By Sgt. Angiene L. MyersJune 21, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - The Soldiers of the 81st Adjutant General Detachment (Postal), 4th Sustainment Brigade, stood proudly in the Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center as they received recognition for their tireless work and professionalism for the postal operation they executed in the joint military mail terminals in Iraq and Kuwait June 10.
The 81st AG was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for exceptional conduct in the performance of outstanding service in the support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2008 to October 2009.
"During our deployment, these Soldiers moved more than 87 million pounds of mail, they operated in three geographically separate locations in two countries, and they supported more than 290,000 service members and civilians," said Lt. Col. Jason Kuroiwa, the director of the 81st.
"The Soldiers standing before us volunteered twice, to serve in our Army and to serve in a postal unit. Only elite Soldiers can proudly proclaim that they volunteered twice in service to our nation," added Kuroiwa.
This award marked the third Meritorious Unit Commendation that the 81st has received. The unit earned two other MUCs for its participation in both World War II and the Korean War, and the unit earned two Presidential Unit Citations for service in the Republic of Korea.
For a unit a small as the 81st AG, the Soldiers managed to achieve a lot while serving with the Wrangler Brigade according to Kuroiwa. While deployed, two mechanics earned a postal operation ASI and six Soldiers earned the Combat Action Badge he said.
"I really appreciate all that you guys have done. A lot of people say you are an itty-bitty unit but I see you as a little unit with a big mission. What you do a lot of people count on," said "Just from a mail standpoint, it was a morale boost each time I received a letter from my son or daughter, while I was deployed, telling me how well they're doing back home."
The awards ceremony was bittersweet for the 81st because the Soldiers said farewell to Kuroiwa and his wife Lisa.
"You've had a great leader. Not only did he do his job here but he also helped us out quite a bit at the Brigade headquarters," said Kirklin.
"I have no doubt that the lifeblood of the unit will continue to achieve the Wrangler motto to 'Just get it done,'" said Kuroiwa. "Your sustained legacy will be based on accomplishments and not promises or simply words."
The 81st AG has not missed a step after returning from their deployment according to Kuroiwa, and the Soldier have continued to prove that the size of the unit doesn't limit the overall effectiveness of the things they wish to accomplish.
"We've been approved by the Department of Defense to establish a military operated post office at Fort Hood in conjunction with our USPS teammates," said Kuroiwa.
As the ceremony came to a close, Kuroiwa stood in front of the Soldiers of the 81st and thanked them for the great memories that he will bring with him as he transitions west to his next assignment.
"Both Lisa and I will truly miss the Wrangler Soldiers and their Families. We will always cherish the teamwork, camaraderie, and exciting times in our three years at the 'Great Place'. You will be missed but never forgotten," said Kuroiwa. "We will always be just a mailbox away."