CARY, N.C. - The Army Reserve center in Cary, N.C., was renamed June 8, in a light but solemn ceremony that celebrated the short life and service of Spc. Daniel Lucas Elliott.
Elliott, a military police officer, was killed in action July 15, 2011 in Basra, Iraq, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb just three days shy of his 22nd birthday.
According to his family, his decision to join the military came in 2001 when he was just 11 years old as a result of the 9-11 attacks. The Elliotts had been watching the events unfold on television and Lucas turned to them and said, "I'm going to do something about that."
On Jan. 10, 2007 Lucas entered the Army. Two years later in January 2009, he was deployed to Iraq for the first time with the 810th Military Police Company and saw duty in Camp Liberty and Camp Basra supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. In March 2011, he volunteered again to deploy to Iraq with the 805th Military Police Company for Operation New Dawn.
"He dedicated himself to his country then," his father, Ed Elliott, said of his decision to serve. "He stuck to it."
ucas, as Spc. Elliott was known, didn't have to go on the second deployment it was the service that drove the Eagle Scout to volunteer again.
The ceremony itself was standing room only as soldiers, family, friends and community members gathered to remember Lucas. Two major generals, like-minded commanders, both spoke of a soldier's service and the strength that comes from family and how it strengthens the nation. They talked of the remembrance of our heroes and how it reflects in our national values.
Maj. Gen. Gill Beck, commanding general of the 81st Regional Support Command, spoke to family saying, "I know what it's like to love a son, but I don't know what it's like to lose a son."
Beck concluded by saying, "From here forward as soldiers enter into this building they will have a model, an image, of what it means to be committed to our Army, committed to our nation and what it truly means to be a soldier and a member of the profession of arms."
Maj. Gen. Sanford Holman, commanding general of the 200th Military Police Command, highlighted the community strength represented in the large attendance at the event. He acknowledged the Elliott family's resilience and how community contributed to it. "The way that the unit and community have surrounded [the Elliott family] just sends chills up and down my spine," he said.
Mayor Harold Weinbrecht told the audience that it was his honor to be in the midst of so many heroes saying that being part of the ceremony was very humbling.
"Like many citizens, I didn't serve in the armed forces," he said. "But there is not a day that goes by that I don't benefit from the sacrifices of the people in this room and the men and women all around the world who risk their lives every day so I can be free and enjoy a great life."
Although he didn't personally know Lucas he had the opportunity to meet the family and hear stories from those with whom he was close.
"As mayor of this town, I am truly honored to have this facility named after somebody that embodies what it means to give service to everyone else, he said."
The reality of Lucas' the person, however, was spoken by his brother, Brad Elliott, who spoke of the man, his service and memory.
"The measure of a man is not hinged on what he does while he's here walking with us," he said. "But yet it's what's being done for him or because of him after he's gone."
Judging by the crowd at the proceedings, it was obvious that Lucas had contributed a lot to the community in a little over two decades of life. He was described as someone who would go a mile just to save you a step.
"He would literally give you the shirt off his back," Brad said. "I've seen him do it."
Brad shared a couple specific memories of his brother that brought smiles and a lighter spirit to an otherwise somber occasion. Stories of their youth, hunting and fishing and family that were also a reflection of the young soldier's love of life and the outdoors. Brad was certain that anyone who knew his brother had fond memories of him also and he encouraged everyone to always think of him that way. He felt that his brother's biggest passion was being outdoors no matter what he was doing.
"This is a great honor for my brother, my family and all his friends. It's an honor that leaves our souls well fed and our hearts left with plenty of pride."
A poem was read by Jessica Dickens, the daughter of a soldier who had served with Elliott previously but was still deployed and could not attend the ceremony.
By all accounts, Lucas was the ideal citizen-soldier.
Sgt. Jonathan Merck, who served with him and was present the day he died said of him, "He knew his job, he knew it well. I was very confident in him and his abilities."
Lucas was probably one of the best soldiers we had in our unit," said Cpl. Eric Hickey. "He was also the first there and always volunteered for everything." He said that the memorialization was a good way to remember one the best. "He was a good friend," Hickey added. He was really nice and always meant what he said."
