'Steadfast And Loyal' Soldier Reenlists In The Skies Of Iraq
(March 3, 2011)
|CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq (February 25,
2011) – Twelve hundred feet above the deserts and palm
groves of northern Iraq, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Bailey,
deputy-commanding general, maneuver, 4th Infantry Division
and U.S. Division-North, administered the Oath of Enlistment
to Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Gabel, during a unique
reenlistment ceremony in a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk
helicopter, Feb. 19. |
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey
Bailey, deputy commanding general, maneuver, 4th
Infantry Division and U.S. Division-North,
administers the Oath of Enlistment to Sgt. 1st
Class Nicholas Gabel, psychological operations
planner, Company A, Division Special Troops
Battalion, 4th Inf. Div., during a reenlistment
ceremony held in a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk
helicopter in the skies over northern Iraq, Feb.
19, 2011. Bailey said Gabel is the first soldier
he has reenlisted since being promoted to
brigadier general. Gabel, who hails from
Littleton, Colo., said reenlisting in a unique
way gave him a special memory of his deployment
with the 4th Inf. Div.
Gabel, a psychological operations planner
assigned to Company A, Division Special Troops
Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, who hails from
Littleton, Colo., said he chose to conduct the
ceremony in the skies above northern Iraq
because he wanted to make his career
reenlistment a memorable event.
the honor of being the first soldier, Bailey
reenlisted since being promoted to brigadier
general in January is the “icing on the cake,”
“I have reenlisted twice
before, and the first two times were very
low-key,” Gabel explained. “Right now I'm a
staff non-commissioned officer in Iraq, so the
coolest pictures I'm going to get to send to my
Family are of me reenlisting with the newest
general in the 4th Infantry Division.”
committing at least eight more years of service,
Gabel volunteered to continue his
career as an NCO in the Army.
Gabel said he chose to dedicate the next chapter of
his life to the Army because he loves being a soldier, and
military life is the best thing for himself and his family.
A career reenlistment is a tremendous commitment for a
soldier and his family, said Bailey. |
dedication to his country and fellow soldiers places him
above many of his peers, and seeing NCOs like Gabel stay in
the Army is truly an honor, Bailey said.
part of the “Ironhorse” Division staff in support of
Operation New Dawn, Gabel said he looks forward to becoming
a platoon sergeant, training and mentoring soldiers to
accomplish the mission, wherever that may be.
currently serving his seventh deployment, said the Army has
contributed greatly to his development as an NCO and a
“Who I am now, what I am doing as a soldier,
I owe to all the NCOs—good and bad—that I had as a young
soldier,” he said. “They all taught me something, and I owe
it to them to pass on the knowledge I gained during my 12
years service to the soldiers who will one day take my
Gabel said his love of service strengthened
through the years, as he progressed in his career as a
soldier and a leader, and credited the support of his Family
in his decision to stay Army.
“My wife is still
learning and constantly adapting to military life, but she
understands that this is my career,” he said. “She
understands the responsibilities I have as a soldier and NCO
to my soldiers, my unit and the country.”
support is essential to a successful military career, said
Gabel, acknowledging the challenges accompanying a career
soldier, multiple deployments and, at times, the uncertainty
of what comes next.
“Being separated from my family
can be really tough—for all of us, but knowing that I have
my loved ones and their unyielding support waiting for me at
home gets me through.”
After the reenlistment
ceremony, Bailey gave Gabel a surprise reenlistment bonus.
Upon returning to Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Gabel
and the Blackhawk crew took to the sky again, this time to
the areal gunnery range where Gabel strafed targets with
7.62 rounds fired from an M240B machine gun.
said now that he has “checked the block” on the next step in
his military career, he looks forward to successfully
completing his mission in support of Operation New Dawn with
honor and pride.
Article and photo by Army Spc. Andrew Ingram|
Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
Comment on this article