I found the story below but don't have a non-subscription link for it. I'll post one later if I find it. I thought it interesting - especially, amidst the doom and gloom being reported. While I've posted about huge re-enlistments in Iraq before (I think the Idaho National Guard has the record), this seemingly small act is very important because you win wars with small units like 3rd Squad/2nd Platoon of Bravo Company, 5th Engineers!
Entire Squad From Co. B, 5th Eng. Bn. Reenlists Together
by Sgt. 1st Class Tracy L. Ballog
16th Eng. Bde. PAO
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - When it comes to fidelity, six Soldiers of Multi-National Division - Baghdad’s 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company B, 5th Engineer Battalion, 16th Engineer Brigade, take their dedication to each other seriously - so seriously that the entire squad committed to remaining in the military by reenlisting together March 22.
“In my 33-year military career, this is the first time I’ve known an entire squad to demonstrate their commitment to each other and to military service with such esprit de corps, and I’m very proud to be a participant in reenlisting this fine ‘Beast’ squad of the ‘Fighting 5th’ Engineer Battalion,” said Brig. Gen. Robin Timmons, commander, 16th Eng. Bde., who conducted the reenlistment ceremony.
“This simultaneous reenlistment shows your unique cohesiveness, respect and confidence in each other and to the military,” he told the squad.
1st Sgt. Douglas Gault, Co. B, 5th Eng. Bn., credited the squad’s leader, Staff Sgt. Ramon Martinez on his leadership for the team’s unique commitment.
“This squad reenlisting together shows the loyalty and confidence in their squad leader and the mission - that’s what leadership is about, 100 percent loyalty,” said Gault.
Staff Sgt. Martinez, a combat engineer from Yuma, Ariz., has 12 years of military service and has been assigned to the squad for the past year. He attributed his Soldiers’ commitment, pride in their mission and a bit of luck as real factors in his squad’s rare reenlistment opportunity.
“I was in a unique situation by having all my squad members’ reenlistment windows open at the same time. They all came to me for advice, and I gave them what I could to help them make their own decisions about reenlisting,” he explained.
The squad’s reenlistment was made even more distinctive in that all the soldiers, except Martinez, were first time re-enlistees...
“Upon learning that they all wished to remain in the military, I asked them if I could be a part of their reenlistment as this was my last ‘re-up’ in the Army, and I thought it would be an honor to reenlist with my squad, who are all first-timers,” he said.
He commented that his Soldiers’ commitment resembles many others who serve in the military and is a result of the success and fulfillment gained from their current assignment with the Iron Castle engineers.
“We are part of the Castle Iron Claw team, and removing improvised-explosive devices from the routes gives us an enormous sense of pride - pride in knowing that there’s one less IED on the road and we can ensure our comrades are safe,” he said.
Lt. Col. Michael McGuire, commander, 5th Eng. Bn., said Martinez’ guidance played a great role in his squad’s accomplishment.
“These Soldiers reenlisted because they believe in themselves and their mission, and have the utmost confidence in their leadership,” he added.
Captain James Booth, commander, Co. B, 5th Eng. Bn., echoed McGuire’s remarks and also emphasized the importance of small unit leadership to his Soldiers’ mission success.
“Great small-unit leadership is why we are successful over here. Staff Sgt. Martinez has provided the kind of leadership that Soldiers thrive on. Soldiers want to stay in the Army when they follow men like him. That is why you see all of them standing up as a squad - together - committing to serve our nation for six more years,” he said.