BAGHDAD - His smile says it all. With a sharp salute and the the ripping off of the old rank and a patting on of the new, 37 year old Edward Davis, from New Orleans, La., becomes the Army's latest sergeant first class.

"It's a great privilege and a great honor," said Davis with a smile. "It's been a long

time coming and a lot of hard work but it's worth every bit of it."


The only thing better would be for his seven children to witness their father in Iraq

getting a battlefield promotion.


"They would be very happy for daddy," said a beaming Davis. "They have not gotten

the chance to be at any of my promotions because they took place away from home."


That being said, Davis' promotion is a great military accomplishment, but there is

something far greater that he has received while serving in Iraq- a future career goal and

a tremendous sense of pride.


As the platoon sergeant with Bravo Company, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, Davis is busy overseeing his engineer Soldiers working long hours at Combat Outpost Carver, just south of Baghdad, to make sure fellow Soldiers moving "out of the cities" have a comfortable place to stay. And that will mean lots of smiles for the builders and the new tenants.

"I may be back here in a year or two and Soldiers will still be able to see their work here. And it just does you good because you know you are doing something for our own," said Davis. "It makes you feel good inside, better than any awards you can receive."

After serving 16 years on active duty, Davis is beginning to consider his next career step when he retires in a few years. He has already started a construction company back at home in New Orleans. And when he turns in his military uniform for good, he is hoping to give something back to those who has given him more than just engineering experience.

"I will continue doing the work I have done in the Army, take it out to the civilian

world and probably put a few more smiles on faces of the Soldiers over the years."