By 1st Lt. Henry Chan, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment CommandFebruary 14, 2014
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers of the 574th Quartermaster Supply Company returned to their home station at USAG Bavaria in December 2013, after spending seven months deployed to Kuwait and Iraq.
"I'm proud of each and every single one of you." said Capt. Jason Haynes, company commander and a native of Birmingham, Ala. "You made history."
The 574th Soldiers conducted retrograde operations in the Middle East. Many of the Soldiers directly dealt with the logistical problem of returning or disposing military supplies and equipment that were left on the battlefield in Iraq.
"Clearing out of an area is just as important as occupying one, and our mission outlined some of the intricacies of it," said 1st Lt. Nicholas Falk, a 574th QM platoon leader and a native of Chicago. "We experienced different levels of operations."
"We initially worked to clear a headquarters site in Baghdad and ultimately moved to work at theater level logistics operations in Kuwait with the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade. It was amazing how the company gained experience in every single facet of deployed logistics work," said Falk.
This was Spc. Steven Mann's first deployment. Mann left for the mission with his wife pregnant waiting impatiently for his return. He was able to return in time to see his daughter born just two weeks after the unit redeployment.
"This is by far the best surprise ever. My wife and I left each other thinking that we would have to go through this separately but returning early gets us to meet our baby daughter together," said Mann.
"I think the most important thing is how we learned to work together. We brought all our different backgrounds and skills together and accomplished the mission," said Sgt. Joshua Thomas, a native of Lansing Fla.
[Editor's Note] In a previous version of this article, the writer mentioned the 574th QM was the last organized U.S. military unit to conduct missions under Operation New Dawn. That statement was inaccurate. OND ended in December 2011.