War on Terrorism

Friday, July 05, 2013

Face of Defense: Soldiers Re-enlist in Afghanistan

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Mary Rose Mittlesteadt
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 5, 2013 – Twenty-two soldiers agreed to continue their Army service during an Independence Day re-enlistment ceremony held here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. Cierra A. Zanders, from Brunswick, Ga., receives a re-enlistment certificate from the commander of Task Force Lifeliner, Army Col. Charles R. Hamilton, and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Eugene Thomas during a re-enlistment ceremony at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on July 4, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sinthia Rosario

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The commander of Task Force Lifeliner, Army Col. Charles R. Hamilton, raised his hand and recited the oath of enlistment. Then, the soldiers standing before him repeated the oath.

“Having reenlisted a couple times myself, I know it is a huge, huge, huge commitment,” said Hamilton, who’d served as a noncommissioned officer prior to securing his officer’s commission.
The re-enlistment ceremony took place shortly after the 40-year anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. military’s all-volunteer force on July 1, 1973.

The Fourth of July is “America’s birthday and my favorite family holiday,” Sgt. Jennifer E. Wynn said after she re-enlisted. “I have really enjoyed the last three years I have been in the Army. I have enjoyed the camaraderie and my job, and just want to give some more time and make my friends and family proud.”

The soldiers at the re-enlistment ceremony came from multiple units in support of Task Force Lifeliner, including the 101st Special Troops Battalion, from Fort Campbell, Ky., and 157th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, from the Pennsylvania National Guard. It was the first re-enlistment for many.

Re-enlisting soldiers is her passion, said Sgt. 1st Class Tiny Jones, Task Force Lifeliner’s senior career counselor.

“I am here to take care of soldiers’ careers and their futures,” said Jones, a native of Henderson, N.C.
Wynn, a native of Crete, Neb., and a soldier with the 101st Special Troops Battalion, said she was honored that Hamilton personally conducted the re-enlistment ceremony.

“This will be a very proud moment for you to reflect on years from now,” Hamilton told the soldiers at the close of the ceremony.

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