June 13, 2016 –
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Army Reserve Soldiers of the 333rd Engineer Company are here participating in training exercise Castle Installation Related Construction 2016, but during their downtime, they are working to improve their driving skills with light equipment transport trucks.
Sgt. Drew Ulmer, a native of New Columbia, Pennsylvania, and horizontal construction engineer for the Reading, Pennsylvania-based unit explained how his squad was supposed to begin construction on two new parking lots but were still waiting for supplies to arrive. As site manager, he made sure his Soldiers used their time efficiently and practiced driving these large trucks.
“There are a lot of controls to get used to before you start moving down the road with it,” Ulmer said. He noted some of the junior enlisted Soldiers were not familiar with some the controls on the trucks so noncommissioned officers must teach the younger Soldiers these new skills.
Spc. Scott Keyser, a heavy equipment operator from Jessup, Pennsylvania, had high praise for the team's leadership. “They know every piece of equipment so they can train anybody.” He added, “We get to drive the trucks around a lot, and the equipment that we have, we can operate as much as we want so we get a lot of stick time and driving time when we come out.”
As Soldiers learn these new skills, they are able to operate vehicles and equipment more smoothly and pass down their newfound knowledge to other Soldiers.
“If we're just out doing a job site like this, I'll be out watching them, teaching them, helping them get along, and doing all that,” said Ulmer.
He also spoke about how his communication skills have improved since he attained a leadership position. “It's a little different being a little higher up on the totem pole than just sitting there listening to somebody say, go do this, or go do that,” he said. “Now I have to communicate what we're doing, where we're doing it, and how we're doing it. So it's definitely a little different.”