1st Recon Bn. September Update       Provided by LtCol. Higgins

C.O.’s Message:

 

 

Sgt. Major’s Message:
Since the BN Commander wrote a book this issue, I’ll keep my remarks to a minimum! The Battalions Marines continue to impress us all with their amazing work ethic, mental toughness and pride. I’m very proud to say I’m a member of the finest Recon Bn in the Marine Corps!
As the deployment starts to wind down we are looking forward to a couple of key events during November. The Div Officer and SNCO ball on 2 Nov, and of course the Battalion Ball on the 9th of Nov.
Also thanks for all the cards, emails and packages! Everyone appreciates your efforts. When the leaves turn brown the Boys will be back in town!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

SgtMaj


Cpl. Ben Pollock. While we often recognize Marines for the performance of their duty’s and leadership, we less often speak about a Marine with truly outstanding moral’s and moral fiber. Cpl. Pollock is is the kind of Marine that separates himself from his peers based on his core values and strong beliefs in Honor Courage and Commitment. Currently serving with Bravo Company, 3rd platoon, Pollack is always there for the Marines around him when they’re in need of somebody to talk to and he is known for his ability to keep morale high when things may seem their worst. Cpl Pollock is the kind of Marine that we all can learn from as an example of what is good not just in the Corps, but in life. He is an integral part of the 1st Recon Battalion team and he has a tremendous future ahead.

 

Bravo Company, 1stSgt Gaita
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Labor Day weekend; I am sure all the mothers are excited that the children are getting ready to go back to school! Things continue to go well for the Marines and Sailors of Bravo Company. We recently returned to Camp Fallujah after a stint with the 13th MEU. While with the MEU we were able to link up with Alpha-3 (our platoon attached to the MEU) under the leadership of Captain Jay Armas and Staff Sergeant Brandon Penner. I am pleased to report that A-3 is doing well; we worked with them for several weeks and did some great things. Captain Armas was a gracious host and I must admit he is truly the ‘Mayor of the MEU’ and TQ, everyone seems to know him. Bravo Company totally abused him and enjoyed writing checks that he will have to pay back!

I am not sure how A-3 acquired a sorry game board, but this helps them kill some down time. The highlight of the game is getting a sorry card and then swatting one of your opponent’s pieces as far as you can as you yell “sorry”. A-3 seems to enjoy ganging up on Sergeant Nick Orlando to make sure he never wins; this appears to be both a great sense of amusement and entertainment for the entire platoon, particularly Sergeant Sigi Apodaca. The sorry game is pretty addictive, B-1 has also been playing, but they call it “Los Sientos” – so they yell “los sientos” whenever they swat an opponent’s piece. B-2 has taken it to a higher level with a form of combat sorry in which they don’t even look for an excuse to swat each other or various items while playing the game. We can’t print what they yell in mixed company, thankfully they have Captain Agur “The Apostle” Adams, or they all might have a ticket to an even hotter place. (Speaking of hot, how about those Red Sox!) - I am hoping to get the guys a Chutes and Ladder or Candy Land game next, I will see if my fourteen year old nephew has any of these games that he outgrew about 7 years ago.


While with the MEU, we acquired Captain Brent “Sugar” Winslow from the MEU staff. The most popular theory on the origin of this acquisition is that we fed him once - and like feeding a stray cat - could not get him to leave. His expertise and efforts contributed significantly to the company’s success, his eagerness and work ethic was remarkable, he did not consider any task beneath him and volunteered countless times to drive, serve as a gunner, and send traffic back to the MEU for Captain Nichols (all of which were denied, but that is not the point). Much to Gunny Stahls’ dismay, Sugar was prone to wander off after IED wires without a radio and the most accident prone Marine in his platoon, (Gunny requested one of those wind up leashes and is securing it to Sugar’s seat in the HQ’s Hummve). We have deservedly bestowed the title of Honorary Bravo Company Marine on him!

Bravo Company recently spent several weeks at a lakefront casino resort on Lake Thar-Thar, but I think we had a bad travel agent, because the place did not look like the pictures on the travel brochure! The casinos, all the buildings, water/plumbing systems, and electricity had all been destroyed about four years ago. I told the Marines, ‘look at the bright side, you still can tell everyone you got to go to a casino resort!’ – they are not buying this…. It was great to link back up with B-3 under the leadership of Captain Glenn Baker and Gunnery Sergeant Marty “the one man party” Williams. The platoon did some great things out in the AO that we can’t really talk about, they did tell us that next time we leave them ‘Home Alone’ they will continue to give up the CO’s office to anybody that wants it!

