Army Chemical Review

SUMMER 2015

Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

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Army Chemical Review 26 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 authorized DOD to assess the feasibility of permit- ting Service members to obtain civilian credentialing for skills required for military occupational skills. This DOD initiative was designed to help Service members acquire a private-sector profession. However, USACBRNS had al- ready recognized that the methodology used to achieve professional hazmat certifcation helps improve the quality of CBRN specialists. Furthermore, we have been provid- ing this certifcation service to our students for more than 9 years. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel from all components attend USACBRNS courses, where more than 4,500 hazmat- related certifcates are issued per year. Most students who earn a DOD certifcate and IFSAC seal experience a sense of accomplishment. However, some students and instructors feel uncomfortable because the tests are generated by a com- puter, test questions require a more comprehensive under- standing of the material, instructors have no control over testing procedures, and the testing program is not of traditional Army tests. This discomfort with the test and a misunderstanding about how and why the content was de- veloped contribute to the controversy surrounding the entire hazmat program. Students have become too accustomed to a testing program that does not hold them accountable for their learning. For example, they have come to expect open- book tests, simple multiple-choice questions that are se- quenced with handouts, and casual instructor performance observations rather than rigorous performance-based test- ing. The importance of incorporating valid and reliable assess- ments into a learning program cannot be overstated. The proliferation of readily available CBRNE material through advancing technologies and globalization demands that USACBRNS continuously revise content and maintain the ability to accurately measure learning. As USACBRNS fur- ther refnes content through the development of well-defned CBRN competencies, considerable care must be taken to also develop secure, technology-enabled, integrated assess- ments that are tailored to that content and to the expected outcomes. The current hazmat assessment program, which serves as a model for the future, must also be expanded to include other key competencies. Stating that USACBRNS hazmat courseware is a model for the future and claiming that it produces competent pro- fessionals is not enough. We must be able to demonstrate that students have achieved the competencies necessary to safely apply critical technical, tactical, and operational ex- pertise. USACBRNS courseware and methodology are open to external scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Program, TRADOC; the Air Force Civil Engineer Center; and IFSAC. It is the USACBRNS commandant who certifes that all hazmat program graduates have successfully met required standards; however, USACBRNS has engaged key partners to provide civilian credentialing for our graduates who have met those standards. So . . . Why do we integrate hazmat certifcation re- quirements into CBRN professional military education and functional courses? To be clear: Hazmat is not about cer- tifcation; rather, hazmat is a part of our curricula that is necessary to help CBRN Soldiers and leaders safely apply their technical, tactical, and operational expertise in a risk- informed manner across the continuum of operations. The USACBRNS commandant certifes that all graduates have successfully met module and course standards, including those of the hazmat portion. As we provide this critical com- ponent of our curricula, we concurrently provide our person- nel with well-deserved national and international recogni- tion for accomplishing a rigorous course of instruction and the associated testing requirements. If we expect our Sol- diers and leaders to anticipate threats and operate safely in the complexity of any CBRN environment, shouldn't we deliver the best and most comprehensive curricula pos- sibleā€”and the added recognition provided by a recognized accrediting agency? Endnotes: 1 TRADOC Pam 525-3-1, The U.S. Operating Concept: , 31 October 2014. 2 The current USACBRNS hazmat curriculum is compliant with National Fire Protection Association 472, Standard for of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, 2013 Edition, and with specifc equipment requirements unique to CBRN operations. 3 TRADOC Pam 525-3-1. 4 According to Army Regulation 350-1, and Leader , dated 19 August 2014, the requesting agency will ensure that the program of instruction offered by a contractor is approved by TRADOC and the proponent. 29 CFR 1910.129(q), Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Hazardous Waste Operations and Response, Response to Hazardous Substance Releases. Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 1200.16, Contracted Civilian-Acquired Training (CCAT) for Reserve , 20 March 2004. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, 31 December 2011. TRADOC Pam 525-8-2, The U.S. Learning Concept for 2015, 20 January 2011. Mr. Schulze is the technical director of USACBRNS, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He holds undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering the Oregon Institute of Technology and history Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a de- gree in education Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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