FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. –
Army Reserve Soldiers of the 319th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion train to carry fallen comrades in a simulated remains transportation ceremony during Combat Support Training Exercise 91-22-01, June 14, 2022, on Fort Hunter Liggett, California.
Soldiers of the 319th CSSB learn how to ceremoniously transport the remains of the deceased in a training event to honor and dignify those who give their lives in a field environment.
“You go to war, you fight for your country, and this is our way of being grateful and thankful for what they did and the sacrifice they took for us to be here,” said Spc. Bianca Dos Antos, a Soldier from the 319th CSSB, who volunteered for the ceremony training.
Respect and honor are two of the seven core Army Values all Soldiers are expected to exemplify. The simulated ceremony focused on showing respect and honor for the dead.
“These are not just people, they’re your battle buddies, people that you serve with,” said Dos Antos.
Many Soldiers form bonds with those they serve alongside, and losing a comrade in combat is difficult. For the Soldiers of the 319th CSSB, learning to perform this ceremony is how they pay their respects.
“I recently had a previous NCO, a close friend, we were stationed in Germany for a little while, and he recently had an accident,” said Sgt. Raphael Cruz, another volunteer from the 319th CSSB, “I managed to go to his funeral, I felt that it had to be a close person to carry that body.”
The training involved executing precise movements that require expert coordination, discipline and timing. This display of professionalism and cohesion within the unit is a symbol of the respect for the honorable sacrifice made by the deceased service member.
While no Soldiers wish to experience the death of a comrade, these Reserve Soldiers have taken on the responsibility of being prepared to perform the services.