PORTAGE, Mich. (1/13/2013) - Drill sergeant battalions are always
looking for opportunities to train America's soldiers and always
looking to recruit new drill sergeants. The 3rd Battalion, 330th
Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), Portage, Mich.,
has found a way to do both.
U.S. Army Instructors, Staff Sgt. Casey Alwine (center) and 1st Sgt. Wesley
Greenman (right), both with the 3/330th, show a soldier the finer points of
close-in, hand-to-hand combat, January 13, 2013. Photo by Army Capt. Jennifer Cotten
When most people think of drill sergeants, they think of
training new recruits but, “drill sergeants do a lot more
than just initial entry training,” said Command Sgt. Maj.
Christopher Robb, 4th Brigade command sergeant major. For
example, drill sergeants can run ranges and teach combatives
for other units.
Robb said too often he talks to
soldiers from other units who say they didn't even know
there was a drill sergeant unit in the area. But drill
sergeants in the 3/330th are making their presence known
throughout their region.
The unit has developed a
very successful modern Army combatives program to hone drill
sergeant skills while assisting other units to fulfill their
training requirements. In 2012, they assisted/refereed the
combatives tournaments for the 75th Division and the 4th
Brigade, 95th Division Best Warrior Competitions. Since
2010, drill sergeants have conducted 10 classes of Basic
Combatives (level 1) certifying 152 students and conducted
five Tactical Combatives (level 2) classes certifying 54
Running a successful MAC program requires
the entire unit to be on board with the concept. In the
beginning, they had no combatives equipment like mats,
gloves and rubber weapons. Initially, noncommissioned
officers in the unit pooled personal resources to stand up
the program. As the program has grown, their supply chain
has found innovative ways to provide the necessary MAC kits.
After the drill sergeant school closed at the 108th Training
Command in North Carolina, the 3/330th received the one kit
that was there and then their property book officer found
them two more kits stored at another location. Resources,
funding, coordination for borrowing mats from other units
are all factors in conducting a combatives' class and is
coordinated by members of the 3/330th.
customer base is loyal and expanding. The 3/330th trained
the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion in 2005 when that unit was
deploying and needed MAC Level 1 training. The 415th is
deploying again this year to the Horn of Africa and needs to
update their skills. They once again reached out to the
3/330th to conduct the class, which was held Dec. 2-6, 2012,
New units also reach out to the 3/330th
based on word-of-mouth referrals.
Scott Shippy, the
3/330th unit administrator, said soldiers will call from
other units and say, “You did a Level 1 combatives for
so-and-so. Can you do that for us?”
The good thing
about other units requesting the 3/330th's assistance,
according to Shippy, is that those units will usually
provide the needed funding, allowing the 3/330th to preserve
its own funds for organic missions.
The 3/330th has
had requests to conduct training from units as far away as
Colorado, according to 1st Sgt. Wesley Greenman. Such far
reaching contact has benefited the 3/330th by improving its
recruitment of new drill sergeants.
attending the training get to see drill sergeants in action
and realize there's more to the job than initial entry
training, and they think, ‘that's something I'd like to
do,'” said Greenman.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Slomp of the
3/330th said, “I have been in the building with the 415th
for five years. I've seen the faces but rarely have an
opportunity to speak with them. Now, through this training,
I'm connecting with them in ways that are relevant to both
them and us. Having face time and building a rapport, that's
how to recruit!”
By Army Capt. Jennifer Cotten
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