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July 2011

HOME OF THE 1ST STRYKER BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
―ARCTIC WOLVES‖
VOLUME 1

ISSUE 1

Page 1

Families and Friends of the Arctic Wolves:
I want to start this letter by saying how proud I am of our soldiers who are serving here in Afghanistan and back at Ft. Wainwright, their professionalism and
dedication has allowed us to deploy and assume this mission in Regional Command South (RC-S). Our soldiers are currently deployed across the entire area
CTZ Commander
doing everything from combat missions of providing security to local populaCol. Todd R. Wood
tions, training the Afghan security forces, to assisting the village, District, and
Provincial leadership in providing a stable environment. The Arctic Wolves are
having a positive impact everywhere they are deployed, providing people opportunities they would have
never had under Taliban rule. These opportunities include access to medical and education services, ability
to travel safely around the country, the ability to conduct commerce trade, farming, and work. This is all due
to the hard work and presence of our soldiers.
We all mourn the loss of soldiers from the Brigade Troops Battalion (73rd Engineers), 1-24 IN, and 1-5 IN—
and the many wounded we have evacuated back to hospitals. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families and friends that have been affected by these tragic events. The soldiers here in those units continue to
honor our fallen by dedicating our daily service to their memory and our continued determination to accomplish the mission is our commitment to them and the legacy they leave behind.
The Arctic Wolf Team has grown in many ways here in Afghanistan with the addition of a Romanian Brigade Headquarters with 2 Infantry Battalions, a Joint Provincial Reconstruction Team, multiple Special Operations Force elements, Battalions from 2 different Afghan National Army Brigades, and over 2,000 Afghan
Police---all working together to improve the security and quality of life here in Zabul and Kandahar Provinces. We have been very busy in establishing ourselves on over 56 different Forward Operating Bases and
Company/Platoon Operating Bases. We are reducing the IED threat levels, training newly recruited Afghans
to take up policing in their villages, reducing the leadership of the enemy cells operating in the area, and
maintaining our COIN and war fighting focus at every turn. Very proud of how hard everyone has worked
and how successful we have been in a very short time.
I want to give a ―special‖ thanks the Rear Detachment Command for performing very well in the load out,
movement, reception, and operation supporting the families which have allowed us to focus on the mission
in Afghanistan. I want to thank the many FRG Advisors and Leaders and countless volunteers who support
the Arctic Wolf units and families on a daily basis. Further, I want to thank the greater Fairbanks Community and the local leaders who look after the welfare of our families while we‘re deployed. Deployments are
truly a team effort and it is a great comfort to all of us deployed to know we have such great people at home
supporting us so well.
Thank you all so much for everything you do. We Continue Mission, Arctic Wolves!

COL Todd Wood

Page 2

To the 1/25 SBCT Family and Friends:
Our first thirty-days here in Afghanistan, or even longer for some, have been
very fast and furious. The Soldiers of the Arctic Wolf Brigade have been very
busy providing peace and stability for the Afghanistan people with the help of
CTZ Command Sgt. Maj. the Afghanistan government. Your Soldiers are performing their missions with
CSM Bernard L. Knight very well with a high degree of discipline and morale. There has not been a task,
order, or mission that has gone out where our Soldiers have not set the standards
for others to follow and I am very proud to serve among them!
The Arctic Wolves are currently spread out across two Afghan Provinces and twenty districts, we work long
hard days and sometimes through the nights to accomplish the mission. This is a harsh and demanding environment that requires our Soldiers take care of themselves and each other. Most outposts provide a very good
quality of life for our Soldiers. We do our best to ensure there is internet and phone service to stay connected to our families back home. The food is very good at some FOBs and just ok at others, but there is no
shortage of food or water.
I want to again thank each and every one of you for the outstanding support for our Soldiers. The outpouring
of letters, care packages, e-mail, Skype sessions, and telephone calls that we receive never ceases to amaze
me. This kind of support allows us all to perform at our peak thanks to added motivation. I have always said,
―A connected Soldier is a happy Soldier and a happy Soldier is a mission-effective Soldier!‖
Our mission has not come without a cost. It is with heavy hearts when we reflect on the losses of PFC Melton, Private Tucker, and Private Pressley of the 73rd Engineer Company, as well as SSG Self, of 2nd Stryker
Cavalry Regiment. We also continue to mourn the more recent losses of SSG Sherer of 1-24 Infantry and
PFC Larson of 1-5 Infantry who taken from us after given their all in defense of our country and in the hope
of bringing a brighter day to Afghanistan, its people and to the world. I also would like to add our heartfelt
condolences to the families of two of our Romanian Army partners, CPLs Ionel and Laurentiu of the Romanian 26th Infantry Battalion ―Red Scorpions‖, who also paid the ultimate sacrifice in the short time we have
been here. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of our Warriors and know they will never
be forgotten in the Arctic Wolf Brigade.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Arctic Wolves‘ Community, please keep our Soldiers in your thoughts and
prayers. They will keep the blanket of freedom strong for all Americans to sleep under tonight and every
night!
ARCTIC WOLVES!
Command Sergeant Major Bernie Knight

US ARMY

Page 3

WOLVES DEN

WO L V E S D E N

Arctic Wolves again provide relief to Dragoons
Story and photos By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25 PAO

I N S I D E T HI S IS S UE :

FORWARD OPERATING
BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan –Two highly decorated Army units gathered
in Zabul province to celebrate a momentous occasion May 18 as the 2nd
Stryker Cavalry Regiment
“Dragoons” relinquished
command of the Afghanistan province of Zabul, to
the Arctic Wolves of 1st
Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division during a transfer-ofauthority ceremony.

