The 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery conducts a unit move to Fort Sill, Oklahoma NLT 15SEP16 in order to establish a base of operations and set conditions to prepare for expeditionary employment; be prepared to globally deploy to any operational environment, ready to provide lethal, accurate, and timely MLRS fires in support of Unified Land Operations.
Congratulations on your assignment to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Battalion, located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. On behalf of the proud and professional Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Soldiers of one of the busiest and most combat ready battalions in the Army, WELCOME!! Our battalion motto is “Deep Strike!” The 75th Field Artillery Brigade’s motto is “Tough as Diamonds.”
Your assignment to Oklahoma will be one of your most memorable military tours. The 75th Field Artillery Brigade and III Corps enjoy a distinguished reputation. We are confident that you will find your tour of duty with the Deep Strike Battalion both challenging and rewarding. Training within the battalion is tough and rigorous as we certify and qualify at the crew and platoon levels twice a year. Our physical readiness training is combat focused and goal oriented ensuring that Soldiers can move quickly under a load, rapidly recover, and take action. We test our mettle monthly in the ‘Deep Strike Crucible’ and venerate our achievers accordingly. However, we balance our arduous and demanding training with quality of life initiatives. We fully invite you to volunteer with our CO-OP and Cache Middle and High School Partners, as we know you will find the experience rewarding.
The Lawton area is a growing community that offers great housing, job opportunities, adult and child education, and family entertainment. We are only a short drive to Oklahoma City and Dallas, Texas.
Prior to your arrival, please review the information about Fort Sill, the unit, and the in-processing procedures provided in the links below. Use these resources to become familiar with the unit, its history, and standards in order to understand the purpose and direction of our mission.
a. Fort Sill: http://sill-www.army.mil/
b. 75th Field Artillery Brigade: http://sill-www.army.mil/75th_Field_Artillery_Brigade/index.htm
c. BLUE Book (Soldier Standards): http://sill-www.army.mil/_docs/2015/Bluebook2015.pdf
I am honored to be your Commander and take great pride in the service of every Soldier, Civilian, and Family member within our organization. You are in the best battalion in the Army because YOU are here! CSM Ball and I look forward to your arrival and contributions to the team!
Command Sergeant Major
Lt. Col G. Damon Wells was born in Pasadena, Texas. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1998. Lt Col. Wells completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Campbell University, North Carolina in 2001, and a Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 2008.
Lt. Col. Wells’ first Army assignment was at Fort Carson, Colorado, where he served as a Fire Support Specialist (13F). While at Fort Carson, Lt. Col. Wells attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon commissioning, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. During this assignment he served as a Company Fire Support Officer for 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry and as a Battery Fire Direction Officer for C/2-319th AFAR.
Lt. Col Wells was then assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery (Multiple Launch Rocket System), 4th Infantry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as the Squadron Fire Support Officer for 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment. While serving as the Squadron Fire Support Officer, Lt. Col. Wells deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Following this assignment, he assumed command of HHS/2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery (MLRS), and subsequently assumed command of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Division Artillery, 4th Infantry Division where he again deployed to Iraq for 12 months. After his tour at Fort Hood, Lt. Col. Wells was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as an instructor for Army Combatives and boxing, and as a Regimental Guidance Officer.
Upon completion of his duties at West Point, Lt. Col. Wells moved to Fort Sill, and was assigned as the Battalion Executive Officer for 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery (Multiple Launch Rocket System), 214th Fires Brigade in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. While in this position, Lt. Col. Wells deployed to Afghanistan as a Security Force Assistance Team leader for a 9 month rotation. Upon return, Lt. Col. Wells was assigned as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the 214th Fires Brigade. Lt. Col. Wells then moved back to Fort Hood, where he became the Rear Detachment Commander for 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during their 9 month rotation to the Republic of Korea.
Lt. Col. Wells’ military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Field Artillery Officer Advance Course, the Combined Arms Service Staff School, and the Command and General Staff College. Lt. Col. Wells’ civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, and a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology. Lt. Col. Wells’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Combat Action Badge, and the Army Parachutist Badge.
Lt. Col Wells’ wife of 13 years is Andrea J. Wells from Calgary, Alberta.
A native of Pekin, Ill., Kenneth W. Ball graduated from Midwest Central High School in Manito, Ill. and joined the Army on Nov. 3, 1993. He attended Basic Training and his Advanced Individual Training for the Multiple Launch Rocket System at Fort Sill, Okla.
