By Michelle Kennedy, Steve Ghiringhelli and Melody Everly, Staff WritersJanuary 12, 2015
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- As the 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum community prepares for another event-filled year, The Mountaineer staff paused to reflect on the people who made headlines during 2104. Following is a brief glimpse back at the events of the year gone by.
*The 10th Mountain Division (LI) headquarters and portions of 10th Sustainment Brigade case their colors Jan. 9 at Magrath Sports Complex. The ceremony marks the beginning of the Soldiers' deployment to Afghanistan.
*Sgt. Roy Arcentales and Sgt. Caleb Walters, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, are awarded the Soldier's Medal on Jan. 16. The Soldier's Medal is the highest award for valor in a noncombat situation. Arcentales and Walters put their lives on the line while attempting to save their friend, Sgt. Anthony R. Maddox, after a fuel fire accident in July 2013 while the Soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan.
*Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney R. "Ray" Lewis assumes duties as 10th Mountain Division (LI) senior enlisted adviser Jan. 17 during a change of responsibility ceremony at Magrath Sports Complex. Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, outgoing senior enlisted adviser, departs Fort Drum to begin a new assignment in Washington, D.C.
*Col. David S. Doyle assumes command of 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Col. Dennis S. Sullivan on Jan. 21 at Magrath Sports Complex. Sullivan leaves Fort Drum to attend the Naval War College in Rhode Island.
*David Kalynycz, Fort Drum's land mobile radio administrator and senior engineer at the Network Enterprise Center, is named the post's Civilian of the Year on Jan. 23 at the Commons. His supervisors nominated him for the award for his assistance in helping Fort Hamilton's Directorate of Emergency Services and NEC team restore communication in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in November 2012.
*Capt. Russell Burnham, physician assistant with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, receives the Ditch Medicine Award during a ceremony Jan. 23 in Afghanistan. Burnham earned the award for excellence in medical care under austere conditions.
*The American Red Cross of Northern New York honors two Fort Drum Soldiers, a Civilian Employee and members of the post community Feb. 5 during the Real Heroes Breakfast at the Samaritan Summit Village in Watertown. Those honored are Scott Sanford, emergency responder with Fort Drum Fire and Emergency Services; Sgt. Joel DiStefano, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade; and Capt. Jay Branson, formerly of 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Col. Gary A. Rosenberg, Fort Drum garrison commander, accepts an award on behalf of the community.
*The 10th Mountain Division (LI) assumes command of Regional Command -- East from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from Fort Campbell, Ky., during a transfer of authority ceremony Feb. 6 in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-10, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney "Ray" Lewis, senior enlisted adviser, uncase the 10th Mountain Division colors, which symbolizes the transfer of command responsibility.
*Muleskinners from 10th Sustainment Brigade assume sustainment operations duties Feb. 9 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, replacing 101st Sustainment Brigade from Fort Campbell.
wMilitary working dogs and their handlers from 8th Military Police Detachment kennel, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade receive the U.S. Army Forces Command's Best Military Working Dog Kennel Award on Feb. 26 at the battalion's headquarters.
*The 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, assumes authority from 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on March 2 at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan.
*Leaders of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade uncase the unit's colors during a ceremony March 5, signifying the brigade's official redeployment from Afghanistan. This deployment was 10th CAB's fifth during the war on terrorism.
*The 10th Mountain Division's Culinary Arts Team wins four medals and five commendable awards during the 39th Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event from March 9-13 at Fort Lee, Va. The event is the largest culinary competition in North America.
*Sen. Patty Ritchie of New York's 48th District and other state leaders honor Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers in Albany by making March 18 "Fort Drum Day."
*Sgt. 1st Class Jared Holt and Staff Sgt. Kirke Best, instructors at the 10th Mountain Division Light Fighter School, endure six days of winter-warfare training near the Arctic Circle. The two Soldiers train alongside Canadian forces on Baffin Island -- roughly 1,400 miles north of Fort Drum.
*For the second year in a row, a team from Fort Drum wins the annual Brigade Logistics Support Team Olympics, sponsored by the Army Field Support Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C. Maj. Benjamin Kilgore, Brigade Logistics Support Team chief, and Thomas Gordon, logistics management specialist assigned to the Army Field Support Battalion - Fort Drum, in support of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, earn the "Best BLST" title during the competition held March 24-28.
*The 514th Support Maintenance Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade, assume authority of RC-East field-level maintenance and recovery support operations March 26 in Bagram Airfield. The company assumes responsibility from 536th Support Maintenance Company from Schofield Barracks.
*"Polar Bear" Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and British soldiers from 1 Rifles, 160 (Wales) Brigade, Gloucestershire, U.K., complete Commando Rattlesnake, a three-week joint exercise, with a large culminating event March 27. The unit visited their British counterparts during the second interation of the training exercise, which took place in July.
*Lee Brice's hit song "I Drive Your Truck," which was inspired by former Fort Drum Soldier and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, is named Song of the Year during the 49th annual Academy of Country Music awards show April 6. The song, which was written by Connie Harrington, Jessi Alexander and Jimmy Yeary, also received the Song of the Year title at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.
*Fort Drum's Fish and Wildlife Management Program wins the 2014 National Military Fish and Wildlife Association Award for Model Programs and Projects in Support of the Natural Resources on DOD Lands.
*Staff Sgt. Jacob J. Perkins, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, is awarded Canada's prestigious Medal of Bravery on April 24 in recognition of his "acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances." In July 2011, then-Sgt. Perkins was driving west on leave early July 22 while on en route to southern Missouri when he came upon a fiery accident on the opposite side of Interstate 90, where a tractor-trailer had rear-ended a Canadian tour bus. With no thought for his safety, Perkins pulled over and crossed several lanes of traffic toward the blaze. He then entered the burning bus multiple times to evacuate passengers from the wreckage.
*Fort Drum's Fire Prevention Program is named the best in the Army on April 24. The organization is credited with saving more than $25,000 in overtime costs and saving the Army $1.4 million due to a successful fire investigation.
*Fort Drum holds its annual Volunteer and Man / Woman of the Mountain appreciation ceremony to recognize the more than 90,000 hours of volunteer work performed on post, representing a savings of some $2.2 million in unpaid labor.
*Col. David J. Francis passes the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade's colors to Col. Michael C. McCurry during a change of command ceremony at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.
wSoldiers assigned to Task Force Phoenix, consisting primarily of 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, receive a Department of the Army Outstanding Aviation Combat Support Battalion Award. The award recognized the battalion's pre-deployment training, Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
*Undersecretary of the Army Brad R. Carson presents Jim Corriveau, director of Fort Drum's Directorate of Public Works, with the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service -- the highest honor granted by the secretary of the Army to Army civilian personnel.
*Combined Joint Task Force -- 10 hosts President Barack Obama at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, where the president, on behalf of more than 300 million Americans, thanked U.S. service members for their sacrifices and continued commitment on the eve of Memorial Day.
*Eight-year-old Jazlynn Weintraub receives Fort Drum's 911 Hero Award from emergency services officials on post for alerting emergency personnel after her mother, who is hearing impaired, slipped and hit her head on the bathtub.
*Fort Drum's Materiel Movement Section, which falls under the Installation Transportation Office of the Logistics Readiness Center, receives the 2013 Shipper of Merit award from the U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command for consistently submitting on-time and error-free data.
*The 7th Engineer Battalion, which previously fell under the 10th Sustainment Brigade structure on post but reported to the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C., officially joins 1st Brigade Combat Team as a part of the 10th Mountain Division's (LI) realignment this year.
*Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, uncase the 6th Field Artillery Regiment colors, officially making the battalion the custodians and regimental headquarters location of the historic artillery regiment that brings with it 36 campaign streamers, three foreign awards and valorous unit awards.
*Hundreds of Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), return to Fort Drum after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
*Fort Drum officials dedicate the Staff Sgt. Truman Cool Memorial Ball Fields behind the Magrath Sports Complex on post. Cool, who was killed during the Italian Campaign at Anzio in 1944, was a promising young pitcher who left his childhood home in one of Fort Drum's "lost villages" and turned down an offer to play Major League Baseball in order to serve his country during World War II.
*Col. Mario Diaz relinquishes command of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), to Col. Guy Jones during a change of command ceremony at Fort Polk, La.
*Thousands of Soldiers, Family Members and community members enjoy outdoor activities, sporting events and family fun during Fort Drum's annual Mountainfest festivities, which includes a Mountain Remembrance ceremony to honor the division's fallen warriors from the past year.
