By Spc. Dustin Gautney, 2nd BCT Public Affairs, 3rd IDOctober 31, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, participated in a three-day trip aboard the USS Georgia, Oct. 18 - Oct. 20; an event which highlighted the long-standing cooperation between Army and Navy - who recently celebrated its 233rd birthday Oct. 13.
The trip was part of a two phase event to reward select Soldiers and Sailors for their merit.
"We wanted to award these Soldiers who have gone above and beyond what was asked of them," said Lt. Col. William Lindner, commander, 3/7 Cav.
The 10 troops traveled aboard the USS Georgia, a nuclear-powered submarine stationed out of Kingsbay, Ga., for three days and two nights and were able to get a first-hand experience of some Sailors' day-to-day operations.
"It was awesome," said Spc. Brad Giandomenico, Co. C, 3/7 Cav., 2nd BCT, 3ID, about the experience.
"We basically had free roam of the ship. The only place we weren't allowed to go was the engine room."
"We even got to pilot the ship, and work the sonar equipment," said Spc. Ryan Kay, Co. B, 3/7 Cav. "It was nothing like the movies."
The Soldiers were able to interact with the Sailors, observing how Sailors tackle their specific jobs and comparing life on a ship to the life of a Soldier on ground, said Spc. Chris Swearingen, a combat medic with HHT, 3/7 Cav.
"As a combat medic, I was able to talk to and see how the ship's medic operated on a submarine," said Swearingen.
The ship is such a small community with limited personnel that the ship only has a single corpsman, the Navy equivalent of an Army combat medic, said Swearingen.
The Soldiers were also able to witness Navy traditions, such as the interaction of Sailors inside of the galley.
"We first sat down in the galley which is pretty different then a mess hall," said Spc. Myles Chapin, Co. B, 3/7 Cav. "All of these junior Sailors would come up to the table and refill your drinks or serve rolls."
"The galley was awesome; since the Sailors are out at sea for so long the galley and the food is a huge morale builder," Chapin said. "The food was surprisingly good; everything was hand-made right in front of you.".
Since the ship is constantly running and has to be manned 24 hours a day, the galley operates as a command post all on its own, Sailors are able to monitor the ship's status as a constant flow of information is displayed on monitors through out the ship.
"It was a great opportunity to see a different side of the military, and to also see how much we are alike as well as how much we differ," Kay said.
Linder said the Sailors are invited to walk in the boots of a Cavalry Soldier sometime in February.