Army civilians gain a new perspective during ARL Greening Course

May 22, 2016

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Thirty-one civilian employees from across the Army enterprise recently completed the week long U.S. Army Research Laboratory's semiannual Greening Course held in Aberdeen, Maryland.
  • The challenging course, held May 2-6 and led by ARL Noncommissioned Officers, is designed to introduce civilian participants to the "Soldier's perspective," while familiarizing them with the types of duties and activities experienced by Soldiers in their daily lives.
  • Participants from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, the U.S. Army Contacting Center, the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and various directorates within ARL voluntarily signed up for the course that offer civilians a glimpse into a Soldier's life outside of the lab.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 16, 2016) -- Thirty-one civilian employees from across the Army enterprise recently completed the week long U.S. Army Research Laboratory's semiannual Greening Course held in Aberdeen, Maryland.

The challenging course, held May 2-6 and led by ARL Noncommissioned Officers, is designed to introduce civilian participants to the "Soldier's perspective," while familiarizing them with the types of duties and activities experienced by Soldiers in their daily lives.

Participants from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, the U.S. Army Contacting Center, the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and various directorates within ARL voluntarily signed up for the course that offers civilians a glimpse into a Soldier's daily life outside of the lab.

On day one of the training course, students rose early to participate in physical training, commonly known as PT, and gained basic Army knowledge about marksmanship, land navigation and how to assemble and disassemble an M4 carbine which is a lighter variant of the an assault rifle.

ARL Sgt. Maj. Kevin M. Connor said the course is an overall introduction to a Soldier's perspective.

"I hope when they go out and do their research that they keep the Soldier in mind," Connor said. "The reason we have them wear body armor is so they will start thinking about the weight. When they start carrying it around for four or five days, they have a better understanding. It helps give them a realistic view about what Soldiers go through."

Connor's advice to the ARL workforce is to sign up for the next Greening Course.

"It is an opportunity to learn from Soldiers; we can provide them with insight," he said. It's also an opportunity to connect with people from other organizations – anything that can help the research," said Connor.

Dr. Ben Olbricht, a researcher with ARL's Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate said he gained more of an appreciation for the Soldier and the amount of discipline that goes into the knowledge and training they perform daily.

"The most memorable things from this week have been the day-ins and day-outs of Army life. The flight was great. I think it's one of the many high points we've had during the Greening Course," said Olbricht.

"Ultimately our goal is to narrow the gap between the scientist and the Soldier. That includes Army life in general, some of the technologies they use – whether it's their aircraft or firearms or the optics and communications systems."

Dr. Miguel Hinojosa who works with silicon carbide high-voltage devices in ARL's Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate said he hopes his work will help the Soldier of the future.

"We usually think from an engineering point of view," Hinojosa said. "It was great to see what Soldiers do. Going from the obstacle courses to shooting the M-4...and the flight...it was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

By the conclusion of the course, graduating students acquired more than a certificate of completion; they gained insight to some of the key tenets of today's Army and an understanding of what it takes to be a Soldier.

"The course met my expectations. It really helps to understand Army life," said Steven Day, who works in ARL's Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Day has worked at ARL for three years as a contractor and just recently joined the workforce as a federal employee. "It's interesting from my perspective because it's something you don't see every day. I kind of got a basic understanding of what a day is like for a Soldier."


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: May 22, 2016