May - June 2012: Article

The State of the Ordnance Corps on Its Bicentennial

Greetings from the Home of Ordnance! This year is the Ordnance Bicentennial celebration, and after it has "answered the call for 200 years," I'm proud to bring you a short update on the state of your Ordnance Corps.

The Ordnance Corps has evolved over the years, and our current mission statement is as follows:

Trains Ordnance Soldiers and leaders in technical skills, values, common tasks, and the Warrior Ethos. Supports development of capabilities across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) supporting our core competencies and the Army's mission. Supports the Army's enlisted and officer accession mission.

Across our core competencies of maintenance, ammunition, and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), the Ordnance Corps is composed of an Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve force of more than 105,000 Soldiers; that is more than one-third of the sustainment force and 11 percent of the total Army force. The bulk of our force is focused on maintenance, with over 90 percent of Ordnance Soldiers serving as maintainers under career management fields (CMFs) 91 and 94. The remainder of the force is nearly equally spread across CMF 89 as either ammunition or EOD specialists.

BRAC Moves and the New Home of Ordnance
The base closure and realignment (BRAC) move to Fort Lee, Virginia, was completed on 15 September 2011, and we are very proud of the new "Home of Ordnance" as the center of our training mission for the Army. The Ordnance School executed one of the more complex moves that resulted from the 2005 BRAC Commission. Over a 2½-year period, the Ordnance School and the Fort Lee BRAC team expertly managed the closure of our Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, schools and moved the people and equipment to Fort Lee, all while synchronizing over 100 courses with the final facility construction and acceptance schedule.

The Army's investment of over $650 million in construction makes the Ordnance School main campus at Fort Lee one of the most state-of-the-art training facilities in the Army. The Ordnance School campus alone contributed significantly to Fort Lee's overall growth by nearly doubling its previous square footage.

The Ordnance School is composed of 30 buildings and facilities that vary in size and function. The North Range Complex has a completely new vehicle recovery range and training ammunition supply point. The EOD and munitions training buildings, robotics range, more than 120 maintenance training bays, basic electronics maintenance trainers, and more than 800 classrooms and labs are first rate. We have a lab with over 70 welding booths coupled with state-of-the-art 3-dimensional welding simulators, an indoor small-arms live-fire test range for small-arms repairer training, and top-notch automation to support training across the Ordnance Campus.

The new EOD Range Complex at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia, supports the Global Anti-Terrorism and Operational Readiness (GATOR), Post Blast, and EOD Advanced Leaders Courses.

The Samuel Sharpe Dining Facility (DFAC) supporting the Ordnance campus is the largest Armyowned DFAC and provides outstanding-quality food that can feed the entire Ordnance School of over 3,200 students in a 90-minute period. Your Ordnance Soldiers live in first-rate barracks designed around two companies sharing one building, separated and organized around the two battalions of the 59th Ordnance Brigade.

Ordnance Corps Priorities
The Ordnance School team works hard to leverage the latest technology to update our programs of instruction (POIs), lesson plans, training support materials, and doctrinal publications to support a continuum of learning. Our training is focused on providing the background and environment for Ordnance Corps Soldiers and leaders to live up to the Ordnance Creed and provide support to the Army across the full spectrum of operations. The current Ordnance Corps priorities are as follows:

Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) accreditation. The TRADOC accreditation team visited Fort Lee to evaluate the Army Combined Arms Support Command's (CASCOM's) four training institutions (the Ordnance, Quartermaster, and Transportation Schools and the Army Logistics University). The purpose of the visit was to evaluate professional, coaching, mentoring, and teaching standards. Attaining The State of the Ordnance Corps on Its Bicentennial the accreditation standards means that the institution's training prepares Soldiers and leaders to perform their technical Ordnance mission to support the Army.

The TRADOC accreditation team visited the Ordnance School from 16 to 22 March. The evaluators observed training and conducted key-person interviews and focus groups, surveys, written questionnaires, and record and document reviews.

Army Learning Model 2015. The learning model consists of a learner-centric continuum that begins when an individual joins the Army and does not end until retirement. The learning model enhances the rigor and relevance of individual learning and delivers multiple learning stimuli to reach audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners. It maximizes opportunities to master fundamental competencies and develops critical thinking skills that all Soldiers must master.

Components of the initiative include learner-centered instruction, technology integration, lifelong learning, student assessment, peer-to-peer learning, trade certification and licensing, and leader development programs. As the Army moves forward with this learning strategy, the lines between the Army Learning Concept and the Army Training Concept will merge into one effort to ensure that our Soldiers are provided relevant, pointed training that will prepare them for any contingency. The value of instructional expertise and training development is as important to Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) commanders as it is to TRADOC's centers of excellence.

Skills-based training (SBT).This training marks a shift from the "remove and replace" mentality to a "creating critical thinkers and diagnosticians" one. SBT is a principles-based, diagnostics-driven methodology, based on the science of learning, that seeks to provide Soldiers with the skills they need to isolate and identify components that are inoperative, out of alignment, or malfunctioning to a precise degree of accuracy. Tasks are focused on problem solving and not on equipment specifics. Of the 25 initial military training courses taught at the Ordnance School, 5 have converted and 2 are in the process of converting to SBT.

