BAGHDAD - Pfc. Robert Kubas, a gunner for the personal security detail for the battalion commander of the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, is trained and ready for the fight.

Kubas, of Elm City, N.C., joined the N.C. National Guard in February 2008 and is now deployed at Forward Operating Base Falcon in Iraq.

"I felt like I had to give back to my country," said Kubas of his desire to join.

Kubas enlisted in the National Guard as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, but most of his time on active orders has been spent training with the PSD.

"I signed up to be on the PSD as soon as I heard they were forming a team," Kubas said.

In February, Soldiers interested in being part of the PSD were interviewed by Command Sgt. Maj. John Cole and Maj. Richard Glancy, both from the battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Later that month, they selected Kubas, and a number of other Soldiers, for the team. They began training together immediately, and living together soon after. All of the time together has helped them learn to rely on one another.

"We know each other and we've been working together long enough that we trust in each other and our leadership's decisions," Kubas said.

During the brigade's mobilization at Camp Shelby, Miss., members of the PSD conducted training specific to their job, in addition to those skills and tasks being taught to the rest of the brigade's Soldiers. Conducted in a mock Iraqi village, PSD Soldiers focused mostly on protecting their charge, called their principal.

"It just made things more real and it made you realize that things are going to be out of your control," Kubas said. "That's really all the training is, it just allows you to realize that it's going to be hectic and you can rely on your training and your drills."

While training and protection duties take up most of his time now, Kubas plans on taking online classes in his downtime. He already makes time to keep in contact with his parents, Tamsie and Jim Kubas, and his friends from home through e-mail and the Internet.

"My grandma is taking a computer class at her church so she can e-mail me too," said Kubas.

Kubas is close to his family and looks to them for inspiration. This strong family tie is what led him to enlist.

"My dad served in the active Army for three years," Kubas said. "And I just felt it's one of those things you should do."