As any Soldier will tell you, deployments require a substantial amount of training prior to the departure date. For troopers of 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry it is no different; Medical check-ups, legal appointments, driver and roll over training, cultural familiarization, weapons qualification and dozens of other requirements are just a few of the preparations that keep Soldiers very busy prior to a deployment. Just as significant as Soldier’s Readiness is Family readiness.
The strain of long deployments overseas is even more difficult if Families have not been prepared.
The 3/7 Cav. has put on several events to strengthen Family Readiness and integrate troopers’ loved ones into Squadron life.
"We’ve had the Rocky Puppet Show for children of deploying troopers, as well two town hall meetings where Families can ask questions about upcoming missions," said 1st Lt. Leighton Cornish, the Squadron FSO. "It really helps Families feel more comfortable when the Squadron Leadership takes proactive steps to keep them in the loop."
Even with the high-paced tempo of pre-deployment training, 3/7 Cav. still took time to host the annual Saber Ball in down town Savannah. The event was steeped in tradition.
The event helped to strengthen espirit de corps and give troopers and spouses a chance to kick back and enjoy themselves with their comrades. "The ball allowed Families to have fun, build memories and experience Cavalry traditions while learning about our history," said Maj. Mark Weaver, the Squadron Operations Officer.
In addition to the Town Hall meetings and Saber Ball, 3/7 Cav. participated in the Deployment Fair at Newnan Gym, a two day event for troopers and Families to learn about what to expect and what type of support is available for Soldiers and loved ones.
"It was great to see what was available for us," Family Member Morena Jones said. "I didn’t realize there were so many organizations that provided support."
As 3/7 Cav. prepares for their future missions, Families will continue their own internal preparation with help from the unit’s Family Readiness Group. One of the unit’s rear detachment’s most important missions is maintaining the effectiveness of the FRG. The FRG will act as an important link between the Families and the unit, disseminating information and keeping Families in touch with their troopers.
"The importance of the FRG can’t be understated," 1st Lt. Cornish said. "We’ve insured that that organization will still be as strong as ever during the deployment."
Families make up the most important support system for Soldiers deploying overseas. Troopers whose Family is ready and informed about a deployment are more likely to lend additional support to the unit. As 3/7 Cav. and other units prepare for future missions in unfamiliar lands you can be certain that they will take steps to prepare not only their men, weapons and equipment, but their Families too.