Freedom Ride Soldiers Compete to Win it All

08/13/2019  |  By Pvt. Hunter Eastman 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
The Griffon
image

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), ruck march at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. This ruck march was one of many events conducted at the 1-304th’s freedom ride event that tested Soldiers’ basic warrior tasks. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

ARMED FORCES RESERVE CENTER LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire — U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), competed in a freedom ride April 4-7 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

The freedom ride was designed to prepare the battalion for an upcoming annual training (AT) event at Fort Benning, Georgia, to help Soldierʼs readiness in training incoming recruits at Basic Combat Training (BCT).​

“We've got about nine different stations and all of them are basic ten-level tasks, something that every Soldier, regardless of rank, should be able to do,” said Lt. Col. Michael Child, commander of the 1-304th. “This is allowing our drill sergeants, drill sergeant candidates and all of our leadership who aren’t in those roles to master those ten-level tasks for when we go down in support of the basic training mission at Fort Benning.”

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Devon Spates, a drill sergeant from 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), fires his M16A2 rifle at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 5, 2019. Spates is participating in a freedom ride that is testing basic warrior tasks and giving Soldiers the opportunity to showcase their skills in events like land navigation, physical fitness and marksmanship. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

Basic ten-level tasks are skills every Soldier is expected to know after graduating BCT and some of these skills include land navigation, medical readiness, physical fitness and weapons proficiency. The battalion took those ten-level tasks and implemented them into their freedom ride to prepare their Soldiers.

“It’s so mission critical to maintain the basic ten-level tasks because if you don’t know how to do something when you go down range, as in deployed, even the smallest of tasks, how are

you going to learn the biggest of tasks,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Colson from C Company, based in Saco, Maine. “If you can maintain the basics you can then go on and maintain the intermediate tasks and the advanced level tasks.”

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Brian Scott, a senior drill sergeant from A Company, 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), maneuvers his way over an obstacle at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. This was one of many challenges Scott and his fellow Soldiers faced during an obstacle course and leadership reaction course that was part of the battalion’s freedom ride event. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

Throughout the weekend, Soldiers faced adverse weather conditions such as frigid temperatures, wind, snow, and rain. That did not stop Soldiers from completing their mission and working together in an effort to make themselves ready for their upcoming AT.

“We have some really outstanding drill sergeants who are always helping each other to maximize training value, and while there is a friendly competition, there is certainly a high degree of helping each other out between all the non-commissioned officers (NCOs),” said Cadet Mohamed Elmaola, a former enlisted Soldier, now an officer in training, from A Company. “Everyone can help each other be more prepared,” he said.

U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Child, commander of 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), practices his marksmanship skills during a reactive fire event at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 5, 2019. Marksmanship was one of the many skills tested during a freedom ride event to put the Soldiers in a competitive environment and test their basic warrior skills. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

Soldiers of the 1-304th were able to use their knowledge to help lead fellow Soldiers while learning new ways to better implement training methods in the future.

“[The freedom ride is] helping our NCOs because it’s reinforcing some of the things we know and some of the things we’re expected to know,” Staff Sgt. Brian Scott, a senior drill sergeant, from A Company, said. “For some of the lower enlisted, the ones who are becoming NCOs, it shows them what we do and what they need to brush up on and be stronger in, so when they go to drill sergeant school they can be better prepared.”

The 1-304th brought the entire battalion together to train, learn, work hard and get down to the bare-bones of what it means to be a Soldier and that’s to be ready at all times.

U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Child, commander of 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), maintains composure as he walks across a rope bridge in full gear at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. This was one of many challenges Child and his Soldiers faced during an obstacle course. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman U.S. Army Reserve Master Sgt. George Pickowicz tests his balance while walking across a rope bridge in full gear at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. As a Soldier, it’s important to have the skills to safely maneuver yourself through harsh and unforgiving terrains and the training provided the Soldiers an opportunity to re-assess their readiness to train recruits at Fort Benning, Georgia later this year. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman
A U.S Army Reserve Soldier from 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), low-crawls through an obstacle in full gear at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. As a Soldier, it’s important to have the strength and skills to maneuver yourself in unforgiving environments. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman U.S Army Reserve Capt. Benjamin Pariser of C Company, 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), pulls himself up a ladder to test his strength and endurance at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts, April 6, 2019. Obstacles like this give Soldiers the opportunity to test their abilities so they can apply them to real-life missions. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

 

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Brian Scott, a senior drill sergeant, from A Company, 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), programs radio frequencies into a SINGARS radio during a training event at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts on April 5, 2019. Radio communications is an integral skill for Soldiers and brushing up on those skills is important for Soldiers to remain prepared on future missions. U.S Army Reserve photo by Spc. Hunter E. Eastman

 

Comments & Ratings
rating
  Comments

There is no comment.






Skip Navigation Links.