Published: October 02, 2008
Secretary of The Army Visits Troops on The Ground
By: 1st Lt. James Holifield
Bravo, 1-206th FA, 165th CSSB, 1st Sust. Bde
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - What started out as just another ordinary convoy security mission from Camp Taji to Joint Base Balad turned out to be something to write home about for the Soldiers of Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery, an Arkansas National Guard unit currently serving a tour of duty in Iraq under the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade.
"We were conducting our pre-combat checks (PCC's) and pre-combat inspections (PCI's) when two suburban's pulled into the parking lot," recalled Staff Sgt. David Murphy, who currently serves as an assistant gun truck commander.
Joint Base Balad - (center) Secretary of the Army Honorable Pete Geren visits with (left) Staff Sgt. David Murphy, of Pocahontas, Ark., and (right) Sgt. Keith Geels, of Paris, Ark., here 18 September. Both Soldiers are members of Bravo Battery, 1-206th Field Artillery, currently deployed under the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)
"To our surprise, the Secretary of the Army, Honorable Pete Geren step out of the truck and walked up to the group. He walked around, conversed with the Soldiers, and asked how we conduct our operations. We went over our role in the convoy process and that of our transportation trucks," continued Murphy, a Pocahontas, Ark. native.
Before the Secretary departed, he handed out several "Coins of Excellence" to individual Soldiers. While these coins have no monetary value, they have long been held in high regard by Soldiers, and are a unique part of the military's heritage that allows leaders to congratulate Soldiers on a job well done. They also serve as a source of some serious bragging rights.
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