|Story and Photos By Capt. Jacqueline Guthrie, 84th Division
FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- The 84th Division
(Institutional Training) may not be heading to Kosovo anytime soon, but unit members spent
a weekend here in June preparing others for deployment.
|Staff Sgt. Matthew Hultz (right), 84th Division,
tests Spc. Mark Passmore, 432nd Civil Affairs, on the proper way to use a compass.
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment and 3rd Battalion, 334 Regiment, 2nd
Brigade (Basic Combat Training), 84th Division (IT) taught basic soldier skills to members
of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 308th
Civil Affairs Brigade.
Sixty 432nd Civil Affairs soldiers are preparing for a deployment to Kosovo, according
to Barbara Ashley of the Army's Special Operations Command.
The soldiers will depart late summer and serve in Kosovo for approximately six months
in Operation Joint Guardian.
The purpose of the deployment is to help rebuild the government and coordinate
necessary aid, said Lt. Col. George Tankersley, 432nd commander.
|Sgt. 1st Class Robert Deegan (right), an 84th
Division (IT) drill instructor assists 2nd Lt. Jon Borman, 308th Civil Affairs, with his
protective mask in preparation for deployment.
"We are the liaison between the Army in the field and aid agencies and foreign
governments," explained Tankersley. However, in order for the soldiers to fulfill
their civil affairs mission, they must hone their basic soldier skills, he said.
And that is what the 84th Division soldiers helped the Green Bay, Wis.-based unit
"We are doing part of our annual training requirement," Tankersley explained.
These requirements included qualifying on the M-16 or M-9, completing a land-navigation
course, passing common task and physical fitness testing, and performing water survival
training. The 84th Division soldiers are experts at training these skills, he said.
"What we did this weekend is essentially what we'll do at BCT (Basic Combat
Training)," said Capt. Jim Ashing, referring to their annual training at Fort Knox,
Ky. Ashing is the assistant training officer for 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment, based in
The job of the 84th Division's 2nd Brigade is to teach basic combat skills to new
soldiers. This year the Oshkosh-based unit is taking on that responsibility at Knox and
members of 3rd Battalion, 334th Regiment are helping them.
|Staff Sgt. Anthony Radosevich, 84th Division (IT),
helps Spc. Jason Hoyt, 308th Civil Affairs, zero his M-16.
To complete its mission, the Oshkosh unit must provide enough personnel to run a basic
training unit for approximately three months, Ashing explained.
The unit does this by rotating personnel every 17 days, however, when the unit needs
help filling positions, it relies on this year's support battalion, 3rd Battalion, 334th
Regiment, which is what it did during the weekend exercise.
"I did what pertains to my mission," Ashing said about the weekend training.
The company that will conduct basic rifle marksmanship training at Knox is helping the
civil affairs soldiers qualify on their M-16s. The soldiers that will do the end-of-cycle
testing are teaching common tasks, he explained.
"Since the 334th is providing support this year, they are providing training to
the civil affairs soldiers that is not pertinent to BCT," Ashing said.
"Our prime mission is to provide instruction on basic infantry skills, whether it
is in a BCT environment, or during a training exercise," said Maj. Brendt Vitale,
training officer for 3rd Battalion, 334th Regiment. They provided M-9 qualification,
common-task training, land navigation and assisted the civil affairs unit with water
"The training activities and hands-on instruction were excellent," Vitale
said, for the civil affairs soldiers and the drill instructors.
"It tests our proficiency to make sure we are ready to get in front of
privates," said Staff Sgt. Sara Gallegos of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment.
"It's also good for us to help others."
And helping others is exactly how the 84th Division soldiers received this mission.
Both Lt. Col. Carl Willecke, 3rd Battalion, 274th commander and Lt. Col. Timothy Deady,
3rd Battalion, 334th commander, are civil affairs officers and former members of the
308th. When they heard about the upcoming deployment they were eager to help.
The training opportunity was a win-win situation for all involved, said Willecke.
"The mission assignments were tasked based on our lead and support battalion
missions. The 3rd Battalion, 274th did those tasks that they were going to execute during
AT as a lead battalion and the rest were done by the 3rd Battalion, 334th, a supporting
battalion," Willecke said.
"Having the 84th Division (soldiers) conduct the training allowed us to
concentrate and complete training rather than running training," said Tankersley.
(The 84th Division (IT), is headquartered in Milwaukee
and has subordinate units and soldiers throughout the states of Wisconsin, Illinois,
Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana. As an institutional training division, the
84th currently performs a variety of missions in support of the Army school system, also
known as TASS. Missions include providing basic combat training and infantry one station
unit training to new soldiers and officer training to ROTC cadets. The division personnel
also train active- and reserve-component servicemembers in combat-service,
combat-service-support, health services and professional-development courses. For more
information about the 84th, visit www.84thdivision.com.)