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[caption id="attachment_3052" align="alignleft" width="250"]FOD_ImmigrantServes Army Spc. Meirong Wang hands out mail at her forward operating base in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. A native of China's Fujian province, Wang serves with Task Force Mountain Warrior. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Melissa Milner[/caption] NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2009 – A native of China’s Fujian province who was not in the United States long before she decided to serve her adopted country says the dedication of her fellow soldiers helps to inspire her own service. Army Spc. Meirong Wang was about to finish her college degree and start teaching high school physics when she was granted the opportunity to leave China and travel to the United States. “When you see a different country, it’s not about the country or the area, it’s about the people,” she said of her decision to leave China. “People are brave to stand up for the things [they] want to fight for.” Wang said she is proud to be here, and cited the discipline required in the military as something that makes it different from any other career. “As long as you maintain discipline, you want to do better,” she said. A human resources specialist for Task Force Mountain Warrior’s 4th Special Troops Battalion, Wang uses her discipline to better herself every day. “Specialist Wang makes my job easy,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason A. Coulter, Wang’s noncommissioned officer in charge. “Her work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to take on responsibilities [make her] the type of soldier leaders want and the Army needs.” Though Wang’s discipline and desire to do better drive her every day, Coulter said, she still faces some challenges as she works to overcome the language barrier. “Specialist Wang has identified that as a weakness, and has improved her English tremendously,” he said. “As leaders, we identify our weaknesses and seek self-improvement. Wang has many characteristics of a leader, and that is just one of them.” Wang attributes much of her success to her fellow soldiers and leaders. In the process that led to her being named as Task Force Mountain Warrior’s soldier of the quarter, Wang had to face many challenges and her teammates helped her to prepare. Even though the competition was an individual event, she noted, it still took a team effort for her be selected. “So many people stood behind me and supported me,” Wang said, adding that her leaders want her to be a good leader as well. “They also tell my comrades we need to support each other to be good leaders,” she said. Coulter proudly recalled how Wang’s fellow soldiers helped her prepare for the evaluation board. “Specialist Wang and her co-workers pulled together as a team; they went to the gym together, woke up early and did physical training,” he said. “And the team drilled her with evaluation board questions daily.” The support paid off in Wang’s selection as soldier of the quarter. “There’s no way I could win this board without everyone here,” she said. Coulter said it’s typical of Wang to give credit to her leadership and fellow soldiers. “She is an unselfish soldier [who] exemplifies selfless service,” he said. Wednesday, 28 October 2009: By Army Spc. Eugene H. Cushing whom serves in the Task Force Mountain Warrior public affairs office- Special to American Forces Press Service.
 

   

