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    Saber Recon Staff Ride ‘18: Normandy, France

    Saber Recon Staff Ride ‘18: Normandy, France

    Photo By Capt. Ellen Brabo | During the 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment staff ride, officers and non-commissioned...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    2d Cavalry Regiment

    Written by 2nd Lt. Patrick Piedad, 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment

    Over 70 years ago, on the beaches of Normandy, France, American Soldiers experienced some of the most physically challenging and strategically demanding combat to take place during the 20th century. Though much has changed in tactics and technology since the landings on Omaha and Utah Beach, the Battle for Normandy still provides profound and critically important lessons for any military leader on the importance of training, experience and commitment.

    During the 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment staff ride, officers and non-commissioned officers visited key battlefields and memorials in Normandy, April 18 – 20, 2018. At each site, they reflected on lessons learned from history, and discussed how to best adapt them to their own training plans, in order to better prepare their Soldiers for future combat.

    The Saber Squadron staff ride, led by Ernest Roth of CSM Solutions Inc., covered the scope of the entire Normandy Campaign, from the initial airborne assault, to the amphibious landings on the beaches, to the hard-won battles throughout the hedgerows of the French countryside. Discussions along the way covered a similarly broad scope, from the importance of tactical expertise and discipline among the junior leaders of the 1st Infantry Division, who stormed Omaha Beach under the devastating fire of German strong point defense, to the intense, multi-national strategic coordination and cooperation that made Operation Overlord a success.

    Along the way, leaders of the Saber Squadron shared in the camaraderie and took advantage of the time to discuss how lessons learned could be applied to their own organization.

    “Visiting these hallowed grounds, studying and analyzing the events of June 1944 from the strategic to the tactical, and building the team as we discuss how to improve ourselves and our unit, were all outcomes of this great event,” said Lt. Col. Gregory V. Campion, commander, 4/2 CR. “We are fortunate and humbled to have opportunities like these in U.S. Army Europe.”

    During the three day event, squadron leadership visited multiple battlefield sites including Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Brecourt Manor, La Fiere and Bloody Gulch. The sites provided context to understand terrain, the human dimension and lessons learned by leaders and Soldiers on the ground during the battle.

    "The staff ride was an incredible experience,” shared 1st Lt. Nick Calderon, platoon leader, 2nd Platoon, Quickstrike Troop, 4/2CR. “There were so many lessons that we learned from examining the various sites in Normandy. Even though it's been a long time since World War II, I can apply most of those lessons as a platoon leader today. It's also extremely humbling to see where our grandfathers fought and the sacrifices that they made there."

    Additionally, this experience provided time to discuss and understand a much less quantifiable and trainable skillset – the grit and commitment required to overcome great odds in service to a greater mission.

    Campion, at informal professional development discussions each evening prior to dinner, emphasized this point by posing a question to squadron leadership.

    “How do we prepare our Soldiers, especially inexperienced soldiers, for combat?” asked Campion.

    The staff ride concluded at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach, the burial site of 9,387 American Soldiers. While the cemetery played the United States national anthem, the squadron conducted a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate those interred at the memorial. The squadron’s two newest lieutenants laid a wreath at the base of the “Spirit of Youth” statue, and “Taps” honored the sacrifices at Normandy.

    The Saber Recon Staff Ride ‘18 instructed leaders in the value of strategic level planning, asset management and integration, effective mission command, agile and adaptive junior leaders and the importance of tactic fundamentals to unit readiness. As a result of this experience, the leaders of 4/2CR will revise their own training plans in order to ensure readiness.



    Date Taken: 05.10.2018
    Date Posted: 05.10.2018 03:09
    Story ID: 276440
    Location: NORMANDY, FR 

    Web Views: 331
    Downloads: 0