Behind the U.S. Army mission is a corps of Department of the Army Civilians who serve as a critical part of day-to-day operations. However, during hostilities or crisis situations, a number of these DA Civilians are required to remain or deploy toward the front lines. These civilian employees are designated as “Emergency-Essential” and supporting real-world combat operations comes with the job.
Last week, about 30 DA Civilians from Eighth Army completed a new course required for E-E designated civilians to better prepare them for contingencies and maintain readiness. The week-long in-person course was taught by a Mobile Training Team from the Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce’s Plans, Operations, Training and Mobilization Division out of Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck, Indiana.
At the Vandal Training Complex on U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea, DA Civilians learned everything from pistol marksmanship to first aid. They also learned about Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, Law of Armed Conflict, and operating in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environments.
“One of my favorite parts of the course was the CBRN class because it taught us that no matter what the situation is you always have to have a battle buddy,” said Dora Lutz, Eighth Army G35 Future Operations, Force Management Branch deputy. “I enjoyed the Individual First Aid Kit course as well. I am the type of person that I like to help other in moments of need. That one taught me survival skills and how to be able to assist others in a worse situation than me -- teamwork.”
The week started out with a bang where the students got familiarized with the new M-17 service pistol. After learning basic maintenance and operation, they headed to the electronic simulator to qualify with the M-9.
The next day the class went over public health information, readiness and deployment checklists, and combatant command briefs. After learning about Law of Armed Conflict and MRAP vehicles, it was time to don their Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear for CBRN training.
At the end of the week the civilians were given a validation memorandum and a DA Form 7425 (readiness and deployment checklist) certifying them as having met Headquarters, Department of the Army standards for E-E civilians, which is valid for the next 12 months.
The AECW course is traditionally conducted for DA Civilians prior to deployment into theater. To ensure continued readiness of the E-E civilian workforce, the Army published orders in December for all DA Civilians designated as E-E to complete this annual validation training. Mobile Training Teams will visit the U.S. Army Pacific area, to include South Korea, throughout the year. They will conduct the in-person portion of the course. Beforehand, civilians registered for the class will also complete an online portion.
All other E-E civilians throughout the world will head to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, for their training, according to the Army order.
Emergency-Essential civilians here in Korea can expect to hear from their chain of command when training is available.
“As a former deployer to Afghanistan from 2016-2017, I deployed as part of the former Civilian Expeditionary Workforce, now called the Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce,” Lutz said. “In my 27 years of civilian service, it was the most rewarding and the best professional development experience.”