|Regional Training Center (RTC)-Central’s new command
team expects to build on its past successes and anticipates training at
least 15 percent more Soldiers this year than last year. The
organization has helped prepare approximately 7,000 Army Reserve
Soldiers for theater deployment since standing up almost two years ago
in May 2008.
Previously known as RTC-North, RTC-Central is one of three RTCs
tasked with preparing Army Reserve Soldiers for deployment to Iraq and
Afghanistan. The other RTCs are RTC-East located at Fort Dix, N.J., and
RTC-West located at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.
In addition to managing a continuous flow of Army Reserve client units
through overlapping 21-day pre-mobilization training cycles, RTC-Central
again will support the Army Reserve’s Best Warrior Competition this
summer at Fort McCoy. The competition chooses the best Army Reserve
Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier to compete against their
National Guard and active-duty counterparts for the Armywide NCO and
Soldier of the Year titles.
Lt. Col. (promotable) James P. Erdie, RTC-Central commander, and Command
Sgt. Maj. Larry E. Welch, RTC-Central command sergeant major, assumed
their new positions in February. Both are serving on mobilization
Each brings talents and experience to RTC-Central’s third year of
conducting pre-mobilization training. The command team is fortunate to
lead an experienced staff of senior NCOs and officers, many of whom have
recent theater experience or are Army drill sergeants, Erdie said.
Erdie’s assumption of RTC-Central command is a natural progression of
his past few years serving the 108th Division.
He most recently served as the operations officer (G-3) for Task
Force 802 responsible for managing all three RTCs. He was mobilized in
2008 to assist standing-up RTC-East (Fort Dix, N.J.) as the brigade
operations officer (S-3).
Erdie was mobilized during Desert Storm, and in April 2006 was deployed
to Iraq, where he served as a military transition team officer in charge
of advising an Iraqi colonel at an Iraqi training base in Al Kut. In
civilian life, he is an operations manager for the United Parcel
During his 37-year military career, Welch, who began his service in the
Marine Corps, has held many leadership positions within the U.S. Army
and the Army Reserve.
These include being first sergeant (chief instructor) for the 108th
Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, S.C., and most recently, as the
seventh commandant of the U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant School (108th
Welch has been a police officer for 30 years. When not deployed with the
Army Reserve, he is a captain on the Concord, N.C., police department,
where he serves as a patrol district commander. He also has the
additional duty of commander of the SWAT team and honor guard.
(Submitted by the Regional Training Center-Central Public Affairs