Infantry Soldiers complete annual training
By Spc. N. Bobby Ballard, 107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP BLANDING, Fla. (Aug. 23, 2012) – Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, took a moment before the end of their annual training during a ceremony, August 23, to further cement the battalion’s place in the history of the Global War On Terror and to recognize the achievements of new and seasoned Infantry Soldiers during their annual training at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center.
Lt. Col. Vaughn Brown, commander of the 2-124th, started off the ceremony by attaching the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer to the unit’s guidon. The “Seminole Battalion,” headquartered in Orlando, Fla., deployed to Southwest Asia from March to December 2010, conducting convoy security operations in Kuwait and Iraq to ensure the safe withdrawal of equipment and forces leading up to the end of Operation New Dawn.
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is in addition to one previously awarded to the unit for its deployment in 2003. Elements of the battalion were some of the first troops to cross over into Iraq at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Units are awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for a minimum of six months of extraordinarily meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services during the time of military operations against an armed enemy taking place on or after January 1, 1944.
Brown also presented awards to junior Soldiers and senior non-commissioned officers to include achievements in squad competitions, leadership recognition and unit logistical support.
One of the recipients, Sgt. 1st Class Charles R. Miller, of Land O’ Lakes, Fla., a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, received the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) for his dedication and commitment to training the Infantry Soldiers during the two weeks.
Training for the Soldiers during the two weeks included executing squad level Infantry tactics and completing offensive and defensive battle drills in simulated training lanes to keep the Infantrymen concentrated on their mission, to close with and destroy the enemy, said Brown.
Brown also says he takes pride in his Soldiers’ eagerness to train and although the Soldiers were away from their families for two weeks, the Soldiers could not do their jobs without their support.
With the completion of their annual training, the Soldiers of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team is prepared for any upcoming missions this hurricane season, if called on by the Governor to respond within the state.