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NEWS | Nov. 15, 2016

183rd RTI earns “Institute of Excellence” status from TRADOC evaluation

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

The Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute has been awarded “Institute of Excellence” status by U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and evaluated as full accredited, according to a memorandum dated Nov. 9, 2016, from Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of TRADOC.

“HQ TRADOC recognizes the dedication and hard work of all personnel committed to ensuring the 183rd Regiment RTI received ‘Institute of Excellence’ status,” Perkins wrote in the memo. “This achievement demonstrates your commitment to meet the competency needs of today’s Army and Future Force.”

RTI’s mission is to provide transition training in the infantry, transportation and military police career management fields as directed by the One Army School System, as well as operate the state’s officer and warrant officer commissioning schools.

“Every three years TRADOC conducts an extensive accreditation inspection on every aspect of the RTI programs,” explained Brig. Gen. Walter Mercer, Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army and former 183rd RTI commander. “This process leaves no room for error, and checks every detail of the programs in order to ensure that we are adhering to the Program Of Instruction from the TRADOC proponents. To have earned the status of ‘Institution of Excellence’ means that our RTI did not just meet the standards, but exceeded them with superb results. In this era of diminished resources, the rating is significant, and I cannot say enough about the great work that the entire RTI team did to achieve this.”

The 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute is comprised of the RTI Headquarters and three battalions, and it last earned “Institute of Excellence” status in February 2014. The TRADOC Accreditation Team evaluation used the Army Enterprise Accreditation Standards which assessed each unit’s staff and core functions that support Army training and education initiatives/programs.

The team’s Accreditation Executive Summary indicated there were no areas that needed improvement.

According to the EXSUM, “the team’s reports and ratings for accreditation standards were derived from collection, analysis, and triangulation of data obtained from multiple sources, including the institution’s self-assessment reports, onsite observations, key person interviews, instructor and staff focus groups/interviews, written questionnaires and surveys, and reviews of documents and organizational records.”

The team evaluated multiple areas including whether or not the RTI had an effective Quality Assurance Program that empowered it to perform its mission and become a learning organization, if it had published policy and guidance concerning mission, functions and processes, was it properly utilizing its military personnel resources, were all equipment requirements for safe and realistic training available and properly documented and were the facilities and environment conducive to learning.

First Battalion conducts infantry training, including the 11B Infantry Military Occupational Specialty Qualification Course, 11C Basic Mortarman Course, Infantry Advanced Leader Course, Light Leaders Course and Rappel Master Course. Second Battalion conducts the 88M Motor Transport Operator Course. Third battalion includes both Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School and also trains Soldiers as military police officers.

In addition to their core courses, the RTI instructors are available for training assistance. Soldiers from 1st Battalion provide training assistance in a wide variety of topics including civil disturbance, map reading, land navigation, pre-marksmanship instruction for personal and crew served weapons, basic mountaineering, rappelling, air assault planning, urban operations, fundamentals of patrolling and mortar gunnery, fire direction and live fire range procedures. Second Battalion instructors provide assistance on bus driver certification, training on the Enhanced Container Handling Unit and logistics support hauling freight. Third Battalion personnel teach the Small Group Instructor Course and the Foundation Instructor Facilitator Course, and provide training assistance in battlefield forensics. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion also runs the State Marksmanship Program and provide small arms marksmanship proficiency training, non-lethal weapons training and certification and active shoot awareness and response training.

The RTI includes 74 instructors supported by 32 staff personnel. The schoolhouse was completed in 2011 and includes approximately 400,000 square feet of instruction space, including a combatives training room, eight modular classrooms and a lecture hall capable of accommodating 480 students. There are three barracks with two-person rooms and open bay housing that can accommodate 275 students. At Fort Pickett, instructors and students can reach training sites within five minutes and that includes a variety of ranges, convoy and live fire lanes, an urban assault course, training villages, field training lanes, an air assault tower and an extensive urban training site.

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