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28th Infantry Division, Harrisburg, Pa.

 

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 28th Infantry Division is celebrating 100 years of being known as the “Iron Division.” The 28th is America’s oldest continuously-serving division and dates its start to March 12, 1879. It earned the “Iron” moniker in World War I - on July 15, 1918 - when Gen. John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, referred to the resolve of the division’s soldiers.
To mark the centennial, Lt. Col. Garry Hahn, 28th Infantry Division chief of assessment, recently presented an overview of the actions of the 109th Infantry Regiment, and other division units, during the German offensive on Reims, France. The 109th tenaciously held its ground and stopped the German “Victory Offensive.” The 109th’s line became the high-water mark of the German advance.
On the second day of the fight, a telephone message received from division headquarters stated that Gen. Pershing, when informed of the heroic stand made by the 109th Infantry in its first contact with the enemy, remarked: “Why, they are iron men!”

Sgt. 1st Class Doug Roles
28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan Public Affairs

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Seventeen 28th Infantry Division "Iron soldiers," with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, tried out for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) from July 9-14 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The 28ID soldiers lined up among 265 ARCENT soldiers to test themselves in a variety of physical challenges as well as weapons marksmanship. The testing for the GAFPB must be administered by a qualified German physical training instructor. If earned, U.S. soldiers may wear the badge on their dress uniform.

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‘Men of Iron’ 100 year anniversary

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Durbin and Spc. Emma Gebrosky represent Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army Central #BestWarrior Competition during the last week of June, 2018. The competition tests soldiers in a wide variety of physical and mental skills and determines the two individuals who will represent ARCENT in the Army's Best Warrior Competition.

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28 ID commander holds mid-deployment town hall to update soldiers, field questions

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Roles
28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan Public Affairs

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division received a mid-deployment update from commanders during a June 29 town hall event that also focused on what’s next for the unit. The soldiers are deployed in support of Task Force Spartan.

The battalion is serving under U.S. Army Central (ARCENT) as the headquarters element for the roughly 9,000-soldier task force that conducts training events, subject matter expert exchanges and symposia, to build interoperability. Approximately 500 HHBN soldiers mobilized from Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania in mid-January for the mission. The unit will return to Pennsylvania this fall.

During the town hall meeting, Maj. Gen. Andrew Schafer, division commander, provided an overview of the mission and the area of operations, which comprises much of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.

Schafer commended his soldiers on their hard work so far and encouraged them to take care of themselves and each other. Questions from soldiers in attendance ranged from what determines success on this deployment to what the unit will be doing when it returns home. Schafer said there are several components to success, including building readiness and developing positive relationships with ARCENT counterparts.

"Improving our ‘fight tonight’ capability and providing oversight for transitioning units, that is success,” Schafer said. “I think we have been successful and that we’ll continue to improve.”

TF-Spartan is comprised of a field artillery brigade, an engineer brigade, an air defense artillery brigade and an armor brigade. Lt. Col. Garry Hahn, division chief of assessment, asked Schafer what his biggest challenge has been as TFS commander compared to his normal role as “Iron Division” commander. Schafer said the 28th normally has mission command for four brigades, all in Pennsylvania, whereas Task Force Spartan conducts theater security cooperation in nine countries in the Mideast.

“Besides the Spartan brigades, we have some additional smaller elements. Getting around and seeing them all is challenging,” Schafer said. “When I go somewhere here, it’s a challenge. At the Gap [Fort Indiantown Gap] you can visit three or four battalions on a weekend. You can’t do that here.”

“The amount of information is just overwhelming. You have to count on your staff,” Schafer added.

Schafer noted that the 28th’s division staff doesn’t normally work with theater-level air defense assets. He joked that as he has traveled the area of operations to visit air defense artillery sites, his staff has told him that Patriot batteries all look the same.

“But there are different soldiers at each one,” Schafer said. “Eighty percent of that formation is first-time enlistees. I see great work being done by E-1s to E-3s [privates].”

In response to a question about junior officer development, Schafer advised soldiers to keep up with their civilian and military education. He said the unit has pushed hard to have noncommissioned officers complete online coursework that is a prerequisite to attending schools required for promotion.

“We have some junior NCOs and junior officers punching way above their weight. We have lieutenants doing the job of ‘Iron majors,’” Schafer said.

Unit leaders also talked about what the battalion’s soldiers will be doing after this deployment ends. A focus will be on getting soldiers to their next required military schools. HHBN will also reset and begin the ongoing multi-year Army Force Generation cycle of training. A computer-simulated command post exercise is slated for 2019 and is among a number of training events leading up to a Warfighter exercise planned for early 2021. Warfighter is a culminating training event for brigade and division headquarters.

Lt. Col. Erik Smith, commander of the headquarters battalion, said there are many soldiers on the deployment who are new to HHBN. He said from the start of the mobilization, through training at Fort Hood, Texas and arrival into theater, the soldiers have coalesced as a team.

