First Lt. Bradley Johns-Parson
Allons Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, planned a special day April 24 in recognition of National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The unit organized its own version, titled “Lil’ Gunner’s Day,” which showed children of Allons Soldiers what their parents do on a day-to-day basis while also providing an opportunity to spend quality time together.
In a howitzer section, a gunner assists the chief with the firing of the artillery piece.
So, throughout the day, Allons children were put to the test with several events designed to introduce them to their parents’ daily tasks and duties.
More than 50 young recruits fell into first formation in the battalion quad at 7 a.m. They were then separated into two age groups to begin their morning physical training.
The younger troops participated in an obstacle course, which included a rope and net climb, a low crawl through the sand and an agility sprint through a five-gallon water jug maze.
The older recruits were challenged to take an abbreviated physical fitness test, which consisted of one minute each of situps and pushups, followed by a short run around the parking lot to give them a taste of the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Before the rest of the events began, every child went through an “in-processing” in which they received their own personalized dog tags and participated in camouflage face painting.
Youths then rode in a Humvee with their parents, conducted radio checks between two vehicles, got some medical training by using a Skedco litter and observed a howitzer display for the rest of the morning.
The afternoon consisted of a night vision goggle maze, a small weapons display and a beginner’s land navigation course.
At the end of the day, all children received a certificate of achievement and were officially named Allons Lil’ Gunners.
“When the kids received their certificates, they had the biggest smiles on their faces,” said Capt. Ryan Nehus, who participated with his daughter, Lillian. “My daughter was excited about getting her dog tags and just sitting around the office with me.”
The A Battery “Assassins” hosted the event and ensured everyone had a great time.
“At first we found it difficult to tailor all of the events to a wide array of ages, but we soon found that if we made some events a competition, like a weapons (display), we could entertain the older children while still allowing younger age groups to enjoy touching and seeing a variety of interesting weapon systems,” Capt. Glenn Walton, A Battery commander, said of planning the different challenges.
Bringing Families of the battalion together for one day in recognition of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” was great not only for the Families to get closer but it also boosted morale and strengthened the Allons team.
When Staff Sgt. Edisson Vargas, A Battery, said his 5-year-old son, Andres, enjoyed the event. Andres also said he wants his dad’s job.