FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
One of the most crucial elements of keeping our troops safe is being trained and educated on the proper use and handling of equipment used to execute missions. An element of 94th Training Division – Force Sustainment (TD-FS) instructors is responsible for teaching Soldiers about things that go boom in the world of ordnance.
Army Reserve instructors of the 3rd Brigade, 94th TD-FS carried out the Ammunition Specialist Course at Fort McCoy, Wis., Jan. 5-Feb. 7, 2021, where a multicomponent class of 12 Soldiers received training to enhance their 89B skills in military explosives, ammunition, demolition, storage, handling, transportation, inventory operations, and hazard identification.
For Sgt. Wesley Lowe of the Colorado National Guard 5/19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), an ammunition specialist, encompasses various factors for ensuring mission readiness.
“We all must be ready to compete, respond, fight and win against adversaries across a range of military operations,” Lowe said. “This military occupational specialty (MOS) is my chance to affect that mission through support and ensuring unit capabilities.”
Lowe, a battalion ammunition manager, shared the most beneficial aspects of the course, which broadened his ammunition knowledge. “The most rewarding part of the course was learning about the vast reach of ammunition and how it affects the battlefield,” he said.
With the wealth of skill gained by Lowe during the Ammunition Specialist Course, he attributed the top-notch quality of the course to the readiness and dedication of the 94th TD-FS instructors. When asked how essential the role of 94th TD-FS instructors is to enhancing Soldier training, Lowe stated – “One word. Invaluable.”
“The instructors for the entirety of the course maintained a healthy and professional training atmosphere that harbored a positive learning environment,” said Lowe. “Coupled with their extensive subject matter expertise, patience, and desire for all students’ success made this one of the most valuable and educational courses I’ve taken.”
With instructors being one of the focal points behind our nation’s force, Sgt. Timothy Illig, a Troop Program Units instructor assigned to 3rd Brigade, 94th TD-FS, shared his views on what being an instructor means for him and up-and-coming ammunition specialists.
“Each class that I have the privilege to teach is another opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experience to the future generation of 89B’s who have chosen to reclass into, in my opinion, the best MOS,” said Illig.
With the 89B ammunition specialist MOS ranking at the top of Illig’s list of military occupations, he explained how important it is for instructors to provide Soldier training in support of mission readiness.
“Soldier training is vital for mission readiness,” said Illig. “As ammunition specialists, we are solely responsible for arming our fighting forces, and we need competent, experienced instructors to train them how to do so.”
“The 94th’s role for enhancing Soldier’s skills is equally unique and significant,” said Illig. “We are different than other units because we train all components, from active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve who are seeking to reclass.”
Seeing the value of all his students, Illig believes each Soldier brings distinctive qualities and experiences that’ll provide instructors with tools to build upon the class for future students of the Ammunition Specialist Course.