Face of Defense: Reserve Soldier Trains With Danish Home Guard
By Army Staff Sgt. Kai Jensen
76th U.S. Army Reserve Operational Response Command
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 14, 2014 Through the Military Reserve Exchange Program, a computer operations officer with U.S. Strategic Command’s Army Reserve Element trained with the Danish Home Guard in Denmark.
A medical group with the Danish Home Guard practices wound analysis, preparation and movement of a casualty to an aid station in Denmark, June 20, 2014. Exercises with American soldiers participating through the Military Reserve Exchange Program provide all involved with a joint training environment. U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Kyle Kennedy
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“The entire trip was fun,” said Army 1st Lt. Kyle Kennedy, a Columbus, Nebraska, native. “The Home Guard liaisons made sure our days were packed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and they went above and beyond to make sure we got to see the whole country and experience the Danish Home Guard way of life.”
While working in Demark June 11-25, Kennedy learned how the Danish Home Guard runs its logistics, medical and armor operations, its shooting competitions, and its day-to-day activities.
Military Reserve Exchange Program provides reserve-component officers with training associated with mobilization duties while enhancing their ability to work and communicate with service members of the host nation.
“He is a unit role model and leader with impeccable character,” said Army Lt. Col. Mike Poss, commander of Stratcom’s Army Reserve Element. Based on these qualities, he added, Kennedy was a great selection to be an ambassador of the Army Reserve for the Denmark exchange program.
Through the program, soldiers gain an understanding of the training, doctrine and operations of a major alliance partner.
“The experience of working with allied militaries makes [soldiers] more experienced and teaches them how these other militaries operate,” said Army Maj. Benjamin Flosi, manager of the exchange program. “They build relationships so that later on in their careers, when they actually do work with allied militaries, they already have a point of contact, relationship and experience to fall back on.”
During his time in Denmark, Kennedy said, the Danish Guard’s shooting competitions stand out the most in his mind.
“The Home Guard’s shooting competitions were fantastic,” he said. “They had different stages and events, [including] distance shooting, movement shooting, close-contact firing, speed shooting, shooting at unique angles and shooting while on an elevated platform at pop-up targets. I placed first for the American group and third overall in the second-day shooting competition.”
Kennedy said he spent the first few days in Copenhagen, nine days in Skive and the remaining days in Tranum.
“Copenhagen was my favorite location,” he said. “Everyone there is so active, from people on bikes to kayaking to running. The prices were extremely high, but it helped you manage your money better and appreciate the things you have.”
Kennedy said he wanted to be in the Army and support his country ever since he was a boy, and with 17 of service, this was another unique experience that he was able to add to his list.