Iraqi National Guard graduates more than 200

13 Oct 2004 | - 11th MEU Public Affairs 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad al Allawi, along with other national and local dignitaries, attended the graduation ceremony of more than 200 Iraqi National Guard recruits here at the ING compound, today. 

In addition, five ING soldiers from Ad Diwaniyah and five from An Najaf were recognized and awarded a pistol by the Prime Minister to honor their heroism in action during fighting in their respective cities in August. 

The recruits, who just completed a five-week training course led by ING staff non-commissioned officers and Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, will join the ranks of the 404th ING Battalion, 50th Brigade, based here.

The ING soldiers will be responsible for helping to provide for the security and stability of the city and its outlying areas.

"You will defend this country against terrorism from outside your country, and against Ba'ath Party members from within who join terrorists intent on destroying our people," said Allawi.  "But they cannot, because you, Iraq's heroes, have the important challenge of all Iraqi National Guard units-- to help build a new democracy in Iraq and protect the political process in the next election."

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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