By U.S. ArmyJanuary 30, 2009
FORT BENNING, Ga. Aca,!" As a platoon sergeant in Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Reid puts a high value on making sure his Soldiers are trained.
Aca,!A"My first priority when we returned (from the 3rd HBCTAca,!a,,cs last deployment) after gear issue, was moving everyone to the range and getting everyone zeroed and weapons qualified,Aca,!A? he said.
After a 15-month deployment, many would think that the Soldiers in Company B would need a break, but Reid disagrees with that idea.
Aca,!A"As infantry, we have a challenging job, and part of that is being ready to go whenever we are called,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"If I got the call and was told we were leaving next week, I know we would be ready to go.Aca,!A?
As a decorated combat veteran with multiple deployments under his belt, Reid knows just how training and readiness go hand in hand in a combat zone.
Aca,!A"Training gives Soldiers the ability to perform the skills they will need under pressure,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"As an infantryman, you have to know how to react without thinking about it. For many of my guys, they will not realize how important that training is until a significant event occurs.Aca,!A?
The influx of new Soldiers into Company B has also put many new Soldiers into ReidAca,!a,,cs squad.
Aca,!A"Everyone needs training, regardless of how long they have been in, but we use it to help our new guys get an idea of what to expect,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"They get CLS (combat life saver) training in basic training now. They get things like how to respond to an IED (improvised explosive device), but it is different when they get it from someone has actually been through an IED attack.Aca,!A?
Reid allows his team leaders to mold their teams and come up with tactics, techniques and procedures that work for each squad.
Aca,!A"Of course, IAca,!a,,cm involved, but I let my squad leaders do their jobs,Aca,!A? Reid said.
Aca,!A"That is why training is so important. It gives our guys time to perfect those (tactics) that will save their lives in combat situations and gets everyone on the same page.Aca,!A?
As a brand new Soldier to the unit, Pvt. Joseph Chezem has enjoyed the training he has been receiving.
Aca,!A"We did a lot of the same training in basic and (Advanced Individual Training), but itAca,!a,,cs different in a line unit,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs a lot more relaxed, but there is also a lot more responsibility. They expect you apply what you know. There is no drill sergeant to tell you what to do 24 hours a day.Aca,!A?
Private Asa Woodfin, another new Soldier to Company B, agreed with Chezem.
ItAca,!a,,cs fun,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"This is what I signed up to do. I just like learning this stuff. On one hand, you are always scared of screwing up, because you donAca,!a,,ct want to let your team down. On the other hand, itAca,!a,,cs just fun to be an infantryman.Aca,!A?
Reid stressed that training is one of the things that he feels brings squads together.
Aca,!A"If Soldiers look after one another on the range, it will carry over to the barracks,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"I preach it every day; look out for one another, take care of one another.Aca,!A?
According to Reid, closeness in training and outside of work leads to combat effectiveness.
Aca,!A"In small teams, everyone needs to know the overall mission,Aca,!A? Reid said.
Aca,!A"You never know who is going to go down. Everyone in a team needs to know what to do when the worst happens. As a leader, you need to make all of your Soldiers know how to shoot, move and communicate.Aca,!A?
As the 3rd HBCTAca,!a,,cs next deployment draws nearer, ReidAca,!a,,cs Soldiers will continue preparing for it.
Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm excited about the next deployment,Aca,!A? Woodfin said. Aca,!A"It will give me a chance to use my skills. I think it will be cool to see some place different and show what we know. IAca,!a,,cm ready.Aca,!A?