Unification won't change Mission; training still No.1

The wait is over. The two Germanys unified Oct. 3, ending a 45 year separation of families, state and ideology. A historic moment, the unification likely will be considered the number one news event of 1990. With the noise of celebration fading, many people within the U.S. Army, Berlin, may have expected great revelations on the morning following unification. But there were none. Some people noticed two flagpoles in front of the headquarters-where only one had been-but there were no dramatic changes: no convoys moving soldiers out of Berlin; the exchange opened as always and children played; people in the community went to work and wrestled the same problems as they did Oct. 2. Unity Day was nice, but not much in our daily lives changed then or will in the near future. A plaque hanging outside my office reflects our mission here. It carries the same message today as it did this spring. It has not changed. Those missions, while short on words are deep in responsibility and commitment.


The ability of a soldier to fight, survive and win on any battlefield is critical. This is the mission of every soldier in this brigade, regardless of rank or military occupational specialty. It requires dedication and professionalism, and cannot be achieved overnight. To meet this standard, training is our main priority. Even in unified Germany, training will continue to be the top priority because as the threat in Europe decreases, the possibility of deployment to a hostile environment in the world increases. Soldiers must be trained and ready to fight. When a soldier is no longer trained and capable of doing his job, he ceases to be a soldier. We must continue to train during these changing times. When turmoil is all around us, the allied presence in Berlin provides stability, which allows peaceful progress to occur. We are a hedge against uncertainty for Berliners.


No change here because unification has occurred. We will continue to promote and reward deserving soldiers. School selections will continue, as will professional development assignments. We will continue to provide and improve our services to the soldier. That responsibility is inseparable to our tactical mission.


Our family services will not change because of unification. Our services will continue to be among the best in Europe. As long as American soldiers serve here with their families, this community will make every effort to care for their needs.


The days of “parade brigade” are gone. Our mission is to train as professionals and maintain the highest levels of readiness possible. We cannot accomplish this task without Berliners’ support. We are tenants here, using forests and parks that are owned by the city for our training. To continue to use these facilities, we must respect our German neighbors and go about our business without a lot of flare and noise. We have done this with great success for the past few years and will continue with our current rules.


Again, nothing changes. We will continue working on our relationships with Berlin citizens. We will continue to work together with the city to find solutions to common problems. Our programs to enhance German-American relations will not disappear. Our Volksfest, Kontakt club, partnerships and other clubs and events still will be here, just as they were in the spring. Friendships can never be taken for granted, they need constant mending. Allied command may eventually go away, but our allies will remain. Our interaction with our allies will stay the same or even increase in activity. Operating in a multinational military environment is extremely important, as operation Desert Shield will attest. The opportunities for this type of training here cannot be ignored, and we will take full advantage of our situation. These missions reflect the direction and priorities of this command. We must clearly understand these goals and fully support them.

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