A-4 | AUGUST 8, 2008 HAWAII ARMY WEEKLY
‘Dead Reckoning’ rocks deployment crowd
Warrior musicians entertain, maintain music skills in Iraq
Story and Photo by
PFC. LYNDSEY DRANSFIELD 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — The sound of rock music hung in the dry, dusty air at Camp Taji, northwest of Baghdad.
It was an ambiance many enjoyed as they passed an abandoned warehouse where six Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “Warrior,” prac- ticed their music.
“The Barn,” as it is affectionately re- ferred to by the Soldiers of the band Dead Reckoning, is a spot of inspiration for the band’s members, which includes:
Staff Sgt. Michael Billingsley, the band’s drummer, a Joint Network Node (JNN) operator; Sgt. Corey Burke, a gui- tarist, a JNN operator; Sgt. 1st Class Tim Casper, a bassist, a communication se- curity custodian; Staff Sgt. Shawn
Magone, guitarist, a signal frequency manager; and Spc. Joseph Ray, the lead guitarist, a JNN operator.
All Soldiers are assigned to the 556th Signal Company, 2nd SBCT, except Cpl. Greg Robinson, the lead vocalist, from the 312th Psychological Operations Compa- ny.
Each member of the band has his own personal reasons for playing, but all said they share one common motive: to re- lieve the stress of everyday work, not only for themselves, but for all Soldiers who enjoy music.
“I know what people are going through out here,” said Burke. “We’re all out here doing the same thing. If we can make it go by a little faster, that would nice for everyone.”
The band plays an assortment of mu- sic that anyone can relate to, from heavy metal, classic rock to their own original songs, which were inspired by their ex- periences during deployment.
“One of the things we should be doing
Rock band “Dead Reckoning,” made up of Soldiers from 556th Signal Company and 312th Psychological Operations Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Warrior,” play for fellow Soldiers at Joint Security Station Sheik Amir, in the Taji Qada, northwest of Baghdad.
here is trying to better ourselves,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Karl Morgan, the senior enlisted leader for 2nd SBCT. “I think that what they are doing here is
good for them and overall good for this deployment.”
Even though the Soldiers work long days, they often can be found at “The
Barn” practicing, not merely to improve their talent, but because playing music is something they enjoy.
“People love music, even if it’s just listening to their MP3 players while working out,” said Ray. “We actually get the chance to create music for people, and we have fun doing something dif- ferent.”
The Soldiers of Dead Reckoning have had a unique opportunity to provide sup- port to many of the Soldiers here in Iraq and fortunately have received a great deal of support in exchange.
“I really enjoy watching my Soldiers have a good time,” said 1st Lt. Justin Corbett, 556th Signal Company executive officer. “It gives them a chance to express themselves in a different way instead of being at work doing the same routine day in and day out. I am glad that they have found something to do on their own and enjoy themselves while they’re over here.”
Legacy: Soldier inspires others to reach goals
CONTINUED FROM A-3
Palumbo and his team now conduct regular patrols, search for enemy caches, conduct village assessments, and engage with residents of the area.
Palumbo’s commander, Capt. David Uthlaut, praised Palumbo for his leader- ship.
“(Sgt. 1st Class) Palumbo always puts the needs of his Soldiers above his own,” Uthlaut said. “He is a humble and ap- proachable leader who has demonstrat- ed on numerous occasions that he is willing to expend significant personal effort to address his Soldiers’ concerns.”
In March, Palumbo committed to his last re-enlistment, confirming he is a ca- reer Soldier and will remain in the Army for the next eight years.
Palumbo said he hopes those eight years will allow him to reach his goals and continue to be an inspiration to his Soldiers.
Gimlets mentor Iraqi police
CPL. DUSTIN WEIDMAN 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment
tential at their stations and brought them in for training.”
BAGHDAD — The room was dark and quiet as the insurgents, sur- rounded by weapons and explosives, planned their next attack. Suddenly, members of the Iraqi police (IP) flood- ed into the room, kicked down the door and shouted, “Get down on the ground!” The insurgents were caught red-handed.
This scenario was the final exam for members of IP attack force in the Iraqi Police Master Trainer Program, recently.
The “insurgents,” were played by their instructors from the mortar platoon, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets.”
“We designed the Iraqi Police Mas- ter Trainer Program to try to get the biggest impact from a small element of U.S. Soldiers,” said Capt. Adam Eaton, mortar platoon leader. “The program has changed a great deal from its ini- tial stage through input from everyone in the platoon. We hand-picked Iraqi police who displayed leadership po-
The program lasted five weeks and was taught at Joint Security Station Nassir Wa Salam.
Students learned patrol tactics, first aid, room clearing and searching rooms for weapons and explosives.
“These guys have come a long way since the beginning, and they are us- ing what we have taught them,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Strickland, course instructor. “At the beginning they would run disorganized into a room to clear it. Now (the last day of training), they are going into the room in a stack.”
Each student was awarded a green tab to be worn when they return to their stations, and is now qualified to train other police officers at their station.
“Overall this group of Iraqi police has made a dramatic improvement in their capabilities since the first day we picked them up,” said Eaton. “The program will be successful if they are able to pass that proficiency on to the rest of their force.”
Staff Sgt. J.B. Jaso III | 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Staff Sgt. Rudy Mello flexes his muscles for an Iraqi child while visiting an Istaqlal Qada village, northeast of Baghdad, July 27. Mello is a squad leader for B Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Warrior.”