UTC or CTC?? HELLO??
CT Sideways, Chief News Editor
Friday, May 3rd, 2019
Hello everybody! With the legion approaching to the summer months, the staff of the 501st prepares for a large recruitment cycle to replenish from lost casualties in the war against the Confederacy! To bring combat ineffective units back up full strength, the Legion relies on it's vast amount of training personnel to cover the selection and training of all the new generations of clones sent to the front! CT Ruse and CT Hoodoo had the chance to take an in-depth look into the workings and history of CTC.
CTC, UTC, Baby You and Me, Girl: A History of the 501st’s Training Program
The basic initial test is a crucible of gamers. Twice a week, hopeful newcomers stand shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers to attempt a live-fire course where every corner, every killzone is optimized for lethality of the participants and thrills of the spectators. The task of these greenhorns seems suicidal, and for many, it is. If they triumph, they will together, and their reward is sweeter than their success itself: a one-way ticket to Upsilon Training Corps.
In the fall of 2017 and before, the initial test was considered the end of the targeted training of newer players. Recruits of the surviving class were made Cadets on the spot and sent off to be forged into elite riflemen in a nurturing squad environment. As membership has increased, so too has the need for training beyond the initial test.
In addition to metering the flow of new members, CTC, or Cadet Training Corps, was introduced in the winter of 2017-18 to ensure new members had more supervised training hours under their belts before they were thrown into active duty. CS Andromeda, UTC commandant and former CTC instructor, recounts:
“They were building up CTC to be something between BCT [Basic Combat Training] and just throwing people right into the unit so that people needed to know what to learn to become great troops in the community.”
However, CTC was not without its issues. Each class of CTC Cadets comprised up to eight squads of cadets. The instructor of each class reported directly to the class commandant. This structure meant that command was centralized. In addition, the cadets advanced (or did not advance) through the course as a squad. Andromeda elaborates:
“CTC had a lot less communication than what we have now between instructors and upper staff; recruits would fall through the cracks in the old system, and with the amount of recruits that we were getting, it was too much for the old system can handle…. Classes would sometimes not have a instructor because the instructors’ schedules couldn’t line up with their classes or with CTC all together.”
It was for these reasons among others that CTC replaced by UTC as the 501st’s training program during the winter of 2018-19. However, more than just a C to a U was changed during UTC’s creation. There is now a platoon of instructors and cadets with a decentralized command structure. The pace of the course has been reworked to minimize the downtime for individuals who exceeded expectations. CT Nevermore is a former UTC instructor with experience in both programs. He explains the adjusted focus of UTC:
“It’s more about the individual training than the entire group, so if one recruit is ready to move on to phase red (which is more of a combat training rather than information training), that individual recruit gets to move on while the others remain in phase green. It’s less of a group effort and more towards making sure that each recruit is ready on their own to move on, rather than as a group.”
Commandant Andromeda explains that the long-term goal of the switch to UTC - it needed a greater instructor role and a simplification of the chain of command. As new members roll in, Andromeda’s “instructors have a greater range of [UTC Cadets] to work with.” In addition, fresh folks are exposed to new members more quickly.
A more immediate benefit of restructuring the program was that UTC cadets no longer all have to log on at the same time as their peers to progress. As a result, UTC cadets with isolated time zones get to be in a squad just like everyone else. Nevermore continues:
“The New system allows people with disparate schedules get the training that they need in a timely manner. Where the old system used to take three weeks to get everyone done in CTC, this new system can get some done faster, and still get everyone else caught up.”
With the removal of the time zone barrier and the increase in class size, some UTC instructors find that they’re unable to make as strong of a connection with their Cadets as they had in CTC. Andromeda describes weighing the pros and cons of the switch:
“We wanted to fit everybody into a public squad, instead of one person being by themselves and not getting the same opportunity as anyone else gets in UCT, we wanted to bring out the team aspect and the squad aspect and what it means to be in this unit this time around in UTC.”
Another downside of a training corps structured on company lines is the need for qualified existing members to staff each element at the company, platoon and squad level. Nevermore himself recently stepped down from UTC for availability reasons - the time commitment is significant. CM Bronson, a Senior UTC instructor, admits the lack of instructor availability is an issue:
“We’re trying to get more staff and people into the program. Yes we did have a fair amount of instructors and upper staff that left UTC but they couldn’t make the times any more,so they left or in some cases went to a different unit all together or went up in the chain of command to be moved into the section system. With all of that we need more instructors then we had in the past.”
This turnover of instructors is a healthy part of achieving the goal of the program. Bronson elaborates on the growing pains of the company:
“I think a lot of it is growing pains, any expansion in the unit. Blizzard and Zeta [Companies] had the same issues when they came out, and this was a big thing that had happened in CTC at the time. So along with that ambition, there’s a period to expand the unit and feel out what we want it to be. There was a vision to achieve.”
CS Legia, former assistant commandant to Andromeda, agrees with Bronson’s assessment. He says:
“People leave. It’s that some of them don’t have the time for the more rigid format. I would say in that regard that's upsetting but it will allow us to make the changes that we need in UTC for the system to work for everyone.”
“We’re expecting an increase in recruits coming in the starting summer, and I admit that we are understaffed at the moment. That’s why we are opening up applications for UTC, so when we get more Jr. Instructors to help out with the recruits, we can get them going faster through the first, second, and the third phases as well.”
More recruits need more instructors. More instructors beget more recruits. This is a perpetual cycle, the heartbeat of the unit, with those graduates who return as instructors doing a particularly poetic service. That the purpose of the training company is dual served is an apt reflection of our unit: UTC, like the 501st as a whole, bridges the gap between combat training and community.
Upsilon Training Company is currently recruiting instructors in anticipation of the summer membership surge.
With the Galactic Campaign underway and the month of July approaching fast, we here at the 501st News Team bid hopes and good fortunes to the members of the UTC personnel during those times. Stay around for more news from the 501st in next week's newsletter!
Avalanche HQ -
“It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” - CC Player
Avalanche 1 -
“This past weekend Avalanche 1 performed valiantly on the field and successfully [REDACTED]” - CS Legia
Avalanche 2 -
"2nd platoon is doing well and looking forward to this weekend." - CS Pompano
Avalanche 3 -
"3rd's doing good." - CC Ewik
“Surely there's no reason we cant be civilised about all this." - CC Lava
“...continuing to practice and improve with FTX’s and we look forward to the anniversary of the Unit’s creation!” - CS-M Crow
"Razor recruitment is open, go to #razor-open in pinned messages on discord for information. As long as you are eligible for UTC you are eligible to participate to become a pilot." - CX Scuba
"Mynock is excellent and very diligent in their training. We should be done very soon and ready to provide support to the rest of the Battalion." - CI Zulu
DID YOU KNOW?
You can mark nearby mines with "T", however this might spam your short range additional radio channel.
Koop's dad is badass.
501st News opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire community. If you’d like to help the news team, you can in many ways, including but not limited to, signing up for the news team, submitting an article, posting a piece of media or getting publicity for an event. For those interested, please contact either CT Sideways or CI Daedalus for more information. Your voice matters, let it be heard. We’re currently looking for journalists to collect stories, media and content and story writers to write articles. Also please consider donating to the 501st to help pay for server costs and help keep this community alive and well maintained. Photo credits: CM-C Ifrus, CT Swanny, CM-P Navo and Me. Extra graphics by: CT Daku and CT Shifty.
Chief News Editor: CT Sideways
News Editor:CT Sense
Writers and Journalists: CT Daku, CT Stone, CP Hoodoo