7 episodes

Do you enjoy learning about military history? How about listening to stories of people who’ve experienced war and conflict? Have you ever wondered how to research a family member’s military service? How do individuals and organizations capture, preserve, and make military history available to the general public? All of these topics and more are explored in the Camp Iron Mountain Podcast! Join our community that looks to inspire people to conduct research, collect stories for posterity, and share the military history of veterans, civilians, and military units to honor their memory and service.

Camp Iron Mountai‪n‬ Gabriel Suarez

    • History
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Do you enjoy learning about military history? How about listening to stories of people who’ve experienced war and conflict? Have you ever wondered how to research a family member’s military service? How do individuals and organizations capture, preserve, and make military history available to the general public? All of these topics and more are explored in the Camp Iron Mountain Podcast! Join our community that looks to inspire people to conduct research, collect stories for posterity, and share the military history of veterans, civilians, and military units to honor their memory and service.

    007 | Team Assassin On Point | Stu James

    007 | Team Assassin On Point | Stu James

    COL Stu James tells the story of his experience as a junior officer leading his company-level combined arms team from Kuwait to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 20 March to 7 April 2021.
    Key battles explored during this episode are the engagements at An Nasiriyah, Al Kifl, An Najaf, Karbala, and Baghdad. 
    Colonel Stu James is an active duty Army officer who earned his commission as an Armor officer following graduation from West Virginia University ROTC. He entered active duty service in 1996 and has held numerous leadership positions in armored and mechanized formations throughout his career. COL James has extensive combat and deployment experience, including three tours to Iraq, one tour to Afghanistan, one tour to Kuwait, and one stability operation in Bosnia. His notable actions with 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division during the Operation Iraqi Freedom ground invasion is the focus of this episode. 
     
    Resources Related to the Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode
    On Point: The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The initial history that looked at the Army’s role in the ground invasion during Operation Iraqi Freedom in March and April 2003. This book was published by the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute Press in 2004 and is available for free to the public.
     
    Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Zucchino was embedded with the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division during the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom ground invasion. This book tells the engaging story of 2nd Brigade’s battles on their march to Baghdad.
     
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    Help others find the podcast by writing a positive review on Apple Podcasts!  

    • 43 min
    006 | Spearhead Closes the Rose Pocket

    006 | Spearhead Closes the Rose Pocket

    Hear the story of the U.S. 3rd Armored Division's historic and fateful armored drive to capture the German town of Paderborn and help close the southern part of the Ruhr Pocket from 25 March-1 April 1945.
    Interwoven throughout the story are first hand accounts of soldiers who fought during the operation.
    This episode is considered part 1 of two looking at two of the longest armored drives in U.S. military history.
     
    Resources Related to the Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode
    3rd Armored Division History Foundation. This is an online archive of the U.S. Army’s famous “Spearhead” Division that includes a very rich array of information about the Division’s participation in WWII, the Cold War, and Desert Storm. http://www.3ad.com/   The following books were used to develop the story for this episode, most of them can be found online at your favorite book seller. 
    Spearhead in the West  
    Major General Maurice Rose: World War II’s Greatest Forgotten Commander by Steven L. Ossad and Don R. Marsh  
    Reflections of a World War II Infantryman by Malcolm L. “Buck” Marsh, Jr.  
    Another Town, Another River: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat - 1945 by John P. Irwin  
    The Incredible Year by Donald J. Willis  
    Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II by Adam Makos  
    Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II by Belton Y. Cooper  
    If You Want to Support The Podcast
    Help others find the podcast by writing a positive review on Apple Podcasts! 

    • 59 min
    005 | Redleg Soldier | Iven Sugai

    005 | Redleg Soldier | Iven Sugai

    Guest - Iven Sugai 
    Lieutenant Colonel Iven Sugai is an active duty Army officer who started his career as an enlisted soldier before earning an officer’s commission following graduation from college. He recently finished an assignment as the battalion commander of 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery at Fort Riley, Kansas leading his battalion through an operational deployment to Poland.  
    Email: ivensugai@gmail.com
     
