Dignity and Respect Stand Down

Sgt. Erik A. Thurman

11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

Public Affairs

Soldiers from across Fort Irwin braved unseasonably low-temperatures, wind and rain to come together for a Nov. 22, Post-wide run to showcase a day of Dignity and Respect Stand Down training aimed at combating a range of offenses inconsistent with the Army Values.

Soldiers from across Fort Irwin braved unseasonably low-temperatures, wind and rain to come together for a Nov. 22, Post-wide run to showcase a day of Dignity and Respect Stand Down training aimed at combating a range of offenses inconsistent with the Army Values.

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Soldiers from across Fort Irwin braved unseasonably low-temperatures, wind and rain to come together for a Nov. 22, Post-wide run to showcase a day of Dignity and Respect Stand Down training aimed at combating a range of offenses inconsistent with the Army Values.

All units of Fort Irwin turned out for the run that began before sunrise. As their formations took to the streets, cadence echoed throughout the installation, reminding residents or passersby of the esprit de corps that exists in the ranks. However, there is an unfortunate reality that there are individuals who will fail to live up to the Army Values. It is for that reason that units halted normal day-to-day operations to discuss the importance of treating all Soldiers with dignity and respect – and that deviation from the Army Values will not be tolerated.

Troopers of the Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment participate is small group classes on topics such as SHARP training (Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program), how to overcome simply being a bystander in such situations, understanding the consequences of engaging in improper relationships and the crime and punishment associated with each of them, Nov. 22, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Troopers of the Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment participate is small group classes on topics such as SHARP training (Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program), how to overcome simply being a bystander in such situations, understanding the consequences of engaging in improper relationships and the crime and punishment associated with each of them, Nov. 22, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Following the run, units returned to their footprints where they broke into small groups. Each group received classes on a wide range of topics such as SHARP training (Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program), how to overcome simply being a bystander in such situations, understanding the consequences of engaging in improper relationships and the crime and punishment associated with each of them.

Troopers of the Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment participate is small group classes on topics such as SHARP training (Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program), how to overcome simply being a bystander in such situations, understanding the consequences of engaging in improper relationships and the crime and punishment associated with each of them, Nov. 22, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Troopers of the Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment participate is small group classes on topics such as SHARP training (Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program), how to overcome simply being a bystander in such situations, understanding the consequences of engaging in improper relationships and the crime and punishment associated with each of them, Nov. 22, Fort Irwin, Calif.

“I liked that we were in smaller groups,” said Spc. Veronica T. Davis, a supply clerk assigned to Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “It gave us more of a chance to ask questions. Davis said that when she first joined the Army she felt that she may have been too frightened to tell someone if she were a victim of sexual harassment or even sexual assault but the more time she has spent in the Army the more she feels differently. “Nowadays, with all of the training the Army does, I think Soldiers can be braver with coming forward,” Davis said.

“If we learn how to have respect for one-another and we learn ways of preventing sexual assault or sexual harassment then I feel like we have an opportunity to cut down on those things taking place. The only way that we are going to do that is by having classes, by sitting down in small groups,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lee Wright, of Operations Group, National Training Center, Fort Irwin, one of the instructors for the Dignity and Respect Stand-Down Training. “Today we conducted role-playing scenarios. I think this kind of role playing gives a person the opportunity to sit back and look at some of these types of situations and see where they could have a chance to intervene,” Wright said.

“The Dignity and respect Stand-Down is important not just for a single day but for what we should be thinking about every day,” said Capt. Dustin Deperro, a Rotational Planner from RHHT, 11th ACR. “The Stand-Down is important in particular because we all need to take the time to re-center our organizational understanding and make sure everyone is on the same page about what we are not ever going to tolerate in the Army when it comes to sexual harassment and predatory behavior or inappropriate relationships such as fraternization,” Deperro said.

