Monday, August 13, 2007

Pre-Combat Checks and Inspections

Pre-Combat Checks and Inspections--or PCC and PCI as they're called--are an essential part of a combat mission. Soldiers check their equipment, arms, ammunition, communications instruments, vehicles, etc. and their leaders inspect to ensure the checks were properly performed. Depending on the mission, it can be a time of routine drudgery, solemn stillness, or playful lightheartedness. Regardless of the mood--Soldiers are focused during this time. But their focus is not so intense that they don't welcome my visit. It's a moment for them to share with me any fears or apprehensions about their mission, their leaders, and as is often the case, their concerns for family back home.




I was sharing with my father just this week that I was not prepared for the amount of counseling that Soldiers would seek from me. Surprisingly, my counseling load doesn't differ much from garrison to theater. Life goes on regardless of where we are, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. About half of my time is spent counseling. The primary issue is marriage and family. Other issues include grief and bereavement, combat stress, depression, and a good deal of spiritual counseling. (Perhaps it would be useful to submit a post on counseling.)




Recently, I was at COP Aggressor visiting our Infantry Soldiers of Bravo Company. They had a mission early the following morning and I was able to move about visiting with them as they performed their PCC & PCI. Pictured are SPC Paulson in a Bradely--taken from the bottom; 1LT Marsh, leaning upon the hood of a gun truck while writing his plans for the upcoming mission; his team hanging out between movements; Major McGlathery who coordinates our air missions on top of his vehicle with a team member; SGT Clifton, loading 20mm rounds for the Bradley canon; and SPC Baulkner atop the Bradely's driver's hatch. These are great Soldiers and friends. SGT Tremain and I always enjoy our time out at Aggressor.

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