Stand at ChipYong-Ni
CHIPYONG-NI, Republic of Korea — In the midnight hours of Feb. 13, 1951, combined French and American Soldiers dug into their defense positions, awaiting tens of thousands advancing Chinese Forces. The battle that proceeded would not only change the history of the Korean War, but the history of the nation.
Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade traveled to ChipYong-Ni March 6 to conduct a staff ride highlighting this key battle during the Korean War. A staff ride helps noncommissioned officers and officers develop more as a leader through historical study of battle.
“The staff ride allows you to understand the strategic and operational aspects that lead up to battle,” said U.S. Army Cpt. Addison Clincy, intelligence officer, 11th Engineer Battalion, 2ID SBDE. “Understanding the battle as a whole helps us learn from the past, so we do not repeat history’s mistakes.”
The staff ride allowed Soldiers to reflect on what occurred during battle, and further hone their skills as a leader.
“I can implement what I learned into my leadership ability by understanding that no matter how high rank you achieve, you’re never too mighty to get down in the mud with your Soldiers,” said Clincy. “As a leader, I owe it to each of my Soldiers, peers, and superiors to apply my all into everything I do.”
Many of the Soldiers in attendance were tasked to tell the story of some of the individuals, such as 1st Lt. Paul McGee, and units that played a significant role during the war. McGee was awarded the Silver Star for leading his men through two days of battle.
“I spoke on 1st Lt. McGee,” said 2nd Lt. Nathan Rusu, 2nd platoon leader, 814th Multi-Role Bridge Company, 11th EN BN, 2ID SBDE. “He was the epitome of the kind of leader I hope to be.”
Throughout the day, Soldiers were consistently reminded of the importance they possess as a Soldier here. They stood in the footsteps of the 4,500 combined Soldiers who fought for the ground they were standing on.
“This event solidifies why we are here,” said Clincy. “It’s imperative that all of us understand the enemy and how critical it is to train, so that we may continue to be able to support one another in any situation.”
The Battle of ChipYong-Ni was the turning point of the Korean War. French and American Soldiers stood side by side defending against more than 20,000 Chinese Forces. Resiliency and motivating words from retired Lt. Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, Eighth Army commander, kept those warriors fighting day and night until the last shot was fired.
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