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention and Response Program (SHARP) is an ongoing effort to address instances before they occur, educate victims on where help is available and to let perpetrators know that if they commit such crimes, they will be prosecuted. More importantly, the SHARP program is about prevention and cultivating an environment where every Soldier has not only the power to act but the responsibility to do so. By coming together as a team, it reinforces that Soldiers all stand together to as a team to combat the behaviors inconsistent with the Army Values and give Soldiers the tools they need to be Desert Strong.

Military Connection and Resource Center with Team Depot Renovates Outreach Center

Story and photos by Sgt. Erik A. Thurman

A Sept. 28 ribbon cutting ceremony at Barstow’s Military Connection and Resource Center, celebrated renovations made by volunteers from area Home Depot stores that greatly improved the buildings condition and enhanced the services provided there. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erik A. Thurman)

A Sept. 28 ribbon cutting ceremony at Barstow’s Military Connection and Resource Center, celebrated renovations made by volunteers from area Home Depot stores that greatly improved the buildings condition and enhanced the services provided there. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erik A. Thurman)

Families of Fallen Servicemembers gather together at the newly renovated Military Connection and Resource Center to place photos of their loved ones who have served and passed on, following a Sept. 28 ribbon cutting ceremony, there. Renovations were made by volunteers from area Home Depot stores that greatly improved the buildings condition and enhanced the services provided there as well as constructed the Memorial Hall for the Fallen. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erik A. Thurman)

Families of Fallen Servicemembers gather together at the newly renovated Military Connection and Resource Center to place photos of their loved ones who have served and passed on, following a Sept. 28 ribbon cutting ceremony, there. Renovations were made by volunteers from area Home Depot stores that greatly improved the buildings condition and enhanced the services provided there as well as constructed the Memorial Hall for the Fallen. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erik A. Thurman)

Barstow, Calif. – A Sept. 28 ribbon cutting ceremony at Barstow’s Military Connection and Resource Center, celebrated renovations made by volunteers from area Home Depot stores that greatly improved the buildings condition and enhanced the services provided there.

Colonel Jonathan P. Braga, Fort Irwin Garrison Commander, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Dale J. Perez, participated in the ceremony along with Military Connection and Resource Center staff and members of Team Depot, a group of Home Depot employees who volunteered their time and expertise to renovate the building.

Cheers erupted as the cut ribbon unfurled to the ground. Col. Braga and Command Sgt. Maj. Perez then escorted Family members who have lost loved ones who served, into the building and led them to a room set aside to honor the fallen. There, Family members placed pictures of their fallen Servicemembers on a shelf where they will be honored.

The term Military Service, often evokes images of aircraft carriers, army tanks or people marching in rank and file. But for people who have been there and done it, it is much more. They know that lives are affected. They know that Family members whose loved ones are serving far from home and Servicemembers who recently separated from service as well as Families of fallen Servicemembers – all have one thing in common. They all need to know they are not alone.

That’s where the Military Connection and Resource Center comes in. It’s a small converted home in Barstow, Calif. that has been converted to a series of small offices and is the only one of its kind to provide such services in the state of California. The center gives support to Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families – and makes it their mission to let them know they are never alone.

20130918-A-GA843-007

Before the renovation, the outside of the building appeared small and unassuming. It is also an old building that over the years had aged and aged until it’s once warm-feel faded with time to a more industrialized office look. Much of its paint had peeled like an orange left too long in the sun. The furniture too, had done decades worth of duty. But it has been a place where people who have been part of the Military life could go for more than twenty-years; for financial assistance, help with finding employment or grief counseling after a loved one has passed.

Over the past two decades, little attention and little funding have existed to give the building its much needed facelift. So, Lori Picard, a survivors outreach services coordinator with the Military Connection and Resource Center began phoning-up area businesses, hoping to find donations and supplies which companies might be willing to give that could be used for the much needed repairs. One such call was to a Barstow Home Depot store, in Southern Calif.

20130918-A-GA843-005

20130918-A-GA843-006

Before the renovation, the outside of the building appeared small and unassuming. It is also an old building that over the years had aged and aged until it’s once warm-feel faded with time to a more industrialized office look. Much of its paint had peeled like an orange left too long in the sun. The furniture too, had done decades worth of duty. But it has been a place where people who have been part of the Military life could go for more than twenty-years; for financial assistance, help with finding employment or grief counseling after a loved one has passed.

