FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Following a recent deployment to Afghanistan plagued by low morale and “low energy,” soldiers from the 504th Military Police Battalion came together this week to watch the awarding of the only Bronze Star resulting from their time in theater—to S2 Captain Taylor Regan’s coffee station.
“For most of us, our hearts just weren’t into it this time around Afghanistan,” admitted Master Sgt. Raymond Phelps, who as part of the battalion’s headquarters element had access to both the S2’s classified material and the delicious coffee that flowed nonstop from the TSCIF. “But that coffee pot, it never wavered. It did a lot of the heavy lifting.”
Lt. Col. Max Collins, the battalion commander, agreed.
“The troops were plugged in with Rip Its and Monsters, and they’re great for that surge,” Collins said. “But the black nectar in the S2’s area was a life saver. They had French roast, mocha, espresso—all the good stuff, none of that sissified flavored crap.”
“Nothing got done without a stop at the TSCIF.”
Burdened by the knowledge that the country simply wants to forget Afghanistan, as well the signals from national leaders that the U.S. is likely to be pulled from theater regardless of conditions on the ground, morale often suffered, according to some soldiers.
“If it wasn’t for that coffee machine, man,” said one squad leader, “I don’t know if I’d have made it. I would stop by the Two’s place all the time, pretending I wanted a threat update. I just wanted some of that fresh roasted Colombian. Oh man, I can still smell it brewing.”
“Oh yeah, Capt. Regan was a good guy,” he added. “Intel was decent, I guess, as far as that goes. But, damn—he had the best coffee.”
The citation reads, in part, that “Capt. Taylor Regan’s coffee station provided over 750 gallons of life-sustaining coffee to the headquarters staff and key battalion personnel.”
The Bronze Star will come with the C Device, for caffeinating in action.
Perpetual Captain contributed to this report.