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As the Senior Engineer Instructor for the Combined Arms Division, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I teach Field Artillery Officer Basic Course (FAOBC) students and serve as the 30th Field Artillery Regiment's improvised explosive device (IED) subject matter expert. My mission is to advise the commander on the status of IED training and resources for the Captain's Career Course (CCC), Officer Basic Course (OBC), Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), and Warrant Officer Course.
After much research on the ever-changing environment of IEDs, one crucial question was raised: Are we really preparing our junior leaders for success when they arrive at their unit, and ultimately, when they deploy? This is a rather broad question; part of the solution lies in adapting to tactics, techniques, and procedures used by the enemy and another part on training a brand new second lieutenant--who already has a rucksack overflowing with mandated basic branch program of instruction requirements--on this prolific subject. To answer this question, we had to consider another approach that focused on the purpose of FAOBC and the critical IED information that should be taught at the student level with available time and resources.
The initial focus started with the purpose and scope of FAOBC. At first, the answer seemed simple. These students are not here to be engineer or armor officers. They are here to be field artillery officers, and their mission is to understand the role of the fire support officer (FSO) and how that role relates as a member of the combined arms team. These junior leaders will learn how to support the maneuver commander. However, they also will learn that despite their …