Staff Sgt. Markelvus Buchanan observes as Bobbie Piddock, assistant coach for the University of South Carolina Equestrian Team, takes aim during the 193rd Community Day, March 31. 

193rd Infantry Brigade welcomes local community members

Photo, story by Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

The 193rd Infantry Brigade welcomed local community members to experience a small glimmer of the life trainees and cadre experience at Fort Jackson, March 31.

“Everyone sees our Army, but I want people to touch our Army,” said Col. Scott White, 193rd Infantry Brigade commander. “This is an opportunity for us to pull back the curtain and let the community see what these Soldiers do on a daily basis.”

The crowd gathered outside of the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, an indoor small arms training simulator, where the group experienced a quick crash course in basic rifle marksmanship including the proper names of various rifle parts and proper usage and etiquette.

At the conclusion of the lesson, attendees moved inside to the EST 2000 to begin their basic rifle marksmanship training in action. Patrons filled the bleachers to learn more about the equipment and the various shooting positions. Everyone found their lanes, moved into position and began firing the simulated weapons. The computer then informed attendees how they performed.

“I think the EST was a great first step to give us an idea of what we would be doing with real weapons,” said Maggie Barton, barn manager for the University of South Carolina Equestrian Team. “The instructors were also able to answer all of our questions in a quiet setting before moving on to the live range.”

Attendees were then taken to Range 20, where they were met with more instructors, protective equipment, weapons, and ammunition. Then, everyone received another taste of Army life – a safety brief, a quick speech detailing what to do at the range for everyone’s safety.

As the Community Day ended, Bobbie Piddock, assistant coach of the University of South Carolina Equestrian Team said, “This experience is a really neat opportunity to learn about what happens at Fort Jackson.”

White is already looking forward to hosting the next community day. “I want to do this twice a year and highlight a different aspect of Basic Combat Training,” he said. “This time, we’re highlighting basic rifle marksmanship. Maybe next time we’ll do rappelling, but who knows?”