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Air Force Showcasing Lethality Series Briefing

July 11, 2018
Senior Master Sergeant Norris Agnew, U.S. Air Force Public Affairs; Master Sergeant Rob Gutierrez; Master Sergeant Thomas Gunnell

SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT NORRIS AGNEW:  So we're going to go ahead and get started. Everyone can, hear me I assume, since we're not going too far back today.  So good morning, or good afternoon -- I'm sorry, since it's the 1300 hour -- welcome to the Air Force's -- as you'll see, showcasing lethality series.

I'm Senior Master Sergeant Norris Agnew with U.S. Air Force's Public Affairs.  We'll wait for one more person to join us.  Or maybe not, she's a different -- OK, so today we have two special young men -- I can say young, based on the age difference.

We've got Master Sergeant Rob Gutierrez, and we've got Master Sergeant Thomas Gunnell.  These are, as you will see from the bios, some very outstanding battlefield Airmen.  So today -- today we've got about 30 minutes, which is a short time to squeeze in a whole bunch of stuff, so this is how it's going to go down.

They're going to talk about what they do, and who they are. Then we're going to open up the floor for questions.  So again, we've got Master Sergeant Gunnell, we've got Master Sergeant Gutierrez, and these are some special battlefield Airmen, as I was saying before.

Time doesn't allow us to go through the bios -- you have those available.  But something that tells you all that you need to know: both have been recognized as outstanding Airmen of the Year at both the Air Force and the major-command level.

So if you're familiar with that competition, that's a pretty big deal that recognizes the best of the best.  Less than 1 percent of our Airmen receive that recognition and it's -- it's like a fraction of a percent, so really outstanding honor for both of them.

As senior-enlisted members, these two represent a key component of our people force.  So they bridge the gap between our boots-on-the-ground Airmen and our senior-level leadership.  So as such, they are frontline leaders, they mentor junior Airmen, they provide trusted advice and counsel to the officer of corps.

In short, they play a big role in why we are the lethal force that we are to date.  So no -- no surprise that the Air Force empowers them to be the leaders that they are at the locations where they are, and we'll get to where they do their leadership in just a bit.

So one quick point that I want to make in addition to the -- the warrior mentality that these two embody, it shouldn't be lost on anyone that there's a level of intelligence that our enlisted corps brings to the table.  More than 50 percent of our enlisted force has some form of advanced degree.

So, it's that combination of warrior mentality and unrivaled, I believe, mental agility that make them the lethal force that they are.  So with that said, I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to the two of them.  Let's start with Master Sergeant Gunnell.

MASTER SERGEANT THOMAS GUNNELL:  Good afternoon, hey, I'm Master Sergeant Gunnell.  I am originally from Columbus, Ohio. I've been in the military, in the Air Force specifically, almost 15 years now.  Married, three wonderful daughters, so I'm crazy outnumbered in my house.

I have 11 deployments and -- to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Korea, just to name a couple.  And I think that's about it. A little short bio.  

I'll pass it over to GZ.

MASTER SERGEANT ROB GUTIERREZ:  Good afternoon.  My name is Rob Gutierrez. I am the superintendent of standards and evaluations for the battlefield training group at JBC Lackland, the Air Education Training Command.  Been in the Air Force for almost 16 years and been a combat controller my whole -- my whole career.

Had the pleasure of deploying numerous times as well, both all over Africa and the Middle East.  It's been the greatest honor to serve my country -- to go do the nation's work.  I have a wonderful family, a wife and two children at home, and I'm originally from Nashville City, California.

SGT. AGNEW:  OK. With that, we'll open up the floor for questions.  Yes sir?

Q:  Why are we here?

SGT. AGNEW:  So, we are here to showcase lethality, and so lethality is a -- is a people-centered concept.  That starts with the two gentlemen, what they represent, the -- the leadership, the bridging of the gap that they provide of the junior enlisted -- the most junior-level airmen that we have in the Air Force, and our senior-level leadership, both at the enlisted level -- chief- master-sergeant level and our officer corps.

So, these two are the lethal force that allows our junior airmen to be mentored and lead in the way that they need to be lead, and for our senior-most level leaders to be given the trusted advice and council that they need, because they can't make the decisions that they make unless they get it from folks like these two who actually know the landscape and the battlefield.

