19th Special Forces Soldiers Honored by the Czech Republic

By Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Pena | 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) | Oct. 25, 2019

PROSTEJOV, Czech Republic —

Soldiers assigned to 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces, Texas Army National Guard, were awarded the Medal of the Minister of Defense of Czech Republic, at a ceremony in Prostejov, Oct. 25, 2019, for their efforts supporting their Czech Allies during a recent combat deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Resolute Support.

Resolute Support is a NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The Resolute Support mission is currently comprised of 17,000 personnel from 39 NATO Allies and partners.

"The ceremony was a dedication to the end of a successful mission that was conducted in Afghanistan,” said the deputy commander of the Czech Republic’s Special Operations Forces. “It is important for everyone to understand how special it is for us to have our U.S. brothers here with us. My Czech operators that served side-by-side with the [Texas] operators felt the cooperation was extraordinary and wanted to express gratitude."

During their deployment, the Texas Guardsmen, assigned to the Army's 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), partnered directly with Czech SOF for six months in Afghanistan’s Western region where they worked hand-in-hand for one shared goal - protecting their homelands.

"It is not common for Czech to give foreign service members this [Medal of the Minister of Defense of Czech Republic] decoration," said the Czech deputy commander. "They are here not because of me, or my boss, or my boss' boss. They are here because of the brotherhood that was born in the battlefield of Afghanistan. It is because of operators here in this unit that were deployed, had someone next to them from the United States that they could rely on."

This combined effort stems from a 24-year relationship between the Texas Military Department, Nebraska National Guard and the Czech Republic as part of the U.S. State Department’s State Partnership Program, based on military-to-military engagements with all components from the Czech Republic and Texas.

"It was great for us to take that partnership that had been developed over the years and put it together in a mutual deployment," said the detachment commander of the Texas-based 19th SFG (A) Special Forces team. "The Czechs went on approximately 30 missions with us, so that is a lot of time spent on a daily-basis planning, rehearsing and executing and it just validated that our special operations brotherhood is more than just our regiment, it expands across our NATO partners."

Those who have participated in the State Partnership Program have seen the direct correlation between investing in the relationship with their Czech counterparts during peacetime and the effectiveness created between NATO Allies in combat.

"There's a plaque I have with pictures of the teams working together across all of those missions," said the American detachment commander. "This directly demonstrates the strength of the state partnership from each program, even in places as distant as Afghanistan, the U.S. Army, the Texas Army National Guard and the Czech Republic can work hand in hand for mutual goals and benefits."

This deployment was just one of many examples of how the Texas and Czech Republic’s partner-unit preparation, through U.S. support and engagement, is a strengthened capability and improves interoperability every day, whether it is training at home station or combat missions abroad.

"I am so proud of these Texas Guardsmen," said Texas Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, the Adjutant General of Texas. "Their efforts to work in close collaboration with our Czech partners and go the extra mile exemplify the type of Soldier we all strive to be. Our long campaign in Afghanistan has required our troops to be highly adaptable professionals at all times. The 19th SFG (A) continues to stay true to our mission and values in this war fight, bringing honor to themselves and those of us back home."



In general, all media on the site is produced by U.S. DoD or Federal Agencies, and is in the public domain, i.e., not protected by U.S. copyright; however, other restrictions might apply, such as, but not limited to, the right to enforce trademarks, and the right of privacy/right of publicity, any of which might restrict use of some of the media. Media may not be used to imply endorsement of any product or service by the DoD. Proper credit of the producing journalist(s) is requested.




BYU professor Dave Wood Wood also serves as a behavioral health officer in the Utah Army National Guard.
BYU photo by Madeline Mortensen
Stronger for Having Served
By news.byu.edu | Nov. 11, 2019
More than one million American men and women are veterans of the War on Terror—that is, veterans who

The annual period for part-time Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to enroll in or change their TRICARE health insurance plan began on Monday, November 11th and ends on Monday, December 9th.
Are You Covered? What You Need to Know About TRICARE Open Season
By Sgt. Nathaniel Free | Nov. 11, 2019
The annual period for part-time Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to enroll in or change their

2nd Lt. Carter briefs adjustments to the plan at the Objective Rally Point (ORP) in preparation for field interrogations, during a training exercise in Cache Valley National Forest, August 11, 2019.
Military Intelligence Soldiers Conduct Training in Northern Utah
By Sgt. First Class Dustin Waite | Sept. 30, 2019
Soldiers from B Company, and IC Detachment of the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion

Members of the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) participate in a change of command and retirement ceremony on Camp Williams, Utah 14 September 2019. The unit received a new commanding officer and a new command sergeant major. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by, PFC. Jacob Jesperson)
19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) welcomes new leadership
By Sgt. James Bunn | Sept. 19, 2019
The 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) said farewell to two of senior leaders and welcomed two new

West Valley City receives Freedom Award
West Valley City receives Freedom Award
By Ileen Kennedy | Sept. 18, 2019
West Valley City was awarded the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and held a

Governor's Day 2019
Soldiers and Airman Celebrate the 65th Annual Governors Day
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Cloward | Sept. 14, 2019
Approximately 7,000 Air and Army National Guardsman stood in formation on Tarbet Field at Camp

Soldiers and participate in the 300th Miltary Intelligence Brigade Change of Command Ceremony,  August 10, 2019 at the Draper Utah National Guard Headquarters Bilding (U.S. Army Photo By Sgt. Nathan J. Baker)
300th MI Change of Command 2019
By Sgt. Nathan Baker | Aug. 20, 2019
Soldiers of the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade come to celebrate the successes of outgoing

Bulgarian and Ukrainian Special Operations Forces fast-rope from a U.S. Army MH-60M Blackhawk helicopter assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) near Yambol, Bulgaria June 17, 2019, as part of Exercise Trojan Footprint 19. Trojan Footprint is an annual U.S. Special Operations Command Europe-led exercise that incorporates Allied and partner special operations forces, this year's exercise brought together 1400 SOF from ten nations for training over land, sea and air across Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and the Black Sea.  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Monique O’Neill)
Green Beret Citizen Soldiers make their mark at Trojan Footprint
By Sgt. 1st Class Whitney Hughes | Aug. 13, 2019
When most people imagine the U.S. Army National Guard, they might think of Soldiers responding to

On August 9, 2019, four Soldiers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) returned to Utah following a six-month tour to Panzer Kaserne, Germany in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and the European Deterrence Initiative.
Colorado and Utah National Guardsman receive their German Jump wings while deployed
By Sgt. Jake Cox | Aug. 9, 2019
On August 9, 2019, four Soldiers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) returned to Utah

Members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces receive training in checkpoint vehicle clearing techniques from members of West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Special Forces during Ridge Runner 19-02, June 24, 2019, in West Virginia. Ridge Runner is a WVARNG training program that provides various National Guard, active duty, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally nation armed forces with training in irregular and asymmetrical warfare tactics and operations. (U.S. Army National Guard photo illustration by Edwin Wriston.) (This photo has been altered for security purposes by blurring out faces.)
Special Forces Soldiers train with Polish, Latvian allies in West Virginia
By Capt. Holli Nelson | Aug. 3, 2019
West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Special Forces Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 19th