1-24 IN TOA

4

2-8FA TOA

5

Operation Kenei

5

K9 Story

6

Father son Feature

7

Running with the
Pack

8

Memorial Run

9

During the ceremony the
2nd SCR colors where
cased signaling the end
of a yearlong deployment
while the 1/25 SBCT unfurled theirs. This time
honored tradition is used
to signify the official transfer of authority among the
two command groups.

Army mom is
Army Strong

9

RETENTION
UPDATE

10

2-8FA Operation

11

Army Birthday

12

5-1CAV Operation

13

Human Resources

14

On the Homefront
On the Homefront

15
16

Remembering our
fallen

17

Purple Heart Recipients

18

U.S. Romanian
Partnership

19

Contact Information

20

Maj. Gen. James L.
Terry, commanding general of Regional Command South, 10th Mountain Division (LI), spoke
on the significance of
each unit’s sacrifices, as
well as their past missions and future challenges.
“Today, partnered patrols,
new infrastructure, and an
emerging Afghan base of
governance and security
solutions provide a framework that never previously existed,” Terry said.
“Through it all the Dragoons have helped the
district provincial government work with representatives to improve governance and development.
With Afghan partners they

built a foundation for safer
and stronger communities
that will free them from insurgent influence.
“Due to the Dragoons effort
we start this next season in
a much better place,” Terry
said. “The Dragoons now
hand the home field advantage to the Arctic Wolves.”
After honoring the milestones set by the 2nd SCR,
Terry turned his attention to
the mission that lays ahead
for the 1/25 SBCT Arctic
Wolves.“The Arctic Wolves
have a proud history reaching all the way back to World
War II and coming up
through Vietnam and most
recently through a year of
hard fighting in Iraq,” he continued in his remarks directed to the 1/25 SBCT
leaders.
“Welcome to the RC-South
team. Colonel (Todd) Wood
and Command Sergeant
Major (Bernie) Knight, you
are in command of one of
the most versatile, powerful,
and mobile fighting brigades

in the Army, you have a
proven history, and have
sustained a legacy of combat in the proud 25th Infantry Division, “Tropic Lightning”, and I know you will
carry Task Force Dragoons mission forward
through the pending fight.”
After the Speech, Col.
James Blackburn, 75th
Regimental commander of
the 2nd Cavalry Regiment,
expressed his admiration
for his Afghan counterparts
and welcomed his successor.
“We are proud to share a
common history with the
1/25 SBCT yet once again
and we are privileged to
serve with such heroes,”
said Blackburn.“The 1st
Stryker Brigade is committed to working with the government and leaders to
assist the security forces to
protect the people of Zabul
province and to assist the
province in its growth,”
Wood said.

Page 4

WO LV E S DE N

Task Force Legion ready to launch operations in Afghanistan
Story and Photos By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25 SBCT PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE
LAGMAN, Afghanistan – Soldiers
from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division, opened a
new chapter in the battalion‘s history
during a transfer-of-authority ceremony
held May 8 at Forward Operating Base
Apache, Zabul province, Afghanistan.
After a brief invocation, Lt. Col. Jeff
Stewart, commander of Task Force
Legion, participated in the time honored
tradition of unfurling the unit‘s colors,
signaling the formal transfer of authority for this sector of the 1-25th area of
operations, to 1-24th Infantry and bringing to an end the deployment of the
Germany-based 2nd Squadron, 2nd
Stryker Cavalry Regiment.
During the ceremony, Col. James
Blackburn, the 75th commander of the
2nd Cavalry Regiment, praised the success of 2/2 SCR and expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the Cougar
soldiers and their tireless efforts during
the regiment‘s 12-month deployment.
―The full-spectrum force of the Cougars
did it all … whether it was killing and
capturing the enemy or putting a pencil
in a school child‘s hand,‖ said Blackburn. ―Thank you.‖
―What you see in front of you is the
epitome of full-spectrum warriors we
expect on the counterinsurgency battlefield,‖ said Blackburn, referring to the
formation of soldiers who stood with
pride and with smiles emblazoned on
their faces as testimonies to their accomplishments as they were recognized.
Although much of Blackburn‘s speech
focused on the accomplishments of 2/2
SCR he admitted that a heavy presence
of International Security Assistance
Forces is still needed throughout Zabul
province, but said he is confident the 124th soldiers are up to the challenge.
Zabul Provincial Governor Mohammad
Ashraf Naseri, and many other key
leaders have worked side-by-side with
2/2 SCR, including Maj. Gen. Jamaludin, commander of the Afghan
National Army 2nd Brigade, 205th
Corps, who was in attendance for the
ceremony to honor and say farewell to
Lt. Col. Omar Jones, 2/2 SCR commander and his soldiers and
Stewart, who addressed the crowd entirely in Pashtu, the primary language of

Photo By: Spc. Thomas Duval

Photo By: Spc. Thomas Duval

southern Afghanistan and spoke of the
possible challenges ahead for him and
his ―Deuce-Four‖ soldiers. Stewart‘s
speech was met with warm applause
from the large
crowd as he spoke of the future partnership between the 1-24th, the Afghan

National Police, and the ANA

welcome their new partners of Task
Force Legion.
Stewart said he is happy for the opportunity
to work beside the ANA and ANP and he is
looking forward to the continued relationship between ISAF and the Afghan forces.

