Reflections from the NTC

In the 3 years, 4 months and 1 day since I arrived on Fort Irwin to being my job as the senior NETOPS trainer I can say that my perspective today compared to then has changed significantly. During that time I have worked on 26 rotations with 24 BCTs (2 of them twice), 21 Net Techs (3 of them twice) and way more signal Soldiers than I could possibly count. What follows are a number of final thoughts as I finish my time at the NTC.

Army Directive 2015-30

In case you missed it, CW5 Williams sent out the signed copy of Army Directive 2015-30 which states basically that if you want to hold specific jobs (there’s a list of them) in the future, you will need to complete all of the required PME for your particular rank. Most of the jobs listed are CW5 positions (and a few CW4 from the looks of it) but I expect eventually this will move down the road to effect promotions and other things. Short of it is, go to school (guess I really need to do the advance course one of these days)

Warrant Officer Broadening Assignments

Warrant Officer 97 Years of Service

The Army is currently looking to fill a number of broadening assignments and this year a number of them are open to warrant officers. Broadening assignments give us an opportunity to spend a period of time (sometimes a few weeks, sometimes a couple of years) away from our normal duties and expand our personal knowledge and help contribute to the Army in a strategic way vs our normal technical way.

FY16 Warrant Officer Selection Board

Warrant Officer 97 Years of Service

Recruiting Command released the warrant officer board schedule for FY16 last week (minus Sept for some reason). As of right now, there are two boards that will look at 255A/N (although I expect that Sept will as well once it gets released).

Finding Your Replacement

WOC Rank on Hat

The Army Warrant Officer is a highly trained and specialized technical expert in their particular field. This has been true since its creation on July 9, 1918, but what a warrant officer is today has changed. Today we are no longer expected to just be the crusty old guy in the corner that drinks coffee and magically fixes things (although that is still true), we are also expected to be part “officer” as well. That means that we are leaders, we are staff officers, we are planners, and still, we are experts. This is a tall task to fill and requires that we continually replenish our ranks with only the most qualified and talented individuals available.

Cyber is Here

TACLANE Encrypted Tunnel

For anyone who doesn’t regularly check the MILPER message site you may have missed three separate messages that were released last week that directly affect signal warrants and our Soldiers. As you probably know, the Army is in the process of manning its new Cyber Branch. The officers got their chance to cross over earlier this year and it looks like the same is finally true for the warrants and Soldiers.

Translating Geek to Grunt

Translating Geek to Grunt

“The Linkway attached to the STT for the JNN is has a high BER from the RHN because the PVCs weren’t built correctly.” How many times have we said something like this to the Commander only to watch their eyes glaze over, get pissed off, and walk away mumbling something about “FIX IT”? Signal folks have a language of their own that few people outside of their own group are able to speak or understand. We understand the language of “geek”, but when we walk outside and talk to the people around us, they don’t understand it because they only speak “grunt”.

5 Router Commands That Saved My Life

Cisco Tattoo

We have all learned an important lesson in life the hard way. When it comes to working on the router or switch, there is often a couple of commands that you discovered after beating your head against the wall for a while that if you had known about them earlier, would have made your life so much easier. These are those commands for me.