More than a dozen “89-Bravos” from Army units across the country completed training in the 89B Advanced Leader Course at Fort McCoy from mid-January to mid-February with the 13th Battalion, 100th (13th, 100th) Regiment.
An ALC is a branch-specific course that provides soldiers selected for promotion to staff sergeant an opportunity to enhance leadership, technical skill, tactical expertise and experience needed to lead squad-size units, according to the Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate of Army Human Resources Command. An ALC consists of both a 90-day web-based common core program and a branch-specific resident phase. For the 89B ammunition specialist military occupation specialty, its ALC at Fort McCoy is four weeks (two two-week phases).
“This is the second fiscal training year we’ve had the ALC here at Fort McCoy, and it’s going well,” said Sgt. 1st Class Doug Dobitz, course coordinator with the 13th, 100th. “In this course, future enlisted leaders in this MOS build their skills to not only become better leaders and supervisors but also better soldiers.”
Soldiers who are 89B-qualified are tasked with receiving, storing and issuing conventional ammunition, guided missiles, large rockets, explosives, and other ammunition and explosive-related items. During the two phases of the course, the students learn about advanced leadership and supervision skills required for their career field.
“It’s important for all the students to understand what is required of them as (enlisted leaders) in this field,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lester Hinton, ALC instructor for the 13th, 100th. “When the students leave here, we want them to leave with a renewed sense of what they need to do to be successful.”
Sgt. Eric Fairman, an ALC student with the 2nd Battalion, 309th Regiment at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, said he was happy to be a part of the course.
“(The course) advances us to next level of the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System and progresses us down the career path,” Fairman said. “Some of the best parts about this course are the opportunities to try new things. We were able to conduct different tasks that we normally complete on a regular basis.”
Staff Sgt. Brandin Schumann, a student with the New Mexico National Guard at Albuquerque, said the instructors gave them an excellent overview of everything they needed to know.
“The instructors provided us with the additional (skills) to take back to our home units,” Schumann said. “There is a great core (of instructors) and they provide great soldier care.”
According to the Army job description, ammunition supply specialist NCOs supervise the receipt, storage, issue and preparation of ammunition, ammunition components and explosives for transportation and storage. They also supervise ammunition stock control and accounting procedures for surveillance inputs, conduct ammunition inspections and tests and perform inspections of containers and vehicles transporting ammunition.
The 89B NCOs also inspect storage locations, ensuring compliance with storage compatibility, quantity distance and explosive safety limits. They also ensure compliance with all ammunition safety requirements as prescribed in applicable Army regulations.
“There is a lot for them to know,” Hinton said. “What the students learn in (ALC) is important to not only them but also the soldiers they lead so we go into detail on a variety of subjects.”
The 13th, 100th is an ordnance battalion that provides training and training support to soldiers in the ordnance maintenance MOS series. The unit, aligned under the 3rd Brigade, 94th Division of the 80th Training Command, has been at Fort McCoy since about 1995.