FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 14, 2017) -- When called upon by the Army, Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) have long taken pride in being ready to "go where others dare not go in the heat or cold or snow."

When Mother Nature provided a cold-weather training opportunity in the form of a lake-effect snowstorm on Dec. 7, Soldiers of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, took full advantage of it.

Capt. Michael Holly, company commander, said that the training provided a way for his Soldiers to solidify their status as "the Army's Mountainous / Arctic experts."

Flurries gave way to squalls outside while noncommissioned officers provided in-depth training on the proper use of the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, as well as some of the company's new arctic gear. After completing the classroom portion of their training, the Soldiers donned their gear and headed out into the snow.

The company conducted a tactical movement through the brigade's area of operations, maneuvering up and down sloping terrain wearing combat snowshoes. This required some practice, especially for those who were unaccustomed to winter weather.

By the time the training was done, the entire company had gained confidence and proficiency in the use of their winter gear.

Pfc. Travis Zavesky said that the training provided valuable experience on the use of cold-weather equipment.

"A lot of it is new, so the fact that we had classes and then actually used the equipment was helpful," he said.

Spc. Timothy Sanders said that the training was especially beneficial, because it provided an opportunity for Soldiers to train alongside their company leaders.

"It was awesome that the NCOs coordinated classes so that the commander could take us on a tactical walk to teach us how our equipment works," Sanders said.

Holly said that the company leadership plans to follow up with advanced training in the months to come, ensuring that the Golden Dragon Soldiers are highly proficient in winter warfare tactics.

"They are training to remain ready to fight on the harshest terrain, in any climate, anywhere in the world," he said.