Over the past two decades, little attention and little funding have existed to give the building its much needed facelift. So, Lori Picard, a survivors outreach services coordinator with the Military Connection and Resource Center began phoning-up area businesses, hoping to find donations and supplies which companies might be willing to give that could be used for the much needed repairs. One such call was to a Barstow Home Depot store, in Southern Calif..

Before the renovation, the outside of the building appeared small and unassuming. It is also an old building that over the years had aged and aged until it’s once warm-feel faded with time to a more industrialized office look. Much of its paint had peeled like an orange left too long in the sun. The furniture too, had done decades worth of duty. But it has been a place where people who have been part of the Military life could go for more than twenty-years; for financial assistance, help with finding employment or grief counseling after a loved one has passed.

Over the past two decades, little attention and little funding have existed to give the building its much needed facelift. So, Lori Picard, a survivors outreach services coordinator with the Military Connection and Resource Center began phoning-up area businesses, hoping to find donations and supplies which companies might be willing to give that could be used for the much needed repairs. One such call was to a Barstow Home Depot store, in Southern Calif..

“As an Army veteran, I know personally how difficult it can be for Veterans and Families to return successfully to civilian life after serving,” said Fred Wacker, Director and Chief Operating Officer of The Home Depot Foundation. “We are not only honored to repair and refurbish Ft. Irwin’s Barstow Survivors Outreach Center where Veterans and Veterans’ Families receive services, but also to have an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to these Families for their sacrifice.”

The morning of Sept. 18, the sounds of hammers, spinning drills and sweeping brooms filled the air of the aged Center. Team Depot volunteers filed in and out of the building; carrying supplies and tools. As the morning grew toward noon, the temperature rose but spirits remained high. The sounds of jokes and laughter accentuated the humming of power tools and the banging of hammers which almost masked the reality that individuals were hard at work. But it was spirited work, aimed at placing community above personal wants or needs.
Team Depot members, some veterans themselves – jumped at the chance to provide the Resource Center with the supplies and labor needed to make the home what they felt it deserved to be.

“In 2011, Home Depot made a commitment to put $80M toward Veteran’s homes and services to help make their living better,” said Sherri Morris, Project Foreman for Team Depot Store ‘6972’ in Barstow, Calif. “…and this is just another facet of that.”

Morris explained that the project that drives Home Depot is known as “Celebration of Service,” she said, an annual program which enables store employees to make a difference in the lives of Veterans and their Families. She says that since the program began it has given $52M in programs to projects like the Military Connection and Resource Center in Barstow.

“I am ecstatic that Team Depot cares this much about the military and their Families,” said Lori Picard. “They are beautifying our building. This building was donated to us in 1992 and really it has had no attention since then.”

20130928-A-GA843-004

Picard explained that the renovations were well overdue. “They are going to make this building look beautiful so that it will honor our fallen,” she said.

Team Depot provided paint, new lights, landscaping, and more. A room was also renovated and designed to display photos of Servicemembers who have passed-on which were provided by their Families.

“It was a promise to the Soldiers that if something was to happen to them, we would always support their Families. And one of the biggest things is that Families do not want their loved ones to be forgotten and that’s what I am trying to accomplish here. We are going to have them on that wall for life. We will never forget them,” Picard said.

20130928-A-GA843-005

20130928-A-GA843-011

20130928-A-GA843-006

Supporting Education and Our Future: A Fort Irwin Tradition

Students of the Fort Irwin Middle School smile as they review their schedules in preparation for their first day back, on Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug. 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E. James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Students of the Fort Irwin Middle School smile as they review their schedules in preparation for their first day back, on Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug. 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E. James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Col. Jonathan P. Braga, Garrison Commander of Fort Irwin, Calif., says a fond farewell to his children at the Fort Irwin Middle School on Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E.James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Col. Jonathan P. Braga, Garrison Commander of Fort Irwin, Calif., says a fond farewell to his children at the Fort Irwin Middle School on Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E.James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Mr. Mike Sullivan (Right), Principle of Fort Irwin Middle School, shakes hands with Lt. Col. Frederick R. Snyder (Right), 1st Squadron Commander, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, to reaffirm the school sponsorship program. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E. James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Mr. Mike Sullivan (Right), Principle of Fort Irwin Middle School, shakes hands with Lt. Col. Frederick R. Snyder (Right), 1st Squadron Commander, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, to reaffirm the school sponsorship program. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nickalus E. James, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment)