Kudos to Captain Bryan “B.A.-Bad Attitude” Abell on his promotion, well deserved! (We had to remind him that just because he has a cool call sign, he is not a pilot). Congratulations to Gunnery Sergeant Rodger Turner, Staff Sergeant John Bottema, Sergeant Stephen Geiger, Sergeant Evan Williams-McIntosh, and Sergeant Amish Smith on reenlisting for four more years in our beloved Corps! (Gunnery Sergeant Turner requested that his wife not spend his reenlistment bonus before he gets home).

Sadly, we said good bye to Sergeant Peter “Cold Rod” Rodriguez and Corporal Jeffrey Tolentino as they returned back to the states last month. Sergeant Rodriguez is getting ready to go to OCS and Corporal Tolentino is separating from the Marine Corps and is off to college. Thanks for your service to Bravo Company and the Marine Corps, good luck to both of you! Rod & T, we don’t need anything from the states, but thanks for asking, that was very thoughtful of you both (oh, never mind, you two ungrateful $%&^#)%# guys didn’t ask us, we just figured you would have by now)! (How soon they forget)! Master Sergeant Jimmie Jakes (I know you are laughing some place), you were 100 percent correct, Master Sergeant Sid ‘Hans’ Gruber has turned into you! He takes his frustration out on the platoons, particularly when they breach his trailer and take his supplies!
Thanks so much to all our friends and families for their thoughts, prayers, and patience. I know I sound like a broken record, but I would like to personally thank the RBE and the KVN, every request we have made has been fulfilled beyond our expectations. Special thanks to Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Keely, USMC ret, and Warrior, on your thoughts, letters, and packages, first cold one when we get back is on me! As always, please feel to contact me, First Sergeant Carlo Gaita, at carlo.gaita@gcemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil if you need anything from our end.


 

Friends and family, August has come and gone and we are one month closer to being reunited with our loved ones. Charlie Company continues to play a large role in battalion and regimental operations. August saw the company conducting missions that traditionally would not be considered a reconnaissance mission but as has been the case throughout the deployment your Marines and Sailors made the transition seamlessly and impressed all who they came in contact with. I can say without hesitation that the changes here in our area of operation have changed 180 degrees over the last six months. We see more and more progress each time we go out and the people of the Al Anbar Province are really starting to understand and take an interest in their future.
Well, this may be the last newsletter before our return and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all the Key Volunteers and the Marines who worked so hard while we were gone to assist our families and keep them up to date on all that is happening both here and at home. I also want to thank all those who continually sent the great care packages and mail that meant so much to the company and on that note I would like to inform everyone that the cut off date for receiving mail over here will be the 1st of October, so if you want to get that last package in please don’t wait the post office will return all packages mailed after that date. From myself and Capt Rose please take care and we will see you all in the near future.




 

Headquarters and Service Company is still staying busy supporting the line companies. The tasks really don’t change much, just keeping everything moving, working, and supplied, etc.
It seems that we are starting to get some relief from the heat. The average temp in the day time is 105 to 110. I think by next week supply will have to start issuing some cold weather gear.
Some of our young non-commissioned officers (NCO) in H&S Company have recently taken up the challenges of Corporal’s Course. The Corporal’s Course is the first step in Professional Military Education. The classes that the students receive cover several topics such as leadership, history, and drill.
It seems that one of the officers in the battalion has developed the most severe case of imaginary lat syndrome (ILS) that has ever occurred in history. When he was confronted about it by the Sergeant Major, his response was “my arms won’t go down”. This is a plea for help, Navy medicine (we all know how good they are, haha) is stumped and have no idea how to treat it. Please, if you know anyone that can help with this situation get them in contact with Captain Konicki as soon as possible. We have a hotline set up for him 1-800- I GOT ILS.
Thanks and until next time, keep the mail coming.
1stSgt Smith




On Camp Fallujah: :


After a long three weeks of hard work at Op Delta your Marines finally have returned to Camp Fallujah where they got a breather before going back out on the job. Mean time the talk of the town is football and sports from back home. It’s dawned on a lot of the gents that we’re past our half way mark and we just have a little longer to go. Now it’s time to start thinking about the Marine Corps Ball and leave. Regimental Combat Team 6 got their Recon poster they had asked for, they sent word back to battalion Commenting that they already feel an increase in professionalism since having the poster. Corporal’s Course has started for the NCO’s (Corporals) in the battalion. Being the next generation of leaders they’re being prepared by the senior Marines to someday take their jobs. In closing a special happy birthday goes out to the Battalion Commander for this issue of the Bellator Bugle. (Happy 40th Birthday Sir)



1. LCpl. Pablo Morales
2. Cpl. Goff
3. Sgt. Lanham
4. Sgt. Sloan
5. Capt. Abell




 

Reenlistments: