By Pfc. Kimberly Hackbarth
4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Stretcher. Military police. Tab.
Those were the only three ways Staff Sgt. Jorge Fabian said he would leave Ranger School.
It was his dedication to his personal goal and his ability to share what he learned while pursuing that goal that placed Fabian in front of Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur Coleman Jr., III Corps' senior noncommissioned officer. during Coleman's May 10 visit to Camp Taji .
Fabian, a squad leader with Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, stood in formation with nine other 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers to receive a coin for excellence.
"I believe you can make yourself better by surrounding yourself with people smarter than you and better than you, so when (Coleman) shook my hand and gave me my coin, it came with great honor," Fabian said.
Fabian's journey began when he immigrated to the United States in 1982 from Mendoza, Argentina. He joined the Army in 2004.
Two years into his military career, he set for himself a major goal when he decided he wanted to earn a Ranger tab.
In order to get the tab, which is worn on the upper left shoulder of the uniform, signifying completion of the intense course, Fabian had to make sacrifices and overcome numerous challenges.
On his first attempt, Fabian was pulled out of Ranger School because his unit was deploying to Iraq.
That didn't stop him his second time when 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team was accelerated by nine months and he received orders to deploy to Iraq in the fall of 2009.
Fabian obtained permission to deploy late, attend Ranger school and finally get a chance to earn his Ranger tab.
Fabian graduated from Ranger School in December 2009 and proudly wore his tab to Iraq, where he reunited in March with his unit and immediately began operations.
The same month, Fabian and another Ranger School graduate decided to put what they learned to use and prepare Ranger-hopefuls in the company with a pre-Ranger school course.
"Ranger School doesn't teach you how to kill somebody with a stick, but it does teach you how to lead and how to take care of soldiers," Fabian said.
Fabian has offered to help his soldiers prepare the paperwork needed to apply to Ranger School.
"I'm trying to do everything for them except putting a tab on their shoulders," Fabian said. "I learned from my hard times what I need to help these guys."