Face of Defense: Soldier Aids Iraqi Trainee

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) 

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