By Capt. Andrew HuthDecember 7, 2010
CAMP ADDER, Iraq - Reenlistment rates across the Army are above the Department of Defense's year-to-date expectations, but one field artillery battalion deployed to southern Iraq has shattered those goals.
The 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, reenlisted 71 Soldiers in 23 days, meeting the battalion's annual requirement in less than a month. The 3rd Bn., 29th FA Regt. is deployed to southern Iraq as part of 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, attached to the 1st Infantry Division and United States Division-South.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Dever, from Hopkins, Minn., battalion reenlistment noncommissioned officer, said he enjoys his job and role as a mentor to young Soldiers who are contemplating staying in the Army.
"I get to help ensure that the Army meets its retention goals and has enough Soldiers to fight future wars, but at the same time, I help Soldiers get what they want out of the Army, such as bonuses, (career field), and choice of assignment," said Dever.
Dever doesn't attribute the unit's brigade-leading numbers to his own efforts, preferring to credit the ones raising their right hand.
"The Soldiers are the ones who agreed to a commitment to extend their obligation to the Army and this nation. I'm just here to guide them," said Dever.
One of the Soldiers who extended his service had several reasons for reenlisting.
"I reenlisted because of the personal satisfaction I get from doing a job that impacts the lives of so many people daily," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Medina, from Pueblo, Colo., motor sergeant for Battery B. "Also, because the job market is so uncertain in the civilian world right now, it just makes sense for me to keep doing a job that I love."
Despite having met the retention goals for the battalion, Dever, the leadership and Soldiers of the battalion don't plan on slowing down their efforts to reenlist Soldiers.
"It's not about meeting the numbers and goals that are made for us. It's about providing the Army with the best possible Soldiers," said Dever. We think we have some of the best Soldiers in the Army, and whenever another one decides to stay in the Army, it improves our organization as a whole."
Capt. Andrew Huth is the public affairs representative from 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg., 3rd AAB, 4th Inf. Div.