After a year of preparation and inspections, the 169th Regiment, Regional Training Institute has been awarded a certificate of accreditation as an “Institutue of Excellence” by the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). In addition, subordinate units 1st Battalion Officer Candidate School and 3rd Battalion Military Police School were designated as “Institutes of Excellence.”
TRADOC also looked at the Warrant Officer School offered by 1st Battalion and the 2nd Battalion Modular Training, which hosts the 68W Health Care Specialist Transition Course as part of the overall accreditation assessment process and found both schools to have met or exceeded all established standards.
“Our instructors are top notch,” said RTI commander Col. Gerald Lukowski. “We have the best NCO corps at the Regiment. We are actively trying to gain more courses.”
Lukowski assumed command of the RTI in September from Col. John Whitford who had seen the RTI through the preparation and inspections leading up to the accreditations and highest recognitions given by TRADOC. Whitford assumed command in July 2012.
“John and his team did a great job,” said Lukowski. “With what the have done and the new building being on-line, there is nothing stopping us.”
Lukowski also credited the Connecticut Training Center (CTC) with the success of the RTI.“We own the building one weekend per month, but they own it the rest of the month. The CTC is a big part of the RTI. They totally operate the dining facility. They keep everything clean and in working order. Something to needs to fixed, we call and they come take care of it.” The new facility Lukowski speaks of is a state-of-the- art facility that house all classrooms, the dining facility, student billeting, a fitness center, a computer lab, supply, Stone’s Ranch Military Reservation and the Coast Guard Academy, where students participate in water survival training in the Academy pool, make for a training synergy that is second to none.
“We are able to offer whatever is required,” he said. What does TRADOC look for when accrediting a military school? The TRADOC accreditation team conducts several visits throughout the accreditation year and uses collection, analysis and triangulation of data obtained from multiple sources by numerous evaluators representing Headquarters TRADOC Quality Assurance Office/Elements (QAO/E) and proponent QAO/E. To do this they use such things as the institute’s self- assessment reports, on-site observations, key person interviews, instructor and staff focus groups/interviews, written questionnaires and surveys, and reviews of documents and organizational records. They look at all areas of the school to include mission and
functions; instructional equipment; personnel training, certifications and knowledge; use of guest instructors; operational environment; training resource management; quality control; test control; safety; doctrine and facilities and environment.
The RTI and OCS and Military Police battalions now have three years to prepare for their next accreditation.
This does not mean, though, that the staff can rest on their laurels for the next three years.
“We need to keep working on our strategic planning,” said Lukowski. “We must never remain happy with the way things are. We need to constantly look to the future.”
While the RTI is mostly self-sufficient, there are things the regiment does not have, such as dedicated Judge Advocate General (JAG), chaplain or information technology (IT) support, but, Lukowski said, there are enough staff members with some of those backgrounds that can fill in and take care of things.
He would also like to see a forward support company in the regiment. Right now the regiment pulls in adjunct staff on as needed basis, but it would be better for command and control to have a dedicated company that can be OPFOR one day, bus drivers another and food service another.