"He was about as good a soldier as I could ask for," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Jones, Elliott's squad leader on his second deployment. "I could rely on him to do pretty much anything I asked. You couldn't ask for a better soldier."
It was Jones that had initially mentioned some form of memorialization for Lucas to 81st RSC leadership during a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration event in Concord, N.C. "I think it's really fitting," he said. "It's really the least that we could do."
After the ceremony, his mother, Patti spoke with WTVD, the ABC affiliate in Cary. "It's a tangible place that I can go and know that everybody who comes here remembers him when they're here," she told reporter Sheyenne Rodriguez.
"The Army Reserve family has been phenomenal, "she said. "And to know that they went this extra step to make this happen really means a lot."
She says that she tries to honor her son's memory every day by serving other soldiers.
"He would be so upset if he thought I was crying every day," she said.
The Elliott family and the troops who know them and knew Lucas are hoping that the dedication of the building will serve as an inspiration to others.
"His mission is complete, " Patti said. "God was though with him, He was not through with us, so we need to make sure that we live everyday to put greatest potential."
"We've just got to remember that he's still with us," Brad said. "He's just got a lot better view than we do now days."
As of 15 October 2014, the U.S. military operation name Operation Inherent Resolve officially refers to the US's military actions against ISIL, specifically the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in
... More Syria.
Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S. military's operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, in the vernacular, Daesh), including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria.
Unlike their coalition partners, and unlike previous combat operations, no name was initially given to the conflict against ISIS by the U.S. government. The decision to keep the conflict nameless drew considerable media criticism.
The U.S. decided in October 2014 to name its military efforts against ISIS as "Operation Inherent Resolve"; the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) news release announcing the name noted that:
According to CENTCOM officials, the name INHERENT RESOLVE is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary—diplomatic, informational, military, economic—to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.
The Defense Department announced at the end of October 2014 that troops operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve after 15 June were eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Service areas are: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as troops supporting the operation in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea east of 25 degrees longitude. The medal is approved retroactively beginning 15 June, the Pentagon said.
On 17 February 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of 1 September, the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom" would be replaced by "Operation New Dawn".
... Morebr />
On 18 April, US and Iraqi forces killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq in a joint American and Iraqi operation near Tikrit, Iraq. The coalition forces believed al-Masri to be wearing a suicide vest and proceeded cautiously. After the lengthy exchange of fire and bombing of the house, the Iraqi troops stormed inside and found two women still alive, one of whom was al-Masri's wife, and four dead men, identified as al-Masri, Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, an assistant to al-Masri, and al-Baghdadi's son. A suicide vest was indeed found on al-Masri's corpse, as the Iraqi Army subsequently stated. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the killings of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri at a news conference in Baghdad and showed reporters photographs of their bloody corpses. "The attack was carried out by ground forces which surrounded the house, and also through the use of missiles," Mr Maliki said. "During the operation computers were seized with e-mails and messages to the two biggest terrorists, Osama bin Laden and [his deputy] Ayman al-Zawahiri", Maliki added. U.S. forces commander Gen. Raymond Odierno praised the operation. "The death of these terrorists is potentially the most significant blow to al Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency", he said. "There is still work to do but this is a significant step forward in ridding Iraq of terrorists."
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden stated that the deaths of the top two al Qaeda figures in Iraq are "potentially devastating" blows to the terror network there and proof that Iraqi security forces are gaining ground.
On 20 June, Iraq's Central Bank was bombed in an attack that left 15 people dead and brought much of downtown Baghdad to a standstill. The attack was claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq. This attack was followed by another attack on Iraq's Bank of Trade building that killed 26 and wounded 52 people.
In late August 2010, insurgents conducted a major attack with at least 12 car bombs simultaneously detonating from Mosul to Basra and killing at least 51. These attacks coincided with the U.S. plans for a withdrawal of combat troops.
