FORT STEWART, Ga. - Everything in the Army starts somewhere. Long before people occupy desks or walk through doors, someone has to build the facilities for Soldiers to occupy.

Soldiers with the 554th Engineer Company, 92nd Engineer Battalion, helped the 3rd Infantry Division train this year by constructing the command staff offices, conference rooms and other facilities for the Rear Defense Operation Command. The project allowed the division headquarters to simulate its mission for the upcoming deployment during two training exercises at the division level, and another that will take place later this month.

Aca,!A"It was a good training environment,Aca,!A? said Sgt. Gerald Wolf, a carpenter with the 554th Eng. Co. Aca,!A"It honed my skills in the carpentry field.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"This gives them an opportunity to work around their own job,Aca,!A? said Sgt. Clementino Lavalle, a carpenter in 554th Eng. Co. Aca,!A"Most of the time, we donAca,!a,,ct get a chance to do our job.This is a great opportunity for us to focus on our job and our skills. This gives us a chance to know what weAca,!a,,cre doing by the time we get to Iraq.Aca,!A?

The Soldiers filled the insides of two Aca,!A"clam shellsAca,!A? Aca,!" large buildings that resemble an opened clam shell Aca,!" by building the walls, doors, electrical wiring and all other interior parts of the two buildings.

Since the division tasked the company to begin this project in November of last year, it has been continuously under construction, undergoing four redesigns and extensive renovation to reach its current level. The two clam shells serve at the hub of the training exercises and provide a functional framework for the Soldiers of the 3rd ID to operate in. While it is has only been used by Stewart-based units thus far, National Guard units and other organizations plan on using the facilities for their training purposes in the future.

One leader in the company felt the project was good for the unit, and delivered valuable training.

Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs great when we have projects like this on post,Aca,!A? said 2nd Lt. Melonie Williams, a platoon leader in 554th Eng. Co. Aca,!A"This gives the Soldiers the hands-on experience they need.Aca,!A?

While 2nd Lt. Williams thought it was good for the unit, another Soldier liked contributing to the training of her fellow Soldiers.

Aca,!A"It was a good experience,Aca,!A? said Pvt. Kayla Leitner, an electrician with the 554th Eng. Co. Aca,!A"It was a good chance to help Soldiers and their commanders in training, so itAca,!a,,cs a win-win for us.Aca,!A?