Good afternoon, I am honored to be here today as your Commander-in-Chief, ahead of Task Force Jungleer’s mobilization to Kosovo.
This is one of many call-ups in the history of the forty-first Infantry Brigade Combat Team and its predecessor, the forty-first Infantry Division.
The forty-first is truly one of the great Divisions of the U.S. Army, one that goes back three generations. And I am so proud to stand before you today as you answer the call to serve your country.
I know that once again you will make Oregon proud.
Each and every one of you plays a crucial role in your mission’s success.
The Oregon Army National Guard is blessed with truly remarkable people – each with their own stories of sacrifice. And Task Force Jungleer is no exception.
Stories like Private First Class Kenton Hill.
PFC Hill has served 2-years in the Oregon Army National Guard and this will be his first deployment. A native Oregonian who grew up in Portland, he will be leaving behind his mother and father.
After this deployment he is planning to use the Oregon National Guard’s tuition assistance opportunities to pursue a bachelor’s degree. This is a new program created in 2019 and over 120 people have used it. Kenton go get ‘em!
And there is Specialist Megan Holman. Originally from Washington State -- though we won’t hold that against her -- Specialist Holman enlisted in the Oregon Army National Guard in 2017 as a 68-Whiskey Combat Medic.
She will be mobilizing with Second Battalion, 1-6-2 Infantry Regiment and attached to a brigade ambulance team.
Prior to this deployment she was a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadet and senior at Oregon State University where she is studying Secondary Education and Human Development Family Sciences.
Upon returning home, she plans to complete her undergraduate degree at OSU and pursue a career as a high school health teacher. Megan, we wish you the best.
Finally, there is Chief Warrant Officer Paul Miller. Chief Miller is the Maintenance Warrant Officer for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 41st Brigade.
This will be his fifth deployment, three with the Oregon Army National Guard and two with the United States Navy.
I am told that the Millers have a saying in their house, “Millers Never Quit!”
Paul, after five deployments and the level of service you’ve given to your country already, I think it’s safe to say that no one, NO ONE, could ever accuse you of being a quitter.
A great organization has a feeling of pride, fellowship and loyalty. I can feel that pride in the room today.
And it’s not just our deploying troops. Friends, family, employers, colleagues and fellow service members are here to be your champions. We’re here for you at home, just as you are here for us abroad.
Let’s give a round of applause to the folks here supporting our service members.
And a big thank you to our employers for your service as well.
Continue to carry the torch and do us all proud.
Your legacy goes back to America’s “greatest generation,” and I know you will continue that legacy for generations to come.
Travel safely, and Godspeed.