“They have done an amazing job, well above and beyond what myself and the command sergeant major [Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Strathmeyer] could have expected from when we left Pennsylvania,” Smith said. “They just stepped up their game beyond belief and came together from across the state.”

During the town hall, Smith spoke to soldiers about the performance triad. He said that soldiers at Camp Arifjan have multiple options when it comes to working out and can chose healthy foods in the dining facilities. But he warned that consecutive nights with five hours or less of sleep leave a soldier as impaired as a drunk driver.

“Sleep is a very important part of the triad though you don’t hear as much about it,” he said.

Schafer and Smith provided a brief history of HHBN and the division at the start of the event. The 28th is America’s oldest continuously-serving division and earned the moniker “Iron Division” in World War I when Gen. John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, referred to the division’s soldiers as “Men of Iron.”

During the town hall, soldiers also received briefings about the Army’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention program – referred to as SHARP - and the code of conduct during deployment. A briefing about extension and re-enlistment options was also provided.

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Task Force Spartan soldiers sprint back from the marker to lay on their stomach before getting up to sprint to complete the next iteration during the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge Shuttle Sprint qualification on July 10. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Palermo)

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Job posting:
This National Guard position is for a FIREFIGHTER (BASIC LIFE SUPPORT), Position Description Number T5911600 and is part of the PA Training Center, Fort Indiantown Gap.

**The firefighter position has been extended to 13 July. If you missed the chance to apply before the last posted date, here is another chance!**

For the month of July we are displaying a photo of the "Men of Honor" painting which depicts 28th Infantry Division soldiers in the Second Battle of the Marne, where they earned their moniker "Men of Iron." July 15, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of this battle. Can you name the artist who painted this work?

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Eight soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division/Task Force Spartan - OSS were among service members at Camp Arifjan who were recognized during a June 29, 2018 ceremony for completing information technology training offered by 335th Signal Command's ARCENT Signal University. Six of the soldiers completed a CompTIA Security+ 501 course and two (Warrant Officer 3 Randall Stachelrodt and Staff Sgt. Charles Tallent) completed the Cisco Certified Network Associate – Security course. The graduates are (front row, from left): Spc. Nelson Maher, Staff Sgt. Ronald Perrucci, Tallent and Stachelrodt. Row two: Capt. Dana Wilkins, Spc. Jacob Golden, Staff Sgt. Douglas Byers and Sgt. Andrew Numer. Wilkins is a Colorado National Guard soldier who is serving as Task Force Spartan’s special technical operations chief. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Doug Roles)

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Job posting:

This National Guard position is for a FIREFIGHTER (BASIC LIFE SUPPORT), Position Description Number T5911600 and is part of the PA Training Center, Fort Indiantown Gap.

**This announcement will close on Friday, July 6, 2018, or on the date the 75th application is received, whichever comes first.**

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – 28ID soldiers joined many others in celebrating 4th of July with a number of events while deployed to the Middle East. With help from the MWR and USO, the soldiers partook in a 10K run, BBQ, pie eating contest, and various games.

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Capt. Robert Connors was promoted to his current rank June 16, 2018. A soldier with Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division/Task Force Spartan, Connors is in Jordan where he is training with other TFS soldiers.

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Durbin and Spc. Emma Gebrosky represent Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army Central #BestWarrior Competition during the last week of June, 2018. The competition tests soldiers in a wide variety of physical and mental skills and determines the two individuals who will represent ARCENT in the Army's Best Warrior Competition.

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Lt. Col. Ryan Caufman, an intelligence officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division/Task Force Spartan was promoted to his current rank June 14, 2018. Caufman is in Jordan where he is training with other TFS soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Melissa DeGeorge)

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Durbin and Spc. Emma Gebrosky represent Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army Central #BestWarrior Competition during the last week of June, 2018. The competition tests soldiers in a wide variety of physical and mental skills and determines the two individuals who will represent ARCENT in the Army's Best Warrior Competition.

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Congratulations to this 1/112th Soldier from the Stryker Brigade for completing Sniper School.

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Soldiers with 28th Infantry Division/Task Force Spartan - OSS fill the women’s scaled division podium at Benchmark Girls League workouts of the day (WOD) at Camp Arifjan on June, 24, 2019. The CrossFit competition was a four-week program utilizing WODs named in honor of women who have set benchmarks within the CrossFit community. Being recognized are: Lt. Col. Teri Bossard, first place; Staff Sgt. Jamie Kofa second place; and Spc. Taylor Clever third place.

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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Durbin and Spc. Emma Gebrosky represent Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army Central #BestWarrior Competition during the last week of June, 2018. The competition tests soldiers in a wide variety of physical and mental skills and determines the two individuals who will represent ARCENT in the Army's Best Warrior Competition.

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