Sunday , September 23 2018

Beating the heat

Ceremonies conducted in a pool.
Ceremonies conducted in a pool.

When you have to stand at attention in full Army uniform for long stretches of time in roughly 115 degrees Fahrenheit heat, sometimes you have to be creative and that is what the soldiers in Wichita’s 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, currently stationed in Kuwait, did on Sunday as they went into the pool for the re-enlistment ceremony, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Army Reserve Sergeant Charles Smalley, a signal support systems specialist with the 451st, held his re-enlistment ceremony in Camp Arifjan’s only swimming pool, and the soldiers in the 451st were more than willing to jump in with him. “He wanted to do something atypical and different from usual locations,” Captain Josiah Fisher said in an emailed response to questions from the Eagle. “Additionally, his brother, who is also in the unit, hates swimming. So, he enjoyed making him have to get in the pool for the ceremony.”

During the ceremony, Smalley raised his right hand and swore the oath of enlistment, which guarantees he will remain an Army Reserve soldier for another six years. A total of 24 Army soldiers were in the pool Sunday evening in their full uniform, standing in front of volleyball net while two knelt near the side of the pool, displaying the American flag. It appears from photos though that some took their boots off before taking the plunge.

Fisher revealed Smalley joined the 451st in March for its nine-month deployment in Kuwait. His main job is troubleshooting computer network issues for the command. “He’s enjoyed his experience with the 451st ESC since joining, and he plans on staying with the unit after we return back to the States,” Fisher said in the email. The 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command is an Army Reserve unit deployed overseas for the first time earlier this year since its reactivation in Wichita five years ago.

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