5 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-684

ANA soldiers receive U.S. Army decorations

U.S. Army Major Brian Gary of Colorado Springs, Colo., pins an Army Achievement Medal on Afghan National Army First Sergeant Mohammad Wali during an award ceremony at Camp Zafar, outside Herat, Dec. 4. Thirty-nine personnel from ANA’s 207th Corps 1-2 Infantry Kandak received awards for their achievements.

A KABUL, Afghanistan - Soldiers with the Afghan National Army’s 1st Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 207th Corps, received U.S. Army decorations during a ceremony held at Camp Zafar, Herat, Dec. 4. 

More than 30 soldiers were recognized with U.S. Department of the Army medals for their achievements by U.S. Embedded Training Team leader, U.S. Army Major Brian Gary of Colorado Springs, Colo.  The Army Commendation medal was awarded to nine members of the unit including the Kandak’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Raheem Khan of Khowst province. Khan has been in command of the unit for the last 11 months and has seen many improvements during his tenure.

“With the cooperation of the EETs and the corps, we stood up this kandak on its feet and they are doing well in many areas,” Khan said. “Receiving these awards has a lot of value. The guys have been working really hard; based on their performance, they are getting those certificates. This will encourage them to do better, and better in the future.”

The unit has 627 members with 250 currently deployed to operations in the southern region of western Afghanistan. They have performed two operations in Baghdis province and Changacharan and provided security for Herat and voter registration throughout the region.

“Compared to the other kandaks in the corps our kandak has a very high morale,” said Sergeant Mahmood Mohammadi, fuel tanker driver from Baghalan. He has been in the ANA for 18 months and with the unit since its inception. “I was on a mission in Bala Murghab when we got ambushed by the Taliban. My truck was shot, but we didn’t lose our morale.”

The ceremony was the first of its kind at the 207th Corps and helped to recognize the outstanding performance of members of the unit and increased pride and motivation within the ranks.

 

“The reasons we are decorating these soldiers are the same reasons we recognize U.S. soldiers, to build up their confidence, show them they achieved something,” stated Gary. “This kandak is above and beyond their sister kandaks in this corps. They are the youngest kandak; they haven’t even been on the ground for a full year. They are the best in my opinion.”

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