Dauntless Warriors feel the squeeze during Operation Gauntlet
August 9, 2012
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (Aug. 9, 2012) - Approximately 250 Soldiers from the 99th Regional Support Command woke up this morning to begin "Operation Gauntlet" at the Maj. John P. Pryor Army Reserve Center here.
"Operation Gauntlet" is the operational name for the five-day field training exercise during which Army Reserve and Active Guard Reserve Soldiers will test their mettle as part of their Annual Training commitment to the Army Reserve.
Each year, the Army Reserve conducts Annual Training for Warrior Citizens from across the country, such as schoolteachers, police officers, firefighters and electricians, who come together to maintain a high level of readiness with their military tasks and unit drills.
Participating in "Operation Gauntlet" are Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 99th RSC stationed here; the 78th Army Band also stationed here; the 319th Army Band stationed at Fort Totten, N.Y.; the 94th Army Band stationed at East Windsor, Conn.; the 198th Army Band stationed at Rochester, N.Y.; and the 380th Army Band stationed at Richmond, Va.
"For this one week, we want to bring the focus back to what is most important to all of us in uniform -- the soldiering side," said Maj. Trey Hayes commander, 99th RSC.
The heart and soul of the Army Reserve is its Warrior Citizens otherwise known as Troop Program Unit Soldiers. Drilling Reservists who typically give up one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year to keep their military occupation specialties and warrior skills up to date so if and when they are called to active duty they will be ready.
"I really want them to have that refocus. We get so caught up in our day-to-day activities; being Reservists, we have the civilian side, we have the Soldier side, and throughout the year we may lose a little bit of focus on the soldiering aspects," said Hayes.
Each TPU is unique in his or her experiences both on the military and civilian side. Annual Training does offer a chance for the TPU to get back to the basics and to also teach other Soldiers what they have learned throughout their career.
"Operation Gauntlet challenges and reinforces their confidence and proficiency in their Warrior Skills," said Command Sgt. Major Richard Castelveter, command sergeant major, 99th RSC.
In addition to the warrior task training, instructors from the United States Army Field Band will also be on hand to give musical clinics for the various types of band instruments along with an Army Musician Proficiency Assessment.
"These Soldiers are skilled warriors; they are professional and live the Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
These are not just words. It is a way of life for Soldiers," Castelveter added.
"When the nation calls, they are ready to deploy anywhere in the world without hesitation. They are American Soldiers who are dedicated and professional, "concluded Castelveter.
The 99th RSC acts as a "virtual installation" that provides world-class Base Operations support to over 51,000 Army Reserve Soldiers, 400 units and 300 facilities for the entire Northeast Region from Maine to Virginia for the Army Reserve in order to give our Warrior-Citizens and their Families the finest care, support, services and training.
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