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  Sir, to answer a point of your question here, from the battlefront and the training enterprise and our standpoint, we are the foundation of what builds our -- our battlefront airmen, to include our combat control operators, our para-rescue men, our TACP operators and our special operations, whether to include the -- the officer corps that leads those, as well.

And from our standpoint on the lethality series here, what we do is the rigorous training that goes -- that these individuals, these candidates go through that we are recruiting across the nation, we try to basically build individuals, A, that would never quit, to get them through arguably some of the hardest DoD training that's out there.

Our attrition rates used to be up towards 80, 90 percent. So, in instances, you know, we -- we would get 100 candidates and only get 10 out of two years of training.  And it's -- it's an important piece, because these -- these candidates, once they make it through, who they're supporting are, you know, across the spectrum executing the -- the nation's needs all over the world, at any time, any place, anywhere.

And it's a huge responsibility to have the -- these airmen, once they get through, and the amount of responsibility to -- to some of these guys that were given.  In some instances, they're -- they're E4s, E5s controlling million-dollar aircraft who are responsible for lives and making the moral -- the right moral and ethical decisions on the battlefield.

And giving that best expertise to the ground-force commander in order to -- to execute the mission and to do it right within the rules of engagement of everything that we have to do and to get the mission done and get everyone home.

So we just like to showcase exactly what we're building on the ATT side to -- that's due to the nation's work that's -- that's going out there.  And especially how we're building these individuals.  We don't just build war fighters. We build responsible NCO's. We train these individuals to go out and do the fight.

Now, you know, training used to be at a different standpoint before where the hardest were the only ones that survived, and the weakest would fall.  Obviously we -- we have learned over the years how to train more efficiently, safely and effectively at the same time by using technology towards -- towards our advantage.

Helping to select a process of how we assess these individuals and make them to -- to essentially go out and -- and -- and -- to our customers, which are the other (inaudible) to include AFSOC and SOCOM.  So, I'm hoping that that answers your question, and why we're here is I'm here to just say give you an insight and give an insight to everyone else. We're building the best candidates out there in the world.

SGT. AGNEW:  I'm sorry -- just to add some context to that.  When Sergeant Gutierrez talks about E4s and E5s, basically junior-enlisted airmen, he's talking about essentially maybe 18, 19, 20, 21-year-old individuals.  So these are young people fresh out of high school, some maybe out of college, who are fighting the nation's wars.

And in order to build the character, the -- the ability for these young men and women to do that, a leadership structure needs to be put in place that's closer to their level than is the senior-enlisted level.  So we've got our great officer corps leadership.

They give us the vision, but to execute that vision, to translate that vision to mission, you need men and women like the two here to actually bring that to pass and execute that vision on the ground in the form of training airmen to do what needs to be done mission wise.

So, it -- it's incredible that you can take somebody who may be a year or two removed from high school and have that person on a battlefield in a theater of war, and they are the reason, the big reason, that we're able to do that as an Air Force.  

Yes, ma'am?

Q:  Carla Babb, Voice of America.  Thank you both, gentlemen, for doing this.  

A couple of questions:  One, you said the attrition rate, it used to be somewhere between 80 and 90 percent.  Can you tell me about what it's like now?  And can you tell me some of the reasons for attrition and how you've improved that?

SGT. GUNNELL:  Yeah, so we've -- we've actually lowered the attrition rates.  We're -- we're roughly from the 69, 70 percent, depending what AFSC, because each one's different.  We have four different AFSC's that we train.

It's -- it's still pretty rough, and it's extensive and hard.  The selection process is pretty in-depth.  Now how we are -- have become to this point now is honestly through innovation and change.  We -- we implemented courses -- for instance we implemented a pilot program, which is called the Battlefront Airmen Preparatory Course -- eight weeks long.  

We are making individuals that come through from BMT fitter, faster, stronger, and more mentally resilient by familiarizing them with the training, the -- the types of environments we're going to put them in, stress inoculation, things like that.  We are building them, at the same time, watching their physical performance, monitoring every bit to the instance where we can live--understand someone's heartrate during extreme training environments, scale it back if we have a -- just for a little bit, just so they can get through, teach them, tell them, "Hey, this is what happened.  Let's do it again," and they're getting through.

So, important programs like that that we're -- that we're implementing on the air education training side, because it's our responsibility to produce these candidates to full-on operators for the operational force, because they're necessary and they're needed, especially with their ops tempo.  So that's -- those are just some of the bits.  

We -- we used, also, science and newer methods of -- of training, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists that are all involved.  We have operation psychologists that are sitting there watching and assessing these candidates to make sure, are we -- are we taking the right individual that's going to make the right decision when it's needed, based on "X" amount of training environments that we put them in, exercises, things like that.

We -- safety is our number one.  So the safety factors, as well, that go into -- to training these individuals is through the roof.  We -- we're effective at it now.  We can train them in any environment,  and -- and again, meet the -- meet the need of building a fitter, faster, more stronger and mentally resilient airman to support -- to support the effort. 

Q:  To follow, Mr. Gunnell -- am I saying that right?


Q:  I just was curious.  You said you've been in the Air Force about 15 years.


Q:  How many times have you had to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq, Jordan and Korea?

SGT. GUNNELL:  Eleven total.  Yeah.  So just to tie on kind of what -- what Rob's talking about -- so they're on the ATC side.  They're doing that.  We're basically taking it, what they've built, and then putting it to the operational side of the house.  So we take these guys, and we just -- and what they've already built, they're amazing, the aptitude level, the physical ability.  We're not getting the same guys, probably, that him and I were when we first came in.  The guys we're getting now, guys and gals, they're amazing.  They're -- they're -- they're physically stronger.  They're smarter.  Their aptitude level -- it -- it's just -- it's unreal.

And then, we take them, and we ask them to do even more.  Technology, we put that in their hands.  You know, it's through the roof.  They -- they're incredible, and it's -- it's awesome to see them grow from, you know, the young Airmen.  And then, you know, we put them out on the battlefield.  We put them in Afghanistan and Iraq, you know, everywhere, all over the world, and -- and they just, they take it, and they come back with a little experience.  They get a little confidence, and then -- and then we're able to grow a little bit further, you know.  I -- I teach them so much based off of what I've -- what I've learned.  But then they come back with that experience.  They teach the next crop of guys coming in.  

And we're able to continue that, and I think that's where it ties back into the lethality, is, you know, we keep getting more lethal because, you know, we -- we've been doing this for 17 years now, and -- and it -- it's helped us to grow, you know, the nation's young people, and to -- and to -- to come in the -- some incredible individuals.

Q:  The deployments are happening more frequently than when you two first started?  Are they having to go out more often than you did?

SGT. GUNNELL:  I -- I don't -- I don't think that's changed much from what we see, you know, Air Force side of the house.  I don't -- I don't think it's more often.  I think we're on the same -- same page.  I mean, it fluctuates up and down, in my experience, but I don't think we're going any more or any less than we were before.  It's just, we have unique skills that, you know, need to be utilized at certain times, and I think when that's called upon, we're ready to go.  But no more or less than -- I don't think.

SGT. AGNEW:  Yes, sir?

Q:  (Inaudible) Air Force Magazine.  

Both of you entered your (inaudible) CCD training pretty early in the global war on terror.  Can you talk about, have the TTPs, have the doctrine changed based on the countries where it's been sent?  Specifically, Inherent Resolve, the way Afghanistan's gone since then, has anything changed?

GUTIERREZ:  So yeah, I think more than anything, it's got -- it -- it evolves, right?  So we -- we evolve to the enemy that's coming -- that's coming up, and we -- we adapt and we try to overcome.  You know, they always have a say in -- in what's going to happen in the fight, the way it's going to go. 

It's been incredible, the -- the way that I -- just from what I've seen, where we've gone from, you know, 2004, 2005, early on in the global war on terror, just technology, where it's taken us to.  You know, the -- the unmanned aerial aircraft, what we're doing with that, what we're doing with munitions now, you know, how we're -- how we're taking civilian casualties and civilians into play has changed significantly from that time.

And -- and then, I think, just the way we're -- we're utilized on the battlefield has changed significantly, as well.  I mean, people are starting to realize, I think, in general, what -- what the battlefield Airmen, you know, the TACPs and the controllers, and the PJs and the (inaudible) -- what we can bring to it.  And we're just trying to, you know, continue to grow that message so that we can get, you know, a little bit -- a little bit more -- more advertisement is maybe not the right word, but to -- to get out there and get more in the fight, and -- and continue to bring the skills that we need to -- to bear.

But yeah, it's -- I mean, if I -- if there was one, it would be the technology side of the house, just what we've been able to do, and -- and -- and really, you know, tie things into taking care of the technology, and -- and getting us out there.

