Maj. Jay Robinson, the first National Guardsman to complete the Combat Advisors Training Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, participates in a block of instruction on call for fire. Throughout the 28-day course, participating Soldiers learn about the unique Security Force Assistance Brigades’ mission.
A Soldier in the Florida Army National Guard – Maj. Jay Robinson – became the first National Guardsman in the country to complete the Combat Advisor Training Course (CATC) when he graduated during a ceremony this morning at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The course, which is held at the Army’s Military Advisor Training Academy, prepares Soldiers to serve in Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB). These specialized units were established last year by the Department of the Army to train, advise, assist, enable and accompany foreign security forces. The Florida National Guard was recently selected to stand up two of these units – an Infantry Battalion based in Lakeland and a Cavalry Squadron based in Gainesville.
Now that he has made history as the first Guardsman to complete training, Robinson will go on to serve as the operations officer for the newly formed 3rd Squadron, 54th Cavalry Regiment (SFAB) in Gainesville. The unit will prepare for upcoming deployments, during which it will send out teams to austere environments and countries to assist partner nations with security operations.
After multiple deployments and serving in both the Marine Corps and Army Special Forces, Robinson said he was proud and excited to take on this new mission, particularly because of his deep roots in the Gainesville community.
“I’m a fifth generation Gainesvillian,” Robinson said. “The opportunity to put together a unit from scratch and stand it up in my own hometown is just incredible.”
Lt. Col. Stephen Stroud, the commander of 3rd Squadron, 54th Cavalry Regiment, said that the graduation marked a proud occasion not just for Robinson, but for the Florida National Guard as a whole.
“Getting SFAB units in the Florida National Guard is tremendous, and the fact that Maj. Robinson is the first Guardsman to graduate from the training is just outstanding,” he said. “It’s a feather in Florida’s cap, that we stood up and we’re the first in line and the first to graduate.”