News: Cavalry scout
Story by Maj. Will Cox
FT. STEWART, Ga. Mar. 2014 – Staff Sgt. Jeffery Peets joined the Army in 2002 to become a cavalry scout and deployed twice to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division. He employed his field craft on the battlefield, built lifelong relationships and nurtured a passion for serving his nation.
“I became a 19Delta [cavalry scout] because I wanted a combat MOS [military occupational specialty] and there is gratification in being out front, being the tip of the spear,” said Peets. “It is rewarding to see how being out front supports the mission.”
The U.S. Army’s 19D overview reports the cavalry scout is responsible for being the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. They engage the enemy in the field, track and report enemy activity and direct the employment of weapon systems.
“[After taking an armed services vocational aptitude battery test,] a Guardsmen will go to basic training and advance individual training for 16 weeks at Ft. Knox Kentucky and then placed in a unit,” said Peets.
Peets left the Army after his first enlistment to attend college on the G.I. Bill, but upon graduation realized he missed the military. To achieve both his personal and professional goals, he joined the Georgia Army National Guard’s Bravo Troop, 3-108th Reconnaissance and Surveillance Squadron.
“I joined back up because I missed that camaraderie,” said Peets. “After you have experienced things that Soldiers experience, there is no tighter bond than the bond you can have in a combat platoon.”
During weekend drills and annual training, Peets now helps train the next generation of cavalry scouts to accomplish their duties as a driver, gunner, or truck commander. He focuses on cross training everybody on the equipment and building teamwork.
“Training like this is great for the new guys on our team. It gives them a chance to be put in positions that they have not been in before,” said Peets. “For example Pvt. 1st Class Kyle Williams has never been a gunner. This is his first annual training and it gives him a chance to utilize the weapon systems, the optics and all of the equipment.”
The Army National Guard is composed of 85 percent traditional Guardsmen who seek to serve as “Citizen Soldiers” while pursing civilian careers. The Army National Guard benefits the nation by retaining the experience and training invested into Soldiers like Peets by giving them a part time option in their state of choice after full time military service.
The Georgia Army National Guard has four Cavalry Scout Troops. Alpha, 3-108th R&S is currently located in Douglasville. Bravo, 3-108th R&S is currently located at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta. Both of these units will move to the Atlanta Readiness Center, which is currently under construction. Alpha and Bravo 1-108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition Squadron are located in Cedartown and Canton respectively.