About 200 soldiers from the 62nd Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, deployed overseas Sept. 1 after a ceremony at Abrams Physical Fitness Center.
These signalers are lead by Lt. Col. John Gregor, battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Woody Carter. The battalion last returned from deployment in October 2011 as one of the final units in Iraq.
During this deployment, the battalion’s mission to Kuwait and the surrounding areas is in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
“I want you to know that I am extremely proud of you, and I know you are going to do great things down range,” said Maj. Michael Bush, rear provisional commander.
With a combination of veteran soldiers and new recruits throughout the battalion, there was an even mixture of those who have been deployed before, and younger soldiers awaiting their first trip.
Most first-time soldiers expressed an eagerness to test their training.
“I’m looking forward to doing my job out there,” said Pfc. Blake Carney, Alpha Company. “I can’t wait to do what we learned in my Advance Individual Training teachings.”
For some junior soldiers, their deployment’s emphasis centered on time with their battle buddies and going overseas.
To be able to form a stronger bond with other soldiers will be nice, said Pvt. Dominique Armstrong, Headquarter and Headquarters Company. It will be nice getting to see a different country too, he said.
Battle-tested veterans look forward to one important thing to on this deployment.
“I’m looking forward to coming home,” said 1st Sgt. Michael Knowlton, of Alpha Company.
This deployment had an added significance to the signal soldiers. The day they left for deployment also marked the 70th anniversary of when their brigade was first constituted on Sept. 1, 1943.
”It’s an important day in the history of the brigade and an important day in the history of this battalion,” said Col. James Parks, III, brigade commander.
“I couldn’t think of a more important way to spend it than to wish the Messengers off on a safe and speedy mission because no one else in the Army, the world, can do what you do.”
As the soldiers prepared to load onto buses for the airport, their brigade commander made one request.
“Be safe, we are proud of you,” Parks said. “Take care of each other and bring everybody back in one piece.”