B Battery, 2-82 Field Artillery Regiment, Commander Capt. Stewart Tice and 1st Sgt. Edwin Hernandez asked the R2 Performance Center at Fort Hood, Texas, to “unlock the true potential” of their Soldiers and unit. The unit recently earned the award for Best Firing Battery in the Division after the last Artillery Table XV battery certification in 2021. Their performance was graded by external evaluators from the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, or DIVARTY, based on firing mission processing times in accordance with TC 3-09.8.
B Battery, 2-82 FA, exceeded standards by coming in under time for mission processing times and performing artillery tasks to a high standard all while not firing out of the safety box. This success is partly attributed to Hernandez having established the culture of “being the change you want to see” in the Army which led to section leaders operating with minimal guidance and each Soldier taking ownership and responsibility for a successful gunnery.
“The things we did that make us the best overall firing Battery in the Division doesn’t have as much to do with just simple fire mission processing times … we tried to create an atmosphere where the unit was close, there was trust across the board, and we fostered a climate where subordinate leaders were empowered and mistakes were underwritten in order for all of us to grow,” said Tice.
“In order to assist this Battery fulfilling their mission and goals, I installed classes and physically and mentally challenging PT sessions that facilitated effective cohesion, trust, and communication.”
Maintenance of weapon systems is a critical contributing factor to success for certifications as well. Daily training, better communication, and trust led to less confusion, greater confidence and greater individual and team autonomy. Three days prior to the last AT XV, five of the 10 long-range artillery weapons (referred to as Howitzers) that were fully mission-capable belonged to B Battery. This is a result of discipline and commitment from the Soldiers as they serviced their vehicles and weapon systems daily. This confirms when junior Soldiers receive and understand the larger impact of their role in the success of the unit, they invest more in the care and maintenance of their equipment.
(Editor’s note: This article is dedicated to Staff Sgt. David J. Anglin and Spc. Jospeh M. Meitl. Both will be remembered as a crucial part of 2-82 Field Artillery, B Battery’s success and earning of this award.)