Va. Guard instructors complete Cadre Training Course

Instructors advance skills during Cadre Training Course

Virginia Army National Guard senior noncommissioned officers assigned to the Fort Pickett-based 2nd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute participate in the Cadre Training Course Sep. 23, 2014, at Fort Pickett, Va. A total of 22 students expect to complete the weeklong course, which teaches a variety of helpful tools, knowledge and the fundamentals of assuming responsibilities of a Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training or One Station Unit Training Company. (Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Twenty-two Virginia Army National Guard senior noncommissioned officers completed the Cadre Training Course Sep. 27, 2014, at the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute.

The weeklong course held Sep. 22-27, 2014, provides battalion and company-level officers and senior noncommissioned officers with information and a basic understanding of policies and administrative guidance contained in the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command Regulations. Participants receive helpful tools, gain practical knowledge and learn the fundamentals of assuming responsibilities of a Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training or One Station Unit Training Company.

“We’re teaching them from ‘A-to-Z’ how to interact with IET Soldiers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dawn M. Hernandez, noncommissioned officer in charge. “All other courses teach you how to teach, how to speak, but this course actually prepares you to interact.”

According to TRADOC, Cadre are the most influential aspect in the new Soldier’s transformation and provide the example of the professional military ethic. Personnel assigned as cadre, identify and enhance positive traits that the new Soldier has brought to the Army and assists them in overcoming their weaknesses.

“This is an excellent course, it actually teaches you how to interact with Soldiers—not just in a training environment,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Blankenbaker. “It’s incredibly applicable to teaching and coaching junior Soldiers that we get to work with everyday, outside of a course or a training event.”

The majority of the course consisted of classroom time where the students spent time reviewing TRADOC Regulation 350-6, Enlisted Initial Entry Training Policies and Administration. Students learned about the U.S. Army’s principles of transformation and immersion into the Army values, standards of personal conduct, self-discipline, motivation and task performance.

“Other courses are more geared to presenting information, this course is more focused on how to teach to a new generation of Soldiers,” explained Blankenbaker.

Upon successful completion of the course, the graduates will be able to create and foster a positive IET environment that assists with the transformation from volunteer to Soldier. Cadre have major roles in creating and maintaining a positive IET environment and are responsible for the planning, resource management and teaching various courses in IET.

The primary behavioral learning method in IET is through observation requiring consistent leadership by example, explained Hernandez.

“The cadre’s proper example signifies there is only one standard; it also reinforces that all Soldiers, leaders included, are expected to maintain these standards,” Hernandez said.

“Completion of the Cadre Training Course provides the required certifications for 2nd Battalion instructors to conduct the motor transport operator advanced individual training,” explained Lt. Col. Allysa A. Kropp, commander of 2nd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute. “This is a new opportunity we’re currently pursuing with the U.S. Army Transportation School.”

A pilot course of 48 students is tentatively scheduled for March, 2015.

“Normally, our cadre provide transition training to noncommissioned officers who convert to the transportation corps,” Kropp said. “AIT students pose a new challenge and different requirements beyond the normal transportation corps curriculum that we must become familiar with in order to be successful.”

“We are excited about this training and the opportunities that might be in our future,” Kropp said. “It provides a different challenge for the instructors and provides a new mission at a time when our course load is being reduced.”

“The successful completion of the AIT pilot may lead to an enduring, year round mission in support of the U.S. Army Transportation School, and potentially other AITs could be directed to the 183rd RTI and to Fort Pickett,” Kropp said.

“We see the pilot program as an opportunity to showcase our abilities to the Transportation School, TRADOC and to the Department of the Army,” explained Kropp.

Located at Fort Pickett, the 183rd Regional Training Institute is comprised of the RTI Headquarters and three battalions. First Battalion conducts infantry training, including the 11B Infantryman Military Occupational Specialty Qualification Course, Light Leaders Course and rappel master, while 2nd Battalion conducts the 88M Motor Transport Operator Course. Third battalion includes both Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School and also trains Soldiers as military police officers.

The RTI includes 74 instructors supported by 32 staff personnel. The schoolhouse was completed in 2011 and includes approximately 400,000 square feet of instruction space, including a combatives training room, eight modular classrooms and a lecture hall capable of accommodating 480 students, along with three barracks with two-person rooms and open bay housing that can accommodate 275 students. At Fort Pickett, instructors and students can reach training sites within five minutes and that includes a variety of ranges, convoy and live fire lanes, an urban assault course, training villages, field training lanes, an air assault tower and an extensive urban training site.

View and download high resolution photos here.