Bushmaster Stakes challenges Soldiers after Basic Combat Training Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Soldiers from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, secure a “casualty” during an evacuation exercise during Bushmaster Stakes, Feb. 20.
Story and photo by Robert Johnson
Managing editor
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For most Soldiers in Basic Combat Training, the lag between graduation and shipping out to Advanced Individual Training is less than 24 hours.

So what do you do when that time is stretched out to a week? Enter, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment’s Bushmaster Stakes.

“We had 195 Soldiers that normally would have shipped out on Friday following a Thursday graduation stick around for an extra week in the unit,” said Capt. Kristy Moore, Co. B, 3-10th Inf. Bn. commander. “We wanted something to occupy their time that kept their skills up, challenged them and worked on their physical training.”

“We came up with Bushmaster Stakes. It was a series of skill tests that involved platoon operations,” Moore said.

“B Company came up with the concept and we briefed it to our battalion. They approved it, and we worked to make this day a good training experience,” Moore said.

The Soldiers stayed with their original platoons and moved from point-to-point as a team in a tactical environment. At different stations the Soldiers would be faced with different challenges, such as land navigation, first aid and weapons assembly and disassembly, among others, Moore said.

“At one station, the Soldiers were required to don their chemical protective mask in less than nine seconds,” Moore said.

For the Soldiers, the ability to refine some of their skills was the reward for braving the cold weather of the day.

“The map reading portion of the stakes was great for me,” said Spc. Tiffany Teubert, who was delayed a week going to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. “We got some map reading during basic training, but what I was trained on during (Bushmaster Stakes) was above basic training. I will definitely be using these skills at Benning.”

Pvt. Veronica Boyd agreed and said that while the cold weather made the training difficult, it was training she appreciated.

“It would have been nice to have some of that training prior to our final field training exercise. I learned a lot — about moving through the woods and myself — during the stakes,” Boyd said.

Boyd, who is headed to Shepard Air Force Base, Texas, to attend AIT for plumbing, said her favorite task was assembly of the M240 light machine gun.

“It’s something I really enjoyed, and getting to do it one last time on Bushmaster Stakes was pretty cool,” Boyd said. “Laying on the cold ground pulling perimeter security wasn’t fun, but the weapons made up for it.”

The training wasn’t just a test of the Soldiers’ skills. In several stations, the recent BCT graduates were given additional training, but still within Common Task Testing, said Sgt. Charmain Tolbert, Co. B, 3-10th Inf. Bn. drill sergeant.

“We talked them through tasks that they hadn’t seen before, and it was really good to see how fast they got it,” Tolbert said. “One of the benefits of being a drill sergeant is getting to see this transformation — from knowing nothing to becoming a Soldier. Today is one of those days when you get to see them put all their training and skills you taught them to use. It’s pretty cool.”  

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 March 2013 )