Story by Spc. David N. Beckstrom

Photos by Sgt. Nickalus E. James

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – The end of summer can be marked by children returning to school. This transition can be tough and even a little scary, but on Aug. 8, the Troopers of 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment assisted in this transition for the children of the Fort Irwin Middle School, here, on post.

            The 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment has a sponsorship program with the middle school in which 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment helps the children and the community by participating with the school throughout the year.

            “We came here to help the students find their classes for the first day of school,” said Spc. Jim A. Encinas, a Trooper assigned to I Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “This shows Fort Irwin that we are here to help and support the community.”

            Being part of a military family can be difficult at times due to deployments, rotations, or permanent change-of-station moves. The sponsorship program helps children cope with these difficulties by showing support.

            “I think that the unique thing about living on a military base is that all of the students are members of a military family,” said Lt. Col. Frederick R. Snyder, 1st Squadron Commander, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “This is why we are out here trying to ease the stresses of the first day of school.”

            Lt. Col. Snyder along with Fort Irwin Middle School Principle Mike Sullivan signed a document to reaffirm the sponsorship program between the two. The program aims at setting children up for success, but is also geared toward helping the parents understand how important they are in their child’s future.

            “Prior to today, I talked with my children about how important it is to pay attention in school and to gain the knowledge which the teachers will pass on, which will enable them to continue in their academic careers,” said Master Sgt. Monroe Ili, S-2 Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

          Fort Irwin is steeped in tradition and as time goes on, new activities become new traditions. The school sponsorship program is now one of those traditions. This support shows each child that the Soldiers and Troopers of Fort Irwin care about their success and are invested in the future of each student.

Cooks Keep Soldiers Ready for the Fight

Sgt. Brad H. Collier, a kitchen supervisor assigned to the 777th Forward Support Company, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, slices through a rack of ribs to prepare them for the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Sgt. Brad H. Collier, a kitchen supervisor assigned to the 777th Forward Support Company, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, slices through a rack of ribs to prepare them for the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Sgt. Brad H. Collier, a kitchen supervisor assigned to the 777th Forward Support Troop, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, removes a rack of ribs from the oven to prepare them for the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Sgt. Brad H. Collier, a kitchen supervisor assigned to the 777th Forward Support Troop, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, removes a rack of ribs from the oven to prepare them for the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Spc. Aaron C. Lewis, a cook assigned to the 777th Forward Support Company, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, prepares a rack of ribs prior to the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Spc. Aaron C. Lewis, a cook assigned to the 777th Forward Support Company, 1st Squadron, 221st Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Nevada National Guard unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, prepares a rack of ribs prior to the dinner rush on Fort Irwin, Calif., 25 July. His unit is charged with providing two hot meals a day for the Troopers assigned to the 1-221 CAV during their two-week training.

Story by Cpt. Chad E. Cooper
Photos by Spc. David N. Beckstrom
FORT IRWIN, Calif.–As the trucks roll in from the field, the smell of freshly cooked ribs greet the dusty Soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry Regiment, the National Guard unit, stationed out of Las Vegas, Nev., attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. While, looking forward to the hot meal, they quickly wash and line up for chow. The cooks are there to meet them, serving rib, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and peas.
Although the conditions may sound like a nightmare, cooking in the 105 degree heat of the Mojave Desert, the cooks assigned to the 1-221 CAV, answer the challenge twice a day for the entire two week rotation at the National Training Center, here on Fort Irwin, Calif.

