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Posted 11/2/2014

Release no. 14-054


By Stephen Satkowski
Far East District

OSAN, South Korea - Soldiers from the Far East District enmeshed themselves into Korean tradition and history, touring the grounds of the battle of Osan and the ancient Suwon fortress wall during a staff ride Oct. 23 and 24.

“[Far East District commander and engineer] Col. Bryan S. Green wanted to bring district Soldiers together for an educational and team building session,” said Cpt. Lex Oren, district plans officer and organizer of the staff ride. “This experience not only provided greater knowledge of what American Soldiers went through during this battle with the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) but also gave us a taste of Korean culture.”

The battle of Osan was the first American engagement of the Korean War. District Soldiers saw firsthand the valley that was used as the avenue of approach for the NKPA.

“We discussed lessons learned from this first engagement and the relevance to today’s military operations,” said Oren.

Following the battle of Osan district Soldiers toured United Nations Forces First Battle Memorial Museum, United Nations Memorial Park, and the Monument of the United Nations Forces First Battle. The visit had a profound impact for many who took the tour.

“Coming from a family of military men dating back to World War II and Vietnam, visiting the museum and learning about the history behind the battle and the Soldiers involved only solidifies the bravery, heroism, and sacrifices from previous generations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Amber Cornett, human resources noncommissioned officer in charge.    “I am thankful for each and every one of them, and consider myself even lucky to be alive knowing that men from my family survived such battles.”

The next stop was the city of Suwon, where district Soldiers moved along the ancient Suwon Fortress wall passing Changyongmun gate and then proceeded to the Hwaseong Haenggung fortress. This inner section of the city rivaled the architecture and design of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

“Visible were obvious fortifications throughout the city that were once used to defend its people from invaders for thousands of years,” said Oren.

 At the end of the day Soldiers were able to view traditional Korean Archery where locals and tourists fired short re-curved Korean bows at targets from up to 100 yards away.

“As much as I love to experience Korean culture and traditions, visit landmarks and learn about historical events, the staff ride was even more enjoyable and complete by having the opportunity to socialize and mingle with my fellow Soldiers,” said Sgt. Luisa Capobianco, unit armorer and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear noncommissioned officer in charge. “It is very hard for all of us to get together and interact on a personal level due to the fact that we are all located across South Korea. It was a positive and constructive experience all around and I truly enjoyed getting to know everyone better and welcoming the newcomers.”

Staff rides are official military events, steeped in tradition. Their aim is to preserve the institutional memory of the Army, provide historical support in decision making, military history instruction and support leadership and professional development in enhancing unit pride and esprit de corps.