Pisano, The Real McCoy Contributor
FORT MCCOY, Wis. — The
military’s premiere multi-component financial management training
exercise began June 1.
than 600 Soldiers from 45 different units comprised from Army Reserve,
National Guard and active-duty components of the Finance Corps
gathered to participate in Diamond Saber 2009.
Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Pacheco,
469th FMC, New Orleans, La., teaches about military pay.
(Photo by Sgt. Chris Pisano)
these finance warriors were on the money.
Saber provides realistic training for financial management warriors of
all components incorporating lessons learned to assist in their
preparation for deployment to a theater of operations," said Lt.
Col. Robert Craft, commander of the 336th Financial Management Center
(FMC), from Lake Charles, La., and exercise director of Diamond Saber
training also provides commanders of units the chance to assess their
Soldiers’ capabilities and preparedness for deployment and then to
help determine what additional training is needed back home based on
areas of concern identified in the exercise, he said.
Saber gets the troops in battle-sync," said Sgt. Maj. Mario
Reyes, sergeant major of the 336th FMC and senior finance operations
adviser for Diamond Saber 2009. "Our goal is to have a
mission-ready Soldier by providing classroom and hands-on training. We
will train as we will be expected to perform in-theater."
extensive training concerning military money matters covers the four
core competencies that support the finance corps’ mission:
disbursing, military pay, vendor pay, and resource management.
Additionally, automated finance systems are taught at Diamond Saber.
The first week is comprised of troops in classrooms being taught by
instructors rich in finance experience. The second week consists of
Soldiers participating in scenarios that simulate actual finance
a massive gathering of Soldiers from varying backgrounds definitely
provides a thorough training environment. However the chance to hone
in on finance specific skills not often executed is what really pays
Extensive classroom training
helps Soldiers involved in Diamond Saber learn about financial
management matters. The training is derived from battlefield
by Sgt. Chris Pisano)
are highly perishable skills," said Craft. "For example, we
don’t do disbursing in the states anymore, but in-country you have
to know how. Diamond Saber gives the Soldiers a chance to practice
these skills they are expected to know when they go overseas. And our
trainers have been there, done that and lived the dream
the training as current as possible is another critical improvement to
this year’s Diamond Saber exercise. The U.S. Army is transitioning
from the "legacy" system — the old way of doing things —
to a new modular system.
instead of a U.S. Army Finance Command having control over all finance
elements in-theater, with the new modular structure these finance
elements are placed directly under the sustainment brigades on the
to Craft, the 336th FMC was the first unit deployed overseas to
actually use the modular structure in a real-world environment. So
when unit members came back from deployment they deposited a wealth of
knowledge withdrawn straight from the battlefield and completely
overhauled the Diamond Saber training scenarios to more accurately
reflect how things are actually being done in the sand box.
deployment experience has helped to refine the Diamond Saber
experience. These skills are battlefield tested," said Craft, a
veteran of three deployments and two Diamond Saber exercises.
"The majority of the finance Soldiers here have been deployed at
"Our goal is to have a mission-ready Soldier by providing
classroom and hands-on training. We will train as we will be
expected to perform in-theater."
Maj. Mario Reyes,
336th Finance Management Center
focus during this year’s exercise was the increased emphasis on
working with the Financial Management Support Operations (FMSPO)
officer, who acts as a liaison between the sustainment brigades and
the financial management companies in an integrating role monitoring
and tracking financial management operations throughout the area of
doctrine has changed, but the mission is still the same. Diamond Saber
2009 is the first time the new structure is being replicated and the
first time the FMSPO concept is being fully implemented in
training," said Reyes.
the 336th FMC may be the unit hosting this colossal event, it’s
truly a multi-component exercise and effort with a lot of other units
volunteering to help out.
Diamond Saber is a year in the making," said Craft. "Without
the support of all the units involved it could not have
like a jambalaya with a lot of ingredients in it," said Reyes.
"And we got a lot of cooks stirring that jambalaya. So by the
end, we’re going to have a nice taste of jambalaya."
an Army Reserve-only exercise, Diamond Saber has grown in
participation over the years to include extensive contributions from
the National Guard and active-duty components.
are approximately as many finance Soldiers at Diamond Saber as there
are in Iraq. And the finance community is really small. So
multi-component training like this really facilitates networking,
which pays dividends," said Craft.
definitely plays an important part of Diamond Saber, according to
you get to meet other finance elements and get to work with them and
then when you see them again down range you’ve already established a
working relationship," he said. "It facilitates the
get-to-know-you factor. You can cut down on that meet-and-greet and
just get to business."
these days business is good. With new innovations in place for this
year’s exercise the training is hard like a diamond, but the
Soldiers are sharp like a saber. It only reinforces the importance of
the vital role of the U.S. Finance Corps in the U.S. Army’s overall
can’t afford to go to war without us," said Craft, "and
Diamond Saber helps prepare our finance Soldiers to deploy."
a member of the 361st Public Affairs Operation Center, Fort Totten,