“It can be very challenging to meet the needs of so many Troopers, but we all love our job and I wouldn’t want to do any other job in the military,” said Spc. Aaron C. Lewis, a cook assigned to the 777th Forward Support Troop, 1-221 CAV. Spc. Lewis is a member of a 10-Soldier team known as the Field Feeding Team.
A typical day for the FFT starts before most Troopers wake up and ends after everyone has turned in for the night. On average the 1-221CAVs FFT work 17-hour days and are responsible for prepping, cooking and distributing over 2,000 pounds of food, across the Squadron in a single day by preparing meals for over 550 National Guard Troopers.
“Other Soldiers think we have it easy, but it is really rather tough,” said Sgt. 1st Class Luis Alvarez, the head cook currently assigned to the 1-221 FST. “It’s a lot of work that some Soldiers learn to appreciate and grow to love the daily challenges which this job brings.”

Although cooks are often overlooked as an important part in combat operations Sgt. 1st Class Alvarez said most Troopers would agree that without food even the strongest Army would fail.

As important as their ability to cook is to the mission, it’s not the only thing that Army cooks contribute to the fight.

In addition to their responsibilities behind the grill, cooks set up hand washing stations, manage trash bins, and are trained in advanced field sanitation operations.

Field sanitation teams provide beneficial and complimentary service to the FFT and provide a clean environment for the cooks – something Sgt Brad H. Collier, a kitchen supervisor with 777 FST, 1-221 CAV, says is more important than the actual taste of the food.

“Soldiers don’t realize that we actually do a lot more than just cook,” said Spc. Lewis. “We try our best to make sure the Soldiers are happy and they are given the highest quality of sanitation possible so we don’t have Soldiers getting sick.”
Sgt. 1st Class Alvarez said that things can get difficult sometimes trying to balance so many different responsibilities, but that he wouldn’t trade it for the world.

1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry is currently Nevada’s only combat arms unit. In 1995, the battalion was officially aligned as a round-out to the renowned 11 Armored Cavalry Regiment. In 1997, the National Guard Bureau redesigned the unit as the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry. This new designation reflects the Cavalry mission and heritage of the unit.

Getting back to basics

 

Sgt. Erik E. Rodriguez, a squad leader in A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires his M-4 Carbine while zeroing his iron sights on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. He is polishing his marksmanship skills by remembering to use proper sight picture and stable posture as well as control his breathing and trigger squeeze. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Sgt. Erik E. Rodriguez, a squad leader in A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires his M-4 Carbine while zeroing his iron sights on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. He is polishing his marksmanship skills by remembering to use proper sight picture and stable posture as well as control his breathing and trigger squeeze. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Story and photos by Spc. David N. Beckstrom

 

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Trigger squeeze, breath control, steady position and a consistent sight picture are the cornerstones of marksmanship. The ability to master these skills allow Troopers to be proficient in a battle zone environment.

            Getting back to these basic tasks is what Troopers with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment were doing on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. They were ensuring their Troopers understood the basics of marksmanship by teaching them how to effectively fire their M4 Carbines.

            “We prepare out Troopers by teaching them how to properly use their front and rear sight posts,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gersain Garcia, the range Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge and a Platoon Sergeant with A Troop, 1/11 ACR. “This teaches them to rely on the capabilities of their weapon.”

            The Army has teaching guidelines in place for each Trooper. Dime Drills are one of these teaching aids. The instructor balances a small coin at the end of the Troopers barrel and then the Trooper must dry fire their weapon without the coin falling off.

Sgt. Erik E. Rodriquez, a squad leader with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, checks his shot group while at a range on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. He is verifying that his iron sights on his M4 Carbine are properly aligned for his firing stance. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Sgt. Erik E. Rodriquez, a squad leader with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, checks his shot group while at a range on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. He is verifying that his iron sights on his M4 Carbine are properly aligned for his firing stance. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

            “When I first came out to the range and tried to zero my weapon, I didn’t hold it very tight, so I was wobbly,” said Spc. Daniel S. Noffsinger, a Trooper with A Troop, 1/11 ACR. “The Dime Drills have forced me to remember the basics of shooting, where I hold my weapon tight, control my breathing and trigger squeeze as well.”

