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Face of Defense: Soldier Returns After Mentoring Afghans

By Army Sgt. Christopher Oster
479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West

FORT HOOD, Texas, Dec. 17, 2010 – A soldier with the 479th Field Artillery Brigade’s 3rd Armor Battalion, 395th Regiment based here recently returned from Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he had helped to train and mentor Afghan soldiers.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. 1st Class Rogelio Fulinara, center, demonstrates how to disassemble, reassemble and perform a functions check on the M2 .50-caliber machine gun during recent training at Fort Hood, Texas. Fulinara returned from a tour in Afghanistan where he’d trained Afghan troops. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erica N. Cain

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"Our primary mission was to mentor the Afghan National Army on their noncommissioned officers’ battle course, the equivalent of our senior leadership course,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Rogelio Fulinara said.

Most of the Afghan soldiers were trainers and already knew how to train their soldiers, Fulinara added, and just needed assistance with planning.

Fulinara worked closely with NCOs of the 205th Afghan National Army Corps before moving to Camp Darulamen to assist in starting up a new Infantry Battle School for the Afghan army.

As time went on, Fulinara said, the soldiers learned to work more closely together and allowed each other to work at their full potential.

When he returned home from his deployment, Fulinara said, he had the opportunity to surprise his children.

"The first thing I did when I got home was scare the kids,” he said. “The kids were being rowdy, and I burst in the door. It was like shock and awe."

Since returning home, Fulinara said, he is enjoying spending more time with his family and looking forward to his 16th wedding anniversary.


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