Spouses take up soldiering

| March 8, 2013 | 0 Comments
Catharine Pellegrino, wife of Sgt. Christopher Pellegrino with Co. C, 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., “Cacti,” 3rd BCT, 25th ID, practices her firing stance during “Cacti Take Arms Day,” Feb. 28. (Photo by Sgt. Karenlee Axe, 3rd BCT Public Affairs, 25th ID)

Catharine Pellegrino, wife of Sgt. Christopher Pellegrino with Co. C, 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., “Cacti,” 3rd BCT, 25th ID, practices her firing stance during “Cacti Take Arms Day,” Feb. 28. (Photo by Sgt. Karenlee Axe, 3rd BCT Public Affairs, 25th ID)

Sgt. Karenlee Axe and Spc. William Johnson
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment
3rd Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

More than 70 spouses from 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti”, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division enjoyed spending a day walking in their Soldier’s boots during “Cacti Take Arms Day,” Feb. 28.

Take Arms Day was a fitting event for the unit after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made an announcement in late January putting an end to the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members, opening up about 237,000 positions to women — 184,000 in combat arms professions, positions that Soldiers felt their wives could take on any day.

Spouses get muddy as they low crawl through obstacles.

Spouses get muddy as they low crawl through obstacles.

The spouses were broken up into groups and took part in three different objectives, conducting exercises their husbands do on a day-to-day basis.

One event was a heavy machine gun range where wives fired the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and the M240B machine gun.

This experience was a new one for some of the women, but it also came natural to a lot of them, said Staff Sgt. Joey Cordell, squad leader, 2-35th.

Spouses got a lesson in how to march, complete with basic training-style guidance by their instructors

Spouses got a lesson in how to march, complete with basic training-style guidance from their instructors

“My wife is a natural born Soldier — send her straight to Ranger School,” said Cordell.

After firing the machine guns, the women convoyed in tactical vehicles to the Phoenix obstacle course. Their athletic skills were put to the test. Although many of them were happy to participate, this objective caught many of them by surprise.

“Look up, so I can see the fear in your eyes,” joked Sgt. 1st Class Joel Babb, Co. D, 2-35th, laughing as his wife performed the rope climb.

The last event was the infamous shoot house. Husbands had a bird’s eye view from along the catwalk as they watched their wives conduct “Battle Drill 6: Entering and Clearing a Room.”

“Some of the wives took to this like a bird to flight,” said Sgt. 1st Class Troy Sherlock. “These women may be in our infantry soon.”

During the closing ceremony, Lt. Col. James Bartholomees, commander, 2-35th, thanked the women for participating in the event, and for supporting their husbands while they serve their nation.

“Events like these strengthen our unit and ohana,” said Bartholomees.

(Editor’s note: Axe and Johnson are unit public affairs representatives for 2-35th.)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *