Players and coaches with the Kansas State University Men’s Basketball Team visited Fort Riley Jan. 9 to spend time with its partnered unit – the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
During the visit, K-State players and coaches experienced some of the aspects of being a Soldier in the modern Army and what it’s like during a typical day on post.
“The purpose of this was to strengthen our partnership with (the) K-State Basketball (Team),” said Staff Sgt. Darryl Greenfield, artillery section chief, Battery A, 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt. “They invited us out to a basketball game – (Military Appreciation night vs. North Florida Nov. 18) – and they showed us their facilities, took us on the practice floor, and we played some games against them. This was our favor to them, by showing them what we do here as an artillery unit and showing them our equipment and what we do in our day-to-day life.”
Each of the batteries within the battalion prepared a piece of the military experience to share with the team, ranging from showing the team communications gear, medical care and anti-chemical weapons masks, to a range of small arms and crew-served weapons.
“Our basic role in this visit was to ensure that the basketball players came away with an understanding of our communications equipment that we currently use,” said 1st Sgt. John Bamba, Btry. A, 1st Bn. 7th FA Regt. “I spoke to several of the players, and they all appreciated and enjoyed this day that we’ve provided for them.”
All the stations set up by the Soldiers provided the K-State players and their coaches with some hands-on experience.
“They liked the hands-on portions, and they see now what we do,” Greenfield said.
“They showed their appreciation for it by their attention to it and the overall excitement they showed going around here today.”
After touring the battery areas, the team was escorted to the battalion motor pool, where team members climbed around and inside some of the battalion’s signature vehicles, including the M1096A Paladin Howitzer. The team also got to experience the MRAP rollover trainer.
Following the hands-on portion of the day, the team went back to the battalion’s headquarters for a special meal.
“You guys have cafeterias on K-State, you know what those are like,” Lt. Col. John Mountford, commander, 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt., told the team. “We’re going to treat you; we’re going to treat you to a Soldiers’ meal that we eat when we are training or when we’re deployed – a Meal Ready to Eat. It comes in a little package – about 4,000 calories, and it has everything you need to sustain yourselves.”
Soldiers with the battalion showed the players and coaches how to open and cook the MREs. After the meal, the basketball team observed a re-enlistment.
Jimmy Price, the basketball team’s strength and conditioning coach and also a former Marine, summed up the team’s all experience.
“It was really fascinating to see just the technical skills that I think sometimes (are) overlooked, but also the self-sacrifice and dedication that these guys have to do their job and allow us to have the freedom we have,” he said. “We appreciate the service of the entire armed forces, plus everybody out here, obviously, and we’re very grateful to have had the opportunity to come out here.”
By Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire
2nd ABCT Public Affairs
Members of the K-State Menís Basketball Team look on as Soldiers with HHB, 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt. show them the proper way to treat a casualty on the battlefield Jan. 9 during the basketball teamís visit to the battalion headquarters.
Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire | 2nd ABCT
Brian Rohleder, sophomore guard, K-State Menís Basketball Team, looks through the sights of an M249 SAW during the teamís Jan. 9 visit to post.
Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire | 2nd ABCT