FORT SILL, Okla.--3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery, the Bruiser Battalion, develops, educates and trains Patriot Advanced Individual Training, Warrant Officer Basic Course, Patriot Master Gunner Course and select partner nations to generate proficient Patriot military occupational skills and versatile warriors to the operational force.

Part of generating proficient warriors to the operational force, the battalion launched a highly successful online training course called the Structured-Self Development Level 1 (SSD-1) course as part of its Patriot AIT.

The battalion's B Battery Bulldogs spearheaded the launch by implementing the SSD-1 program on a volunteer basis. Soldiers are rewarded extra pass privileges for completing all four SSD-1 modules prior to graduation. SSD-1 is Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler's initiative to prepare Soldiers for attending their first noncommissioned officer school the Warrior Leader Course. Although SSD-1 completion is required to attend WLC, the course is not required for AIT graduation. The AIT students embraced the challenge to complete SSD-1 strictly on a volunteer basis with amazing results.

"I'm glad I completed this training (SSD-1) while I am here so that I will be able to focus on my job in Korea," said Pvt. Laurel Cox.

By completing SSD Level I, ADA Patriot Soldiers will arrive to their first unit well ahead of their past peers, ready to conduct more hands-on training focused on the Patriot weapon system.

SSD-1 bridges the operational and institutional domains of Army training for enlisted Soldiers and sets conditions for continuous growth and life-long learning. It focuses on team level, common leader and tactical skills which enhance the Patriot AIT students' knowledge, behaviors and experience that will continue throughout their careers.

Since Oct. 1, 2010, Soldiers have been automatically enrolled in SSD-1 upon completing Basic Combat Training. Beginning in fiscal 2013, Soldiers must complete SSD-1 prior to attending Warrior Leader Course, a course mandatory for promotion to sergeant.

"The Army already has seen stronger success in WLC by Soldiers who have completed SSD-I," said Chandler. "The program works, and that is why the Army is backing it up with such strong rules."

"This is a critical step in assisting young air defenders to professionally develop themselves into better Soldiers and future leaders. I am looking forward to seeing how this SSD-1 initiative will develop and open doors for new ideas to help better prepare our Soldiers. Our air defense Forces Command units are thrilled knowing their future Soldiers are completing this training," said Sgt. 1st Class Learthur Williams, Fires Center of Excellence Platoon Sergeant of the Year assigned to the 3-6th ADA.

Team 15-12 Patriot Fire Control Enhanced Operator/ Maintainer AIT Class became the first 15 Soldiers to reach 100-percent completion of SSD-1. To date the 3-6th ADA has produced nearly 100 SSD-1 graduates.

"What a significant accomplishment. We are extremely proud of our young warriors for not only meeting Patriot AIT course standards, but setting the bar even higher for themselves to increase their ability to rapidly integrate into the operational force," said Command Sgt. Maj. Lawrence MacDonald, 3-6th ADA CSM.

Page last updated Thu September 20th, 2012 at 12:16