By Sgt. Bob YarbroughMay 6, 2014
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted a tour for students from Southeast Bulloch County High School's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Fort Stewart, May 2.
"It's good to give these young teenagers some exposure to the military," said Capt. Josh Adelman, commander of HHC, 4-3 BSTB, 4th IBCT, 3rd ID.
Like the rest of the Sentinel Battalion, Adelman's company has soldiers with a wide variety of specialized jobs, allowing them to see many aspects of the military. "Now they can see for themselves how things really are operating in the Army," said Adelman.
The cadets arrived at Fort Stewart's Mission Training Center at Evans Army Airfield to begin their tour, where they learned about the Virtual Battlespace Trainer 2, or VBS2, a computer simulation system that uses video games to promote teamwork and situational awareness in a fun manner. The cadets were allowed to get hands-on with the system and engage each other in simulated combat for about an hour.
"They (the cadets) are learning a lot," said retired Maj. Jeff Odegaard, Southeast Bulloch County High School JROTC's senior Army instructor. "They don't know it, and we're not going to tell them, but they're learning."
After the VBS2, the cadets were taken to 4-3 BSTB's motor pool to see what some members of the Sentinel Battalion do on a daily basis. Chemical, military police, armory, medical, and maintenance soldiers from HHC 4-3 each gave a brief on their daily duties and had some of their equipment and vehicles on hand for the cadets to learn about.
Following the demonstrations, the cadets had lunch with more Sentinel soldiers at the Vanguard Dining Facility where they socialized and learned more about Army life.
The tour's final stop was Warrior's Walk, Fort Stewart's living memorial for the fallen Soldiers of 3rd ID's combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. An eastern redbud tree has been planted for each of the 468 fallen Dog Face soldiers, with the most recent trees memorializing soldiers from 4th IBCT, also known as the Vanguard Brigade.
"We kind of forget how unique of a world this is, compared to everything outside the gate," said Odegaard, of Army life. "Understanding the military is a big part of being a citizen, and the [JROTC] program is about citizenship."