a Women's History Month commemoration, Norman took an opportunity to share some of those opportunities as well as words of encouragement with the boys and girls of Central Middle School in Columbus, Ind. "After WWII there was only one female colonel in the military," said Norman, commander of the 1-411th Logistic Support Battalion, 205th Infantry Brigade, at Fort Knox, Ky. That one female colonel, Mary Agnes Hallaren, became the director of the Women's Army Corps in 1946.

  • 479th FA Soldiers compete in Bataan Memorial Death March

    Mar 26, 2013

    WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- The Bataan Memorial Death March takes place here every year in mid-March. The competition is a challenging 26.2-mile trek through arid desert terrain that boasts a daunting 400 meter increase in elevation.

  • Division West logistics battalion conducts 1st annual training in 10 years

    Mar 26, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Your Humvee breaks down, you're out of MREs, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters! For this kind of help, you will need the hard work and many hats of the 3-356th Logistics Support Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West. This Army Reserve unit has played an integral role in the success of Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade during its mobilization to Fort Hunter Liggett in support of the 91st Training Division's Warrior and Combat Support Training Exercises.

  • 189th IN feels HEAT during training exercise

    Mar 25, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- During a major training exercise here, Reserve Component Soldiers of Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade learned what to do in case of a Humvee rollover during training in a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer.

  • Airmen learn how to save lives amidst chaos

    Mar 20, 2013

    A shrill whistle pierced the sky, a loud bang echoed through the trees, and screams followed close behind. Military personnel rush to the scene. It is chaos. "Is that the only tourniquet you can put on?" a voice shouts. "We will make it work," came a reply. Recently, Airmen from all over the United States came together to learn how to save lives using combat life saving techniques taught by 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East trainer mentors during pre-mobilization training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

  • Joint Force training focuses on situational awareness

    Mar 20, 2013

    The military uses the word 'Purple' to indicate combined forces for a joint effort. Recently, a group of Purple forces integrated to prepare for overseas deployment. Under the watchful eyes of First Army Division East trainer mentors, Navy, Air Force and Army personnel conducted entry control point security, convoy operations, and foot patrols during pre-mobilization training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

  • 402nd FA trains Texas Reserve unit for Afghan route clearance mission

    Mar 20, 2013

    The 3-410th Engineer Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, trained Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 321st Engineer Company from Conroe, Texas, on route clearance vehicles they will be using on their mission in Afghanistan.

  • Division West helps to honor two Texas veterans

    Mar 19, 2013

    GEORGETOWN, Texas -- Decades after serving in the Army, the late Master Sgt. John Krowl and the late Master Sgt. Ben Snowden have been recognized for their valor and bravery to their country. Maj. Gen. Warren Phipps Jr., First Army Division West commanding general, presented the Krowl Family with the Prisoner of War Medal and the Snowden Family with the Silver Star in a posthumous awards ceremony at the Ben D. Snowden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8587 here March 16.

  • 5th AR trains 4 route clearance units in 4 weeks

    Mar 19, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --The 50 Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 364th Engineer Regiment, Task Force Rampant, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, have the unique mission of providing route clearance-specific training for every Army National Guard or Army Reserve route clearance company preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

  • 189th IN partners with civilian air ambulance for training

    Mar 19, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- They provide the kind of help you hope you never need. Mercy Air, an air ambulance company, supports both military personnel and their Families stationed here and military personnel participating in training exercises. When needed, Mercy Air "races the reaper" to airlift trauma patients from the installation to medical facilities.

  • Task Force Black Scorpion trains on the MRAP vehicles

    Mar 13, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --In their quest to assume responsibility of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle drivers training lane, Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 363rd Armored Regiment, Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, received extensive training on the vehicle.

  • 5th AR helps assess N.D. Guard unit for crucial capital defense mission

    Mar 13, 2013

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Nearly 200 North Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers completed a pre-certification assessment in Grand Forks and Bismarck, N. D., conducted by members of the 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West; 263rd Army and Air Missile Defense Command; and 3rd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Florida Army National Guard last month.

  • 5th AR tests W.V. Guard unit's EOD skills

    Mar 13, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- The West Virginia Army National Guard's 753rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company headed out earlier this month to the desert training area here to conduct post-mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan.

