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What its like to be a Sapper!

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What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Whiskeytango on Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:44 am

Amidst the darkness of night and the sounds of the forest, they maneuver toward their objective by the light of the moon. If you looked, you would catch just a glimpse of a shadow before the squad of Sappers destroyed their target. They are men who, together, can accomplish almost any task given to them, whose drive and determination are unparalleled. Like a family, they are taught to live together, work together and if it comes to it, fight together. Adaptable and dedicated, these Soldiers are unlike any others.
During the many months following the 54th Engineer Battalion’s return from Iraq and Afghanistan back to its home station in Bamberg, Germany in July and August 2009, the battalion had many changes. Changes in personnel, leadership and policies are among a few. The new faces in the ranks kept up with the losses of older, more experienced Soldiers while also bringing fresh, new ideas to the unit. One squad out of many is 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company (SAPPER).
The squad has been around for many years but, if you look at it now it is much different from its beginnings. “It’s kind of odd because in the beginning 541st was torn apart due to PCS [Permanent Change of Station], squad leaders leaving and leadership changing out all the time. Everything. We still maintained our friendships, those of us left. We had a common bond. We accepted the new Soldiers like they were our own, it was like they were already in the squad.” Spc. Christopher Lennon, a Soldier in 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company, from Syracuse, New York, said. They had just returned from a tour of Afghanistan last year, and with that meant moves. The changes were bittersweet, it allowed Soldiers to step up and lead troops. It also gave them another thing, people to teach and to learn from. But conversely, it also meant that the company would lose a lot of its more experienced Soldiers. After a few months, the changes slowed down and since then, the Squad has begun preparations for future deployment to the combat zone.
The squad was brought together under Staff Sgt. Ryan Newsome, Squad Leader for 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company, a native of Tampa, Florida. His mentorship helped the squad through multiple training exercises and surviving everyday garrison life. The squad consists of six Soldiers, two of which are Newsome’s Team Leaders who are essential to helping teach and develop the younger Soldiers in the squad. “We do our best to train as much as possible everyday on the skills we will need like driver’s training, demolitions calculations, infantry tactics, patrolling, IED [Improvised Explosive Device] defeat techniques and route clearance. We keep motivation and that mentality all the time to be successful downrange - even the new guys,” said Newsome. The younger Soldiers are enthused about training and take their jobs seriously, soaking up every bit of advice and information their leadership gives them. “They give us information about what it was like when they were deployed to kind of ready us. Some things you can’t teach just by the book alone, hearing about another person’s experiences helps too,” a younger Soldier, Private First Class Wendell Burley, a Soldier in 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company, from Baltimore, MD said. When asked about what he thought about sharing his experiences in Afghanistan with the younger Soldiers in his squad, Lennon said, “Sometimes, it’s easier for them [the Soldiers] to understand from someone who had just recently been there, it’s easier just to open your heart and tell them how it is, it helps to build their strengths.”
The squad spent a month in Grafenwoehr Training Area where they conducted gunnery operations, a few weeks in the Bamberg Local Training Area working on individual and squad skills, and is now currently training in Hohenfels Training Area. They are gearing up to start their Mission Readiness Exercise (MRE) and refine their strategies and techniques at the platoon and squad level. The missions that they will be running are highly realistic, with multiple units conducting operations in the same area. The staff of Hoehnfels Observer Controller Team is teaching the Soldiers many new skills that they hadn’t previously had the technology or equipment to experience. The squad is confident in their abilities and can be seen running throughout the camp practicing their movement techniques and looking as motivated as ever. Next week marks the beginning of their training lanes outside of the classroom environment. 1st Squad cannot wait to be outside doing their jobs on mission.
Confidant that they are nearly ready for deployment, 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company is on a roll, and isn’t slowing down. ”They are a great group of guys, and some of the hardest workers I’ve ever had. I swear to God Lennon is a robot! The rest of us have to try and keep up! I don’t think I could have asked for a better squad of Sappers to work with than this one, just don’t tell them I said that!” said Sgt. Leslie Pittman, a Team Leader for 1st Squad, 541st Engineer Company and resident of Detroit, Michigan. With all of that motivation, they are ready to deploy tomorrow according to a few of their Soldiers. They also believe the upcoming deployment will bring them closer together as a team. “It will make us stronger as a team and get us mentally ready to go. I absolutely believe that we’re the strongest team – we work hard together, train together and we will come back together. We are not only a team; we are a family, a family of freedom fighting Sappers!” Lennon said very enthusiastically.
Sappers are a very durable group of Soldiers and do whatever they can to make the best of a bad situation. They live true to the Warrior Ethos and give the mission everything they’ve got. They will always place their mission first, they will never accept defeat, they will never quit, and they will never leave a fallen comrade! They aren’t just Soldiers, they are SAPPERS.


Last edited by Whiskeytango on Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Whiskeytango

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Really?

Post  Erik The Red on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:50 am

Really? Come on now give credit where it's due! NO RIPPIN' OFF BYLINES OLD MAN! lol!


