Spc. Cuong Quach, (foreground), of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 162 Engineer Company, hands one of the many toys donated to the Governor’s Toy Drive, to Sgt. Roderick Compton at the Oregon State Capitol, in Salem, Ore., Dec. 16. Oregon Soldiers joined volunteers and Salvation Army members to load the donated toys into vehicles for transport to the Salvation Army collection center. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Friday, December 16, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, shakes hands with one of the graduating cadets from class 2011-12 of the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program during the class’ graduation ceremony in Redmond, Ore., Dec. 14. The primary mission of the OYCP is to intervene in, and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old at-risk youth. Program graduates receive instruction in values, self-discipline, education, and life skills necessary to succeed as productive citizens, in addition to earning a G.E.D. (Photo by Sgt. Zach Holden, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Michael Gremaud, (lower left), and Tech. Sgt. Mike Brown, (top left), Airmen with the Oregon National Guard’s CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), discuss their unit’s overall mission to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, during a 375th Anniversary of the National Guard celebration held at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem, Ore., Dec. 13. The unit will respond at the call of the governor to augment local jurisdictions and other emergency responders during state, regional and national emergencies. The unit is comprised of approximately 170 Citizen-Airmen and Citizen-Soldiers who provide support to first responders upon request. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Monday, December 12, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Peter Fritsch, of the 1249 Engineer Battalion, is welcomed home by his wife Dori, shortly after his unit’s return to the Salem Municipal Airport, in Salem, Ore., Dec. 12. Fritsch, of Camas, Wash., and approximately 125 of his fellow Soldiers were part of the second group to arrive on a direct flight to the Salem airport. The first group of 51 Soldiers arrived in Salem on Dec. 8. The unit's primary role during their 400-day deployment to Afghanistan was command and control, while providing support for Task Force Gridley. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Zach Holden, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).
A gentle morning fog covers the infinity pool in front of the 41 Infantry Division Memorial, in front of the 41 Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore. Dec. 9. The pool and memorial honors service members who served their country during World War II. The 250,000 square foot facility was officially dedicated in November, 2011. (Photo by Sgt. Jason van Mourik, Oregon Military Department)
Friday, December 9, 2011
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, speaks to a gathering at the City Club of Portland, Dec. 9, at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Ore. Seated to his right is Melody Rose, President of the City Club of Portland and Vice Provost for Academic Programs & Instruction at Portland State University, and Cameron Smith, Senior Policy Advisor to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. Rees and Smith spoke about the value of the National Guard to Oregon, and issues facing returning Oregon National Guard veterans. The event included a question and answer session. To hear the forum in its entirety, visit the City Club link at: pdxcityclub.org/content/coming-home-veterans-oregon
Sgt. Edward D. Chitwood, of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 1249 Engineer Battalion, hugs his son Adryn, as his wife Selisha looks on, following his unit’s return to the Salem Municipal Airport in Salem, Ore., Dec. 8. Chitwood returned to Oregon with approximately 51 Soldiers, following a 400-day mobilization to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit's primary role was command and control, while providing support for Task Force Gridley. Another group of the unit’s Soldiers is scheduled to return to Oregon on or around Dec. 12. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Paul D. Rushing, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Eric A. Hendricks, Assistant Chief of Police, Investigations Branch, of the Portland Police Bureau presents commendation letters to three individuals with the Oregon National Guard’s Counterdrug Support Program, during a ceremony held in Salem, Ore., Dec. 6. Three analysts from the Counterdrug Support Program provided case support throughout a multi-agency investigation dubbed “Operation Trick or Treat,” which resulted in multiple arrests, seizure of several vehicles, weapons and approximately 1,000 Oxycontin pills across several states including New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas, Portland and Vancouver, Wash. Authorities also identified about $200,000 in proceeds in various banks accounts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Al Herrera, (second from right), former member of Charlie Co., 1-16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Div., is awarded the Silver Star during a ceremony in the Governor’s ceremonial office in Salem, Ore., Nov. 28. Herrera, an active member of the “Bandido Charlie” Association, was recognized for “Gallantry in Action” on Aug. 12, 1969 during a firefight in Vietnam, where in spite of his own wounds, he helped evacuate other wounded Soldiers. From left to right: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber; Oregon Air Guard Brig. Gen. Bruce Prunk, Assistant Adjutant General (Air); CSM (Ret.) Herrera; Jim Willis, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Director.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Soldier Engineers with the Oregon Army National Guard’s 224 Engineer Company operate heavy equipment during a construction project at the Detroit Lake Recreation Area, near Detroit Lake, Ore., Nov. 16. Engineers with the unit plan to dredge approximately 40,000 cubic yards of earth in order to open a boat access channel across Detroit Flats to the Detroit Marina, said Lt. Duffy Cavanaugh, unit Executive Officer. The unit had just completed another construction project to mitigate beach erosion, adjacent to the Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Ore., the week before. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Friday, November 11, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard State Command Sgt. Maj. Brunk Conley waves to participants passing the reviewing stand at the Veterans Day Parade in Albany, Ore., Nov. 11. Members of the Oregon National Guard took part in Veterans Day ceremonies around the state, including the Albany Veterans Day Parade, which is touted by organizers as the largest event of its kind west of the Mississippi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. Joseph Jardine interacts with fans of the video game “Modern Warfare 3”, while holding an M4 rifle with a grenade launcher during an interactive event conducted by the Oregon National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, at the GameStop store in Bend’s Old Mill District, Nov. 7. Soldiers from Bend simulated the delivery of the game and interacted with more than 400 people who purchased the game that night. Some customers waited for nearly ten hours for their copy of the game. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cory Grogan, J9 Public Affairs)
Friday, November 4, 2011
Brig. Gen. Charles Yriarte retires from the Oregon National Guard, ends 40 year career in the military
Oregon Air National Guard Commander, Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg (left), bestows the Air Force Commendation Medal on Oregon Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Charles L. Yriarte, during his retirement ceremony held at the Oregon Military Department in Salem, Ore., Nov. 4. Yriarte, who has been in the military for more than 40 years, served as the Assistant Adjutant General (Army), and Commander of Joint Task Force Oregon. Yriarte was born in Burns Ore., and graduated from Burns-Union High School. He plans to return to Burns, Ore. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Monday, October 31, 2011
It is the day the Air Force officially says goodbye to the Battle Dress Uniform, or BDU.
