CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq (May 7, 2009) - After an intense eight weeks of training, 65 Iraqi Soldiers from the Commando Battalion, 10th Iraqi Army Division marched across the Camp Dhi Qar parade field, near the operating base here during their graduation ceremony May 2.

"Training's been hard from the beginning," said Maj. Gregory Stroud, the Military Transition Team chief for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "But they worked just as hard and it definitely shows."

Stroud worked closely with the Romanian Special Forces from the 26th Infantry Battalion to train the Iraqi Commandos on various tactical skills such as small unit tactics and patrolling.

"The US Special Forces have the same training and doctrine as us," said Maj. Nicolaescu Constantin from the Romanian 'Red Scorpions' Battalion. "That made the training go smoothly and was more effective for (the Iraqi Commandos)."

To show the audience of Iraqi Army and Coalition forces what they learned during the course, the Commandos demonstrated how to conduct a cordon- and-search.

"This is a high level of skill and professionalism you are at now," said Gen. Habib, the commander of the 10th Iraqi Army Division, as he stood at the podium during the ceremony. "But don't let this be the last level you reach."

For some of the Commando graduates, the next level for them will be training the next group of Iraqi Soldiers.

"I think these guys are ready to be trainers," said Constantin. "They are professional, they know what they're doing now and it will be good for their Army."

(Spc. Rebekah Lampman serves with the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.)