"When you initially attacked for seven days and nights without halting for rest, you met and defeated twice your own number. Your advance required the enemy to turn fresh divisions against you, and you in turn hacked them to pieces as you ruthlessly cut your way deep into the flank of the "bulge." Your feats of daring and endurance in the sub-freezing weather and snow-clad mountains and gorges of Luxembourg are legion; your contribution to the relief of Bastogne was immeasurable. It was particularly fitting that the elimination of the "bulge" should find the Yankee Division seizing and holding firmly on the same line held by our own forces prior to the breakthrough. I am proud of this feat by you as well as those you performed earlier. We shall advance on Berlin together."-------Feb. 1, 1945 Headquarters 26th Infantry Division, W. S. Paul, Major General, U.S. Army Commanding

YD Training at Camp Floyd Stonington Conn.

     Last Saturday, July 17, a training event occurred in Stonington, CT. If you missed it – not just as a squaddie, but especially as an NCO (and an officer, too) – you missed some incredibly important and fun field tactical movement and assault/defensive stuff.

     In attendance: CAPT Guy Mazzarella CO, CPL Hugh Browne, T/4 Joe Baril Mess SGT, 1ST SGT Gil Machado, SSGT Al Ferraro, SSGT Eric Westerberg, SSGT John Volante, PFC Larry Paurowski, PFC Jay Punt, PFC Jake “Fuji” Dillon and SSGT Lynn Kessler Instructor.

     Since primarily NCOs were in attendance, we turned the event into an “NCO School”. The subjects were field movement in various terrain configurations, reaction to near and far ambush, assault on a fixed position, and defensive/security techniques. Each SSGT (also the 1ST SGT) was assigned to lead the “squad” (everyone else) through each scenario, and each rotated through and had the opportunity to lead and make tactical decisions. Each “squad leader” came up with his own plan, executed it in 10 - 15 minutes, then at the end performed a self-evaluation (what went wrong/right), endured a group evaluation (what others would have done in same situation), and finally the evaluation by senior training NCO (me) for improvements/suggestions. Those who were NOT leading at the time in each individual exercise were instructed to plan what THEY would do, were they leading right then in that particular exercise. There was no such thing as wrong/right answer/action, this was practice for developing command presence in the field, and the CO and I were EXTREMELY  HAPPY with the results. These guys all LEARNED and they had a BLAST doing it – I’m not kidding, they want more and they were sorry when the day ended. REALLY.

     This is EXACTLY the sort of thing the YD needs to perform on a regular basis, if you want to improve your WWII soldier impression for events such as Conneaut, Ike’s Farm, and especially field tactical exercises like Dunbarton and Candia, NH.

     But to do it, we need to GET TOGETHER, REGULARLY. We need to SHOW UP. We need to PRACTICE as a unit, and again on our own time, and study when we can. I know things get in the way, and that will never change. This is a hobby, after all, and real life ALWAYS comes first. No one will gig you when that happens. But if you CAN show up, it will seriously help to improve not only your impression but the overall 26YD Company B impression.

     Everyone in attendance should be commended and congratulated for their hard work, enthusiasm, commitment to learning and improvement in their abilities. We are all the better for it

    On behalf of CAPT Mazzarella and myself, thanks, and see you at Conneaut,
SSGT Lynn Kessler Senior Training NCO

 Practicing hand signals

The 166th Signal Photo Company supplied meals

All photos are property of the 166th Signal Photo co. and are free to anyone who needs one just dbl click the photo to enlarge it for beter quality
Capt. C.J.Boa CO 166th SPC/LHE