A number of Oregon Air National Guard members who work at the Oregon Military Department agreed to wear their BDU on the last day the Air Force authorized its use—October 31.
The BDU has been in active use by the United States military since September 1981. Its’ distinctive woodland camouflage pattern is based on Vietnam-era jungle fatigues, which found their roots in specialty uniforms used by U.S. paratroopers during WWII.
The pattern, which uses shades of green, brown, tan and black, is primarily based on the woodland colors of Northern Europe. It was initially printed on a cotton-nylon blend twill cloth, but was updated in 1989 to a lightweight fabric printed on 100-percent rip-stop poplin cloth.
The BDU replaced all early camouflage patterned uniforms for wooded, jungle and tropical environments, and by 1989, had completely replaced the standard olive drab uniforms used since 1952.
The U.S. Army adopted the BDU on Oct. 1, 1981 as their field and garrison uniform, and wore it proudly until early 2005, before instituting the Army Combat Uniform, or ACU.
The BDU pattern didn’t just help military members blend into forests during the day. All BDU’s were printed on a special fabric which allowed the wearer to go undetected by infrared image converters, making them nearly invisible at night.
However, the tradition of starching the uniform for a more formal appearance increased the infrared signature. It was said that once a BDU was starched it should never be worn in combat.
The Air Force replaced it with the Airman Battle Uniform, or ABU which was issued to Air Force personnel as part of Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) 7 and 8 in early 2007. It was also issued to basic trainees, and became available to the rest of the force in June 2008.
The ABU incorporates medium to light gray color based on a distinctive Vietnam-era “tigerstripe” pattern, and is made with a 50-50 nylon-cotton blend in the same material used by the Army Combat Uniform, or ACU.
Chief Master Sgt. David Gardner, Management Analyst for the Oregon Military Department, said he likes the new uniform with its wash and wear feature.
“The ABU is much easier to care for,” he said. “There was a lot of upkeep with the BDU.”
Indeed, as a sheet metal mechanic earlier in his military career, Gardner went through quite a few BDUs over the years.
“I must have gone through at least 40 or 50 sets, and a pair of boots every six months to a year,” Gardner said.
Capt. Dawn Choy, Supervisory Human Resources Specialist at JFHQ, said she likes the new style of the ABU, as well as the extra pockets, durability and ease of wear, but wasn’t completely sold on the sage green suede boots.
“The uniform color and sage green boots are cool, just harder to keep nice and clean,” she said.
One feature which won’t carry over from the BDU to the ABU is the unit patches, leaving many with mixed feelings.
“It was interesting to see where everyone was from when we traveled with other military members,” Choy said. “Many military used to trade and/or collect them throughout their careers.”
Gardner had a different take.
“I do miss the unit patches, they give each unit their own identity,” he said. “But I think we are moving toward all services in one uniform and the one team concept so the patches would not work with that mind set.”
Just like opinions on the ABU versus the BDU, so too are the range of ideas on what to do with the old uniform.
“Hunting clothes,” replied Gardner.
Capt. Choy has a list of plans for hers.
“I plan to keep one uniform intact for history sake,” she said. “One pair of pants I will make into shorts, and one set will turn into a tote bag, with the already made pockets and all. The rest I will probably donate to the Oregon Civil Air Patrol.”
Master Sgt. Sheryl Derrick, who works in the Human Resources Office at the Oregon Military Department said the last day to wear her old BDU on Halloween isn’t much of a coincidence.
“In fact, I’m surprised the last day (to wear it) wasn’t April Fool’s day,” she said with a laugh.
Derrick said she has never been fond of the unit patches, but she realizes they might come in handy someday for her shadowbox.
“Unless they become collector’s items,” she added. “Then I’ll sell them!”
While Derrick plans to keep her BDUs, she said she might someday donate them to a museum.
Unfortunately it appears someone already got the jump on Derrick’s idea.
A set of BDUs worn by Gen. Colin Powell during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm now sits in the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Ryan Palmer, a member of Oregon’s Counterdrug Support Program, shows students of Estacada Junior High School during the kick off of Red Ribbon Week, in Estacada, Ore., Oct. 25. Palmer and the rest of the Counterdrug Support Team are scheduled to travel to elementary and middle schools throughout Oregon to educate students and school administrators on drug awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Lt. Col. Philip Appleton, former commander of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 3 Battalion, 116 Cavalry, presents to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, the Oregon State flag, which was flown in Iraq during the unit’s one-year deployment to Iraq. The unit held its demobilization ceremony at Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande, Ore., Oct. 8. From left to right: Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, Governor Kitzhaber, Appleton, and unit Command Sgt. Maj. William Wyllie. During the ceremony, the unit also conducted a change of command, where Appleton relinquished command to Maj. Jason Lambert. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Monday, October 3, 2011
A member of the 102 Civil Support Team is winched from the deck M/V IUKA to a U.S.C.G. helicopter on the Columbia River during Exercise Columbia Crest, Sept. 29.
The exercise is designed to test various agencies' ability to respond to potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threats. (U.S.C.G photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn).
Caroline McGowan, Miss Oregon 2011, sings the National Anthem at a mobilization ceremony honoring the 1186 Military Police Detachment in Salem, Ore, Oct. 2.
Approximately 180 Citizen-Soldiers from throughout the state are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan with the 1186 MP Company under the authority of Maj. William Gillentine and 1st Sgt. Robert Stemple in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Photo by Sgt. Anita Vandermolen, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Micah Goettl, of the Oregon National Guard, discusses disaster preparedness with his Bangladesh counterparts during the second annual Pacific Resilience Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange (DREE) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The five day event, which was held 25-29 Sep 2011 and led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) program, fostered security cooperation and best practices in responding to and recovering from a catastrophic earthquake. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Poto Leifi).
Monday, September 19, 2011
Spc. Michael Brown, counter-improvised explosive device trainer with the Pre-Mobilization Training Assistance Element, shows Soldiers from the 1186th Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard, how an anti-personnel mine works during their pre-mobilization training at Umatilla Chemical Depot in Hermiston, Ore. Sept. 15.
The 1186th Military Police Company is training for their deployment to Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kirby Rider, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard.)
Saturday, September 17, 2011
CLACKAMAS, Ore.--The Chief of the National Guard Bureau, U.S. Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, recognized an Oregon Army National Guard Family Resources Group Coordinator with a national-level award, during the Oregon Guard's Senior Leadership Conference, held at the new 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore., Sept. 17.
