By Capt. Marion Jo NederhoedSeptember 4, 2019
"You cannot be disciplined in great things and undisciplined in small things," George S. Patton Jr., 28th Commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from 1938-1940 said.
The Brave Rifles held true to their lineage by building lethality through tough, realistic training during the regiment's combined-arms live-fire exercise that allowed troops to conduct multiple "reps" and "sets" to build muscle memory. From the highest ranking soldier down to the lowest ranking soldier leadership is important in order to execute successfully.
Eagle Troop, 2nd Squadron's "Sabre" focus during the exercise was on readiness and the discipline that it takes to achieve four basic pillars. Troops must be able to shoot, move, communicate and provide medical assistance in order to ensure that all soldiers are ready in any situation.
"Communication is probably the most important thing that we do," said Lt. Col. Greg Escobar, Sabre commander. "We are extremely good at executing individual tasks, but when we are training, in addition to providing confidence to the troops, we are testing our ability to provide a wide variety of enablers and to work better as a team, as we would do in combat."
Capt. James Garrity, Eagle Troop commander also believes communication is key due to the integration of a variety of enablers during the combined arms exercise, such as engineers and mortars and mounted and dismounted troops. Garrity is tasked with managing three platoons in his troop, which include a mortar platoon and other enablers assigned to his unit.
The intent of this exercise is synchronizing all efforts into one effect, rather than piecing it all together, said Garrity.
"The troopers are attacking with violence of action and going through the operation whole heartedly and understanding what their key triggers are," he said. "My job is receiving reports from the platoon leaders and providing the requisite support that they need to be successful in their mission."
Garrity said the CALFEX is a great training opportunity for leaders of all levels. Platoon leaders are experiencing the challenge of working with three platoons together and giving the leaders the opportunity to directly control their troopers on their own objective while still maneuvering with the other platoons.
"This training is allowing platoon leaders to be able to talk side to side since they are going to be the nucleus of all the operations going forward and understanding where they are. That is essential and they can't replicate that anywhere else," Garrity added.
2nd Lt. Marcus Bernardino, a platoon leader with 1st Platoon, Eagle Troop emphasized how beneficial it has been to train with both blank and live fire iterations on the lanes.
This type of stair stepped approach gives leadership a chance to see the troops operate in a blank environment where it's less stress and leaders can validate the soldiers skills and retrain if needed before going into a live training scenario, Bernardino added.
"We came up with a plan together and my troops executed very well. These troopers put in so much work day to day conducting rehearsals and training even when not in the field," Bernardino said. "I'm so proud to see it all put together and to see team leaders and squad leaders take charge and conduct a full mission."
Spc. Steve Torres, a mortar section team leader, is recently new to the troop and new to his position as team leader.
"It was a big step for me. All the information was provided to me in advance and has helped me to become a better individual and better soldier," Torres said. "I have been learning how to take control of the gun line and how to work with the team. The hands on experience is awesome."