From the end of August 2010, the United States attempted to dramatically cut its combat role in Iraq, with the withdrawal of all US ground forces designated for active combat operations. The last US combat brigades departed Iraq in the early morning of 19 August. Convoys of US troops had been moving out of Iraq to Kuwait for several days, and NBC News broadcast live from Iraq as the last convoy crossed the border. While all combat brigades left the country, an additional 50,000 personnel (including Advise and Assist Brigades) remained in the country to provide support for the Iraqi military. These troops are required to leave Iraq by 31 December 2011 under an agreement between the US and Iraqi governments.
The desire to step back from an active counter-insurgency role did not however mean that the Advise and Assist Brigades and other remaining US forces would not be caught up in combat. A standards memo from the Associated Press reiterated "combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials".
State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley stated "...we are not ending our work in Iraq, We have a long-term commitment to Iraq." On 31 August, Obama announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Oval Office. In his address, he covered the role of the United States' soft power, the effect the war had on the United States economy, and the legacy of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
On the same day in Iraq, at a ceremony at one of Saddam Hussein's former residences at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, a number of US dignitaries spoke in a ceremony for television cameras, avoiding overtones of the triumphalism present in US announcements made earlier in the war. Vice President Joe Biden expressed concerns regarding the ongoing lack of progress in forming a new Iraqi government, saying of the Iraqi people that "they expect a government that reflects the results of the votes they cast". Gen. Ray Odierno stated that the new era "in no way signals the end of our commitment to the people of Iraq". Speaking in Ramadi earlier in the day, Gates said that U.S. forces "have accomplished something really quite extraordinary here, [but] how it all weighs in the balance over time I think remains to be seen". When asked by reporters if the seven-year war was worth doing, Gates commented that "It really requires a historian's perspective in terms of what happens here in the long run". He noted the Iraq War "will always be clouded by how it began" in regards Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction, which were never confirmed to have existed. Gates continued, "This is one of the reasons that this war remains so controversial at home". On the same day Gen. Ray Odierno was replaced by Lloyd Austin as Commander of US forces in Iraq.
On 7 September, two US troops were killed and nine wounded in an incident at an Iraqi military base. The incident is under investigation by Iraqi and US forces, but it is believed that an Iraqi soldier opened fire on US forces.
On 8 September, the U.S. Army announced the arrival in Iraq of the first specifically-designated Advise and Assist Brigade, the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. It was announced that the unit would assume responsibilities in five southern provinces. From 10–13 September, Second Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division fought Iraqi insurgents near Diyala.
According to reports from Iraq, hundreds of members of the Sunni Awakening Councils may have switched allegiance back to the Iraqi insurgency or al Qaeda.
Wikileaks disclosed 391,832 classified U.S. military documents on the Iraq War. Approximately, 58 people were killed with another 40 wounded in an attack on the Sayidat al Nejat church, a Chaldean Catholic church in Baghdad. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq organization.
Coordinated attacks in primarily Shia areas struck throughout Baghdad on 2 November, killing approximately 113 and wounding 250 with around 17 bombs.
Iraqi security forces transition towards self-reliance
Preparing to buy $13 billion worth of American arms, the Iraq Defense Ministry intends to transform the country's degraded conventional forces into a state-of-the-art military and become among the world’s biggest customers for American military arms and equipment. Part of the planned purchase includes 140 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. Iraqi crews have already begun training on them. In addition to the $13 billion purchase, the Iraqis have requested 18 F-16 Fighting Falcons as part of a $4.2 billion program that also includes aircraft training and maintenance, AIM 9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, laser-guided bombs and reconnaissance equipment. If approved by Congress, the first aircraft could arrive in spring 2013. Under the plan, the first 10 pilots would be trained in the United States.
The Iraqi navy also inaugurated U.S. built Swift Class patrol boat at Umm Qasr, Iraq's main port at the northern end of the gulf. Iraq is to take delivery of 14 more of these $20 million, 50-foot craft before U.S. forces depart. The high-speed vessels' main mission will be to protect the oil terminals at al Basra and Khor al-Amiya through which some 1.7 million barrels a day are loaded into tankers for export. Two U.S. built offshore support vessels, each costing $70 million, were expected to be delivered in 2011.