Page 5

WO LV E S DE N

The „King of Battle‟ has arrived
Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval

The 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery
Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division, became
the latest unit to begin combat operations in Afghanistan May 17.
The unit led by Lt. Col. Sean Bateman,
assumed command for the Daman district in Afghanistan during a transfer-ofauthority ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
"We have some of the best trained Soldiers in the United States Army,‖ said 2
-8 FA Command Sgt. Maj. Alexis Shelton. ―They've trained hard for this mission and they're ready to do whatever is
necessary to accomplish our goals."
The 2-8FA takes over command from
Fires Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry
Regiment.
The artillery regiment will support the
Government of Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan, in an effort to combat
insurgents and will work with coalition
forces to provide a more stable governance throughout the district, said Capt.
Angela Chipman, the unit public affairs
representative for the 2-8 FA.

The battalion, which started its deployment in mid April, is scheduled for a
yearlong deployment and brings with it
months of training and preparation for
the upcoming challenges it will face,
Chipman said.

During the deployment the 2-8FA and
the 1/25 SBCT will work under Regional Command South and will
partner with the local Afghan National
Police and Afghan National Army to
conduct daily operations.

Photy By: Capt. Angela Chipman 2/8 FA UPAR

Task Force Legion conducts Operation Kenai
Story By: 1st Lt. Mathew Rogers
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
LAGMAN, Afghanistan— The deployment of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division, which is
centered around fostering lasting solutions in southern Afghanistan, presented
its first signs of success recently as the
Alaska based unit partnered with the
Afghan National Police (ANP) and the
Afghan National Army to conduct their
first major combined operation dubbed
as Operation Kenai.
While the Soldiers of the ―Arctic Legion‖ have conducted multiple patrols
with their Afghan partners during the
last few weeks since assuming operations in Zabul Province, this operation,
marks the first major operation conducted together by all three organizations.
―During this operation we had our first
opportunity to work with the ANA and

laid the foundation of a relationship that
will allow us to conduct future combined operations,‖ said 2nd Lt. Sam
Palmer, a platoon Leader for the 124IN.
―The ANA are a competent force capable of operating independent of [U.S.
Forces],‖ Palmer praised.
The success of the operation was found
not just in the capabilities of the soldiers
involved, both Afghan and American,
but in the deep partnership that is already growing between them.
All aspects of the operation were
planned by both ―Arctic Legion‖ Soldiers as well as their Afghan counterparts and were rehearsed together as one
team.
Capt. Jeremy Medaris, Charlie Company‘s commander was satisfied the
long hours of prepare Capt. Jeremy
Medaris, Charlie Company‘s com

mander was satisfied the long hours of preparation and hard work had paid off during the
mission.
―The U.S and Afghan partnership proved
highly effective in bringing security to an
area that sees minimal Coalition or Afghan
presence and also proved a good opportunity
for the Afghans to provide a beneficial government presence to an isolated populace,‖
Medaris said.
As the Soldiers of 1-24 continue to make
their presence known amongst local insurgent
groups, they know that their partners of the
Afghan National Security Forces become
ever more capable of conducting operation to
lead on their own.
Shoulder-to-shoulder, this is Combined Team
Zabul and it continues to strengthen the security and stability of Zabul Province every
day.

W O LVES DEN

Story and Photos By: Spc. Thomas Duval
1/25 SBCT PAO

ZABUL, Afghanistan-- As the war in
Afghanistan enters its tenth year; IED‘s
remain a major threat to the thousands
of men and women in the armed forces.
The military continuously seeks to employ the latest technology to counteract
this hazard with creations such as specialized vehicles including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and innovations such as electronic
countermeasures.
While such technological advancements undoubtedly contribute to save
the lives of many U.S. and coalition war
fighters, soldiers stationed in at Forward
Operating Base (FOB) Lagman, in Zabul, Afghanistan don‘t hesitate to put
their faith and ultimately their lives in
the hands, or more specifically, the
paws of ‗man‘s best friend‘.
Studies have shown that a dog‘s sensitivity to smell to be greater than 10
times that of a typical human, The U.S.
military‘s current crop of the Canine
(K9) corps can follow their noses to
smell concentration levels 100 million
times lower than the human nose which
allows them to protect Soldiers in a way
that no man-made equipment can.
―There isn‘t a piece of equipment that
can do what a dog can do,‖ said Air
Force Tech Sgt. Richard Duvall, a
Tulsa, Okla., native and Kennel Master
assigned to the United Kingdom based
48th Security Forces Squadron.
According to Duvall, a dog‘s ability to
interact with its handler and its ability to
adjust to the surroundings puts them a
―paws and shoulders‖ above even the
most advanced robots.
Although there are a number of breeds
of dogs that make the perfect pet, there
are very few that can perform at the
intense level the military requires.
Some of the more popular breeds selected by the military for combat operations include the German Shepherd,
Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
K9‘s, or military working dogs
(MWDs) can detect chemicals used to
make IED‘s, narcotics, mines, and
weapons caches better than any other

