IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR TRAINING
By Cadet Eric Budginas
The soft smash of grass crushed under a boot stepping down. The slow inhalation of air, steadying oneself with all senses on high. Then, the shattering “boom! boom!” sound signifying incoming small arms fire, and finally react to contact.
Thus begins Warrior Stakes at USAG Red Cloud, Republic of Korea. Attached to the 2ID , during our stay here in Korea, we got to experience an integral and invaluable training event here with the 2ID called “Warrior Stakes.” This day-long round robin training session consisted of CBRN and MOPP level acquisition, communications and radio operations, medical/field aid, IED response and containment, land navigation and dismounted patrolling, and detainment/security measures and inspections.
Coming from ROTC, we had already covered some of this basic material; however there was a vast portion of new material, which provided an immensely rewarding experience while working with the 2ID HHBN Soldiers. It really provided a great opportunity to see and get a feel for the integral relationship that officers and enlisted personnel have, it showed me how to interact with both experienced and fresh new Soldiers, learning from their experiences, as well as building key relations for the future.
One other incredible opportunity was training alongside with KATUSA soldiers. Being able to experience and see first-hand how Korean citizens turned American-part-time-soldiers behave, train and interact with each other really showed me that military tactics and training can be taught to all personnel, regardless of culture. It was humbling to see and work with Korea KATUSA’s side by side, sweating and breathing heavily as we scrambled to don our CBRN gear, clambered around obstacles to gain firing positions, and reacted in order to clear an IED area. Their diligence and will to serve, as well as their eagerness to be professional soldiers, was quite and eye-opening portrayal of the Korean spirit. Warrior Stakes proved to be more than a great training experience.