SGT. GUNNELL:  It does help. We -- we take a lot of our feedback from the operational force, and we say, "How do I make you a better candidate?  How -- how can I develop and build you a better candidate?"  They give us the feedback.  It's a continuous loop, and we get that feedback, and then we figure out from our standpoint, how am I going to make this guy or gal fitter, faster, stronger, more competent, faster on the -- faster on the computer, as technology is -- is changing, like I said.  TPPs change -- things like that.  How do we build these individuals to be sufficient enough to support the effort, right?  So, and then it comes back to, like I said, it comes back to us.  We figure it out.  We try it.  We push it through with the -- with the intention of giving them a better-quality candidate every time.

SGT. AGNEW:  Yes, sir?

Q:  I'm Steve Hirsch.  I'm also from Air Force Magazine.  Could -- could you, either, or both of you, answer two questions?  One is, you've talked a little bit about the training.  There's also a new recruiting operation set up down in San Antonio.  Could you talk about that a bit?  And could you also talk about, if you can, whether the Air Force Special Operations component, whether the problems in recruiting and retention that you are facing are also faced by other Special Forces components in the U.S. military?  And if so or if not, why?

SGT. GUNNELL:  OK, so being (inaudible) Lackland at the BATG or their enterprise there, we're growing.  We're growing expeditiously, which is great.  We need it.  On the recruitment side, AFRS does a really great job.  They're -- they're doing the best they can.  We do what we have with what we have.  We have implemented some -- some -- some organizations and help to figure out how we get a more quality candidate upfront.  We've invested time and money and effort into those candidates prior to entering the Air Force to make sure they can meet our standards and our BMT.  We've implemented programs where the B.A. enterprise is now you have actual B.A. operators leading the BMT for those specific candidates, their PT sessions.  Because we still need a total airman complete.  I can't just say, "Hey, I just needed a B.A. only."  I still need him to be a -- or her -- I need them to be an airman.  They have to understand our -- our culture, heritage, everything behind that. 

So with that being said, we have that portion in there.  We keep them to the standard, we add them to the B.A. preparatory course, then they're on to their initial courses of entry and then their pipelines.  So we're -- we're essentially changing the way we -- we -- we do business.

Obviously we're -- we're working hard to strive for marketing and things like that because we are -- to answer one of your questions, yeah we're competing with the other services, as well.  And they're probably having the same problems that we are.

Everyone pretty much has the same problems.  You know, when the economy's good, you know, do a lot of people join the military?  We don't know really, it's -- some -- some say yes, some say no.  But we're still striving because we have so many incentives.

We have retention, you know, bonuses in place to keep these individuals in and -- which keeps them going, because money isn't -- isn't everything.  But, the -- the commitment to the team holds stronger than -- than any monetary measure in most instances for us.

Once you're -- once you're a part of the organization, once you're a part of that and you get to taste it, you want more.  You -- you build relationships, friendships that last forever and it's -- it's -- that is invaluable.  And it's all a part of being in the Air Force, it's all a part of being that team, which is -- which is great.

So we -- the B.A. enterprise, as well, is expanding.  We -- I believe later on this year, we -- we expand to our first battlefront training wing, which is going to change to a special warfare training wing out of JBC Lackland, which is huge for us, because we're growing, and the need is there, and the emphasis on -- on building these operators is -- is important.

Q:  Is that a technical term, "be a homie?"

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  Excuse me?

Q:  Did you say "be a homie?"

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  No sir, B.A. enterprise, and the special warfare training wing.

Q:  And then though before you said you don't want everybody to be a B.A. homie, was that...

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  No sir, not that I know of. (Laughter.)

SGT. AGNEW:  So really quick, Rob was talking about recruiting and maybe across the board in the Air Force, there's an ebb and flow.  So sometimes it's an embarrassment of riches; other times there's a dearth of folks knocking at the door.

But when you do have folks coming to join the Air Force, well you've got the spectrum.  So maybe PA is more, you know, preferable to some than being a battlefield airmen.  

So what these two -- the unenviable job that they have is when you do get recruits in who are thankfully excited about being on the battlefield Airmen side, they have to take them and get them battlefield ready on the one hand, but not break them, not get them to the point where they're not interested in going the distance on the other.

