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Fort Sill Officers train despite frigid weather

Fort Sill_This week's storm kept a lot of folks in southwest Oklahoma from going to work, but not some young field artillery officers at Fort Sill.  Second Lieutenants from the Army and Marines were hard at work despite frigid conditions.  On Thursday, they went through the Basic Officer Leadership Course - through sleet, snow, and ice.  "The motto of the artillery is that we are able to work in all conditions," said Second Lieutenant Jeffrey Wozencraft, 1st Battalion 30th FA.  "So, this is a great training for us to show that."

Officers said that working through this week's weather was extremely rough, but all part of their training - not even the cold weather could stop them from training.  "It's been extremely cold, and it has been a big change for us since we have been mainly inside," said Captain Chris Atkinson. 

When the storm hit on Monday, the officers' outside training began.  "In combat, we don't have anywhere to go inside, so it just improves the training and gets them used to what they have to do," said Atkinson.  But, it wasn't only trainees out in the ice and sleet.  They needed supplies to train, and someone had to deliver them.  "My first sergeant the senior NCO of this battery was responsible for shuttling over 300 gallons of fuel using 5 gallon fuel cans," said Captain John Schmidt.  "It's hard but you work together as a team, and things come together, and it is pretty fun," said Second Lieutenant Patrick Cullinane.

It may be fun, but it's also necessary if these soldiers want to become leaders.  "Lieutenants we get in today's Army are outstanding - great future leaders," said Capt. Atkinson.  "They may get a little bit frustrated at times, but by no means are they ready to quit." Lt. Wozencraft agrees.  "I'm looking forward to actually being able to take everything I have learned, and utilize that within my job."

The officers finish this training on Friday, and on Tuesday they will graduate.  After that, it's back to their units. 

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