Jennifer A. Patzner, the Family Resources Group Coordinator for the Oregon Army National Guard's 141 Brigade Support Battalion, received the National Guard Bureau Regional Family Coordinator of the Year Award during the opening ceremonies of Oregon's annual leadership conference.
Patzner is credited with volunteering over 30 hours per week, organizing care packages for deployed Soldiers of the unit, and assisting family members of deployed personnel.
The recognition comes as a surprise, and is a humbling experience, Patzner said before the ceremony.
"I'm extremely humbled by this recognition," Patzner said. "But I'm getting this award on behalf of the entire team."
Patzner said the coordinators' jobs are challenging at times because National Guard families are extremely proud, and typically don't ask for help when they need it most.
"But it's also important because when we do support the families of deployed Soldiers, then the Soldiers can focus on their mission (during deployments), and return home safely."
In her three-year tenure as the FRG Coordinator, Patzner has earned 15 certificates in courses such as suicide prevention, leadership, volunteer assessment programs and others, and attended two state workshops and the FRG National Conference in Michigan.
Patzner, who holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Oregon State University, also volunteers her time with the Girl Scouts, South Salem High School Dance Team, the American Red Cross, the Boosters, and the Oregon Partnership Against Drugs.
She encouraged families of deployed Oregon National Guard members to keep them in mind, even when there is no pressing need for services.
"We're here for you," Patzner said of the FRG coordinators. "When your Soldier is gone, we want you to rely on us. We all have the same goal--to make sure your Soldier makes it home safe."
Friday, September 16, 2011
It's not news that former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is a former Marine and veteran.
Nor is it any surprise that the former Commander in Chief of the Oregon National Guard would attend one of the biggest events for the organization--the dedication of the new 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center in Clackamas today.
But when I saw this submission from one of our photographers, I just had to share it.
After all the pomp and circumstance... after all the glitter is swept up... after all the ties are removed and titles put away, what we're left with are two veterans trading old war stories.
Here, Harold R. Lowe, formerly with Charlie Company, 162 Engineers, 41st Infantry Division and WWII veteran, took a quiet moment following the ceremony to "talk shop" with our former governor.
Would have been interesting to be a fly on a wall for that conversation, don't you think?
Thanks to Pvt. 1st Class Philip Steiner of the Oregon Army National Guard's 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment for this great photo.
Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Social Media Manager, Oregon Military Department
Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Craig McKinley, speaks to more than 1,000 attendees at a dedication ceremony for the 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas Ore., Sept. 16. The official party included McKinley; former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski; Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen.. Barry McManus, Military Attache and Assistant Defence Attache, Embassy of Australia; Brig. Gen. Alton Berry, Deputy Commanding General, 88th Regional Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve; and Colonel Yoshihiro Iseri, Military Attache, Embassy of Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
U.S. Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau visited with Port of Portland officials during a visit to Oregon, Sept. 16. The visit was to show appreciation for 60 years of partnership between the Port of Portland and the Portland Air National Guard, and to attend the dedication ceremony for the 41 Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas Ore., later in the day. (From left to right) McKinley, Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Steven H. Schreiber, Director of Aviation, Portland International Airport; and Paul Rosenbaum, Port of Portland Commissioner. Schreiber gave McKinley a guided tour of the Port offices during his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing, Public Affairs) (Released)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Carl Culham, Director of the Pendleton Roundup Association, (left center), introduces U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, former commander, 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, and newly-appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations, Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy (center), and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, (right), to members of the Pendleton Roundup Association at the event in Pendleton, Ore., Sept. 15. Dean and Rees, along with other members of the Oregon National Guard leadership, met in a town hall style meeting with Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and their family members earlier that day at the Blue Mountain Community College to discuss redeployment, training, and the Wounded Warrior Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Sunday, September 11, 2011
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, The Oregon National Guard has compiled several personal stories recalling that fateful day a decade ago.
What follows are stories from Oregon National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, retirees, and civilian employees, friends, and family members. They are reflections on Sept. 11, 2001--the day that forever changed the way Americans do business, vote, travel, and live their lives.
This blog post was published precisely when the first plane hit 1 WTC (North Tower of the World Trade Center), 8:46 a.m. EST (5:46 a.m. PST), but honors all those who perished in the attacks that day on both towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We invite you to share your own stories in the comments section. May all who perished that day rest in peace. May all who were effected by those events find solace in a collective remembrance and reflection on this solemn day.
I was getting ready for work and turned the TV on, the first plane had hit a tower and the talking heads on CNN didn't know what was going on, none of us did.
Then I watched live as the second aircraft hit the other tower and I knew my guess it had been an accident was wrong, that this was a deliberate act.
Finished getting dressed and hurried to work, I was a Readiness NCO for a unit on Camp Withycombe.
A busy morning, meetings at battalion. Answering the phone as my unit members called in on their own to ask "do I need to report"...
I told them no, not yet, we would let them know. Soon there was a call for a 100% call down, except I was done, ALL my soldiers had called in or come over from the shop they work at on post to check in.
- Paul Carrier, SSG,
Headquarters, 82 Brigade, Oregon Army National Guard
I got to work just before 6:00am on Sept. 11th, 2001, and went to the break room to get some breakfast and check my e-mail.
When I got there, the TV was on, and the news was reporting that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. I was still watching, as live on TV, the second jet crashed into the other tower. By that time, the news was calling it "An apparent act of terrorism." I remember my boss laughing at the news anchor when he said that, because it was pretty obvious to us that it was an actual attack.
Sometime that morning I got into uniform, our alert jets (plus a few extras) took off for combat air patrols, and we switched over to 24-hour operations. What came next is now called Operation Noble Eagle, but for us, it was just life as (almost) normal, because we were doing what we had trained for, even if it was under circumstances we never expected.
- Richard Armstrong, Technical Sgt (Ret.)
142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air Guard
Three fellow Airmen and I had just arrived at the NCO Academy at McGhee-Tyson AFB in Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 9. Our first day of class (Monday the 10th) was uneventful… going through the syllabus, ground rules for the course, schedules and such. The next day was entirely different, and undoubtedly would change all our lives forever.
