News: ‘Vanguard’ infantrymen train to master basics
FORT STEWART, Ga. – Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, honed their skills during live fire exercises, Aug. 20, on Fort Stewart, Ga.
The training consisted of timed combat live fire, reflexive fire and media awareness training.
The combat live fire consisted of engaging targets from barricades in three different shooting positions; reflexive firing consisted of engaging targets while walking sideways and in a zigzag.
The exercise began with 2nd Lt. Mike J. Gabbard, the officer in charge of the training and platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, Company B, 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., briefing safety and firing instructions.
Gabbard, an Annapolis, Md., native, said that shooting while moving laterally introduced a new concept to the Soldiers, some of whom are new to Company B.
“Practice, practice, practice, that’s how you get better,” said Sgt. 1st Class David M. Roberts, the platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Company B., 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt. “Anytime you get trigger time, it makes you better.”
Roberts, a Destin, Fla., native, said mastering the fundamentals can be the most challenging part of the training, and it is better to make mistakes during training rather than while deployed.
Safeties and coaches were provided for each firer because of the participation of all soldiers in the exercises.
Pfc. Wallace R. Santos, 23, an infantryman with 1st Platoon, Company B, 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., adapted quickly to the training. The Brazil native, who hails from Orlando, Fla., was selected to demonstrate the steps to his peers after he went through the reflexive fire and perfectly completed the task on his first run.
“One safety per person makes you feel confident,” Santos said. “There’s a connection with the people you train with.”
The sun was trying to shine through the calm steady rain allowing a variety of conditions during the training, similar to the variety of training simultaneously taking place. The training also allowed for new soldiers to zero their weapon systems.
To add to the busy training day, soldiers received media engagement training from a brigade public affairs representative during rotations.