The Spartan Runner Alpha Co. Class 017-10 Newsletter
Upcoming Events 8 Dec 2010 6–9 pm
Graduation Social – Family or guest, no children
14 Dec 2010 6–9 pm
Graduation Formal – Spouse or 1–2 guests, no children
16 Dec 2010 1–3 pm
Graduation Ceremony – Ironworks Convention Center in downtown Columbus, GA – Family and Friends encouraged to attend.
The Field Never Looked This Good
By SOC Joseph Kowaleski As the new Senior Officer Candidates got on the bus and headed out to their next phase of OCS a wave of excitement settled in, along with worry. The next few weeks were to test each candidate in two major ways, Land Navigation and Field Leadership. Both were field requirements of graduating and becoming an officer. The bus took the Candidates to India Land Navigation Site first for Land Navigation. Here the candidates were given a full day to practice in buddy teams in order to give them real hands on experience of how Land Navigation really works. On Tuesday morning the Candidates were given their final instructions. Over an hour before the sun had even begun to rise they set off into the wild to find 5 out of 8 points. The results were better than expected. As one cadre put it, “class 017-10 was one of the best land nav. groups he had ever seen.” By the end of the week every Candidate had passed, and was ready to take on the Field Leadership Exercise 2 (FLX 2). FLX 2 became just as immersed of a training environment as OCS had (Continued Page 3)
Tactical Foot March The tactical foot marches test the candidates’ ability to endure physical discomfort and force their mind to push beyond to completion.
Commander’s Mile Marker
Greetings Family and Friends of OCS Class 017-10, “You have to lead men in war by bringing them along to endure and display qualities of fortitude that are beyond the average man's thought of what he / she should be expected to do. You have to inspire them when they are hungry and exhausted and desperately uncomfortable and in great danger. Only a man of positive characteristics of leadership with the physical stamina that goes with it can function under those conditions.” General George C. Marshall Above, General Marshall captures what we expect of our Army leaders in three very precise sentences. Marshall’s “Definition of Leadership” is required knowledge at OCS, and Candidates have it memorized. But how does one inspire soldiers with positive characteristics of leadership if they have not experienced or endured the ‘hungry, exhausted, desperately uncomfortable … in great danger” part? That is what weeks 7 through 9 are all about, learning to lead under austere conditions. Field Leadership Exercises (FLXs) I, II, and III challenge the Candidates to get comfortable, outside of their comfort zone. Over these weeks they have conducted Land Navigation testing, moving over tough terrain, during day and night, among wild life, finding five of eight points (locations) to pass. They have occupied and established a Combat Outpost (COP). They worked tirelessly, to set up security measures, develop tracking systems and build intelligence on an enemy terrorist network, in a combat simulated environment. They planned and executed hundreds of patrols, where they identified and destroyed the enemy terrorist network. They have conducted foot movements, over many miles in full combat equipment (add 45-60lbs weight). It has not been easy. As expected, Class 17-10 met the challenge and exceeded the standard. They have learned the necessary tools to be effective leaders in combat. They have refined their craft, and are ready to be Warfighters in the near future. As the commander, I take this part very seriously. I know the demands of deployment, and I am very confident in each Candidate’s abilities to lead. 1SG, the Alpha Company Cadre and I are very proud of Class 17-10. Based off his definition, I believe GEN Marshal would be as well. I look forward to seeing everyone in the coming weeks. Downhill slope, we are almost there!!! Standards, No Compromise!! Josiah B. Blalock CPT, IN Commander, A/3-11 IN (OCS)
At each lane the squad was to encounter and destroy the enemy and collect any intelligence the enemy might have at the location and report everything up to higher. been during its first 6 weeks. This is because as squad lanes began, COP (Combat Outpost) Standards, our home, began getting attacked by the enemy. The Candidates were put into a full war game. Outside of our tents the uniform was full battle gear, because our enemy had a mortar tube at an unknown location. It took three days of squad lanes before the mortar tube location was neutralized. The make up of the company during FLX 2 was thus: One platoon on duty, guarding the COP and keeping track of everyone else. Radio contact and S1 and S2 workshops on base compiled information on enemy movement, key intelligence and possible enemy equipment at locations. One platoon played OPFOR (opposing force), setting up at locations ready to engage our friendly forces. The other two platoons were broken into squads and set out to encounter and destroy the enemy on the lanes. During a squad lane, one OC was tested on his/her ability to
give a complete OPORD briefing while another OC was then tested on his/her ability to execute the previously briefed mission. Every OC had the opportunity to lead, both as the planning squad leader, and the executing squad leader, during the week. Each portion of the lane had to be completed within 40 minutes. The lanes themselves consisted of about 200 to 300 meters of tough terrain from starting location to enemy location. At each lane the squad was to encounter and destroy the enemy and collect any intelligence the enemy might have at the location and report everything up to higher. As the week drew to a close, the entire FLX 2 experience changed and evolved into FLX 3, or Platoon Lanes. Here instead of Candidates taking charge of a group of 12 or 13 through a lane, Candidates got an opportunity to take charge of an entire Platoon of 3035 Candidates. But as the Candidates took over planning, organizing and
Join the conversation. On behalf of Class 017-10’s Student Council, I would like to take this opportunity to invite all family members and friends to follow along with our OCS journey on www.facebook.com. Search for “Alpha Company Class 017-10” and join the group. You can see daily photo updates, get to know other candidates families and get all of your questions answered. Thank you for your support. BOC Nathan Freeman, Public Affairs Officer Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org
setting out to destroy the collected enemy, the enemy retaliated with returned mortar fire. It appeared the enemy resupplied its mortar tube position and had resumed attacks on the COP. At the same time the OPFOR had begun to take direct action against the COP, attacking the gate and even trying to kidnap Candidates. After the last 2 days of FLX 3, the company set out for its final task of its field training — a 10-mile tactical foot march. The Candidates carried roughly 45-60 lbs and marched over rough terrain. The tactical foot marches are designed to test the candidates’ ability to endure physical discomfort and force their mind to push beyond to completion. Once the march was completed, the Candidates packed up, and headed back to the rear to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. After spending a day cleaning their weapons, the Candidates set out for a muchanticipated break.