By Heather GrahamMarch 27, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Ivy Division Soldiers have decided to remain steadfast and loyal, not only to the 4th Infantry Division, but to the Army as a whole.
According to Forces Command retention numbers, 4th Inf. Div. Soldiers have completed their retention mission in all categories and have achieved an aggregate total of 132 percent of their mission for 2009.
The division achieved 100 percent of the aggregate mission Feb. 4, Sgt. Maj. Don Salinas, 4th Inf. Div. retention sergeant major, said. A slight shortage in the mid-careerist category at the time was the only factor keeping the division from completion of their retention mission in all categories then.
Although the overall mission was the retention of 2,383 Soldiers, the 4th Inf. Div. had 3,154 Soldiers commit to stay Army, and they are not yet finished.
Although completing a 15-month deployment to Iraq and impending move to Fort Carson, Colo., 4th Inf. Div. was the first division in divsion in the Army to complete their retention mission, Sgt. Maj. Derek Dahlke, III Corps Retention Sergeant Major, said.
He does not think the division's move or deployment were strong contributing factors in retention for 4th Inf. Div. Soldiers.
"I think the factors are more outstanding leadership and unit camaraderie," Dahlke said.
"Soldiers stay in the Army for their own Family and the Army Family."
Salinas agreed Soldiers choose to stay in the Army for each other.
"They do it for their brothers and sisters on their left and right," Salinas said. "That is the number one reason I hear."
That esprit de corps is alive and well at III Corps and Fort Hood.
Overall, Fort Hood units are blowing away their 2009 retention missions.
The 41st Fires Brigade, which is closing out its 15-month rotation to Iraq closed their retention mission March 14. Brigade Soldiers accomplished 123 percent of their retention mission as of Tuesday, and became the first separate brigade in III Corps to accomplish its retention mission in all categories.
III Corps is leading the Army in retention rates at the corps level, Dahlke said. Corps Soldiers have completed 81 percent of their retention mission as of Tuesday.
"III Corps is the top corps in the Army for retention as of (Tuesday)," Dahlke said.
Brave Rifles Soldiers with 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment completed their retention mission last month and currently have 149 percent of their aggregate mission completed.
In Iraq, the 1st Cavalry Division retention mission is picking up as teams have settled in Iraq and as schools and assignments are becoming available to the division Soldiers.
"The Cav programs are now established and they are starting to re-enlist Soldiers at higher rates," Dahlke said.
The First Team's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, which deployed late last year, was the highest producing major subordinate command in III Corps for the week ending March 15, according to III Corps retention numbers.
Engaged leadership at Fort Hood and within III Corps is helping drive the strong retention numbers, Dahlke said.
"This is a direct result of engaged leadership at all levels of command and on emphasis of Family," he said.