*The Spartans of 3rd Brigade Combat, 10th Mountain Division (LI), complete their fourth and final deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as they transfer command authority of Training Advise and Assist Command -- Southeast to 3rd Calvary Regiment.
*Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) help conduct two weeks of intensive combat training for Army National Guard units from Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Mich.
*The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade marks the official activation of its MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system company during a ceremony at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield. The company is one of only 15 MQ-1C Gray Eagle companies in the Army.
*Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), host a bone marrow donor registration drive to honor Maj. Steven Brothers, a North Country native who lost his fight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012.
*Commanders and command sergeants major from Combined Joint Task Force-10 and Regional Command - East take part in the first CJTF-10 Commander's Cup to build camaraderie and hone marksmanship skills.
*Gen. Dennis L. Via, commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command, says sequestration spending cuts will chip away at Soldier readiness and the Army's ability to respond to future contingencies.
wFort Drum community members celebrate the grand re-opening of the Main Post Chapel, where more than 12,000 square feet of new space doubling the size of its sanctuary was unveiled after two years of renovations and new construction. The $7.7 million project also included a new education wing, multipurpose room, sacristy, parking lot and the relocation of the bell tower.
*Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III and his wife, Jeanne, visit Fort Drum to meet with Soldiers and Family Members and to talk about the Army's new Ready and Resilient Campaign. Chandler said more than 13 years of war have helped shape the Army into a force of more than 570,000 -- a number that could shrink to 450,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017.
*The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), is inactivated during a ceremony at Sexton Field, ceremonially bringing to a close nearly 10 years of history-making service. The six subordinate battalions were first brought together in September 2004 with a specific mission, making them unique among other Army entities: to support Operation Enduring Freedom, which they would go on to do with four deployments to Afghanistan.
*The Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Army, hosts a public scoping meeting at Carthage Central High School to review the proposed scope of the environmental impact of a Continental United States Interceptor Site, or CIS, at Fort Drum. This installation is one of four locations in the U.S. under consideration.
*Fort Drum conducts an antiterrorism / mass casualty exercise involving the simulated crashes of two Army helicopters on a Fort Drum range.
*More than 250 Soldiers, Family Members and other members of the post community visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton for what was Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's last big activity of the summer. Located on the St. Lawrence River, the 4.5-acre campus is home to the premier freshwater nautical museum in North America with more than 300 unique and beautifully preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts.
*Four-year-old Fort Drum Family Member Malaysia Carlisle is recognized for her bravery and quick thinking when she called 911 to seek treatment for her mother during a medical emergency. Lt. Col. Michelle M. Goyette, Fort Drum director of emergency services, awards Car-lisle the 911 Hero Medal during a ceremony held Sept. 5 at Fire Station 2.
*Former wrestler Marc Mero shares his story -- a message of hope and self-empowerment -- with Soldiers and Civilians at three separate events during Fort Drum's observance of Suicide Prevention Month.
*Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team earn top-team honors during the 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Ironman Competition on Sept. 10 in Petawawa, Canada. The 2nd CMBG Ironman is a 50-kilometer competition composed of four events: a 32-km ruck march, 4-km canoe portage, 8-km canoe and 6-km ruck run to the finish line. The 1st BCT team takes first-place honors in the team category.
*Members of the Fort Drum community gather in front of the 9/11 Memorial outside of Clark Hall on Sept. 11 to mark the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. The ceremony consists of a wreath laying, a moment of silence and remarks by acting senior commander Brig. Gen. Michael Howard.
*Fort Drum and New York officials memorialize fallen WWII heroes during two building dedication ceremonies Sept. 22. The O'Brien Readiness Training Center is renamed for Lt. Col. William J. O'Brien. Later in the day, the Engagement Skills Trainer weapons simulator is renamed the Baker Weapons Training Facility. Both Soldiers were Medal of Honor recipients who served with the New York Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division during WWII.
*Governors Andrew Cuomo, N.Y.; William Haslam, Tenn.; Jay Nixon, Mo.; Brian Sandoval, Nev.; Undersecretary of the Army Brad Carson and Dr. Brodi Kotila travel to Afghanistan to visit with deployed service members at Bag-ram Airfield on Sept. 21. During their visit, they meet with Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Regional Command-East commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney "Ray" Lewis.
*Soldiers and special guests gather alongside leaders of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) as they hold a transformation ceremony Oct. 16. During the ceremony, the brigade officially welcomes 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment to its ranks, and the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion is reflagged as the 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion. All told, the brigade gained some 1,000 Soldiers as part of the transformation.
