Corporal Erik Babol joined the 3rd Infantry Division Realism Unit for his second tour September 2021 where he was assigned to Fourth Squad, First Platoon, Alpha Company "War Eagles" In Fourth Sqaud Babol served as a Fireteam Member, Combat Life Saver and currently serves as a Fireteam Leader where he has been since April 2022.
Throughout his time here, he has shown a very strong passion for our unit, dedication, patriotism, valor, fidelity, and professional excellence. He shows these while leading a combat Fireteam but also shows excellence in several DMOSs (CID/ BMO/FIG) where he serves as an Uniform Updater and Multimedia Illustrator in our Combat Imaging & Documentation, Roster Maintenance Specialist in our Base Maintenance Office and he serves as a Drill Instructor within our Force Improvement Group. Given these qualities, his demonstrated leadership potential, and dedicated service, Corporal Erik Babol been awarded the Soldiers Medal and selected as this Soldier of the Quarter.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Erik Babol, 29 years old, and is born and raised in the archipelagic country of the Philippines. I am a Head Country Manager of Corporate Training for a US company who have outsourced their operations here in the Philippines. That means, I come and work in the office at night and go home in the morning to match the US hours. This setup fortunately enables me to participate in the 3rd Infantry Division’s squad drills on Saturdays and FTX/Patrol/Operations during Sundays.
I am a MILSIM (Military Simulation) and LEORP (Law Enforcement Role-Play) enthusiast. I usually play with games that have modified role-play servers such as Arma 3, GTA San Andreas, & GTA V and even Gary’s mod at some point back in the days. As long as it involves a whitelisted server with serious, good quality role-play, whatever the concept may be, count me in.
Outside the realm of MILSIM’s, LEORP’s and RP’s in general, I usually play games that enables you to use tactical realism, both on PC and Virtual Reality. I have nothing against arcade shooters, I think the genre is cool especially if you want to feel like John Wick. But, that’s just not my cup of tea.
You will, however, see me playing Battlefield and Call of Duty occasionally. But that’s just to cleanse my palate. *wink*😉 (we all want to feel like John Wick and go in with guns blazing every once in a while)
Why did you join 3rdID and what keeps you here?
I joined the 3rd Infantry Division for its professionalism, realism, and tactical ability to coordinate and accomplish a mission with numerous soldiers assigned on different squads, working together towards the same goal. The ability of achieving an objective on your own is good, but accomplishing a goal through good teamwork is what we, the 3rd Infantry Division is all about and with that, along with our great leaders and the awesome and diverse group of people within the unit who some, I have the pleasure of becoming friends with over time, is what keeps me looking forward to my every weekend here in the unit.
Any favorite/funny/memorable moment throughout your whole time in the unit?
Rolling out with a squad your assigned to always guarantee both a memorable and funny experience at some point over the period of time that you are working together. It’s just a matter of “When”.
Personally, the most memorable and funny experience I ever had in the unit was when I was rolling out with 4th Squad Phoenix during FTX “Yellow Carrot” in Poland. The convoy was headed out to a little town where we intended to have our platoon information briefing. The convoy was flawless, and everything was done perfectly. Once we arrived at the dismount area, 4th Squad Phoenix tried to dismount all at once and with that, the Stryker ramp opened and collided with something on the ground which Arma 3 Physics didn’t like. The Arma physics then decided that our Stryker together with the whole Phoenix squad that was half way through the process of dismounting are more suited to be airborne.
The good news? We were able to dismount without any problem. The bad news? Well, we just dismounted at a few hundred feet in the air hurtling towards the ground. One second we were all shouting and laughing, then after a split second, splat. Radio silence from 4th Squad Phoenix.
I’m just glad that we have great medical personnel that provided aid and it seemed that the “God of thunder” was on our side that day. Our Stryker on the other hand, didn’t get too lucky.
Any advice to give to your fellow soldiers?
This advice that I’m about to give is not bound by what we do in the unit. This advice is a principle that everyone could follow in our daily lives, no matter who you are, what you do, or where you are.
“Always do your best, with everything that you do”. If you are about to do something in your life, and you (pardon my French) “half-ass” it, better not do it at all. Save your time and effort towards the things that you would really want to do which you truly care about.
The human life span is too short to waste. Make sure you spend your time towards what you are passionate about and strive to be the best at it.
What army value is the most important to you and why?
Personally, I see every single Army value equally important. Missing one of the 7 Army values would cripple the entire objective on what all the Army values are trying to achieve.
With that, if I had to choose one as the most important Army value among the 7, I would choose “Respect”.
Without respect towards yourself or others, you wouldn’t be able to achieve what the other Army values are trying to achieve.
Loyalty, Duty and Selfless Service are only achievable if you have respect towards the cause, obligation, and responsibility that you are committed to, while Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage are only obtained if you have a deep sense of self-respect.
Without the sense of respect, you will lose the core element of what sets you apart from other living beings that exists on this planet.
Respect is the first thing you are taught at home, at school, and in life. The reason behind this, is that everything starts with respect before you could proceed in everything that you do.
What motivates you?
Motivations are based on one’s perspective depending on what subject of the motivation is derived from.
My motivation to get out of bed is from the smell of the home-cooked meal my fiancée makes. The great conversation that I would have with her while sharing the semi burnt bacon and eggs, that for some reason she just couldn’t get right. *chuckle*
My motivation to work better is for me to excel on my career by doing the best I can and when the weekend comes around, I’m motivated to get up from my warm comfy bed late at night to slip on my combat boots, put my vest on, pickup that M4 rifle and roll out with my Squad.
You can’t be motivated to do something that you do not want to do yourself and therefore my motivation is derived from the things that I truly care about while taking on life one step at a time.
Any valuable lessons you have learned while being in the unit?
I have learned and am continuously learning a lot of things both in a technical and a personal aspect through my tenure in the 3rd Infantry Division.
It’s surprising how a group of diverse people, living in different parts of the world could make you realize things that you never thought would happen.
I have learned that you can form a genuine friendship towards people that are thousands of miles apart from you. I used to always think that friendships are bound by a distance factor where you cannot build an authentic bond if you do not physically interact with the other being.
The 3rd Infantry Division has made me realize and taught me that friendships can be formed no matter where you are in the world. What really matters, is the sense of unity and comradeship that you get from one another.