Page 6

animal, especially with the addition of
their specialized training, Duvall said.
An average military working dog spends
more than a year training to detect such
hazards before being assigned to a unit.
From there the pups receive more advanced training to hone in on one of nine
military specialties, many of which are
highly guarded to maintain operational
security.
Once equipped with the right training and
skills, Duvall said our four-legged allies
can help change the outcome of any mission.
Duvall recalls during a previous deployment to Iraq, one MWD whose mere presence was enough to strike fear in the
hearts of insurgents who were known to
refer to the all black German Shepherd as
the ‗grim reaper‘.
Despite being perceived as aggressive
animals because of the nature of their job
MWDs are also highly disciplined, something the military puts great emphasis on
whether it comes to Soldiers or canine
counterparts.
―Our dogs are very disciplined…we treat
our dogs just like a new Airman or new
Pvt. In the Army,‖ said Air Force Staff
Sgt. April Lorah, a dog handler assigned
to the 673rd Security Forces, stationed out
of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Alaska. ―The more they behave during
our training and the longer we work with
a dog the more we can release them without a leash and trust them with more responsibility. Kind of like an airman or
Pvt. works to become a NCO,‖ She
laughed.
Together Duvall, Lorah, and the rest of
their team mates have more than twenty
years of experience handling dogs making
Combined Team Zabul‘s K9 team one of
the best. They have also managed to bring
together almost every military service to
include the Air force, Army and the Navy.
Down through history, the K9 teams of
the U.S. military have easily helped save
the lives of thousands of soldiers, sailors,
airmen, and Marines. However, the mission of freedom‘s forces far from home
continue, so this is no time to celebrate
and Lorah feels confident that the future
is much brighter with the help of her com-

Photo By: Spc. Thomas Duval

Photo By: Spc. Thomas Duval

bat canine companion.
Although MWDs have been receiving
some long-overdue headlines September
11, 2001, the concept of using dogs in
war is definitely not new. Many historians have pointed out that dogs have been
used in combat as early as 628 years
before Christ.
Between 1525 and 1580, Henry VIII and
Queen Elizabeth I sent more than 1,200
dogs to war. Fast forward to May 2,
2011 and another MWD, or perhaps
more appropriately, a canine commando
burst into the spotlight. U.S. Navy
Seals, on that day of infamy, accompanied by a Belgian Malinois, by the name
of Cairo, executed their now-worldrenowned raid to kill 9/11 mastermind,
Osama Bin Laden, making Cairo the
poster pup for a star-spangled success in
the war on terror.

W O LVES DEN

Page 7

Father-son team deploy to Afghanistan
Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25 PAO
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan – For as long as there
has been an Army there have been stories
of triumph, stories of loss and often timeembellished stories told by a grandfather
to his grandchildren or a father to a son or
daughter who sat wide eyed hanging on
every word.
Many children will grow up to remember
these stories for what they truly were, a
faint memory embroidered with heroics
and relived at family gatherings. But for
the Crist family the stories told and
memories cherished will be those of a
deployment shared by a father and son.
Like many children, Spc. Daren Crist
followed in his father‘s footsteps making
sure not to fall too far behind.
―I wanted to follow the same path as my
dad,‖ he said.
After enlisting in the Army in 2008,
nearly 30 years after his dad Master Sgt.
Brian Crist, the soon to be imagery analyst was shipped off to basic training in
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., followed by
advanced individual training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and then his first permanent
duty station at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Daren‘s path was headed in a different
direction than his father‘s, who had
enlisted in 1987 to be a wheeled vehicle
mechanic, but it wasn‘t long before the
two paths would realign.
As his original commitment to the Army
entered its final two years, a window
opened for Daren to serve next to his
father. He jumped at the opportunity despite the fact that his dad‘s unit, the 1st
Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, was gearing up for a deployment to Afghanistan.
―It‘s not every day a Soldier gets the opportunity to deploy with (his) dad,‖ the 20
-year-old said.
―He left his cushy assignment at Fort Sam
to re-enlist and come to the Stryker Brigade and deploy to Afghanistan,‖ the 24year Army veteran and senior career
counselor for the 1/25 SBCT said. ―It
makes me feel great.‖
Since deploying to southern Afghanistan
in April the two have continued their
commitment to one another, making sure
to see each other every day.
―It‘s awesome,‖ said Daren, a Governor,

Master Sgt. Brian Crist and his son Darren Crist pose for a photo at Forward
Operating Lagman. The two are currently deployed together. Photo By:

N.Y., native. ―I get to see my best friend
every day.‖
―If he was in another location and I didn‘t
have eyes on him I would worry,‖ Brian
said. ―Knowing that we have the ability to
see each other every day makes it easier.‖
On June 1, Daren and his dad shared a
once in a lifetime experience for them as
the young specialist pinned his dad with
the rank of master sergeant.
―It‘s the best feeling in the world to have
your son promote you in a combat zone,‖
Brian said.
The promotion not only symbolized a lifetime of dedication by Brian but also set the
bar for Daren.
―Seeing how everyone in my dad‘s office
respects him and how they view him is
definitely motivating,‖ the imagery analyst
said. ―(His promotion) definitely gives me
something to work toward.‖
Although they both agree that the deployment together has strengthened their bond
there are still times where the line between
being a dad and a senior noncommissioned
officer is tested.
―Growing up I would get the NCO talk and

then five minutes later I would get the
dad talk,‖ Daren laughed.
―There are the normal things you see
as a dad that you want to step in and
help but I know I can‘t. I have to let
him find his way,‖ Brian said. ―At the
same time I haven‘t ever had to intervene because of his outstanding leaders.‖
No matter how gray or thin the line
may get for the Crist battle-buddy
team, the expectations from father to
son are still clear.
―As a parent you want your child to do
the best they can,‖ Brian said. ―As an
enlisted Soldier I want him to be master of his craft, know what his
(military occupational specialty) is and
strive to be the best.‖
Just like every story, the Crist family
deployment will have an end but it‘s a
story they look forward to retelling in
the years to come.
―To be able to sit down in 10 or 15
years and talk about our deployment is
going to be an exciting experience,‖
Brian said.

