MONTGOMERY, AL (07/09/2013)(readMedia)-- This month is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a major battle in the American Civil War. The Alabama National Guard will conduct a staff ride to the battlefield July 17, taking a small group of Soldiers from three Alabama National Guard units who carry the lineage of units who fought at Gettysburg: the 31st Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Brigade out of Tuscaloosa, the 161st Medical Battalion out of Mobile, and the 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion headquartered in Talladega.
Staff rides are a traditional military training event that provides an engaging, immersive opportunity for present-day military leaders to internalize the lessons of past military actions for application to modern day concepts. This is a valuable opportunity for Soldiers' professional military development by examining historical aspects of terrain analysis, leadership, and concepts of maneuver for their influence in the turning point of the Civil War. A significant component of this detailed study of a battle is the analysis of the terrain over which the action took place and the effect of that terrain upon the battle or campaign.
While at Gettysburg, the Alabama Soldiers will also visit and compare notes with Soldiers from the Maine National Guard who will be conducting a staff ride at the same time. The two groups of Soldiers will specifically discuss the key engagements between Alabama and Maine units on Little Round Top, July 2, 1863.
Maine's governor, Paul LePage, and the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, will attend a short ceremony on Little Round Top after the staff ride.
Any media who wish to attend the staff ride may meet the Soldiers on the battlefield and should coordinate with the Alabama National Guard public affairs office no later than 4 p.m. July 12, 2013.