By Sgt. Cody HardingMarch 24, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Being a Soldier entails sacrifice, and for some, the most hard-felt sacrifice is less time with family and friends. Separation from loved ones increases stress and can turn a routine deployment into something much worse.
To keep noncommissioned officers connected with their Families and lower the operational costs by saving on travel and temporary duty spending, Soldiers can now train without having to sacrifice time away from loved ones.
The Basic Noncommissioned Officer's Course for Soldiers in the logistics field, based out of Fort Lee, Va., has sent its mobile training team to Fort Riley to teach the class.
BNCOC provides young non commissioned officers the ability to grow and learn, giving them the tools needed to earn a higher rank, and thus more responsibility. Traditionally, BNCOC is held at another post to train specific military occupational specialties.
Although the students don't get as much hands-on training as the course in Fort Lee, the instruction can be better suited to the students, said Sgt. 1st Class Lillian Parhm, an instructor with the mobile training team.
In addition to technical field training, the team is using computer-based instruction in place of textbook instruction for the first time, said Staff Sgt. Maurice Stephenson, an instructor with the mobile training team.
As the class begins, the noncommissioned officer's creed is recited by the students, then they go over what other assignments they need to complete. Other tasks, including drill and ceremony training, also are conducted in the course.
Sgt. 1st Class William Cintron, a small group leader with the training team said the benefits of bringing the training to the Soldiers course are three-fold: it saves the Army money, helps troops in their career progression, and gives them more time to spend with their Families.
This is a big relief for many of the NCOs in the class, like Staff Sgt. Kevin Smith of the 24th Transportation Company, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
"It's a big difference," said Smith. "Right now, if I had to go away for two months I'd have to find a day care for my kids. Being here, being able to go home every day, you still have your Family time." The class is set to graduate March 19.