By Spc. Amanda McBride, 4th BCT Public Affairs, 3rd IDOctober 31, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- In an effort to give Soldiers more time with their Families, but still make sure they complete military schools, a military training team out of Fort Gordon has provided a Basic Non-commissioned Officer Course to Soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart.
Soldiers with the 25B and 25U military occupational specialties were given the opportunity to attend their BNCOC at home station, to provide Family time prior to or after a deployment.
"The purpose of the school was to ensure Students don't have to go on (temporary duty station)," said Staff Sgt. Terrish Butler, assigned to the Regimental Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Signal Corps.
"Fort Stewart just redeployed from Iraq, so instead of having all these Soldiers come to Fort Gordon and be away from their Families, we were sent down to conduct a mobile BNOC."
Though meant to provide returning and deploying Soldiers with a at home station school, it is also opened to Soldiers not on deployment status.
"Anyone can attend the course, we don't pick and choose," said 1st Sgt. William Evans, branch chief.
"It is the units responsibility to choose who they want and then to send them."
"Fort Stewart's 3rd ID just redeployed from Iraq, so instead of having all these Soldiers come to Fort Gordon and be away from their Families, we were sent down to conduct a mobile BNCOC."
Though meant to provide returning and deploying Soldiers with an at-homestation school, it is also opened to Soldiers not on deployment status.
"Anyone can attend the course; we don't pick and choose," said 1st Sgt. William Evans, branch chief. "It is the unit's responsibility to choose who they want and then to send them."
"We come out here as a MTT to get the students the qualifications they need to go to the next level, while still meeting the same standard as the school," he said. "While also keeping in mind those who have just redeployed and those who are about to deploy."
Bringing the school to the Soldiers saves time and money.
It allows only a handful of instructors to be sent instead of an entire class.
A 25B, known as an information technology specialist, is responsible for maintaining, processing and troubleshooting military computer systems and operations. They supervise, install, operate and perform unit level maintenance on multifunctional and multi-user information processing systems.
"We basically make sure people have the proper communication capabilities as far as aspects of computers go," Butler said. "We are also responsible in providing information assurance."
A 25U, known as signal support systems specialists, is primarily responsible for working with battlefield signal support systems and terminal devices. The specialists are responsible for making sure that all communications equipment is in top working order for the units to use.
"We are often referred to as the 25 universals because we are the jack of all trades for the Signal MOS," said Staff Sgt. Reginald Keitt, assigned to the Regimental Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Signal Corps. "We're responsible for radio communication, satellite communication and part of the 25B job."
Though both MOS are similar, the 25B MOS is more specific, while the 25U covers a wider range of duties. But both groups can perform much of the same task while in a deployed environment due to a small amount of personnel.
To limit the amount of time away from Families, units and training, the courses have been condensed in length.
Though condensed, the Soldiers still get the same curriculum, just in a smaller amount of time.
While Soldiers are in the course, they relearn the basics of their MOS and they also learn new things about their ever-changing field.
Though each of the two courses teaches MOS specific material, the training also focuses on Signal Corps history and a multitude of Soldiers skills.
"I am getting a better understanding of my MOS as a 25U," said Sgt. Vincent Floyd, assigned to Company B, 1/3rd Brigade Troop Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Allowing Soldiers to go home every day, provides the opportunity to spend more time with Family.
Floyd recently was able to witness the birth of his third child due to the course being held in Fort Stewart.
"The mobile training team allowed me to be there for my third child, I missed the birth of my second because of deployment," Floyd said. "With it being held here I was able to be (at the birth) without any significant changes to my grade."
With class lasting half of what the resident course would be, the MTT BNCOC is allowing more time for Soldiers whose time is already limited.
"Soldiers are going to Afghanistan and Iraq and might be home for 10 months, and then they are back on the plane again," Evans said. "This class is allowing Soldiers to not have to sacrifice Family time or miss training."