W O LVES DEN

Page 8

W O LVES DEN

Page 9

Stryker Soldiers remember fallen with Memorial run
Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval
1/25 SBCT PAO
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan-Service
members from all branches of the military gathered at Forward Operating Base
Lagman in southern Afghanistan Sunday, May 29, to pay tribute to all the
men and women who have paid the
ultimately price for freedom, during a
Memorial run. The distance each servicemember ran depended on the individual runner, with the longest being a
10K.
―We just wanted to have an Informal
event to remember all our brothers and
sister who have gone before and paid the
ultimate sacrifice,‖ said Chief Warrant
Officer 3 William Steele, 1st Stryker
Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry
Division targeting officer. ―The run has

allowed us to come together as a team
and honor and remember those that we
have lost.‖
―We will never be able to fully repay
those who have gone before us but we
hope that by remembering their sacrifices and paying tribute to all the men
and women we can help keep their legacy alive,‖ said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin
Allen, fire support senior NCO , 1/25
SBCT.
While many people will gather this day
to remember and pay tribute to the men
and women of the armed forces, the
observance took on a greater level of
importance for the 1/25 SBCT Soldiers,
who lost three Soldiers to an IED earlier
this month.
―They paid such a large price and we
just want to try to do our smart part in
thanking them and their families for
their dedication,‖ Allen said.

Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval

Army Mom is Army Strong
Story By: Pfc. Andreka Johnson
1/25 SBCT PAO

ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan Growing up in Las Cruces, N.M., Pfc.
Bridget Cooper faced many challenges
but never met one she couldn‘t overcome. But shortly after joining the
Army in 2010 she was faced with a
more difficult challenge: deployment.
"After joining I could remember thinking about how much I had learned while
going through training and the challenges I faced while trying to adjust to a
new lifestyle,‖ said Cooper a supply
clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Stryker Brigade
Combat Team 25th Infantry Division.
"With the leadership I had I was able to
overcome that obstacle and by doing
that they were able to mold me into the
soldier I am today in which what prepared me for my first deployment."
"I'm going to be honest,‖ said Cooper,
"coming in as a new soldier I didn't
know what to expect, but now I‘m starting to apply the skills that I have been
taught and make the necessary adjustments that I need to make it through this
deployment."Cooper turned to her bubbly personality having support the support of my family,

friends, and fellow soldiers are a really
big help during times like these but
having to be apart from my family and
friends is also very hard," said the Las
Cruces native. Another thing is that not
only do I have to worry about myself
but my husband as well who is also
serving here in Afghanistan but in a
different area of operation."
Although deployment is new to Cooper,
she has realized that a very important
element to success during a deployment
is taking it one day at a time and taking
advantage of the little things that make
her happy.
"On my spare time I enjoy video chatting with my kids, and hanging out with
the friends I have made here. Other than
that I do my Job and work towards personal goals that I have," said Cooper.
While planning to continue her education cooper also looks forward to another short term goal."I think that she is
going to be just fine," said Staff Sgt.
Stephanie Nye, a Greensburg, Pa., native and a supply sergeant with 1/25th
SBCT. ―As her supervisor I am here to
mentor her so that she can someday
become a leader and I also look forward
to her being promoted soon.‖

Pfc. Bridget Cooper looks at a picture of her
four kids. Photo By: Pfc. Andreka Johnson

Page 10

WO LV E S DE N

Stryker Retention Update
Eligible Parameters: Soldiers with an ETS prior to 30 Sept. 2012 are
eligible to re-enlist during this current FY
Over-strength MOSs: Soldier who chose to re-enlist and who currently possess
one of the following as their PMOS will be required to re-class. All MOSs are in
regards to SL 1 unless marked otherwise with a (2)
11B,12B,12K,12R,12T,12V,12W,13B,13D,13F,13M,13P, 13R, 13T,13T(2), 13T,
14S, 14T, 15B, 15D, 15F, 15G, 15H, 15J, 15N, 15P, 15R, 15S, 15 T, 15U, 15Y,
19K, 25B, 25C, 25F, 25 L, 25M, 25N, 25P, 25P(2), 25Q, 25Q(2), 25U, 25U2,
25W, 27D, 31B, 35G, 35M, 36B, 36B(2), 56M, 68A, 68E, 68G, 68H, 68J,
74D,74D(2), 88H, 88H(2), 88K, 88M, 88M(2), 88N, 91A, 91B, 91E, 91G, 91H,
91H(2), 91J, 91J(2), 91K, 91K(2), 91L, 91P, 91P(2), 92A, 92F, 92F(2), 92G,
92G(2), 92L, 92S, 92W, 92Y, 94A, 94D, 94E, 94E(2), 94F, 94F(2), 94H, 94M,
94P, 94T, 94X, 94 Y

Re-enlistments:
Spc. Brett M. Schoellkopf
Spc. Jerald R. Berry
Spc. Zachary T Ivie
Cpl. Ricardo E. Siqueiros
Sgt. Dustin L. Miller
SSG. Ryan A. Waldrop
SFC. Douglas J. Shelby
Sgt. Jorge C. Webb
Sgt. Antwan L. Young
Sgt. Dustin R. Hassler

