Dec. 16, 2010

183d RTI trains the trainers at new schoolhouse

By Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Working diligently in the brand-new classrooms of the 183d Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Soldiers from around the nation are learning the finer points of becoming Army-trained instructors during the Army Basic Instructor Course during the two-week course module Dec. 6-16 taught by certified instructors from the Fort Pickett-based RTI.

  Soldiers of the Army Basic Instructor Course prepare their first PowerPoint presentations at the 183d Regiment, Regional Trianing Institute schoolhouse Dec. 9. on Fort Pickett. The Soldiers of ABIC 11-002 are the first class to be taught at the new building by the 183d instructors since the ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 4. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers of the Army Basic Instructor Course prepare their first PowerPoint presentations at the 183d Regiment, Regional Trianing Institute schoolhouse Dec. 9. on Fort Pickett. The Soldiers of ABIC 11-002 are the first class to be taught at the new building by the 183d instructors since the ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 4. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

Following the official opening of the schoolhouse Dec. 4, the instructors went to work right away to get the first official course in the new facility under way. The Army Basic Instructor Course, which is an 80-hour course, is designed to teach the students the fundamentals of teaching other Soldiers through a series of graded modules of oral presentation, and through multi-media presentations.

The ABIC will give the students the tools they need to effectively teach in any learning environment, whether it be a formal presentation in front of a group of a hundred Soldiers, or an impromptu refresher on Army Warrior Tasks in a field environment, and improves the teaching abilities of a unit’s noncommissioned officers, according to Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Dufresne, an ABIC instructor with the 183d  RTI.

“This is the standard. From here you can reinvent yourself and go on your own way, but this is the standard,” said Dufresne. “This is the foundation of how you should conduct yourself in front of a group of students and what you should expect your students to get out of your training.”

The course drew students from all three Army components, Reserve, Guard and Active with Soldiers from as far as Arizona and as near as Fort Myer, Va. “It’s pretty exciting,” noted Dufresne, referencing the fact that this was her first opportunity to teach all three Army components at the same time.

Many of the students who pass this course and go on to enroll in the Small Group Instructor Teaching Course taught by the RTI instructors will be given the chance to parlay their newly acquired teaching skills into full-time or part-time instructor positions at their state’s RTI, or comparable Army schools.

‘I’m an MP, so there are lots of opportunities for classes to teach there as well as with the young recruits,” said Sgt. April Cordell, a student from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, currently assigned to the Virginia Recruit Sustainment Program. “I also enjoy teaching any subject, so hopefully I’ll be able to pass that on as well if any opportunities open up.”

“If I can follow this up with instructor positions, I’d be absolutely ecstatic.”

  Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Dufresne, an instructor with the 183d Regiment, Regional Training Institute, provides guidance to Cadet Garrett Swift on his PowerPoint presentation during the Army Basic Instructor Course held at the RTI Dec. 9. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Dufresne, an instructor with the 183d Regiment, Regional Training Institute, provides guidance to Cadet Garrett Swift on his PowerPoint presentation during the Army Basic Instructor Course held at the RTI Dec. 9. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

This iteration of the ABIC is the first official course to be taught at the new RTI since the ribbon cutting last week, and the advantages of the new learning facilities were not lost on the students coming through the new hallways to learn.

“This place is beautiful,” said Cordell who has been training at Fort Pickett for over six years. “You walk in and it’s all up to date. It’s a good building to encourage you to want to expand your knowledge. You can tell people around here have a much better attitude.”

The new building offers high speed Wi-Fi throughout the facility and according to the students has been beneficial to their overall learning experience.

The ABIC consists of planning, preparing, and presenting Army training/education. The basic method for Army instructors is previewing and presenting the task, practicing the task, and performing the task to standard during evaluation, according to the official course description. This method is enhanced during this course by applying a variety of presentation and practice methods and training techniques.

The course also addresses how instructors motivate Soldiers and solve Soldier performance problems using positive reinforcement, on-the-spot corrections, and Soldiers counseling. The ABIC stresses standardization in format and content. The course provides the instructor with standardized references and lesson plans for presenting instruction, a training support package with visuals for multi-media use, and practical exercise and presentation evaluation checklists.

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