By 2nd Lt. Robert Leedham, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandJuly 31, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii--Spouses of the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, got a taste of the Army life, here, July 14.
Koa Ohana Day offered a chance for spouses to experience and learn various tasks and responsibilities of their Soldier.
The event was designed to build friendships and develop camaraderie across the battalion and families.
The day started with a safety briefing; spouses then formed teams and conducted a modified Army physical fitness test consisting of pushups, sit-ups, and a shuttle run. Afterward, teams conducted Soldier tasks including carpentry and a leader's reaction course.
"It was really a great experience for all of the spouses," said 1st Lt. Danielle Monroe, platoon leader, 26th Concrete Detachment, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC. Monroe served as a team leader for the day's events.
"They all were extremely motivated and enjoyed getting a taste of life as a Soldier. My team especially liked the leader's reaction course," Monroe said. "It was surprising to see how well they were able to work as a team after only meeting each other a couple hours earlier."
Teams then moved on to what many considered the main event of the day; spouses marched toward the M16, M9 and M249 ranges to test their marksmanship abilities. No special treatment was given as they donned personal protective equipment including interceptor body armor, advanced combat helmet, eye protection, ear protection and gloves -- the same standards experienced by their Soldiers.
"The event was enjoyed by everyone involved," said 2nd Lt. Scott Kantner, platoon leader, 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. Kantner served as the officer in charge for the weapons ranges. "It's something special when we are able to give our Soldiers' families an opportunity to have fun and get dirty. You could see their excitement throughout the whole thing."
At the end of the day, awards were presented to the winners. Participants then welcomed each other to a barbeque and enjoyed each other's company as they replayed the days events.