FORT HOOD, Texas – 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosted about 70 students Mansfield Lake Ridge High School’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program Oct. 20 at Fort Hood, Texas to give them what glimpse into what a day in the life of a First Team Trooper looks like.
“Seeing the JROTC cadets made me reflect on the time I was in their shoes over 12 years ago,” said Capt. Carlos Flores, 1ABCT civil affairs. “It was great to see young teenagers showing so much interest in the U.S. military. The Army has given me so many opportunities over the years and I am excited to see that for the next generation of Soldiers.”
During the visit, cadets were able to get a glimpse into the process of running a range, Bradley’s firing, eating a Meal Ready-to Eat, a barn tour and speak to Troopers assigned to IRONHORSE and the Horse Cavalry Detachment on their experience in different Military Occupational Specialties.
“I think it is important for them to see what Soldiers go through in their day-to-day duties,” said Ret. 1st Sgt. Brandon Butler, Mansfield Lake Ridge High School JROTC instructor. “Most of the time they only get to see the deployments or war piece, but they do not get a chance to see the preparation or the process. I think it is great for them to see every aspect of what goes into being a Soldier.”
At the range, many of the students shouted with excitement as the Bradley’s moved into position and fired.
“I have actually started the process to enlist in the Army,” began Kamille Todd, Mansfield Lake Ridge JROTC cadet. “I see that in the Army you get to work together as family and be a part of a team and that is something that I have always done best. It made me interested in joining.”
Todd said that visiting made the process of her enlisting feel more real. She said that she plans to become a combat engineer.
“Seeing the excitement these kids had out here was refreshing,” said Pvt. 1st Class Remington Shelton, Cowboy Troop, 10th Cavalry Regiment cavalry scout. “It is always nice to remember a time when this was new and exciting. It is great to see schools providing these opportunities to their students. Opportunities like this in my JROTC program were a huge factor in me joining.”
Shelton shared some gunnery stories with the cadets and answered their questions as they crawled inside of his Bradley to see what he has to do with his crew.
“Some of these students will not get the opportunity to see the firing of the Bradley’s and Tanks, even if they are able to join the military,” concluded Butler. “In the future, we plan on making Fort Hood our home for the cadets to expand on the things we are able to show them that the Army does.”