06 April 2011

Red Bull Featured in 'Guard Experience' Magazine

The current Afghan deployment of 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT) is showcased in the March-April 2011 issue of GX: The Guard Experience Magazine. The glossy, 250,000-circulation nationwide publication "connects guard soldiers and their families with news, information, and lifestyle pieces," and is produced by IOStudio, Nashville.

The publication is also available online as a free download here. (Look for issue "GX Magazine 8.2." The feature article appears on page 40; spread 22)

Under the head-scratching headline "The 'Red Bulls' Ride: From Iraq to Afghanistan, 2/34th Commander Tells All," the magazine's editors present a straightforward question-and-answer interview with brigade commander Col. Ben Corell. In addition to the commander's candid thoughts regarding the daily dangers faced in Afghanistan, those familiar with Corell may also recognize some well-worn but much-loved anecdotes about that long Red Bull line that stretches from World War II to present day:
We are making contact [with enemy] every day. Our soldiers have been in harm’s way the whole time we’ve been here. But we’ve been able to put out overwhelming combat power through direct fire, indirect fire and all means available to us ... [so] we’ve been successful at reducing the capability of the enemy. That means either through [destroying], capturing or disrupting the enemy, he is not able to make his networks work. To this point, we have been successful keeping our soldiers safe as they make that contact and react to that contact. However, the enemy chooses when and where he is going to attack. Fighting the insurgents is tough business [...]

The enemy has the advantage in everything that he does. he knows the population, he speaks the language and he looks like the local population. This is an enemy who has been in combat for more than 30 years. They’re well-supplied, motivated and tough. They use this terrain, which is unforgiving, to their advantage. and very rarely, unless you have them cornered, will they stand and fight. They will plan the mission and they will execute it. They are competent at that. [...]


My father was in the marines, and that gave me access to the local American Legion and VFW as a small boy. I can remember those World War II Vets wearing “Red Bulls” on their shoulders. I looked at them with awe and honor. Most of them—-you didn’t even know they were in the military until it was Veterans Day or Memorial Day, when they put on their uniform for the local parade.

I was there with the 1st of the 34th in Iraq when the Sunni uprising occurred in 2006. I remember sitting in a dining facility in a place called Hit, Iraq, as CNN reported that Al Anbar was lost. I was sitting in Al Anbar and remember thinking, "you know what—this isn’t lost. This is hard work, but we can still be successful.” I feel honored that I had a front-row seat and watched that transition take place in Iraq in 2006. I believe I’m in the same place in history right here in Afghanistan today, because we are in a historical moment. I’m awfully proud today to be part of this. The soldiers that work for me here make me pretty proud every day. And I know history is in the making here with what we are doing.
In the the same issue of GX Magazine, the story of World War II Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. George J. Hall is presented as a one-page comic (page 106; spread 55). Hall, a Red Bull soldier of Bravo Company, 135th Infantry Regiment, single-handedly assaulted three enemy machine-gun nests in actions at Anzio, Italy, 1944.

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