In civilian life, Steve Norcross of Essex Junction works for a heating and plumbing contractor. But for the past year, Norcross has commanded more than 100 guardsmen in Iraq.
In this "Soldier Stories" segment Norcross describes his job and the challenge of command.
(Norcross) "My daily routine was communicating with the higher. Getting what was going on. Basically a lot of it was what was going on with the intelligence, what was going on with what the enemy was doing in the area, and trying to correlate that to stay one step ahead of them basically and getting down to the platoon so that they could stay one step ahead, and just overall supervision and management of the company. We worked a lot with the Iraq security forces for three, four months when they were available to us and I went out on a lot of those patrols."
"Our area wasn’t the most active. There would go weeks without anything happening, and then all of a sudden a lot of stuff would happen at once because they would sit there and watch you for a while and then they would try to hit you or do something, so "
"It was mostly like we were a cop. Seventy five percent of doing nothing and then you’ve got 25% where you’ve got to react and adrenaline. And the guys had to be able to prepare for that. Even though there wasn’t anything going on, they had to stay motivated and dedicated to what they were doing just to make sure that nothing was going to happen to them."
"We had like, a couple instances where guys were hit or wounded. Until you could really find out what was going on, you really didn’t have you only had radio communications. So all you knew some guy was wounded. You didn’t know what was going on and you were responsible ultimately for that guy’s actions or whatever happened. So that was probably the hardest part. I do not have to be responsible anymore for telling somebody to do something that may cost them their lives. So I mean that’s the hardest part – asking somebody to do something that was gonna cost their life."
(Host) We just heard Steve Norcross of Essex Junction. Tomorrow in Soldier Stories, Jordan Paquette of Fairfax talks about patrolling in Ramadi and the lessons learned from a year in Iraq.