By Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsOctober 15, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Preparing for gunnery extends past the tank and Bradley crews honing their skills, to the infantrymen on the ground perfecting their craft.
Approximately 80 Soldiers from A Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, divided into four-man teams conducted a team live-fire lane exercise here, Oct. 3, to prepare for gunnery.
The exercise was twofold, certify the teams and improve on infantry tactics, said 2nd Lt. John McCluskey, a platoon leader with A Co. Teams executed the lane in three phases -- dry fire, blanks and live ammo.
"We are ensuring teams are certified in their current teams, while improving their communication, movement and marksmanship tactics," McCluskey added. "Infantry basics need to be complete and whole for an infantryman to be proficient."
To be proficient, experienced infantrymen need to help their less experienced team members with the fundamentals during the training.
"Soldiers just out of infantry school have the opportunity to learn from the experienced veterans to see how it works in the company, under our standards," he explained.
Experienced team leaders recognized their Soldier's dedication, desire to learn and succeed.
"My Soldiers are learning to be a team," said Sgt. Michael Bradberry, an A Co. infantryman with four years experience as a team leader. "Each iteration of the lane they get better, become more confident and move more efficiently as one element."
Bradberry's teams' skills are becoming second nature to them; ensuring they're agile and can utilize their infantry tactics efficiently during combat.
"I need them to be adaptable and react quickly to any situation," Bradberry added. "This training allows them to think on their feet and work as one."
Pfc. Arturo Sanchez said despite working in a terrain and climate he isn't used to, he and his team members came together efficiently.
"We have the basics down, there was great communication between us and everyone on the team was helping each other out," stated Sanchez, an infantryman with A Co.
Sanchez has sustained and learned a lot from the exercise and is more confident about gunnery, most of all his morale is up.
"I feel proficient and ready for gunnery. I have really enjoyed myself," he said.
Bradberry agreed, stating morale and motivation is key to any training and building team cohesion.
"My team members are very motivated and cohesion is solid. Their motivation flows over onto me and pushes me to be a better team leader," Bradberry said.
The exercise was an overall success and helped the A Co. chain of command and each team leader see exactly where their Soldiers stand tactically, and where to improve for future events, McCluskey added.
Gunnery and squad live-fire exercises are scheduled for A Co. within the next two months.