Fort Polk Guardian 11-16-2018

NewScope Thanksgiving meal Fort Polk’s Guardian Inn Dining Facility, bldg 2382, hosts a Thanksgiving Day meal Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Spouses and dependents of enlisted personnel in pay grades E-1 through E4 pay $6.80 Spouses and dependents of enlisted grades E-5 through E-9, and officers and their spouses and dependents pay $9.10 Menu includes: Steamship round of beef, ham, king crab legs, Cornish hens, turkey, shrimp, hamhocks, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, broccoli, cheese and rice, sweet potatoes, corn bread dress- ing, bread dressing, corn on the cob, green beans, rolls, croissants, cranberry sauce, shrimp cocktail, cheesecake, peach cobbler, chocolate chip cookies, German chocolate cake, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, fruit gelatin, banana cream pudding, strawberry shortcake, parfaits, lemon cake, fruit salad, chicken salad, macaroni salad, potato salad and spinach salad. BJACH hours Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital announces the following closures for the Thanksgiving holiday: BJACH clinics, labs, radiology and pharmacy are closed Thurs- day. The Patient Centered Medical Home and pharmacy are open 7:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 23. The emergency room and wards remain open. Native American Joint Readiness Training Center Opera- tions Group hosts an observance of Native American Heritage month Nov. 28 from noon-1 p.m. at Bayou Theater. The theme is Sovereignty, Trust and Re- silience. Call (337) 353-7640 for more infor- mation. Abandoned vehicles The Directorate of Emergency Services Traffic Section will release the following vehicles, boats and trailers to a towing company for disposal on Dec. 18 if they re- main unclaimed. Items are listed with the last four numbers of their VIN. If one of these vehicles belongs to you please con- tact the Fort Polk Police Traffic Section at 531-1806/2677. 2006 Chevy Impala 4120 1999 Olds Delta 88 5892 1999 VW Jetta 2885 2001 Jeep Cherokee 7542 1977 Chevy 1500 0524 2010 Chevy Cavalier 8440 1999 Honda Civic 0284 2005 Pontiac Grand Am 2953 2001 Saturn 8648 UNKAstroglass 176Sk boat Briefs Guardian Nov. 16, 2018 /3 FORT POLK, La. — When Spc. Jaired Brooks graduated from high school in Floyd Country, Virginia, the then 17-year knew what he wanted to do. In fact, he had known what he wanted to do since the age of 12. “I lied to my mother and told her I wanted to be an architect when I was in the 10th grade, but I knew college wasn’t for me,” Brooks said. “I wanted to be a Soldier.” Brooks, who played football and was in the band and 4-H Club, said what influenced his decision the most was the time he spent as a Boy Scout. “I liked their com- mitment to serving others,” Brooks said. “It seemed the Army was a good place to do that.” While most young- sters might gravitate to a combat arms special- ty when choosing a ca- reer field, Brooks would not be able to do so. “Since I was only 17, my parents had to sign so I could join,” he said. “They wouldn’t sign for a combat arms MOS.” Brooks turned to another relative for advice. “I had a step-uncle who was an infantryman in the Army and he said I should sign up for MOS 12N,” Brooks said. “When I asked what that was, he said it was basically a bulldozer op- erator; he said they got to do all the fun stuff and he was jealous because they got to ride around in air conditioning while the infantry had to walk everywhere.” Brooks said he did a little “investigating” about MOS 12N and learned there was a $25,000 bonus for signing up. “That was good enough for me,” he said. Jump ahead a little more than a year and Brooks, now stationed at Fort Polk with the 687th Heavy Construction Company, 46th Engineer Battalion, said he started looking at the possibili- ty of attending sapper school. Sappers are basi- cally combat engineers. “When I looked into the selection process, I was too young,” Brooks said. “My first sergeant suggested I try the 10th Mountain Division Pre- Ranger Course that was going to be held on Fort Polk. He said if I did well it would show battal- ion leadership I was serious about sapper school.” To Brooks surprise, he did so well in the Pre- Ranger Course that 10th Mtn Div gave him a slot for Ranger School. “Not only did I find my way around the com- bat arms issue my folks had put me under, but I also found a way to attend one of the most presti- gious Army schools out there,” he said. Ranger School would not be an easy task for Brooks. He began his crucible Feb. 5 with his ar- rival at Fort Benning, Georgia. Although he start- ed well enough, tackling the Ranger PT test and combat water survival assessment, he hit his first stumbling block with Ranger Training Tasks. “I didn’t understand what Ranger tasks were all about because it was things I had not done before,” Brooks said. “I failed RTTs the first time , but came back in April and aced them. The next hurdle for Brooks was a demand- ing obstacle course, which he passed. He then was faced with a 12-mile run that had to be completed in less than 3 minutes, which he accomplished de- spite his ruck sack falling apart the first mile. With that task complete, Brooks had passed Ranger Assess- ment Phase. That left three more phases to become a Ranger. They included combat operations in North Georgia, mountain training in Virginia, and a trip through Florida’s swamps. At each step, Brooks faced a recycle, yet never gave up. Finally, 187 days after starting Ranger School, Brooks had earned the coveted Ranger Tab. “There were times I never thought I’d gradu- ate Ranger School,” Brooks said. “When I did, it was biggest load lifted off of my shoulders. It was a relief. I wasn’t coming back a loser — I had my tab.” While Brooks was quick to thank his military leaders for their support in preparing him for the challenge of Ranger School, he said his No. 1 supporters are his parents. “It was awesome to be able to tell them they could come down to Fort Benning because I was graduating,” Brooks said. “My dad said my graduation from Ranger School was proof that he and mom had done a good job raising me.” Next up for Brooks, is Basic Leadership Class, then — hopefully — Sapper School. He also takes seriously his role as the second Ranger engineer in his unit, offering advice to younger Soldiers who want to undertake Ranger School. “The one thing I tell everybody who asks me how to get through Ranger School is you cannot quit,” he said. “If you want that tab, you have to go after it. Be prepared to take a lot of blows — it’s a fight to earn that Ranger tab. You have to be malleable. You have to be able to mold yourself.” Brooks overcomes obstacles to earn Ranger tab By CHUCK CANNON Guardian editor Brooks