Sgt. David K. Hunsperger
Spc. Alexander T. Dreher
Sgt. Ryan R. Shumate
Spc. Nicholas A. Eilers
Spc. Tsotonenome Djogbessi
Spc. Isaac Carrillo
Spc. Charles R. Mazzullo
SSG. Damien D. Leslie
Sgt. Joseph N. Page

Page 11

W O LVES DEN

Task Force Automatic delivers hope to Daman district

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, deliver school supplies to a school in Daman District of Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo By: Capt. Angela Chipman 2-8FA UPAR

Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval &
Capt. Angela Chipman
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
LAGMAN, Afghanistan— Located
in Eastern Kandahar, the Daman
district is just one area suffering
from the ravages of more than 30
years of war.
Like most provinces in Afghanistan,
local villagers focus much of their
time tending to their farms, which
often suffer from a lack of nourishment due to the lack of streams and
the extremely dry land.
For the people of Daman Province,
a lack of schools and hospitals
makes life difficult.
During a recent mission Soldiers
from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and 25th Infantry Division came to the aid of the
suffering district.
While partnering with the local Af

ghan National Security Forces, Soldiers from ‗Task Force Automatic‘,
assisted in the delivery of much
needed schools supplies.
Among the supplies delivered were
pens, paper, books and book bags.
―It feels great to make a noticeable
difference in the lives of the Afghan
people,‖ Said Capt. Angela Chipman, 2-8FA unit public affairs representative. ―We aren‘t just donating and delivering school supplies
to the children we are giving the
children of the Daman province an
opportunity to attend school and
learn.‖
She continued, ―It‘s about building
a lasting relationship between the
U.S. Forces and the people of Afghanistan and providing them with
long-term solutions to their problems.‖
The relationship between the 28FA, the Afghan people, and the

Afghan Security Forces has shown significant gains in recent weeks said Chipman.
With support from their local Afghan
counterparts the 2-8FA was able to
confiscate more than 30 bags of s substance known to be key component in
home-made explosives used in improvised explosive devices.
1st Lt. Theodore Leakas praised the efforts of the Afghan Border Police, stating that they have made a great deal of
progress in closing down the trafficking
of dangerous substances throughout their
area.
Sgt. Nathan Kaiser beamed with pride
when the bags of potassium nitrate fertilizer were loaded into secure holding
containers.
―Our guys have done great things to get
this stuff off the streets and, in my opinion; I believe we‘ve saved a lot of lives.‖

Page 12

WO LV E S DE N

73rd Engineers lead the way during Army Birthday
Story By: Joel B. Anderson 1/25
PAOFORWARD OPERATING
BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan –
The 1st Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division celebrated the Army Birthday here,
Tuesday. After 236 years, there is
an old saying in the United States
Army, ―the more things change, the
more they stay the same.‖ Soldiers
of 73rd Engineer Company, Brigade
Troops Battalion, 1/25th SBCT took
a moment on the Army‘s big day
for a couple of things that have
stayed the same in the throughout
the Army‘s 236 years. Spc. Alex
Dreher definitely did his part to
make June 14 a day he and his fellow Sappers would be sure to remember. Not only did Dreher receive a much-deserved promotion
from private first class to specialist,
he also reaffirmed his commitment
to the Army and to the Nation. Dreher reenlisted for five more years in
exchange for a bonus and reassignment to Fort Knox, Ky.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Bradley
Hallum, of Ishpeming, Mich., opportunities remain plentiful for high
quality Soldiers considering reenlistment. ―We have heard that
drawdown may be coming, but Soldiers can rest assured that retention
will always be an option, especially
for our first-term Soldiers,‖ said
Hallum. Immediately after 1st Lt.
Matthew Smith, platoon leader and
an Ogden, Utah, native, administered Dreher the oath of office, Col.
Todd Wood, 1/25 SBCT commander, addressed the Sappers of
the 73rd Engineers. ―It can‘t get
much better than this,‖ said Wood.
―Reenlisting and getting promoted,
both on the Army Birthday, not to
mention in a war zone, is just almost unheard of, so I am really
proud to be here and I am very
proud of all of you here in 73rd Engineers. God bless each and every
one of you for all that you do every
day and God bless all of your families and friends back home.

What motivates me...

―Valley Forge, Custer‘s ranks, San
Juan Hill and Patton‘s tanks …‖
and now on to the mountain-tops of
Afghanistan … The U.S. Army may
now have been plunged headfirst
into the 21st Century with all of its
space-age technology, but the key
ingredient on the battlefield from
age-to-age, the spirit of the American Soldier, is what will really
keep the Army rolling along for
another 236 years.

During a Deployment Soldiers can be tested both
mentally and physically but every Soldier finds
there motivation in something different. Here‘ s
what drives Spc. Maria Montano.

“My motivation is establishing a bright
future and working towards my degree.”
Tell us what motivates you!

