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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2023

10th Mountain Division, Task Force Badger Unit Ministry Team provides light during times of uncertainty

By CJTF-OIR Public Affairs

BAGHDAD, Iraq – As the world watches disturbing sequences and events unfold while the war in Ukraine rages on and now violence and turmoil ravages the Gaza Strip, Unit Ministry Teams stand by, ready to aid deployed Soldiers find hope amidst life’s challenges and the world’s uncertainty.

Army Chaplain, Capt. Young Cho and Religious Affairs Specialist, Spc. Joshua Baggs both deployed from Fort Drum, NY and assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment (Task Force Badger) lead the religious support mission at Union III, home to Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s forward headquarters.

Cho, a husband and father of two children, and a native of Incheon, Korea finds himself in familiar territory after serving in 2-14 from 2015 to 2016 deployed to Afghanistan as a unit supply sergeant.

“It feels like I’m back home. I love interacting, uplifting, and sharing my experiences from my enlisted days with our Soldiers,” said Cho, who followed in his father’s footsteps. His father also served as an Army Chaplain—but with the Korean Army.

Like the Chaplain, Spc. Baggs of Higginsville, MO, felt he had a higher calling. Baggs enlisted as an infantryman following seven years of working on a dairy farm. He is also a husband and father, who volunteered to serve alongside the Chaplain when the opportunity presented itself.

“My Sergeant Major asked for volunteers,” said Baggs. “I just wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Baggs, who is no stranger to needing help in his own life saw the position as a chance to pay it forward.

“When I got to the unit, I was in a place where I needed help,” Baggs recalled. “Despite finding myself in a dark place mentally, my Team Leader devoted time to ensuring I got the help I needed—and that inspired me to want to help others.”

Their lives of service are not limited to Sundays at the chapel. Chances are if you see the Chaplain, you’ll see his assistant nearby seeking out Soldiers that may need spiritual guidance, mentorship, or just a kind word.

“Everyone is valuable. It doesn’t matter what rank. Through their love of country and service, Soldiers can be used for God’s glory,” Cho proudly declares—smiling from ear to ear—a sight any Soldier would be happy to come across during times of chaos and uncertainty.