Sailors Get A Close Look At Marne Life
April 15, 2009
<b> FORT STEWART, Ga </b> --An Army lieutenant colonel and a Navy captain sit over a hot cup of coffee during a break from training at Joint Forces Staff College. As they sip, they laugh, joke, and talk about their careers.
The officers' conversation takes an interesting turn as they began to ponder how great it would be to stay in touch after training at the college and implement a plan to have their Soldiers and Sailors visit each other's working area periodically, educating both sets of troops jointly.
Eighteen months since that conversation, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division commander, Lt. Col. Clark Lindner watched as he and his friend's plan thrived.
April 8, Lindner and 3/7 Cav. Soldiers hosted Navy Sailors from USS Georgia from King's Bay, Ga. at Fort Stewart, showing them what it means to be a Soldier.
The Sailors began their day with a brief 3/7 Cav. history lesson from Lindner, soon followed by a visit to 3/7Cav.'s motor pool.
There, Soldiers showed Sailors a static display consisting of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a humvee, and a mortar track carrier.
"The tanks are just really cool," said Petty Officer 2nd Class, Ryan Renfro. "When I climbed inside one of them and saw how confined the inside of them were, I looked at the submarines we used in a whole different light. I used to think they were small but now I see that Soldiers have even less space to move around in," he added.
A trip to Fort Stewart Museum where winner of 2nd BCT's Best Officer Competition, 2nd Lt. Robert Brooks, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3/7 Cav. gave the Navy men a tour and also briefed them on 3rd ID's extensive history.
"I remember watching Sadaam Hussein's regime crumble to the ground on television," said Renfro. "When I saw that pieces of his statue and his weapons were here, that was totally amazing," he said after his visit to the museum.
Chaplain (Capt.) Hal Barker, 3/7 Cav chaplain, and his assistant, Sgt. Douglas Johnson, lead the Sailors down Warrior's Walk, a memorial site for all Marne Soldiers that have given their lives in combat during the Iraqi wars.
Johnson told very detailed stories about some of the fallen Soldiers whom he had worked closely with.
"I got here early, around 9 a.m. because I wanted to recollect all the memories I had with these Soldiers so I could fully give the Sailors an understanding of what Warrior's Walk truly represents," said Johnson. "I let them know that I held a lot of these Soldiers' hands as they slipped away and died."
The Sailors showed compassion as they walked through the memorial site and were truly moved, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class William Akin, USS Georgia.
"I think that pretty much all of us were moved by Warrior's Walk," Akin said. "The reason for this site says a lot about this post and the Army; you all truly never forget and appreciate the sacrifice made by the Soldiers honored at the site and as their legacy," said Akin.
3/7 Cav Soldiers gave Sailors an even better glance at a Soldiers' duty and roles when they took them to visit the Electronic Simulated Training and the Red Cloud Range complex. Sailors practiced firing the simulated weapons at the EST, and got up-close views of the Bradley being fired out at the open ranges.
"Getting to ride in the Bradley while they were live firing was definitely awesome but I thought the simulated system was phenomenal," said Akin. "Being able to track a shooter that close is amazing; coaching an inexperienced shooter into an expert rifleman should be a very easy task with this system," he added.
The Soldiers and Sailors ended their day with time to reflect and mingle among themselves over refreshments at 3/7 Cav. headquarters.
Lindner said he was happy to see the day end successfully.
"Events like this exemplify the fact that while professional rivalry is healthy, it is one team, one fight at all times. To be able to see what your brother and sister services bring to the table is vital," said Lindner.