FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – 94th Training Division award winning Regional Training Site Maintenance Fort Indiantown Gap (RTSM-FIG), graduated its latest Wheeled Vehicle Mechanics reclass course on 28 September 2023.
These students had the opportunity to get hands on training on the Army’s newest wheeled vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The JLTV consists of two variants, a four seat Combat Tactical Vehicle and a Two-seat Combat Support Vehicle. This vehicle provides Soldiers with more protection against threats while increasing mobility.
One of the students is Spc. Dorimar DeJesus from the 276th Support Maintenance Company stationed in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. She enlisted as an Automated Logistical Specialist (92A) and joined the Army to have a variety in life. “One day you can be working in supply and the next day you’re a mechanic, getting your hands dirty fixing vehicles” DeJesus said.
Spc. DeJesus decided to become a 91B because her unit didn’t have the equipment needed for her to do her job, but because they have vehicles, she saw the mechanic performing their duties and began to learn from them before deciding to come to RTSM-FIG to reclass.
Her favorite part of the JLTV was using the hydraulics system to change the breaks and suspension on the vehicle. She appreciated the JLTVs having the Drivers Smart Display Unit (DSDU). “The vehicles can tell you where it hurts. It just makes our jobs a lot easier,” DeJesus said.
Spc. John Gonzalez Santiago from the 77th Combat Sustainment Battalion in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, joined the Army as a Tactical Power Generation Specialist (91D), and decided to reclass to a 91B so he could expand his knowledge as a mechanic. Santiago is studying to become a Civil Engineer and feels his experience in the Army Reserve will help him with his education.
Spc. Gonzalez said his favorite part of the course was the JLTV. He like the easy of the DSDU system that comes in the JLTVs as well. Though he was taught function checks on all vehicles, he appreciates not having to do them on the JLTV.
Spc. DeJesus was nervous before coming to the reclass course because in Puerto Rico, though they can speak English, they do not. She stated when they got here, her instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Miguel Rivera, saw that she was nervous and made her the class leader. DeJesus was able to overcome the nerves and break out of her shell because of it.
Sgt. 1st Class Rivera stated that he saw leadership potential in her and wanted to give her the opportunity to lead that many young Soldiers are not given. “I want all my Soldiers to leave with knowledge and experiences that they didn’t have before coming here,” Rivera said.
Spc. DeJesus advises Soldiers thinking about becoming a 91B to, “Go for it, every opportunity the Army gives you provides you with more knowledge and experience, so give it a shot.”