I am very proud of the Soldiers of the 15th Sustainment
Brigade. They did an outstanding job of “Supporting
the Action” in Iraq. During their deployment, the 4,000-plus
Soldiers of the brigade ensured that both U.S. and Coalition
forces throughout Iraq had the food, ammunition, fuel, maintenance
support, equipment, and repair parts they needed to take the
fight to the enemy and sustain the force. They also provided
medical, financial, and personnel support to the force.
The 15th Sustainment Brigade sustained
Multi-National Division-Baghdad (MND–B) by providing
supply-point and unit distribution for all classes of supply.
We also provided direct support to other units throughout
our area of operations. The brigade’s subordinate battalions
included the 15th Brigade Troops Battalion, 15th Personnel
Services Battalion, 15th Finance Battalion, 68th Combat Sustainment
Support Battalion, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion,
867th Corps Support Battalion, and 786th Quartermaster Battalion.
Our Soldiers showed continuous enthusiasm for being in Iraq
and helping to make a positive difference. When news arrived
that their time in theater had been extended, they continued
to move forward, and the mission remained their top priority.
What continued to surprise me was that these Soldiers were
required not only to be proficient in their logistics or personnel
military occupation specialties, but, because of the ever-changing
environment of Iraq, they also to had bear a share of the
mission’s combat burden. These Soldiers were truly “Logistics
Warriors,” even as they continued to be multifunctional
at all assigned missions.
The brigade’s officers, noncommissioned officers (NCOs),
and Soldiers played a critical role in ensuring the success
of numerous combat operations. On a daily basis, our Soldiers
put their training to the test and traveled some of the most
dangerous roads in the world to ensure that first-class support
was provided to their brothers and sisters in arms. These
Soldiers were logistics heroes. They conquered the treacherous
routes traversing their area of responsibility and provided
the essentials to our most lethal combat platform, the Soldier.
Our logisticians were entrusted each day with operating and
maintaining millions of dollars worth of equipment that had
a direct impact on combat operations. Logistics officers,
NCOs, and Soldiers put a lot of their previous experiences
and talents to work.
As I traveled our battlespace visiting our troops, they always
amazed me with their understanding of the significance of
their contributions to the fight and the importance to the
warfighter of performing their mission well. It was a true
team effort. I like to use a football team as the analogy
for our role. We were like the offensive line: We may not
have gotten all the glory, but we were an important part of
what the team needed to win. If we were not successful at
what we did, then the whole team would suffer.
Our Soldiers provided maintenance support and vehicle enhancements.
They provided transportation of all classes of supplies and
services. They operated central receiving and shipping points
arrival/departure airfield control group terminals. Along
with Airmen, they operated Army post offices and managed personnel
support. They conducted forward operating base security and
convoy security escorts. They operated one of the largest
ammunition supply points in the theater. And they provided
showers and dry clothing repair and acted as mayor of a forward
The advantage that the logistics warriors bring to the fight
is the will to work until the mission is accomplished while
constantly improving on their tactics, techniques, and procedures.
While visiting one of our CRSP yards, I was impressed to hear
that an NCO had drafted an idea that would decrease the upload
and download times of the units delivering cargo. This new
arrangement would alleviate an ongoing problem and increase
efficiency in the yard. The idea was based on his experience
on a previous deployment. After I had received a briefing
on this, I realized that our young Soldiers know what right
looks like, what works and what doesn’t work.
These young warriors are the continuity within our ranks and
have experienced multiple ways of running logistics facilities
and systems, so they know and understand what the right fixes
are for a particular problem. The logistics warriors of the
15th Sustainment Brigade bring a variety of experiences to
ensuring the success of the day-to-day fight.
Command Sergeant Major Mark D. Joseph is the Command Sergeant
Major of the 15th Sustainment Brigade. He has an associate’s
degree in applied science in transportation from City College
of Chicago and a B.S. degree in business administration (logistics
management) from Touro University and an M.B.A. degree from
Touro University. He is a graduate of the Army Sergeants Major