December 17, 2008

Guardsmen, Reservists train to lead at ANCOC

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Spc. John Dethdy, a combat medic, rushes his patient Sgt. 1st Class Allen Hale to an ambulance during the Advanced Non-commissioned Officer Course field training exercise. Hale works in the recruiting & retention command for the Washington National Guard. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Senior non-commissioned officers of the U.S. Army, building their military education, had the opportunity to assault an enemy missile-site in the woodlands of Virginia.

Infantry staff sergeants and sergeants first class from across the National Guard and Reserves executed a raid on a notional missile-site at Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center Nov. 20 as part of their final field training exercise of the Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course taught by the instructors of the 183rd Regional Training Institute.

During the exercise, the 19 infantrymen worked together at the company-level just as they had learned during the two-week course. For many this was a first chance to operate at a level above a platoon-sized element, according to Staff Sgt. Laszlo Melan of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, and a student in the class.

“It brought a lot of good training value to people who were stuck in their comfort zone,” said Melan. “I’ve never been so logistically challenged; I’ve never had to write a company OPORDER (operational order).”

Moving through the woods as a unit to seize and destroy the objective gave the men an opportunity to recognize the importance of their individual roles on the battlefield, and they all learned to see all the moving pieces of a large movement to contact, from the planning all the way to the execution.

“Everybody learned a little about themselves (and their role), whether they were squad leader, platoon sergeant, or platoon leader,” said Sgt. First Class Elden Dasilva, RTI instructor and ANCOC Course Manager.

Of the 19 warriors that began ANCOC 09-002, all 19 graduated on Nov. 22.

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