The Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-Maintenance) and
the Noncommissioned Officer Academy organizations at Fort McCoy teamed
to help train Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) maintenance personnel and
return them to their units in a timely manner.
1st Class Tony Prewitt (second from right) observes students
working on a Central Tire Inflation System on a five-ton truck. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
Sgt. 1st Class Tony Prewitt, a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic
Basic NCO Course (BNCOC) instructor, said the February training was
for staff sergeants working as motor sergeants and some RTS-Maintenance
personnel from other locations.
first spent two weeks at the NCO Academy learning the soldier duties
of their position. Then
they spent two weeks at RTS-Maintenance at Fort McCoy learning the
maintenance aspects. It was the first time AGR personnel had attended the
maintenance BNCOC at RTS-Maintenance.
"The course would take 12 weeks at the proponent
school," Prewitt said. "This
gets the soldiers back to their units much faster.
The soldiers have to have this to be qualified as staff
sergeants in their military occupational specialty (MOS)."
Even though the course is shorter, students learn the required
basics and the standards established by the Army for the MOS, he said.
Sgt. 1st Class Rickie McCaulsky, RTS-Maintenance senior
instructor, said the program is similar to the coordination between
the organization and the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC)
at Fort McCoy. That
coordination allows maintenance personnel attending Active
Guard/Reserve Entry Training at ARRTC to immediately attend MOS
training at RTS-Maintenance, he said.
"Many of the soldiers in this (BNCOC) course are motor
sergeants and are the only full-time military personnel in their
unit's maintenance section," McCaulsky said.
"The longer you take them away from their section, the
more their work can get backlogged."
The Reservists supporting these soldiers generally train with
their units one weekend a month so the Reservists don't have a lot of
extra time to help complete the backlogged work, McCaulsky said.
Staff Sgt. Steven Wiser, an AGR motor sergeant with the 182nd
Transportation Company of Traverse City, Mich., said he is the only
full-time person in his section.
"One of the advantages of taking the course here is that
we function in a Reserve environment," Wiser said.
"For me to be gone to a proponent school, my work would
pile up, and it's hard for someone to pick up the slack.
I can knock this training out quickly and get back to my
Attending training at the NCO Academy also helps the staff
sergeants develop their leadership skills so they can pass the
knowledge on to less experienced soldiers, Wiser said.
Staff Sgt. Jim Schaale of RTS-Maintenance Devens said he would
teach lessons learned from this course to other soldiers after
returning to his duty station. Schaale
will teach the BNCOC MOS portion for maintenance personnel when he
returns to his duty station. The
Army requires future instructors to take the course before they teach
"This training shows me how I should go about teaching to
other soldiers," Schaale
said. "I can share
this information with other instructors."