  • Two civilian aides takes oaths of office in ceremony on Rock Island Arsenal

    Mar 11, 2013

    ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Natives of Rock Island and Springfield, Ill., were sworn into their new roles as civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army during an investiture ceremony here Friday. Civilian aides serve as liaisons between the Secretary of the Army and local civic groups and military communities. Retired Rear Admiral Sam Kupresin of Rock Island and former University of Illinois professor Dr. Michael Ayers of Springfield, Ill., were sworn in by the First Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek.

  • 166th AV takes Air Assault students for a ride

    Mar 11, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade supported the post's new Air Assault School Feb. 26 by providing orientation flights in two Black Hawks for 109 air assault students, most of whom had never before been in a helicopter.

  • Division West serves up humor at prayer breakfast

    Mar 11, 2013

    First Army Division West leaders put these factors to good use in a prayer breakfast at Theodore Roosevelt Dining Facility here March 4.

  • 5th AR Soldiers climb new heights in resiliency

    Mar 11, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 363rd Regiment (Training Support), Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West put the true meaning of resiliency to action during Comprehensive Soldier Family Fitness training here recently.

  • Virtual training puts the 'real' in realistic environment

    Mar 4, 2013

    The Dismounted Soldier Training System and Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 are two virtual training tools that are quickly becoming the norm for Soldiers of the 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, in training deploying units at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.

  • ADA officer's career shoots down gender bias notions for military women

    Mar 1, 2013

    As the recent lifting of the ban on women serving in military combat roles sparks debates over whether women can handle the demands and challenges of certain combat jobs, one Air Defense Artillery officer is proof-positive that women in the military have already proven they can accomplish great things on and off the battlefield, and given the opportunity, will continue to succeed. "It's not really about who you are -- man, woman -- it's what you do that matters. Concentrate on doing your very best as a Soldier; you're a Soldier first," said Col. Carolyn Birchfield, commander of First Army Division West's 402nd Field Artillery Brigade here. "My philosophy has always been to make a difference. Make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. At the end of the day, we all just want an opportunity." Birchfield said she hasn't experienced any real discrimination or bias during her career.

  • Division West NCO attends battle buddy's White House Medal of Honor ceremony

    Mar 1, 2013

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Soldiers frequently have the privilege of standing in formation while a fellow Soldier is awarded a commander's coin, named NCO of the month, or recognized with an award. However, very few are privileged enough to stand in the East Room of the White House while the President presents their battle buddy from basic training with the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress. Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Harris, assigned to Division West's 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy, Wis., was one of those privileged few last month.

  • 166th AV, 21st CAV partner to train Texas Guard aviators for deployment

    Feb 28, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas - The 166th Aviation Brigade is busy training five units for deployments. One unit in particular, the Texas Army National Guard's Company B, 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment from Houston's Ellington Field, recently passed their validation and will deploy to Afghanistan's Regional Command-South in the coming weeks.

  • 479th FA Soldiers overcome obstacles for PT

    Feb 28, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, "Warrior Battalion," 393rd Field Artillery Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, took on the Fort Hood Air Assault obstacle course during physical training at Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 14. The unit conducted nine of the 15 obstacles, finding the most challenging ones to be the "Tough One," "Belly Over" and "Slide for Life." The event proved to be a challenging PT session that increased team cohesion and tested not only the Soldiers' physical ability, but their ability to conquer their fears. At the conclusion of the training, Command Sgt. Maj. Tyson Goolsby, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Field Artillery Regiment command sergeant major, stressed the importance of team work and of having a "work hard, play hard" mentality. Photos by 1st Lt. Todd Cummings, 3rd Battalion, 393rd Field Artillery Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West

  • 'Climbing the Mountain' -- 479th FA provides mountainous operations training

    Feb 27, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- This region of the state may be right next to the Texas Hill Country, but it is not exactly mountainous. Nevertheless, the 479th Field Artillery Brigade, which provides training, readiness oversight and mobilization support to mobilized Army National Guard and Army Reserve units and active duty forces of all services here, also provides mountainous operations training to deploying units.

  • Gatesville fish fry honors Soldiers, Families, veterans

    Feb 26, 2013

    GATESVILLE, Texas -- The Gatesville Chamber of Commerce hosted its fifth annual Military Appreciation Fish Fry at the Coryell County Activities Complex Feb. 22.

  • Soldiers, students build bond through sweat

    Feb 26, 2013

    Two days, 15 soldiers, 200 students, a little drill and ceremonies, and a lot of sweat added up to the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.

