USARIEM Soldiers look at military history
Sgt. Matt Dickson of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine mans an anti-aircraft gun aboard the USS Massachusetts during the Sept. 30 staff ride to Battleship Cove in Fall River, Mass.

FALL RIVER, Mass. -- As the saying goes, you can't tell where you're going until you know where you've been.

On a Sept. 30 staff ride to Battleship Cove here, Soldiers from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine at Natick Soldier Systems Center got a good look at some of their nation's military history. Calling itself "the world's largest naval ship museum," Battleship Cove is home to eight vessels, including five National Historic Landmarks, and an aviation collection.

The USARIEM Soldiers came away impressed with the Navy and with their U.S. military predecessors.

"The idea behind this staff ride was to give Soldiers an idea how our sister service operates," said Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Persaud, USARIEM first sergeant. "Soldiers are always thinking that the other services have it easy. After seeing how (Sailors) live and what they do day to day, you can get a deep appreciation for their job and also the history of the Navy."

Sergeant Tucker Black, USARIEM Medical Maintenance NCOIC, coordinated the trip. He had visited the museum last year with his wife and three children.

"My dad was in the Navy. I figured it wasn't going to be anything new, but I learned a lot," said Black of his first trip to the non-profit Battleship Cove. "There was a lot more history here than I thought. It was great.

"They did an awesome job of keeping (the ships) in pretty good shape. And I wouldn't be surprised if they were in working order enough to get out of the harbor."

From the massive battleship USS Massachusetts, where they ate lunch, to PT boats and everything in between, USARIEM Soldiers walked the decks and probably imagined what it must have been like to fight in the epic battles of World War II.

"I hope that people … learn a little bit about our military's history," said Black, adding that he also hoped the day served to "educate people and enlighten them and get them interested in the area and what it has to offer."

Black called the trip a boon to unit cohesion.

"I think this is a great thing," Black said. "And, honestly, I wasn't a part of anything like this until I came to this unit."

Page last updated Tue October 4th, 2011 at 00:00