CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq, Aug. 2, 2011 — Soldiers learn a variety of skills, from basic drill and ceremony to combat operations, and each skill can serve an important role in their day-to-day lives.
Army Spc. Zachary Parker, a cannon crew member, used skills that may have saved the life of an Iraqi soldier assigned to the Kurdish Regional Guard Brigade at Manila Training Center, June 28.
Parker, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division’s Battery A, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, uses his knowledge of military tactics to train regional guard soldiers, teaching them to engage targets safely and maneuver the training area without injury.
“We looked at it as just another day hiking up and down the mountains toward the ranges to support the [Regional Guard Brigade],” said Parker, who calls New Gloucester, Maine, home.
During the culminating live-fire event, Parker noticed a trainee showing symptoms of becoming a heat casualty. He ran over mountainous terrain, pulled the soldier into a shady area and began administering first aid.
“It first felt like training back at the states — just one of those lanes we have to go through,” Parker said. “But then I realized that this was for real, and that this guy actually needed help.”
After treatment from Parker, the trainee recovered and went on to complete the day’s training exercises with his unit.
Officials of the 1st Advise and Assist Brigade said Parker’s actions exemplified the Army’s warrior spirit and his dedication to the partnership between U.S. forces and Iraqi forces in naming him “Ironhorse Strong” Soldier of the Week.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)