  • 5th AR trains Ariz. MPs for deployment

    Feb 25, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted training on mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles here recently for Soldiers of the Arizona Army National Guard's 860th Military Police Company from Tucson. The MPs are training for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

  • Wisconsin ADT deploys, assists with farming techniques

    Feb 22, 2013

    Despite a record cold winter, a Wisconsin National Guard Agriculture Development Team recently completed training and deployed to Afghanistan. "The Wisconsin ADT is highly motivated and well trained, and has experience built in with several Soldiers who have been deployed previously, " said Sgt. 1st Class Javier Font, of Cottage Grove, Wis. Font is the medic assigned to the team. Trainer mentors assigned to First Army Division East ensured the team was prepared for all aspects of the ADT mission. The all-encompassing training ranges from land management to primitive farming techniques to providing security.

  • Kentucky NG Soldiers prepare to train Jordanian Army

    Feb 22, 2013

    After several weeks of training at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, more than 170 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers say they are ready to deploy to Jordan to train members of the Jordanian Army. The Soldiers, part of 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery spent their mobilization training focusing not only on their survival skills, but on their trainer-mentor skills. Trainer mentors assigned to First Army Division East's 177th Armored Brigade ensured the NG Soldiers are ready for their upcoming tour. "I see a challenge ahead for all of us," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, a 1-623rd platoon leader, a native of Burkesville, Ky. "This is a mission where we are training Soldiers of a different culture."

  • Division West NCO talks Equal Opportunity

    Feb 19, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- First Army Division West is doing its part in pushing the Army's Equal Opportunity program through the ranks to Soldiers, Families and civilians.

  • First Army Senior Enlisted Aide Provides One-Of-A-Kind Service

    Feb 19, 2013

    Preparing food, cleaning the commander's quarters for visitors and planning a social for a group of distinguished guests can be a daunting task. However, Sgt. 1st Class Sophia Bulham enjoys the opportunity to provide one-of-a-kind service and apply her organizational and culinary skills as the senior enlisted aide for Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, First Army's commanding general. An enlisted aide assists a general officer with accomplishing their primary military and official duties. Aides are graduates of the Advanced Culinary Skills Training Course and the Enlisted Aide Training Course. It is a unique and challenging opportunity to serve with general officers.

  • First Army assists in training active duty unit for KFOR misison

    Feb 13, 2013

    First Army took the fight to Fort Bragg, N.C. in February to help prepare the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade to assume the Kosovo Forces mission of conducting peace support operations in support of civilian authorities. This marks the first time in a decade that an active duty unit has led the KFOR mission.

  • Soldiers support local school reading initiative

    Feb 13, 2013

    A few months ago, Capt. Jose M. Gamboa, B Team Leader, 2-307th Field Artillery Battalion called Andrea Perry, principal of East Side Elementary School to talk about the possibility of his Soldiers supporting a local school. Perry wasted no time. "We jumped at the chance to interact with the Soldiers as it is so beneficial for us to have these Soldiers supporting our initiative on reading," said Perry.

  • Soldiers, Students work to highlight commemorations

    Feb 12, 2013

    "The Sergeant Major of the Army has asked us to get back to basics," Pitt said. "Before 9/11, programs like this were happening on a regular basis, we now have a new generation of leaders that are unaware of this. Therefore, if we do not show them that it is important to be involved with our community, the concept will be lost forever."

  • Division West trains Texas aviators in Apache gunnery

    Feb 8, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers of the 1-291st Aviation Regiment, 166th Aviation Brigade, Division West, conducted gunnery training with a Texas Army National Guard aviation unit on Crittenberger Range Feb. 4.

  • 479th FA supports Houston MLK parade

    Feb 5, 2013

    Maj. John Harrell, at the middle back of the American flag, 1-289th Training Support Battalion, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, First Army, participates in the Martin Luther King Grande Parade in Houston, Texas, Jan. 21. Harrell marched alongside local Army recruiters and high school Junior ROTC seniors. (Courtesy photo)

  • Ariz. Reserve battalion mobilizes to Fort Bliss

    Feb 5, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas --January signified not only the beginning of a new year, but also the transition to active duty for the 2nd Battalion, 363rd Training Support Regiment, Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, from Mesa, Ariz.

  • Trainer mentors help shape Afghan security environment

    Feb 1, 2013

    More than 3,200 new Afghan National Security Force members recently completed basic weapons and survivability skills training -- their first step toward assuming the security mission for their nation. Trainer Mentor Team-Division East, located at Camp Blackhorse in Afghanistan, deployed in August 2012 in support of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. In partnership with the Afghan National Army brigade staff, the TMTs assists in manning, equipping, and training ANA units in order to deploy them to their assigned Corps.

