By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleMarch 29, 2013
New and prospective company commanders and first sergeants must be registered no later than April 5 for the U.S. Army Military District of Washington pre-command training course April 15-18 at Fort McNair, Washington D.C.
The pre-command course introduces students to potential challenges of command, avenues and resources available to assist them, and overall concerns within the National Capital Region.
All new and prospective Joint Force Headquarters-NCR/MDW company commanders and first sergeants must attend the training, according to MDW Regulation 350-5, Company Commanders and First Sergeants Training.
"This is a pre-command course to prepare Soldiers for their roles as company commanders and first sergeants," said Mike Egly, MDW training coordinator. "Our course is based on Army requirements."
The NCR course is offered once in the spring and once in the fall each year. Soldiers interested in participating in the spring training should contact their unit training coordinator to be placed on the training list sent to the MDW J/G37 office.
During the course, instructors introduce participants to various NCR resources leaders need to know about to help their teammates. In times of need, Soldiers rely on programs such as the Army Substance Abuse Program and the Army Staff Judge Advocate offices.
A commanders' knowledge of these resources will help them point their servicemembers in the right direction and fix problems effectively and efficiently, Egly said.
"We bring in subject matter experts in each resource field from around the NCR to speak with the Soldiers," Egly said. "These are the people they'll actually deal with on a regular basis … this is crucial because when they take over they'll have contacts whenever they need help."
Instructors will also expose students to rules and regulations regarding unit training, command responsibility and Master Resiliency Training. At the end of the NCR course, former company commanders and first sergeants answer questions and network with students.
"It's pretty much everything that could affect a Soldier, from unit supply to Family readiness," Egly said.
Egly, a training coordinator since 1997, said another benefit of the course is that company commanders and first sergeants within the class typically carry different military occupational specialties. This allows them to learn about MOSs that their Soldiers may be working in, but that they personally aren't familiar with. This knowledge helps commanders and first sergeants better lead their units, Egly said.
Last year, the Army standardized the Company Commander/First Sergeant Course so that each region teaches the same material.
"The standardization has been crucial because everyone is getting the same training," Egly said. "Soldiers don't have to take the course again."