Story and photo by
Capt. Brian Cyr
Special to GUIDON

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School graduated it's first ever CBRN Senior Staff Planner's Course of 26 personnel, Aug. 13, here, and included students from all four branches of the Military.
The CBRN Senior Staff Planner's Course provides CBRN officers and noncommissioned officers continuing professional education in combating weapons of mass destruction.
Lt. Col. Bill Karatzas, Deputy Director for the CBRN School's Directorate of
Training, said that prior to the development of the course, the chemical corps was lacking in a formal course for senior CBRN officers and NCO's.
"We wanted to take CBRN training to the next level and educate our corps as to what today's CBRN threat is around the world," Karatzas said.
Pete Schulze, CBRN School's Directorate of Training technical director, said that CBRN Soldiers on a recent trip to Iraq were inspired by the idea of a course designed for senior noncommissioned officers, civilians and officers.
"Lt. Col. Karatzas and I talked with several CBRN Soldiers in Iraq and the common theme was they wanted a course developed to assist senior NCOs and field grade officers in CBRN matters." Schulze said. The CBRN School representatives took that information from the field and developed it into an 80-hour course geared toward the senior leadership of the chemical corps."
The inaugural class consisted of 14 officers, eight NCOs and four civilians from military bases throughout the nation with each branch of the military being represented.
Navy Cmdr. David Dermody said he will take the CBRN knowledge and apply it back at his unit.
"This is a great course and demonstrates the need for information sharing at the strategic level," Dermody said.
Air Force Major Sean Haglund agreed.
"This course showed me that all branches of the military can come together at the joint level when dealing with consequence management." he said.
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Domah Diggs said that it's good to know how other branches of the military plan and execute CBRN missions at the joint level.
"It's good to know that we're all on the same page," Diggs said.
The next CBRN Senior Staff Planner's course is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2011, at Fort Leonard Wood.