Dear Dragoon friends and family, it’s Thursday and everyone here is working very hard to reach their goal of becoming a United States Army Soldier. After weeks of really nice weather, things have begun to change. The rains rolled in earlier today and we expect thunder and lightning later on this evening. After that temperatures should cool off and this unseasonably pleasant weather will come to an end.
And now for the update:
Alpha Company (Graduation Week): After ten long weeks, Alpha Rock graduated today. Unsurprisingly we had a full house at Baker Theater this morning, with every seat filled with excited family and friends. It was nice to see everyone there today and it was a pleasure meeting with some of the families after conclusion of the ceremony. As I write these words everyone is out enjoying their day pass, spending some more time with their loved ones.
Bravo Company (Week 6): The Bulldogs shrugged on heavy backpacks this morning and set out before dawn on a long foot march to the field. They started Field Training Exercise II (FTX II) today out in the woods, learning how to conduct themselves as members of a squad in a tactical environment. They have spent the day learning how to do “battle drills” and tonight they will execute their very first patrols. They will spend the night in the field—attempting to stay dry—before resuming their training again after sunrise.
Charlie Company (Week 1): The Comanches started off their day with some Physical Readiness Training before dawn—getting in a bit of vigorous exercise to start their day. After that they marched out to one of our obstacle courses and went through “BTT I”—which is a leader reaction course. It started to rain pretty hard by the end of it and they got soaked to the skin as they marched back to the battalion area where they spent the rest of the day getting classroom instruction.
Delta Company (Week 7): Dawg Company rolled out of the “Dawg Pound” just after breakfast and headed out to Range 12 to conduct the Buddy Team Live Fire exercise. Their time was spent conducting fire and maneuver, engaging targets while team members crawled and sprinted from cover to cover. It was a great way to emphasize fire control and distribution in a controlled environment while also reinforcing the tenets of “shoot, move, communicate.”
Echo Company (Week 9): The Eagles are now finishing up the last day of FTX III under the most punishing of conditions. They have been running patrols around the clock and the majority of them are completely exhausted. They are covered in grime and they are plodding along like zombies right about now. They’ve also been getting poured on all day long so they are soaking wet as well. This ordeal isn’t quite over yet, but they are almost there and the light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
I want to once again thank all the families and friends that were able to make it out for Alpha Company’s graduation today. It was a great pleasure to see you all out there in the audience and it was a distinct privilege to meet with some of you. I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed your time together with your new Soldier.
Everyone have a wonderful evening.
Lieutenant Colonel Gries