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Guard’s 7th Civil Support Team Top comes out on ‘top’ of chemical course
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 5, 2009) — A Missouri National Guardsman lived up to his rank by finishing as the “top” student in the second-ever L3 Technical Escort course on post.

First Sgt. John Dowdy, of the 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team on post, earned a certificate of accomplishment in the 22-person course at the 1st Lt. Joseph Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Responder Training Facility.

The class consisted of three other members of Dowdy’s unit, Reserve and active Army students, as well as two Marines.

“It was a very high honor after just coming to the Chemical Corps two years ago,” said Dowdy, a former combat engineer. “As a National Guardsmen, to receive that award, it’s a high honor.”

The award was based on practical-exercise performance, instructor input and written test scores, which Dowdy, who lives on post, had the highest average on in the class.

Each module of training for the 33-day course concluded with a 25- to 50-point multiple choice test.

Dowdy, a 1985 graduate of Ste. Genevieve High School, said his success had much to do with being a member of the Guard and his unit.

“I think it’s based on what the 7th Civil Support Team is exposed to at our monthly training events,” he said. “We have a high visibility of how local, state and federal agencies work at incident scenes and we get that type of exposure that the active components don’t. That type of event, they train on once a year, if that.

“Plus the equipment that we have is the newest on the market — it’s on the cutting edge of technology. We have training on it by reps from the companies and the base of knowledge that we develop is at a high level. The equipment they have at the schoolhouse is what we have on our missions.”

The course allows service members with the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialist military occupational specialty to earn the additional skill identifier as a technical escort.

Networking between the different types of missions in the chemical field is the most important thing Dowdy said he’ll take away from the course.

“Being able to network with those Soldiers and officers in the future, not only as a tactical and technical knowledge base, but the friendships that we developed during the demanding 33-day course is great,” said Dowdy, who earned honor graduate once before at Sapper school.

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