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Posted: July 20, 2017 2:54 p.m.
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27 3-7th Inf Soldiers vie to be recon scouts

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Taking a rest before the next event, 27 Soldiers tried out and 23 succeeded in joining the platoon.

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Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division competed for slots within the battalion’s recon scout platoon July 11 - 13, at Fort Stewart.

Twenty-seven Soldiers tried out and 23 succeeded in joining the platoon. The tryouts were conducted on the 2nd IBCT compound and consisted of various physical assessments, an interview and an infantry knowledge test under stress.

Scouts are expected to provide the commander critical information on the battlefield and help drive the commander’s decision cycle. Providing reconnaissance and security of critical routes and objectives are some of the traditional tasks that help commanders understand the overall situation.

“We wanted the most mature, physically, and mentally fit Soldiers as possible,” said Sgt. Troy Sellers, a squad leader within a 3-7 Inf. Scout platoon. “We wanted to see how the Soldiers operated under stress.”

Pfc. Theron Johnson, a Soldier in 3-7 Inf.  and a new member of the scout platoon said, “The hardest thing was rucking immediately after the physical fitness test. My legs were already exhausted, and that made it especially difficult.”

Among the Soldiers fighting to join the scout platoon was Sgt. Ryan Mathes, a candidate who previously served with the 1st Ranger Battalion and deployed five times.

During the tryouts, Mathes was assessed for one of the scout leadership positions said, Sellers.

“He had a great background with the 1st Ranger Battalion and lots of combat experience,” said Sellers. “He was one of the tougher ones that pushed through until the end.”

1st Lt. Stephen Snyder, a scout platoon leader and officer in charge of tryouts, said a lot of the guys experienced time with infantry units before joining the scout platoon. Now they have to train on basic scout skills which begin in August.

“We want them to learn how an infantry platoon and company operate -- from a scouting perspective,” said Snyder. “So when these guys are out conducting reconnaissance they know what to look for and what to report.”


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