Sunday, July 13, 2008

Commander of troops in Iraq reenlists 3rd MAW Marines and sailors

BAGHDAD, Iraq (July 4, 2008) – The commander of Multi-National Force – Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, reenlisted more than 40 Marines and sailors assigned to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) during a ceremony at Al-Faw Palace here July 4.

The 40 Marine and sailors stood along side more than 1,200 of their fellow service members and raised their rights hands during the largest reenlistment ceremony in history.

The MNF-I commander, along with Command Sergeant Major Marvin L. Hill, the MNF-I command sergeant major, led the event, addressing the service members with motivational words and praise.

“It is great to celebrate our nation’s independence here with you and it is a true honor to preside over this reenlistment ceremony,” said Petraeus, who received a standing ovation from the audience upon his introduction. “There’s no place I’d rather be to celebrate America’s birthday than right here with you in Iraq.”

The sound of battle cries and service songs rang off the marble walls after Petraeus noted the dedication each individual exemplified with their recommitment and expressed his gratitude for their service.

“You understand the service and the sacrifice to which you are committing today,” said Petraeus. “It is impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country.”

Raising their right arm and repeating after the MNF-I commander, each service member sited the Oath of Enlistment for at least the second time in their military career.
“These service members are great Americans recommitting themselves to their nation and to their brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “We’re celebrating 232 years of a free nation and 35 years of an all-volunteer military with the recommitment of these great warriors to their nation and to each other.”

Service members found the opportunity to reenlist in such a unique location exciting and vowed they would never forget.

“For someone who’s been in as long as I have, to reenlist in one of Saddam’s old palaces makes this extremely special to me,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jarred Rendon, the squadron gunnery sergeant for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, 3rd MAW (Fwd.), aboard Al Asad Air Base. “There were more than 1,200 of our fellow brothers and sisters in arms for this mass reenlistment and to see the joint-service camaraderie was extraordinary.”

The service members had the chance to take a picture with Petraeus and also received a complimentary American flag as recognition of their accomplishment and to remember their journey to the capital city of Iraq.

Hill and Petraeus agreed the size of the ceremony sent a strong message to the opposition that U.S. Armed Forces will be here until the job’s complete.

No comments: