16th Sust. Bde. leaders learn about famous World War II battle

Story and photos by 1st Lt. Edward Perrin
16th Sust. Bde. Public Affairs

BUETGENBACH, Belgium ― There are many professional and personal advantages for Soldiers serving in Europe. Being a member of the U.S. Army in Europe team provides opportunities for interaction with European military counterparts as well as chances to travel to well-known and exotic cities.  

Among the many unique opportunities available to Soldiers in Europe is the chance to experience first-hand the American involvement during the world wars.
World War I and World War II left Europe littered with American history marked by memorials and cemeteries dedicated to U.S. forces that participated in each war. Recently, each command team of the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command took time out of their busy schedules Aug. 16 and 17 to attend a battlefield staff ride here to learn about the Battle of the

“It was a great time,” said Capt. Gerson Ramirez, a logistics officer and the commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion. “We got to see first-hand locations and sights where people fought during World War II, and that’s unique.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Donna King, the 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sust. Bde.  command sergeant major, and senior noncommissioned officer logistician, said it was also a great team-building experience.

“I learned so much more than what I expected,” she said.

To ensure each attendee benefited from the experience, Sam Doss, the director of historical services at Linc Government Services and a retired U.S. Army Reserve captain, served as the guide. 

“Hopefully this accentuates a sense of pride in their own profession,” Doss said.
Although a key part of the staff ride was building camaraderie among the command teams, it was also about learning from past successes and failures.

“The most valuable part of the staff ride was learning about the military preparedness and strategies and how important intelligence briefings, situational awareness and logistical plans are,” King said.

“It’s about learning how Soldiers reacted during World War II and the application of what we call tactics, techniques and procedures, and how we
can use the same knowledge base in our daily operations,” Ramirez added.

Doss said they try to bring out the human factors in battle by providing examples of successful and unsuccessful leaders.

“Although we talked about various elements of logistical support at the small unit and higher levels, my goal was to link logistics to the failure or success of a particular combat situation,” Doss said.

Based on the experiences of Ramirez and King, Doss can be confident he was successful in achieving his goal.

“It was very insightful (with) a lot of very descriptive information. You’re right there on the sight and you have a fellow commander or command team just talking about what happened at that location and how it compares to today,” Ramirez said.
And King agreed.   

“I was able to see the big picture and understand that many of the same tactics and techniques that were used back then can also be applied to many of the operations that we’re involved in today,” he said.