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    Soldier Spotlight: Maj. Robert Weir, the British Dragoon



    Story by 1st Lt. Nancy Gomez 

    2d Cavalry Regiment

    VILSECK, GERMANY – At any given midafternoon, anyone can hear a soft whistle amidst the never-ending clacking of the Regimental S3 shop’s keyboards, from the distinct whistle indicating that it is time for the daily tea break. Maj. Robert Weir pours out a hot cup and gazes out the window to a familiar weather like in his homeland.

    Maj. Robert Weir is the only non-U.S. Army Soldier in the 2d Cavalry Regiment (2CR) since April 2020, and serves as the Plans Officer.

    Coming from the British Army’s Royal Regiment of Scotland, Maj. Weir brings a wealth of knowledge that benefits the Regiment. Maj. Weir also worked as an instructor at the Infantry Training Center in England, and as a Staff Officer at the Infantry Battle School in Wales.

    He enlisted as a UK reservist in 2004, commissioned as an infantry officer from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2010, and deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

    It is not uncommon to find foreign army officers working within the U.S. Army ranks, but it is extremely rare to find them working at the Brigade level, as they are usually seen at the Division level or at higher echelons.

    As the Regiment Planner, he is responsible for 2CR’s participation in theatre-wide exercises aligned with U.S. Army’s Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF)’s strategic initiatives.

    “I essentially head up the joint exercise life cycle events for the major exercises,” he explained. For “Dragoon Ready, Saber Junction, Saber Strike.... I’ll attend the majority of those [planning] conferences as well.”

    Maj. Weir’s work does not go unnoticed. 2CR’s leadership speak nothing but high praise for him.

    Lt. Col. Phillip Mundweil, the Deputy Commander of 2CR, values his “perspective, incredible work ethic, and ability to deliver.” Without hesitation, he sends Maj. Weir to represent the 2CR well, as he “delivers on tactically sound, doctrinally correct products,” and engages with senior leaders effortlessly.

    “We pay him the ultimate compliment by giving him hard work to do, because he performs,” says Lt. Col. Mundweil.

    For Maj. Weir to earn this foreign officer position, he had to work hard and distinguish himself from his peers, in a process much like the U.S. Army’s AIM-2 Marketplace, or a job interview.

    Being the Plans Officer in 2CR is not unlike being a Plans Officer in the British Army according to Maj. Weir. He takes the guidance of the Regimental Commander (RCO) and the Regimental Operations Officer (S3) and determine their feasibility with his team of U.S. Army captains, making recommendations and modifications as necessary.

    Plans that Maj. Weir and his team make are for operations scheduled to execute from six months to two years.

    One thing that Maj. Weir noticed that differs the American Army and British Army, is the operations tempo, commonly referred to as the OPTEMPO. 2CR often conducts multiple operations back-to-back, with its Squadrons training across Europe, and when they return they continue to train in their backyard, the Grafenwoehr Training Area. This requires simultaneous planning for future operations year-round, and it is a good thing Maj. Weir is up for the task.

    Despite the high OPTEMPO that 2CR endures, Maj. Weir is impressed by the “can-do” attitude of the U.S. Army.

    He admires the fact that no matter what task are given to U.S. Soldiers, they acknowledge it and execute. Some of his colleagues, U.S. Army Majors Ryan David and Sean Navin, who mentored him in various ways on how to develop this mindset and be successful in his role.

    During field training exercises, he assists the Regimental Executive Officer and S3 during the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) and focuses on the NATO partner planning perspective. Maj. Weir can be “found drinking [tea] or coffee [with his U.S. counterparts] in the planning tent,” he muses, “trying to concoct the next hare-brained scheme to defeat the [1-4IN BN]” down at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC).

    Maj. Weir is crucial in helping the 2CR learn they must use a mutual language with their multinational partners. U.S. Army Officers are used to speaking their own technical jargon, but in this environment, Maj. Weir is used as a sounding board to ensure that there is mutual understanding between 2CR and its partners.

    Maj. Weir learned about the 7 Questions, which is the British equivalent to the U.S. Army’s MDMP. Instead of courses of action (COA) analysis, which is MDMP’s focus, 7 Questions revolves around effects. If any military and its multinational partners do not follow the same language, they are at risk for constant miscommunication, and foreign officers like Maj. Weir help mitigate that risk.

    The DCO appreciates that Maj. Weir “brings the perspective of a partner military force” to their planning, as it allows the staff to train more effectively and learn to work well with their NATO partners to achieve USAREUR-AF's initiatives.

    "How he thinks about planning [is] hugely additive” to the Regiment’s planning.

    After he is finished with his tea, Maj. Weir goes back to planning future operations, mentoring junior captains, or working with the staff on effective communication with multinational partners. The 2d Cavalry Regiment is glad to have him on the team.



    Date Taken: 12.02.2021
    Date Posted: 12.03.2021 06:22
    Story ID: 410301

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