Friday, March 21, 2008

Tool Man Fixes Up Morale

Mar-21-2008 » Filed Under: 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
By Staff Sgt Arron Schille, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment
BAGHDAD - Within the compound housing, the headquarters of the 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment is a small shop made up of four plywood walls and a tarp for a roof. It’s what takes place inside this makeshift shop that helps the Dragoons of the 2SCR accomplish their mission with a little more ease.
Two Dragoon Soldiers; Sgt. 1st Class Chris Russel from Vancouver Wash., assistant operation non-commissioned officer, and Spc. Ross Gray from Lubbock, Texas, a generator mechanic, both of Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2SCR, took an empty spot in the back of the compound and within a week turned it into a self-help workshop for the Soldiers of the regiment to use to better their professional or even personal lives.
“This shop was mainly built to insure mission readiness,” said Russel. “The tools found in the workshop, as well as the building materials are available for use by any of the 2nd SCR Soldiers, and were found in the garbage, abandoned.
“If I see something sitting in one place too long, I just go ask if I can have it. Most people say it is OK with them, and then I just take and fix it,” he added.
Many different types of tools can be seen within the shop, and there seems to be a tool for almost any job. Among the tools, Soldiers can find several table saws, a lathe, air compressor, a power washer, and a variety of hand tools.
One of the previous projects that Russel and Gray have completed is the building of weapons racks for soldiers to put their weapons. They also just completed fixing a wall locker, for any Soldier who might need it.
“We just fix it and if some one needs it then they can have it,” Russel said. This shop has been operational for about two and a half months, and since its construction has greatly contributed to over all mission readiness of the regiment.
Gray said, “It took about one week, we put up a wall a day.”
Russel has a back ground in wood finishing and also some schooling in Engineering.
“It was primarily him I just basically pointed him in the right direction, he is a pretty motivated and intelligent guy,” stated Russel, referring to the building of the shop.
Any Soldier can use the shop to create a special project or fix a piece mission essential equipment. No mater what the Soldiers reason for using the shop they are encouraged to stop by, but first they must be able to show that they have a working knowledge of the equipment they intend to use.
“Every soldier has to prove to me that they can operate the equipment that they are using,” Russel said.
If the Soldier doesn’t know how to use a piece of equipment then they are trained by Russel and have to take a test to show that they are able to use the equipment safely.
Although Russel and Gray are able to conduct almost any task within the shop, they are available to aid other Soldiers in completing their own projects.
“I like it when some one wants me to help them with something instead of just wanting me to do it for them” Gray said.
Despite the shabby outside appearance of the 2nd SCR workshop, inside the tools and troops who work there more then make up for it in their quality of work and knowledge.
So if you see this shop in the Dragoons compound don’t judge a book by it cover, there is a lot more to this little shop than meets the eye.
”I can fix just about anything right here in this shop, instead of having to send it some where else to get it fixed,” Russel said.

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