Ben Ward, III
Commander, 1st Battalion
My military service began 31 January 1978 with my enlistment in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. I reported to MCRD Parris Island SC June 1978 for basic training and graduated August 1978. I was assigned to Ammo Company, 4th FSSG, Greenville SC. Ammunition handling and explosive ordnance demolition specialist. MOS 2311. I served the next 3 years nine months in Ammo Co 4th FSSG Greenville SC.
Skills acquired: Ammunition field site preparation ammunition inspection, reception, classification, and storage. Ammunition transport using 10k forklift, helicopter sling load, rail car, ship to shore, and road motorized transportation. Explosive ordnance disposal of unexploded munitions.
September 1981, I transferred to the Army ROTC program and became a member of the SCARNG as an officer cadet. I was assigned to C Company 118th Mech Inf BN Union SC.
I served in the capacity of infantry platoon leader 2 years and as Bn NBC officer for one year.
I was commissioned a 2nd Lt in May 1983. I continued to serve in SCARNG until I reported in August 1984 for active duty.
Skills acquired: Small Infantry unit combat operations troop leadership, mounted and dismounted ground assault and patrol tactics, artillery and air support planning and employment, Infantry fighting vehicle maintenance, tactical radio communications and others expected of an infantry platoon leader. Battalion Nuclear Biological and Chemical defense assessment, training, and planning. Area radiological detection and fallout prediction.
August 1984 reported to Ft Eustis VA for Transportation Corps Officer Basic Course.
Skills acquired: troop leadership theory in an active Army unit, military writing, unit level garrison and field Supply and Logistics operations, Field resupply operations for combat and combat service support units in a combat environment. Planning and executing the world wide transportation of personnel and equipment using all modes for squad sized to division sized units. Sustainment operations in a combat environment of transported units.
March 1985. US Army Area Support Group Stuttgart Germany. I was assigned as New in country troop orientation and Schools and Education officer for the Ludwigsburg-Kornwesthiem military community.
Skills acquired: Local National vendor bus fleet transportation supervision, US Military district commander interface with local national civil authorities, Mass Transit planning in foreign countries. Foreign national labor relations and negotiation. Non Combatant Personnel Evacuation, New personnel orientation, Health and Human services coordination, supervising local language and culture training.
January 1986 Promoted to 1st Lt.
March 1986-1988 assigned to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regimental Support Squadron, Nuremberg Germany. Positions assigned:
Squadron Activation Planning Cell, Squadron S2, Transportation Platoon Leader, Troop XO and motor officer, Acting Supply and Transportation Troop commander over 90 days.
Skills acquired: Personnel, Supply and Equipment acquisition, Military Building renovation planning and execution, Counter Soviet Surveillance and OPSEC TTP, intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), unit level motor maintenance, Combat Service Support operations of Regiment sized units and Task Forces. National Static Defense and barrier patrol and support, Local national labor and supply for military operations negotiations, Aerial resupply operations, Graves Registration and deceased personnel recovery and transport. As well as the skills required to lead and manage a company sized active Army unit.
March 1988 I reported to Ft Eustis VA, Transportation Officer Advanced Course.
This course is designed to enhance unit level skills learned and then expose and teach officers Strategic level Transportation Management of US Military personnel, assets and supplies around the world using all modes of transport specifically: maritime shipping, civilian rail assets, air cargo networks, and local national highway truck assets and networks. Also supervising the construction of cargo handling infrastructure where none exists or is damaged due to combat operations or natural disaster.
October 1988 Attended US Army junior motor office course Ft. Knox KY.
December 1988 Promoted to Captain
Matriculated Phase I of Combined Arms Services and Staff School (CAS3)
Summer 1989 Completed Phase I CAS3
December 1988 assigned to DISCOM 2AD (Division Support Command 2nd Armored Division) Ft Hood TX as assistant S3. Duties, Brigade level Plans, Operations and Training in support of an armored division mission to train and close with enemy forces in a theater of operations and win.
Skills acquired: Assessing Support Bde level readiness for overseas deployment and combat operations, Planning and executing Bde personnel and equipment movement to CONUS and OCONUS training sites, Division Combat Services Support planning and execution,
Supervising end item equipment draw from European Supply depots for exercise operations, new and proposed equipment fielding planning, testing, validation, Quarterly and yearly training plan analysis and formulation, Daily Bde Cdr Situation Briefings, Monitor and report monthly Bde personnel status and operations and training fund budget. Assist the Division G4 with managing the Division Operational and Training Funds yearly Budget.
May 1990: Assigned as Company Cdr HHC DISCOM 2AD. Prepared Bde Headquarters personnel for training at the August rotation to the National Training Center Ft Irwin CA, which turned into Operation Desert Shield when the Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait at that time. Assisted management of the Division rail load out to ports of embarkation for Saudi Arabia and troop movement to air ports of embarkation to the theater of operations. As troops returned from Desert Storm supervised the return of Bde equipment and its turn-in process during the Deactivation of 2nd Armored Division in late spring of 1991.
August 1991-July 1993: Assigned as Senior Instructor ROTC Utah State University. Instructed the senior year cadets in the curriculum of the ROTC program prior to their commissioning as 2nd Lt. in the Active Army and Army Reserve.
July 31 1993: Discharged from Active Service under the Post-Soviet collapse US Military drawdown program with an Honorable Discharge.
April 2005 Notified of promotion to Major in the IRR.
October 2005: Reported to Ft Jackson SC for active duty in the Global War on Terrorism.
November 2005: Reported to Ft Eustis VA for Transportation Officer Refresher training.
December 2005: Reported to Ft. Bragg US Army Special Forces Command for Civil Affairs Officer Training.
February 2006 assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Ghazni for deployment to Afghanistan.
April 2006: Deployed to Afghanistan as part of PRT for Ghazni province. Two weeks later posted to Wardak Province as the senior US Military representative and advisor to the Provincial Governor and as OIC of the Provincial Civil Affairs Operation. Duties were: to represent the Commander in Chief of Operation Enduring Freedom in the province, advise the Afghan governor and his cabinet in matters of: security, education, agriculture, economic development, Non-US governmental assistance, USAID food shipments and distribution, building inspection of US government funded building projects, contract negotiation with local labor and tribal leaders. Security assistance visits to local police stations, daily interface with the province Afghan National Police Chief, site surveys for potential hydro-electric projects, weapons cache destruction, Plan compound defense, supervise the battle when under ground attack, manage close air support when needed, manage all aspects of unit logistical and operational sustainment.
Awards and decorations:
Army Commendation Medal 2nd award
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal 2nd award
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon 2nd award
Armed Forces Reserve Medal W/M device
Combat Action Badge 1st award