His overseas tours include three tours in Korea, where he served with B and C Battery, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery as a launcher section chief, gunner, and the Battery First Sergeant for Charlie Battery, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery (FA). In 2006, Ball deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq and served as a heavy equipment transporter section chief conducting combat logistic patrols with 6-32nd FA. In 2011, he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan as a target acquisition battery first sergeant.
Ball’s stateside assignments include three tours with III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill. First, he served as an ammunition crewman for 5-17th FA, the headquarters platoon sergeant for 1-14th FA, and in 6-32nd FA as a firing platoon sergeant and B Battery first sergeant. Ball served as an observer controller trainer for mobilized Soldiers set to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan with 1-290th Training Support FA AC/RC. Served as the first sergeant for C Battery, 6-37th FA, B Battery, 2-4th FA, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), 2-4th FA, and HHB 214th Fires Brigade before being selected to attend the Sergeants Major Academy in 2014. He is currently the battalion command sergeant major for 2-20th FA at Fort Sill.
Ball served in every possible position available in his particular military occupational specialty, such as a battery first sergeant, headquarters and firing platoon sergeant, ammunition section as a crewman and section chief, a launcher driver, gunner, launcher chief, and a recon sergeant. He was a member of the 8th Army Salute Team in Korea 1995-1996. He was selected as the Division Artillery NCO of the Quarter and the 2nd Infantry Division NCO of the Year for Fiscal Year 2003. Ball is a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, the Order of St. Barbara, the Sergeants Major Association, and the Field Artillery Association.
His military education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, the Master Resiliency Trainer Course, Battle Staff, the M270A1 Transition Course, Modern Army Combatives, Command Financial Advisors Course, Observer Controller Trainer Course, Unit Victim Advocate Course, Total Army Retention Course, the Army Hazardous Material Course, and the Unit Prevention Leader Course.
CSM Balls’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (2nd award), Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak leaf clusters (OLC)), Army Commendation Medal (with one silver cluster and three OLC), Army Achievement Medal (with one silver cluster), the Good Conduct Medal (6th award), National Defense Service Ribbon (2nd award), Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Medal (4th award), the Army Service Ribbon, USA Overseas Ribbon (5th award), and the NATO Ribbon.
Ball is married to the former Marsha Fry of Hillsboro, Ill. They have three daughters.
2-20th FAR Unit History
The Deep Strike Battalion was first constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Battery B, 20th Field Artillery and was activated in June 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia, as an element of the 4th Division, later re-designated as the 4th Infantry Division. In 1957, the battalion was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and activated in Korea. In 1960, the battalion was re-designated the 2nd Rocket Howitzer Battalion, 20th Field Artillery until taking its present moniker of 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery in a 1971 re-designation.
During the Vietnam War, 2-20 Field Artillery was an aerial rocket artillery battalion, equipped with UH-1 B/C and AH-1G model helicopters. It was known as "Blue Max." In 1972, the battalion was relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Carson, Colorado.
In 1976, the battalion was attached to the 8th Infantry Division in Wiesbaden, Germany, where it would remain until it was deactivated in 1984, subsequently reactivated in 1987, and again deactivated in 1992. In September 1998, 9-1 Field Artillery was reflagged as the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Battalion. In 2001, the battalion supported the Army’s testing and fielding of the M270A1 launcher and became the first M270A1 MLRS unit in the Army. Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, held a launching ceremony on 17 April 2001 to present the new MLRS model to the 4th Infantry Division. The ceremony consisted of a live-fire exercise attended by key members of the 4th Infantry Division and the 49th Armored Division, Texas National Guard.
The battalion has deployed to Iraq three times beginning in March 2003, again in 2005, and lastly in 2008. While supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, they performed not only their traditional Field Artillery tasks, to include firing the division’s first deep missile fires in combat, but performed armed reconnaissance missions, joint security patrols, cordon and searches, raids, and a wide variety of civil military operations.
In March 2015, as part of 1st Cavalry Division Artillery and later 75th Field Artillery Brigade, the battalion deployed to South Korea in support of the 210th Field Artillery Brigade and the 2nd Infantry Division. The battalion served as the first Rotationally Deployed MLRS Unit performing traditional duties, while strengthening the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea Forces. The battalion redeployed to Fort Hood in February 2016 and is currently in the process of re-stationing to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.