In October of 2020, Soldiers of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 414th Regiment, 1st Brigade came together at Camp Rilea, Oregon, to support Task Force (TF) Oregon, a “mega FTX” supporting three Oregon university ROTC programs over four days in an effort to replace the lost training opportunities for Cadets from the cancelled Cadet Summer Training (CST) of 2020.
This was the first time B Co. Soldiers had come together for in person activities in almost six months due to the pandemic, and their enthusiasm to be back out in the field and putting their hands on weapons instead of keyboards was palpable.
Planning for TF Oregon began in June and a call to B Co. was one of the first calls lead planner Maj. Joe Snyder made. “We can’t do this without you” Maj. Snyder said, a sentiment that became reality on day zero of the event when the task force lost their planned medic support.
As I was driving up the beautiful Oregon coastline enroute to Camp Rilea, my phone rang. “We lost our medic support” Maj. Snyder said, “any chance you can help?” We are fortunate in that we share a reserve center with a medical unit and so it took little time to coordinate for a medic from that unit to come out and join us for the weekend. With less than 12-hour notice, Sgt. Katherine L. Woodbury came to Camp Rilea and supported TF Oregon for the entire event, enabling live fire ranges and caring for multiple Cadets throughout the weekend. Not that she minded. In fact, Sgt. Woodbury had such a great time at TF Oregon that she has now transferred over to B Co. so she can continue to teach and care for Cadets in future events.
Throughout the weekend, B Co. ran individual weapons qualifications, served as OPFOR for platoon STX, and served as safeties for the obstacle course and land navigation. Despite the busy schedule, B Co. was also able to find time for a Change of Responsibility ceremony. On the beach at sunset, B Co. held an informal ceremony honoring 1st Sgt. Max Rees and all of his contributions to the company and welcoming in 1st Sgt. Aaron Ziolko as the new B Co. 1SG.
It was an incredible weekend and I have never been prouder to serve as the commander of this amazing group of Soldiers.