By Jim Hinnant, 401st Army Field Support BrigadeJuly 5, 2008
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait Ac"a,! When he heard there was going to be a mass reenlistment ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait on Independence Day, Sgt. Robert Ritchie decided it was the right time and place to raise his right hand one more time.
Ritchie, an Army reservist assigned to Detachment 9 of the Army's Multifunctional Support Command, which is augmenting the 401st Army Field Support Brigade, joined 18 other Soldiers at the Zone 1 Chapel here, July 4, and were administered the Oath of Enlistment by 3rd Army/U.S. Army Central commanding general, Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace.
"What a privilege it is to have a moment in time and reenlist 19 great Soldiers," Lovelace said.
After recognizing five career counselors from the ARCENT/Arifjan reenlistment team, Lovelace went on to talk about the importance of noncommissioned officers. He told the audience "the NCO is the single point of success or failure for everything our Army does."
The Soldiers who reenlisted today represented 9 different states and Puerto Rico, and came from the active component, Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, Lovelace said.
He challenged the reenlisting Soldiers by reminding them that by again taking the Oath of Enlistment, they were swearing to provide selfless service to a country that embodies what is in the U.S. Constitution and its rich history.
He ended his remarks by telling them of their importance to their country. "We need you," he said. "This nation is at war, I want this to resonate with you."
Lovelace then administered the Oath of Enlistment to the Soldiers, who stood in formation as the audience in the chapel stood at the position of attention.
For Ritchie, whose current Army Military Occupational Specialty is 92Y - unit supply specialist, the opportunity to reenlist meant more opportunities as a Soldier.
"I'm not ready to hang up my uniform yet," he said. "I have other goals, like more rank, to see things I haven't seen and to change my MOS to 51 Charlie - contract specialist. When not in uniform as an Army reservist, Ritchie is a Department of the Army civilian contract specialist in the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
For him reenlisting on Independence Day was special for three reasons.
"I have reenlisted many times but never by a general officer, never in a group and never on a holiday," Ritchie said. "Those three things came together, so it was the right place and the right time."