When U.S. Army Major Shannon Fortner arrived in Iraq in March of 2003 it was during the initial phase of the invasion.
“It was my first deployment in any arena,” so being in the ramp-up portion was particularly interesting and illuminating, she said.
Fortner’s job title was “Adjutant”, in the Logistics Cell of a Battalion.
“I just helped run [the battalion],” she said. “It was interesting to get all the soldiers ready and account for them and get them on the planes and go through the readiness portion, getting them to Kuwait and then forward into Iraq.”
Stationed in Tikrit, Fortner “quickly sorted through the chaos to focus on those tasks essential to the battalion’s successful deployment,” states the citation of the Bronze Star Medal she earned for the deployment.
Fortner’s efforts ensured that personnel deployment was properly phased, and also worked to facilitate a “rapid building of combat power in theater,” according to the citation.
“It was through her personal efforts that the Battalion was able to precisely track soldiers dispersed in a 3500 square kilometer area of operation,” as well as those that were medically evacuated from that theater of operation, the citation states.
Interacting with the soldiers as they arrived and deployed within Iraq, as well as being part of their career progress and participating in their promotion ceremonies are among the things that Fortner liked best about her duties. She also tracked injured soldiers on their journeys back to the United States and through their recoveries as well, she said.
Fortner demonstrated “brilliant leadership qualities” as Adjutant and “Battalion Captain”, the citation states.
“Her ability to remain focused on the commander's priorities ensured that all staff sections remained synchronized,” the citation states.”...
Go here to read more about this Every Day Hero. Thank you for your service, Major.