By Sgt. John CoufferFebruary 25, 2013
FORT HOOD, Texas -Soldiers assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th "Garryowen" Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted Scout Stakes training here, Feb 20.
This Scout Stakes event covers several key cavalry tasks like: conducting troop-leading procedures, conducting infiltration, conducting a screening mission and integrating indirect fire support.
"Scout Stakes is an opportunity for the scouts to get out and train," said Holley, N.Y. native Cpt. Michael Kaness, an operations officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop of Garryowen.
Kaness said that in the past, cavalry scouts have been used in the counterinsurgency fight and this training allows them to come back to the basic of being a cavalry scout.
"This is an opportunity for us to get back in the woods and do the job we're supposed to be doing," Kaness said.
Whitsett, Texas native, Sgt. Chase Cullen, a 10-year cavalry scout who is assigned to B Troop of Garryowen, also agrees with how the cavalry scouts get trained in the basics of the high-intensity combat fight as opposed to counterinsurgency operations.
"It's a good opportunity for the Soldiers to get back to the very square-one basic of communication; deploying, reporting, observing and providing eyes and ears on the battlefield," Cullen said.
Cullen stated that his mission for Scout Stakes is to relay information from the unit in the field to Garryowen's higher headquarters. He added, despite working out of a vehicle, he still likes what he does.
"I enjoy my job," Cullen said. "I enjoy being a key component in relaying information and commands; everything either comes through me or from me."
Kaness stated the exercise will take place from Feb. 20 to 29 and involve the subordinate units of Garryowen. He also said each troop will run two platoons through the training over a two-day rotation. That's one platoon every 24 to 36 hours with a total of six platoons.
Cullen said this training is good for the Soldiers, especially since most of the Soldiers being observed are new, either to the unit, the HIC fight or are coming from overseas assignments like Korea and Germany. He explained this event will help them communicate better and work as a team to accomplish objectives.
Personally, Cullen said he hopes this Scout Stakes provides him with a better understanding of his job both in a field and combat environment.
Cullen also stated he hopes his fellow scouts get a better understanding of how to work as a team, operate as a scout section and have a better understanding of their job on the ground.
As a prior enlisted Soldier and cavalry scout, Kaness said he looks forward to the upcoming training.
"I'm fired up," Kaness said. "Back in 2000, we did a lot of this stuff; establish observation posts and doing dismount movements. It's really exciting, this is the bread and butter of the reconnaissance guys."
Cullen said being a cavalry scout is a great thing and is a highly-demanded job in the military that takes a lot of hard work, dedication and high caliber individuals.