Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
detail is too small to overlook in combat because Soldiers donít get
second chances, said a Soldier who often is described as an American
hero by his peers and superiors and who used mobilization training at
Fort McCoy as a springboard to success during a deployment.
Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Nein tells
his story about mobilizing at Fort McCoy and using the training
he learned here to accomplish his mission. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
1st Class Timothy Nein told his story to a Fort McCoy audience May 8
during a Year of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) event.
participated in mobilization training in 2004 at Fort McCoy in
preparation for a deployment. Nein was honored with the Distinguished
Service Cross for his actions during a March 20, 2005 ambush in Iraq.
The Distinguished Service Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor
among awards for valor in battle.
the award was for a particular event, Nein said the award was part of
a team effort, which included the personnel at Fort McCoy who helped
get him and other members of the 617th Military Police Company he
served with ready for deployment.
people sitting in this room today are a lot of the reason that we were
successful in 2005," Nein said. "You have a great facility
here. You do great things. Iíve deployed four times, as Iíve said,
out of four different locations. And if they had asked me where I
wanted to go to, it would be this location."
owe it to the people in this room to tell my story, and to talk about
leadership," he said, explaining why he readily accepted the
invitation to speak at Fort McCoy.
have become known as the backbone of the Army, Nein said. Being part
of a team is what an NCO is all about.
are leading, developing, mentoring and training Soldiers to be an
extremely proficient force on the battlefield. NCOs donít take Army
Values, the NCO Creed and Warrior Ethos lightly as they are tools that
can help them live up to and adhere to principles each and every day.
related the story about Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, who was
posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iraq.
During a ceremony honoring Smith at the Victory Base Complex in Iraq,
his fellow Soldiers said no matter what they did he insisted they had
to do it to standard.
cleaning their weapons three times a day to laying out Ö wire and
burying the wire to standard six inches underground while others just
laid it on top of the ground," Nein said. "Standards were
his first deployment, Nein said he realized he had a well-trained and
proficient squad, but one of the things he was missing was teamwork.
he prepared for his second tour in 2004 at Fort McCoy, he decided one
of his most important tasks was to unite the Soldiers into a team.
identified the tactics they did well and identified the procedures
they could improve, he said. All Soldiers became cross-trained on all
available weapons systems/equipment.
vehicles were loaded with the same equipment, he said.
talked for hours about what we would do in and planning for specific
instances," Nein said. "Nothing was left to chance."
attention to detail and teamwork served them well during the March 20,
said it began with personnel from his unit shadowing a convoy, which
was the target of hit-and-run ambushes against convoys. Events ahead
of them indicated an ambush was under way.
raced up to the contact area and got to the contact side of
ambush," Nein said. "Immediately our trucks received a
massive amount of fire. I remembered thinking that Ďnot even our
up-armored vehicle could stop all this fire.'"
he saw an adjacent road, which he knew unit members could use to flank
the enemy and gain a tactical advantage.
"I've deployed four times, as I've said, out of four
different locations. And if they had asked me where I wanted to
go to, it would be this location."
1st Class Timothy Nein,
Fort McCoy Year of the NCO Event
they came into contact with the enemy, Nein said they realized the
enemy force was three to five times their size, and they knew they
were in trouble.
the troops began to rally and everybody looked for targets and did
recounted he threw grenades to cover them. Other personnel used weapon
systems to subdue the enemy.
Soldier fired an M-249 machine gun and M-4 rifle at the same time and
in different directions to combat the enemy. Seemingly, foot-by-foot
they fought toward the enemy until the opposing forces were quieted.
the squad killed 27 enemy soldiers and captured seven without a death
in their own squad. In addition to Neinís award, the Soldiers
received a Silver Star and many other high-ranking awards.
were many things that went into making that day a success ó most
were great weapons systems and great equipment," Nein said.
"But the most important to me were training preparations and
took advantage of every opportunity to train," he said.
"Every experience was a learning experience to make us stronger.
We spent countless hours preparing for the mission. Even while in
country we were continually training."
also paid tribute to his wife, who couldnít attend because of her
job, and all the other spouses whose support made it possible for him
and other Soldiers to accomplish their missions.
support was key to his having four successful deployments in the past
eight years, and it was appropriate to recognize and thank her and all
the other spouses on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, he said.
McCoy Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin
Dubois recognized Nein as an American hero and thanked him for
attending what was the first of several Year of the NCO events at Fort
McCoy this year.
First Class Nein is a humble individual," Dubois said. "We
met him for the first time at a meal at Fort McCoy this morning. I
liked that when we ate with him Sergeant Nein didnít talk just about
the event. He talked about basketball, baseball and kids, and hunting
with the commander."
McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser noted he was in Europe
after the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, and several years
later when he met former Soviet Bloc military personnel they were
impressed by the quality of the U.S. Army NCO Corps and couldnít
believe the responsibility and authority NCOs have.
to this day, I donít think they can replicate that," he said.
"So that goes to the value of the Noncommissioned Officers Corps,
and why weíre celebrating today."