BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland -- Tick, tock. It was a race against time. Newlyweds Matthew and Monica Bremerkamp found out about a deployment Matthew was going on, but they were in separate units. The Bremerkamps from Bear Company, 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment are one of many married dual-military couples here at Bemowo Piskie Training Area (BPTA), Poland that raced against time to get ready for their 9-month rotation supporting NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland.
The Bremerkamps have been married for about 2 years. They met during their time in the National Guard when they worked at Fort Benning, Georgia. They were both at the Warrior Training Center learning critical soldier skills and leadership. Monica was one of the medics on a team that Matthew was working with. After they met, they decided to leave Georgia and move to Washington.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Bremerkamp, is second platoon’s platoon sergeant. He supports the platoon leader and handles any requests from squad leaders for ammunition, food and water etc. He is also responsible for overseeing administrative tasks, training, logistics and maintenance.
Matthew applies his leadership qualities and ability to manage many things at once, to his civilian job as well.
Outside of the Army, Matthew is a business analyst, someone who conducts research of the market environment for their business. Matthew is currently on the path to a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
While here in Poland, the couple ensures that their relationship doesn’t get in the way of work, they keep a proper attitude and remain professional at all times.
"We're used to working near each other," Matthew said. "Keeping a professional relationship when in the work environment is something we're great at."
Sgt. Monica Bremerkamp, is the senior medic of her company, ensuring all soldiers are correctly treating any patients that come through the medic tent on post.
When she’s not treating Soldiers in the Army, she's treating people on the civilian side. Monica works at Providence Portland Medical Center as an emergency room technician, someone who works alongside doctors and nurses as their support personnel. In order to develop her own skills, she is also thinking about doing some civilian medical schooling and applying to nursing schools when she returns to Washington.
She was assigned to the Oregon National Guard, but the National Guard worked with 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment with constant communication and effort, allowing an interstate transfer (IST), in order for her to accompany Matthew on the deployment.
A typical IST takes about a year and a half to fully process, although Monica's was expedited due to the notice of her husband's deployment. She didn’t know if she would get the opportunity to come on the deployment with her husband or not.
"I'm really grateful that they were willing to do it so quickly," Monica said. "I've had such a tremendous amount of help from this unit."
“For both NCOs, it would be difficult to overstate or exaggerate their impact within the Company,” Capt. Trey Botten, the commander of Bear Company of 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment said. “I am proud and honored to work with them.”
The U.S. Army's number one priority is the care of Soldiers and their Families. The two said that they have had a wonderful experience thus far, and truly feel that they are Stronger Together.
"I love that I'm able to travel alongside him," Monica said. "I'm super grateful for this opportunity the Army has given me."