Whenever FOB Kalagush in Iraq receives incoming mortar rounds, someone there has to react and fire back. That’s the job of Army Staff Sgt. Cory Cummings, the gunnery sergeant for Btry A, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty. Cummings said he was influenced by 9/11 and a family history of military service to join the Army in 2002. He was biased towards Field Artillery by his father. “When I was young, my dad took me to Civil War re-enactments,” Cummings said. “He was the Gunnery Sgt for the artillery line. I always thought it was cool. That’s where my interest for artillery came in.”br /br /Cummings has a long list of things to attend to. In addition to taking care of his 19 Soldiers, he must also make the equipment is ready. Daily he makes sure the guns have been laid and checks on maintenance and ammo. He says that the best part of his job is mentoring his soldiers. When the base takes incoming and the sirens go off, they all run out and get on the mortars and guns and wait for a counter-fire mission to come down; that’s the combat side of artillery.br /Cummings said he feels his job is mission essential. “In order for the enemy to think that they can be touched, we need to be here,” he said. “At a moment’s notice, we can reach out and touch them. That’s the benefit of artillery, that’s the importance of it being here,” Cummings said. “There’s no threat to them if we’re not here.”br /br /SSG Cummings and his troops are on the Frontlines of Freedom. When the mortars and rockets start coming in and others seek shelter, they stand up and deliver the counter punch. We all need to be very proud of these soldiers—be sure to tell the next military person you see how much you appreciate their service to our country.