Students at Iduma Elementary School got an up-close look at the world of military reconnaissance, thanks to a live-action demonstration from the school’s adopted unit.

Soldiers from Fort Hood’s 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, held a field reconnaissance demonstration at the school Friday for more than 1,000 of Iduma’s kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

“We want to show you all what we do,” said Lt. Col. John Cogbill, squadron commander.

The squadron, also known as “Phantom Recon,” conducts long-range airborne, motorized and infantry reconnaissance and surveillance. The squadron demonstrated a sniper extraction out on the school’s activity field, complete with armored Humvees and other equipment.

“We train all the time to be ready to do this,” Cogbill said. “Anywhere in the world.”

After the demonstration, students were able to speak with members of the squadron and get a hands-on look at its vehicles, supplies and equipment. Students not only watched a demonstration of what Cogbill’s soldiers can do, but learned more about the core principals they live by as members of the military.

“I want you to understand service,” Cogbill told students. “That’s what these men do when they come to work every day. They serve their country.”

This is the squadron’s first year as Iduma’s adopted unit. In addition to Friday’s demonstration, the soldiers regularly come to the school to tutor, help staff events and spend time with students.

“They are always ready to help out, and the kids are always excited when they come to the school,” said Judy Tyson, Iduma’s principal. “There’s a real connection.”

The demonstration was held just as students finished taking the state’s rigorous standardized test, known as STAAR.

“They’ve been really great during testing time,” Tyson said. “They’ve been cooped up, so we wanted to get them outside and give them a chance to have fun and enjoy themselves.”

The students aren’t the only ones who get something out of the relationship with their adopted unit, Cogbill said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get out there and serve our community,” he said. “It gives (the soldiers) a chance to be role models and communicate what the Army has taught them.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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