Return to Guardlife Homepage
Gettysburg trip helps Battalion gel
TAG at Operation Jump Start

The formation of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) has had it share of challenges for Soldiers, like new jobs, new armories and a slew of new unit designations. Last summer the 2nd-102nd Armor Battalion and 250th Signal Battalion, faded into history, but the personnel became the nucleus of the 50th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB). “It is a unique organization to the New Jersey Army National Guard and to the Army in general,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth S. Schechter, commander of the battalion that serves as the combat support element for the IBCT. The battalion includes a headquarters, Signal, Military Intelligence and Engineer companies and has Military Police and Chemical Reconnaissance platoons, providing a wide range of options to the IBCT commander.

The final piece of the Special Troops was put into place in February, so this new battalion decided to do something unique during their first Annual Training together at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The whole battalion of more than 130 Soldiers from E-1 to O-5 boarded three busses and left for Gettysburg National Military Park.

“Sort of us ushering in our new identity and connecting with that, and we are using the Battle of Gettysburg to help us do that,” said 1st Lt. Jason E. Mull, executive officer for the BSTB Engineer Company and one of the organizers of the field trip. But it was much more than the stop and look at monuments sightseeing tour, this trip had actually branch-specific lessons taught by the senior leaders before moving to the next location. “Know the weaknesses of your enemy,” was the response from crowd when the Military Intelligence Company Executive Officer 1st Lt. David Field asked why intelligence is important. Using an artillery piece as his podium near the site of the first day of battles between Union and Confederate soldiers on July 1, 1863, Field led the discussion on information and its use in warfare. “We are forming a foundation here,” stressed Schechter as he spoke about team building and bringing the unit together. The trip to Gettysburg was a reward for plenty of hard training earlier in the two weeks.

That training included weapons qualification, Warrior Training Tasks (WTT) and Army Warrior Task Battle Drills, such as reaction to IED’s or an ambush and removing wounded Soldiers out of vehicles.



Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2007 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs