By Staff Sgt. Ashley Hayes
172nd Public Affairs Detachment
Approximately 100 medics from the guard were present for the training weekend. This training was especially important because medics are required to renew their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification every two years, among other certifications.
Staff Sgt. Scott Sprano, medical operations supply NCO for the Medical Detachment, Garrison Support Command, Vermont National Guard explained the purpose of the training for the medics and why training like this is important.
“The purpose of the training is for us to bring the Vermont 68W’s [medics] together and give them their 24 annual certification credits,” said Sprano. “Without this training it would be a lot harder for them to get the remaining 24 hours that they need to maintain and recertify themselves for the NREMT [National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians].”
One highlight of the training was utilizing the nurses and physician assistants within the guard to teach the classes, instead of outsourcing, like they have done during previous years. This gives a different perspective for those trying to develop their skills and allows a sense of trust in leadership, said Sprano.
Sprano said the medics are already comfortable and confident in their leadership, so instead of bringing in an unfamiliar faces, they know they are going to be taught information that is relevant to their job and situations they may experience.
‘They are teaching more on an Army medic level,” said Sprano.
The cooks with the guard also came together for the weekend to focus on their MOS skills. This was an opportunity for them to refresh their knowledge and to learn from each other.
“We have a wide range of knowledge,” said Sgt. First Class Laurance McGraw, senior food operations sergeant with Delta Company, 186 Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN), Vermont National Guard.
Soldiers spent some time in the classroom on Saturday to learn about sanitation, paperwork and the Army food management information system (AFNIS). Sunday was dedicated to hands-on training. This included assembling burner units and learning how to operate a mobile kitchen unit. The mobile kitchen units allow for expedient food distribution, but limits what type of food can be served, said McGraw. McGraw also shared why low-density training is important for the food service MOS.
“It increases readiness for cooks because it gets us ready for inspection,” said McGraw. “The main goal of a cook is to fill up other Soldier’s bellies’ so they can go out and complete their mission and [to do] their job well.”
Soldiers with military intelligence jobs also took time during the weekend to enhance their job skills. They gathered together from across the Brigade to take the opportunity to work on their specific MOS tasks that they don’t always have time to do during drill.
“The purpose is to provide them with level one analyst skills in the military decision making process (MDMP) as it pertains to intelligence war fighting functions,” said Captain Tyson Rysewyk, brigade assistant intelligence officer, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN), Vermont National Guard.
Soldiers were able to spend some time focusing on mission analysis and intelligence preparation of the battlefield. The day started with Power Point presentations and instruction on how to develop products. They then conducted a practical exercise and presented their findings to leadership.
Rysewyk expressed why the training was important for the enlisted Soldiers.
“It’s invaluable for us,” said Rysewyk. “You have to have some time to practice these skills. Training like this is essential for morale and retention of our intelligence soldiers.”