November 15, 2016 –
Train how you fight is not just a phrase or motto for the 4960th Multi-Functional Training Brigade (The Army School System), but their way of life.
This concept resonated when students received leadership training from Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard instructors during the new pilot Army Medical Department Advanced Leader Course Phase II held at Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii, October 30 - November 12, 2016.
“Following the Army's directive of Total Force Policy, the 4960th has pushed hard to meet the One Army School System mission and have been extremely successful in its multiple advanced leader courses,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John K. Miyata, the battalion command sergeant major for the 4960th Multi-Functional Training Brigade.
This Advanced Leader Course is one of many courses to align with the Department of the Army’s implementation of the One Army School System, which streamlines education for all Army schools regardless of component.
“There are hundreds of Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers that we can service based on the locality of the 4960th,” Miyata said “With the tremendous help of the 100th Training Division, Army Medical Department Proponent and the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, we were able to get a pilot AMEDD ALC Phase 2 course off the ground.”
“This is the first class that we had instructors and students from all three components,” Miyata added. “My instructors are really good, and the kind of sharing that comes from that experience helps us keep our standards really high.”
Although the 4960th MFTB falls under the 9th Mission Support Command, the 100th Training Division, a direct support unit to the 80th Training Command (TASS), assisted with the instructing and accreditation information for this course and several other courses.
“The exchange has been tremendous, and everyone gets better with support from each other,” said Col. David A. Chovancek, the brigade commander for the 4960th Multi-Functional Training Brigade. “We get best practices and information from those who have cracked the code.”
While some may think a course offered in Hawaii as a vacation that is not the case for the 12 students enrolled in the pilot course.
“This class has opened up stuff to me that I’ve should have known,” said Sgt. Brian Beckwith, a student enrolled in the pilot ALC. “I plan to take a lot of this information back to my Soldiers to show and prepare them the right way.”
The course focused on multiple leadership fundamentals such as the military decision making process, the Army Operating Concept and written communication as well as information related to the 68 series military occupational specialty.
Leadership with the 4960th MFTB partnered with members from the 100th Training Division, the AMEDD, and the NCOA to implement this course for many Soldiers located in the Pacific region to attend this required Noncommissioned Officer Education System without traveling thousands of miles, which ultimately saves time and money.
“I’ve been waiting years to get into this course,” said Staff Sgt. Linsey McCray, the only active duty Soldier to attend the pilot course. “I was told that I had to wait to get in, and I did.”
Although McCray had difficulty attending ALC previously, she refused to focus on that and planned to do well in the course.
Despite the infancy of the 4960th course, all of the instructors showed their expertise with the medical subject matter and leadership concepts that mirrors the courses taught at the NCOA.
“Regardless of component, all medical noncommissioned officers should be trained at the same level,” said Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Welch, assigned to the 100th Training Division and an instructor for the pilot course.
“A NCO can be called to Active Duty or to backfill another Soldier to fulfill a mission at any time, so we have to teach the fundamentals to all components in the same way to ensure there is continuity,” Welch added.
In the end students and instructors are able to benefit from working hand-in-hand with their component counterparts because in the thralls of battle, no one focuses on a person’s component.
Miyata stressed the importance of continuing this type of learning environment that includes training all components together because “if we go to war together, we need to train together.”