Fort Hood - 61 Boy Scouts and 23 chaperones in Troop 533 from Cypress, Texas spent a weekend at Fort Hood with Soldiers from the 61st Quartermaster battalion, 1st Medical Brigade and the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command to learn about the Army. The 61st QM Bn. organized the event to provide the scouts with a unique military experience.
"This weekend we are putting together an Army experience for Boy Scout troop 533 out of Cypress Texas, "said 1st Lt. Alec Hernandez, Operations Officer in the 61st QM Bn. "What we're doing is taking them through a day in the life of a Soldier."
The scouts arrived Friday evening and were escorted to their sleeping quarters in the form of tents behind Kieshnick Gym.
The next morning the scouts were woken up in a manner similar to what recruits experience on their first morning of basic training, Soldiers entered the tents yelling and screaming for them to get up and form up outside the tents so they could conduct Physical Readiness Training.
"The Soldiers were yelling when they ran into our tent to wake us up this morning." Said 10 year old Travis Brown a new scout in troop 533. "I mean you just woke up. It was scary, but fun though."
"They certainly didn't know what to expect," Chip Whitley, Troop 533 Assistant Scout Master said. "The PT part of this was something that I pushed because I can remember the first time I had a drill sergeant come in and wake me to go out and do PT. I can assure that these boys will not forget the way they have been woken up these last two mornings."
Once the PRT session was complete the scouts went to Roosevelt Dining Facility for breakfast and prepared for day of full of activities.
The first event of the day was weapons familiarization on Hildner Field where several weapons were set up on display. Soldiers from the 61st QM Bn. gave presentations from light arms like the M9 and M4, all the way up to heavy weapon systems such, as the MK19 and 50 Cal. The Scouts also were able to try on body armor and check out optics used with the weapons.
"This is the part I love about being in the Army," said Sgt. Christian Aracena, Horizontal Construction Engineer, 61st QM Bn. "This is a great opportunity for the Boy Scouts and It's important for people to see the values we represent when it comes to safety, especially with weapon systems."
"I like learning about the guns,"Troop 533 Life Scout Nicholas Boulware said. "They're always a cool thing to look at and learn about."
After the weapon demonstration, the scouts learned first aid skills from NCOs and Soldiers assigned to 1st Medical Brigade.
"We're teaching them some Combat Life Saving skills," Sgt. Brittanica Davis, Operations NCO in 1st MED BDE said. "Very basic life saving techniques. How to apply a tourniquet, how to properly evacuate a patient on litters. We also took them through a care under fire scenario."
The scouts toured the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and enjoyed Meals Ready-to-Eat for lunch, which they loved.
"Most of us really enjoyed the MREs, "Troop 533 Life Scout Andrew Jung said. " We weren't sure how to work the heater and then it flared up and we were all surprised."
From the museum the scouts stopped by the 61st QM Bn. motor pool to learn about the many vehicles, like the HUMVEE, LMTV, and the monster size KALMAR rough terrain container handler which the unit uses to accomplish and support logistical operations for the 3rd Armored Corps.
Sunday Morning Brig. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, joined the scouts during their PRT session. Afterwards Werner talked with the scouts and answered some questions.
The final event of the Troop 533's visit was a question and answer session with the Soldiers who organized the event.
"I think it's good for us to come up here and learn about Soldiers and what they do,"Boulware said. "The military is kind of another step up from a scout. Scouts teach you to be disciplined and learn survival stuff, the military just takes it up a notch."
"These scouts may have seen some Soldiers out there trying to recruit and felt a little nervous to approach them," Hernandez said. "They can see here today during their visit that we're just everyday men and women just looking to serve our country and protect the ideas and values that we hold dear which is really similar to what the scouts do."
After the Q&A session the Soldiers and scouts said their good byes to a memorable weekend.
"This trip will be a camp out that we talk about for years to come," Whitley said. "This has been an exciting experience for the boys. They certainly didn't know what to expect."
"I think this trip was good for us," Jung said. "This was a unique experience that we have never had before. We usually go to lakes or hiking sights. This provided us with a unique opportunity and I would definitely take this trip again."