M1 Abrams tanks in Iraqi service, January 2011
The United States Department of Defense had issued notification of an additional $100 million proposed sales of arms from the US to Iraq. General Dynamics is to be the prime contractor on a $36 million deal for the supply of ammunition for Iraq’s Abrams M1 A1 tanks. The sale consists of: 14,010 TP-T M831A1 120mm Cartridges; 16,110 TPCSDS-T M865 120mm Cartridges; and 3,510 HEAT-MP-T M830A1 120mm Cartridges. Raytheon is proposed as the prime contractor for a $68 million package of "Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems".
UN lifts restrictions on Iraq
In a move to legitimize the existing Iraqi government, the United Nations lifted the Saddam Hussein-era UN restrictions on Iraq. These included allowing Iraq to have a civilian nuclear program, permitting the participation of Iraq in international nuclear and chemical weapons treaties, as well as returning control of Iraq's oil and gas revenue to the government and ending the Oil-for-Food Programme.
2011: U.S. withdrawal
Muqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq in the holy city of Najaf to lead the Sadrist movement after being in exile since 2007.
On 15 January 2011, three U.S. troops were killed in Iraq. One of the troops was killed on a military operation in central Iraq, while the other two troops were deliberately shot by one or two Iraqi soldiers during a training exercise.
On 6 June, five U.S. troops were killed in an apparent rocket attack on Camp Victory, located near Baghdad International Airport. A sixth soldier, who was wounded in the attack, died 10 days later of his wounds.
On 29 June, three U.S. troops were killed in a rocket attack on a U.S. base located near the border with Iran. It was speculated that the militant group responsible for the attack was the same one which attacked Camp Victory just over three weeks before. With the three deaths, June 2011, became the bloodiest month in Iraq for the U.S. military since June 2009, with 15 U.S. soldiers killed, only one of them outside combat.
In September, Iraq signed a contract to buy 18 Lockheed Martin F-16 warplanes, becoming the 26th nation to operate the F-16. Because of windfall profits from oil, the Iraqi government is planning to double this originally planned 18, to 36 F-16s. Iraq is relying on the U.S. military for air support as it rebuilds its forces and battles a stubborn Islamist insurgency.
With the collapse of the discussions about extending the stay of any U.S. troops beyond 2011, where they would not be granted any immunity from the Iraqi government, on 21 October 2011, President Obama announced at a White House press conference that all remaining U.S. troops and trainers would leave Iraq by the end of the year as previously scheduled, bringing the U.S. mission in Iraq to an end. The last American soldier to die in Iraq before the withdrawal was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on 14 November.
In November 2011, the U.S. Senate voted down a resolution to formally end the war by bringing its authorization by Congress to an end.
The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq on 18 December, although the US embassy and consulates continues to maintain a staff of more than 20,000 including US Marine Embassy Guards and between 4,000 and 5,000 private military contractors. The next day, Iraqi officials issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Vice-President Tareq Al-Hashemi. He has been accused of involvement in assassinations and fled to the Kurdish part of Iraq. Hide
The United Nations authorized an international force – the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – with a mandate to help the Afghans maintain security in Kabul and surrounding ar
... Moreeas. Operating under U.S. General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., ISAF included soldiers from 46 countries, with U.S. troops making up about half its force. ISAF was initially established as a stabilization force by the UN Security Council on 20 December 2001, to secure Kabul. Its mandate did not extend beyond this area for the first few years. On 11 August 2003, NATO assumed political command and coordination of ISAF. On 31 July 2006, ISAF assumed command of the south of the country, and by 5 October 2006, of the east.