    What You’ll Get From Today’s Show
    Iven talks about his journey growing up in Hawaii on a former sugar plantation and the influence his father had on encouraging him to give back to the country through public service. Iven shares the influence other family’s members’ military service had on his decision to join the Army National Guard, especially an uncle who served with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II. Iven and Gabriel dig a little deeper into the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team discussing the differences between the Japanese-American soldiers who came from Hawaii versus those who came from the mainland United States. We learn why Iven volunteered for his particular Army career field Branch after earning his officer’s commission. Iven shares some of his experiences as a junior officer as part of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. With the 101st Airborne Division deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, Iven rejoins the Division after completing Ranger School and is transferred to a new unit in Mosul. Iven discusses some of the dangers he and his fellow soldiers faced during the early days of the insurgency that developed after the conclusion of the ground invasion. With his wife Courtney also deployed with the 101st Airborne Division, Iven shares some of his feelings of being separated from her for such a long period of time.  Learning early about the importance of seeking out mentors, Iven is able to leverage their advice for how to chart his career path to seek quality follow on assignments. Iven talks about his assignment with the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, Texas and the various lessons he learned being on staff before transitioning to battery command. In Iraq again, Iven shares some of experiences from this second deployment to Mosul, including describing a special mission for the dual military members of his unit.  Moving into the middle period of his career as a major, Iven weighs the demands of Army life versus prioritizing more time for his family. His follow on assignments provide that balance, allowing him and his wife to start their own family while still being competitive within their career fields. Reaching one of the pinnacles of a successful Army career, Iven takes battalion command where he tries to impart many of the important lessons he’s learned through years of service, including an appreciation for the historical legacy of his unit. At the conclusion of the interview Gabriel asks Iven to reflect on how he sees the new generation of artillerymen and women carrying the torch of the Fires branch forward into the future.  
    Resources Related to the Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode
    Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC). A non-profit organization that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to our nation. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive "GFBNEC's Defining Courage Exhibition" in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives.  
    History of 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment “Hamilton’s Own.” This is an informative article published by America’s Battlefield Trust on the history of 1/5FA.    
    Modern Artillery and the Future. A video published by the United

    • 1 hr
    004 | Grandpa’s OMPF | Anthony Paez & Andrew Paez

    004 | Grandpa’s OMPF | Anthony Paez & Andrew Paez

    Guests - Anthony Paez and Andrew Paez 
    Two of my cousins join me in this episode to explore our grandfather, Gregorio Paez’ Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). Both cousins are Army veterans themselves. Anthony served with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado back in the late 2000s, completing a combat deployment to Iraq. Andrew served with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas completing a deployment to Kuwait and Jordan in 2016.
     
    What You’ll Get From Today’s Show
    Gabriel describes what an Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is, what type of information you can hope to find in one, and what type of information you will not find. We learn what branch of the National Archives holds OMPF records and what records are available for request. Gabriel outlines the steps you have to take if you want to request a copy of an OMPF both if you are a next of kin relative or are not next of kin. The links to where someone should go for requesting an OMPF are further below in the show notes. Gabriel welcomes Anthony and Andrew to the show and lays out the goals of this podcast episode. Gabriel, Anthony, and Andrew began going through all the sections of Gregorio Paez’ OMPF starting with the first document, the DD-214. Gregorio’s enlistment packet contains lots of interesting information about his life prior to joining the United States Marine Corps (USMC). DD Form 93 is the Record of Emergency Data that lays out who Gregorio had designated who the USMC should contact in case of an emergency or his death. Gabriel, Anthony, and Andrew take some time to explore the DD98 Loyalty Certificate document which was created in response to the ongoing Red Scare that was happening in the United States during this period of time. The guys moved towards the meat of Gregorio’s OMPF, the NAVMC 188 Personnel Packet which contains detailed information about his service in the USMC. The first of about 20 pages of documents in this packet is a picture of Gregorio at basic training that the guys had never seen before. The final documents in Gregorio’s OMPF    Gabriel, Anthony, and Andrew go over are his discharge paperwork and individual clothing record. Gabriel, Anthony, and Andrew talk about the things they learned after reading through their grandfather’s OMPF.  
    Resources Related to the Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode
    The National Archives at St. Louis. This is the repository for official military personnel files and other military records. https://www.archives.gov/st-louis     
    Veterans Service Records. This is the link on the National Archives website where you can begin the process to request and order various veterans service records including OMPFs. https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records   
    Burnt In Memory: Looking back, looking forward at the 1973 St. Louis Fire. Link to the article about the devastating fire at the Personnel Records Center written by two National Archives archivists back in 2013. The article details the lessons learned from this tragic cultural disaster and the processes put in place to prevent it from happening again in the future. https://www.archives.gov/files/publications/prologue/2013/spring/stl-fire.pdf   
    Episode 004 Bonus Content. Visit the Camp Iron Mountain Podcast YouTube channel if you’d like to see the contents of Gregorio Paez’ OMPF that were discussed in this episode.  
    If You Want to Support The Podcast
    Help others find the podcast by writing a positive review on Apple Podcasts!  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/camp-iron-mountain/id1551075974

