Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall In!

It never seems to amaze me how Soldiers are able to quickly survey a situation and determine how they can make a positive impact.

A commonly used term in military drill and ceremony is the command "fall in". When this command is given, all the Soldiers of the unit quickly and quietly take their assigned place in a unit formation. It's a very orderly thing really. As a background - a unit formation is made up of several ranks. At the head of each rank is the squad leader. In perfect order each member of the squad will line up directly to the left of the squad leader - ensuring that they are approximately an arms length from each Soldier on their left and right. The next rank that lines up behind the first rank does the same thing and at the same time ensures that they are lined up directly behind the Soldier in the rank in front of them.

When done right, the formation (from above) would look something like this:

Everyone knows their place, leaders are always located in the same position. If someone is missing, the formation won't look complete. For the platoon leader, who stands before the formation, it is the easiest and most efficient way to account for all of his Soldiers and to communicate important information.

The 211th is "falling in" quite nicely. The Soldiers seem to be figuring out how they fit in with the other Soldiers in the unit. Our leaders are starting to take hold of their leadership reigns and this team is truly coming together.

We have a great variety of skills, backgrounds, experiences and even ages in the 211th and, at this point, they all seem to be complimentary to each other.

Kudos today go to one of our young enlisted Soldiers, PFC Arlon Mitchell. He's quiet, but he's busy. Looking forward 12 months from now, it is my opinion that he'll truly be one of the unit's MVPs. When we all introduced ourselves during one of our first meetings, he quietly stated his name and almost apologetically said, "I'm just the HR Specialist". So far, he's the busiest Soldier in the group and if anything he'll be JUST what the unit will need to get through months ahead us.

In the days ahead we'll put classroom briefings on hold and start some of our warrior task training. MAJ Daneker has arranged for several drill sergeants to come and run us through the gauntlet on these tasks. With a warning she said, "it's gonna be boot camp all over again." Oddly some of the Soldiers didn't bat an eye - some people just love being abused.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

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