NEWS | Dec. 18, 2018

U.S. Army Leaders Conduct Professional Development in Historic Camden

By Capt. Alice Yoo U.S. Army Central

Staff members of the 4th Battlefield Coordination Detachment and the 609th Air Operations Center traveled to the Camden Historic District, S.C., Nov. 7, to conduct a staff ride designed to further the professional development of their leaders.

The morning began with a brief to the Soldiers and Airmen on the southern campaign that led to the Battle of Camden. The staff ride heavily focused on the operational and strategic significance of the Battle of Camden in the Revolutionary War.

“Today we provided context to the battle with historical background information….This really gives you an appreciation for what happened here,” said Tom Oblak, a retired U.S. Army officer and Camden battlefield volunteer.

The staff spent time at one of the highlights of historic Camden, Cornwallis House, learning about cannon crew drills that were used in the battle. Service members were able to fire replica cannons similar to those used in battle. Cannon crews were formed and a competition was held to determine which team could load and fire the cannons the fastest using blank charges.

“This was definitely the highlight of today’s staff ride because it was educational and fun at the same time,” said Maj. Justin Magula, a staff officer with 4th BCD.

Following the cannon drills, a terrain walk was conducted on Camden Battlefield. Staff members were educated on tactics used and lessons learned from the battle, including both the British and Continental Armies. They also learned about the on-going effort to preserve the battlefield back to its original state as it was in 1780.

“They are making an effort to replant trees and make the terrain as identical as possible to the day the battle was fought,” said Sgt. 1st Class Scott Mistic, a senior noncommissioned officer with 4th BCD.

At the end of the staff ride, members discussed leadership principles, reviewed the decisions made, and alternatives that could have been employed.

“Today was a really great experience for everyone and serves as a reminder that we must always learn from our past to become better Soldiers and Airmen,” said Maj. Drew Shaffer, a staff officer with 4th BCD.