Local recruits learn basic Army skills, prepare for future career
By Abigail Meyer, Fort Bliss Bugle Editor:
(El Paso, Texas, March. 16, 2017) “Yes, sergeant!” Future Soldiers and their friends caught on quickly as Soldiers assigned to 1st Armored Division’s Iron Training Detachment taught them a little about Army life. Acknowledging they understood, or at least heard, the instructions given by the ITD Soldiers, the sound of “Yes, sergeant!” rang out across 1st Lt. Paul A. Noel Parade Field here March 4.
Thirty eight recruits and their friends woke up bright and early on their Saturday to learn a little more of what the Army’s all about.
“We’re teaching some of the new recruits who haven’t gone to basic training yet basic Army skills,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Browning, assigned to the ITD. “Helping to keep them motivated and stay excited to go to basic training. Sometimes they have a really large window from the time they decide to join the Army to when they actually ship.”
They started with a little physical training. The ITD Soldiers demonstrated basic Army exercises that those who enlist will do hundreds of times during their military career.
“We’re showing them some fun things that the military does, preparing them and giving them a leg up when they go to basic training,” said Capt. Stephen Berryman, commander, El Paso Recruiting Company.
Michael Hughes, a senior in high school who enlisted to be an infantryman with the option of attending Ranger school, said familiarization days help out a lot.
“I think it’s good because a lot of people who haven’t been in ROTC or anything really need to have a background or a little knowledge of the marching and all that,” Hughes said.
Allen Rabb, another high school senior, enlisted to be a 25U, signal support specialist, and heads off to basic just two weeks after he graduates high school.
“I want to go to college, but I think it’s a good way for me to get job experience and get college paid for,” Rabb said.
Rabb said he’s looking forward to the camaraderie many military members experience.
“It shows the family bond that I’ll actually have when I’m active duty,” Rabb said. “I played football and I liked the camaraderie that we had in football, so it’s going to be there in my job when I join.”
Billy Garrett is considering joining the Army, so he wanted to learn a little more.
“I’ve learned how to march and how to be disciplined,” Garrett said. “It’s fun, I wouldn’t want to spend my Saturday any other way. I want to be a Ranger.”
The future Soldiers spent the whole day at Fort Bliss learning drill and ceremony and then had classes on basic skills such as map reading, individual movement techniques, how to move under fire, drill and ceremony and basic weapons introduction.
“Thank you to Fort Bliss and the training detachment here for the Soldiers and the resources they provide,” Berryman said.
The ITD frequently hosts community outreach events like this, showing members of the El Paso community a little bit of Army life.
“The more that we interact with the community, the more the community appreciates the military here on Fort Bliss,” Browning said. “I think that’s a good thing. If we support the community, they’re going to support the Soldiers.”
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