Page 13

WO LV E S DE N

Afghan National Police assume command of Checkpoint 18
Story By: 2nd Lt. John Conard 5
-1 CAV UPAR
FORWARD OPERATING
BASE FRONTENAC, Afghanistan -- Fifth Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, officially transferred authority for Checkpoint
18 of Afghan
National Highway Route 617 to
the Afghan National Police
(ANP) earlier this month. The
checkpoint is a mission essential
control point that monitors the
Serband Bridge, a key entry
point into the Shah Wali Kot
district.
The transfer of the checkpoint
marks a major step forward for
the Afghan National Secu
rity Forces (ANSF) in Shah Wali
Kot, evidence of how the ANP
continues to get stronger by the
day.
Checkpoint 18 has been under

“It is time for us to
stand on our own feet
and take control.” ANP officer

the control of International Security Assistance Forces control
since it was first created.
It sits at a key intersection between Arghandab and Shah
Wali
Kot and monitors Route Bear,
the only paved road connecting
the two districts.
the only paved road connecting
the two districts.
In the past, Route Bear has been
used as a main avenue for Insurgents moving from Shah

Checkpoint 18 Commander Abdul Rahman (second from the right) with
his ANP officers overlooking the Serband Bridge, the key entry point
into Shah Wali Kot. (Photo By: Capt. Angela Chipman 2-8FA UPAR)

Wali Kot to conduct attacks in the
Arghandab District and Kandahar
City. It was ISAF‘s responsibility to
try and curb Taliban movement.
However, thanks to the creation of
ANP checkpoints Route Bear is
relatively safe and free of insurgent
traffic with the last successful IED
strike occurring December 31,
2010. ANSF now controls the security along the entire road.
Abdul Rahman, an ANP officer
now appointed to serve as Checkpoint 18 commander, believes the
ANP are ready to take control of the
security of Shah Wali Kot. Rahman
recently stated confidently, ―We are
ready to be responsible for the security of Shah Wali Kot….It is time
for us [ANP] to stand on our feet
and take control.‖
This historic turnover is yet another
message to the Taliban that the
ANSF are growing stronger and are
ready to secure their country.

SPC Jorge Villanueva, HHSB 2-8th Field Artillery, keeps watch
from the gunners turret at Checkpoint 507 in the Daman District. The unit had been conducting partnered operations with
the Afghan Border Patrol in an effort to reduce illegal smuggling in their immediate area.

WO LV E S DE N

Page 14

Behind the Line with Human Resource Specialist
Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25
ZABUL, Afghanistan-- There is an
unsung group of heroes in our
Army fighting an endless war.
Their pictures are rarely, if ever
seen on Army recruitment posters
and they are seldom depicted in
Hollywood movies. Nevertheless,
they have dedicated their lives and
make it their duty to battle the never
-ending mounds of paperwork that
seem to mark each milestone of a
Soldier‘s career.
The Soldiers, who embody this admirable work ethic, are the human
resource specialists of the 1st
Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th
Infantry Division.
Working around the clock, the HR
Soldiers provide a valuable service
that not just any Soldier can perform.

the most important part is taking
care of the Soldiers whether that
includes updating ERB‘s or writing
a letter to the family members of
Master Sgt. Paul Wayfield, senior
our fallen Soldiers,‖ said Cpl. Samhuman resources noncommissioned
uel Whaley, an Ogden, Utah, native
officer of 1/25 SBCT, a Fort
and the 1/25 SBCT strength manLauderdale, Fla., native, leads the S
agement noncommissioned officer
-1 shop, which is responsible for the
in charge.
staffing, personnel movement, and
Whaley and Waythe administrative
field both agree
needs of more than
their team accom4,000 ―Arctic
plishes these diffiWolves‖ Soldiers
cult tasks through a
“Our
work
is
our
currently serving in
term commonly
Afghanistan in supused by Soldiers,
biggest
motivator…”
port of Operation
teamwork.
Enduring Freedom.
―Respect is earned
As the senior bri…
and teamwork
gade HR NCO,
plays
a very imporWayfield and his Soldiers provide
tant
role,‖
Wayfield
said.
―Working
all aspects of essential services and
in
an
operational
environment,
leadsupport to Arctic Wolves and their
ers
have
an
excellent
opportunity
to
families whether at home station or
build
teams
and
systems
that
can
be
in a deployed environment, he said.
sustained long after operations tranThe HR team also shoulders the
sition back to garrison. In this enviresponsibility of an almost endless
ronment Soldiers share many things
list of tasks most would consider
that would otherwise not be possioverwhelming, such as identificable due to garrison battle rhythms.‖
tion cards, requests for leave and
According to Wayfield the key to
earnings statements, promotions,
overcoming the demanding workreductions, and enlisted records
load is to ensure that leaders at the
updates.
lowest level are involved in their
―We see many things in our job and

Soldiers‘ lives and that each Soldier
gives their all everyday – something
he said his Soldiers do very well.
―Knowing the Soldiers, their
strengths and weaknesses helps all
leaders ensure all Soldiers‘ needs
are addressed no matter how big or
small,‖ he continued. ―After 18
years, Soldiers never cease to amaze
me, no matter the conditions Soldiers strive to do their best each
day.‖
Wayfield and his Soldiers have
mastered the ability to build a great
team and their battle buddies have
began to notice the importance of
HR specialists.
―It‘s always easy for Soldiers to
overlook the jobs that aren‘t necessarily combat arms MOS‘s
(Military Occupational Specialties)
but our S1 shop usually works just
as hard as the men on the frontlines
and you never find them complaining,‖ said Pvt. Cody Spradlin, a fire
support specialist assigned to the
Brigade Troops Battalion, 1/25
SBCT. ―They do everything to help
our Soldiers.‖
―Our work is our biggest motivator… for us to know that we actually helped someone further a Soldier‘s career or gave a family member closure makes all the long days

WO LV E S DE N

Page 15

WO LV E S DE N

Page 16

Page 17

WO LV E S DE N

REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN COMRADES

Spc. Bradley L. Melton

PFC Cheizray Pressley

SGT Jeffrey C. S. Sherer

: PVT. Lamorol J. Tucker

PV2 Ryan Larson

―For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the
Wolf is the Pack‖.

