1st BCT, 1 AD trains congressional staff
Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus,
1st BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:
Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division were able to help provide real-world Army training to nearly 60 congressional staff members Oct. 10 through 12.
The staff members, or “staffers,” who arrived on charter planes, spent three days at Fort Bliss immersing themselves in what it is like to be a Soldier. The tour was designed to showcase the professionalism and discipline encompassing this installation. The staffers not only observed, but also participated in exercises with Soldiers throughout the tour.
Upon arrival, the staff members were briefed, provided with gear, which included their role-playing uniform for their upcoming exercise to the training site Kamal Jabour. Each staffer also had their role-playing character card, so they could participate in the exercise. Before separating and boarding UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, each were armed with an M-4 rifle.
At Kamal Jabour, the staffers were able to observe Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT, 1st AD train as they would in Afghanistan, including a simulated suicide bomb.
Soldiers again were able to train with the staffers, when they conducted physical training with the female engagement team (FET) from 4th Bn., 17th Inf. Regt. After two days of intensive training, staffers tried hard to keep up with the Soldiers, who are members of the only FET at Fort Bliss.
“It was a great shared experience with the staffers giving them a taste of what physical fitness looks like in the Army on a daily basis,” said Capt. Kelly Hasselman, FET commander. “They did well and learned quickly it takes dedication and time to perform at the same level of the average Soldier.”
To experience the full effect, the staffers participated in half-jacks, eight-count push-ups, sit-ups, power jumps, mountain climbers, leg tuck and twist and many other exercises. Some even participated in relay races at the end.
“Most staffers made it through the session with a lot of sweat, but did not quit,” said Hasselman. “All of them had a good time and their spirits were high.”
Additionally, Hasselman said that doing physical training with the staff members mixed up the unit’s daily routine, and was a fun opportunity for them to show others what they do on a daily basis, while also getting to know how others serve the nation.”
Along with this training, the staffers also participated in an M-4 rifle range, an improvised explosive device lane, hands-on training at the Medical Simulation Training Center and they finished the day by jumping off of the rappel tower.
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