OTF Soldier Story for August 2, 2010 - Spc. Jason Lambright
Current Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team
Current Position: Infantryman
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Fort Drum, N.Y.
Hometown: Meridian, Idaho
Years of Service: 3
The heart of America’s fighting strength is the Army’s Infantry, the combat force specifically trained for fighting on foot. Adaptability, courage, integrity and camaraderie – qualities required of all Infantrymen – helped Spc. Jason Lambright and his platoon sustain over 200 firefights and successfully accomplish dozens of combat and humanitarian aid missions during their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
“I knew serving in an Infantry unit wouldn’t be easy, but I wanted to be challenged,” he said. “When I joined the Army, I knew I would be asked to serve overseas. If I was going to deploy, I wanted to be able to come back with a sense of fulfillment.”
While deployed to Kunar in 2009, his platoon in the 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team conducted a number of successful counterinsurgency operations throughout northeastern Afghanistan. In addition to responding to enemy fire almost daily, Lambright was sent on patrol missions throughout the region to establish new defensive locations against enemy forces, including the Taliban.
“Hearing we were keeping the Taliban at bay and that they were scared to move into our area was very rewarding. We knew our efforts had been effective in accomplishing our mission,” he said.
In an effort to build relationships with the locals and further counterinsurgency operations, Lambright and the platoon provided Afghan citizens with necessities, such as food, clothing and school supplies. They also communicated with district officials to determine how to best help the local community.
“When the local Afghanis understood that we were there to help them, they came to respect us,” he said. “We were able to start developing more personal relationships with them and some of the kids even knew our names.”
Throughout his deployment, the Soldier aided in the mobilization of vehicles, troops and weaponry as well as assisted in reconnaissance missions.
Called to deploy early in his military career, Lambright relied on the close bonds with other Soldiers in his platoon.
“We were a tight-knit group, and we almost became our own little family,” he said. “We all tried to support each other, especially when we went out on missions. We couldn’t dwell on the bad, so we had to help each other stay focused to accomplish the mission.”
The bonds among members of his platoon proved particularly helpful, as they were frequently out on missions and unable to regularly communicate with family and friends back home. However, the Soldier was grateful to have the opportunity to deploy.
“Serving in the Army allowed me to provide for my family and support them. While I was overseas, they were all worried for my safety and well-being, but they knew I was doing what I needed to do,” he said.
Since returning from Afghanistan in January, he continues to serve with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Drum, N.Y. He was recently promoted to serve as a team leader for the personal security detachment for the brigade’s colonel and sergeant major. In the future, he plans to continue to serve for several more years and develop his leadership skills.
“The Army has taught be how to be self-sufficient and think for myself, but also to serve well alongside my fellow Soldiers and contribute to the mission at hand,” he said. “I hope as a leader, I can provide the Soldiers on my team with the resources and training to absorb the knowledge and experience that’s around them and to prepare for our next deployment.”