Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commander of the United States Army Forces Command, visited 3rd Infantry Division to discuss ongoing operations before Soldiers head to the National Training Center in Fort Stewart, Georgia on August 13.
"Soldier readiness is one of our top priorities, and I'm ready to see the Soldiers showcase their work," said Garrett.
During his visit, he went to different areas on Fort Stewart. One of the areas he visited was the tank range. He observed how Soldiers execute a Table IV to qualify as a crew.
"We are happy to have him out here while we are able to highlight all of the good our Soldiers are doing out here," said Col. Trent Upton, commander of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID. "He is known as a "Soldiers General" and really focused on not just building readiness, but most importantly teaching our Soldiers good values. Our Soldiers are working hard to do their duties and being able to have senior leaders come out is always appreciated by them."
After the tank exercise, Garrett spoke one-on-one with a few junior Soldiers and reminisced about his days in the field. He even joined Sgt. Baca Franco, a M1 Abram's maintainer assigned to 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT, 3rd ID, to see what happens inside the tank.
"It felt good knowing that someone of high rank would like to jump in the tank, see what we are doing, how long it takes and be genuinely interested about what is going on," said Franco. "It definitely boosted the team's morale."
Garrett also visited 1st ABCT barracks to see how Soldiers were currently living and other renovated barracks buildings. While at the barracks, he spoke to personnel whose rooms were being inspected and gave them a coin for keeping the barracks clean at all times.
"It's nice to see that people at higher ranks aren't so much different than us," said Pfc. Dakota Keeler, an armored crew member with 5-7 CAV. "Seeing a senior leader come down here to talk to someone like myself, a private first class, and just so casually opens people's eyes makes it feel like one family. It's really one fight and one team."
Garret says he was most surprised to see how well the command teams in 3rd ID have everything under control. He is eager to see how things will be his next visit.