FORT LEE, Va. – The 94th Training Division – Force Sustainment (TD-FS) continues to be a leading force in the Army Reserve’s training environment, and the unit is exploring the launch of two new training opportunities for 2021.
The first of the new opportunities focuses on allowing instructors in the railway operations crewmember military occupational specialty (MOS) to serve as guest instructors with the 757th Expeditionary Railway Center (ERC).
“If the 94th Training Division doesn't have enough instructors, we cannot complete the required number of courses each year,” said Master Sgt. Kiersten Bustos, the 94th TD-FS Senior Career Counselor. “Those that volunteer for this opportunity would remain in their unit and attend their unit’s annual training.”
“As Soldiers remain in their unit of assignment, we can train and certify them as instructors and utilize them for upcoming courses over the next three years,” she added. “These Soldiers need the flexibility to attend all instructor training and instructor courses in addition to their home unit's annual training.”
The guest instructor program was kicked off by an Instructor Exchange Memorandum of Agreement Signing held at the U.S. Army Railway School and Center toward the end of 2020 at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
The ceremony served as a pinnacle event showcasing the full support of the leadership for the 94th TD-FS, the Deployment Support Command, and the higher headquarters for the 757th ERC.
With the MOA signed, Soldiers with the appropriate MOS who meet additional instructor requirements such as necessary rank, completion of professional military education, and having at least one year of documented operational experience can now enter the instructor candidate program, which includes attendance at the Common Faculty Development – Instructor Course.
Once Soldiers have completed the process and awarded the skill identifier, they can begin guest instructing, where “they will share their experiences with the next generation of Soldiers who will grow to be our next leaders,” Bustos said.
While this initiative involves those with the railway operations crewmember MOS, Soldiers holding another formidable MOS may get a chance to go through their professional military education at a new location.
Regarding the second new training opportunity, the 94th TD-FS is exploring moving the MOS reclassification and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) leadership courses for Soldiers in the religious affairs (56M) MOS, closer to the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School (USACHCS) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Recently, the new location hosted its first senior leaders course as part of the Proof of Principle (PoP)—a pilot program that demonstrates the ability to host the course in the same capacity as when held at its current location at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
“The PoP consolidates all the 56M courses and demonstrates to the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC), the 80th Training Command, and its downtrace units that moving the courses is the best course of action for training and educating the Chaplain Corps and the Army it serves,” said Sgt. Maj. Tina Saunders, who has served as a key facilitator in the planning and coordination of the movement.
Once the program’s proposal is submitted to the 94th TD-FS leadership by the 4th Brigade (Personnel Services), 94th TD-FS, the plan will move through the required process to the 80th Training Command then eventually to USARC after official confirmation from TRADOC.
Referencing members of the U.S. Army National Guard Chief of Religious Affairs, USARC, USACHCS, the 80th, and 94th TD-FS, she said the task had been a collective endeavor. “This has been a team effort,” said Saunders, a McCracken Mesa, Utah native. “We as a team…all played a part to make this a success.”
An official decision has not been made, but Saunders believes moving the training to the Fort Jackson location is a good idea. “The biggest reward is to have all Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialist and NCOs schools in one location at the heart and home of the Chaplaincy at Fort Jackson,” she added.
While the guest instructor and religious affairs courses movement are just two options the 94th TD-FS currently has in the pipeline, the Division will continue to explore and execute various initiatives to ensure it remains a key component in providing stellar instructors for the Army’s training environment.