I spent the week of September 12th at the Maneuver Warfighting Conference held in Columbus, GA, home to Ft. Benning. The event was held in the Columbus Ironworks Center, which is an old Civil War foundry that made cannons for the Confederacy. Although the building has been modernized, much of the original structure is still in place. It is an interesting look back as to how things were done more than 150 years ago.
Ft. Benning is home to the Maneuver Center of Excellence which oversees much of what today’s infantry is charged with learning. The base also serves as the home of most of the infantry training that takes place. New recruits come in for basic training, and advanced infantry training. Many go on to take the airborne and ranger schools. Ft. Benning is also home to the 75th Ranger Regiment. The infantry is the heart and soul of any military organization. It is informally referred to as “The Queen of Battle” (think chess, not royalty). The artillery is known as the “King of Battle”. In chess, the queen is tasked with the protection of the king and thus has the greatest power to take on the opposing force. In most cases, when the queen falls, the king follows shortly thereafter. The same is true of modern warfare. To be sure, there is air and naval power that are employed, but to be victorious, a strong infantry is required. These are the best trained and equipped soldiers in the world. As they put themselves in harm’s way for our benefit, they deserve nothing less.
The men and women of our infantry attended this event to see all the new weapons and tools they would have at their disposal to defend our nation at home and abroad. Even though our stuff is pretty low-tech, they came by my booth and thanked me for Raine making products that held up under tough conditions. Several of them told me our stuff held up better for them than some of the “brand name” items from other manufacturers. This has always been our philosophy: “build a simple product and make it strong as a tank”. It seems to work for us.
I am always amazed at the morale and attitude of these young professionals. They know what they do is dangerous (many have been deployed more than once), yet they are always positive about their mission and their situation. Most of those that stop in that are staff sergeant or higher in rank plan to make the military their career. God bless them one and all.