WOCs’ community project brightens up Blackstone

Warrant Officer Candidates from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute paint a fire hydrant Aug. 24, 2013, in downtown Blackstone as part of their Warrant Officer Candidate School community project. The nine candidates, from Virginia and North Carolina, painted four curbs and eight fire hydrants along Main Street. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Warrant Officer Candidates from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute paint a fire hydrant Aug. 24, 2013, in downtown Blackstone as part of their Warrant Officer Candidate School community project. The nine candidates, from Virginia and North Carolina, painted four curbs and eight fire hydrants along Main Street. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

BLACKSTONE, Va. — Warrant Officer Candidates from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute painted curbs and fire hydrants in downtown Blackstone Aug. 24, 2013, as part of their Warrant Officer Candidate School community project. The nine candidates of Class 13-001, eight Virginia Guard Soldiers and one U.S. Army Reserve Soldier from North Carolina, painted eight fire hydrants silver and four curbs yellow during the Saturday project.

Warrant Officer Candidates from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute paint a  curb in downtown Blackstone Aug. 24, 2013, as part of their Warrant Officer Candidate School community project. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Warrant Officer Candidates from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute paint a curb in downtown Blackstone Aug. 24, 2013, as part of their Warrant Officer Candidate School community project. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The Purple Knights also arranged for a daylong static display of military vehicles and weapons by the Military History Air/Ground Operations Group from King William, Va. The group supports air shows, history events, reenactments, and television and movie filming around Virginia with their displays of authentic military vehicles, aircraft, equipment and uniforms.“The display shows weapons and vehicles we’ve used through our history,” said Warrant Officer Candidate Jody Wilson, the class leader. “A lot of our class is learning about military history so that really ties into what we’ve learned during this course.” While the project was an opportunity to perform something for the community, it was also a chance for the candidates to put months of book and classroom training to use in a real-world environment. That’s actually the most important, and difficult, part of the project, according to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian Temple, commander of the Virginia Guard’s Warrant Officer Candidate School. “The project isn’t the important part,” Temple said. “All the work that goes into it is.

“The whole purpose of this is to teach WOCs the intricacies of planning something as simple as a community project and then project that out to all the other responsibilities they will have in the future,” Temple said. “I always use the example of an iceberg. You only see a little bit of the iceberg. There’s so much that you don’t see.”

The community project is the culmination of all the Purple Knights’ efforts in between drills.

“It’s really been a learning experience,” Wilson said of the work leading up to the project. “We had to come up with a risk management sheet, develop an operations order and exercise command and control for the project. We also had to identify our resources, work with the public and figure out who to talk to and where to go.”

The candidates will now enter Phase III of the course and travel Camp Atterbury, Ind., for two weeks in September. If they successfully complete Phase III, they will return to Virginia as warrant officers in the fall.

Photos: WOCS’ community project brightens up Blackstone

The Purple Knights also arranged for a daylong static display of military vehicles and weapons by the Military History Air/Ground Operations Group from King William, Va. The group supports air shows, history events, reenactments, and television and movie filming around Virginia with their displays of authentic military vehicles, aircraft, equipment and uniforms. (Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The Purple Knights also arranged for a daylong static display of military vehicles and weapons by the Military History Air/Ground Operations Group from King William, Va. The group supports air shows, history events, reenactments, and television and movie filming around Virginia with their displays of authentic military vehicles, aircraft, equipment and uniforms. (Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)