            The skills of marksmanship can fade with time. By continuously practicing and refining these skills, the can become second nature to the Trooper.

            “Shooting is a skill that if not practiced and polished, people start to lose,” said Sgt. Erik E. Rodriguez, a squad leader in A Troop, 1/11 ACR. “My Troopers are getting the time they need to polish these skills so the will be a natural reaction for the Trooper in a real world experience.”

            Returning to the basics of marksmanship allow Troopers within the Regiment to shoot consistently time and time again. The ability to place rounds accurately, whether it is at a range or in a deployed environment, is what gives the Regiment the ability to be the best opposing force in the world.

Spc. Daniel S. Noffsinger, a Trooper with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, focuses on the fundamentals of marksmanship by participating in Dime Drills on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. An instructor places a small coin at the end of the Troopers barrel, then the Trooper must dry fire his weapon without the coin falling off. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Spc. Daniel S. Noffsinger, a Trooper with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, focuses on the fundamentals of marksmanship by participating in Dime Drills on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 29. An instructor places a small coin at the end of the Troopers barrel, then the Trooper must dry fire his weapon without the coin falling off. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

 

How to save a life

Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, practice moving a casualty as part of a Combat Lifesaver Certification Course at Fort Irwin, Calif., May 16. The main goal of CLS training is not for every Soldier to be a medic, but rather give them all the tools needed to keep a patient alive until a medic can arrive. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs/ Released)

Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, practice moving a casualty as part of a Combat Lifesaver Certification Course at Fort Irwin, Calif., May 16. The main goal of CLS training is not for every Soldier to be a medic, but rather give them all the tools needed to keep a patient alive until a medic can arrive. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs/ Released)

Story by Sgt. Anthony J. Lecours

FORT IRWIN, Calif.–Major hemorrhaging is the leading cause of preventable death on the battlefield. This occurs when a Soldier suffers a devastating wound and dies from the corresponding blood loss. The Army has sought to prevent this and other preventable deaths by making every Soldier on the battlefield a potential combat life saver.

Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment attend a combat life saver course in order to better understand the techniques required to save a life. This certification exercise is a yearly training requirement aimed at teaching the Troopers how to perform first aid even while under enemy fire.

“There are a lot of deaths in and out of combat that are easily preventable with the proper training,” said Spc. Crystal Camden, a medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “We are teaching our Troopers the same techniques that would be needed in an emergency situation. You can’t always count on a medic being there; sometimes your battle buddy is your best and only shot for survival.”

The Troopers are taught not only how to treat the wounds, but more importantly when to treat the wounds. In combat, the fight doesn’t stop just because a casualty is sustained. It is very important for Troopers to know when to suppress fire, apply self aid, apply buddy aid, or evacuate the wounded.

“We got to think about the best way to serve the wounded,” said Pfc. Alexander J. Whalen, a Tanker with G Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “Sometimes that means we need to return enemy fire to prevent them from getting wounded again. It really isn’t something I would have thought about until I went through this course. Care in a combat environment is a whole different ball game. ”

IMG_0249

The Troopers also learned how to evaluate a casualty. This allows them to more accurately tell a medic the injuries that need to be treated and in what priority. The main goal of CLS training is not for every Soldier to be a medic, but rather give them all the tools needed to keep a patient alive until a medic can arrive.

“For me the course has a bit to do with confidence, knowing that someone’s life may be in my hands is a scary thought,” said Pvt. Mustafa N. Rashid, a Tanker with G Troop. “Between reading the book and doing the practical exercises, I feel I now have the training and understanding to do what is necessary to provide the proper care in the event I need to.”

There are numerous combat veterans today who owe their lives to this training. It has been used on and off the battlefield to help aid the wounded. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment holds these classes because each and every one of its Troopers is not only a valuable resource, but a friend and part of the Blackhorse Family. Any training that can possibly save a life, is training worth having.

