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Fort Totten hosted Army skills training for new recruits on Saturday, October 27, putting about 300 future soldiers to the test before they set off for basic training later this year.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion of New York City also invited members of the media to attend and participate in the training exercise. The all-day event, the first of its kind at Fort Totten, taught new recruits realistic, tactical Army techniques by combat-ready soldiers. By placing recruits in groups it worked to foster camaraderie and teamwork before they are fully launched into the Army.

The event had a combination of five courses: shoot, move 1 and 2, communicate and endurance challenges. The future soldiers and media had the opportunity to learn how to shoot various weapons including an M2 .50 caliber machine gun, which is an advanced weapon.

In the move courses the trainees and media personnel rode along in Humvees at a demonstration course and they learned how to move as a team, performing various maneuvers. The communication section put a spotlight on teaching tactical radio communications to instruct future soldiers how to send reports.

Finally, the endurance section of the event had media members and future soldiers dress in full gear and act as though they had to extract a team member that was injured, then execute a fireman’s carry and do pull ups before finishing with a rock climb.

This event also served to welcome the new soldiers and to help sustain their patriotic commitment towards the Army, according to Army public affairs specialist Tina Beller.

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