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NEWS | Jan. 8, 2024

Junior Washington Guard Members Take Lead in Training

By Spc. John Stauffer, 122nd Theater Public Affairs Support Element

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, conducted Battle Drill One Alpha at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Jan. 6.

The training was geared toward reacting to contact. The squad had no idea when or what they are going to get hit with. Their job was to quickly assess the situation and react accordingly. The added twist this time was putting the junior members in charge.

“We were putting them in leadership roles,” Cpl. Dilan Saeed said. “It’s to get them ready and plant that seed for their future and getting them to realize and know what a team leader has to do and what their job entails. We hope that they take our place one day.”

The training begins when the squad steps off for a patrol in the woods. They are given intelligence that there are potential hostiles in the area and ordered to find and neutralize them. In this case, the squad was ambushed by hostiles behind a wooded hill. Saeed’s team performed cover and move tactics to keep the hostiles pinned down so they could storm the hill.

Once they gained access to the hill, they swept the area, terminated any remaining hostiles and took inventory of all personnel, equipment and ammo. A member of Saeed’s team was a simulated casualty. The rest of the team had to get to a safe area, security it and ask for medical evacuation.

“My favorite part is being with the guys,” said Saeed. “Even the not-so-fun stuff like being out here in the wet and cold. Pain and suffering is a cohesion and we go through it together and become closer as the training goes on.”

After the medevac request was sent, the training ended and an after-action review was conducted to highlight what went well and what needs to be corrected.

“It's a collective suffering,” said Pfc. Marcellus Thomson, one of the members under Saeed. “I don’t mind it though. We’re out here together embracing it.”



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