A group of more than 80 individuals passed through the gates of Fort Jackson March 15 to get a glimpse of the day-to-day operations, see how Soldiers train and the initial steps of that training.

As a fairly new arrival to Fort Jackson, I joined the tour and along with the others, were transported in the same white buses used to transport trainees entering into service.

The 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) was our first stop just like all trainees attending basic training on Fort Jackson. I felt both honored and unworthy to sit in the battalion classroom, where so many of our past and present heroes and heroines have sat before. Honored for the opportunity to walk where countless men and women who have dedicated their lives to protect my freedom have walked and unworthy because I never found the courage to do what they have unselfishly done.

We then headed to Hilton Field where we witnessed the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment graduation. I found it amazing to see the stands packed with Family members and friends, showing support for the new Soldiers on the field.

After graduation we toured the Basic Combat Training Museum, observed trainees navigating through the Confidence Course, and enjoyed lunch at the Drill Sergeant Academy Dining Facility.

The most exciting part of the tour for me was visiting the Basic Combat Training barracks because it reminded me of a memorable, albeit slightly embarrassing, time on a photo shoot.

On was my second day on the job I went over to a company to complete a work task; and while looking for cadre I walked into the bottom floor of the barracks where I was met by the distinctive smell of cleaning supplies and a trainee letting me know that I was in the wrong place.

I've seen depictions of military barracks on exhibit in museums but the opportunity to see barracks that our trainees live in now was super interesting. I really wanted to see if the barracks were as clean as they smelled. More often than not, the only people who have any knowledge of what the inside of a bay looks like are the individuals who had lived in them for eight weeks, the drill sergeants and the cadre. Here I was an outsider being given the opportunity to see what it was all about and for the record; yes it did look as clean as it smelled.

The Come Meet Your Army tour delivered on its promise and I would encourage anyone who has served or know someone who has served to attend this tour for a better understanding of what goes into training here at Fort Jackson.