FORT POLK, La. - There was a lot of pain on Fort Polk's Dagger Field. There were soldiers desperately trying to clear their eyes and face, they had been sprayed with oleoresin capsicum (OC), which is commonly called pepper spray.
Other soldiers were talking about the jolt of electricity they recently received. All of the soldiers were experiencing a type of training that, while painful, is considered less than lethal.
More than 100 soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, most of them from A Troop, participated in this less-than-lethal training that the Military Police provided Aug. 9, 2013.
"The training that we did is usually something that the Military Police do. The training was taught in two parts, the first part is in the classroom. In the classroom, soldiers are taught about the Taser gun and the OC spray and the effects that they can each have on human body. The second part of the training is the practical portion of the training. This is where the soldiers get to experience the Taser and the OC spray," said Staff Sgt. Robert Beck, MP Cell, Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, and 10th Mountain Division. "After a soldier gets Tased or sprayed with the OC, that soldier will think twice before he or she decides to use either product. The soldier knows just how painful they both can be."
"Taser, Taser, Taser," an instructor shouts just before he shoots a Taser gun at a soldier. The soldier seizes up, his whole body becomes straight as a board as two instructors lay the soldier gently to the ground.
"Being Tased was unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Having electricity shooting all through my body was weird. I felt an individual jolt of electricity shoot throughout my whole body and I couldn't move at all," said Cpl. Daniel Andreessen, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.
Soldiers are standing in line looking around nervously, some are joking around but most are paying close attention to what is happening to the soldier at the front of the line. "OC, OC, OC," an instructor shouts just before he sprays the soldier in the face.
"The pepper spray was by far the worst part of the training. I used a boost of adrenalin to get me through the course that we had to do, but afterward the burning was just non-stop," said 1st Lt. Emory Eledui, 2nd Platoon, A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. "The burning around my eyes was so bad that I felt like I just wanted to curl up, just to make the burning stop."
The purpose of this training was to help soldiers stay battle ready for any mission that the Patriot Brigade is called on to perform.