Fort Polk Guardian 03-16-2018

Vol. 45, No. 11 Published for the community of Fort Polk, La. March 16, 2018 Guardian Fort Polk Inside the Guardian Polk, Leesville pact .... 3 Celebrating women .... 6 Chapel relocation ...... 7 Thrif t shop honors ..... 8 Champs crowned ...... 12 Kids at play ............. 14 Weekend weather Today Saturday Sunday 78 80 76 63 50% 60% 40% 61 62 Rain chance Rain chance Rain chance FORT POLK, La. — An historic event changed the face of Fort Polk March 12, 1993 — the post became the new home of the Joint Readiness Training Center, a move that resulted from the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1991. The date marks the official beginning of duties for the JRTC headquarters at Fort Polk after mov- ing from Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. The JRTC com- mand sergeant major at the time, Command Sgt. Maj. Jack Hardwick, had an enormous responsi- bility in ensuring all the pieces of the command made it to Fort Polk — a daunting yet successful mission. “We made it with no accidents and no equip- ment lost,” Hardwick said. Hardwick was the guest speaker at the 25-year JRTC and Operations Group anniversary event held at North Forth March 12. He and four others who played key roles on bringing the JRTC to Fort Polk served as honored guests for the event. Hardwick recapped his recollection of events as they occurred 25 years ago. “The unit made a successful move, and I say successful because of our accountability for things at Little Rock Air Force Base (where many of the Families were living at the time) as well as Fort Chaffee,” he said. “Our first official rotation was in September (1993) with 82nd (Airborne Di- vision). If you look at the Warrior Wall (a monu- ment that stands in the training area), it (the 82nd logo) is still painted there. It was the very first one. We came up with that (wall) idea, which is similar to what the (National Training Center in California) does, and the (structure) was used during basic training and (advanced individual training) as a bunker from which they adjusted artillery fire. We sanded it down and let (rotational units) paint on it.” Hardwick said live fires were not conducted at Peason Ridge at that time but rather in the North Fort training area. That required a greater in- volvement of observer/coaches. “At that time, you had squad O/Cs. That means they walked with each squad — there was no riding around in anything. If a squad went out on an ambush at 0-dark thirty, the O/C went with them,” he said. “Everywhere a Blue Force went, an O/C went right along with them.” Today’s training may involve more technology and certainly more Soldiers, said Hardwick, go- Forging warrior spirit for quarter-century JRTC, Ops Group mark 25 years at Fort Polk By JEAN DUBIEL Guardian staff writer Please see 25 years , page 5 OPERATIONS GROUP Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, a rotational unit training at the Joint Readiness Training Center, keep watch during an exercise March 13. The JRTC moved to Fort Polk March 12, 1993 and Operations Group marked the occasion with a commemoration March 12.