U.S. Army Sgts. Dustin Anderson (left), from Waco, Texas, and Juan
Restrepo, from Greenville, S.C., perform a function check on a
.50-caliber machine gun at Forward Operating Base Altimur on Oct.
16, 2011. Anderson is a mortar section non-commissioned officer and
Restrepo is an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd
Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade. Photo by Army Spc.
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (11/5/2011) — There is a fundamental
ideology in the U.S. Army that every soldier, regardless of their
job, is an infantryman.
The soldiers of Company B, 1st
Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force
Black Scarves truly embody that ideology.
has been a key ingredient for this unit ever since they were a
120-man mechanized infantry unit back in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
“There was a need for [a unit with] the ability to [show] force
wherever it was needed,” said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Todd Bair, a native
of Bountiful, Utah.
It was then that their battalion
leadership made the decision to train the unit as a focused,
“Our job was put to us plain and simple; to go out and
destroy the enemy,” said Bair.
meant that each soldier's ability to be a rifleman became
more important. If one man went down, someone had to be able
to take his place, no matter what job that Soldier
“We have been in this sector for almost
two months now and we've had [many] fire fights and
everybody in this company has earned the Combat Action
Badge,” Bair said. “They understand that everybody in this
company is a fighter; everybody is an infantryman. I've got
my supply guys out here, I've got commo guys out here. It
doesn't matter who you are.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Jon
Allen, a medic from Rock Hill, S.C., said that the company
is really big on everybody being able to do an infantryman's
“They were very adamant about us being able to
fire every single weapon system the company has,” Allen
said. “That way no matter how bad things got, the medic
would always be able to hop on one of the bigger guns if
necessary. When we're out on a mission the medic isn't just
a medic, you also scan your sector, you're helping out as
much as you can. You want to be involved; you want to be
helping out when the situation calls for it.”
some might complain that the situation isn't ideal, there is
still a job that needs to be done and the soldiers of
Company B are ready to do it.
“It's a great group of
guys; it's been the honor of my life for sure to be their
company commander,” said U.S. Army Capt. Michael Roesler, a
native of White Bear Lake, Minn. “The opportunity to do this
mission has been phenomenal. You can tell that they're
excited about it. It's cool to watch a team grow to what it
is now, a capable fighting force.”
By Army Spc. William Begley
Combined Joint Task Force 1 -
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