By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)August 3, 2017
Preparation at Fort Leonard Wood for a new company of trainees includes everything from cleaning the barracks to getting all required paperwork in order before the new Soldiers arrive to train at the unit.
For the newest Basic Combat Training battalion here, 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, there are a few additional preparations the reserve drill sergeants and staff need to conduct before pickup next week.
Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Ehret, senior drill sergeant for Company C., with the help of the battalion operations staff, coordinated time for 28 drill sergeants and 10 battalion staff members to familiarize themselves with the various training areas at Fort Leonard Wood, including the confidence course Friday.
"As Reserve drill sergeants, we don't come out that often in order to do these obstacles," Ehret said.
Staff Sgt. Tamara Burns, a Co. B drill sergeant, agreed.
"We want to be 'Dress Right Dress' as a company," she said. "It's a great time for us to iron out everything before we get the privates. Having this time is really going to set us up for success."
The 2nd Bn., 48th Inf. is unique in that all drill sergeants and staff are Reserve-component Soldiers.
The battalion, made up of Soldiers from the 95th Division and 108th Training Command in the Reserve component, was activated to help the post meet its increase of 4,500 Soldiers in fiscal year 2017.
Burns and Ehret added there is an additional purpose to getting out as a unit to experience the confidence course: "Team bonding within the company," Burns said. "(It) builds camaraderie as we are getting together as a team."
"Part of this is so we can grow as a team," Ehret added.
The drill sergeants and staff in the battalion came to Fort Leonard Wood from across the country, Ehret said, and each one has a different level of experience they are bringing to the battalion.
Burns, who has two years as a drill sergeant, said the longest she was at BCT training Soldiers was seven weeks. Her motivation to volunteer for this opportunity was to return to where it all started for her, 17 years ago.
"I haven't been back here since basic. I jumped on the chance to come here," she said. "I base my career on my foundation. And for me, Fort Leonard Wood was a great foundation. I want to give that to privates; I want to give them the first taste of the military. It all starts with a great foundation, and Fort Leonard Wood gives that great foundation."
Between setting up the barracks, getting paperwork squared away and getting the refresher classes on the training areas, drill sergeants with Co.'s B and C are ready to start training Soldiers, Ehret said.