I remember sitting in class the morning of Sept. 11, and the instructor was going through some of the coursework when the school commandant walked in and pulled him aside. They had a brief, hushed conversation, and I immediately thought that one of us was in trouble. The instructor then called for all of us to make our way to the main auditorium. We filed in there along with students from the school until we filled the seats.
On the big screen was live CNN coverage—one of the towers of the World Trade Center was burning. No one from the school stepped up to say anything or explain to us what was going on. At first we were confused… was it an aviation mishap? How did this involve our school? The commentators were also confused… some said they thought a passenger plane had hit the tower. But it was a clear day… how could it be? We quietly discussed what was going on.
A few minutes later, we watched in horror as the second plane hit the other tower. Coverage jumped back and forth between New York and the Pentagon, where another plane had crashed into that building. The room fell silent. There was no need to say anything—we all now knew someone had attacked us.
One of my fellow Oregon Guardsmen, Tech. Sgt. Erik Simmons, turned to me and said, “This is the start of a war. Our lives will never be the same.”How true were his words.
- Nick Choy, Tech. Sgt.,
142nd Fighter Wing Medical Group CERFP
I was sleeping on the morning of 9/11. Although my alarm clock went off to the radio feature and I recall some kind of emergency being broadcast, I was still half asleep and hit snooze. Several times in fact. Then my phone rang. My mom woke me up and declared a huge emergency saying “a plane landed in a NY World Trade Center building! Quick turn on the TV!!!!!”
I immediately ran to the living room and watched the TV replay of the first plane into the first tower. Then I witnessed the second plane crash into the second tower. It was unreal. It felt very weird to go into my civilian job that day with no call yet from the military. I had just separated from active duty Air Force in November 2000 and was enjoying my full-time civilian job for a corporate travel agency while serving my country in the Oregon Air National Guard as a DSG with the 142 MDS (medical squadron—currently now known as 142 MDG, medical group).
Civilian co-workers periodically asked me that day and the following few weeks if I was getting activated. I hadn’t yet but then about a month following 9/11 I received a call, “Would I like to be a security augmentee with the 142 SFS?”. I answered, “Yes!”, recalling that some of my active duty friends had been trained as security augmentees. There would be a two-week training session to start at the end of October 2011. The 142 SFS instructors were Master Sgt. Tim Shuey & Master Sgt. Dan Kane. There were about two dozen of us students in that initial augmentee class learning all about Use of Force, carrying the M-16 & M-9, etc.
As it turned out, I was activated for a total of a year & a half working 12-hr shifts on graveyard. Thank God for coffee!
- Misty D. Gremaud, Tech. Sgt.,
142 FW HQ Unit Deployment Manager
I was at home getting ready to take my sister to the airport; she was returning to Phoenix, Ariz., after a three-day visit, when my mother called to ask if I was watching the news. I was not. She said “turn it on.”
I remember standing in my bedroom with the TV on, phone to my ear. I was very quiet-my mother asked if I was still there. I was. I could not say anything. My mother asked if I was crying and I admitted I was.
I remember asking her if she knew what this meant. I think I knew from the moment I saw the chaos on the television that life for us, all Americans, would forever be different.
Nothing but military planes were flying so of course my sister’s stay was extended by three days. She waited at my house while I reported to the base.
It was not long after that that I got a call from my unit about coming out to the base to, to do something, but we were not certain yet what that something would be.
I was part of the group that stood up the Communications Flight Unit Control Center. We implemented 24-hour coverage immediately and started working the contingency plan as it was being developed by the ANG. We mobilized personnel in accordance with taskings that were developed on the fly to try to cover all possible requirements and have personnel available to maintain operations.
One of my most vivid memories in the hours immediately after the attacks was on one of the nights I was out with one of the Fighter Wing photographers. We were both on the night shift. We were going out and about on base capturing historical documentation. We went out to the flight line; our planes were still the only ones leaving the ground.
It was beyond eerie, very surreal, to be on the flight line, next to PDX, seeing all the commercial planes scattered on the tarmac on the other side of our runways and it was quiet, so very quiet. I still “hear” that quiet today when I think back to that night. I tell this story often.
There was a very young Airman, who looked all of 12 years old, “guarding” our planes that night. I asked if I could take his picture. He said yes and asked what I wanted him to do. I told him just to stand and do his job, guard the plane. In a very serious and quiet tone, he said, “I’ve never guarded a plane before.” We were all still in shock. I showed the young airman the picture I took. He responded that it looked like a little boy holding a gun in front of a plane. I was glad he said that because it was exactly what I was thinking.
It didn’t take long for us to settle into a routine of shift work and responding to new taskings. I don’t remember how long we ran 24-hour coverage, it seemed like a long time.
One of the Chief Master Sergeants in my unit would bring me a mocha every day when he came on duty and I was getting off duty. There were stickers on the cups he brought in to keep the coffee from spilling. There were monkeys, snowmen, ladybugs and lips, lots of lips. I don’t know why, I stuck the stickers to my keyboard. To this day, most of them are still there.
- Jimmie Samuels, Chief Master Sgt.,
142 Communications Flight
I had started working the mid shift on the first of September and I had started car pooling with Staff Sgt. Christopher Rich and Tech. Sgt. Michal Gremaud to work as we all lived in Gresham. The morning of September 10th I was awaiting for Chris because he had to go to see MPF for some reason or another. I had decided to wander up to the installation main gate and talk to Staff Sgt. Randy Tobler.
Shortly after my arrival a FedEx had pulled up and Randy was checking it out. While he was in the back of the truck he called me in to see something. Inside the FedEx truck was a package addressed to PANGB that was all oily and had something mechanical with wires inside. The topper to this package is that all the return address stated was "From
Korea". So I looked at him and said "Call it." Referring to run it as a suspicious package. This turned out from me doing my nice normal eight-hour day into doing a nice 14-hour day.
So I returned to work later that evening, about 2300 to start my normal shift. At this time I am also training Staff Sgt. Jasmine Wood to be a controller. The night shift is going rather regularly until I get a call from Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Buckner to find out if I had heard the news. We had a radio on a local music station, but we had no Television out there so I replied no, and so she quickly stated that two airplanes crashed into towers in New York and to turn on the news. Which again I said we had no TV and heard nothing on the local radio yet, so I started to look at news stations on the internet with no avail.
Senior Airman Jacox also had called shortly after her to give me the same basic details but other than that no word - nothing until about twenty minutes later the command post called up and initiated Force Protection Alpha. At that time I walked outside, lit a cigarette, took a drag (to give me a moment of calm to think of all that we need to do) set the lit cigarette down and then announced it over the radio.
