By ANIESA HOLMESJanuary 15, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Jan. 15, 2014) -- The 316th Cavalry Brigade has undergone several changes in the past eight months, but Commander Col. David Davidson said its mission remains strong and steady in training well-informed Soldiers.
As part of the Maneuver Center of Excellence's reorganization efforts, the brigade transitioned into a functional combined arms training brigade, covering all of the functional training at Fort Benning with exception of the Ranger School, Airborne School and Airborne-related courses, Davidson said.
In addition to 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, and the 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, the brigade has the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment.
"The rationale was to bring two Infantry battalions in to allow us to co-locate critical functions across the MCoE and bring them together in a single headquarters to gain oversight of all Master Gunner functions across three platforms," Davidson said. "Reconnaissance and security is the same way, where we bring three current courses under a single headquarters to link doctrine for leader development and training for those reconnaissance professions."
Davidson said the brigade is now responsible for 26 active programs of instruction, from the Army Reconnaissance Course to the Cavalry Leaders Course and the Reconnaissance Leaders Surveillance Course, Tank, Bradley, Stryker and Master Gunner Courses as well as advanced situational awareness training and initial entry training courses for the 194th Armored and 198th and Infantry Brigades. The impact of these changes, Davidson said, is to provide Soldiers with a variety of new skills.
"We give them the ability to come a course and gain an additional specialty or skill outside of those normal (professional military education) courses," Davidson said. "The leaders and trainers in this brigade touch everything the Army does, and this legacy from the training they get here goes out to every organization in the Army."
Davidson said professional development for Soldiers and cadre is encouraged through partnerships with Columbus State University to ensure college credits and Army course credits are earned. The brigade also focuses on Soldiers and their Families by offering schedules that are predictable and establishing flexible leave periods to spend time at home.
"Both (Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Inman) and I are believers that a Soldier, officer or NCO that comes into this organization needs to leave here -- whether three months or three years -- better than they were when they got here," he said.