What Do You Do In The Military In South Korea

What Do You Do In The Military In South Korea – The 1st Shrek Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division is on a nine-month mission in Iraq. Soldiers from the brigade, based in Fort Carson, Colorado, boarded a military plane on Sept. 12 in a bus. Credit: Michael Ciaglo for The New York Times

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A line of soldiers marched across the sprawling Army outpost in the afternoon, their flags adorned with rainbow ribbons from past deployments: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, South Korea, Germany, France , civil wars and even skirmishes with plains tribes on horseback.

What Do You Do In The Military In South Korea

“Colours now!” shouted a sergeant. The soldiers turned and tipped the flag toward their commander, the Colonel, who stepped forward, wrapping each one carefully in camouflage sleeves.

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It was at that moment – 1:29 p.m. Aug. 30 Mountain Time—The last U.S. military aircraft takes off from Kabul Airport, Afghanistan.

American flags across the country have been flown at half-mast to honor the 13 US troops killed by suicide bombers there. And at Fort Carson’s main entrance, a group of women is displaying 13 pairs of boots and 13 cold Bud Lights as a memento.

But the ceremony on the parade ground did not mark the end of the US war in Afghanistan. The 1st Stryker Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division is hoisting its flag to mark the start of its latest deployment. It’s going back to Iraq.

While the mission may have fallen out of the public eye, another country the U.S. invaded after 9/11 still has a foothold. About 2,500 U.S. troops are now in Iraq, once the embers of a bitter and divisive war, now carefully dispersed to protect a few strategic bases. About 2,000 soldiers from the 1st Brigade will take over most of the tasks for the next nine months.

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Sergeant. Jason Bogle said goodbye to his wife Beula and their one-year-old daughter Trinity on Sept. 12 as they prepared to leave Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Image copyright: Michael Ciaglo for The New York Times

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The deployment was the latest in a long line for the unit, which now consists mostly of toddler soldiers from the U.S. invasion. In their view, war in a foreign land is not a limited, momentous event, but an ongoing reality—a mission that may forever require volunteers.

The brigade first deployed to Iraq in 2003 and eventually captured the country’s fugitive dictator Saddam Hussein after soldiers rescued him from a spider hole in a small village. That time, the troops received a raucous welcome when they returned home, with 70,000 people in attendance and Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jessica Simpson paying tribute to them.

But the initial victory in Iraq did not bring peace. The brigade returned to Iraq again in 2006 and 2008. Dozens of soldiers from the brigade died as the country crumbled. While the brigade continues to deploy, including tours in Afghanistan and Kuwait, the initial enthusiasm for the invasion has faded.

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In 2021, the platoon of the 1st Brigade boarded a military plane again, with no banners on the side of the road and no band playing. Just a few dozen family members and an excited crowd of kids and dogs showed up for the low-key send-off.

But as young soldiers piled onto planes from a war-weary country, many of their faces lit up with excitement. They walk the flight line proud because it’s their time to stand guard. Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan shows that the fate of a country may depend on only a few thousand soldiers, and now depends in part on them.

When the World Trade Center was attacked in 2001, Colonel Steadman was a lieutenant fresh out of college, and he soon found himself leading a paratrooper platoon in Afghanistan. Since then, he has barely rested.

He commanded a company in Iraq during the 2007 troop surge to quell growing unrest. Then he led a battalion home. He wore uniforms for a while at the White House, always a few steps behind President Obama, carrying a briefcase full of launch codes known as nuclear footballs. Now he commands a brigade combat team.

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Twenty years of war defined his life. A few weeks ago, when his 10-year-old daughter asked him: “What is Afghanistan? Why are they fighting there?”

“It stopped me in my tracks,” he said. “I realize there are a lot of young people who are still learning about the world.

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“It’s the same with a lot of my soldiers. They’re young, they don’t know why we’re there, why we’re going. Part of my job is to teach them.”

The brigade priest was not a priest in the first place. He enlisted as a hobbled private in 2002 when he and his wife were about to have a baby and Congress voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. He was deployed to Iraq while his first child was still in the hospital. Now he has four.

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He said the intensity of his first deployment in 2003 forced him to seek direction and community in his Christian faith. After seeing how faith helped him and other war soldiers, he knew he wanted to be a priest.

Over the years, he has seen the Army transform from a force focused on quick wins to one prepared for long, hard fights. During that time, gardens of social services have sprung up around war fighters, giving them a better chance at a happy family life, financial stability, and a healthy lifestyle to sustain them.

“One thing is for sure, the Army has learned how to fight wars over this long period of time,” Col. Mason said. “It has learned how to support soldiers, how to build strength not only physically but through spiritual practices and supporting relationships. We Know that a soldier cannot deploy without the support of loved ones at home.”

Lieutenant Albright, quiet and confident, her blond ponytail hanging from her patrol cap, lifted her pack and told her intelligence platoon of 20 soldiers to line up for deployment.

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She graduated summa cum laude from Iowa State University in 2018 with a degree in animal science, but instead of becoming a veterinarian, she decided to join the military and try to give back to her country, like her father and older brother.

In her backpack is a book of meditations on how Christians can find joy in their duty and find joy in purpose. “That’s how I was raised, you feel obligated to other people,” she said. “I feel called to serve.”

The platoon she leads is predominantly male. Only about 15 percent of women in the Army are women — a percentage that has barely budged since 2001, even though all combat positions are now open to women. But the situation is different for younger officers: About one-third of lieutenants are now women, suggesting that future Army leadership may look more like Lt. Albright.

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Being a woman in uniform “was no big deal,” she said. “I got nothing but support, people who pushed me to be successful.”

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His great-grandfather served in the military. So did his grandfather. So did his father, who ended Operation Desert Storm shortly before he was born. So Sergeant Blomer never had much doubt about what he would do for a living.

As First Brigade soldiers prepared to fly to Iraq, some stuffed their backpacks with lucky charms, extra pillows and blankets or books from college classes they were taking when they deployed.

Not Sergeant Blommer. He’s not looking for reassurance, distraction, or withdrawal from the plan. He said he planned to join the army. He enlisted nine years ago and has already deployed once, to a peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

The night before his deployment to Iraq, he and his Army buddies went out to celebrate with a big steak. He welcomes the idea of ​​serving where there is an opportunity for action but a little danger.

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Lieutenant Tran was an active-duty military policeman and then an instructor before becoming an officer in the Medical Logistics Unit. She has seen the military from all sides and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who fled the fall of Saigon in 1975. Her father had fought on the side of the Americans. Her mother escaped by boat. They never really talked about that war at home, and she never really asked. When she enlisted, her parents were not happy.

Why is her brigade now being sent to Iraq, 10 years after U.S. combat operations there officially ended? That’s how it is, she said, noting that U.S. soldiers are still being deployed to South Korea and Germany, where fighting stopped generations ago. Her job is the same no matter the location or assignment.

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