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. William Begley
| ||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.
This flexibility 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, targeting force.
“Our job was put to us plain and simple; to go out and destroy the enemy,” said Bair.
Force realignment 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 performed.
“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 job.
“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.”
While 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 - Afghanistan
Provided through DVIDS
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