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The 114th marches on
TAG at Operation Jump Start

A slight movement catches the eye, the rustling of leaves and distant sounds of snapping twigs provide telltale signs. Suddenly, an enemy pops up and Soldiers hidden in the canopy burst forth into action. At first glance, it seems to be business as usual, as Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) conducts lanes training as part of their Annual Training here in Fort Drum, NY, but then again, appearances can be deceiving.

Everything is changing in the National Guard. Switching to the more mobile and self-contained BCTs requires many of New Jerseys Guard units to transform in order to better meet the challenges of today’s battlefield. So, as is expected from the guys who are used to going into the thick of things, the 1-114th is taking on this transformation head on.

Surprisingly enough, the 1-114th’s Executive Officer Maj. Joe Boucher tells us, the transition has been “fairly easy,” as the unit goes into the end of the transformation’s second phase, continuing to meet all the goals set out by the state. More than just easy, the transition from mechanized to light infantry has been beneficial, as Boucher adds that by taking the “track” away, the unit now spends less time on maintenance and more time dedicated to actual training. “It does a lot for the morale of the troops when you give them new equipment,” Boucher explained, mentioning some of the new equipment the unit has, and is expected to receive.

Besides getting the newest gear for their soldiers, currently being fielded in a phased approach, they have also received some brand new Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, which they’ve found to be a tremendous asset. As for what the future holds, they expect to receive some awesome high-tech gear sometime next year, such as Blue Force tracking and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

New gear, coupled with a painless transition, has the 1-114th in high spirits during this AT. Pfc. Lee Whitehouse offers a positive view on the training, primarily that unit cohesion continues to improve, and as everyone gets to know each other better, it leads to better training overall, an important factor that he believes will help in any possible future deployments. So while you may no longer see any mechanized tracks on these dusty Fort Drum roads, you will still continue to see the footprints of these dedicated soldiers from the 1-114th as they march on toward the next part of their training.


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