NEWS | May 14, 2016

Recruit Sustainment Company trains with other units

By Spc. Avery Cunningham 172nd Public Affairs Detachment

The Recruit Sustainment Program is the first step into military life for most National Guardsmen. The program is designed to teach Soldiers basic level tasks to make them successful in Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. To further that effort, the cadre and commanders of the Recruit Sustainment Company attempt to involve other units in their training.

Soldiers with RSC, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (Air Ambulance), and Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain), Vermont Army National Guard, trained together May 14, 2016 at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, Vt.

The integration of forces started with training from C/3-126th AVN (AA) for the RSC and A/3-172nd INF (MTN) Soldiers and continued onto instruction from the infantry on moving and working together as a unit. Throughout the process the RSC Soldiers are mentored and introduced to different roles and duties. Training together promotes cohesion between the units and gives the Soldiers the experience and confidence they need to unify as one force in the field.

"Anytime we can integrate the units around Vermont with the RSP it really brings that connection, from the unit level down to the newest Soldier levels," said Sgt. 1st Class Jared Doohen, Recruit Sustainment Company cadre.

The Soldiers with C/3-126th AVN (AA) trained the RSC and A/3-172nd INF (MTN) on medevac procedures involving an HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.

"We were able to get Soldiers actual time applying what they learned and loading Soldiers and injured Soldiers onto the aircraft," said Doohen.

The training teaches the Soldiers how to evacuate casualties to the Black Hawk in emergency situations. They practiced transmitting a 9-line medevac request and approaching a Black Hawk with its rotors running.

"This prepares them so they're not going to freeze when something like this happens," said Pfc. Tyler Law, infantryman, Alpha Company, 3rd battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain).

After completing the training, the Soldiers from the RSC and A/3-172nd INF (MTN) marched to another location to go over squad attack and movements.

"We've got the RSP Soldiers out here with us today so they can get an idea of what an infantry unit does in a combat scenario," said Law.

The Soldiers were able to practice skills in real time using paintball guns.

"We're taking them through squad level tactics, and the paintball has an element of realism," said Doohen. "Paintball gives them something to think about and it makes it more enjoyable. They're actually having to understand muzzle awareness, how to clear a weapon, when to shoot, when not to shoot, rules of engagement. It integrates that full Soldier skills and warrior tasks into their training."

As part of the integration, the infantry Soldiers mentored the RSC Soldiers throughout the event, teaching them basic Soldier skills.

"It’s a good feeling being able to be a mentor for these new recruits," said Law. "I want to send down the best information I can, so that when these guys go through basic or when they get to their units, they're not going to be thrown off and surprised."

In brief, the training with the different units is an introduction to unit specialties and inner workings.

"It brings that whole picture together for the Soldier," said Doohen. "It gives recruits from different MOS's (Military Occupational Specialties) a chance to taste what its like to be in the infantry, aviation, or whatever units we have integrated that month."

Moreover, the hands-on experience presents the Soldiers with skills they can apply later in their career.

"The more we can teach them and set them up for success, the better the Soldier is going to accomplish the mission and represent Vermont well," said Doohen. "The RSP is setting them up for success for Basic Combat Training and AIT. The state does a great job helping us and supporting us and we'd like to continue the effort, especially with the units around the state."