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News Release
240509-Z-ZJ128-1002
240509-Z-ZJ128-1002
Meritorious Unit Honor for Eastern Oregon Guard Unit (Photo) - 05/09/24

ORCHARD, Idaho - The 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment of the Oregon Army National Guard received the Meritorious Unit Commendation on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, during their annual training at the Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho for exceptional service during a 2010-2011 deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.

Col. Russell Gibson, commander of the 82nd Troop Command Brigade, presented the battalion with the unit honor during a ceremony at OCTC. The commendation recognized the unit's "exceptionally meritorious service," providing convoy security and personal protection details throughout two-thirds of Iraq from September 2010 to September 2011. Many former members of the 3-116th 2011 deployment traveled to OCTC to witness the ceremony and receive their award.

"Despite enduring over 45 improvised explosive device attacks and 100 indirect fire attacks, the battalion's mission preparedness ensured these attacks resulted in no significant casualties," Gibson said before hanging the unit streamer on the battalion's colors.

The Meritorious Unit Commendation, a prestigious award for outstanding service during armed conflict, was bestowed upon the 3-116th Cavalry Regiment. Lt. Col. Christopher Miller, the current commander, underscored the magnitude of this honor, stating, "The degree of achievement required for this commendation is the same as that which would warrant the award of the Legion of Merit to an individual."

Miller elaborated on the unit's achievements, which led to the Meritorious Unit Commendation. He highlighted their commitment to the mission and each other during the challenging deployment, where they conducted over 1,500 convoy missions and 100 personal security details, covering a staggering 140,000 miles.

Miller expressed pride in the unit's dual role, serving their local communities and the country. He stated, "Eastern Oregon can be proud of its National Guard members. They have a record of meritorious service in helping their local communities during disasters and serving overseas to defend our country. This is why the Oregon National Guard is seen as the military Service of Choice for Oregonians." 

The 3-116th Cavalry, with units across eastern Oregon, traces its lineage to 1888 militia cavalry companies. Since the 2010-2011 Iraq deployment, the battalion has frequently mobilized for state missions and overseas, including Ontario's Adder Company's recent 2023 deployment, providing rapid reaction forces for U.S. Central Command in the Middle East. 

 

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Released Photo:

 

240508-Z-ZJ128-1001

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, carry a set of bleachers into place at the ceremony site at Orchard Combat Training Center on May 8, 2024, preparing for the battalion's Meritorious Unit Commendation ceremony later that day. The Oregon National Guard unit was honored for exceptional service providing convoy security during a 2010-2011 deployment to Iraq. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240508-Z-ZJ128-1002

Spc. Leary of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment holds the company guidon before the battalion's Meritorious Unit Commendation ceremony on May 8, 2024 at Orchard Combat Training Center. The Oregon Army National Guard unit was recognized for outstanding service providing convoy security during its 2010-2011 deployment to Iraq. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

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Sgt. Garrett Johnston, serving as the regimental guidon bearer, and Maj. Justin Symons, acting as the commander of troops, stand at parade rest with the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment in formation behind them during the unit's Meritorious Unit Commendation ceremony on May 8, 2024 at Orchard Combat Training Center. The Oregon Army National Guard battalion received the honor for exceptional convoy security operations during its 2010-2011 deployment to Iraq. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240508-Z-ZJ128-1004

Col. Russell Gibson, commander of the 82nd Troop Command Brigade, addresses soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment during their Meritorious Unit Commendation ceremony on May 8, 2024 at Orchard Combat Training Center. Gibson presided over the ceremony and hung the commendation streamer on the battalion's colors in recognition of their exceptional convoy security operations while deployed to Iraq in 2010-2011. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240508-Z-ZJ128-1005

Col. Russell Gibson, commander of the 82nd Troop Command Brigade, hangs the Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer on the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment's colors during a ceremony on May 8, 2024 at Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho. Lt. Col. Christopher Miller (left) and Maj. Justin Symons hold the battalion's guidon as Gibson affixes the honor for the unit's exceptional service providing convoy security in Iraq from 2010-2011. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240508-Z-ZJ128-1006

Lt. Col. Christopher Miller, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, presented the Meritorious Unit Commendation to his soldiers during a ceremony on May 8, 2024, at Orchard Combat Training Center. Every member of the Oregon Army National Guard battalion received the prestigious unit award for the unit's exceptional convoy security operations while deployed to Iraq from 2010-2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240509-Z-ZJ128-1001

A Tank Commander from the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment ground guides his M1A2 SEP Abrams tank into the ready parking area at Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho on May 9, 2024. The battalion was conducting gunnery qualification during its annual training at the combat center. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

 

240509-Z-ZJ128-1002

A tank crew from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment engages targets downrange with the 120mm main gun of their M1A2 SEP Abrams tank during Tank Table VI gunnery qualification on May 9, 2024 at Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho. The live-fire exercise was part of the battalion's annual training. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard public affairs)

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