Around the Command


Noncommissioned officers and Soldier Instructors from 3rd Battalion, 518th Regiment pose with the ROTC cadets from Appalachian State University for a photo to commemorate a day of great training and a newly forged partnership in Hickory, N.C.

Appalachian State University Cadets Receive Training, Mentorship

Hickory, N.C. — The 3rd Battalion, 518th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) hosted Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from Appalachian State University to provide training, mentorship, and assistance in preparation for the cadets’ upcoming ROTC competition known as Ranger Challenge.

The Ranger Challenge competition evaluates teams of university cadets across the nation through a series of rigorous physical and mental tasks. 

The intent of the competition is to assess not only a team’s proficiency while performing basic Soldier skills, but also their ability to work as a cohesive team, all within a healthy yet competitive environment. Each cadet who volunteers and is selected for the Ranger Challenge team must set aside additional time from their university studies to train for the competition.

During the visit, noncommissioned officers and Soldiers from Echo Company presented several blocks of instructional training intended to both familiarize and further strengthen the cadets’ knowledge of basic Soldier skills. The training covered a variety of skills ranging from fundamentals of basic rifle marksmanship, assembly and disassembly of weapon systems including the M16 assault rifle and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, loading and communicating on the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System radio equipment, and properly sending a 9-line Medical evacuation request.

After lunch, the cadets practiced the hands-on training they received during the morning block of instruction in a friendly competition set up by the noncommissioned officers and Soldiers of Echo Company. The timed competition paired up cadets into two-man battle buddy teams, and incorporated the cadets’ hands-on training with physical challenges such as pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups in between each station.

Retired Army Sgt. Donald Walters, Jr.

At the conclusion of the day, the cadets met with the noncommissioned officers and Soldier instructors to conduct an after action review on the strengths and needed improvements of their training. Ultimately it was decided an ongoing partnership with the 3-518th would be beneficial not only to the cadets, but also provide a challenging and fun opportunity to interact with, and learn from, one another.

Homes for our Troops

Retired Army Sgt. Donald Walters, Jr., enlisted in the Army in January 2001. He served two tours to Iraq, in 2003 and 2005. While serving as an Infantryman with the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1/8 Infantry between 2003 and 2006, Walters was unknowingly exposed to chemicals that resulted in his development of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. He also sustained a traumatic brain injury in an improvised explosive device blast during his 2005 deployment to Iraq.

Walters was medically retired in 2007, due to his TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2008, doctors found lesions on Walters’ brain, which led to the diagnosis of PPMS. The condition has been determined to be combat related, caused by frequent exposure to chemicals while confiscating and destroying munitions. Currently Walters has lost the use of both feet and some of his vision. He has also experienced weakened strength in both of his upper extremities, and uses a wheelchair almost fulltime due to the progression of his PPMS.

Walters lives for fishing and hunting, he finds time in the woods and at the lake to be a source of peace, allowing him to take his mind off his current medical condition. Although he is working hard to maintain his health and keep up his physical strength. The family’s current home lacks many modifications for wheelchair convenience, and he can only access a few rooms.

Walters would love to cook for his family, but cannot fit his wheelchair or walker in the kitchen, so he relies on his wife, Dawnette, or his son, David, to prepare meals.  A new specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops will ensure that Walters has the independence he needs to take part in these daily activities with family while functioning in a safe environment.  Living without a mortgage will ease worrying about working and finances, and will free up his time him, allowing him to volunteer in his community, particularly with the local Fraternal Order of Eagles where he currently holds a chair.

Walters says he is humbled and extremely grateful to everyone involved with Homes for Our Troops.

“It is organizations and people like you that restore my faith in humanity after seeing such destruction during my deployments,” said Walters.

Third Battalion, 518th Regiment Partners with Cadets

By 1st Lt. Christin Heverly
3rd Bn., 518 Inf. Regt., 98th Training Division (IET) Army Nurse

Greensboro, N.C. — Delta Company 3rd Battalion, 518 Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) recently partnered with Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at North Carolina A&T University to provide drill and ceremony instruction and mentorship on Oct. 13 2016.

The day started with a first formation, where the cadets first met to the drill sergeants. Most of the cadets had no prior interaction with drill sergeants. The group then moved to the practice field, during which time the drill sergeants of Delta Company immediately started providing instruction and feedback on proper marching technique to the cadets. Once at the practice field the cadets were broken down into their squads for further individual and group instruction on drill and ceremony. The cadets were introduced to: the position of attention, present arms, facing movements, spacing intervals, and the proper appearance of a formation.

Once the drill and ceremony instruction was complete, the drill sergeants participated in a question and answer panel. It was an open forum for the cadets to ask the drill sergeants any questions they had. The most common questions included; how to build rapport as a new lieutenant, noncommissioned officers expectations of a new lieutenant, and the proper way for enlisted Soldiers to interact with officers. The Delta Company drill sergeants did a fantastic job interacting with the cadets, answering their questions, and establishing a working relationship with them. The ultimate goal of the mission was to familiarize the cadets with drill sergeants and their role in training; the results far exceeded expectations. The partnership between the 3-518th and NC A&T University ROTC program is nascent and are excited about the possibilities the future might hold between these two groups.

Zero Day PT Event

By LTC Kelly Mims

Soldiers of Charlie Company, 1-415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), took on the tasks of creating a Zero day of Basic Combat Training experience for over 100 men and woman employed at United Services Automobile Association at the North Phoenix USAA campus location in Phoenix, Arizona on Oct. 21, 2016.

Zero Day Physical Training brings together USAA employees to expose them to a small taste of the training military recruits receive. The day started bright and early with a 4 a.m. arrival time. The employees were taken on a short bus ride to create the anticipation of traveling from reception to the training area where Drill Sergeants were awaiting their arrival. The training session lasted until approximately three hours and included warm up exercises, conditioning, team-building and finished with a 1.5 mile run. The main goal of Zero Day PT is to help strengthen cultural understanding of the military community and its members so the employees at USAA can better advocate on their behalf. A USAA employ said that the Zero Day PT event helps to educate employees about the hard work and sacrifices of the military members they work with on a daily basis.This is Charlie Company’s second time participating in the event. It is a great experience for the drill sergeants as well as the Candidates to use their knowledge and put their own skills to the test. It is also great to see the community come out and support Charlie Company and the rest of the military members. Zero Day PT is an event both USAA and Charlie Company look forward to every year. It is a very exciting event to share with the military community!


Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.