By Sgt. Bob YarbroughApril 29, 2014
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from the Emanuel County Institute enjoyed a tour of Fort Stewart, April 17, which was hosted by maintenance Soldiers from Company A, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
Under the leadership of retired Lt. Col. Robert Yarbrough, Emanuel County's primary AJROTC instructor, students are introduced to many aspects of military operations. The visit to Fort Stewart allowed the junior cadets to speak to active duty Soldiers and see them at work.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class John Nelson, Emanuel County Institute's AJROTC assistant instructor, is a former 4th IBCT Soldier, previously serving with the Vanguard Brigade's 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment.
"We have a very small program, about 60 or 65 kids, and we're trying to ... teach them how to be model citizens, and try to get them out of the community they're in," said Nelson. "Some of them never leave the county. So I want to get them out of their community and see that there are other things out there."
The cadets first toured Fort Stewart's "Virtual Campus." The facility is home to electronic skills training systems ranging from individual and crew-served weapons to a simulator designed to train personnel in route clearance, an indispensable skill for the safety of supply and personnel convoys in combat zones.
Soldiers from Company A operated a virtual rifle range for the cadets, where they fired M4 carbines in an attempt to hit a target designed to calibrate the weapon to the shooter.
Next, the cadets were taken to 703rd BSB's motor pool, where they were shown a variety of vehicles, radios, and weapons used by Maintain Battalion Soldiers. The Soldiers simulated the recovery of a disabled vehicle by a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, as well as a Load Handling System Compatible Water Tank Rack, nicknamed a Hippo, being loaded onto a truck. The Hippo is designed to store and pump potable water in field environments.
Following lunch at the Vanguard Dining Facility, the cadets finished their tour at Warrior's Walk, 3rd ID's living monument to fallen Soldiers. Eastern redbud trees have been planted in memory of each 3rd ID Soldier who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and paid the ultimate price.
The cadets were familiar with Warrior's Walk because they had recently been assigned to write a report on one of the fallen Soldiers memorialized there.
Terrica Coleman, a junior cadet commander, was assigned Cpl. Jacob Pfister, a Soldier who died while serving in Iraq with 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment in 2005.
"I like going to the Warrior's Walk to honor the Soldiers who have fought and died for our country," said Coleman, who has visited Fort Stewart before with the AJROTC. "It's my favorite part every time."