IMG_0260

Passing of knowledge between two opposing forces

Story and photos by Spc. David N. Beckstrom

Sgt. Richard A. Wallace, a Master Gunner with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, is timing a Soldier from Operations Group's Dragon Team in checking high explosive round quality on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15. This training is part of the Bradley Gunnery Skills Test, which is an annual certification. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Sgt. Richard A. Wallace, a Master Gunner with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, is timing a Soldier from Operations Group’s Dragon Team in checking high explosive round quality on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15. This training is part of the Bradley Gunnery Skills Test, which is an annual certification. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

 

FORT IRWIN, Calif. –The passing of institutional knowledge from one Soldier to another has been the tradition of the U.S. Army since its creation in 1775. In an effort to maintain the highest standard of common core skills in the infantry, master gunners from the Regiment advise and assist Operations Group’s Dragon Team in order for them to pass this knowledge on and help them accomplish their annual Bradley Gunnery Skills Test.

            “The Regiment is allowing my Soldiers, most of whom are strait out of Basic training, to come out here and get the training they need to be successful in their chosen fields,” said Master Sgt. Joseph G. Beaker, the Non-commissioned Officer-in-Charge of Ops Group’s Dragon Team and Master Gunner. He is able to use the experience of the Regiment to better train his Soldiers. “The partnership has produced great results and I hope it continues to thrive.”

            Troopers with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment assist, as part of an ongoing partnership, between the Regiment and Ops Group; in order to better train Soldiers in their job related skills. The BGST is an annual qualification which includes tasks and techniques of firing the 25mm Bushmaster machine gun and the M240C Coaxing machine gun.

A Soldier with Operations Group's Dragon Team links high explosive rounds on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15. This Soldier is partisipating in a Bradley Gunnery Skills Test, which is being supervised by Troopers with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, through a partnership between the Regiment and Ops Group. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

A Soldier with Operations Group’s Dragon Team links high explosive rounds on Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15. This Soldier is partisipating in a Bradley Gunnery Skills Test, which is being supervised by Troopers with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, through a partnership between the Regiment and Ops Group. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

            “We have the equipment needed for this training because we fight against the rotational units, where as Ops Group works as trainers for the units,” said Sgt. Richard A. Wallace, a Master Gunner with E Troop, 2/11 ACR. “Our partnership allows them to train their Soldiers and provides us an opportunity to learn alongside them.”

            Since the Regiment provides the Contemporary Operating Environment Force during rotations and Ops Group works directly with the training unit as Observers Controller Trainers, it is these rare occasions in which both teams operate together to accomplish the training on U.S. weapon systems. The BGST train up is used as a way to remind Troopers and Soldiers alike that both units are working towards the same objective, to maintain our Army’s best trained Soldiers.

            “Training like this reminds us that we are all on the same team and in one Army,” said Cpl. Joseph L Contreras, an Infantryman with E Troop, 2/11 ACR. “We pass our knowledge along by showing them what right looks like and then having them do it as well to ensure they are correct.”

Sgt. Richard A. Wallace, a Master Gunner with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, is timing Spc. Servando Chavezsanchez from the Operations Group's Dragon Team, load and unload high explosive rounds into a 25 mm Bushmaster machine gun on Fort Irwin, Calfi., May 15. This is one of the tasks within the Bradley Gunnery Skills Test which is an annual certification. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

Sgt. Richard A. Wallace, a Master Gunner with E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, is timing Spc. Servando Chavezsanchez from the Operations Group’s Dragon Team, load and unload high explosive rounds into a 25 mm Bushmaster machine gun on Fort Irwin, Calfi., May 15. This is one of the tasks within the Bradley Gunnery Skills Test which is an annual certification. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David N. Beckstrom, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs / Released)

The Regiment continues the traditions of passing institutional knowledge from one Soldier to another ensuring that the U.S. Army remains the best trained in the world. By passing on lessons learned and imparting the knowledge from seasoned veterans, it signifies that both the U.S. Army’s Opposing Force and Observers Controllers are still one team with one fight.