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Category: 4th Brigade Combat Team

Oct.
12th

JBLM Stryker commander outlines an “advise and assist” mission for his troops in Afghanistan

The next Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade to fight in Afghanistan plans to leave 1,000 of its soldiers at home as a “readiness reserve” in case its mission advising Afghan partners changes during its deployment.

“I don’t need everyone for this mission” at first, said Col. Mike Getchell, commander of more than 4,000 soldiers in the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “They’ll continue to train so they’re ready to serve when they’re called to do it.”

Getchell is heading into Kandahar Province over the next two months with his most seasoned soldiers. He’s drawing on veterans and high-ranking leaders initially

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April
19th

Last of Lewis-McChord’s Stryker brigades Afghanistan-bound

The Pentagon announced Thursday that the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

The nine-month deployment that is scheduled to begin in early winter will impact 3,900 soldiers and their families.

It would be the third deployment for the brigade, which served twice in Iraq from 2007-08 and 2009-2010.

The brigade will deploy as Combined Task Force Raider and continue the work training Afghan security forces so they can take over their own security after U.S. combat troops leave as early as mid-2013.

“Drawing on experience from two deployments and the

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Feb.
16th

Army accuses private of stealing $630K worth of weapons accessories from JBLM Stryker brigade

The Army today announced that it charged a 22-year-old private with the theft of more than $600,000 worth of equipment from his Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade.

The Army would not say whether it believes Pvt. Nicholas Solt of Slatington, Pa., acted alone in an alleged scheme to steal and resell weapons accessories from his unit. Solt is under confinement at Lewis-McChord. The Army did not say when it arrested him.

“Our investigation remains ongoing,” Army Criminal Investigative Division spokesman Christopher Grey said.

Solt, 22, faces 59 years in prison if he’s convicted on six criminal charges including larceny of

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Jan.
3rd

Rainier shooting suspect’s Army discharge does not bar VA benefits

The former soldier who allegedly killed a ranger at Mount Rainier National Park Sunday likely was eligible for veterans benefits, according to documents that explain how soldiers with misconduct discharges like him can obtain services at Veterans Administration hospitals.

Shooting suspect Benjamin Colton Barnes was given a “general, under honorable discharge” for misconduct in September 2009. That kind of discharge qualifies for VA benefits, according to this summary.

Here’s another helpful summary from a lawyer who wrote a piece in Army Times explaining how administrative discharges can impact benefits.

“A general discharge under honorable

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Dec.
20th

Stryker brigade fights alcohol abuse with perks and transparency

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade is tackling an uncomfortable problem by opening up and drawing attention to the repercussions soldiers face when they’re arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Since September, the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division has published DUI totals for each of its six subordinate battalions. Units are rewarded with a three-day weekend whenever they hit six weeks without a DUI.

Commanders post the information to the brigade’s Facebook page, where soldiers and family members root for DUI-free streaks.

“There’s a lot of competition; the units take it very seriously,” said Staff Sgt.

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Dec.
15th

Defense bill includes $296 million for work at Lewis-McChord

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s construction priorities survived a year of talk of budget cuts on Capitol Hill and remain funded in the defense spending bill the Senate is debating today.

The House passed the bill yesterday. It includes $519 million for military construction in Washington State, with $296 million reserved for work at Lewis-McChord.

Lewis-McChord would get $56 million to replace the dated headquarters building for the 4th Stryker Brigade, $82 million for Army aviation improvements and $21 million for a Special Forces facility.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, touted some of the bill’s highlights in a press

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Dec.
9th

Army sees first combat deaths in newly designed “double V” Strykers

The Army has recorded its first combat deaths in new “double V” hull Strykers that were designed to provide better protection against improvised explosives, according to an update on the vehicle in Stars and Stripes.

Three soldiers from the Alaska-based 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were killed in two attacks while riding in a double V Stryker last month. News of their deaths reverberates at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the home of three Stryker brigades that could be called up to deploy to Afghanistan.

Commanders in the Alaska brigade told Stars and Stripes that the new Strykers are saving

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Aug.
11th

Friends of fallen soldier aim to draw attention to Army suicides

Former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers are hosting a forum Friday night on military suicides, aiming to draw attention to psychological strains on service members who carry out multiple combat deployments.

The panel discussion is taking place at 7:30 p.m. just outside the base’s gate at Coffee Strong on Union Avenue in Lakewood.

It’s centered on the March 2010 suicide of Spc. Derrick Kirkland, who hung himself at Lewis-McChord after he was evacuated from Iraq because of concerns about his psychological health.

Kirkland of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division twice tried to kill himself in Iraq before

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