Ohio National Guard News


Ohio's Regional Training Institute receives
highest accreditation level second time in a row

By Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Indiana Army National Guard Pfc. William Weikel (left) operates a M1120 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Load Handling System truck while Ohio Army National Guard Spc. Kaitlin Torgerson directs him using proper hand-and-arm signals during the 88M Motor Transport Operator Course, May 14, 2014, at the 147th Regiment in Columbus, Ohio. The RTI recently received U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s highest accreditation rating, “Institution of Excellence.” (Ohio National Guard photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (04/11/15) — The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine command recently awarded its highest accreditation, to the Ohio Army National Guard’s 147th Regiment (Regional Training Institute).

The accreditation process is conducted every three years and this is the second consecutive time the 147th RTI has achieved national recognition through the intense accreditation process. A Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) accreditation ceremony will be conducted April 11 at the RTI, located on the Defense Supply Center Columbus campus.

Created in 2011 by Army Training and Doctrine command (TRADOC) to evaluate Army Schools and Academies, the Army Enterprise Accreditation Standards (AEAS) are used in determining quality training at the 54 RTIs throughout the states and territories.

“What this means for Ohio is that more Soldiers will be drawn to the RTI to train,” said Maj. Angela Bailey, 147th RTI operations officer. “The RTI doesn’t just train Ohio National Guard Soldiers. We train Guard, Reserve and active duty Soldiers from all over the country through leadership courses and military occupational schools — military police, engineer, and transportation — which increase our ability to provide relevant assets during a state emergency.”

Bailey said it’s not easy to achieve TRADOC’s highest level of accreditation. Out of the 49 states and U.S. territories inspected, 17 received the “Institution of Excellence” designation in 2014. Only 11 of the RTIs obtained the designation in both 2011 and 2014, with the 147th RTI being one of them.

“Our success was a two-year process,” said Col. Steve Stivers, commander of the RTI. “We performed self-evaluations, asked for staff assistance visits, networked with peer RTIs to find best practices, created an Institution of Excellence Action Plan and held weekly in-progress review calls with our entire team (both full-time and M-day), to keep moving toward our goal of being an Institution of Excellence.”

Most involved in going through the accreditation process would say it is a rigorous but vital part of being a high-caliber training institution. Committing to the Soldiers’ training ensures the job is being done right, which is essential in training future leaders. The process holds the staff to that fine line that, in turn, gives students the best training possible.

“We always appreciate when an outside entity visits and helps us take a hard look at ourselves— it’s essential to our constant improvement,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army. “These results are strong validation that our RTI team is committed to excellence and doing things the right way as a matter of routine business. As RTIs across the nation are downsizing and consolidating, these results place our institution in a very competitive position.

Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Spain, the 88M Motor Transport Operator Course manager, said the accreditation process is a difficult and unique experience. “To be successful, you have to make sure that the way you conduct business every day is concurrent with the inspector’s expectations.”

The 147th RTI is also The Army School System (TASS) Battalion for the 240th RTI in Bangor, Maine. The 240th RTI’s 12W Carpentry and Masonry Specialist course falls underneath the 147th for quality assurance purposes, and as proof of the 147th’s top-notch oversight, the 240th RTI also received the IOE designation for 2014.

“Accreditation is a measure of our ability to train the force properly and effectively,” said Master Sgt. Lisa Powers, the 147 RTI administrative noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “The work we do today ensures the sustainment of our fighting capabilities for future generations. Attaining the rating of institution of excellence is a result of hard work, preparation and a passion for what we do and is a gateway to the infinite opportunities we have in training our future warfighters.”

The 147th RTI currently offers several courses for students. The 1st Battalion, 147th Regiment (Engineer) conducts a Warrior Leader Course and three engineering courses in Ohio: 12W Carpentry and Masonry Specialist, 12N Horizontal Construction Engineer and 12B Combat Engineer. The 2-147th (General Studies) teaches four courses: Officer Candidate School (OCS); Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS); 31B Military Police and 88M Motor Transport Operator.