By Chuck Cannon, Fort Polk Guardian staff writerNovember 13, 2009
FORT POLK, La. -- The 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, received the Valorous Unit Award during a ceremony Nov. 6 at Mountain Field on Fort Polk.
The citation said the award was given for the unit's "extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy." It covered the period Nov. 30, 2007, to Jan. 5, 2009, when the 3-89th was deployed in the Al Rusafa District of Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lt. Col. Phillip Chambers, commander, 3-89th, highlighted the exploits of each of the unit's troops during the deployment, ranging from responsibility of battle space to security patrols to control of local neighborhoods and supply units in sniper and indirect fire infested areas.
"All of these remarkable accomplishments were conducted by troopers under constant threat from insurgent attacks as evidenced by the awarding of 58 Combat Action Badges, 70 Combat Infantry Badges and two Combat Medic Badges for direct action with the enemy, with many more Soldiers receiving combat awards for an improvised rocket assisted munitions attack on Forward Operating Base Loyalty, which killed several of the brigade's Soldiers," Chambers said.
Chambers said those efforts did not come without a price.
"The unit suffered the loss of two members of the team due to hostile contact with the enemy," Chambers said.
The two 3-89th Soldiers killed in action were Capt. Michael A. Norman and Spc. Jeffrey A. Nichols.
"They are both memorialized on our Wall of Heroes in our squadron conference room," Chambers said. "Their service to the squadron and this great nation will not be forgotten."
Chambers said six Soldiers were also wounded in action and evacuated back to the United States, while eight others were wounded and returned to duty in country.
"Today I stand before you deeply honored to have the privilege to recognize the accomplishments of the cavalrymen of the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment," he said. "And to all the former Troopers who were there during this last fight, be assured that we will continue to uphold the great reputation built upon your sweat and blood as we move to the next fight."