By Jeremy Wise, Army Flier staffJanuary 14, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Pledging to continue service to the country, 14 Soldiers recited the U.S. Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment Tuesday at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence headquarters building.
Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, USAACE and Fort Rucker commanding general, presided over the ceremony and said he was proud to officiate it.
"That's what it's all about ... people raising their hands and continuing to volunteer," he said, noting the Soldiers are offering their services during a wartime era that provides tough and difficult situations.
Of the 14, six serve with the 6th Military Police Detachment as firefighters. Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Merz, fire department noncommissioned officer-in-charge, said it was an especially proud moment for him since he served as drill sergeant for three of them.
Merz added the reenlistments come at a critical time for Fort Rucker's fire department.
"The mission is growing, and the support has to grow with it," he said.
The firefighters said they thought it was cool to reenlist together.
"It's a pretty good feeling. It means you get to see them again, hopefully," Sgt. Cleveland Brasington said.
Soldiers offered a variety of reasons for reenlisting, but the main one was service to the country.
"I know they need Soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Jean Munoz, a CH-47 Chinook flight engineer with 110th Aviation Brigade. Munoz noted the relationships he built with other Soldiers encouraged him to continue to serve.
For Spc. Dustin Little, the recommitment allows him to follow his dream of serving in Special Forces. A 6th MP Detachment firefighter, Little departs Fort Rucker in April for Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"It's something I wanted to do growing up. I want to serve with the best," he said.
During the ceremony, Barclay acknowledged Family members who support their Soldiers and presented spouses with certificates of appreciation. The general said the Soldiers' commitments to the military places hardships on Families.
"It's good to be acknowledged," said Michele Pineda, wife of Sgt. Michael Pineda, a 6th MP Detachment firefighter. She mentioned loss of Family time, and the constant switching of jobs and schools as some of the issues military Families face.
Munoz noted those sacrifices his Family makes allow him to continue his Army career.
"They give me motivation to stay in. They always support me," he said.