Master Sgt. Christina Steiner, The Real McCoy Contributor
MCCOY, Wis. — Instructors and writers for the Army Reserve’s
two Pre Command Courses have implemented some creative learning
initiatives in the past year to make the courses more relevant,
current and interactive for student commanders.
Staff Sgt. Carissa Lelonek, a
military technician instructor with the 2nd Battalion, 339th
Regiment, participates as a student in a Pre Command Course. (Photo
by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner)
and faculty staff for the Company Detachment Pre Command Course
(CDPCC), which is taught monthly at Fort McCoy, have introduced
teaching techniques from their critical task selection board (CTSB) in
fall 2007. Student feedback overall has been positive. The Battalion
Brigade Pre Command Course (BBPCC) finished its CTSB this summer, and
cadre and faculty have begun implementing those changes.
notable changes include: introducing adult-learning techniques to the
classroom — less lecture, more student oriented with practical
exercises and dialog; and mandatory attendance by command sergeants
major (CSM) in the BBPCC, according to 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment
Commander Maj. Christopher Perner. The 2nd, 339th falls under the 84th
Training Command (Leader Readiness), Fort McCoy, and manages and
instructs three leadership courses — two are Pre Command Courses.
changes include: A new battalion Web site via AKO at: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/561901,
which links into the course presentations and operations. Master Sgt.
Teddy Grace, the battalion acting CSM and BBPCC course NCOIC, designed
according to Perner, new equipment is on order — microphones, a
sound mixer board, projectors, screens, copiers, printers, and student
computers. New classes will center on: the commanders’ role as
leaders, ethics, critical thinking and self-awareness. There are 45
tasks to examine to determine to what extent these tasks are covered
in existing classes or whether separate classes are needed.
Pre Command Courses center upon human relations, personnel, finance
and training management topics, as well as Web tools to manage Army
Maj. Christopher Perner (center),
instructor, answers maintenance questions from students Capt.
Frank Perez, 560th Transportation Detachment, Springfield, Mo.,
and 1st Lt. Marjorie Eastman, 321st Military Intelligence
Battalion, Austin, Texas. (Photo
by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner)
the BBPCC site has changed over the past year (from Forts Knox and
McCoy) to Atlanta, and a bigger push to make this a requirement for
sergeant majors to attend," explained course director Jim Davis,
also an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel. "We will continue to
involve spouses. The BFRR (Battle Focus Readiness Review) class was
newly added." The faculty encourages spouses to attend the first
two days alongside their student sponsors. Spouses receive
invitational orders from their home commands.
we continue to stay longer in Atlanta, we’re getting great USARC
(U.S. Army Reserve Command) support," Davis continued. "We
recently had the CTSB and determined that we need to continue to make
this course more relevant to what the commanders need. They need to be
successful for this GWOT (Global War on Terror) time. We want more
free space, more bonding, more practical exercises.
considering Louisville-Fort Knox due to the USARC BRAC (Base Closure
and Realignment Act), possibly Fort Bragg, North Carolina. But as it
stands, Atlanta is the official location. We’re also going to reduce
our student cap. Now it’s at 100 students and only once did we come
close to that. The USARC G-7 (training) is considering lowering
student load to 80 and adding one more course from five to six a
ongoing challenges are students cancelling at the last minute,
Internet connectivity, and behind-the-scenes operational issues,"
he said. "The cadre is super. Everyone supports this course,
whether it’s the Fort McCoy staff, the hotel, the USARC G-2/G-6
(security and technology) staff.
BBPCC of five years ago is not that course anymore. We’ve evolved to
meet the needs of commanders."
elaborated: "(In) the past year, (BBPCC) has taken on a lot of
new staff comprised of a wide range of experience. The new experience
of Soldiers and civilians opens the door to creative thinking. At the
same time, we have transformed and merged with the former Leadership
Development Directorate (LDD) adding more continuity, leadership,
knowledge, and professional strength to our ranks."
our (BBPCC), we highly encourage commanders to bring their spouses
during the first two days of the course. We offer a variety of classes
for the spouses that will be invaluable resources for them when they
return home," Grace said. "The families help fill the ranks
of our units in the form of support as much as our Soldiers do. This
is the reason we highly encourage spouses to attend. We offer child
care for the first two days at no expense to the Soldiers or spouses
so that they can attend."
goal is to foster a team concept and an understanding of leadership.
Historically, commanders would come to the course without their
CSMs," Grace said. " … attendance has always been very low
for many different reasons, funding being one of them. That has all
changed now, and it is vitally imperative that CSMs attend the
Battalion Brigade Course with their commanders. We offer a command
team the opportunity to build on their relationship as a team at our
the most part, student feedback over the past year has been positive.
"All my experiences have prepared me for command, but the Pre
Command Course has given me a framework," said Lt. Col. Alex
Fink, a February 2008 BBPCC student.
way the course was laid out was by staff sections," Fink said.
"I kept my notes handy. When I go to my own staff meetings, the
notes have helped me ask relevant questions … the tools, Web site
references … ITRS (Individual Training and Readiness System) … I’ve
used the lessons quite a bit ... the one thing is I didn’t make a
lot of connections with students. I might suggest (the staff)
introduce more social events to connect students." Fink is the
commander of 2nd Battalion, 383rd Regiment, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. As
a civilian he is a marketing manager for DuPont in Des Moines, Iowa.
2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment team manages three leadership courses.
Prospective students may look up course prerequisites in the Army
Training Requirements and Resources Systems (ATRRS). School code is
Battalion Brigade Pre Command Course is course number: 921-933;
Company Detachment Pre Command Course is course number: 921-932; and
Company Team Leader Development Course (CTLDC) is course number:
courses average six a year in Atlanta; CDPCC courses average one a
month at Fort McCoy; while the CTLDC averages two courses a month as a
mobile training team that travels to major subordinate commands.
more information about any of the three courses, contact Grace at
(608) 388-7443 or Steiner at (608) 388-2292.
is the course manager and instructor for the CDPCC at Fort McCoy. She
is with the 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment, 1st Brigade (Schools), 70th
Division, 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness.))