Exactly 10 years ago, we launched OklahomIraqis.com and a new era of the OIL was born. As a league, we were approaching our fifth season, and "The OIL" wasn't yet in our vocabulary. It was either the OklahomIraqis League or just "the league," not that either name was uttered much in the offseason. So it isn't a coincidence that I started this site that offseason, just one month before I was scheduled to leave the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Leaving the 158 meant I would no longer see the guys at least once a month, and this site was the first step to keep up the communication outside of football season. I think it's been a success.
And the launch of the website was the catalyst for what the OIL is today. To see how different things were then, just look at the first OIL logo and first blog post:
While typing in oklahomiraqis.com will still get you here, the site has changed exponentially. It averages over 1,600 unique visitors per week during the offseason and has grown from about a dozen pages to well over 100. The logo has evolved while remaining true to its roots, and the team names and logos have improved dramatically.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the cooperation of the league members, as begrudging it is at times. Thanks for all the help over the years.
On this 10th anniversary of the league website, what are your favorite additions? What would you like to see moving forward?
With COVID-19 canceling March Madness, we've got to do something to pass the time until the NFL draft. Beginning now, we'll host matchups of your favorite OIL helmets on our Twitter feed. You may follow the results below. The matchups begin between Week 13 rivals, with one set of rivals randomly receiving a bye in each conference.
This is a little late, but it's important. Our SECFOR brothers lost another one. On February 19, 2020, Aaron Helton died in Duncan. Helton was on the 2005-2006 mission and the 2008-2009 Ramadi deployment. At least 20 158th brothers were at Helton's funeral, and he received full military honors.
Helton lives on in the OIL through the Hard Targets, whose logo is based on the former First Platoon Hard Target. Rest in peace, brother.
OKLAHOMA CITY — 2020 marks 15 years since the 1st Battalion 158th Field Artillery regiment deployed to Iraq on the SECFOR mission; it is also the 15th season of the OIL. To commemorate the occasion, the OIL Tuesday unveiled a new logo to be worn for the 2020 season.
The 15th season logo draws on the league's heritage by taking the form of a challenge coin, using stenciled font, and displaying the 1st Battalion 158th Field Artillery unit motto — Unusual Efforts Expended — in Latin. Of course, the logo incorporates the now-familiar OIL logo that has been around since 2015, and the color scheme mirrors that of our flagship logo.
The OIL logo has changed quite a bit since the website was first launched In March 2010. Back then, the commissioner's design skills consisted of finding a photograph of a football and superimposing text and a crude Iraq-inside-Oklahoma image on top of it. When the league ordered its first trophy from SculptureAlley.net, it was told the logo was simultaneously too simple to look good yet too complex for their engraver to replicate. Their art department designed a cleaner, more professional logo, which the OIL used until 2015. As the 10th anniversary approached, the logo was simplified once again, resulting in the current iteration.