Army Reserve Soldiers mobilize to train and equip a ready force

By Sgt. Aaron Berogan | 85th Support Command | April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 — FORT HOOD, Texas — Military family separations for duty are never easy. Whether it is your first or last, the other side of the world or just the other side of the United States, it is a challenge leaving behind loved ones, but a necessary sacrifice to ensure the readiness of our force in defense of the nation.

The Army Reserve’s 3/335th Training Support Battalion, assigned to the 85th Support Command and operationally controlled by First Army, just arrived for a one-year mobilization at Fort Hood, Texas, and they are playing a critical role training Army Reserve and Guard forces for overseas deployments.

Their mission is to make sure that deploying units are ready for their jobs ahead, but being in such a role means that the Soldiers assigned to 3/335 have to be ready themselves to be the subject matter experts in any scope of jobs that come their way. Something Sgt. Mindy Baptist, observer coach/trainer, 3/335th TSBn, finds to be an honorable task.

“I have their lives in my hands,” explained Baptist. “I need to ensure they are prepped and ready to (deploy) overseas.”

This is Baptist’s first mobilization in 11 years of service, and while she misses her son, she knows he is proud of her, which keeps her motivated.

“At school he tells everyone ‘My mom’s in the Army,‘“ said Baptist with a look of pride on her face. “He said to me, ‘Mom I want to be your partner.’ He wants me to buy him a uniform so he can be with me.”

Baptist is one of near 100 soldiers serving with the 3/335th TSBn who are mobilized to ensure that units deploying overseas will have what they need to be the most capable, combat ready and lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the nation.

Santos Picacio, mobilization specialist assigned to First Army’s 120th Infantry Brigade, the brigade that 3/335 TSBn will report to while at Fort Hood, welcomed the unit in their year-long support.

“You’ve been called upon to help your active brothers and sisters,“ said Picacio.

Soldiers such as Baptist will be focused on connecting with more than 20 different units, preparing to deploy, in a variety of different Military Occupational Specialties.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do in the military, to train Soldiers to be what we are supposed to be,” said Sgt. 1st Class Corey Thigpen, future operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge assigned to 3/335th TSBn. “I‘ve been deployed to Iraq three times, I know the seriousness of it.”

Thigpen has served in the Army for 19 years, and shared that he couldn’t think of a better final duty assignment than ensuring the readiness of the future force before his retirement.

The 120th INF BDE leadership shared that the active and reserve partnership at work during times like now, with a high deployment volume, is critical.

“I’m excited to have the Third of the Three Thirty Fifth here,” said Col. Brian Payne, Brigade Commander 120th INF. BDE. “We’re busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest around here. Having more folks in to put hands on the ropes and pull this forward is incredibly beneficial.”

While this mobilization for the 3/335th TSBn means ensuring readiness for our deploying troops, it means something additionally to Baptist.

“It’s going to refine me in some sort of way positively,” explained Baptist. “It’ll make me a more well-rounded person to give my son better life lessons.”

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