One Station Unit Training

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Cavalry One Station Unit Training graduates still have to finish their final year of high school, but they will return here, for Secondary Training Option Phase 2 Mission, where they will learn 19D MOS specific tasks. Their focus will be on tasks specific to becoming a Cavalry Scout, setting them apart from other Soldiers in the Army. Photo by Master Sgt. Deborah P. Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The Cavalry is a branch known for its high espirit de corp and proud traditions. The mission of the Cavalry One Station Unit Training is to train new recruits to become well disciplined, highly motivated and physically conditioned combat Soldiers in nine weeks. These Soldiers learn basic Soldiering skills to include land navigation, patrolling and rifle marksmanship. They also learn to employ and fire the AT-4 Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher and the M320 grenade launcher.

The Troop Commander has the overall responsibility for the training and discipline of these Soldiers.  Together with the first sergeant, he ensures they are ready to fight, survive and win in combat.

Three of the most important skills these Soldiers have learned while here are physical fitness, the ability to operate and maintain their weapons and discipline.

Physical training, or PT, is something these warriors have been drilled on nearly every morning since their arrival. It pushed them both physically and mentally, preparing them for any tasks and challenges they may encounter later in their careers in the Army. 

The Army measures physical fitness by conducting the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).  The test currently consists of 2 minutes of Push-Ups, 2 minutes of Sit-Ups, and a 2 mile run. There are multiple drills used to train these events usually led by Drill Sgt. Kenneth Snell, from Crossville, Tennessee.

“My hope is these Soldiers will get with their state NCO’s when they leave here and continue to work on their physical readiness. One of their biggest issues is PT,” said Snell. “Most of them have the mental ability, very smart and good with technology. They can pick up a radio and program it in no time flat. Their main area of focus in the next year should definitely be PT.”

Snell continued, “This is my first time on the trail and I expected early mornings and late nights which happened the whole cycle, but pushing young Soldiers was definitely an experience for me. I did not remember being this immature when I first came in. A lot of them have matured and I look forward to seeing them again next summer, hopefully, they have not back-slid too much.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Hunnicutt, supply sergeant, 2/398th, 98th Training Division (IET), inspects lay-out of OCIE during the One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga. Photo by Master Sgt. Deborah P. Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

Knowing how to operate and maintain weapons is an extremely important part of a Soldier’s job.  These Warriors received training on multiple weapons systems since their arrival, to include the M4 carbine, M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) and the M240 (Machine Gun). Soldiers must know how to properly clear, disassemble, clean, reassemble and correct malfunctions for each weapon system.

“Everything went well. It was very well planned and the training was accomplished. I enjoy doing this,” said Drill Sgt. Anthony Smith, 398th Reg., 98th Training Division (IET).

Smith has a lot of experience as a CAV Instructor and a drill sergeant. “Drill Sgt. Smith is really up on the MOS and as far as weapons, he is one our two subject matter experts,” said Capt. Daniel Burnett, 398th Reg., 98th Training Division (IET), Madisonville, Kentucky.

A large part of instilling discipline into these new Soldiers was Drill and Ceremony. It taught them how to follow orders as well as to be aware of their surroundings and move together as one element said Drill Sgt. Zachary McCay, from Nashville, Tennessee.

“Seeing the end product at graduation is the best part, knowing they will return back to high school more mature, dedicated and able to serve their country,” said McCay. “Hopefully, this will manifest to their peers and in return get more Soldiers into the military because they will see the final product; an outstanding young Soldier.”

This is just a little bit of what the warriors went through over the last nine weeks here.

These Soldiers were trained on a variety of tasks such as IED Defeat Lanes, 16K Road Marches and Urban Operations challenging them mentally and physically for nine weeks, learning they can survive and win, pushing beyond what they thought they were capable of. Photo by Mr. James Williams, Unit Public Affairs Representative

“These Soldiers have been up before 2:30 in the morning to complete three road marches and three Field Training Exercises since they arrived. Nine weeks ago these Soldiers arrived as untrained, but motivated civilians,” said 1st Sgt. Mitch Latham, 398th Reg., 95th Training Division (IET). “We may pick up these same privates next summer for the Secondary Training Option Phase 2 Mission.”

Both active duty and three rotations of reserve component Drill Sergeants and Cavalry Instructors teamed together and invested countless hours into the health and welfare of these Soldiers, ensuring they became tactically proficient in all their Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.

“The great thing about being here is the active and reserve components working together, problem solving, figuring things out,” said Burnett. “We have a really healthy relationship right now, working together with our best practices on what we can do different at home station to prepare for next year.”

When these Soldiers return next summer, they will complete the final two phases of their training.

“This is split option, normal basic combat training,” said Burnett. “They still have to finish their final year of high school, but they will return here, for STO2, where they will learn 19D MOS specific tasks.”

Their focus will be on tasks specific to becoming a Cavalry Scout, setting them apart from other Soldiers in the Army. Cavalry Scouts are the eyes and ears of the U.S. Army. They collect and relay information on the terrain and the enemy so that the commander can make battlefield decisions. The Cavalry Scout is the most demanding and most rewarding occupational specialty that the Army has to offer.

These Soldiers were trained on a variety of tasks and challenged mentally and physically, learning they can survive and win, pushing beyond what they thought they were capable of. They have earned the right and have met the requirements to graduate Basic Combat Training, they are now United States Army Soldiers.

The graduation for these Soldiers concluded with the donning of the beret ceremony, symbolizing the completion of Basic Combat Training.

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