Last edited by Erik The Red on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I R A spelltard)
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:51 pm

wait so who wrote this? We should set you up with a blog or something

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Sapper insights

Post  Whiskeytango on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:19 am

Blackie wrote:wait so who wrote this? We should set you up with a blog or something

Erik the Red wrote it, he is a Sapper NCO that got blown up one too many times so now he is our S-5 (Public Affairs Officer) for a bit because of mTBI (Mild Tramatic Brain Injury) he is a absoulte joy to have around and will be back with the knuckle draggers soon enough but for a season we are glad to him near-by...
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Oh sooo nice!

Post  Erik The Red on Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:31 am

Oh WT, don't lie to them! He's just being nice, what he really means is I'm too crazy to keep on the line because of Epic Brain Bombing whilst I was deployed. SO now I write stories and harass poor unsuspecting Soldiers.
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:31 am

Having your skull rattled ain't no little thing. I had a few concussions in my day and sometimes I wonder if some brains leaked out. WT will testify that I'm perfectly normal though despite the fact I play WoW.

So do you have an official page or something? Does the Army discourage blogging and things like that? I'd love to know what's going on out at Holdemfive. Some of the army brats said I was a retard for saying the guys out there were caged up but I'm reading WT and he's saying they just got out of the wire so I'm confuzzled.

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Not too stuck

Post  Erik The Red on Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:33 am

Well, I don't have a blog, but the Army is fine with it as long as we don't post anything that might get someone killed somewhere. On that I'm public affairs now so stories like that get published in Army magazines and newspapers as well as a few websites. We are kinda in a prision camp if you aren't in a line company. We never get to leave the wire. Well I will but he might have issues. Poor guy, I'd go stir crazy if I had to sit on the FOB for a whole tour.
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Sapper Life

Post  Whiskeytango on Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:42 pm

See heres how it works...I exist to support the greatest Soldiers in the world...the Sappers. Myself, the entire FSC (Forward Support Company) the entire HHC (Headquarters Company) and the headquarter sections of all the line companies (541st, 535th, 370th and 42nd Engineers) exist to support the Sappers...for every trigger puller there are about 5 support troops...and I'm one of those support guys now. I will only leave the FOB to visit my troops on outlying FOBs...if the BN is all in one place I will be trapped on the FOB outside of some PR options...they like to kill my kind. However we will have route clearance patrols at many other FOBs so I will get out of the wire to see them...that means traveling with the route clearance patrols and moving by air. Make sense?
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:07 am

Yaar that was my understanding of how things worked. I don't think some of the guys understand that. Van was talking about the green troops and it all worries me when I get comments like the ones in game. Hell what do I know I'm hopped up on pain meds.

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Why I get excited sometimes

Post  Whiskeytango on Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:24 am

This is one bad month of a 12 month tour...this is the unit we are replacing in Nov.

http://fayobserver.com/articles/2010/07/21/1015136?sac=Mil
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:38 am

If you could kill the one guy who trains all these loonies they'd be back to using civil war muskets.

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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:06 am

I just went back and read the comments. All it takes is one looney. Now there's a guy who needs to be drafted and given a dose of reality.

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More intel

Post  Whiskeytango on Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:37 am

Yeah so outside of this National Guard POG calling us an "Engineering" Battalion its a decent article;

http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/06/25/41401-grafenwoehr-training-area-turns-100-soldiers-still-find-training-realistic-relevant/

So my laptop is in Bamberg...now I just gotta get it here...hmmm? We have started our groundhog day routine...seperated by life issues and casualties, mass and services...and then back ... we are living FOB-u-lous...course the shoppette doesnt have hot sauce or coffee filters---I blame all the pinko-commie-squimish-jelly back-liberals that made us have veggitarian MREs...one more week...and this in nothing compared to a year of the real deal.
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:33 pm

Bill I'm disgusted with people in general but I'm especially hating on smiley face women that are secretly the meanest people in the world only they expect you to love them for screwing you over because they bake freaking pink cupcakes and they're cute.

I'm just going to go log onto wow and kill some horde horribly and imagine what all these people would be like without stealing work from people who need it.

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Smiley face devils

Post  Whiskeytango on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:21 am

Kinda reminds me of the Star Trek episode talking about givers of pain and delight. You get those horde...especially the smiley faced Bloodelf females! As for us...so far I have 2 guys in the hospital for real from a vehicle rollover, all this up-armor makes them way top heavy and easy to roll...and we have had 31 KIA and 48 WIA---good thing that number is only simulated with blanks and M.I.L.E.S. gear!

Got my laptop...hopefully I can get online soon...I can only imagine the downloads : (

Blessings bro...catch ya next week.
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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

Post  Blackie on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:01 am

I'm disgusted with people in general. I've hit a lot of hypocrites recently that think sweetness and light makes up for the huge amounts of damage they're doing. It's about time this culture allowed you to call these people out without being a conservative windbag who are just as bad in the other direction.

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Re: What its like to be a Sapper!

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