Cav Soldiers train at platoon level
March 23, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Developing platoon-level planning, resourcing and execution was the focus of the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment's two weeks of field training at Fort Carson beginning Feb. 28.
Emphasis was placed on platoon leadership, as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, unit planned and executed three scenarios simulating real-world situations, preparing officers and their Soldiers for future deployments.
In addition to receiving and planning their missions, the Soldiers reacted to an ever-changing tactical situation as planned routes proved difficult, communication became problematic and enemy forces were encountered.
This training exercise was the first time many of these Soldiers had worked together at the platoon level, having started team-level training in November and completing squad-level training in February. This was also the first time many of the junior leaders were able to lead their platoons out in the field, learning many valuable leadership lessons along the way.
"I can't do everything by myself," said 2nd Lt. Andrew Powell, Troop A platoon leader. "Just because I'm a platoon leader ... doesn't mean that I know how to do everything. My platoon's productivity will increase with my ability to delegate."
To enhance the realism of the training, difficult terrain was selected, often requiring arduous, multiple-hour foot marches.
Lt. Michael C. Moore, a Troop B platoon leader, said the training "provided a realistic training environment in terms of terrain and overall enemy situation that is similar to what we'll encounter when we deploy."
The training of young leaders in a realistic environment prepared the warriors for leadership in a combat zone. Despite the challenges of facing a clever enemy, daunting mountains and steep valleys, the Soldiers proved to be resilient, flexible, motivated and well-trained. As the squadron prepares for more difficult challenges, it will assuredly draw often from the lessons learned during this training.