Ordnance Campaign Plan (OCP). The OCP describes Ordnance Corps actions to support and implement campaign objectives and major tasks articulated in the Army Campaign Plan and supporting the TRADOC and CASCOM campaign plans. The OCP also serves as a staff management tool to track ongoing initiatives associated with maintenance, ammunition, and EOD in the Ordnance School.

The OCP provides the visibility and metrics to ensure that all Ordnance Soldiers possess the right capabilities to support today's force. But it will also help us guide the Ordnance Corps toward the Army 2020 force with the right mix of common and technical skills, values, and Warrior Ethos across all DOTMLPF domains to support our core competencies and the Army's mission.

TRADOC initial military training initiative. The TRADOC Deputy Commanding General for Initial Military Training (DCG-IMT) has an initiative to ensure that all IMT courses are current and relevant and incorporate the latest training methods and technologies. To ensure that Soldiers and junior leaders are prepared to contribute at their first units of assignment, the IMT centers of excellence are directed to—

  • Review all POIs on a regular basis to ensure that training is relevant, rigorous, and standardized.
  • Direct the training and development of IMT cadre.
  • Direct the development of common core tasks.
  • Enable the resourcing of subordinate units.
  • Capture and share lessons learned across the centers of excellence and IMT brigades.
  • Assist IMT brigades to improve the quality of life and resilience of cadre, families, and civilians.

In support of the TRADOC initiative, CASCOM and the Ordnance School completed a review of critical task lists for each Ordnance military occupational specialty in February 2012. In April, CASCOM and the Ordnance School started reviewing POIs and lesson plans with the DCG-IMT's "Tiger Team." In July, the Ordnance School will present the results of the review and our recommendations to the DCG-IMT. The CASCOM Training Directorate plays a major role in this process, but the Ordnance School has the lead.

Doctrine 2015. Seven Ordnance publications are currently being written or updated. The projected publication dates for these publications are as follows:

  • Technical Manual 4-33.31, Operations and Maintenance of OD Materiel in Cold Weather: Second
    quarter, fiscal year (FY) 2012.
  • Army Training Publication (ATP) 4-35.1, Ammunition Handbook: TTP for Munitions Handlers:
    Second quarter, FY 2012.
  • ATP 4-35, Munitions Distribution in the Theater of Operations: Third quarter, FY 2012.
  • ATP 4-33, Maintenance Operations: Third quarter, FY 2012.
  • ATP 4-31, Recovery and Battlefield Damage Assessment and Repair: Fourth quarter, FY 2012.
  • Field Manual 4-30, Ordnance Operations: Second quarter, FY 2013.
  • ATP 4-32, EOD Service and Unit Operations: Third quarter, FY 2013.

Ordnance Corps Bicentennial Celebration
We have planned for a full schedule of events to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the Ordnance Corps. Ordnance Week will be held at Fort Lee on 16 to 18 May. I invite each of you to join us for this firstclass event, which will provide a unique opportunity for the Ordnance community to gather at the new, state-of-the-art Home of Ordnance to learn what is on the horizon and chart a course for success for the next year.

We will take a hard look at where we are as a corps and where we want to go across all three of our core competencies. A series of presentations and break-out sessions will provide a great opportunity for each of you to contribute to mission analysis and course-of-action development for issues facing the Ordnance Corps.

We look forward to inducting 12 distinguished Ordnance leaders into the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame on 16 May. The 2012 Hall of Fame selection board met on 8 November 2011 in the Zello Conference Room at the Army Ordnance School. The historical inductees are Major General Henry A. Rasmussen, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Grayford C. Payne, William Baumbeck, and Carl Hansen. The contemporary inductees are Major General (Retired) Jerome Johnson, Colonel (Retired) Robert "Bruce" Harrison, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 5 (Retired) Lee D. Brush, Chief Warrant Officer 5 (Retired) Arthur G. Dahl IV, Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Dennis W. Crandell, Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Daniel K. Elder, Susan H. Gooch, and Dr. Aileen W. Tobin.

Additional events include two memorialization ceremonies that will dedicate the North Recovery Range to Lieutenant Colonel Harry M. Downer and the Ordnance Campus Parade Field to Major Hulon B. Whittington, who was the only World War II Ordnance Corps Medal of Honor recipient.

We will also have the Regimental Chief Warrant Officer (RCWO) change of responsibility ceremony to honor the outgoing RCWO, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Bernard L. Satterfield, and welcome the incoming RCWO, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Terry W. Hetrick. We will also have an investiture ceremony to welcome the new Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant General (Retired) Richard A. Hack, and honor the outgoing General (Retired) John G. Coburn.

Various demonstrations and displays throughout the week will focus on the 200 years of history and the core competencies of the Ordnance Corps. The official Ordnance Week activities will conclude with a golf tournament at the Cardinal Golf Course, sponsored by the Ordnance Corps Association, and the annual Ordnance Ball, which will be held at Hatcher Hall on 18 May.

Please continue to monitor the Ordnance webpage (www.GoOrdnance.army.mil) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/USAODS) for information on Ordnance Week and other key upcoming events.

The entire Ordnance Team continues to work hard to get our message, initiatives, and priority of efforts out to you. I appreciate your candid feedback. If there is anything that the Regimental Team can do to help, please let us know. Go Ordnance!

Brigadier General Clark W. LeMasters, Jr., assumed command of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Afghanistan at the end of March. He served as the 41st Chief of Ordnance from 2010 to 2012.

 

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