By Mrs. Amy Newcomb (Leonard Wood)November 4, 2011
Drill sergeants and Advanced Individual Training platoon sergeants completed a week-long indoctrination program, Oct. 24-28, in order to be certified on critical training needed before being assigned to their units.
The 19 non-commissioned officers who attended the second class for the new program were briefed by Brig. Gen. Mark Yenter, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Wells, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood, on what is expected of them while they are stationed here. They were also given a refresher course on TRADOC Regulation 350-6, a briefing from the Judge Advocate General's office and a tour of the installation.
"I think the best part is we are getting a hold of these drill sergeants and AIT platoon sergeants as soon as they get here instead of waiting two or three months," Wells said. "It's a bit more efficient."
Other training certifications completed during the week were the Range Safety Officer course, Engagement Skills Trainer, hot/cold weather injury and wet bulb training, Master Resiliency training and Training Support Center Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations training. The drill sergeants and AIT platoon sergeants were also able to obtain their Transportation Motor Pool license and Ammo Handler's card and certification.
"Basically, this is to bridge the gap from Fort Jackson, (S.C.) to here, because things do not carry… such as individual post certifications," said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Facio, Company E, 787th Military Police Battalion and 2011 Drill Sergeant of the Year.
Facio and Sgt. 1st Class Kiana Bell, Company B, 84th Chemical Battalion and AIT platoon sergeant of the year, initiated this program in order to minimize the impact to training this was causing Initial Entry Training Soldiers.
"Once you are on the trail, it is hard to break away to get these courses done," Facio said. "We make it easier for a brand new drill sergeant to get right into their unit."
"It's bad finding out six months into your tour that someone can't do something, because it causes someone else to cover down, which is time away from Soldiers," Bell added. "If you do it on the front end, when you get to the unit you are ready. It cuts down on dead training."