Following a Loya jirga, tribal leaders and former exiles established an interim government in Kabul under Hamid Karzai. U.S. forces established their main base at Bagram airbase just north of Kabul. Kandahar airport also became an important U.S. base. Outposts were established in eastern provinces to hunt for Taliban and al-Qaeda fugitives. Hide
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during a period of military operat
... Moreions against an armed enemy on or after January 1, 1944. Hide
Streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST ASIA 1990-1991
6 Oct 90 to 24 Mar 91
DA GO 1994-27 / 2001-29
In 1990, fellow Arab Gulf states refused to endorse Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's plan to cut production and raise the price of oil, leaving him frustrated and paranoid. Iraq had incurred a mountain o
... Moref debt during its war with Iran that had lasted for most of the previous decade, and the Iraqi President felt that his Arab brothers were conspiring against him by refusing to raise oil prices. Therefore, after weeks of massing troops along the Iraq-Kuwait border and accusing Kuwait of various crimes, Hussein sent seven divisions of the Iraqi Army into Kuwait in the early morning hours of 2 August 1990. The invasion force of 120,000 troops and 2,000 tanks quickly overwhelmed Iraq's neighbor to the south, allowing Hussein to declare, in less than a week, that Kuwait was his nation's nineteenth province. The United Nations responded quickly, passing a series of resolutions that condemned the invasion, called for an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, imposed a financial and trade embargo on Iraq, and declared the annexation void.
Regarding Iraq's actions as a threat to a vital interest of the US, namely the oil production capability of the Persian Gulf region, President George Bush ordered warplanes and ground forces to Saudi Arabia after obtaining King Fahd's approval. Iraqi troops had begun to mass along the Saudi border, breaching it at some points, and indicating the possibility that Hussein's forces would continue south into Saudi Arabia's oil fields. Operation DESERT SHIELD, the US military deployment to first defend Saudi Arabia grew rapidly to become the largest American deployment since the Southeast Asia Conflict. The Gulf region was within US Central Command's (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. Eventually, 30 nations joined the military coalition arrayed against Iraq, with a further 18 countries supplying economic, humanitarian, or other type of assistance.
Carriers in the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea responded, US Air Force interceptors deployed from bases in the United States, and airlift transports carried US Army airborne troopers to Saudi Arabia. Navy prepositioning ships rushed equipment and supplies for an entire marine brigade from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to the gulf. During the next six months the United States and its allies built up a powerful force in the Arabian peninsula. The navy also began maritime intercept operations in support of a US-led blockade and United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Coalition forces, specifically XVIII Airborne Corps and VII Corps, used deception cells to create the impression that they were going to attack near the Kuwaiti boot heel, as opposed to the "left hook" strategy actually implemented. XVIII Airborne Corps set up "Forward Operating Base Weasel" near the boot heel, consisting of a phony network of camps manned by several dozen soldiers. Using portable radio equipment, cued by computers, phony radio messages were passed between fictitious headquarters. In addition, smoke generators and loudspeakers playing tape-recorded tank and truck noises were used, as were inflatable Humvees and helicopters.
On 17 January 1991, when it became clear that Saddam would not withdraw, Desert Shield became Desert Storm. Hide
The Liberation of Kuwait was the campaign to retake Kuwait from Iraq after the massive air campaign, between 24–28 February 1991. U.S. troops and the Coalition entered to find the Iraqis surrend
... Moreering en masse; however, pockets of resistance existed, particularly at Kuwait International Airport where Iraqi troops, seemingly unaware that a retreat order had been issued to them, continued to fight, resulting in a fierce battle over the airport itself. The majority of the fighting took place in Iraq, rather than Kuwait. Hide
The American Theater was a minor area of operations during World War II. This was mainly due to both North and South America's geographical separation from the central theaters of conflict in Europe a
... Morend Asia. Thus, any threat by the Axis Powers to invade the mainland United States or other areas was considered negligible, allowing for American resources to be deployed in overseas theaters.
This article includes attacks on continental territory, extending 200 miles (320 km) into the ocean, which is today under the sovereignty of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and several other smaller states, but excludes military action involving the Danish territory of Greenland, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Aleutian Islands. The most well known battles in North America during World War II were the Attack on Pearl Harbor (the first attack on US soil since the Battle of Ambos Nogales), the Aleutian Islands Campaign, the Battle of the St. Lawrence, and the attacks on Newfoundland. Hide