From the largest city in the State of Arkansas--Little Rock--comes a small detachment of U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with a big mission this summer--safety.
This team of more than 40 Soldiers from Detachment 2, 2-379th Training Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division, traveled to Fort Knox, Ky., to provide safety over watch for the Squad Live Fire lane conducted during Cadet Summer Training (CST).
"The safety's role in this [live fire lane] is very important, especially when it comes to the live fire portion of training," said Sgt. 1st Class Tim Liles, lane safety, Squad Live Fire lane. "The entire cadre has been range safeties and controlled other types of range movements. We all understand our roles and how to facilitate this training."
Before the actual squad live fire training commences, the cadre thoroughly explains the safety protocols. "We go over the four safety rules with them--we just want to keep them safe," said Sgt. 1st Class Lucenthia Warden, lane safety, Squad Live Fire Lane.
The training teaches the Cadets attending Leader Development and Assessment Course how to perform basic tactics such as moving tactically as a squad, assessing the environment for threats, communicating effectively to their element, and engaging the targets proficiently. During the training, the Cadets run through dry, blank and live ammo iterations of the scenario -- a squad responding to enemy contact, with various threat levels. The scenario forces the Cadets to perform in a leadership role and make timely decisions in order to sustain their team--emulating the Cadets' future roles as commissioned Army officers.
"We are working with the Cadets to help them improve their BRM [Basic Rifle Marksmanship] methods. This [training] allows them to improve their skills, be able to communicate during the mission, and develop as leaders. This training helps them to progress in any type of leadership position," Liles said.
The Detachment 2 Soldiers observe each Cadet's movements and actions to ensure they are following all safety protocols and employing the correct techniques efficiently; they only step in to advise when necessary.
"That's what our job is--we step in--Cadets are supposed to lead all of this. If there is something they miss, that's where we come in. We guide them when needed but also give them the opportunity to be the leaders they are training to be," Liles said.
Training leaders isn't a task everyone can fulfill; the noncommissioned officers from Detachment 2 are trained instructors that support this particular mission annually. "I've been an instructor for a while. This mission is different but the concept of instructing and training is the same. We are here to get trained leaders into the military--that's the goal here," Warden said.
Spending the day advising the Cadets, the NCOs are able to focus on the tactical skills and allow the Cadets to harness necessary leadership traits. "This gets back to your roots as far as being an NCO and teaching. Even though this is with Cadets, we are all Soldiers," Liles said. "This is just rewarding to watch new Cadets as they continue to progress, get that command voice, and get comfortable leading as officers."