News: Drill Sergeants Training Drill Sergeants: 3-385th Soldiers Complete Combat Training at the Regional Training Center-East
From April 15-18, the Regional Training Center-East hosted the 3-385th Battalion (Basic Combat Training) at Army Support Activity- Dix for their annual four-day field training exercise.
For members of the battalion from Edison and Lodi, it was more like visiting relatives than staying with strangers. Nearly 25 percent of the personnel deployed for the RTC-East mission hail from the 3-385th.
Originally placed under the care of the 108th Training Command, the men and women of the 3-358th, have seen the RTC-East culminate into a training school that provides what many soldiers describe as, "the best, most realistic training we've ever received."
"It was gratifying to see that nearly three years later, the methods and concepts, based on real-life situations, are still being strongly presented to deploying Soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Steve Rinaldi, a 98th division drill sergeant.
The four-day training included call for fire exercises, hosted at the New Jersey National Guard Center; weapons qualification, including M16 and M9; reflexive fire drills; land navigation, and urban operations held at the recently built Range 59E.
The reflexive fire class was taught by the Battalion's own Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Arroyo, Alpha Company, and Rinaldi, Delta Company, two men who finished their deployments as RTC-East instructors in January.
Soldiers particularly appreciated exercises designed to develop urban fighting skills; skills that will in turn be taught to recruits in basic training. Deploying smoke grenades, firing at opposing forces snipers, and flying through windows were all part of the course. The culminating exercise brought together these skills and gave both leaders and team members an opportunity to check the effectiveness of the training with a massive building-clearing operation, complete with mass casualties, enemy prisoner-of-war handling, simulated improvised explosive devices, and suicide bombers.
The 3-385th, a drill sergeant unit headquartered in Edison, N.J., often trains non-combat arms Soldiers at installations such as Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Knox, Ky. Even with this mission, the battalion considers infantry skills training essential to providing Soldiers the tools needed to survive their combat deployments.
As their commander Lt. Col. Brian E. Miller stated, "I wish we had received this type of high quality, realistic and relevant training the first time we deployed."
The 3-385th Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Thomas, added, "We all aren't infantry, yet you never know when you might be in a situation where you need these basic war-fighting skills."
Observing the training event were the commanders and command sergeants major of the 98th Division and its 4th Brigade: Brig. Gen Robert P. Stall, Command Sgt. Maj. Milt Newsome, Col. Daniel Christian, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Dyer.
The 3-385th plans to send more Soldiers to ASA-Dix on a permanent basis.
Recognizing the value and experience of Soldiers coming off deployments, they hope to invite those who would otherwise end their time in service to become drill sergeants and offer their knowledge to recruits.
Currently the 3-385th is working to establish a resident company at Dix to recruit, train, motivate, and inspire future drill sergeants – an effort led by 1st Sgt. Randolph L. Weltch, Delta Company.
Those interested in learning more about joining the 3-385th or becoming a drill sergeant should contact Weltch at (551) 221-0696 or Randolph.firstname.lastname@example.org.