First Lt. Brian Weber
Officers assigned to 7th Engineer Battalion visited Fort Ticonderoga on Oct. 28 to learn from historians and to take a moment to reflect on the history that unites engineers from the 18th century to their counterparts of today.
Richard Strum, director of education for the Fort Ticonderoga Association, met the group to provide a guided tour and gave a detailed history of the fort’s significance from the 1750s until the present day.
The engineers were free to explore the buildings, fortifications and armaments to gain a better understanding of how the fort became iconic during the America’s fight for independence.
Lieutenants from each company briefed their fellow officers on specific time periods and other topics such as leadership, strategy, defensive fortification and the importance of Fort Ticonderoga in terms of logistics and the American Revolution.
“It was a great opportunity to turn our focus from the wars in the Middle East to take a look back in history to apply our experiences and to learn from the Soldiers that served before us,” said 1st Lt. Tristan Robinson, platoon leader for 7th Engineer Battalion.
The bitter Adirondack wind cut through jackets and fleece and provided a sobering reminder of what Soldiers posted at the fort might have faced during their time.
“My deployment involved heated tents, air conditioning and a (dining facility),” said Capt. John Kubeika, an officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Engineer Battalion. “It’s hard to imagine that these Soldiers had to cut wood for fire to keep them warm, build their own shelter and dig defensive trenches with only an ax and shovel.”
The group hiked along historic defensive perimeters and 18th century roads to explore the battlefield and surrounding grounds. Memorials and historic points of interest scattered throughout the grounds provided insight to the people and places that culminated to make Fort Ticonderoga a national landmark.
The staff ride provided the officers with a chance to get out of the office and take a day to build cohesion, learn from the history of the engineer regiment and appreciate the autumn scenery. The engineers departed with a newfound appreciation of Fort Ticonderoga and a reaffirmed bond with the past.
“While the names and places may have changed, it’s easy to see how our operations are linked to the past and the spirit of my Soldiers is the same as those that served here over 200 years ago,” said 1st Lt. Rudy Chelednik, an officer assigned to HHC, 7th Engineer Battalion.
Weber is assigned to 7th Engineer Battalion.