*Leaders of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) hold a transformation ceremony Oct. 17 to welcome former Spartan Soldiers and their unit colors from the recently inactivated 3rd Brigade Combat team to its ranks. During the ceremony, 7th Engineer Battalion; 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment; and 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment are officially welcomed into the brigade.
*Terry Byard, emergency management officer, receives the
National Weather Service's "StormReady" certification on behalf of Fort Drum's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security and the installation. StormReady enhances partnerships between the NWS and local emergency managers to ensure rapid response to severe weather events.
*Soldiers of 10th Sustainment Brigade case their colors, signifying the completion of their mission during a transfer of authority ceremony Oct. 28. Formerly known as the 10th Division Support Command, the brigade first deployed to Afghanistan in the first days of Operation Enduring Freedom in December 2001.
*Soldiers of the Electronic Warfare Cell, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division are awarded the Association of Old Crows Army Outstanding Unit Award on Oct. 7 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in the District of Columbia.
*Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Fort Drum on Oct. 31, where he presents the Soldier Medal to Pfc. Matthew M. Phillips, Spc. Christopher L. Grant and Spc. Trenton M. Brown during a ceremony at the Commons. The three Soldiers are recognized for their heroic efforts in helping to rescue a woman from the Black River in April. During his visit, Dempsey also meets with senior leaders and conducts a private town hall meeting with members of the 10th Mountain Division (LI).
*Leaders of 10th Mountain Division (LI), as Combined Joint Task Force-10, case the unit's colors during a ceremony Nov. 4, signifying the completion of its mission in Regional Command East and the end of its last deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
*Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eddie L. Goode, an aviation mission survivability officer assigned to 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, is recognized with the Army Aviation Association of America's Aviation Mission Survivability Officer Award on Nov. 4 during a symposium in Huntsville, Ala.
*Soldiers of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters return home Nov. 6 from their fifth and final deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 10th Mountain Division was the first division to deploy in support of OEF after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the last to support the mission 12 years later, as the reins were handed over to the Afghan National Army.
*Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians from across the 10th Mountain Division gather at Memorial Park to honor our nation's veterans of the past, present and future on Nov. 11. The ceremony is highlighted by a wreath laying at the Military Mountaineers Monument.
*President Barack Obama announces Nov. 24 that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, will leave his post. Hagel, who said that serving as secretary of defense was the "greatest privilege" of his life, will continue in the role until his successor can be named.
*The 925th Contingency Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command Fort Drum is recognized for earning the highest-rated metrics in the MICC for its performance during fiscal year 2014. About half of the 40 individuals at the post's contracting command who obligate tens of millions of dollars each year are Civilians, while the other half are Soldiers assigned to 925th CCBn., 419th Contracting Support Brigade.
*Culinary specialists from across the 10th Mountain Division (LI) showcase their skills during the division's "Best Decorated Mess" competition Nov. 25. Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team Dining Facility, with their original sports motif, win the event. They are awarded a trophy by Brig. Gen. Carl A. Alex, deputy commanding general-support, for their efforts.
*Sgt. 1st Class Anjie T. Oliver, a motor transport operator assigned to 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, becomes the first female recipient of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara Award. The award, which is not usually bestowed upon transportation Soldiers, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated integrity, strong moral character and a high degree of professionalism in field artillery.
*Soldiers of newly activated C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, conducted their first live-fire missions since their transformation in October. Field Artillery Soldiers test their skills on their new M777A2 howitzers Nov. 22 in a Fort Drum training area.
*Twenty-two active-duty and Reserve medics complete a rigorous 72-hour Mountain Medic Course at the Bridgewater-Vaccaro Medical Simulation Training Center from Dec. 1-12. The course is intended to refresh Soldiers' memories of life-saving skills, as well as to introduce them to the most up-to-date treatments and methods available.
*Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney "Ray" Lewis award Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, D Company; 10th Brigade Support Battalion; B and D companies, 7th Brigade Engineer Battalion; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment the 10th Mountain Division's Marksmanship streamer during a ceremony Dec. 11. They also present A Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment; C Troop, 3-71 Cavalry; and C Company, 7th Brigade Engineer Battalion with the 10th Mountain Division's Physical Fitness streamer.