This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Competitors were tested in the Army Physical Fitness Test during the Region 5 Best Warrior Competition held at Camp Gruber, Braggs, Okla.


Gen. George Patton referred to the division as “one of the best, if not the best division in the his- tory of American arms.”


Oklahoma’s Own In 1968, the 45th Infantry Division composed


then of National Guard units from Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, became an all-Oklahoma organization. Today, the Thunderbirds, known as the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), consist of about 3,600 sol- diers. The Oklahoma Army National Guard also has three additional major commands with an- other 3,500 soldiers and two Air National Guard wings with 2,500 airmen. During past decades of relative peace, guards- men could serve and retire without having seen combat. That is no longer the case. National Guard and Reserve troops composed nearly half of all combat forces that served in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Maj. Geoffrey Legler, OKNG pub- lic affairs offi cer, Oklahoma’s soldiers and airmen- have racked up 23,976 individual deployments. That means almost every guardsman has “gone over” at least once, most of them more than once. Sgt. George Lawrence, a member of the 120th Engineers, deployed three times. Fellow engineers, Sgts. Ricardo Pineda and Matthew Lima, served combat tours twice each. Maj. Michael Urrutia, an operations offi cer with the 45th IBCT, also de- ployed twice. In the Air Guard, Lt. Col. Paul Petersen and Senior Master Sgt. Chad Pearce each


Competitors at Camp Gruber, Braggs, Okla.


mobilized for either stateside support or an over- seas deployment. “The War on Terror changed the culture of the National Guard and Reserves,” Pearce says. “We are all one team with the active duty military. There are no such thing as ‘weekend warriors.’ We’re all simply warriors.”


Anything the active-duty military does, says


Legler, the National Guard can do cheaper and more effi ciently. Guardsmen cost less to train and maintain precisely because they are “part-time sol- diers.” Additionally, they bring valuable civilian skills with them. For example, many military po- licemen are police offi cers as civilians. National Guard pilots often fl y for private sector airlines. Lima was an Edmond policeman; military engi- neer Sgt. Josh Jacox a civilian carpenter and build- er; Army medic Sgt. Tommy Nugent a physical therapist. Barry Huffman, telecommunications engineering manager for KAMO Power, transfers his skills to the Air National Guard’s 219th Engineering and Installation Squadron where he is a staff sergeant specializing in fi ber-optics, radar, radio,


satel l i tes, and other elect ronic


communications. The National Guard is unique in that it may also be activated for domestic disasters. In 2005, nu- merous OKNG units, to include the 179th, 279th and 180th Infantry Regiments of the 45th IBCT; units of the 90th Troop Command, to include the 1345th Transportation Company; the 45th Field Artillery Brigade and the 137th Airlift Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, were dispatched to


16 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162