- Jason Hunt, Master Sgt.,
142nd Security Forces Squadron
The day flew past after the second aircraft hit the tower. It was 0545L when I got into work and started watching the news. The top story was the plane crash into the first tower. As a former Intel guy this looked wrong to me and I called Col Dean at his home to have him take a look at the news. We discussed the issue for a moment and then the second aircraft struck the tower.
Col Dean gave me the green light to start a full recall and to get the Battlestaff rolling. As a single controller I was running the show. Flash message traffic started flowing through every Communications channel. We were moving into a war footing in an extreme hurry. The phones started ringing off the hook. There was a small contingent of pilots that were just showing up for CT flying and one Base Operations guy. Then the news came in that the Pentagon was hit. CT flying was cancelled, all eyes were on my TV.
The Western Air Defense Sector’s Comm was down so I had to act as a relay for all high priority traffic received from all MAJCOM’s. I completed the recall and tried to get a relief controller to make it in. The base went into lockdown mode as things progressed. Personnel trying to get to work were locked out of the base for over 4 hours and were stuck up at the Golf Course.
Meanwhile back at Operations, the Alert jets were put on Runway Alert and maintenance started prepping all flyable aircraft for combat. CT flying was cancelled and all aircrew were standing by for further orders. With a very small Battlestaff and SRC the Wing went into combat mode. Orders soon came in to start flying Combat Air Patrols over key possible targets and our aircraft were airborne in support of Operation Noble Eagle.
I was keeping the flash traffic flow moving but was running on fumes by the end of my 19 hour day. Soon after we started flying CAP’s the order came in to stand up McChord AFB as an Alert Site. We only had four fulltime controllers and four Guardsmen. All were recalled and three headed up to McChord to stand up alert.
With seven controllers and one augmentee we began running two 24/7 Alert CP’s. No one could get sick or take leave during this eight month period. CP Controllers did an outstanding job during this timeframe. Finally after four hours my assistant controller made it in and started helping me with all the message, phone and coordination efforts. A plan was in full affect and the Wing was pressing forward.
The 142d Fighter Wing became the first Wing to stand up all aircraft in Combat Mode to thwart any attack on the Pacific Northwest region and the Continental United States. All Civilian flights were cancelled and inbound flights were diverted to airports outside of the US. Aircrews scrambled on any possible threats and escorted a Chinese Airlines into an airport in Canada.
After my day was complete I walked out of the Operations building and was amazed about how quiet it was, the moment was very surreal for me. After a long drive back to Scappoose, it finally hit me as to what had happened to our country, the wing and me that day.
I must say that I shed a few tears during my quiet time at home that my wife provided me so I could decompress after such a crazy day. The Wing pressed on and flew numerous missions protecting key infrastructure and letting the evil doers know that the Pacific Northwest was not going to suffer the same fate that NYC encountered.
- David A. Fry, Senior MasterSgt., 142 Fighter Wing,
Command Post Superintendent
I was a brand new Public Affairs officer and just transferred up from Klamath Falls, Ore., a small community with one news station. The day before on my first day onboard at the 142nd Fighter Wing we had a suspicious package/possible bomb threat at the front gate. This closed down Cornfoot Road and business access and in turn the media started calling in.
I didn’t even have computer access yet to draft a press release so I set up a news conference and prepped the Vice Commander to do an interview. It was a hectic day not knowing the local news organizations and barely my way around base.
When I got home that night I was hoping that was as bad as it would get. The next day and ensuing weeks threw me from the frying pan right into the fire as a PAO. Our Combat Air Patrols were the only jets flying and the headline news.
Anything 9/11 related seemed to get tied back into our mission of Air Defense for a local spin. Several months later a story that made the New York Times turned out to be a comedy of coincidences. Our jets were flying and explosions went off in downtown Portland. With the first thought being that it was an attack Tug flew over to investigate? 911 was saturated with calls, immediately with our jets in the air it was assumed they were engaged etc. It was quickly determined that there was a movie being filmed and the company didn’t bother making all the right notifications.
(That incident) gave me a career’s worth of PA experience in a fraction of time. It taught me to appreciate life and not take things for granted.
- Misti Mazzia, Maj.,
142 Communications Flight Commander
On Tuesday morning 9/11/01 I was standing in line for breakfast in a field near Diamond, Ore., participating in my first "Cycle Oregon" (an annual week-long bike tour of various corners of our state). The people in front of me were in a strange state of stunned silence having just heard about the attacks from a small transistor radio hung on a tent pole near the food line.
People were asking what was going on and then reacting. Behind me were people who were still living in the "Pre-9/11" world and were blissfully looking forward to their day. I was literally standing in between the groups of people suddenly now living in two very different worlds.
At the time I was the State Director of Operations assigned to JFHQ in Salem. I called in from a phone in the nearby schoolhouse office and while I was waiting to get through, I watched the first tower collapse on a small black & white TV inside the principal's office. It was a surreal experience. For the next day or two, I would call in from various fields and hilltops for instructions and was told to just keep checking in as the State plans slowly were put into place.
A week later while driving over the I-5 Bridge in Portland, on a cell phone call to JFHQ, I volunteered to command the Joint Task Force which put Oregon Air & Army Guardsmen in all of our state's commercial airports until the now familiar TSA was formed and stood up. We performed that duty for over nine months. We had between 90 and 110 airmen and soldiers overseeing security checkpoints hastily constructed to usher in a new world of air travel for us all.
Like many of us, my emotions ranged from sadness to anger to resolve. I was proud of those people who stepped up to man checkpoints at the airports for all that time. It was an all too typical example of the fine character that our guardsmen emulate.
- George Smeraglio, Col., (Ret.)
Oregon Air National Guard
On September 11, 2001, I was on F-15 alert at Portland Oregon with Lt. Col. Mike
“B-9” Bieniewicz when at approximately 0630 the klaxon sounded and B-9 and I were tasked for Battle Stations.
As I left my room from a deep slumber and ran towards hangars, I noticed the breaking news story on the television about an aircraft that had just crashed into the Twin Towers. I had no idea that the event that had just occurred would change this country and our unit forever.
As I strapped into the aircraft, the crew chiefs began telling us what had just happened since they were awake and in the middle of a crew swap. My first thought was to ignore the distraction and focus on the job I had at that moment. During our two-hour wait in the aircraft, the crew chiefs continued to update us on the events. The emotions ran high for all of us that morning, but we all realized that we had to remain focused.
We remained on Battle Stations for about two hours when the Western Defense Sector finally decided cancel the alert task. After B-9 and I left our respective cockpits we met in the ready room, watched the news, and began discussing what our next steps were to be.
B-9 was the Operations Officer at the time and needed to get back to the squadron to man the Emergency Operations Center so Capt. Matt “Weed” Schuster replaced him. When we performed the crew swap, I assumed the flight lead position and we remained at the ready. Weed and I discussed the events that transpired and what our actions were to be if we were launched. We discussed numerous different scenarios. At that time we had no clear guidance on dealing with this type of asymmetric threat. Needless to say we thought of all scenarios to include the worst case.
I recall the sickening feeling after discussing some of the options we faced but yet we both realized that we had a job to do; support and defend the constitution…against all enemies foreign and domestic.
At about 1215L, a pilot meeting was called and Weed and I were getting ready to drive the alert vehicle to operations when in the parking lot, the klaxon sounded again. Weed and I glanced at each other for about a millisecond; we both thought the scenarios we discussed earlier might become a reality. I can’t begin to explain how sickening a feeling that was.
Weed and I raced to our aircraft, started, taxied, and took off in about four minutes from notification. As I became airborne, I remember turning right over downtown Vancouver, Wash., at what seemed to be treetop level in full afterburner; we had to go North and had to get there quick. When airborne, I contacted Seattle Center and they told me I could go wherever I needed because there was no airborne traffic. I remember the silence on the radio. Seattle Center is a pretty busy sector, which means a lot of radio chatter. But on that day it was dead quiet. Eerily quiet.
WADS directed us to intercept an aircraft coming in from the west. As we began our descent from higher altitude over Canada west lost contact with WADS. That was a little concerning because the last guidance we had was to look for signs of duress. I rejoined on the 747 when he was on a downwind for approach. I started on the left wing and then transitioned to the right. Nothing looked unusual. As the 747 began to configure, I configured and followed him all the way to landing. I could only imagine what the passengers thought seeing two armed fighter on their wing all the way to landing.
Weed and I performed a low approach. There were what seemed to be hundreds of airplanes spread out all over Vancouver, BC. Every taxiway and the runways were filled up with every major air carrier out there. Weed and I turned south, climbed to about 27,000 feet and headed home.
- Steve Beauchamp, Col., Alert Pilot
Oregon Air National Guard
I was leaving my house for work when a neighbor girl was walking by and stopped me to say "did you hear about the plane that hit the twin tower" I stood there staring.... waiting for the punch line... when she informed me it really happened.
I went back into the house, turned on the news, and saw the second tower get hit on the television. My first thought was - I better get to work. And when I did, the office was buzzing.
My boss at the time was in a meeting in the basement of the Pentagon. After flight 77 hit, it all seemed surreal. It took a while to reach him, connect with his wife, and report to everyone to let them know he was okay. I was in reaction mode and the full effect of the day didn't sink-in until later.
Every TV in the building was on the news, every computer was logged onto CNN.
There were a range of emotions whenever anyone spoke of the current events, but mostly everyone was in awe.
- Tracy Ann Gill,
Executive Assistant-Office of the Adjutant General,
Oregon Military Department
On September 11, 2001, I was station at Fort Hood, Texas as a 19K tank driver. I was getting ready to go to formation from the barracks when I received a phone call from a friend back home in Oregon. She told me to turn the TV. Evidently a plane just crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I turned to CNN and watched as the one tower was engulfed in smoke.
Within a few minutes I had about 10 fellow Soldier sitting in my room, and we watched in disbelief as the second plane crashed into the other tower. The formation was no longer a priority. The CQ finally came to the barracks as we were about 10 minutes late (9:10) and told all of us to get down stairs for the formation. At formation the First Sergeant told us to pack our bags, as we were going back to Kuwait (we had just returned from there in August). He then said to go back to our rooms and continue to watch the news. We made it back in time to watch the first tower fall.
I was transferred to Delta Company in October 2011 so I could redeploy to Kuwait in November. It was my third tour in two years to the same place. We were deployed for five months as a security operation on the boarder of Iraq, and to help train the Kuwaiti Army in tank combat.
- Nicolas Valleton, Sgt., Oregon Army National Guard,
Assistant Brigade Operations NCO
Saturday, September 10, 2011
9-11 first-responders, military have the 'heart of a warrior', says Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Lt. Gen. (ret.) William Boykin
Lt. Gen. (retired) William G. Boykin, the former U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, speaks at the 9-11 Memorial Dinner, held at the Portland Convention Center in Portland, Ore., Sept. 10.
Boykin thanked first-responders and members of the military in attendance for their service and sacrifice since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The event honored first-responders, represented by members of local law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and military members from Oregon.
Photo and post by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager
On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, and for several weeks following the terrorist attacks, this was the only sound (and sight) over the Portland Metro area.
On this tenth anniversary of 9-11, the Oregon National Guard and the Oregon Military Department would like to thank those brave pilots and the Airmen who kept them flying for their collective service and sacrifice, and for keeping us safe.
Thank you to all military service members around the world, who continue to put their lives on hold, and on the line, so that we may enjoy the freedoms afforded to us as Americans.
Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager
Friday, September 9, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard Capt. Nathan Edgecomb, a pilot with C/7-158 Aviation, Oregon Army National Guard, surveys a towering pillar of smoke from the Dollar Lake fire, Sept. 9. Three Oregon Army National Guard UH-60 helicopters, one of which is a UH-60 Firehawk, have been brought in to assist local responders in containing the Dollar Lake fire. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Van Mourik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Friday, September 2, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Motorcycle Officers from Salem Police Department escort Soldiers from the 1186th Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard, on Interstate 5 North, near Salem, Ore., August 30. The 1186th MP Company are convoying to Umatilla Chemical Depot in Hermiston, Ore., for training prior to their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Rutherford, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard.)
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Oregon Army National Guard Col. Eric Bush, Commander, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, greets the first of nearly 600 Oregon Soldiers scheduled to return to the U.S. over the next few weeks. The unit was mobilized for 400 days in Iraq, in support of Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Elizabeth Canary, 116th CBCT Public Affairs).