  • Virtual trainer saves time, money, increases skills

    Jan 31, 2013

    Gamers fire virtual bullets with hand-held controls from the safety of their homes for entertainment. At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., service members engage targets with real weapons using similar virtual bullet technology but with a very different purpose in mind.

  • 5th AR teams with El Paso students for robotics lesson

    Jan 29, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- As part of the Partners in Education program, 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently hosted a field trip here for a group of students from Parkland High School in El Paso, Texas. The field trip gave students an opportunity to see how robotics are designed and operated and how the military uses robotics in daily operations. The students, who are in the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program at Parkland, also got to operate the Talon and Fastac robot systems themselves.

  • Division West conducts change of command ceremony

    Jan 28, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- First Army Division West welcomed its sixth commanding general in a change of command ceremony on Cameron Field near Division West headquarters here Jan. 23.

  • Fla. Guard Soldiers stand ready to defend nation's capitol

    Jan 25, 2013

    Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery, "Renegades," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, working with the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, recently completed an Operational Readiness Exercise for the Florida Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Battalion, "Task Force Lightning," within the National Capital Region.

  • New Jersey employers, elected officials watch de-mobilization process of Guard Soldiers

    Jan 24, 2013

    A group of employers and elected officials traveled to Fort Hood, Texas, Jan. 16, 2013, to visit citizen-Soldiers from the New Jersey Army National Guard's 117th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion going through their demobilization process after an almost one-year deployment to Afghanistan.

  • Soldiers mark inauguration as once-in-a-lifetime experience

    Jan 23, 2013

    Breath-taking. Overwhelming. Awe-inspiring. Once in a life time. That's how four Soldiers described their inaugural experience. First Army Division East Soldiers became a part of history Monday when they not only attended the Presidential Inauguration of our 44th president, but also the Commander-in-Chief's Ball. "It was amazing," said Staff Sgt. Nate Gregg, a native of Darlington, S.C. "I've been looking forward to this moment for a very long time, and I was honored to be there."

  • Maryland, California Reserve units learn C-IED fundamentals

    Jan 23, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted Counter-Improvised Explosive Device training here recently for Soldiers of the 352nd Military Police Company from Maryland and the 382nd Military Police Detachment from California. (Photos by Capt. Lynda Cobb, 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Battalion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • Pennsylvania Reserve engineers learn construction skills

    Jan 22, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted engineer construction training here recently for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 377th Engineer Company. The engineers are training for their deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Lt. Col. John Clements, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 364th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • Division West trainer follows in the path of excellence

    Jan 17, 2013

    First Army Division West is known as the training machine, and for good reason. Every year Division West observer controller/trainers in eight brigades train approximately 40,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines for overseas contingency missions. It takes a lot of time, energy and dedication to train all those service members, but, even more important, it takes highly professional and well-trained cadre. Last month, a Division West Soldier earned the highest possible distinction in the third class to graduate the Fort Hood Air Assault School.

  • Soldier epitomizes selfless service

    Jan 16, 2013

    The life of a Soldier -- wake up before dawn, go to formation, conduct physical training, get cleaned up and head to work until at least five o'clock in the evening. At this point, they have already been working for more than 12 hours, but for some, the day doesn't end when they leave the office.

  • 5th AR trains joint warfighters to detect 'insider threats'

    Jan 16, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Joint warfighters being trained here for deployments by the 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Battalion, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, are learning to combat a battlefield threat as old as war itself, but one that is rapidly growing in current operations. An "insider threat" is when an individual or group of individuals working jointly with coalition forces causes intentional harm to resources or capabilities of a unit, or harm that causes a unit to not be able to complete its mission. Insider threats have been a part of every conflict, but this type of threat is on the rise in Afghanistan.

  • Delaware MPs train for Afghan mentor mission

    Jan 16, 2013

    "My first two deployments, I didn't work with local nationals," said Army Sgt. Israel Santiago, a 16-year Army veteran from Wilmington, Del. "This time I'll be working hand-in-hand, one-on-one." "Building effective rapport starts with understanding the culture and environment you are operating in," explained Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian King, trainer/mentor with the 162nd Infantry Brigade. "Identifying patterns in cultures and recognizing differences help us identify ways to establish a common bond."

