FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Offering transparency of our training to our civilian neighbors living around Fort Drum helps to build understanding and strengthen bonds with Soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division (LI).

Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division provided that transparency to some 160 civilians through a program titled "Day in the Life of a Soldier" held May 9 on Fort Drum's main post.

"By the day's end, I hope that each of you have a good feel for what Soldiers in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team do," said Col. Dennis Sullivan, 2nd BCT commander.

Civilians who visited Fort Drum were provided with an up-close and personal look into the lives of Soldiers training to earn the Expert Infantryman Badge.

Neighbors of the Fort Drum community observed EIB testing lanes and were allowed to throw practice hand grenades, look through night vision goggles and sit down to a Meal, Ready to Eat for lunch.

"We appreciate being allowed on post and having a chance to experience what a Soldier goes through firsthand," said Sue Ann Messick, a Watertown native.

First Sgt. James Garber, A Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, explained for the guests what the EIB is and what it means to Soldiers. He added that only about 10 percent of those testing will earn the coveted badge.

"If everybody could get a chance to come out here and see this, I think they should," said Larry Ambeau, one of the civilian guests.

By the end of the day, the civilian guests had viewed 25 testing lanes, eaten several boxes of MREs, and strengthened their relationship with members of the Fort Drum community.

Page last updated Thu May 17th, 2012 at 16:02