The Bayonet

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

Around the Army: FORSCOM team visits NTC

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Gen. Daniel B. Allyn and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca, commanding general and command sergeant major of U.S. Army Forces Command, visited the Army’s National Training Center Jan. 24 to discuss the recent “Decisive Action” training rotation of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Team, 2nd Infantry Division. The brigade is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and assigned to U.S. Pacific Command. The training rotation was based on a Pacific-focused scenario that fully integrated a Japanese Ground Defense Force unit. U.S. Army Forces Command is responsible for the training and readiness of conventional Army units based in the continental United States to meet the validated requirements of the nation’s combatant commanders. Allyn commented, “this was exceptional training delivered to all units, ensuring readiness to deliver the full range of mission capability to the PACOM commander.”

3rd ID Soldiers remember fallen

The morning of Jan. 16 was brisk and windy, but the sun was shining as the weather seemed to echo the bittersweet mood of a ceremony at the Warriors Walk on Fort Stewart, Ga., to commemorate the lives of two Soldiers, who made the ultimate sacrifice during combat operations while assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

The Warriors Walk memorial is dedicated to Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division and attached units who deployed from Fort Stewart in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom, and did not return. An Eastern Redbud tree is planted for each fallen Soldier, and pays a living tribute to their service and sacrifice for our nation.

Sgt. 1st Class Forrest W. Robertson was a cavalry scout from Wamego, Kan. “Sgt. Rob” as he was affectionately known, was an energetic, fun-loving soldier and leader assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6-8 Cav. Regt. “He could tell anybody from the squadron commander down to the lowest private exactly what he was thinking in a way that made it sound like you needed to do better, but allowed you to know that he loved you and he cared about you,” said Capt. Robert Heightchew, commander of HHT.

Spc. James T. Wickliff, from Edmond, Okla., served as an infantryman with Troop C, 6-8 Cav. Regt. He was selfless and courageous, earning several awards for his combat service during his short time in the Army. He was often remembered as the Soldier who always volunteered to carry the heavy weapons, as to lighten the load on the other Soldiers on mission with him. “He was like a brother to me,” said Spc. Kevin Mcgrew, an Infantryman with C Troop, and a close friend of Wickliff. “I could just look at him, and he would know what I was thinking. He would give his last dollar for me if I didn’t have anything. He laid his life down for me and his brothers. That’s the greatest thing that he could give.”

“The love, honor, and respect we feel for these two great Soldiers will not fade into the night, nor will it fade into time,” said Maj. Gen. John M. Murray, the commanding general of 3rd Infantry Division. “We owe it to these two outstanding young men to live up to the example they have set for all of us. Daily as we walk down these concrete walkways, or drive by this hallowed ground, remember the price that each one of these heroes paid to afford us the opportunity to live the life that we do.”

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