By Andrea Sutherland (Fort Carson)September 27, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Community leaders got dirty at Range 51 Sept. 19 during the third Leadership Fort Carson Tour.
Sue Scherer, associate dean of Regis University, braved the dust in order to shoot an M4 rifle. She hit her target six times, including one hit on the silhouette.
"I'm surprised I did so well," she said, admiring her grid. "I had a very good coach."
Staff Sgt. Kenneth Leikam said Scherer was a good student.
"She followed the fundamentals of marksmanship," said Leikam, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "That's what we teach the Soldiers."
"It's a little bit unnerving, but it's a good confidence builder," Scherer said.
She joined 13 other community leaders for a day of outreach with Fort Carson personnel. Attendees heard briefings from 4th Inf. Div. commanding general, discussed the importance of leadership roles in the community and had an opportunity to meet Soldiers and learn about their mission and training.
"I think every citizen should have to come here and see what these guys go through," said Peggy Littleton, El Paso County Board of Commissioners. "This has been very informative and educational."
To experience some of what a Soldier carries downrange, Littleton tried on body armor and held a rifle.
"It's very heavy," she said. "It gives you a great respect for these guys. It would be very difficult to shoot a weapon with all of this on."
Civilians had an opportunity to ask Soldiers questions about various weapons and their training.
Littleton watched as Soldiers from the field artillery regiment zeroed their rifles as part of a training exercise.
"Watching the live fire, you actually have objectives to meet," she said. "You're not just shooting to shoot."
Tim Leigh, Hoff and Leigh Management, Inc., said having a chance to meet with Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, was beneficial.
"He spoke eloquently of his vision of leadership and how it effects organizational change," Leigh said. "He seemed like a real, down-to-earth person."
Tom Allee, Center for American Values, said the entire experience was rewarding for the civilians involved.
"I think it's extremely important for the American people to see this and understand this," he said. "We're fortunate. … It's a shame more Americans can't see this."