Reserve Soldiers Fortify SC(E)
Story by Pfc. Crystal D. Eldridge
13th SC(E) Public Affairs
Soldiers of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Reserve Detachment are arriving here this week to begin integration into the active duty component of the 13th SC (E) in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the command.
The detachment, stationed in San Marcos, Texas, is comprised of more than 80 Reservist positions in the 13th SC (E)'s modified table of organization and equipment.
Since October of 1999, the detachment has been a direct extension of the Special Troops Battalion of the 13th SC (E). Among its ranks are supply specialists, legal advisors, petroleum supply specialists, logistics planners, administrative specialists, cooks, information systems specialists, intelligence analysts, transportation specialists, chemical specialists, drivers and many others.
The mission of the detachment is to augment the 13th SC (E) during times of increased demand such as deployments. During the SC (E)'s upcoming deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the command's responsibilities will be increased to encompass all of Iraq. This will include not only the support of American Soldiers but in many cases, coalition forces as well.
Due to this increase, the support of the Reserve detachment's Soldiers will be essential.
"The Reserve component is vital to our success on the battlefield," said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general of the 13th SC (E). "Ever since we began operations in Iraq as an Army, the Reserve component has played a key role in all formations whether it be combat arms, combat support or combat service support."
The impact of the detachment's presence was felt during the 13th SC (E) headquarters' first deployment to Iraq in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Known as the 13th Corps Support Command at the time, the SC (E) was responsible for supporting Soldiers throughout Iraq while in theater.
During the 2004 deployment, the detachment's Soldiers worked alongside active duty Soldiers to successfully complete the 13th SC (E)'s mission.
Staff Sgt. Jason Meadows, one of the Reservists with the detachment, deployed to Iraq with the headquarters in 2004 and will be returning with the command later this year.
While in Iraq, Meadows was the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Joint Visitors Bureau. It was his responsibility to provide transportation for dignitaries, celebrities, and others who visited Soldiers and Iraqi villages.
Meadows said he remembered times when he helped bring village children into Camp Anaconda to watch movies at the camp theater. He also helped visitors deliver humanitarian goods and toys to Iraqi civilians.
"I had a great time," Meadows said. "I wouldn't trade the experience for the world."
"(Soldiers of the Reserve Detachment) are an integral part of our organization and they bring a level of capability and maturity we don't have on a day-to-day basis," said Lt. Col. Robert Reister, deputy G3 of the 13th SC (E).
Reister worked closely with many of the Reservists while deployed in 2004.
"[Reservists] are vital to the success of our Army," Reister added. "The United States Army Reserve has been able to step up and find the quality of people to serve at this level.
"I'm personally grateful for the sacrifices some of these folks have made," he continued. "They are very, very competent."
Master Sgt. David Jacquet and Master Sgt. Joe Hunt are two senior enlisted Soldiers who deployed with the command in 2004 and will be deploying again this year.
Both master sergeants bring more than 20 years of experience to the command.
Jacquet served 11 years on active duty before joining the Reserves. During his time in the military, he has deployed four times. He participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Intrinsic Action in Kuwait and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Throughout his career, he has worked in the fields of air defense, artillery, combat engineering and automated logistics.
Hunt has served for 30 years with more than 16 years on active duty. He has deployed twice - once in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and again in 2004 with the 13th COSCOM in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hunt has worked in the medical field, field artillery, as a missile crew member and as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic.
These two master sergeants have been working with the STB to prepare the command and detachment for reintegration. This requires preparing for training, finding housing for Reserve Soldiers and ensuring both Fort Hood and the detachment's Soldiers are ready for their upcoming missions.
"Everybody has been very helpful," Jacquet said concerning active Soldiers' response to the master sergeants' preparations.
"Everyone seems excited to get us in," Meadows added. "[Active Soldiers of the STB] have been very receptive. They're all trying to help us integrate in and become part of the team."
"Our approach is that we are all one team, one Army," said Terry, "and that all Soldiers in the Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) are equal.
"We look forward to serving with our Reserve component comrades in arms during Operation Iraqi Freedom."