Wisconsin Rapids native is making a difference overseas
By Captain Joe Trovato
MADISON – Wisconsin Rapids native, Sean Ringer and the Wisconsin Army National Guard 829th Engineer Company is making a difference overseas.
The 829th Engineer Company is spread across the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The Wisconsin-based unit mobilized for deployment in October 2019 and began its construction mission in support of a fellow Army National Guard engineer battalion from Indiana.
Since arriving in theater, the approximately 150 soldiers have been spread across multiple locations and hard at work on a vast array of projects improving facilities for coalition forces and completing other mission essential construction projects.
“Thus far our biggest accomplishments have been the work completed on our command cell, carpentry projects throughout Kuwait, equipment service rate of completion, and numerous projects completed on multiple posts within Afghanistan,” Company First Sergeant Sean Ringer said. “The most rewarding part for me has been the bond that many have created within the group as well as watching the mentorship that occurs between one another.
“I hope we made life more sustainable for the troops within the camps we work in as well as provide those much needed force protection builds to ensure everyone remains as safe as possible with maximum protection.”
As company first sergeant, Ringer is charged with ensuring the morale and welfare of the plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders, and others who make up the unit. The soldiers, he said, are in high spirits, eager, and motivated to do their jobs and complete more projects.
“The soldiers within this company are dedicated to the unit, eager to learn, and crave more,” he said. “The majority volunteered to come with this unit. Their hearts are in the right place to conduct the job.”
Ringer said a key part of the unit’s high spirits has been the incredible support from the people of Wisconsin, loved ones, and local communities. Others echoed that sentiment.
“I’m extremely grateful for all the support received from family, friends and co-workers,” said First Lieutenant Daniel Bruins. “While it’s difficult to be away for several months, the outpouring of support from back home has been tremendous.”
The 829th Engineer Company is one of several Wisconsin Army National Guard units deployed overseas in support of its federal mission as the Army’s primary combat reserve right now. The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s Headquarters and approximately 160 Soldiers deployed to Ukraine last fall as part of Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine, where it is serving as the headquarters element the training group at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in western Ukraine.
The 400 Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry remain in Afghanistan where they are serving as the security element for an Army Security Force Assistance Brigade. The 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment and the 1967th Contracting Team also mobilized for deployments to Kuwait and the Horn of Africa respectively in January.