GRAFENWOEHR, Germany (Army News Service, June 23, 2010) - Soldiers from the 172nd Infantry Brigade have been partnering with the Serbian Armed Forces here recently, helping to build allied partner capacity within Europe.

After completing the Warrior Leader Course, Soldiers from the Serbian Armed Forces embedded with the Soldiers of A Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, to observe daily operations as an noncommissioned officer.

"We tasked the three Soldiers to each of our line platoons so they could see the different jobs that our noncommissioned officers do on a day-to-day basis," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Rogers, headquarters platoon sergeant with the regiment.

The Serbian soldiers experienced the U.S. Army's way of life by stepping into the day-to-day operations in the maintenance section and participating in range operations. Here they were able to observe interactions between Soldiers and NCOs.

"My Soldiers and I observed the different procedures in certain situations that the NCOs here use, as well as how well the NCOs worked with their Soldiers," said Sgt. 1st Class Ivan Milojkovic, counter-terrorist with Serbian special operations.

While embedded with the Soldiers of A Co., the Serbian Soldiers participated in NCO-led classes; physical fitness training; urban operations; Bradley crew drills; and disassembling, assembling and shooting the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

"I learned a lot about how the NCOs worked with their Soldiers while I was here," said Staff Sgt. Boro Borcic, a counter-terrorist paratrooper with the Serbs.

"The structure is different here from my battalion," he said. "For example there isn't a separation of the NCOs and officers as there is here. A second lieutenant in our battalion acts as a first sergeant does here."

The Serbians were not the only ones to benefit from the combined training.

"This is the first time our company has ever worked with Serbian soldiers," said Sgt. Anthony Woods. "It was a great experience having them here working with us, and it helped us build a better relationship with the Serbian Soldiers."

Mirroring this sentiment, the Serbian soldiers believed that they had benefitted from the cross-training experience.

"The overall experience here was a great experience and a great honor," said Milojkovic, from Smederevo, Serbia. "I have learned a great deal that I can pass on to my Soldiers in Serbia, and I would be more than happy to come back to learn more from these NCOs."

(Spc. Bethany L. Little serves with 172nd Infantry Brigade Public Affairs.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16