Spring Training Quarter Recap

by | Jun 6, 2023 | ALERT Updates

Thank you for your prayers and support throughout the last semester. It’s been a very busy season, but God has also done much in the lives of the men. In addition to the training highlighted below, men also benefited from the staples of ALERT Battalion life—memorizing scripture, personal devotions, PT, manly ALERT-style activities, and weekly unit honing meetings for peer-to-peer encouragement, feedback, and growth. Looking back over the last 12 weeks, I’m reminded once again that none of the life-change that occurred came from our efforts. It’s been so good to watch God work in the lives of the men this quarter!

Below is a brief overview of the spring training quarter:

  • Basic Training Cadre (10 students) – The men in Cadre learned leadership basics for two weeks, and then immediately put those lessons to use as they led Unit 68 through Basic Training.
  • Construction (6 students) – The Construction unit got an introduction to the field of construction, and were able to travel to Maine for some field training as well as a service project for a local Teen Challenge location. They also did a major home renovation project for a widow in Longview that included replacing an exterior wall and redoing the roof of her home. Additionally, they were able to learn from guest instructors in areas such as construction math, electrical, reading blueprints, and project management.
  • Dive (8 students) – The Dive students excelled through the fast-paced training, and gained a tremendous amount of confidence in the water. Highlights from the class include swift-water training, tactical week, a trip to dive in an abandoned missile silo near Abilene, TX, and a trip to Pensacola, FL where they had great dive experiences and got to visit the beach.
  • EMT (8 students) – The EMT class worked hard, going from very little medical knowledge to successfully completing our EMT-B course in 12 weeks. The course includes about 8 weeks of class time, many hands-on scenarios to help them apply what they’ve learned, and seven days of clinicals on the ambulance and in the ER. After passing the course, they are now eligible to take the National Registry test, allowing them to work as an EMT nationwide. Our EMT instructor situation is in transition right now, but the guys did great in spite of some extra instructor challenges this quarter.
  • Flight (2 students) – Both students completed the training for their private pilot certificate, including their first solo flights, and are now eligible to take their private pilot check-ride.
  • Missions (6 students) – The class studied various aspects of cross-cultural and home-based missions, and received a lot of hands-on experience ministering to groups of people in need. Highlights include visiting Church under the Bridge in Tyler (a local outreach to homeless people), spending a week at Good News Boys Home in Indiana, attending Wayumi (a course in Pennsylvania run by Ethnos360), and a 10-day trip to Chiapas, Mexico, to work alongside a local church-planting pastor.
  • Deployments – Men were also able to serve on several different tornado relief deployments in Mississippi and Arkansas throughout the past quarter.

Thank you again for your prayers this past quarter, and please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the next training quarter to start on June 24.

Captain Phillip Vanderford | Unit 41
ALERT Battalion Commanding Officer