Sgt. Richard Wrigley
2ABCT Public Affairs
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The soldiers of the 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion “Titans,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted educators and recruiters, facilitating a daylong demonstration of what Fort Stewart and the Army have to offer new recruits, June 27.
Lt. Col. Rodger Knedel, commander of the 2-3 BSTB, thought the day’s intent was a worthy endeavor, and that the event was an important one.
“It’s a unique opportunity to let (the educators) see a little bit of Fort Stewart and what the Army as a whole has to offer,” Kenedel said.
While the Titans hosted the affair, showcasing Fort Stewart and their soldiers, it was the Jacksonville, Fla., U.S. Army Recruitment Battalion’s “Hammer of the South,” United States Army Recruiting Command, idea to do so.
“We just really want to make sure that these educators and guidance councilors fully understand all the opportunities that rest in the Army,” explained Lt. Col. Stephen Grabski, a native of Somers, Conn., commander of the Jacksonville Recruitment Battalion.
The recruiters, educators and guidance councilors present were from all over northern Florida, and southern Georgia, as it is a very large area that the Hammers of the South preside over, and were clearly there to learn as much as they could about the opportunities gained by joining the Army.
“Our Army recruiter has done great things for our school as far as community outreach goes, so when he asked me to come to Fort Stewart I was like, ‘Sure, I want to learn all I can,’” said Karen Black, a guidance councilor for Echols County Highschool, Statenville, Ga.
The Titans showed off Fort Stewart and the Army well, taking the visitors on a tour that began at the Warriors Walk, a memorial site where an Eastern Redbud Tree has been planted for each 3rd ID soldier who has died during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
From there it continued on to the Titans’ motorpool, where they had a large amount of their equipment and vehicles out on static display. Each piece of equipment had a group of soldiers there ready to explain to the educators what the equipment was used for, and to answer any questions the educators may have about the individual soldiers job. The recruiters also facilitated, explaining how each soldiers occupation translated to the civilian job market.
After that the visitors got to learn all about the healthcare benefits provided for military members and their families, and about all the amazing opportunities for further education that the Army provides its soldiers and their families. They also went to the Virtual Simulation Trainer and had the opportunity to see what it’s like to fire a rifle, albeit a simulated one.
“Fort Stewart is a well developed post with a very well established and excellent facilities, which makes it an excellent place to show the educators what (the Army) is all about,” said Knedel.
This was just the situation Lt. Col. Grabski was hoping for, as one of the biggest obstacles he encounters as a recruiter is the myth that everyone in the Army is just like a G.I. Joe, or one of the numerous overly combat oriented, cliché roles found in the movies.
“The Army has more opportunities for different occupational specialties and career fields than any other service … many educators I speak to simply don’t realize that,” said Grabski.
With the help of the Titans however, this seemed to be changing, as Black seemed particularly impressed with what the Army was capable of in regards to her students and others.
“The Army is a world of opportunity for young people,” said Black.
Sgt. Richard Wrigley
2ABCT Public Affairs
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers of the 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion “Titans”, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, joined faculty and students of the Richmond Hill Elementary School to read Dr. Seuss books to the children at the elementary school March, 1.
Shila Cantele, the school librarian and media specialist, was the coordinator for the day’s event. She explained that March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, as well as the National Read Across America Day, and that the Titans wanted to participate in any way they could.
“We didn’t even have to ask for any help, someone from the unit contacted me and said, ‘We’d like to come in and read to the children,’” Cantele said.
The Titan Soldiers didn’t just go to the school to read a couple books though. They went to promote the importance of reading, said 1st Lt. Jeff Walker, a native of Hays, N.C., and the intelligence officer in charge for 2-3 BSTB.
“[Soldiers] serve as a great role model in the classroom; It’s really good to have someone the students look up to, taking reading and education seriously,” Cantele concurred.
Walker also iterated that the community as a whole played a very large part in the soldiers participating in the school.
“The school, and the Richmond Hill community, are both very supportive of the military, so it’s good for us to come out for a face to face to give back and to support the school and the children,” Walker said.
While the purpose of the day was vastly important, the tone of the day was one of fun and enjoyment. Many of the students were dressed up in cat in the hat hats, and all seemed eager to hear they’re favorite Dr. Seuss story, and to share with the soldiers all they’ve learned about Dr. Seuss.
“We spend so much of the year stressing standards, focusing on end-of-the-year testing - It’s usually work-work-work, so it’s good to just have a fun day to celebrate education, learning and reading,” Cantele said.
All in all, the day was full of fun community relations as the Titan soldiers interacted with the children; yet there was no mistaking the strongest sentiment of the day, which was Dr. Seuss’ legacy as his spirit and message were present in each classroom.
This legacy is probably alliterated best by Dr. Seuss in his book, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Capt. Gina Goris
2ABCT Public Affairs
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – Since November soldiers deployed to Forward Operating Base Mirwais in Uruzgan province have been improving their austere living conditions one day at a time.
Those deployed to Mirwais are from two units: the military advisory team from the Texas National Guard’s 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the security force and protection team from 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team.
FOB Mirwais commander Capt. Jeffery Kennedy from 2-3 BSTB, 2ABCT, said the two teams on the FOB have built walls for the gym, fixed broken water pipes, and ordered supplies for the dining facility.
“These tasks are in addition to their primary roles of advising the Afghan government and providing security for themselves, the FOB, and patrols in the local area,” Capt. Kennedy said.
Improving the conditions at FOB Mirwais is part of the soldiers’ daily routine.
“Daily there is something new we have to address that we did not plan for or expect to happen, such as, building steps, fixing doors, and even helping cook at the dining facility,” said SECFOR platoon leader, 1st Lt. Jonathan Seaton.
“My guys deployed as a security element but they’ve improvised with the tools and capabilities they brought with them to make Mirwais our home,” Seaton said.
Soldiers like SECFOR platoon Sgt. Paul Burk who lives on the FOB enjoys normal duties like patrolling but always look forward to coming back to their home away from home.
“The FOB doesn’t have luxuries of the big bases like Kandahar or Tarin Kot such as shops or big gyms, but we always look forward to going back there after a long days patrol,” Burk said.