  • Pa. Guard aviators practice 'dust' landings in Texas desert

    Jan 16, 2013

    A Black Hawk helicopter crewed by Soldiers of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Company A, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation Regiment makes a difficult dust landing during training with the 166th Aviation Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas, Jan. 7. The Pennsylvania Soldiers are undergoing rigorous training prior to their deployment to Afghanistan. Environmental training, or dust landings, is one of the more challenging portions of training, because the more sand that engulfs a helicopter, the more difficult the landing becomes. The goal is to land the aircraft and take off as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The 166th Aviation Brigade trains Army National Guard and Army Reserve aviation units for 48 days, then either certifies the units' preparedness for deployment or recommends additional training and preparation. (Photo by 1st Lt. Katherine Kaliski, 166th Aviation Brigade, Division West, Public Affairs)

  • 1,700 Soldiers made it home for the holidays

    Jan 11, 2013

    Before leaving theater, Col. Geoffrey Slack, the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander, stressed the importance of the process to Soldiers and their families, asking them to slow down and take full advantage of the individually based demobilization process.

  • LEAP award winners lauded at Pentagon ceremony

    Jan 10, 2013

    For the fifth year now, practitioners of Lean Six Sigma were recognized, Jan. 10, 2013, for streamlining Army business processes that help save the Army money.

  • Combatives instructors train for combat

    Jan 4, 2013

    "Our trainers have gained an outstanding reputation for their skills and willingness to assist other organizations," commented Col. Craig A. Osborne, commander, 174th Inf Bde. "In addition to the standard mobilization and internal brigade training, we recently trained members of the Air Force Apprehension Avoidance program, the Joint Terrorism Task Force with New York Police Department/FBI, conducted a combatives orientation at West Point, have been conducting monthly training with Philadelphia area Army recruits, and are developing a partnership with three local university ROTC programs." "We train all branches of services here, including the Coast Guard," said Sgt. Miles Noonan, a 174th Inf Bde MACP instructor. "We train civilians as well. In fact, we've teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation field agents from areas ranging from Virginia to upstate New York."

  • Local VFW post names Division West Soldier Teacher of Year

    Jan 4, 2013

    COPPERAS COVE, Texas -- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 named William Brown its 2012 K-5 Teacher of the Year in a Dec. 21 ceremony at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School here. Brown, who has taught fifth grade social studies at the school for four years, is also an Army Reserve captain and commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-381st Training Support Battalion, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West.

  • Sumrall 6th grade students welcome returning Soldiers

    Jan 2, 2013

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Trimming the tree, wrapping presents or making wreaths are beloved traditions of the holidays. Sixth grade students at Sumrall Middle School started their own holiday tradition this year, naming the occasion Adopt-a-Soldier. The students not only gave South Carolina National Guard Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, a hero's welcome, but also a holiday surprise. The Soldiers recently returned from a deployment security-force in Kuwait.

  • Texas Reserve engineers learn recovery operations

    Dec 26, 2012

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade recently conducted vehicle recovery operations training here for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 321st Engineer Company out of Conroe, Texas. The engineers are preparing for their deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos courtesy 3rd Engineer Battalion, 364th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • 'Renegade' motorcyclists ride to promote safety

    Dec 26, 2012

    Motorcycle enthusiasts from the 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently participated in the Fall Joint Armed Forces Motorcycle Safety Rally at Fort Bliss, Texas.

  • Iowa Reserve engineers learn to engage key Afghan leaders

    Dec 21, 2012

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted key leader engagement training here earlier this month for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 402nd Engineer Company from Des Moines, Iowa. The engineers are training for their deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Lt. Col. Aaron Dorf, 3rd Engineer Battalion, 364th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • 402nd Field Artillery Brigade members join elite Order of Saint Barbara

    Dec 21, 2012

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Several military and civilian members of the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade were inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, an honorary society of the U.S. Artillery Branches, as part of the Saint Barbara's Day Ball ceremonies at East Fort Bliss' Centennial Banquet and Conference Center Dec. 14.

  • Reserve engineers learn to engage key Afghan leaders

    Dec 20, 2012

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade recently conducted key leader engagement training here for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 704th Engineer Company from Hot Springs, Ark. The engineers are training for their deployment to Regional Command West in Afghanistan. (Photos courtesy 3rd Engineer Battalion, 364th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)