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, shake hands with Airmen of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron following the unit's change of command and mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air National Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Aug. 23. Lt. Col. Anthony B. Capobianco replaced outgoing 125 STS commander, Maj. Jake L. Miller, who led the unit since August 2009. Nearly 30 members of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan to augment an Active Duty squadron; rotations starting in the fall of 2011.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Greg Neuleib, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
Friday, August 19, 2011
Members of the Oregon National Guard’s 102nd Civil Support Team, and the Eugene Fire Department HAZMAT team, respond to a simulated chemical dispersal at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., during a training exercise Aug. 17, in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Trials there. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department).
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bloom, of the 2-162 Infantry Battalion, fires the .50 caliber weapon on the Traffic Control Point lane while attempting to earn his Expert Infantryman's Badge at Camp Rilea, during the unit's active duty training. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Armondo Borboa, 2/162 IN BN Public Affairs Representative).
Members of the Oregon Army National Guard's Army Aviation unit participate in a press conference at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore., Aug. 8, following an interview with hiker Pamela Salant. From left to right are: Pamela Salant, patient; Maj. Neil Maunu, OH-58 spotter pilot; Lt. Col. Mark Ulvin, unit commander; Sgt. Jonathan Edwards, UH-60 crewchief; and Maj. Brian Houston, UH-60 copilot (standing). Maunu is credited with spotting Salant after she was reported missing on July 30. Ulvin, Edwards, Houston and Sgt. Ben Sjullie (not pictured) are credited with her rescue on Aug. 2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Monday, August 8, 2011
Mr. Larry Deibert, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (right), speaks with Oregon Army National Guard Lt. Col. Mark Ulvin, Commander of the Oregon Army Aviation Support Facility #1, about the Oregon National Guard's new UH-60M aircraft in Salem, Ore., Aug. 7, 2011, while Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard looks on. The new aviation facility is named in honor of Deibert. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Thomas Hovie, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).
Friday, August 5, 2011
Squadron Officers for the 1st Squadron, 82nd Calvary Regiment, led by Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Chris Reese, march down a hill with the squadron guidon during annual training at Gowen Field, Idaho, July 23. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Cory Grogan 1st Squadron, 82nd Calvary Regiment).
Monday, April 18, 2011
Members of the Oregon Air National Guard's 123rd Weather Flight were recently recognized with the U.S. Air Force's Outstanding Technical Achievement in Weather Operations Award. From left to right are: Tech. Sgt. Michael Fischer, Master Sgt. Ken Campbell, Staff Sgt. Matt Jenkins, and Lt. Mark Gibson. Campbell also received the Air Reserve Component Battlefield Weather Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award, and Gibson received the Air Reserve Component Battlefield Weather Company Grade Officer of the Year award. The four Airmen volunteered for a six-month duty in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there, in January, 2010. Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Oregon's newest, eldest citizen-Airmen commemorate 70th anniversary ofOregon Air Guard with wreath-laying
Airman 1st Class Elliot Gile, (right), and retired Chief Master Sgt. Jack Klein, (left), participate in a wreath-laying ceremony during the Oregon Air National Guard’s 70th Anniversary celebration at the Portland Air National Guard Base, in Portland, Ore., April 15. Gile, a crew chief with the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, is the newest member of the unit, while Klein is a former member of the 142nd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, and served in the Pacific in WWII as a radar operator. Klein joined the ORANG in 1947, and was part of the 50-man cadre that started the new squadron. The ceremony also included the unveiling of Boeing’s new AESA Radar System for Oregon’s F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft. More than 300 Airmen, Soldiers, friends, family, community members and supporters turned out for the morning ceremony. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Below, we have prepared an overview of how our force may be affected if the Continuing Resolution is not passed by Congress by the midnight deadline tonight.
Sixty percent of the Oregon National Guard is full-time AGR, or Active Duty Guard/Reserve, whose salaries are paid for by the Federal Government, and are "on the clock" 24/7. The other 40 percent are Federal Technicians, who work as full-time salaried employees, but have normal daytime work hours, just like those in a civilian company.
In the event of a government shutdown, 10 percent of these Federal Technicians will be required to stay on and work their normal duty hours. These personnel are considered "essential employees," and defined as those who are important to keeping the organization running, or who have critical jobs having to do with public safety and security.
Regardless of the outcome of the Continuing Resolution, our priorities remain:
1. Continue to meet the needs of the state and nation, including those in overseas theater of operations.
2. Units which are preparing to mobilize will continue to do so.
3. Our support of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management will continue with 24/7 operations in the Joint Operations Center (JOC).
4. Training sites throughout the state will continue to be manned appropriately.
5. In the event of an emergency (natural or man-made), Oregon National Guard members will be recalled to duty as deemed appropriate by the particular mission requirements.
If you have any questions about the information provided here in this post, please feel free to contact the Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office at: 503-584-3917.
As always, the Oregon National Guard is a 'ready' and 'reliable' force. We thank you for your continuing understanding and support.
The Oregon National Guard: "Always Ready, Always There."
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Story and photos by Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs
Some might say Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Rick "The Horror" Story has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona when it comes to fighting in the UFC 'octagon'. But according to people who know him well, he is anything but a horror outside the ring.
"He is the nicest guy you will ever meet, but when the fight starts he will punish you," said UFC training teammate Ray Armstrong.
"I have trained with some of the best Mixed Martial Arts fighters, and his work ethic is the best I've ever seen," Armstrong added.
Armstrong said Story also thinks about others and always wants them to improve--a trait which caught the attention of his former commanders and trainers in the Oregon National Guard.
According to Maj. Travis Lee, Rick Story had a bright future ahead of him in the Oregon National Guard.
"He would have had a promising career--he depicted the quintessential officer with his background and value set," said Lee, who in 2005, helped train Story during ROTC at Southern Oregon University.
"He is a loss to the organization," he added.
Lee, who now serves as the Executive Officer for 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment in Ashland, Ore., said Story is a humble and hard-working Soldier who had a bright future as an officer in the Oregon Army National Guard.
But Story gave it all up to become a top fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
On May 28, Story will battle one of the best Welterweight UFC fighters in the world, Thiago Alves, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Story said he is thankful for his time in the Oregon National Guard and that the benefits he received not only helped him finish college at SOU, but also helped shape him as a person.
