FORT CARSON, Colo. (1/24/2013) - Twenty-seven local community
leaders from the Colorado Springs region had an opportunity to gain
an inside look at a soldier's life Jan. 17 during the Leadership
Fort Carson tour.
The leaders were invited by Maj. Gen.
Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort
Carson, to learn about and experience a day at the post to help
build lasting relationships between the local communities and the
soldiers of Fort Carson.
The day started at the Elkhorn
Conference Center for breakfast and a welcome from Anderson. The
guest speaker was Steve Bach, mayor of Colorado Springs, who spoke
of the relationship Fort Carson and Colorado Springs have
established throughout the years.
The group went to the
division headquarters where Anderson presented a 4th Infantry
Division and Fort Carson briefing followed by a moderated discussion
on leadership. This was an open dialogue with Anderson for
exchanging ideas and answering questions about Fort Carson and the
More than half of the visitors said that this time
spent with Anderson was the best part of the day.
Training Support Center, located in building 2012, was the next stop
on the tour, where soldiers from the Fires and Effects Coordination
Cell, 4th Infantry Division, met the group.
Soldiers in full
battle gear and TSC staff provided information about protective
clothing and instructions on donning equipment. The group received
hands-on training on the Equipment Skills Trainer 2000, M4 carbine
simulator, improvised explosive device awareness training and
observed the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer.
Lunch was at
Stack Dining Facility where the group met 10 noncommissioned
officers and 10 junior officers from 4th Brigade Support Battalion,
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
discussions over lunch left a lasting impression with Lisa Buckley,
chief executive officer, American Automation Buildings Solutions.
“(The soldier) was inspirational,” said Buckley. “He is about to
be deployed for the second time and is proud to serve and protect
After lunch, the group went to range 115 for
hands-on weapons training and live fire with Company B, 1st
Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division.
The group received basic classes on moving a casualty on the
battlefield, manning an observation post, wearing of all safety
gear, loading and clearing a weapon, firing the M240B machine gun
and watched downed gunner drills, where incapacitated vehicle
gunners are swapped out with another soldier.
“I loved firing
the machine gun,” said Peter Braza, dean, College of Letters, Arts
and Sciences, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The leaders visited Survivor Outreach Services where Braza was moved
by the sacrifices that soldiers sometimes make for the love of their
“I found the Fallen Heroes Family Home to be very
sobering; I just could not stop staring at the pictures of the
Soldiers with their wives and kids,” he said. “I am grateful for all
of those people who have made that sacrifice in service to their
The day ended with a social at the Hub, where the
4th Infantry Division Band played light jazz as the group mingled
with brigade commanders, Fort Carson Good Neighbor Ryer Hitchcock
and alumni from previous leadership tours.
Brig. Gen. Ryan
Gonsalves, deputy commanding general for maneuver, 4th Infantry
Division and Fort Carson, gave each attendee a certificate, along
with the group photo taken with Anderson. Before presenting the
certificates, Gonsalves gave each member of the group a chance to
speak about their experience that day at Fort Carson.
majority said the interaction with the soldiers was invaluable and
the hands-on training was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I would absolutely come back if invited,” said Bill Becker,
business development manager, Security Service Federal Credit Union.
“I have several staff in the credit union I will look at bringing
in. I have a fair amount of interaction with different leaders in
(Colorado) Springs that I am going to tell that this is a good thing
to go do.”
Braza said the experience has inspired him to want
to do more.
“The people here are candid and I can't help but
be impressed,” he said. “I would do it again if provided with the
opportunity. I would like to help out some of the soldiers (who want
to) come to UCCS and pave the way for them, either the current
Soldiers or the ones on their way out.”
The quarterly held
Leadership Fort Carson tour is happening again this spring and will
be the fifth time in which Fort Carson has reached out to its
neighbors in the Colorado Springs region to provide an in-depth view
of what happens here on a daily basis.
By Army Cpl. William Smith
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