First Sergeant Garett Strifler, USA
Representing US Army
With over seventeen years of military service, 1SG Garett Strifler, the current First Sergeant of HHB, 3-27 FAR, has exceptionally impacted every organization he has served in. Enlisting in the Army as a Rocket System (MLRS/HIMARS) Crewmember (13M) in 2006, 1SG Strifler has deployed three times in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Beyond his combat experience, 1SG Strifler has distinguished himself as an icon in the rocket artillery community. He has served in key leadership positions in every one of the Army’s active-duty Field Artillery Brigades, led U.S. rocket artillery security cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, and is frequently consulted as one of the Army’s foremost experts on High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) operations. Despite his litany of accomplishments, 1SG Strifler is foremost a leader of Soldiers. He embodies the idea of being a servant-leader, has an unmatched track record of leading with empathy, and countless noncommissioned officers have benefited from his pivotal mentorship.
After enlisting in the Army in 2006, he started his career as an Ammunition Specialist in the Republic of Korea. Following his Korea tour, he would then serve in 5-3 FA at Joint-Base Lewis McChord, Washington. During his time in 5-3 FA, he deployed twice to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He spent his first deployment conducting route clearance patrols across Afghanistan, clearing many thousands of miles of hostile roads to allow the safe passage of coalition forces. He served as a HIMARS Gunner during his second deployment, providing precision lethal fires in direct support of various SOF units.
Following his time in 5-3 FA, 1SG Strifler would then serve as a Launcher Section Chief at Fort Bragg, NC, and then on to another tour in Korea. In Korea, he served as a Platoon Sergeant for a Firing Platoon, where he oversaw the critical mission of deterring North Korean aggression. He would then go on to serve at Fort Sill, OK, where he would serve as a Platoon Sergeant in 1-14 FA. As a Firing Platoon Sergeant, he would lead his platoon on a deployment spanning both Iraq and Syria. In Syria, he was responsible for leading the creation of the US FOB at Kobani Landing Zone. His platoon both executed fire missions against ISIS and acted as a deterrent against Iranian-backed forces. For his contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal. Upon redeployment, he would serve above his rank as an acting First Sergeant for nearly a year.
Following his time at Fort Sill, 1SG Strifler would then serve as a U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO) HIMARS Technical Assistance and Fielding Team (TAFT) NCOIC. He spent a year in the United Arab Emirates as a direct advisor to the Emirati HIMARS Regiment. He was responsible for advising them on HIMARS training and operations, directly influencing the United States’ regional security cooperation strategy. By supporting the U.S. embassy’s objectives and helping build Emirati capacity, he was personally influential in pushing back against Iran’s malign influence in the Persian Gulf.
Following his time in the Middle East, 1SG Strifler would return to Fort Liberty to serve as both a Firing Battery and Headquarters and Headquarters Battery First Sergeant. In both Alpha Battery and HHB 3-27 FAR, 1SG Strifler distinguished himself as a forward-thinking leader, mentor, and advocate for the wellbeing of Soldiers. He is currently deployed to Europe in support of Operation European Assure, Deter, and Reinforce.