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Gale explains rear detachment duties

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POSTED: July 3, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Lt. Col. Brian Gale was already selected to command the 1-41 artillery battalion — Glory’s Guns, now in combat in Iraq — when his boss, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, found another job for him.
Gale is rear detachment commander for that part of the Third Infantry Division that remains at Fort Stewart (and Fort Benning.)
And it’s a challenging job. Lynch decided early on that the division’s “Rear D” would be led by “people that it hurts to leave behind,” said Gale. Part of the reason, he said, is that the 3rd ID is a “family first division.”  
And so, says Gale, he has “the right guys” in the three senior majors and three lieutenant colonels commanding the six brigades’ rear detachments.
Rear D’s job, along with garrison commander Col. Todd Buchs and the Family Readiness Groups, is to support the morale and well-being of the families of deployed soldiers. One way this is done is by activities such as the “Walk to Iraq.”
In the Walk, family members and others walk the distance of a trip to Iraq to show their support for deployed soldiers. Gale said the Walk is very successful, with more than 1,000 people walking now and in locations ranging from Colorado to New England.
Another activity was the Fishing Derby, which was June 9.
“We need to get them away from the TV,” said Gale. It’s easy for family members to just sit at home and focus on the TV, waiting for news that something bad has happened.
“We need to get them out of that,” Gale said.
Another duty of Rear D is to “push out” soldiers who don’t belong in the army. This includes soldiers who may be undeployable for medical or legal reasons.
Discharging these soldiers allows the division to bring in replacements. Gale said the rear detachment processes and trains about 400 replacements monthly and sends them forward.
Division Rear D operates a 10-day Individual Readiness Training course for deploying soldiers.
IRT is constantly updated by information from Iraq, so soldiers are trained for actual conditions they will face when deployed.
 

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