FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii –
More than 60 active and reserve component Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 311th Signal Command (Theater), conducted a land navigation refresher-training course at the Army’s East Range on Oahu, Oct. 4, 2020.
The daylong event, which began at 8 a.m., was part of an annual training requirement for active duty soldiers and a bi-annual training requirement for Army Reserve Soldiers. The training requirement was mandatory for enlisted ranks of grades E-7 and below and officers of grades O-2 and below.
According to Capt. Emily Bye, HHC 311th SC (T) Commander, this year’s training incorporated segments that were more challenging than the previous course.
“This year we planned a longer course with 10 points spread all over the East Range to challenge our warriors,” Bye said. “Our goals are simple, we need to stay safe, stay hydrated and build that confidence using the map, compass and protractor – those basic Soldier skills.”
Classroom training, held a day prior, provided the Soldiers with basic map reading and land navigation fundamentals that included how to use a military compass and protractor.
Day two of the course was the culminating event and validated what every Soldier learned previously. Before stepping off, the Soldiers broke into teams of three and plotted 10 predetermined grid points on a map. Once completed, the Soldiers carried out their objective amidst the tropical heat and Oahu’s hilly terrain.
For Sgt. Joseph Michaud, a paralegal noncommissioned officer assigned to HHC, 311th SC (T), this year’s training was a great opportunity for himself and the junior Soldiers to hone their skills.
“This training is good for the newer enlisted and for retraining of some NCOs like myself,” Michaud said. “It’s a little challenging because I’m a newer NCO being put in a leadership position and it takes a little bit of getting used to but it’s going good. I’m very confident in my Soldiers and I think they are confident in me.”
According to Capt. Joshua J. Donaldson, assigned to Operations, 311th SC (T) and the officer-in-charge of the course, despite the challenges, every Soldier passed the course with each team finding a minimum of seven out of 10 total target points.