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The Mountaineer Online

1-87 Infantry recognizes Ranger School graduates

Staff Sgt. Joel Pena

10th Mountain Division Journalist

Two Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, were honored Sept. 25, by having their name plates placed on the unit’s Ranger Wall.
Staff Sgt. Victor Halatchenko of A Company and Cpl. Dustin Behrens Jr. of C Company received the honor of being added to the display.
“We are here to recognize these two great noncommissioned officers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David W. Bass, 1-87 Infantry senior enlisted adviser. “Their personal courage and initiative speaks highly of the caliber of Soldiers they are.”
“The idea behind the (Ranger Wall) is to create a piece of history for this unit,” Bass said. “What I wanted to do is to create an incentive for today’s Soldiers – a way for them to leave their mark in this battalion.”
Halatchenko said he was honored to be added to the display.
“I feel extremely proud to have my name plate on the battalion’s Ranger Wall, and I hope it inspires other future Soldiers,” he said. “My future plans are to report to Fort Benning, Ga., in February, and help the Army forge our future Rangers.
“Hopefully, I get to see some (Soldiers) from 1-87 (Infantry); that would be fun,” he added.
Behrens has seen a lot of professional success. In just eight months, he has been promoted from private first class to corporal, and he serves as a team leader. Behrens is set to be promoted to sergeant Nov. 1.
“Behrens was one of the few privates first class in today’s Army that has taken on and accomplished the task of becoming a Ranger and completing Airborne School after that,” Bass said.
Behrens said staying motivated helped him reach his goals.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” he said. “It was definitely doable, but it was still a ‘gut-check.’ The drive of going to Ranger School and coming back kept me motivated; also, I didn’t want to disappoint my command.”
Behrens is due for a permanent change of station soon, and he said he would like to go to Fort Campbell, Ky., where he hopes to begin the U.S. Special Forces selection process.
Bass said he hopes the display will inspire other Soldiers to attend Ranger School.
“I know what Ranger School did for me as an individual and as a leader throughout my Army career,” he said. “I want to create an opportunity for the Soldiers of this battalion to go and then place their name on this unit’s history from now on. I’m trying to do everything I can to influence Soldiers to go to Ranger School, not for me, but for them, their units and the Army.”

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