The Headquarters and Headquarters Company for the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team received the Meritorious Unit Commendation in a ceremony last month for its service during a 2014-15 deployment to Kuwait and Jordan.
Approximately 65 Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company made up two specialized Red Arrow units — the 32nd Military Engagement Team and the 32nd Base Defense Operations Center — that deployed to the region in April 2014. Both units returned to Wisconsin in early 2015.
According to the award citation, “the unit demonstrated the ability to innovate and accomplish the mission above and beyond the call of duty. The unit’s effort provided the combatant commander the ability to influence the region by promoting long-term, enduring and mutually beneficial security relationships with friendly and allied nations in the United States Central area of responsibility.”
The 32nd Military Engagement Team had teams in Kuwait and Jordan and travelled throughout the region building military partnerships with allied nations, shared best practices, and reinforced positive relations with leaders in the region. Soldiers from the unit ultimately traveled to nine countries over the course of the deployment, helping to lay the foundation for the U.S. to continue building strategic military-to-military relationships in the region.
“The goal of these relationships was to mutually benefit both militaries and enhance regional stability and security while ensuring continued U.S. military access and reassuring regional partnerships,” said Lt. Col. Eric Beuerman, who served as the executive officer of the military engagement team in Jordan during the mission. “These partnerships are crucial to protecting and advancing U.S. interests and operations within the region.”
Wisconsin should be very proud of the Red Arrow Soldiers who took part in the mission, Beuerman said, and getting recognized by the Army for a job well done was affirmation that the unit’s Soldiers performed well on a unique mission.
“They performed so well and brought great credit upon Wisconsin to the other U.S. joint services and to the foreign militaries, exemplifying the Wisconsin ethic of hard work and high standards,” he said. “We were simply doing our job the way we knew it should be done, but because we did it extremely well, it is nice to be recognized for that.”
Beuerman said the key to the teams’ success overseas was their ability to understand the strategic role military engagement teams have in the overall military-geopolitical picture. The team in Jordan developed a reputation for high-quality mission reports that informed leaders at the highest level of government of the situation on the ground in the region while working directly with the Jordanian military, the U.S. Department of State, coalition partners and other various American and United Nations agencies.
The team in Kuwait also understand the strategic importance of their work, he said, and they worked diligently preparing engagements with foreign militaries and leaders that had an impact across the region.
The Meritorious Unit Commendation from the 2014-15 deployment adds to the long and distinguished list of honors, accolades and awards that the 32nd Infantry Brigade and its predecessor the 32nd Division, have earned throughout its 100 years of service to Wisconsin and the nation.
The Wisconsin National Guard is commemorating the legacy of the Red Arrow in 2017-18 with the Dawn of the Red Arrow campaign. For more information, visit the Dawn of the Red Arrow homepage or follow along on social media at www.facebook.com/dawnoftheredarrow.