STUTTGART, Germany -- International Nurses Day, May 12, has been a recognized event since 1954, with the week typically coinciding with Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, 1820. Here at U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, our medical staff has one nurse, Alicia Murphy, who has stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murphy, who was born and raised in Texas, said she has always wanted to be a nurse.
“My mom, grandma, aunts, and cousins are all nurses - it runs in the family,” Murphy reveals.
Murphy attended the University of Miami and has been a nurse for almost 10 years. Prior to becoming a nurse, she was a stay at home mom and a U.S. Marine Corps spouse for over 20 years. Her family has lived in Okinawa, Hawaii, Florida, North Carolina, and now Germany.
ZAGAN, Poland -- At 3 a.m. on Monday morning, Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, took part in an Initial Ready Task Force (IRTF) exercise, at Johanna Range, Poland, May 20, 2019.
“This morning we received an alert to prepare us for deployment operations,” said 1st Sgt. Andrew Macvey, Delta Troop, 1st Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “We quickly gained accountability of our personnel, which was relatively simple because we happen to be in a field exercise. We immediately transitioned from miles equipment and field training status to be prepared to deploy.”
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Ever since our nation’s earliest military endeavors, the outcome of some of history’s most important battles have been determined by our ability to effectively communicate and determine friend or foe on the battlefield. For the past week some 5,000 service members from 21 nations have been tasked with this challenge during Combined Resolve XII, a semiannual multinational exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany from Aug. 15-27, 2019.
Assets from armored vehicles to light infantrymen are represented from NATO allies and partner nations as well as the opposing forces (OPFOR) during CBR XII. Making things more interesting, is the fact that soldiers and armored vehicles from nations such as Ukraine, are represented on both sides respectively.
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- "Quadrant four six seven point nine, breech load," chanted howitzer cannon crew members from Chaos Battery, 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. "Fire! Breech open. Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go, hurry up fellas. Last round, last round, last round!"
"Fast" and "Precise" are the best ways to describe Chaos Soldiers as they worked as a team to let loose massive ground pounding M777 howitzer rounds from four cannons, during a live-fire exercise as part of Saber Junction 19 (SJ19), at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany on Sept. 11, 2019.
BORDUSANI, Romania -- A platoon of three squads from the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, conducted an air assault mission as part of the wet gap crossing during Saber Guardian 2019, on June 20, 2019.
“While the wet gap crossing is being conducted with the Romanians and our tanks and bradley’s, we are conducting an air assault in conjunction with artillery fire, so that we can seize a support by fire position and allow the rest of the battalion to conduct a breach and continue the attack,” said Lt. Andrew Papathanasiou, a platoon leader with 1st Bn., 16th Inf. Reg.
CAMP KARLIKI, Poland - Soldiers from Echo Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, perform crucial maintenance on a unit humvee, May 9, 2019 in Camp Karliki, Poland.
“Today we’re finishing up an engine swap that we did on a humvee,” said Spc. Mitchell Whiteside, a wheeled vehicle mechanic from Echo Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. “We’re reconnecting everything and getting setup so we can get ready to start it. Usually it’s about a two day job, we disconnect the old one, use the crane to lift it out and then put the new one in.”
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, participate in a live-fire exercise as part of exercise Combined Resolve XII, at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, August 8, 2019.
“Today we participated in a platoon live-fire exercise as part of a troop squadron and brigade [level] live-fire exercise in preparation for Combined Resolve in Hohenfels, Germany.” said Lt. Mark Lister, white platoon leader with 1-4 Cav., 1st ABCT, 1st ID. “We demonstrated our ability to conduct live-fire operations before we go into the box and conduct force on force operations.”
ZAGAN, Poland, -- Four Soldiers from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, scurry toward a medical triage area carrying a litter, indicating the start of an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland, May 15, 2019.
Soldiers throughout the battalion participated in the MASCAL training exercise in order to hone their skills and ensure they are prepared for future missions and exercises.
ZAGAN, Poland -- Combat Engineers from, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, conduct live-fire explosives training at Joanna range, here, Mar. 6, 2019.
"Today we're conducting confidence blasts as well as familiziaration with C-4," Staff Sgt. Jaime Ratledge, Operations Sergeant for Bravo Company, 1st Eng. Bn., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "We want to make sure that our Soldiers are confident with demolition."
When your team is No. 1, it’s a constant challenge to stay at the top. As a member of one of the top career counseling and retention teams in the Army, connecting with 40 soldiers every week is the ultimate goal. In order to be effective at retaining top quality personnel, it’s important to talk to as many soldiers as possible.
“I want to set a goal for my team that we’re always striving to hit,” said Master Sgt. Shantel Moneke Johnson, senior career counselor for 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. “This means you have to lay hands on a lot more people because you can’t touch five and be guaranteed to get five (reenlistments), so you might need to touch 25!”