HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – More than 35 Soldiers and an Army civilian newly assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gathered at the USACE Learning Center Feb. 23-27, 2015 for a weeklong District Officer Introductory Course.
The course is designed to familiarize newly assigned personnel with military and civil works projects within USACE through topics such as project management business processes, civil works, military construction, contracting, legal areas and emergency management.
The goal of the program is to provide training and resources necessary for military personnel and Army civilians to successfully perform duties leading up to and including those of a district commander.
February 24, 2015 - U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Kendall Bergmann addresses District Officer Introductory Course at the ULC. Bergmann volunteered to champion the course which provide training and resources necessary for military personnel and Army civilians to successfully perform duties with the Corps of Engineers. (USACE photo by William Farrow)
Many of the students have vast experience in combat engineering and support, but their careers have been with Engineer Regiment's direct reporting units or other Army units. The majority of the students don't have much experience with the Corps.
“Overall, the course teaches them the ropes about their roles and responsibilities within the divisions and districts they will serve,” said Stacey English, ULC instructional systems specialist.
A lineup of seasoned professionals from the Pittsburgh and Mobile districts and the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville provided course instruction. Instructors used personal experience and discussion to enhance students' understanding of specific subject matter in selected areas of the course.
Huntsville Center Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Kendall Bergmann volunteered to champion the course and said the course provides students a broad introductory overview of what USACE is and what it does.
“The Soldiers gain a better understanding of our civil works, MILCON and contracting missions as well as project management, emergency management and USACE's support to overseas contingency operations,” Bergmann said.
“We [USACE] gain Soldiers who can reinforce and enable our Project Delivery Teams with their military perspective, decision making capabilities and leadership,” he said.
Students are primarily company grade officers in occupational branch series 21 and noncommissioned officers from a variety of pertinent Military Occupation Specialties who are newly assigned duties within USACE. The course is also available for civilian personnel GS-12 and above who are newly assigned to USACE.
Instructors during the week included Huntsville Center Commander Col. Robert Ruch and Huntsville employees Margaret Simmons (Office of Counsel); Marcus Adams and Adam Sundstum (Contracting Directorate) and Wade Doss (Installation Support and Programs Management Directorate). Also instructing was Steve Arendale (military construction), Mobile District, and John Peukert (civil works), Pittsburgh District.
Capt. Dustin Zawalich, a DOIC student assigned to the 88th Regional Support Command, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, said as a special programs officer for the 88th RCS and a liaison officer for Huntsville Center, the instruction provided him with a greater understanding of the role USACE plays in projects impacting the 88th RCS and its subordinate units.
“Experience is in high demand now in the workplace and the use of the instructors' personal experiences enhanced the course,” Zawalich said. “We can relate their [instructors'] experiences to our future projects.”
By William Farrow, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Provided through DVIDS
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