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Spartan Brigade commander recognizes six Soldiers with awards

Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler
4th BCT, 25th ID PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were recognized for a job well done during an awards ceremony here Monday.

Six Soldiers with MOSes including infantryman, military policeman, logistical specialist, imagery analyst, medic and medical administrator were awarded medals for the execution of their mission as the 4-25 BCT equipment reception and transit team.

The Soldiers left the frigid temperatures of Alaska with the mindset of a single mission to aid their battalions; however, that mission quickly evolved into something much greater.

"We all left Fort Richardson, Alaska, on Jan. 17 with the original mission of handling (our) individual battalion's equipment coming into Afghanistan," said Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Leishman, a military policeman from HHC, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. "But when we finally arrived into Afghanistan, we saw that we had a much larger task at hand."

The mission originally planned for the Soldiers quickly grew from handling their respective battalion's equipment to handling all the equipment for the brigade.

"Once we recognized the challenge we had, specific duties were assigned," Leishman said. "We all had to come together and make it one big effort to accomplish the mission."

"I am honored to recognize the outstanding effort you Soldiers showed by accomplishing this mission," said Col. Michael Howard, 4-25th BCT commander. "Your efforts have helped the brigade tremendously with our overall mission. Thank you for what you have accomplished."

The Soldiers said they only thought of one thing while undertaking the task: accomplish the mission.

"It feels really good to be recognized for doing what we set out to do," said Sgt. Chad Wimmer, a 425th BSTB squad leader. "But it really feels good to know that we did the job really well, and we all came together."

Six medals were presented in all:

Leishman, Wimmer and Cpl. Richard Herold, 725th Brigade Support Battalion, received the Army Commendation Medal.

Spc. William D. Farrow, HHC, 425th BSTB; Pfc. James Malcolm, HHC, 4-25th BCT, and Spc. Emmeli Rich, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, received the Army Achievement Medal.

"I really did not know what to expect with bringing so many different personalities and job specialties together, but once we set out on this mission, these Soldiers went above and beyond my expectations," Leishman said. 

Col. Michael Howard, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division commander, shakes hands with Spc. William D. Farrow, HHC, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, after awarding him the Army Achievement Medal during an awards ceremony Monday at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan. Farrow was part of a six-man detail tasked with the transit and receiving of the entire brigade’s equipment. Col. Michael Howard, 4-25th BCT commander, talks with five Soldiers being recognized for the accomplishment of their mission involving the transit and receiving of all of the equipment for the brigade during an awards ceremony on Forward Operating Base Salerno,

photos by Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler/4th BCT, 25th ID PAO

Col. Michael Howard, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division commander, shakes hands with Spc. William D. Farrow, HHC, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, after awarding him the Army Achievement Medal during an awards ceremony Monday at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan. Farrow was part of a six-man detail tasked with the transit and receiving of the entire brigade’s equipment.

Col. Michael Howard, 4-25th BCT commander, talks with five Soldiers being recognized for the accomplishment of their mission involving the transit and receiving of all of the equipment for the brigade during an awards ceremony on Forward Operating Base Salerno,
Afghanistan, Monday.