I’ve had a lot of trouble understanding why Fort Stewart continues to train soldiers so intensely for the heavy methods of combat, like tanks, when it’s clear most everyone is about to deploy to Afghanistan where those methods are unusable. A tank isn’t practical in those mountains, and I’ve really struggled over why it’s so important to keep the guys away from their families to train on something that seems so moot. I understood training for Afghanistan, but sometimes this heavy training seemed obsolete and unnecessary.
On Monday, at a town hall meeting on Fort Stewart, Lt. Col. Davenport explained it in a way that made sense. “That’s what we do,” he said plainly.
He explained that while right now the 3rd Infantry Division is being called to Afghanistan, they are continually counted on for heavy combat abilities. Should the need ever arise, they need to be continually prepared and up-to-date on how they are meant to operate in their primary capacity.
I get it, I thought. In fact, this is one of the only times where Army training really made sense to me. I’ve noticed that from soldiers to spouses to families, it’s pretty common to grumble about the lack of planning that goes on in the Army. But now, when Fort Stewart steps up and plans and trains for the unexpected, we’re too busy complaining about the time our soldiers are spending in the field to realize they’re giving us exactly what we wanted — smart and useful planning.
It’s hard to imagine anything more important to a military spouse than their soldier’s safety and if a couple more weeks out in the field is the price we have to pay for some just-in-case training, I say it’s worth it.