By Spc. C. Terrell TurnerJanuary 31, 2012
FORT DEVENS, Mass. --Mastering job skills while deployed can be quite difficult, but fortunately the Soldiers attending Silver Scimitar have the luxury of being trained by some of the best from the field.
As the final week of Silver Scimitar 2012 begins, Soldiers participating in the training move from the classroom to applying what they've learned in a hands-on event. The Cumulative Training Event during the second week is a dry run involving various real-world scenarios controlled and guided by Observer Controller-Trainers and evaluators. This type of instruction ensures human resources Soldiers, whose actions affect every Soldier on the battlefield, receive the best training possible.
Some of the OC/Ts are currently stationed in Kuwait or Afghanistan and returned just for this exercise, bringing vital information and experience to share with the Soldiers. The OC/Ts apply the "Crawl-Walk-Run" training principle, where they provide intensive guidance during the first one-to-two days, and gradually step back to see how the Soldiers react to real-life scenarios.
Evaluators from the active duty and Department of Defense civilians are also participating. "The evaluators are there for assessment," said Maj. Damian Cunningham, commander, 101st Human Resources Company, which is currently running the Theater Gateway in Kuwait. "During the walk stage, we are giving them a small piece of what operating a theater gateway is like in terms of pushing through personnel. The next phase gives them more events and then, finally, in the run phase, we give them more challenges that actually occurred in theater."
Both evaluators and OC/Ts ensure Soldiers maximize their training but evaluators take it one step further.
"I'm an evaluator during this exercise," said Sgt. 1st Class Darius Ramos, an active duty subject-matter-expert with the 1st Sustainment brigade in Fort Riley, Kansas. "The scenarios are pre-determined. If I see an opportunity for training, I will present it to the Soldiers and, if they respond too well, I might change the parameters of a scenario. So far, I have been quite impressed with several of the Soldiers here."
To get Soldiers out of the classroom mode and fully immersed in the scenarios, Soldiers receive guidance from both the OC/Ts and evaluators.
"The evaluators are trying to reel in the Soldiers from the classroom in order to torque [them] in the right direction," said Master Sgt. Porter Washington, noncommissioned officer in charge, G-1, Human Resources Management, National Guard Bureau. "The OC/Ts use the 'virtual' method to try to get Soldiers in the right mindset," referring to the role-play scenarios OC/Ts run the Soldiers through.
The insight and training from these professionals has been invaluable to the Soldiers attending Silver Scimitar.
"This is my first visit out here. So far, the training has been outstanding," said Chief Warrant Officer Taryn Dinsmore, a human resources technician with 43rd Sustainment Brigade in Fort Carson, Colo. "I came here from the HROB [Human Resources Operations Branch] after being stationed there for almost a year now, and felt like I knew a lot of what was going on. After coming here, I realized there's a lot more than what I've been doing. It's been a great experience and a lot of lessons learned."
The OC/Ts also recognize the opportunity to share their knowledge with other members in their field.
"This is really good training," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Yineso Adeoti, HR Technician with the 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center, and an instructor at Silver Scimitar for several years. "The training has grown and the word has gotten out. Everyone wants to come here and train up. We need to continue to send troops here. This is the only HR training that solely focuses on HR."
Adeoti explained his role as an OC/Ts is to train the Plans and Operations sections at the HRSC level and the Soldiers working in the Human Resources Operations Branch to establish and maintain good relationships with their units.
"I attended Silver Scimitar in 2010 as a student," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Somjai Ashford, Human Resources Technician, Human Resources Operation Branch, 7th Sustainment Brigade. "I requested to attend this to see if I could improve my subject-matter-expertise. Even as an OC/Ts, Chief Adeoti has been a mentor and really receptive to my questions."
The Soldiers were very positive about the training they've received from the OC/Ts and the evaluators.
"The instructors and trainers were professional," said Sgt. Harold Votzke, 912th Human Resource Company. "They knew what they were talking about, and the training was very hands on. I ran a post office when I was on active-duty years ago. They were very helpful explaining the new systems."