FORT IRWIN, Calif. / FORT HOOD, Texas (Fox 44) – The soldiers at the National Training Center now are close to finishing their time there – but for those in the next rotations, the leaders shared their best advice on how to prepare and succeed in The Box.

“You are ready,” Lieutenant Colonel James Ray said, the Deputy Division Chief of Staff for 1st CAV Division. “The training that you did in home station has prepared you for the difficult and complex training, the OPFOR, the opposing force that you’ll see here.”

This is what LTC Ray said when asked what his message is to soldiers scheduled to go to the National Training Center in the coming months.

He and Colonel Steve Carpenter say soldiers must also be open to learning new strategies.

“For an organization, I’d say show up and be a learning organization, because we have some of the best trainers in the United States Army that are right here at the installation,” Col. Steve Carpenter said, the Deputy Commander of Support for 1st CAV Division. “For the individual the number, one thing we can do for that soldier for that family is ensure if they are asked to deploy, that they’re successful and they redeploy a winner.”

Ray echoed Carpenter’s message to be open to learning, since it is a different environment and a different type of training than what most soldiers are used to at Fort Hood.

Ray ended by saying as a leader, he has been extremely proud of his soldiers when he has been in The Box at Fort Irwin, and wants to remind soldiers and leaders to remember what they do on the ground – even if it’s after the training ends.

“Being with the leaders and looking up and down, and just how confident I was in our level to be lethal and ready to do whatever our nation calls,” he said. “I mean, it was a great feeling. Being done, it was difficult while I was doing it. You know, I couldn’t see that light. But at the end, and as we start to load equipment up, I was just so proud of what we had accomplished out here collectively.”