New recruits sample Army, Cav life
May 26, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - When Yoe High School senior, Joshua Pruitt, a new Army recruit, enlisted last year, he only had a small idea of what Army life might be like before heading off to basic training.
Recruiters from the Temple Army Recruiting Station, Temple, Texas, could only share their individual experiences.
So, Capt. Gary Ward, Waco Army Recruiting Company commander, from Lebanon, Tenn., brought out more than 100 new recruits and gave them a small taste of what Army life is like when they toured here, May 7.
"If you want a 'future Soldier' to understand what the Army is about, you have to take them there," Ward said. "This visit motivates and encourages them and breaks fears or concerns for basic training."
Since the WARC covers an 31,000 square mile area from Copperas Cove to San Angelo, many of the new recruits don't get a chance to regularly visit Fort Hood. Ward, who has been stationed at Fort Hood before, decided to start the program in January.
Their tour started at the 1st Cavalry Division's Horse Cavalry Detachment, where the HCD demonstration team put on a show. From there, they got to go through barracks, a dining facility, a gym, and the Post Exchange.
One of the HCD's primary missions is to help Army recruiting efforts across the country. After the horsemanship demonstration, HCD troopers took the recruiters and their recruits on a tour of their facilities which included their leather and horse shoe shop.
Army Reservist Rashandra Harris, of Temple, Texas, was a Temple College student, and now does her once-a-month drills at Fort Hood. Yet, getting the chance to see the HCD demonstration team was both cool and enlightening.
"I think it's pretty neat," she said of the HCD tour. "I didn't even know it was out here."
Pruitt, of Cameron, Texas, who missed the first trip to Fort Hood due to transportation issues to his recruiting station, wasn't going to miss this trip.
"It's all been really fun," he said. "I just can't wait for the mess hall."
The HCD demonstration team wowed the crowd with their horsemanship skills, and they also sent the spectators with a view of how the modern Cavalry Soldiers conduct themselves in today's Army.
"We represent the most professional Soldier in the Army," said Sgt. 1st Class Dewan Godfrey, of Tomball, Texas. "We try to mirror the traditions of the original Cavalry Soldier. So, we have to be the best of the best."