"Ready for everything"
By Spc. Landis Andrews, 444th MPAD
The passing of the New Year brought back familiar training to the New Jersey National Guard and the 50th Finance Battalion in Flemington.
On the first drill weekend of the new year, the guardsmen of the state’s finance department put down their pencils and picked up light-sticks for the purpose of Civil Disturbance training.
Instructed by Sgt. 1st Class Danny Colon and Sgt. Dewey Johnson, the eager soldiers of the finance battalion brought AR 500-50 to life.
“This training is more advanced and comprehensive,” Master Sgt. George Osborn said. “In the past it was just an overhead projector and slides. Now we are able to get hands-on experience with the newest equipment available to us.”
In a simulated riot, the leader bellowed out commands as the squad thunderously roared behind their four-foot shields. The light-sticks were not the only show of force. Every movement was carried out with a ground-shaking stomp and a disconcerting boot-drag. The rowdy mob had no doubts that the wedge formation was coming directly for them.
With a grin plastered across his face, Colon loved every minute of it.
“This is what I do,” said Colon. “I have 18 years of law-enforcement experience, so I enjoy bringing my knowledge to this training.”
The students had just as much fun as the instructors and Pfc. Santiana Marisol was a testament to this.
“It’s really entertaining,” Marisol said, “and at the same time it gets your ready for anything you may face.”
Whether it is a domestic disturbance or missions across the pond, Marisol and the other soldiers are always prepared.
“In the National Guard you are a soldier first,” she stated, “so you have to be ready for everything.”