JOINT BASE MCGUIRE DIX LAKEHURST, N.J. - Soldiers assigned to the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, First Army Division East participated in a staff ride to Gettysburg National Park on Nov. 26, 2013. The visit wrapped up a month of research and training on the Gettysburg Campaign.
Roughly 51,000 Soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or missing during the first three days of the 1863 Gettysburg's Campaign, commonly referred to as the Battle of Gettysburg. While this occurred 148 years ago, the lessons learned remain relevant in 2013.
"Gettysburg is a foundation for understanding the strategic and operational worth of unified land operations," said Lt. Col. Kevin Johnston, 2-315th Field Artillery Battalion commander. "Elements of research, understanding and training are useful in the exercise of command and control in today's complex battlefield."
28 Soldiers were given a campaign overview which consisted of intelligence preparation of the battlefield, order of battle and crew drills on a Model 1857 12-Pounder Napoleon Field Gun.
The visit also allowed the chance to appreciate the life of an 1863 artilleryman.
"We now have a heightened awareness of field artillery from then to now," explained Maj. Paul Otto. "We saw a snapshot of how our profession has grown throughout the years."
Otto's sentiment was echoed by Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Campbell.
"It was an eye opener to experience the history and see the battle from the viewpoint of the ground commanders," said Campbell. "The lessons learned at here have a direct impact on how we lead and fight today."
First Army Division East advises, assists and trains reserve-component forces prior to deployments as well as during monthly and annual training events to maintain Army-directed readiness standards.