News: Spouses train in the Black Diamond boot camp
Story by Sgt. Richard Wrigley
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- The sun was slowly rising over the 92nd Engineer’s motor pool, casting long shadows across the ground as the sun’s rays hit a sea of engineering equipment here Nov., 29. The sun wasn’t quite high enough yet to warm anything to any notable degree, and it was just cold enough to still see the breath of many of the civilians milling about the military compound. Amidst the many large engineering tractors, the civilians ate breakfast served on paper plates out of a mobile kitchen trailer, the field kitchen Soldiers are accustomed to using, and readied themselves for the next stage of their boot camp.
Spouses of the 92nd Engineering Battalion “Black Diamonds”, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, participated in an organizational “boot camp” hosted by the soldiers of the 92nd Engineer Battalion.
The boot camp was an all day event, starting early in the morning with physical readiness training warm-up drills, and a modified Army Physical Fitness Test, explained Capt. Jennifer Bellamy, a native of Tampa Bay, Fla., and the assistant officer in charge of the operations and training office of the 92nd EB.
Bellamy was one of the main coordinators who helped put the event together.
After the APFT the spouses then got to eat to eat the same breakfast soldiers get out in the field prepared in an MKT, and then went on to rotate through and compete in three events: rifle marksmanship at the Electronic Skills Trainer, confidence building at the obstacle course, and an equipment games station in the motor pool where spouses were able to operate some of the battalion’s equipment with soldier supervision, continued Bellamy.
While the day was meant to be fun and challenging, there were other purposes for the event as well.
“Were deploying to Afghanistan soon…the battalion commander has really pushed this, he wanted us to have a good event that would allow the spouses of our soldiers to come together and meet each other before we deployed,” Bellamy said.
After everyone completed all three events the group of spouses gathered at the battalion headquarters where they ate Meals Ready to Eat for lunch and talked about the day’s activities, after which each individual’s score was tallied, and an award ceremony was held in which the top three scorers were awarded battalion coins.
Nichole Hannon, a native of Pasadena, Md., and the wife of 1st Lt. Brad Hannon, of the 92nd EB, was the high scorer of the day, earning first place, and described the day as a great experience.
“I got to know a lot of the wives, and I got to experience what [my husband] does, and really see what a normal day for him consists of,” said Hannon.
“Now I have a little more appreciation for why he’s so tired when he comes home,” Hannon added with a smile.
“The Spouses enjoyed just being together,” said Anna Hurning, a native of Szczecin, Poland, and the family readiness support assistant for the 92nd EB.
Hurning helped plan the event and also went between the stations through out the day and made sure everything went smoothly.
Hurning probably summed up the impact of the event best when she said, “Since the battalion is deploying soon I think many of the spouses kind of just needed to meet someone who understands what they are going through … it gave them a battle buddy.”