Sustaining Career Field Soldiers

Article excerpt

BELLE CHASSE, La. - Soldiers from across the 377th Theater Sustainment Command gathered at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base here, near New Orleans, in February 2011 for the two-week Reserve Component Theater Sustainment Course (RCTSC). The training, sponsored by the U.S. Army Reserve Command and conducted by the Army Logistics University is designed primarily for Reserve officers assigned to, or planning on future assignments in, multifunctional sustainment positions coded 9OA at the theater sustainment command, expeditionary support command, or sustainment brigade level.

According to the Army Logistics University, the RCTSC is geared toward Reserve officers with the rank of captain or above, warrant officers and senior logistics NCOs who have preferably completed battle-staff school. First lieutenants require a waiver and graduation from an advanced course to attend.

Maj. John E. Crabtree, RCTSC course director and instructor, says it provides Reserve Component logistics officers, or those interested in transitioning to the sustainment career field, with a working knowledge of multifunctional sustainment concepts and procedures, missions, functions, capabilities and limitations of various sustainment and logistics organizations. Crabtree says there are between ten and thirteen annual RCTSC classes taught at the Army Logistics University campus in Fort Lee, Va., or on-site at various commands throughout the United States. This course satisfies one of two U.S. Army Reserve or National Guard educational requirements for awarding an officer the multifunctional logistician 9OA area of concentration.

It's been Crabtree's experience that Soldiers enroll in this course for different reasons, ranging from wanting to branch transfer to gaining increased knowledge to becoming more competitive among their peers. In addition to standard introductions, he asks students to tell the class their reasons for wanting to take part in the theater sustainment training. Capt. Waymon Bryant, a 377th TSC transportation officer with the unit's special operations section said he wanted to see the whole puzzle, not just the individual pieces.

"I enrolled for the RC Theater Sustainment Course because, as a transportation officer, I wanted to see the big picture and understand how all the other areas of logistics work together to support and sustain the war fighters on the ground," Bryant said. "As a TSC, we have a major role in providing sustainment for our war fighters, and increasing my knowledge on the way we conduct operations in theater enables me to be better prepared and maximize my effectiveness as alogistician. …