[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        May 22, 2009
Training

Wisconsin Military Academy 
conducts truck drivers course

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Soldiers looking to requalify as 88-M truck drivers need to look no further than the 2nd Battalion, 426th Regiment (MOD) at the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) for instruction.

Photo: Soldiers train in the 88-M Truck Driving Course, which was held by the 2nd Battalion, 426th Regiment of the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers train in the 88-M Truck Driving Course, which was held by the 2nd Battalion, 426th Regiment of the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Smoczyk, the 88-M course manager for the 2nd, 426th, said the school recently earned the Institution of Excellence recognition, one of the few Army National Guard schools to receive that designation.

"That means we can teach Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Active-Army personnel," Smoczyk said. "It helps grow our program, so along with the other courses taught here, we can offer quality training in a number of courses."

Among the other training courses available at the WMA are 11-B (Infantry), Field Artillery (13B,13D,13F,13M), Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Candidate School, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Instructor Training Courses (Army Basic Instructor Course and Small Group Instruction Training Course), 68W (combat medic) and Combat Lifesaver Course. The 426th also offers a world-class simulation center for the use of any military organization.

The 88-M Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) course is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the operators learn about the five-ton cargo truck and basic operation information, Smoczyk said. "Personnel going through the second phase, which had a class winding up in mid-May at Fort McCoy, learned about the tractor trailer and palletized load system," he said. The course also trains Soldiers on convoy tactics.

"We used to offer this class back in the 1990s, but we just started teaching it again in July 2008," he said. "We have students from throughout the United States, including Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee and the Army Reserve in Korea in this class."

Photo: Soldiers in an 88-M truck drivers course held by the 426th Regiment, Wisconsin Military Academy, train on convoy scenarios at Multipurpose Field Training Site 2 on North Post May 11. (Photo by Rob Schuette) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
Soldiers in an 88-M truck drivers course held by the 426th Regiment, Wisconsin Military Academy, train on convoy scenarios at Multipurpose Field Training Site 2 on North Post May 11. (Photo by Rob Schuette) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)

Sgt. Insook Davis, an Army Reserve Soldier form the 4th Support Detachment of the 8th Army in Camp Henry, South Korea, said she did a lot of research before deciding the class at Fort McCoy was the best fit for her.

"I learned that discipline is very important as is interacting with other Soldiers," Davis said. "We help each other to learn more about the vehicles."

Safety is the big key to the training. Davis said the students go through a long checklist to ensure the equipment is ready to be driven. The course also presented Davis with more information about each vehicle and how to avoid potential accident scenarios.

"I felt like a pilot driving the vehicle everywhere, and in charge of the mission," Davis said.

Sgt. Harvey Wenderski, an Army National Guard Soldier from the 134th Transportation Company of St. Cloud, Minn., said it was a great learning experience driving the vehicle, which he had never driven before. He is requalifying from an Infantry Soldier to truck driver.

"They also trained us on convoy tactics," Wenderski said. "We needed to learn to read maps and rely on other personnelís information to accomplish our missions."

The course also includes basic information about maintenance and vehicle operations.

For more information about the courses offered at the WMA contact Sgt. 1st Class Steven Appel at 608-388-9955 or Sgt. 1st Class Scott Lowrey 608-388-9951 or e-mail them at steven.appel@us.army.mil or scott.lowrey@us.army.mil.

 

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