By Spc. Creighton Holub, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsMarch 11, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - The Long Knife Brigade's field artillery battalion held a pre-deployment briefing for both Soldiers and their Family Members at an offsite training area in Austin late February.
The 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, held the briefing with its focus on deploying to Iraq this summer, but also provided information about the unit's training at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.
Lt. Col. Timothy Daugherty, the battalion commander, kept the information flowing and hosted retired Brig. Gen. Pete Weyrauch as the guest speaker.
"Live your life everyday with the people that are close to you so you don't have to wish that you would have done or said something - or wish that you hadn't done or said something," Weyrauch told the audience.
The Vietnam veteran told the Families how the Army has become better at keeping Family Members informed.
"There were none of the great support mechanisms you have today. (Back then) essentially Family members were on their own," Weyrauch said. "I talked to my wife twice during my first combat tour."
He went on to explain the importance of making arrangements and gathering vital information should a personal or Family emergency occur while the Soldier is deployed on the other side of the planet.
With the Long Knife Brigade's recent re-flagging to 1st Cav. Div., the last of Daugherty's old 4th Infantry Division challenge coins was presented to the general after the his speech.
Daugherty then explained his "SOLDIER" vision for the battalion. Each letter of "SOLDIER" stands for a different concept:
S: Stay focused on doing all the basics correctly.
O: Only worry about the things you can make a difference on.
L: Lead from the front and be where the training is happening.
D: Do not compromise your integrity.
I: Individual Soldier safety.
E: Expectation that fitness is conducted to the standard and does not waste Soldiers' time.
R: Ready, aim, act.
"Nobody joined the Army to mess up," Daugherty explained. "Soldiers are generally noble and want to do a good job."
One of the keys to building stronger Families is understanding how Soldiers and their spouses communicate differently.
"I'm a Soldier," he explained how his thought-process works. "(Therefore) I'm a problem solver."