7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
1 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jeff McGovern, instructor for CSM Solutions, instructs a class of 7th Mission Support Command junior officers, Aug. 17, 2018 at the Kaiserslautern Community Activities Center on Daenner, Kaserne in Kasierslautern, Germany. McGovern taught the class a... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
2 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jeff McGovern, instructor for CSM Solutions, guides 7th Mission Support Command junior officers, Aug. 18, 2018 in Aachen, Germany, through the U.S. Army's offensive and subsequent Civil Affairs operations in the city during World War II. The group in... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
3 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 1st Lt. Lane Smith (center), 361st Civil Affairs Brigade civil affairs officer, discusses the concepts behind the west wall, Aug. 19, 2018, employed by the German Army during its defensive of the Huertgen Forest in World War II. Junior officers of th... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
4 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 7th Mission Support Command, look inside a bunker, Aug. 18, 2018, formerly used by the German army in defense of the Huertgen Forest and the west wall. The unit conducted a staff ride to Aachen, Germany and the Heurtgen Forest for juni... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
5 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 7th Mission Support Command visit a memorial cemetery for members of the German Army, near Aachen, Germany, who defended the Huertgen Forest during World War II, as part of a junior officer staff ride, Aug. 18-19. The course included t... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
6 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Michael Inscho, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade civil affairs officer, leads a discussion with 7th Mission Support Command junior officers, Aug. 18, 2018 in Aachen, Germany, through the U.S. Army's civil affairs operations in the city during World ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
7 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 7th Mission Support Command pose for a group photo during the classroom instruction phase of it's junior officer staff ride, Aug. 17, 2018. The course included two days of classroom instruction at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
7th MSC junior officers develop military decision making skills during staff ride to Aachen, Huertgen Forest
8 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 7th Mission Support Command pose for a photo, Aug. 19, near a former bunker used by the German Army in defense of the west wall in the Huertgen Forest, near Aachen, Germany, during World War II. The event was part of a staff ride for j... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Junior officers from the United States Army Reserve's one-star command in Europe developed their decision making and leadership skills, Aug 16-19, with a staff ride to Aachen, Germany and the Huertgen Forest, to study the United States and German army's actions taken there during World War II.

The 7th Mission Support Command held two days of classroom training at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center, near the command's headquarters on Daenner Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, before spending the remaining two days in the city of Aachen and walking the terrain in the surrounding forest, while being guided by historians from CSM Solutions.

The class was comprised of officers throughout the MSC and its subordinate brigades. This included a large contingent of officers from the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, also headquartered on Daenner Kaserne, which placed extra focus on the civil affairs efforts that occurred during the time.

"This provides valuable exposure for junior officers to the art and science of war, and it's human impacts," said Col. Bradley Heston, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade commander. "It allows them to learn from the successes and failures of leaders and give them a deep perspective on the hardships and challenges of the officers and Soldiers called on to fight, and sometimes die, in unimaginably difficult circumstances."

Aachen is located on the western edge of Germany, near a tri-border region shared by Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. The forest is just to the southeast of the city. The United States breached the Siegfried Line - also known as the West Wall - near Aachen and won the city in a series of fighting during an offensive occurring September - November 1944. Winning Aachen - the U.S. Army's first major victory inside Germany - set the momentum for the final year and closing months of World War II.

Members of the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade took the opportunity to discuss Civil Affairs activities that occurred in the city after fighting had finished. The unit discussed topics such as working with the local population to rebuild a local government, and to restore order and local government services.

"Equally important is that our junior leaders apply these lessons to our modern operating environment," Heston said. "In order to prepare themselves, and their Soldiers, to fight and win in any contingency."