Page 18

WO LV E S DE N

PURPLE HEART RECIPIENTS

The following Soldiers were awarded the Purple heart for there
actions in combat during OEF 2011.

PFC. Thedford Fox JR.
PFC. Tokailagi Semisi
CPL. Keyan Brown
PFC. Curtis Bartell
PFC. Luke Wedgewort
SSG. Joshua Ingram
PFC. Fidel Bobadilla
PFC Koontz Christopher
PVT. Michael Dirisio
SPC. Bradley Melton
PFC. Cheizray Pressley
PVT Lamorol J. Tucker

1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry
5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry
Brigade Troops Battalion
Brigade Troops Battalion
Brigade Troops Battalion
Brigade Troops Battalion

Page 19

WO LV E S DE N

U.S. and Romanian Soldiers search for improvised explosive devices using K9‘s .

Story By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25
PAO
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
LAGMAN, Afghanistan – ―Umār la
umār!‖ is a Romanian phrase, which
along with the Dari phrase, ―Shona ba
Shona,‖ both translate in English to
―shoulder to shoulder‖ and for U.S. and
Romanian Soldiers in Afghanistan, it
has evolved into more than just a
phrase. Instead ―shoulder to shoulder‖ is
the way Romanian and U.S. forces operate daily since July 2003.
This unique partnership could not be
more apparent than in southern Afghanistan along Highway 1, one of the
most dangerous stretches of road in all
of Afghanistan. Here, the Arctic
Wolves, Soldiers from the 1st Stryker
Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry
Division, work hand in hand with their
Romanian counterparts from the 2nd
Battalion ―Cālugreni‖ and 26th Infantry
Battalion ―Red Scorpions,‖ both of the
1st Mechanized Brigade, to aggressively
fight insurgents and help build the capacity of the Afghan government for the
local populace.
―We have an extremely rare and strong
bond with our Romanian brothers and
sisters in arms – we have these two

“We share the
hardships,
accomplishments, joys
and sorrows.”

Romanian battalions and their command
and control staff here and I am constantly
amazed by how well they integrate themselves into our operations,‖ said Col.
Todd R. Wood, commander of 1/25th
SBCT. ―I really want to be sure we get
the word out to people on the home front
… in Romania, but also in Alaska. I
know the folks in Alaska would be intrigued by the way we come together in
this challenging environment day after
day up against the insurgents … it‘s a lot
like life in the Last Frontier … Alaska.
It‘s tough here, too … challenging and
extreme.‖

Photo By: Sgt. Michael Blalack

The U.S.-Romanian team, also known as
Combined Team Zabul conducts daily
combat operations together to include
route clearance, patrols and more recently have began joint training for military working dog searches.
―We share the hardships, accomplishments, joys and sorrows,‖ Wood said.
Overall, the military partnership between
the two nations is not new, but it is unknown to most Americans.
―We have been in Afghanistan with our
U.S. partners since 2003 and we also
stood with you in Iraq, as well as Kosovo. This is a long and fruitful partnership that we are very proud of,‖ said Col.
Marius Harabagiu, Romanian brigade
commander.
The history between the two countries
stretches back to 1880 when U.S. and
Romania first began diplomatic relations
and strengthened after 9/11 when the
U.S. lobbied for Romanian acceptance
into NATO. It was those actions that
have since developed the working relationship into a true ―shoulder to shoulder‖ operational partnership.

ARCTIC WOLVES

STRYKER CREED
"Strike First - Strike Hard!"

Check us out on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/
pages/125-SBCT-ArcticWolves

Strike Fear in the enemy's hearts and minds; I am a lethal and skilled war fighter
with unmatched intestinal fortitude.
Being a disciplined, professional soldier, I live the army values.

1/25 SBCT PAO CONTACTS

Committed to my fellow soldiers, unit, and country, I am ready to answer my nation's

joel.b.anderson@us.army.mil

call - NOW!

michael.d.blalack@us.army.mil
thomas.duval@us.army.mil
andreka.johnson@us.army.mil
Have photos to share or a story
send us an email!

Tough, both physically and mentally, and instilled with the Warrior Spirit, I can accomplish any mission - anytime, anywhere!
"ARCTIC WOLVES"

CONTRIBUTORS
Battalion Public Affairs
Representatives
* 2-8FA Capt. Angela Chipman

MAJ. JOEL ANDERSON
PAO OIC

* 1-24IN 1st Lt. Mathew Rogers
*3-21IN Chad D. Wriglesworth
*1-5IN 1st Lt. Mathew R. Burke

SGT. MICHAEL BLALACK
PAO NCOIC

*5-1CAV 2 Lt. John Conard
*BTB 2nd Lt. John Conway
*BSB Stephen T. Leader 1LT

SPC. THOMAS DUVAL
PRINT JOURNALIST
PFC. ANDREKA JOHNSON
PRINT JOURNALIST
CAPT. ANGELA CHIPMAN
2-8FA UPAR
1ST LT. MATHEW ROGERS
1-24IN UPAR
“FIRST WITH THE TRUTH”


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