A United States Army soldier assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa recently accomplished something here that up until now has only been done by U.S. Navy forces and an Air Force Senior Airman .
U.S. Army Sgt. Adrian Aiken, a force protection liaison officer here and native of Monterey, Calif., is the first U.S. Army Soldier assigned here to receive the Navy Expeditionary Warfare pin here March 26. The warfare device, first introduced Navy-wide in 2006, attests to a Sailor's proficiency in combat tactics, expeditionary fundamentals and core Navy knowledge.
"I think it speaks quite well of him, his dedication and the willingness to throw himself into it. Knowing full well that he was going to be of a minority and an army of one - no pun intended - he was going to be one of the first in HOA going through the training," said Mr. Raymond Makar, a CJTF-HOA Identification resolution manager and Aiken's supervisor.
Aiken said he took this course as an opportunity to learn something new about the Navy since he is in a joint environment.
"As a reservist, I don't get the opportunity to talk to other services (often), so this was an opportunity to learn something new," said Aiken.
To earn the EXW pin, a service member first must make a special request through their chain of command. After being approved and committing to completing the qualifications, candidates must complete personal qualifications standards of core Navy knowledge and theatre and unit-specific operation training. After passing a written exam and practical exercise with an M16-A2 rifle and an M9 service pistol, candidates must stand before a peer-review board for an oral test of their EXW knowledge.
Aiken said he likes the Navy's history and how it functions. He learned about all the different tasks throughout the Navy. He also noted the role all branches play in expeditionary warfare.
"(The course) shows that all branches are doing the same fight," said Aiken. "It's a combined fight, not just one fight."
Maker complimented Aiken on his achievement and the standards he sets.
"(Aiken) is a great example and exemplifies a 'can do' attitude for all services," said Maker. "He's done very well and we are proud of him."