By Spc. Elizabeth Cole, 9th Mission Support CommandApril 7, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Friends, families and fellow Soldiers gathered, here, Sunday, to honor the U.S. Army Reserve 9th Mission Support Command's 124th Chaplain Detachment in a small, intimate deployment ceremony.
The unit is scheduled to deploy to Kuwait this month in support of Operation New Dawn. They will report to the 1st Theater Support Command to provide religious services and support to thousands of Soldiers within the 1st TSC area of operations.
"Ultimately the mission is to help Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Michael Pomorski, chaplain, 124th Ch. Det. "My philosophy is to have fun, make friends and serve God. If we can go downrange and do those three things, I think we'll have a major impact on the Soldiers and really be able to help."
As keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Michele Compton, commanding general, 9th MSC, recognized the Soldiers of the 124th Ch. Det., saying she is grateful for the service of those in the Chaplain Corps and that she has "full confidence the 124th Chaplain Detachment will successfully execute their mission."
She also thanked the employers of Army Reservists noting their steadfast support is a key reason the Army Reserve is so strong today.
Families of the deploying Soldiers did not go unnoticed.
"To all the family members, thank you for your unwavering dedication to our Soldiers," said Compton. "You have all answered the call of duty by supporting your loved ones as they embark on their new mission. For this selfless service, I am grateful."
Following her speech, two Soldiers of the 124th, Sgt. Kiana Vincent and Spc. Sialofioaana Meredith, were awarded the Army Achievement Medal for outstanding service and leadership.
The 124th was activated in December 2006 under the 9th MSC at Fort Shafter Flats and is the first Chaplain Detachment to deploy from the 9th MSC.
While it's the first deployment for the unit as a whole, it will be the second deployment for Vincent.
Vincent, who previously deployed to Iraq, explained this deployment will be different than her past experience as she is now a noncommissioned officer. Despite the added responsibility, Vincent said she is well-trained and mission-ready.
Pomorski echoed Vincent's sentiments.
"The 9th Mission Support Command has supported and prepared the 124th to do its mission, and we're going to do it knowing that we represent a great organization," said Pomorski. "We're going to do it with a spirit of aloha, which is very unique. We're very thankful to be representing the organization that way."
Currently, the 9th MSC has two Army Reserve units deployed to Iraq: the 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, which is in Baghdad and Basra; and the 30th Military History Detachment, currently serving in Baghdad.