Provider Soldiers get promoted, re-enlist
Story and Photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Continuing a tradition of excellence, Provider Soldiers earned promotions and re-enlisted in the Army, all while continuing to prepare for the drawdown of U.S. equipment and personnel from Iraq.
Two Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) were promoted for their exceptional service.
“The secretary of the Army has espoused special trust and confidence in the fidelity, valor and personal courage of …” read Master Sgt. Dorothea Goodson, noncommissioned officer in charge of the support operations administrative section, HHC, 13th ESC, while Brig Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th SC(E), watched as she named the Soldiers and stepped forward to pin on their new rank.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Crystal Davis, the mobility officer for the support operations land section, 13th SC(E), was promoted to chief warrant officer 3 after 14 years in the Army.
“It’s exciting,” said Davis. “I didn’t think I would stay this long, but here I am.”
Davis said she has chosen to stay in the Army because it provides a perspective on life not found in the civilian world.
“It’s like being a foreign exchange student for your entire life,” said the Antigua and Barbuda native. “I’ve met people from every state in the U.S. and I’m just making the best of this experience.”
Master Sgt. Tanisha Geter, the supply and services NCOIC with the 13th, was promoted to the grade of E-8 after 17 years in the Army.
“My first year in college was basically going nowhere and my dad, who had been in the military, suggested I join,” she said.
Initially, Geter said she expected to serve for four years, earn her Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits and leave the service. But 17 years later, she chose to continue to serve.
“The camaraderie, meeting different people, traveling; I have all these great reasons to stay; why would I want to leave?” said Geter, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, who had never left the Big Apple until she joined the military.
If that was not enough, she said her children, Todd Geter and Miles Geter, are enough of a reason to stay in the Army.
In addition to these promotions, three Provider Soldiers also re-enlisted to continue serving their country during war time.
Cpl. Mariah Robins, supply clerk, said she re-enlisted to see the world.
“I originally enlisted to serve after 9/11, to help my country,” she said. “Also, for my daughter, I wanted to go to school to give her a good life.”
Robins said her family was very supportive of her decision to re-enlist. She said she choose to re-enlist for an assignment to Japan, a dream destination for her.
“I always wanted to go there and now I have the opportunity available and I took it,” she said.
Staff Sgt. Michelle Batiste, a material supply NCO with the 13th, said she chose to re-enlist for the stability provided by the military.
“I want to take care of my kids, Myron and Dyron,” said Batiste, an Opelousas, La., native. “When I told them I was going to enlist, at first they didn’t believe me, but now they’re glad I’m staying with it.”
Sgt. Jose Graulau, executive assistant with the13th ESC, said he was not going to re-enlist but a talk with his brother, who is also deployed in support of contingency operations here in Iraq, changed his mind.
“My brother was in the Army,” said Graulau, a Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native. “Seeing how well he was doing made me decide to enlist, too. Talking to him once more recently made me decide to do it again.”
Wentz said, “As the strategic reposturing continues, 13th SC(E) Soldiers will maintain the high standards and excellent service which makes the 13th SC(E) synonymous with world class sustainment support.”
Cpt. L. Pilar Restrepo, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), administers the oath of enlistment to Staff Sgt. Michelle Batiste, a material supply noncommissioned officer with the 13th SC(E), during a ceremony Nov. 2 here at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Batiste said she re-enlisted to take care of her children.
Brig Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), administers the oath of enlistment to Sgt. Jose Graulau, executive assistant with the 13th SC(E). Graulau said he was not going to re-enlist but a talk with his brother, who is also deployed in support of contingency operations here in Iraq, changed his mind.