FORT STEWART, Ga. – Marne Signal University trains U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers on advanced radio networking and signal communications capabilities. The MSU is based upon a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command initiative that the division uses to build upon basic skills learned in initial entry training and grow experts within the communications enterprise. They train knowing the nation's global competitors relentlessly pursue modernization of their own technology and equipment.
Daniel Schultz, The MSU director and formerly an enlisted satellite communications system operator in the Army, has had first hand experience on the difficulties Soldiers face in the field employing the equipment.
“With my experience as a field support [representative],” said Schultz. “I've seen all the stuff out in the field that goes wrong and I try to inject that in my class as much as possible, so they're not only touching it every six months when they go out to the field.”
The MSU offers a variety of classes in tactical signal functions such as employing Advanced System Improvement Program radios, high frequency radios, Multiband Inter/intra Team Radios, tactical satellite radios, Harris handheld radios, and information technology networking and Cisco routing. Soldiers can also gain certificates for training that can earn points toward Noncommissioned Officer promotions, depending on their military occupational specialty. Most importantly, the training ensures Dogface Soldiers are flexible and agile by effectively leveraging the technology. The commanders have the flexibility to tailor training to fulfill identified deficiencies and prepare for future deployments.
“Yeah, the tactical routing class, high frequency radio class, they're usually around 40 hours,” said Schultz. “The certification classes are usually two weeks, 80 hour courses, and also they get a voucher If they pass a test to earn one that's paid for by division.”
To ensure the ability to protect the nation and support allies and partners across a wide range of future challenges, sustainment training of the current and future Army relies on constantly upgrading equipment and communications skills. An average of 300 to 500 Soldiers take those courses each year and apply the skills learned once they are out training in the field as well as a civilian.
“Many IT jobs in the private industry require some type of certification either before being hired or shortly after onboarding.” said Ronald E. Nixon Jr, Civilian Deputy and Mission Support Element for 3rd ID G-6 “Getting your certifications while on active duty will provide you with an edge over many applicants. Having the certifications and experience places you in a better position to get the job you want and also helps your resume stand out.”
Benefits Soldiers gain from the MSU experience include industry certification training and testing, convenience, flexibility, interaction with instructors and other students, and a more comfortable learning environment to continue developing their professional achievements.
“I recommend all Soldiers to join this class,” said Staff Sgt. Cameron Green, an attendee at the Marne Signal University. “Whether you're technically savvy or you're not technically savvy, to come out and do the certifications is great for military progression and promotion points. Also for the future when you decide to get out of the military.”
As the world of technology continues to develop, so does the need to enhance training value and help Soldiers keep up. In the near future, the MSU will provide other certification classes in areas that they haven't offered before.
“One of those is [Civilian Acquired Skills Program],” said Schultz. “Which is higher than Security Plus, and then we're also trying to do Cisco certification.”
Classes are for all Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, with priority given to signal military occupational specialties for certain classes. To view upcoming courses and register, use your military common access card and government computer to visit: https://rockofthemarne.stewart.army.mil/sites/g6/Lists/cybersecuritySchedule/schedule.aspx