"I learned how much you can get done if everyone works together," he said. "That and the importance of integrity are probably the two most significant things that carry over into my career now."
After spending 18 months training to become an officer in the Army, Story learned about teamwork and attention to detail.
For anyone who is struggling to get ahead in life and motivated enough to work hard, joining the Army is a 'no-brainer,' Story said.
For Story, leaving a promising Army career was difficult, but he had to devote himself fully to his new dream.
"Being in the National Guard conflicted with my training," Story said. "I am striving to be a champion and training six days a week."
Story is scheduled to officially leave the military on April 24 and pursue his dream of becoming the UFC Mixed Martial Arts Champion (MMA).
"MMA is a full time job, and coming to the gym is not an option," he added.
Story is also the part-owner of Brave Legion gym in Vancouver, Wash., and a member of the emerging MMA Brave Legion Team.
His training is evident in his physique. His 5-foot, 10-inches frame, tan complexion, short dark hair, and a compact, but solid, pit-bull-like build, are offset by his humble, soft-spoken persona.
Contrary to his quiet demeanor, Story also exudes an air of confidence, and is a fierce competitor. But things weren't always that way.
In seventh grade, Story found athletics difficult, but he kept working at it and eventually blossomed. He got on a conditioning program and listened to his coaches. Eventually, he had some success as a football player and wrestler in high school.
"I started to realize my physical ability at that point," he said.
In college, he lost every match as a freshman wrestler at Pacific Lutheran University.
"It made me not want to fall short anymore," Story said. "I knew that I could work even harder."
Listening to Story, one gets a sense that personal adversity and defeat helped him quickly develop a strong sense of where he wanted to go in his athletic career.
"I worked my butt off, and by my junior year, I had put in enough time and effort, and had the mental clarity to know that I was strong enough to make it to the national championships," he said.
Despite his best efforts, Story placed second in a national wrestling tournament during his senior year at Southern Oregon University.
Part of Story's easy-going nature comes from his upbringing. According to his close, long-time friend, high school classmate and former college roommate, Travis Robinson, even though Story wasn't always the best athlete in school, his work ethic and tenacity helped him realize the goals he set for himself.
"He is the hardest working person you'll ever meet," said Robinson. "Rick wasn't always the fastest, biggest, or most athletic guy, but coaches always knew he would do the right thing."
Story admits not having many luxuries as a boy. At age six, he moved into his grandmother's single-wide trailer in Spanaway, Wash. She put the young Story on a regular schedule, which taught him discipline. She also showed him the value of how things were done in 'the olden days'.
"She taught me manners," Story said.
According to Robinson, the boyhood lessons imparted on Story were long-lasting.
"He is very family oriented and whenever he comes back home he always makes an effort to see his friends and family," Robinson said.
Story would always say that once he made it 'big', he was going to buy his grandmother a new house, Robinson said.
"His loyalty to friends and family is truly remarkable," he added.
While Story's grandmother was busy helping him build a strong work ethic, interaction with his coaches and friends developed his competitive drive and self confidence. It is something Story 'pays forward' to his training partners and other gym members.
Brave Legion teammate and training partner, D.J. Linderman, who fought March 26 at the Bellator Light-heavyweight tournament, which aired on MTV2, said he has dropped over 30 pounds since training with Story at the gym over the last few months.
"I have never trained harder anywhere else or seen someone work harder than Rick," Linderman said.
Mike Ritchey, Story's college wrestling coach at SOU, said he is a special individual and says some of his success can be traced back to his military experience.
"I have coached at lot of guys who have been a part of the military and I definitely think it gives young people an advantage," Ritchey said.
"ROTC gives these guys a level of discipline that's hard to find in youth today," he added. "They learn how to be responsible for a larger group, and that their actions can screw a lot of other people up."
According to Ritchey, Story can excel at anything to which he sets his mind.
"He is a self-made guy who has worked as hard as anybody I have coached," he added.
Pat White, Story's current coach, and the person who gave Story his nickname 'Horror,' said while the members of the Brave Legion Team are becoming an elite group of fighters, the driving force and integral part of that team is Story.
"Rick is a great leader and team member," White said. "He makes everyone feel welcome."
Story's long-time friend Robinson concurs with all the positive accolades, but adds that Story is the most honest, straight-forward person you will ever meet.
"Rick is a special person," he said. "There is not one person who has anything negative to say about him."
Hearing all the positive accolades about Story, his nickname 'The Horror' seems out of place.
"Its because of my fighting style," Story said of his Mr. Hyde persona in the ring. "I like hurting people."
Story admits having a completely different mentality inside the fighting octagon.
"I'm all business," Story said. "I work as hard as I can 100 percent of the time, and I look completely different (in the octagon) than I do on the outside."
Story's fight is scheduled for May 28 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Part of the fight card is scheduled to be televised on SPIKE TV and is available on Pay-Per-View.
For more information on MMA or fitness training at Brave Legion Gym, visit their website here.
Friday, April 1, 2011
173rd Fighter Wing Crew Chief, Staff Sgt. David Evinger, waves out an F-15 "Eagle" piloted by Lt. Col. Chris “Gump” Morton, during flight exercises at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. March 22. Kingsley pilots are working with F-22 Raptor students to introduce them to combat with dissimilar aircraft in the skies over the Florida panhandle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Above: Sgt. Carl Colberg of Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, lunges over a wall on the obstacle course during the Spur Ride Contest, March 18, in Warrenton, Ore.
The Spur Ride goes back to the days when Troops rode horses into battle. Cavalrymen have distinguished themselves by their Stetsons and spurs, which set them apart from other Soldiers, but it's the spurs that set them apart from the rest of the Cavalry.
During the recent Spur Ride Contest, Oregon Army National Guard members from the 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team took part in the traditional event, which pitted Soldiers against each other in grueling conditions which included map reading, an obstacle course, weapons maintenance, call for fire, rappel operations, land navigation, listening post & observation post duties, urban terrain operations, and a final seven-mile ruck sack night march.
Less than half of those who compete in similar events are ever awarded their spurs, according to data from the Tactical Operations Center at the Spur Ride.
Cavalry Scout Sgt. Vincent Martin, who already had his spurs competed in the event for the third time anyway.
"I signed up to be a scout and this is the type of training I need to stay refreshed and on top of things," he said. "By competing we are constantly forcing each other to get better."
Story and photos by Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs
Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager