Guard soldiers study Little Bighorn Battlefield

Fort Meade, South Dakota (AP) July 2012

South Dakota National Guard soldiers from the 196th Regiment traveled to the Little Bighorn Battlefield near Garryowen, Mont., on July 4 to study the successes and failures of battle known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

The Guard says an analysis of both sides of the historic battle is one of the major events required for students to graduate from the 58-day commissioning program and become 2nd lieutenants.

In 1876, Lt. Col. Colonel George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians in the battle.

Numerous studies in recent years have uncovered a great deal of information about the locations, allowing tactics to be studied.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Wall says studying military history teaches junior military leaders to think in terms of terrain and tactics.