So that's a -- they navigate nuances that a lot of us don't -- we couldn't imagine having to do on a day-to-day basis.  So you have to bolster them up, make them part of a team, but make them ready to again fight the nation's wars, so kudos to them.  Yes ma'am?

Q:  Master Sergeant Gutierrez, not to single you out but you are sitting right in front of me.  So I know you have an impressive record, you received the Air Force Cross and anyone who knows your stories.

Are you surprised that after the Air Force conducted medals of review last year that your award wasn't elevated to a Medal of Honor?

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  A good question, ma'am.  Actually to be honest, no, I'm thankful for what I have.  I'm more thankful actually to be alive than anything else.  I'm actually more thankful just to be a part of this organization, a part of the Air Force and do my job.

Just like anybody else, certainly I would've done the same thing.  All my guys that I go to work with, every single operator that I work with, they all would've done the same thing.  It's not that -- to me, honestly, it's not that big of a deal.

Because I'm -- we're just doing our job.  We are literally going to work, and there is more prestige and more honor and more -- more -- more value to going to war with the individuals that I got to go to war with and serve my country, and that's -- that's -- that's better than anything else.

So not -- you know, it's not a -- to me it doesn't -- the awards really -- and you'll hear this from a lot of individuals, awards are awards, which is fine.  What I value more is serving my country.  That is what's more valuable.

Getting the individuals that I go to war with, do my job and bringing them home and getting the mission accomplished is more valuable than anything, so.

Q:  How does your experience shape the outlook of what we're talking about here, the lethality series, of what the exponential growth of the AFSOC career field.  I mean what -- what do you take into consideration every day with -- with your job?

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  From my standpoint and my position, in some instances being responsible for almost 1,500 candidates a year coming through, are we training them effectively?  Are we doing it -- are we doing them right, am I giving them everything they need to prepare them to go to war?

Have I -- have I built them, have I made them strong enough and fast enough, mentally resilient enough to sustain a continuous war-fighting effort?  And are we offering that to them because at the end of the day, these are sons, daughters of -- of our American people.

And we need to let them know that we are doing the very best to build not only strong candidates, but they're more productive members of society and citizens serving their country.

SGT. AGNEW:  We have just maybe another minute or two, so we'll take maybe two more questions.  And maybe someone from the back?  I saw a hand go forward.  Maybe on this side.  Yes sir?

Q:  OK, I guess I -- can I ask for you guys to talk specifically about maybe something you've seen in the last couple of years on the battlefield that you can do I guess more easily or better or whatever than, say, the first time you deployed, I guess?

Obviously your JTAC's are pretty instrumental in the way we're conducting warfare these days.

SGT. GUNNELL:  Yeah, so I -- most recently, I can speak to about 15 months ago, I came home from Afghanistan.  I can tell you that the thing that we're doing better now than we were in 2005 is pretty much kinetic strikes and -- and the precision with which we're delivering air load munitions.

I mean I can't tell you -- in 2005, I'm in Afghanistan and you're talking about looking at ISR feeds on a -- on a laptop computer that looks like you're watching -- you know what I mean, dial-up Internet, it was incredible.  And that -- ever -- you know that was the -- we were just starting to get to that portion of it.  We didn't have the HD feeds that we have now.  You fast forward to, you know, 15 months ago and even where we're at now.  You can look at TV monitors that are, you know, high definition with a feed that's coming into it high definition.

You're able to, you know, get coordinates and -- and use precision munitions that are delivered, you know, right on the exact spot that you wanted it at the exact time that you wanted it.  And with that, I think that's the -- the single greatest thing that I've seen, is the coordination, the practice. 

That all ties in, and we're able to do that flawlessly across, you know, the entire spectrum of, you know, the guys on the ground, the aircraft, the C2, we're able to sync it all up.  And every -- everyone's pretty well versed in it now.

And I -- just one other thing -- I'm sorry, what was your name again?

Q:  Brian.

SGT. GUNNELL:  Brian, sorry.  

Just the time that the TTP thing that you mentioned earlier.  The other thing that we are using, I think it's changed TTP wise is just the -- the change to the POTF, the Preservation of the Force and Family.

We have gone from 2005 to where we were just on the verge of trying to take care of guys coming home, guys that -- that -- and gals that were seriously injured.  We are doing a much better job of that, especially within our realm, within the FSOC ST Battlefront Airmen enterprise.

