Paying Attention to Detail and Situational Awareness
The bread and butter of success in the Army while in garrison or in deployment is paying attention to detail and having situational awareness. Due to the fact that I did not properly apply these concepts during training exercises, I need to address the importance of being aware at at any given time of one's surroundings, especially during a critical mission or objective.
One example that history has shown of being aware of surroundings and paying attention to detail while operating in enemy territory is of Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Monti. While on patrol behind enemy lines in Afghanistan to observe and report enemy movement and activities, U.S. Army Sgt. Monti's unit became black on water and other supplies. In order to continue the mission without backtracking two to three days, it was determined that the supplies would be dropped via helicopter. Although in enemy territory, it was assumed that the enemy would not react, or much less notice the drop. Despite this, makeshift defensive positions were made around camp to ensure the men would be able to repel a possible attack. Once the helo drop was made, the contingency plan was put into motion as a larger and more trained enemy force than anticipated assaulted the group's location. As a result of the decision to helo drop supplies, many lives were lost that would not have been and also required Sgt. Monti to display valor and commitment to the Army Values by risking his life.
Although this is a high level comparison to attention to detail and knowing your surroundings, it is a critical lesson to be learned about knowing your surroundings at all times and acting accordingly. As such I should have applied this concept during the range exercises and kept fully aware of what is going on around me. This incident could have been solved by simply knowing that a safety was not present while I was shooting. Also, If I had kept proper track of my...