|Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Battlestaff Noncommissioned Officer Course (BSNCOC) students at Fort
McCoy helped christen in a new training era at the Staff Sgt. Todd R.
Cornell Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy.
The Feb. 1-22 training was the first course held for students in the
academy’s new 38,000-square-foot, two-story, $7.8 million classroom
Master Sgt. Jeff Agan, a Battlestaff Noncommissioned Officer
Course instructor, answers students’ questions during a training
Master Sgt. Johnny Cobb, BSNCOC course manager, said the new facility
is much better than the academy’s former setup.
“All of our instructors have their offices in one building,” Cobb said.
“It’s a better atmosphere for our day-to-day activities. Everything is
much more modern.”
Eventually, everything needed to provide NCO Academy training will be in
one area, Cobb said. Construction has begun on a barracks facility
adjacent to the classroom facility. A dining facility also is planned.
Sgt. 1st Class Louis Robertson, a BSNCOC instructor, said the new
classroom facility is more spacious, cleaner and more up-to-date, as
well as has better, adjustable lighting compared to the World War II-era
wood facilities it replaces.
“The appearance projects a professional atmosphere,” Robertson said.
“It’s clean, crisp and modern and encourages the personnel attending
classes here to take another step up, too, in their military careers.”
Sgt. 1st Class Lance Wilson, a BSNCOC instructor, said plenty of room
exists to handle multiple courses in the facility at the same time.
Students in the Battlestaff Noncommissioned Officer Course use
the new classroom facility to train on a scenario during the
first course taught in the new building.
The classroom facility has an auditorium, which also can be used for
“We also have computer labs here, including a Command Post of the Future
(CPOF) lab upstairs,” Wilson said. “Before, the best we could do was
give them a virtual tour. Now they actually can see it and use it.”
The CPOF is used both in theater and at unit home stations, so
familiarization with the system is important, Wilson said.
Master Sgt. Jeff Agan, a BSNCOC instructor, said having all the
classrooms, labs, instructor offices, etc., in the same building saves
the students time they would spend moving between the buildings.
“It’s also less confusing to the students to have everything in the same
facility,” Agan said. “With the weather being unpredictable at this time
of the year, it’s also safer for the students and staff” not to have to
leave the building to walk to an instructor’s office, a lab or another
Staff Sgt. Catherine Vieman of the 75th Training Division of Fort
Snelling, Minn., said she had watched the building being constructed
during the times she conducted training at the installation.
Vieman attended the BSNCOC because her unit requires it for personnel to
serve in her position.
“The new facility offers a big boost in our morale,” Vieman said. “It’s
well lit and shows they care about us as Soldiers.”
Sgt. 1st Class David Ellis of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion of Green
Bay, Wis., said he had attended the Warrior Leader Course at the academy
when it was in the old setup.
“Those buildings don’t compare to the new facility,” Ellis said. “It’s
great having everything co-located instead of in different buildings.”
When people enter the new facility, it creates a positive attitude.
Ellis said the new facility was designed to handle modern electronics,
such as laptop computers, with conveniently located power sources,
rather than having to use extension cords to connect them to a remote
Cobb said having everything in the same facility makes it easier for the
instructors to coordinate training or to work out any issues.
For more information about NCO Academy Courses, call 608-388-2046/3744
or visit the Army Training Requirements and Resources System website.