Schumacher goes hands on at Army baseFriday, August 23, 2013
Posted by: staff
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Strom, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, platoon sergeant, showed Tony Schumacher the proper stance for firing the M4 rifle.

Seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state Aug. 1 to visit with soldiers and try out new training systems.

While at JBLM, Schumacher visited the Mission Command Training Center and operated CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk simulators before viewing cavalry scout training.

After a short Stryker ride to a live-fire range, Schumacher conducted hands-on training with soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment. The scouts gave Schumacher a crash course on operating the M4 rifle before hitting the range to fire at targets.

“We travel to as many bases as we can during the race season just to say hi and to learn,” said Schumacher. “My job is driving the Army car, but what better way to talk about the Army than by coming out and seeing what these soldiers do every day and shaking some hands. It makes this job all worth it.”

Many soldiers felt it was a privilege to have Schumacher visit them during their training.

“It surprises me when people want to come out and see what we do,” said Spc. Nicholas Neely, a cavalry scout and native of Hermitage, Ark. “But having someone famous come out here shows me that even people who have a lot are thankful and supportive of what we do.”

Schumacher’s message to the soldiers was readiness.

“I would tell soldiers that the result of the day will almost always be related to the preparation that goes into it,” he said. “There was a reason you were in basic training. There was a reason you thought you couldn’t do something, but you trained and trained, and you survived. Preparation and your training is going to carry you through the toughest moments.”