A scout must be able to do everything

“There were times when we had to tame not fear, but excessive fighting enthusiasm…” – the commander of a reconnaissance platoon of the Territorial Defense Forces shares about his service.

Oleksiy commands a reconnaissance platoon of one of the battalions of the Territorial Defense Forces which is currently defending Bakhmut. AAt the beginning of the year, he was awarded the “Steel Cross” – an honorary singn from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – for completing combat missions. And he is also a recent graduate of the training program for commanders called “Captains’ Training”.

Oleksiy comes from a small town in Sumy Oblast. Studied at the Kharkiv Aviation Institute, graduated from the military department. Later he moved to Kyiv, where he worked in the aviation industry. This was before the full-scale invasion of Russia.

On February 25, he joined the ranks of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“I was immediately enrolled in scouts. True, at first my platoon in the Kyiv region performed the functions of a kind of “quick reaction group”. At that time, a lot of the work of finding and countering the DRG was entrusted to the Terrodefense Forces. And in particular on our unit,” he says.

After the Kyiv region, the unit was moved to the Kharkiv region, where they performed reconnaissance work on the entire section of the front held by their battalion. They were engaged in aerial reconnaissance, adjusted artillery fire. “It was possible to destroy enemy formations, equipment, and manpower. hen, after a short recovery, we went to Donetsk region, where we are still fighting with our boys.”

In the summer of 2022, Oleksiy assumed the position of commander of the reconnaissance platoon. For the project “Those who multiply strength” from shared his experience.

Not only artillery and drones

Modern warfare is primarily a war of artillery and drones, but it all depends very much on the area of operations. When we were in Kharkiv Oblast, it was true that mostly artillery aviation, counter-battery, etc. everything was there.

Here, in Donetsk region, in the suburbs of Bakhmut, the situation is somewhat different. In addition to what is usual for us, artillery, mortars and aviation are working (and much more widely and intensively than in Kharkiv region), and subversive groups of Wagnerites are also very active, approaching us at very short distances.

For example, during one of the last battles, the distance between us and the enemy was only 17 meters. This is the distance when the facial expression and emotions of the enemy soldier are clearly visible. And in general, the distance between positions here is, on average, 30-40 meters. You can literally fight with grenades, throwing them at each other.

A scout must be able to do everything

The reconnaissance platoon combines the best of what the fighters of other units are capable of. Scouts are “specialists of a wide profile” who are well versed not only in traditional shooting skills, but also know how to “oper” a drone, mine, demine and much, much more.

We shoot much less than others. It is said that when a scout shoots, it means that the mission has failed and he has “burned out”. However, I understand the feelings of my boys, who also want the usual fighting courage. Therefore, sometimes I allow them to work together with rifle units.

I manage great people. In civilian life, these people held important positions, were fully realized and stood firmly on their feet. And here, in the war, their intelligence and zeal were very useful.

Platoon is like a family

My unit has gone through its own path of improvement. Now there are not and cannot be random people. Those who were alien to our values have long since weeded out. Now this is a strong team of people who have already been “shot at”, who have overcome many difficulties together, survived combat clashes together, and each of them has shown their character and their resilience.

We never once had to overcome panic or uncontrollable fear. On the contrary: there were cases when it was not fear that had to be curbed, but excessive fighting enthusiasm.

My unit is highly motivated. I don’t need to invent any emotional incentives for them. There is one thing that everyone understands: this war must end with our victory. Only then can we return home. And to his previous life.

Behind the scenes of our department, as much as possible, there is an atmosphere of humor and mutual jokes. Such things unite.

Both I and the master sergeant try to constantly remind that we are not just a unit, but a family that has already been through a lot as a group. Although, to be honest, there is no need to remind. Everyone knows and remembers this very well. We don’t have a so-called “army order”. It just cannot be. I started serving with these guys before I was even their commander. We are not just a division. We are a community with the same values. And not only in the army, but also outside it.

The worst thing that can happen to a commander is the death of one of his soldiers. When I have to call his relatives later… That’s why I do everything to minimize the risks to my boys’ lives. So far it works. We are alive and at the same time doing our work efficiently.

Before leaving Kyiv, I promised them and their families that we would all return home. Therefore, I do everything to keep my word.

Captains’ Training

He recently graduated from “Captains’ Training” — a unique course of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for company commanders, platoon commanders and battalion staff officers. Studied battle planning procedures according to the standards of NATO countries, taking into account the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The instructors are combat officers who have been trained abroad.

It was under Bakhmut when I realized the true value of the knowledge I received, and I began to look at some things differently. Starting from organizational points and ending with protocols that are guided by the commander when executing a combat order. Sometimes I jokingly say that Captain’s Training is the best thing that happened to me in the whole war.

“Those who empower” is a project of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which tells about the combat commanders and military leaders who proved their professionalism while repelling the Russian invasion. High-quality and capable military leadership is our powerful weapon capable of deterring and defeating our enemy.

Банківські реквізити:

Український ветеранський фонд
ЄДРПОУ 44565396
МФО 820172
в Державна казначейська служба України м. Київ

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