Welcome to my random muses of being an aspiring banjo player, a Battalion Commander, a student of Army War College, and my admiring observations of Soldiers. It's all to the tune of yet another deployment to this country called Iraq.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Double-Digit Days, Single-Digit Convoys

"When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there." - George Harrison Looking at the calendar this morning I realized December is almost into double digits. At the same time, our remaining convoys is into the single digits. The advancing days of December are directly linked to our diminishing number of convoys until the end. I walked past the "mission board" that hangs on the wall in our TOC and I could see it - the end, the last convoy, the final passage of the last paragraph of our mission. The end isn't just near, it is a date on the big board. You'd never know it if you were a passing visitor. Everything is still moving like normal. Trucks are rolling north and south. Cargo continues to pour out of Iraq. Soldiers are everywhere busy with their tasks. But there is an easy release in the air, in everyone's eyes, and on all of our hearts. We know we are going home soon where we can be with family and friends that we have missed so dearly for so long. It has been teamwork at every level that has brought us this far - to the very last curve on the track with the finish line dead ahead. That finish line is the demarcation line that once crossed allows us to stop, look back, and finally see the phenomenal size of the mission we will have successfully accomplished. The momentum is with us, the wind at our backs, and we all caught our second wind long ago. I can't come close to conveying how historic a mission we have had the honor of being tasked. Our Battalion is now the final logistical unit operating in Iraq. Operation New Dawn owes in great part its successful conclusion to our Battalion and its logistics warriors. And now, with the end ever so near, our warriors can feel the prize they have so justly earned. Every single one of their families should be beaming with pride as they welcome our Soldiers home. Future generations of Soldiers who serve in our Battalion will look to the Campaign Streamers on the Unit Colors and reflect on what it must have taken to earn them. We won't have to reflect. We were here. We earned them. We earned them together, as a team fighting for a common purpose, and, most of all, we earned them for each other.

As the commander I must say that I could never have been blessed with a better organization. We are the "perfect storm" of logistics. There can never be a more perfect balance of the Total Army Concept than what has been placed at my disposal. My Soldiers come from the Active Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. They come from towns with names like Havre de Grace, Smyrna, Boonesville, Spear, and Enterprise. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the colors of the Great Barrier Reef. But put them in their digital camouflage and arm them with the tools of their trade and they fall in synch with precision that would make the best of German engineers envious. I can confidently state that after honing our skills over the past year accomplishing the largest combat retrograde of forces our military has conducted since World War II we are the best unit of our type in the Army today. We shut this place down for good. I personally believe that every single one of my Soldiers deserves to have a hometown parade in his or her honor upon arriving back to whatever village, town or city they call home.

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