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Oct. 27, 2009 – Within a week of arriving here, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Gary Mishoe is preparing his motor pool for his unit’s takeover of counterinsurgency operations in the province.
From preventive maintenance to headlight and tire checks on the unit’s Humvees and 7-ton trucks, Mishoe works to ensure his fellow Marines will have safe and operable vehicles throughout their deployment. Mishoe, a 27-year-old Marine from Virginia Beach, Va., is deployed as a motor transport operator with Regimental Combat Team 7, which will conduct counterinsurgency operations in support of Afghan forces throughout the province.But his path from Virginia Beach to Afghanistan was not a simple high school-to-boot camp route.Within a year of graduating from high school in 2002, Mishoe secured a spot on the assembly line at a car assembly plant in Norfolk, Va. His job was simple: assemble drive shafts. The task earned him about $75,000 a year. Life was good. “I felt very secure. I had a good job, an apartment, bought a new car and had a family,” Mishoe said. “I thought I was going to retire there.” But four years later, the assembly plant couldn’t survive a weakened economy and its effect on the auto industry. He received three months notice that the plant was shutting down. “I got a $100,000 severance package. But I still needed a job,” said Mishoe, who had a wife, toddler and baby on the way. The Virginian’s life revolved around the auto industry as far back as he can remember. His mother had worked at the same assembly line 10 years earlier. “When I was in high school, I would wash some of my mom’s co-worker’s cars. I was a kid, washing these people’s cars, and then I found myself working right next to them on the assembly line,” he said. Following the layoff, Mishoe traveled up and down the East Coast, securing modeling gigs at New York fashion shows, and eventually following his wife to Atlanta. It was there that he decided to accept a commitment he’s always had on his mind: to enlist as a U.S. Marine. He knew the challenge ahead. “I knew it was going to be hard,” he said. “I knew I had to work for it. But I was willing to do it.” Mishoe knew he was enlisting in a wartime Marine Corps, and was fully aware of the chance that he may deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan. “I wanted to come out here and do what Marines do,” he said. “I’ve been training since boot camp to do this, and here I am.” Mishoe enlisted Aug. 11, 2007, and after graduating from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., he completed follow-on training at Camp Geiger, N.C., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he learned how to become a motor transport operator. “Working for Ford was tougher, not because of the job itself, but because of the lack of a team attitude. I was doing the job by myself,” he said. “There’s a lot more pride in the Marine Corps. If you’re struggling, there’s always someone to help. There’s always that team spirit.” Mishoe looks forward to heading out of the forward operating base and into the country roads, driving convoys and leading Marines. “I want to learn about the Afghan culture, what they’ve been through,” he said. “I believe that we are helping them in a turning point in their civilization. It’s good that we are here.” He also hopes to do some soul-searching. “The Marine Corps has helped me become a better father, husband and person,” he said. “Now, I want to learn about myself, about my limits,” he said. After completing his yearlong deployment, Mishoe said, he hopes to secure a spot at the Marine Inspector/Instructor staff at Chesapeake, Va., about 15 miles from the Ford plant where he used to work. The days of the lucrative assembly line are a distant memory, and the plant’s closing may have been a blessing in disguise. “I’m thinking about the here and now, and the future,” Mishoe said. “My prayers were answered. I got what I wanted. I’m a Marine.” (Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Luis R. Agostini serves with Regimental Combat Team 7.) October 27, 2009: By Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Luis R. Agostini-  Special to American Forces Press Service 000logo_news_distributionRedistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt American Forces Press Service December 1, 2008 CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2008 – Troops on the ground in Iraq have an “eye in the sky,” thanks to soldiers like Army Spc. Rodolfo Delatorre in the 4th Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade, who launches, recovers and maintains the Shadow unmanned aerial system. Delatorre, who serves with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, hails from Fresno, Calif. “I refuel, add oil, change spark plugs and change filters,” he said. “I perform services on the Shadow to ensure it stays in the air.” [caption id="attachment_3584" align="alignleft" width="250"]foddelatome-9999h-001 Army Spc. Rodolfo Delatorre, unmanned aerial system maintainer, 4th Infantry Division’s Company G, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, Multinational Division Baghdad, wires the propeller of a Shadow unmanned aerial system before launching the surveillance aircraft. Delatorre is responsible for launching, recovering and maintaining the high-tech Shadow at Camp Taji, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt[/caption] Delatorre is attached from the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team as a member of the “Iron Eagle” company, which launches and recovers the Shadow surveillance vehicles day and night. Shadow maintainers perform takeoff and landing procedures from their facility, using a pneumatic launcher for takeoffs. The soldiers recover the vehicles by using an arresting hook and cable system similar to the ones used on aircraft carriers.Delatorre is attached from the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team as a member of the “Iron Eagle” company, which launches and recovers the Shadow surveillance vehicles day and night. To keep the fleet of surveillance aircraft in the air, maintenance, quality control and production control are of high priority. Double- and triple-checking all maintenance procedures is commonplace. “Once one is launched, there is another one coming down. Once it has landed, we do maintenance on it,” Delatorre said. “I like this job because it is a lot of hands-on. I like to work with my hands. It gives me a lot of satisfaction when everything is launching well and there are no problems with the UAS.” The Shadow provides commanders on the ground the ability to see the entire battlefield with its high-tech cameras and communications equipment. Since the inception of unmanned surveillance aircraft more than 10 years ago, the “eyes in the sky” have become an integral part of the modern battlefield. Commanders have come to depend on the Shadow’s ability to give them surveillance footage from the sky; maintainers here ensure the “overhead edge” continues on the battlefield for Multinational Division Baghdad troops. “His job is extremely important to the overall mission,” said Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Lovell, Delatorre’s supervisor at the UAS company. “We have a high [operational tempo], and if it wasn’t for guys like Delatorre, we couldn’t support the overhead mission for MND-B. “He is a stellar soldier,” he continued, “and I tell other soldiers to emulate him. He is one of those soldiers who make my job a lot easier.”

[caption id="attachment_3445" align="alignleft" width="290"]AmmoTechEarns09092010 Marine Corps Lance Corporal Brent A. Smith goes through ammunition clips to ensure they all have the same and correct number of rounds, Aug. 9, 2010. Smith is the first Marine to be named Marine Corps Ammunition Technician of the Year. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin[/caption] CAMP SCHWAB, Japan – An ammunition technician with Ammunition Company, 3rd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, is the first Marine selected to receive the Marine Corps Ammunition Technician of the Year Award.
"I was kind of shocked really when I heard I was receiving this award,” Lance Cpl. Brent A. Smith said. “I kind of felt like I was up there with ‘Chesty’ Puller." The late Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller was a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and the most-decorated U.S. Marine in history.The Ammunition Technician of the Year Award is designed to recognize Marine Corps ammunition technicians, private through sergeant, who have set themselves apart from the rest of their peers through hard work, dedication and sound decision making, officials said."It is a great honor to have an ammo tech from 3rd Supply Battalion represent the company here on Okinawa," said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Deering, officer in charge of Ammunition Company, who recommended Smith for the award. Smith works with several other ammunition technician Marines to issue ammo to units across Okinawa, giving out anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 rounds of various types of ammunition in a day. "Ammunition technicians seem to be overlooked sometimes," Smith said. "No one notices when their ammunition is delivered on time, but they sure notice when they are on the gun line and there is nothing to put downrange. You can go a few days without food, maybe a couple of days without water, but you wouldn't last a minute without ammunition." Deering said the new award is good for the ammunition community in the Marine Corps. "I am excited to see how this award will transform our community in the future," he said. "It is a great program, and I think that through recognition, Marines may become more competitive. We all like bragging rights." Smith said he’s proud to be the first Marine to receive the award. “I know that I have set the bar for myself and for other Marines who push for this award in the future," he said. Sept. 9, 2010: By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin- Marine Corps Bases Japan

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