What do a Combat Medic and a Logistics Officer have in common? They are both newly assigned Inspectors General (IG) to the 104th Training Division (LT). Master Sgt. Craig Thibault and Capt. Chloe Chung joined the Timberwolves’ IG Office in the summer of 2020. After several months on the waiting list, they were able to secure a reserved seat for the IG Basic Course through Alternative Virtual Learning (AVL).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-week AVL Basic Course is being conducted in place of the resident course normally held at Fort Belvoir, VA. The curriculum encompasses the training requirements for all new IGs and are derived from the critical tasks an IG must be able to perform prior to assuming his or her duties in the field. It leverages the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) Environment (also known as Microsoft Teams) as the primary platform, specifically its video conferencing, multimedia presentations, and file sharing capabilities to achieve a variety of training objectives.
Master Sgt. Thibault and Capt. Chung learned about the various IG functions through real time lessons taught by experienced instructors, complemented by practical exercises that are conducted in small groups and facilitated by faculty advisors. In addition to self-study, homework assignments, exams, and group discussions, the course also includes targeted instructions by Army components, as well as a special session for Command IGs. Furthermore, the students had a chance to meet the Inspector General of the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, and have a luncheon with the Inspector General Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Larry H. Orvis Jr.
Despite not having in-person interactions, Master Sgt. Thibault feels that the AVL course is still highly effective and value-added. He finds role playing through practical exercises especially helpful with reinforcing knowledge application. Capt. Chung agrees and finds the opportunity to meet and network with other IGs particularly valuable.
Successful graduation of the AVL course establishes a student’s qualification as an IG. Both Master Sgt. Thibault and Capt. Chung look forward to applying their newly acquired knowledge on the job with the Command IG, Maj. Chris Ballard. They are eager to help the Timberwolves’ family and to play a part in enhancing the Division’s mission readiness.