The way we are -- you know, physical therapists and flight doctors and, you know, psychologists, chaplains.  Those are all -- those are key to being able to continue to do what we do.  So you're talking about hey, how are you staying so lethal and how can you guys do it over 15 years continuously?

Those assets are what has continued to lead us -- you know, you -- you come home from deployment, you're maybe on the edge of, you know, feeling something.  You get right in there physically, mentally, you get recharged and then you're right back out there doing it again.

So I think that's another one, just to tie back into that.  But yeah, the -- the JSOC side of the house is -- is ever changing, but right now we're in the precipice of where it's really great to see the technology tie into the precision.

Q:  Is there anything that you'd like to see to even -- I mean obviously you always want to get improvements, but what do you -- where do you see it going in the future?  Do you have any thoughts on that or?

SGT. GUNNELL:  I think you'll see it start to get more -- we're going to bring in some more technology here shortly.  We have some things that are -- are right on the precipice as I said, that are going to get us to the point where we're able to do things in a more denied environment, get back to -- to that kind of training.

And we've been in that pretty permissible environment right now, and a few -- few major AO's that we've been into, so we're right on the edge of getting into some areas where, you know, we can take that fight to that -- to a more -- you know, less permissible environment and be able to still continue to do what we do with -- with the precision that we need to do it with.

SGT. AGNEW:  Did you want add to (inaudible)?

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  (Inaudible).

SGT. AGNEW:  OK, sir go ahead.

Q:  (Inaudible).  OK, so I was wondering if since the past 10 years have been really focused on the JTAC mission, have you seen with new threats from like Russia or China, any shift back to, like, combat control's original mission, with like assault-zone reconnaissance, airfield seizures?  And I was wondering if you could go into that at all.

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  So that is essentially the -- the core, the bread and butter of my career field for combat control.  I will tell you that we -- we also train to the JTAC mission, but airfield seizures and -- and (inaudible) is our primary mission set.

So we're continuing to see training in that all the time.  We do it in -- in the technical training aspect, we build that to -- to be able to meet those -- those necessary requirements.  And on the operational side, we continue to train.

One great thing about our organizations, both on the AFSOC side and the (inaudible) side is that we are still responsible -- on the (inaudible) side -- for -- for instance I'm responsible for making sure my instructors can still execute those mission sets.

With whatever new technology we have, still implementing the same employment methods.  However, we got to get there to get it done.  We still do it all the time, because you have to be prepared in case you have to get that mission set done.

So I know that it's not always in the news or anything like that, or not always seen all the time, but we are consistently trained in that mission set all the time.  We will always be prepared for that.

Q:  OK.

SGT. AGNEW:  And I think that'll do it, as far as questions.

SGT. GUNNELL:  One real quick, I need to answer a follow-up on that question for you, so -- you know that you asked specifically about the awards things.  To be honest, another portion that just came out was -- you know we're very fortunate to even have someone who's already up for the Medal of Honor, John Chapman.

Huge deal for us, and it's -- it's remarkable, and for myself, me personally, I am very fortunate, A, to be alive, but, B, I witnessed someone's actions that received the Medal of Honor.  I was there, for Robert James Miller, for Operational Attachment 3312 in Afghanistan.

And so when people ask that question, and it's -- it's a great question, but for me myself, when you witness it and you see it, it is so difficult to ever measure yourself against someone's actions that are so brave that they would sacrifice themselves for everyone to get the mission done.

So I always look back to that and I -- and I -- and I think about that stuff, and I go OK, you know -- you know, it's -- it's -- looking up to, do you measure with -- how do you measure up to actions so great, you know what I mean?

So it's -- it's really hard, you know what I mean, when -- when someone, you know, they'll ask that question and I'm like man, I've seen it in real life and it's the most -- it's -- it's so awe -- you're in such awe and -- and -- and -- and thankful for individuals like that that are willing to -- to ultimately give their life for their -- for their brothers in the battlefield, that it's a -- it's -- it's a very intimate type of feeling.

So I just wanted to express that to you real quick.

SGT. AGNEW:  I think that's a good point on which to end.  Thank you again for coming.  If you have any questions that you didn't get answered, please hang out before you leave.  Captain Sara Greco is standing by and she could help you out with any of your questions.

If you didn't get a handout that you need, just again hang tight before you leave.  But thank you again for joining us.

SGT. GUTIERREZ:  Thank you guys for your time.

Q:  Thank you.