For those of you who have read Paul’s blogs, worked with him on a case, or wish to retain him as your counsel regarding a military law matter, you may have noticed that he has recently been absent from the office. As noted in his attorney profile on our website, Paul attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and subsequently gained extensive military experience that included challenging training exercises overseas in Korea and Germany. He then received his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law while continuing to serve our country as an officer in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Upon passing the Tennessee Bar, Paul joined Cole Law Group as an associate attorney and pursued his passion to build a military law practice to serve military members as well as veterans.
This summer Paul was called up for active duty by the U.S. Army and deployed to Bemowo Piskie, Poland, where he is currently in command of 105 soldiers in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group Poland. The eFP provides a responsive and flexible military capability to respond to any aggressive act as part of NATO’s overall deterrence and defensive posture.
Battle Group Poland is a multinational battle group, comprised of U.S., U.K., Croatian and Romanian soldiers that will serve alongside the host nation’s 15th Mechanized Brigade as a defense and deterrence force.
Click on the following link if you would like to see facebook posts and learn more about the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland: facebook.com/NatoBGPoland/ If you look carefully, you may recognize Paul in some of the photos.
During his deployment, Paul will be acting as the Bravo Battery Commander for B BTRY Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The 278th ACR is one of two “Heavy” ACRs still in existence and is based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Field artillery officers neutralize the enemy by cannon, rocket and missile fire. They are experts in tactics, techniques and procedures for the employment of fire support systems. As the commander, Paul will be responsible all aspects of the operations of his battery and for everything the unit does and fails to do.
We at Cole Law Group are proud of Paul’s commitment to serving our country and look forward to his return to CLG and the practice of law in the near future. In the meantime, Paul is keeping in close touch with our team. We have found his messages and photos to be insightful and extremely interesting and will therefore routinely share many of them in diary form on our blog and via social media.
Good afternoon, I have made it safely to Poland and am fighting that jet lag! Things have gone well so far. I have started inventories for the change of command. I have already started letting the Battery know many of my ideas on ways to improve the unit and accomplish our mission. This is as challenging of a situation as I anticipated, and yet I am feeling confident that my team will do well. I have attached some pictures I have taken recently. Most of these pictures are from an award ceremony this evening (we are 7 hours ahead of you) where our Battery presented awards to many Soldiers for excellent work in previous exercises. The first two are pictures I took in Warsaw on my way to BPTA (what we call this post/training area) from the airport.
I am excited that we have an important event in our training cycle coming up. Our Battle Group (BGP), similar to a task force or Battalion of 1100 Soldiers, will be conducting a large scale combined arms live fire exercise (CALFEX) at the end of August. That mission is titled OPERATION KIRCHOLM (unclassified) This will be a huge opportunity for my team to train and grow. It may also be a large push through traditional and social media to reassure our European allies of our commitment to their mutual defense. I will keep you all up to date on that exercise as it approaches.
Todd and team,
Good afternoon, I have continued to conduct inventories on the B BTRY equipment. I took the Army physical fitness test with my Soldiers this morning. I put in an excellent performance, leading by example. I am really happy with how hard many of our maintenance Soldiers work. I have attached a few pictures of a serious operation where they are working on an engine outside of one of our Howitzers. I have been informed that I will be taking command on Monday. I will take lots of pictures of the ceremony and keep you all up to date.
NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) is an allied forward deployed defense and deterrence military posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure NATO’s Eastern member states of their security. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and War in Donbass, NATO member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to NATO members most at risk of possible Russian attack or invasion. These 4 battalion battle groups are currently deployed to Poland-led by the US, Estonia-led by the UK, Latvia-led by Canada, and Lithuania led by Germany.
Battle Group Poland (BGP) consists of a US combined-arms battalion (including Tanks and Infantry), a US Field Artillery Battery (currently B BTRY, RFS, 278th ACR of the TNARNG which I shall assume command of on Monday at 0900), a Sabre Squadron from the UK Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Scouts), a Croatian rocket artillery battery, and an ADA company from the Romanian Army. Battle Group Poland is currently conducting military operations based out of Bemowo Piskie, Poland at Bemowo Piskie Training Area (BPTA). Our objectives are to conduct realistic training designed to showcase to our allies and Russia our military capabilities. Our end state is we will be successful in demonstrating our commitment to the NATO alliance and prevent Russian aggression in Poland and our other allies.
I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to command America’s most precious resource, over 100 of her Sons and Daughters, as we train to conduct combat operations in Poland. “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” — Gen. James H. Doolittle. Our Soldiers stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in Close Combat. Our troops have taken the Motto of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment to heart by volunteering for this mission. Our motto is: “I volunteer, Sir!”