Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Minnesota Guard members train while they wait

By Matthew J. Wilson
Missouri National Guard

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (1/11/12) - Soldiers in the Mankato, Minn., -based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment are on reserve as a mobile reaction force - but they're not sitting around like the repairman while waiting for the call.

After having a slower pace over the Christmas week, Citizen-Soldiers have focused on the brigade's upcoming Expert Infantry Badge testing that Soldiers can earn if they have the infantry MOS. Drivers training on 4,000 pound and 10,000 pound forklifts and two and a half ton light medium tactical vehicles is also scheduled to make sure the battalions have additional Soldiers who are able to support its logistical needs.

2-135 Infantry Soldiers are also taking advantage of the Army's increased emphasis on using online training. Seventy-six noncommissioned officers completed the distance learning common core portion of the Advanced Leadership Course and 19 officers completed the online portions of their Captain's Career Course.

"Besides the Soldiers who are working on their required courses they have to enroll in through their units, around 400 Soldiers self-registered for the Soldier self-development modules required to attend NCO schools," added Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Becker of Pemberton, Minn. Becker enrolls Soldiers in the courses as part of the battalion training section.

The amount of time spent on completing these courses varies.

As one example, Soldiers on the battalion Facebook page listed the amount of time spent on their courses as ranging from 10 to 30 hours, based on Internet speed and computer skills.

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