FORT POLK, LA, UNITED STATES
FORT POLK, La. – The partnership between a military organization and its surrounding communities has long played an important role in the effectiveness, training and readiness of the unit. Leaders from around Louisiana were extended an invitation from the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI) “Patriots” to see how the unit operates during the Mountain Peak training exercise at Fort Polk.
The visiting community members were shown the capabilities of the unit and how they are employed on the battlefield. They also experienced a taste of Soldier life when they were treated to a Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) for lunch.
Col. Brian Sullivan, commander, 3BCT, said that this event is a unique opportunity to bring the communities together.
“In terms of engagement, the military typically goes out to the community. When we do bring them on post, we typically bring them to the headquarters or a community center. Mountain Peak presented a unique opportunity to show the community a brigade combat team in action,” said Sullivan. “I think it is important for the surrounding community to understand how units train. This understanding strengthens the bonds that already exist from the more typical engagements.”
Col. Sullivan went on to stress the importance of partnering with the local communities.
“I don't think of it as a relationship. Rather the military is part of its surrounding community,” said Sullivan. “Given the size of 3/10 relative to Fort Polk's total Soldier population, 3/10 is incredibly important to Vernon Parish, particularly to its economy and to its schools.”
Rick Allen, the Mayor of Leesville, said that seeing the Soldiers up close gave him a better appreciation for what they do.
“It made it very real to see that these guys and ladies put themselves into harm’s way for our Country,” said Allen. “It’s our duty to support them and as a community we do our best to do that.”
Mayor Allen added that the partnership between the military and community is strong.
“I think that the relationship between us and Fort Polk, not just Leesville but the whole parish has never been better,” said Allen.
When asked about his impression of the Soldiers, Keith Lewing, the Mayor of Anacoco said he was impressed.
“It’s about unspeakable for what they do, the things that they do to give freedom to us is just very impressive,” said Lewing.
Capt. Kevin Maguire, the 3BCT Civil Affairs Officer and organizer of the event, said that the visit has strengthened the bonds between the communities.
"This event helped show our community leaders the various capabilities of 3BCT as well as reinforce the bond between the unit and the community."
Even the though the visit is over the partnership and bond between Fort Polk and the communities it belongs to will continue to grow.
||FORT POLK, LA, US
This work, Louisiana Leadership Learns What it Takes to be a Soldier, by CPT Joshua Ellerson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.