FORT BELVOIR, Va. (July 27, 2023) – On-the-job training took on a new meaning as 30 employees were fully immersed in the day-to-day activities of Soldiers.
The Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center relaunched its Greening Course to provide employees the opportunity to better understand the challenges faced by the Soldiers they serve.
The course, relaunched this summer, encompassed an updated format created by the Center’s noncommissioned officers. The C5ISR Center is an element of the Combat Capabilities Development Command.
Instructed by Soldiers with a vast amount of combat experience, the four-day course provided civilians with an understanding of unit structures, tactics and combat equipment. The phased approach cultivated new skillsets and provided avenues to build upon it. Participants demonstrated their knowledge and application of skills by executing a mission exercise at the end of the course.
“Soldiers in training” began their week learning Army basics -- such as ranks and the structure to company, platoon and squad size formations -- and then moved on to basic rifle marksmanship.
Employees tackled an obstacle course used to train Soldiers, learned how to navigate through terrain and learned about vehicles. Team building challenges, close combat drills, and scout reconnaissance brought to light the reality of physical preparedness to achieve military readiness.
C5ISR Center enlisted advisor Sgt. Christopher Miller is encouraged by the course’s redevelopment and the chance to reintroduce the workforce to a Soldier’s life.
“The intent is for civilians to have a frame of reference of what Soldiers go through and to help aid them when designing new technologies for the battlefield,” Miller said. “The Greening Course built camaraderie, cohesion, and the relationships among the civilians and the Soldiers.”
Computer scientist Tanner Atwater served as a platoon leader who gained the abilities to act decisively and speak clearly under stress.
“I felt a great amount of joy from helping others in this unfamiliar environment – whether it was lifting someone up the obstacle course or an older coworker up a tank, providing bug spray, or just being a good listener to teammates,” Atwater said. “Although my mistakes were constant, so were the instructors’ helpful suggestions.”
Engineering psychologist Dr. Jasmine Dang said the course will directly help with her job in the Center’s Human Perception Laboratory.
“I learned many useful skills like leading, operating firearms, navigating and using a tourniquet. I gained insights on the challenges that Soldiers face in missions, such as weather, equipment weight and physical exhaustion,” Dang said. “As an engineering psychologist, I often gather qualitative Soldier feedback when they interact with new advanced technologies via surveys, interviews and focus groups. Learning about their challenges is beneficial for my current position as it enables me to empathize with Soldier experiences better.”
The C5ISR Center is the Army’s applied research and advanced technology development center for C5ISR capabilities. As the Army’s primary integrator of C5ISR technologies and systems, the center develops and matures capabilities that support all six Army modernization priorities, enabling information dominance and tactical overmatch for the joint warfighter.
The C5ISR Center is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM). Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.