Monday, February 2, 2009

What is a Cav Scout

I have had so many people ask me what exactly is a Cav Scout.
Thanks to another Cav Mom that is on GAP, I have the answer.

What is a Cavalry Scout
A Cavalry Scout is the commander’s eyes and ears of the battlefield.
To do this requires a unique soldier. He must be flexible, intelligent, resourceful, courageous, and crave danger to do the unique job of Scouting. The units are tightly woven groups, able to depend on one another at any time, irrelevant of rank, which is critical to their survival. They take great pride in both their history and traditions. Scouts must still earn their spurs and it is not an uncommon site to see black Stetsons, spurs and sabers worn for certain events and occasions. The number of common and specialized skills that Scouts are required to know, even at the lowest rank, outnumbers any other job on the battlefield. The job of gaining and maintaining contact with the enemy without being spotted, mounted or dismounted, and reporting all this intelligence to the commander so he can mass his forces to defeat them requires this tremendous amount of knowledge. Because the Cavalry Scout is such an invaluable asset on the battlefield, he is not usually used in the traditional combat role. He fights as a last resort and rarely as a combat multiplier, but has a tremendous amount of combat resources available to him to insure his survivability. It is not unusual to see a young Cavalry Scout coordinating both direct and indirect fires to decisively engage and destroy the enemy because he is the one with the eyes on the target.
The term " Recon** out front " exemplifies the dangerous job and continuous threat of exposure to the enemy while working on or behind enemy lines.The term "Recon Scout" usually refers to a Cavalry Scout that works primarily in the light mode. They may be Airborne, Air Assault (helicopter inserted), or based on HMMWV’s* and conduct dismounted operations regularly. They take great pride in their ability to move amongst the enemy dismounted, traversing all types of terrain, while carrying all the gear necessary to accomplish the mission. This gear regularly exceeds 100 pounds because of the difficulty to resupply these soldiers and their risk of exposure while conducting operations.
Technical note for non-military types:*A HMMWV is an acronym for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, pronounced Humvee.)**Recon is an abbreviated version of the word reconnaissance.
Here are a few of the duties of a Cavalry Scout:
1. Secure and prepare ammunition on scout vehicles
2. Load, clear and fire individual and crew-served weapons
3. Perform navigation during combat
4. Serve as member of observation and listening posts
5. Gather and report information on terrain, weather and enemy disposition and equipment
6. Collect data to classify routes, tunnels and bridges
7. Employ principles of concealment and camouflage
Cavalry Scouts are required to constantly lift heavy objects and endure many stressful situations in combat. Being in top physical and mental shape for this job is crucial.
Job training for Cavalry Scout requires Basic Training, where you learn basic Soldiering skills, and Advanced Individual Training, and 16 weeks of One Station Unit Training (OSUT). The training will take place primarily in the field with some classroom training. Cavalry Scout training never really stops. Whether it's taking part in squad maneuvers, target practice or war games, Cavalry Scouts are constantly working to keep their skills sharp and are in a constant state of readiness.
Helpful attributes include:
Readiness to accept a challenge and face danger Top physical and mental shape Ability to work as a team memberAdvanced level Cavalry Scouts supervise scout vehicle crews and scout vehicle recovery operations. They supervise maintenance of wheeled or tracked scout vehicles. They may also serve as an operations assistant at a brigade or squadron level.
The skills you learn as a Cavalry Scout, such as teamwork, discipline and leadership, will help you in any career you choose.
The 19D soldier has always been flexible when it comes to his job. A scout can be assigned to an M3A2, M3A2ODS, M3A3, a HMMWV family of trucks, the Stryker reconnaissance vehicle (RV), or on foot, which takes very adaptable soldiers to transition from vehicle to vehicle and do so successfully.
Now factor in the required training that finds its origins in the military police, infantry, engineer, artillery, armor, and military intelligence branches, and the 19Ds have a very full plate.For years, cavalry scouts have been stepchildren, ignored by their parents, armor and infantry. The new Field Manual (FM) 3-20.8, Scout Gunnery, incorporates cavalry-specific combat requirements into gunnery for the M3, HMMWV, and Stryker RV platforms. Scouts have the versatility to move from unit to unit, from one platform to another, and use FM 3-20.98 throughout to be successful.There is a fundamental difference in how and why missions are conducted. Infantry's role, and for that matter, armor's role is to close with and destroy the enemy.
Although a scout can certainly perform this mission, his main role is to gain intelligence on the enemy. This mission requires "sneak'n and peek'n" with a brigade reconnaissance troop, or hammering with a divisional cavalry squadron. Either way, the mission is to gain information on the enemy for the main body. With the cavalry mindset, we focus on the reconnaissance portion of the mission.If a soldier uses his vehicle to conduct a reconnaissance or rushes into a battle to destroy the enemy, he is following the "tanker" blood in his veins. If another soldier dismounts to conduct a reconnaissance or waits until he has overwhelming force to destroy an enemy, he is following the "grunt" blood he carries. The best thing about cavalry scouts is that they can and will do both. We are the "jack-of-all-trades" and will use every asset from both worlds to get the job done and come home safely.

Hope this clears up any questions out there. I know it gave me an even higher respect for what my Soldier is doing.

God Bless,



ABNPOPPA said...

I never realized that a Scout had so many duties. Talk about multi-tasking! Glad to see he made it safely back to Fort Drum. Once of the officers I used to work with was stationed there and loved it. Too cold for me. Then again, this guy loved to fish and I hear, from him, the fishing is great.

Keep us posted on his activities.


Smurfy said...

Wow, that sure is a lot to keep up with. But I guess since it takes very special people, like Chris, to fight for our country and our freedom, they are up to the challenge.

Laura said...

So glad that you posted all that info. We are currently hosting some friends of ours from Oregon whose #1 Son just returned to Ft. Carson and is a CAV Scout. I'm especially glad that he's home safe now that I know what his job had been for the past 15mo.
Laura, A Military Mom

Virginia Hunter said...

From another Cav Scout to you Thank you for supporting your son and thank you son for supporting th US with his service