In the fall of 2000, I was sent to a Marine Corps aviation school called Weapons Tactics Instructor School (WTI). This school is the Marine Corps version of ‘Top Gun.’ Aviation students are sent to this school to become their squadron resident expert on how to tactically employ Marine Aviation assets in a combat environment. This is a six-and-a-half-week school that was by far one of the hardest tasks I had ever completed in my life. Three weeks of this school consisted of in-depth academics, followed by three-and-a-half weeks of flying mock missions and applying what was learned in the weeks prior. These missions at WTI are done using a form of scenario based training.
Scenario Based Training- uses a highly-structured script of real world experiences to meet flight training objectives in an operational environment.
When I returned from WTI my job was the squadron tactics officer. My squadron getting ready to start our pre-deployment training as a composite squadron. The six months preceding the deployment was the time that we would train for possible missions during our deployment. HMM-365(REIN) was a squadron that had twelve CH-46E, four CH-53E, four AH-1W, two UH-1N, and six AV-8 Harriers. We also had two C-130’s attached to our squadron, as required. Our commanding officer allowed the tactics department to design a robust training plan. Each phase of our training was accomplished using scenario based training. We started with small missions and ended with an all-out, hard hit raid on Parris Island while Marine recruits were taking part in ‘The Crucible.’ We were prepared for our deployment to say the least.
On September 11, 2001 I was on pre-deployment leave. I will never forget standing in a music class with my two-year-old daughter, when I heard that the towers had been hit. I immediately knew that I would be going to war. We departed a few days later and went straight to Afghanistan. During our transit aboard USS Bataan, our training did not stop. We continued to think through every possible scenario that we could face. In October, I departed the ship and became part of the initial Task Force 58 battle planning staff under General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis. Our job was to plan and execute the initial deployment of Marines into Afghanistan that took place in 2001, with the airfield seizure of the Kandahar International Airport. In the following months, I led multiple missions in Afghanistan with many of our U.S. special forces and our closest allies.
Scenario Based Training Is Not Just for Pilots
But what does this have to do with you? Throughout my career as a pilot, I have come to understand that we can always learn how to be more proficient?). In the military, we trained through scenario based trained. In life, we learn the same way. We often ask our friends, family, and coworkers how they might handle a certain situation. Their answers are likely based from their own personal experiences. For example, I frequently have conversations with my son about life after college. As a junior in college, he has begun to think about entering the job market in less than two years. In my career, I have made some great decision and I have made some decisions that I wish I could change. Sharing my experiences will hopefully help him make more informed decisions when the time comes. What if we can learn from others to become a better spouse, parent or Christian?
A couple of years ago, I worked with one of the largest energy companies in the United States. Their concern was that they seemed to make the same mistakes over and over. This company sought to harness their lessons learned and share their corporate experience through the Convene Training platform. During a training session, I was amazed by how many people within the company had never heard of the scenarios we were analyzing. We were able to share these scenarios with over 400 linemen through our training application. This application will change the way your business trains because you will be able to utilize your own internal expertise.
As an Air Medical pilot, I witnessed some of the most horrific accidents, but I also worked with some of the most amazing and heroic First Responders that saved lives daily. These amazing men and women strive to give the best medical care possible and are always working to better themselves. However, shrinking training budgets and personnel often make it difficult to complete the training required. First Responders learn using scenario based training just as I did while in the Marine Corps. What if every First Responder could use Convene First Responders to share their experiences and knowledge through this shared learning platform? Even more lives will be saved!
There is no limit to the possibilities of that a Convene Community can bring. We all have a passion to better ourselves and learn from the experiences of others. We also love to share our experiences so others can do better in their own endeavors.
What is your passion and who can you share it with?
Convene Communities is the answer to bringing together Real Life, Real People and Real Experiences!