Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | June 28, 2021

Vaccination rates soar for deployed infantry battalion

By 2nd Lt. Nathan Rivard 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain)

The Jericho, Vermont, based 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) surpasses the average COVID-19 vaccination rate while deployed.

The National Guard unit reached a staggering 87 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate throughout the battalion’s deployed Soldiers. Vaccinations started at home station, continued during mobilization, and additional vaccines were received while deployed.

Noting the unit’s maxim, “Ascend to Victory,” it’s easy to understand how the unit was able to accomplish the high vaccination rate.

“It’s our culture. We simply don’t fail. COVID was an obstacle to the success of our mission, and we were determined to negate its effect,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Wignall, the 3-172nd IN (MTN) commander. “Our team had the opportunity to receive COVID vaccinations and there was an overwhelming response from Soldiers to do so.”

The Soldiers’ vaccination rate far exceeded the average throughout the Department of Defense. According to a DoD news article from May 20, DoD health officials stated that 58% of active duty members have received one dose and 44% of DoD personnel are fully vaccinated. As of June 23, more than 3.9 million doses have been administered to DoD personnel.

“We started receiving vaccinations at home station and we began the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination at Camp McGregor, N.M. during mobilization,” said 2nd Lt. Michael Cordiero, the battalion medical officer. “At mobilization, Sgt. 1st Class Bond, our HHC senior medic, took charge of tasking personnel for administrating the vaccine, coordination to receive doses, and preparation of the vaccination area. He did a tremendous job and as the data shows, our Soldiers took advantage of that opportunity.”

The 3-172nd IN (MTN) vaccination rates even exceed those in the Green Mountain State. According to Vermont.gov, as of June 14, 80% of eligible Vermonters have been received as least one does of COVID Vaccination.

“The two main factors to our success in vaccination rates are due to availability of the vaccine and education,” said Cordeiro. “Our medical team can only provide the opportunity for vaccination and education. The dissemination and usage of the education falls on the company commands.”

This knowledge was noticeable passed onto Soldiers who were making the decision to get vaccinated.

“Our Company commanders and battalion surgeon Col. Ricky Kue have done an absolutely phenomenal job of getting information to our Soldiers to allow them the ability to make informed decisions about receiving the COVID vaccine,” said Wignall. “Our partners at Task Force Spartan and the 36th Infantry Division have been extremely supportive to get us the resources needed to vaccinate our Soldiers. Their work allows us to focus on our mission while maintaining a high-level of medical readiness.”

National Guard News
Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, talks with multinational troops supporting a NATO mission, Ādaži Military Base, Latvia, June 16, 2022.
Three Nations, One Goal: Continued Freedom
By Master Sgt. Jim Greenhill, | June 24, 2022
VILNIUS, Lithuania – Three Baltic nations are laser-focused on one goal: defending their independence and territorial integrity.The chief of the National Guard Bureau heard the same message in visits to each country, part of...

New York Air National Guard Airmen who were part of a 2017 mission to save two badly burned crewmen on board the Slovenian bulk carrier Tamar pose with a painting commemorating the mission during an awards ceremony June 4, 2022, at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York.
New York Air Guardsmen Recognized for Dramatic Rescue
By Staff Sgt. Kevin Donaldson, | June 24, 2022
WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. – On April 24, 2017, seven Airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing jumped into the night sky over the Atlantic, 1,700 miles from Long Island.Their mission was to provide...

Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers familiarize themselves with the M2 machine gun during an Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise June 22, 2022, at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The exercise included some 4,400 brigade personnel from throughout Georgia.
Georgia Army Guard Hones Readiness at XCTC Exercise
By Pfc. Katlynn Pickle, | June 24, 2022
FORT STEWART, Ga. – Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion familiarized themselves with M2 and M249 machine guns and M4A1 carbines during an Exportable Combat Training...

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, and Soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army train in a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force operations center as part of exercise African Lion 2022. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia June 6 - 30.
Utah National Guard Joins African Lion Exercise in Morocco
By Maj. Brent Mangum, | June 24, 2022
AGADIR, Morocco – Soldiers and Airmen from the Utah National Guard began arriving in Morocco June 14 to participate in African Lion 2022.African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise...

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Gebremariam, a services Airman with the 118th Force Support Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard, at Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Nashville, Tennessee. Gebremariam, a refugee from Eritrea, gained his U.S. citizenship through the Air Guard.
A Refugee’s Journey to the Tennessee Air National Guard
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Harwood, | June 24, 2022
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Airman John Gebremariam, a services specialist with the 118th Force Support Squadron, is living a life he couldn’t imagine as a young man: going to school to become an aviation mechanic and serving...