Life As An Army Infantryman – Drill Sergeant Andrea Webb inspects her new trainees at B Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, Fort Sill, Okla., March 9, 2016. Basic Combat Training is a stressful time for new soldiers and their families, but Famy’s online course… (Photo Credit: USIRIIOII)
Fort Sill, Okla. (March 24, 2016) — Basic combat training can be overwhelming for a young soldier, but it’s also stressful for family members. The online program helps families learn about their soldier’s new lifestyle, and their participation can provide additional benefits to the soldier in training.
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“It might give their son or daughter an extra 10 minutes on the phone, or we can post their picture on Facebook or make a video of the fight,” said Lt. Col. Mark Anders, commander of the 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery.
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As elementary school students have their cell phones confiscated for a nine-week cycle and are not even allowed to communicate via Facebook or other social media, families often use the opportunity to communicate more with loved ones.
Anders worked with Family Team Building (AFTB) and Family Action Plan Program Manager Merilee Nevins to promote the program with OneSource training. If families fully follow the program, they will receive a certificate. “Since we launched last year, I’ve signed over 2,500 certificates for family and friends who have completed this training,” Anders said.
Nevins laughed as he recalled the 900 certificates from E Battery a few months ago. “Colonel Anders signed each one by hand.” Later, he sent a photo of a narrow, claw-shaped hand. He is very grateful to Anders for prioritizing the family approach and helping to create the program. “When family members are notified, it makes everyone’s life easier,” he said.
The first-level AFTB course consists of 10 lessons covering military acronyms, chain of command, customs and etiquette, family readiness groups, mission expectations, and family impact.
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A standard training letter is sent by battery commanders to families during the first weeks of training for their soldiers and is also available on the battery’s web page. Each battery offered its own incentives, Nevins said, and there was even a friendly competition between commanders to see who could recruit the most family members.
She said that as a parent whose son was in elementary school last year, she knows how important it is for family members to know what their loved ones are doing at nine weeks. He said his father contacted him because he was having trouble accessing the OneSource site. – His wife said that she wants to see her son, hear his words, see his picture. Incentives for completing the course made it even more possible.
There are three levels of training. The first is to study the culture. The second is personal growth and flexibility. “Self-awareness, dealing with stress, time management, improving personal relationships, how to take care of yourself when your spouse steps in,” she said.
Nevins also brings 101 exercises to groups and adapts it to meet a specific need. “I taught a leadership development class for sergeants. “I was at the civic groups department to teach team building classes.” He said that he also conducted etiquette training at military balls.
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“They’re interactive, fun classes. Online is great, but we offer a more updated curriculum than what’s available online.” He said it will take 18 months to incorporate the new information into the online training, which will eventually transition to something more interactive and video-based.
There is also a free AFTB app for iPhone and Android phones made by Fort Gordon, Ga. He doesn’t have a test capability that automatically generates a certificate, but Nevins said he can print a certificate for family members if they contact him.
“So far, we have provided more than 3,000 family members with cultural knowledge,” he said. This is in the first year of the program. “These families have a deep understanding of the journey their soldiers have gone through.”
AFTB has not yet celebrated its 25th anniversary and is an example of how it has changed to include military families. “They learned from Desert Storm that we didn’t support families the way they should. If Soldiers are worried about their families, they can’t focus on the mission. Families need to learn resilience skills.”
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New citizens can also take advantage of the wealth of information available in OneSource training.
Nevins says AFTB helps spouses ask, “Who do I talk to, where do I get the information I need?” developed to answer other questions such as Instead of asking your deployed soldiers to handle minor crises from afar. “Your soldier is more effective when he’s not worried about what’s happening on the front line.”
Nevins said drill sergeants’ families also need to develop resilience as their soldiers go from “oh-dark-thirty” to oh-dark-thirty every day. Drill sergeants typically have very long days in their training cycle. “They almost look like they’re placed,” Nevins said.
Childcare is provided by Community Services in some classrooms if the child is registered with Child, Youth and School Services and the class is during the day. 5th Infantry Division, Cpl Christopher checks the size, activity, location, unit, time and equipment report … (Photo credit: USA) View Original
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Awarded exclusively to infantry and special forces soldiers, the prestigious designation represents excellence in land navigation and weapons systems, rapid communications systems, the 12-mile road march and many other soldier tasks.
Soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division have spent the past few weeks preparing for the brigade’s first EIB test in several years, and 435 candidates arrived at Fort Greeley’s Donnelly Training Area on Monday to test and take the EIB test as the next generation of SCIENCE specialists.
“The EIB is a goal that every infantryman should achieve,” said Staff Sgt. Giles Hawthorne, Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1-25th SBCT. “This is the mark of excellence in the infantry corps. It includes all the skills an infantryman needs to not only improve himself and complete the mission, but to prepare his soldiers for the future.”
While the pace of action over the past nine years has meant that soldiers are more likely to earn the Combat Infantryman Badge, awarded for combat participation, as their time in garrison has shortened, that has meant fewer opportunities for units to facilitate EIB testing.
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“Before all the deployments, it seemed like everybody had that badge. But now, since the deployments (started), it’s a lot harder to get,” said 1st Lt. Carlo Cappella, Company B, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1-25th SBCT.
The recently revised new EIB test standards include three sections – patrol, urban operations and traffic checkpoints – with 10 tasks in each section. Capella said the changes to the tests reflect a shift toward more performance-based testing.
“Over the past few years, there has been a transition from the old EIB standard with testing to the new standard. While details such as hand position and “by the numbers” standards have often been the focus in the past, Capella, who received an EIB during a previous enlistment, said the new standards look at what a soldier accomplishes, not how he accomplishes it. “What’s the end result of you going through this corridor, ‘did you still complete the task’, did you complete the process correctly’ – what we’re doing now. It is result oriented and the end result is to make sure the mission is successful,” he said.
Each infantry battalion, 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and D Company, 52nd Infantry Regiment (Anti-Tank) trained at various locations throughout the installation to ensure their Soldiers were ready for this week’s EIB challenge.
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Land navigation is one of the most challenging events that often visit EIB candidates. Hawthorne, who served as a training staff member for the 3-21st EIB and helped conduct the battalion’s training at Fort Wainwright’s Land Navigation Course, said land navigation is a perishable skill, which is why the battalion’s training is important. “If they don’t do it all the time, they forget how to do it,” he said. “So it’s designed to enhance their skills and give them the skills they need to ‘go’ in land navigation and land the EIB at [Fort] Greeley.”
Soldiers are trained to the same standard they face during the EIB test – earn at least three out of five points within three hours. The EIB land navigation test involves identifying and plotting points on a map and then applying navigational skills to locate them.
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