    • 45 min
    001 | Welcome to Camp Iron Mountain

    001 | Welcome to Camp Iron Mountain

    Host - Gabriel Suarez 
    Website: https://campironmountain.com

    Email: gabriel@campironmountain.com
     
    What You’ll Get From Today’s Show
    You'll learn the mission and goals behind the Camp Iron Mountain Podcast. Gabriel outlines the three main themes the podcast will focus on: sharing interesting stories from military history, highlighting individuals and organizations “doing history”, and interviewing veterans and civilians who’ve experienced conflict. Gabriel talks about his backstory and his family’s connection to the military. Gabriel shares the genesis of his desire to preserve history and eventually create this podcast, which traces back to his grandfather’s World War II service. Learn about the efforts that Gabriel’s grandfather’s unit took to capture their own World War II experiences. Gabriel tells the audience where they can further connect with the show on it’s social media sites and how they can help grow the show.  
    Resources Mentioned During Today’s Episode
    Website: https://campironmountain.com  Twitter: @CampIMPodcast Facebook: https://fb.me/CampIronMountain  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campironmountain   Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/campironmountain   If You Want to Support The Podcast
    Help others find the podcast by writing a positive review on Apple Podcasts! Camp Iron Mountain.

    • 10 min
    002 | From Radio Operator to Iraqi Army Trainer | Chris Adams

    002 | From Radio Operator to Iraqi Army Trainer | Chris Adams

    Guest - Christopher Adams 
    Chris is a US Army veteran who served 13 years on active duty as a communications specialist before being medically discharged in 2009. During his time on active duty, Chris deployed twice to Iraq. His first deployment was to Anbar Province in eastern Iraq from 2004-2005 and his second was to Baghdad during The Surge from 2006-2007.
    Email: christophernadams@ymail.com
    What You’ll Get From Today’s Show
    Chris tells us a little about his early life growing up and the circumstances that led him to joining the Army. Chris recalls some of his most vivid memories of going through basic training as a slightly older recruit and assignment to his Army career field as a communications specialist. Assigned to a mobile response unit in Washington D.C., you’ll hear Chris’ experience on the scene at the Pentagon in the days following the 9/11 attacks. Chris shares a little of what life was like for a soldier stationed in South Korea in the early 2000s with 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (1/9IN), 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (2/2BCT). In what was probably a first, 2/2BCT, already forward deployed, was alerted and ordered to deploy from South Korea to Iraq. Chris recalls that period of shock and surprise of getting told the news. Chris relates some of his experiences with 1/9IN in Iraq’s volatile Anbar Province during his unit’s 2004-2005 combat deployment.  Fresh from his deployment to Iraq, Chris relates his journey straight to a new home in the United States at Fort Carson, Colorado. 1/9IN transforms from a heavy combined arms battalion with Abrams Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to a light reconnaissance squadron, now designated 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment (3/61CAV), equipped with only HMMWV (Humvee) trucks and heavy machine guns. Chris describes his experiences during the train up period with 3/61CAV in Colorado and then back to Iraq for what would eventually become a 15-month long deployment to eastern Baghdad in 2006 during The Surge. Chris shares some of his experiences from his second Iraq deployment, explaining how it was different from his previous deployment a year earlier.  Chris reflects back on his Army experiences, some of the strong friendships made, and his sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life after a medical discharge.   
    Resources Related to the Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode
    9/11 Inside the Pentagon. A 2016 PBS documentary that tells the story of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon including interviews with survivors and responders.
     
    The U.S. Marines in Iraq, 2004-2005: Into the Fray.  An official publication about the history of the U.S. Marines in Al Anbar Province during 2004-2005 from the Marine Corps University, History Division.  

     
    The U.S. Army Campaigns in Iraq: The Surge 2007-2008.  An official publication about the history of the Iraq Surge campaign from the Army Center of Military History available to the public for free. 

     
    Ghost Riders of Baghdad by Daniel Sjursen. A book written by another member of 3/61CAV about his experiences during the same 2006-2007 deployment Chris describes in his interview.  
     
    If You Want to Support The Podcast
    Help others find the podcast by writing a positive review on Apple Podcasts! Camp Iron Mountain. 

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

GrannyAR ,

Great Military History Stories!

This show has a good variety of topics and interviews that’s been a joy to listen to. As the daughter of a WWII navy veteran, it’s nice to hear stories about the era and war my dad served in.

Abuck7 ,

Love the Idea

I really love the idea behind this podcast & it delivers! Looking forward to hearing more of these stories that should be told!

katarina_ruth ,

Preserving the Past

Gabriel does a great job sharing military history along with interviewing guests that have wonderful stories to tell!

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