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101st Regiment - Regional Training Institute

The 101st Regiment (RTI) provides regionalized combat arms, leadership, military occupational specialty (MOS), additional skill identifier (ASI), Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES), and general studies training for the Army National Guard (ARNG), United States Army Reserve (USAR), and the Active Component (AC).

The Massachusetts Regional Training Institute, formerly known as the Massachusetts Military Academy, is home to the oldest state-run Officer Candidate School in the United States, and the first accredited state-run Noncommissioned Officer Academy. It has served as the prototype after which all other state military academies were modeled.

Until 1912, training for prospective officers was the responsibility of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts. Any soldier in the militia showing the potential and desire to become an officer was directed by his superiors to join the company to further his military education and become qualified for a commission. During his period of education an Officer Candidate still performed his regular duties with his militia unit and attended all Officer Training sessions without pay.

By 1911, it had become clear that this mission was beyond the capabilities of the company. As a result, a board consisting of Lieutenant Colonel Willis W. Stover, 5th Infantry; Major Warren E. Sweetser, 6th Infantry; Lieutenant Frederick G. Robinson, Naval Brigade and Captain Olin D. Dickerman, Massachusetts Coast Artillery Corps; was appointed to study the problem of training prospective officers for the militia and to recommend a solution.

In 1912, this board, along with then Captain Commanding of the Ancient and Hoinorable Artillery Company, F.S. Appelton, recommended to the Massachusetts State Legislature that a special school be established specifically for training junior officers for the militia. In 1913, the State Legislature approved legislation establishing "The Training School."

The first training session of "The Training School" took place at the State Camp Ground in Framingham on 30 August 1913, lasting three days. Eighty-six candidates reported for training. Major General William A. Pew was appointed Superintendent, Lieutenant Colonel Willis W. Stover Commandant of Cadets, and Captain Merch B, Stewart, 5th Infantry of the United States Army, Principal Training Officer. Captain Stewart later became Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point and eventually attained the rank of Major General.

Most of the training sessions were held at the Charlestown Armory, with the final ones held at Plattsburg Barracks in New York where Captain Stewart was stationed. The second summer camp was held at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Candidates still attended without pay and were required to attend regular training assemblies with their militia units. The first graduation took place at the Boston City Club, 18 December 1915, with then Governor David T. Walsh awarding Certificates of Eligibility for Commission. Brigadier General John H. Agnew, who later served as Adjutant General of Massachusetts from 1931 to 1934, was a member of the first class.

For the next class, monthly training sessions were held at the Charlestown Armory, with the two summer camps held at Sudbury and Framingham. In June 1916, the Mexican Border Incident occurred and the class was called to Active Duty on the Mexican Border. This class resumed in December 1916, but was again suspended when the United States entered World War I in April of 1917.

The school did not reopen until October 1927. Colonel Frank Gibbs was appointed Commandant of Cadets. Fifty-one Candidates reported for this class, which held sessions at the Cambridge Armory. The school would remain at this location until 1941.

In those years, penal institutions were also known as "Training Schools." In 1935, the legislative Committee on Penal Institutions sent a letter to the Training School ordering an inspection of the "inmates" under the mistaken impression that it was a correctional institution. As a result of this incident, the name was quickly changed to "The Massachusetts Military Academy." During this time, many members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company served as staff and faculty.

In 1941, classes were again suspended when the United States entered World War II. The Massachusetts National Guard was reactivated in 1946. Two years later, in the fall of 1948, the Adjutant General ordered the Academy reactivated and classes resumed. World War II was the last time that classes were suspended. Brigadier General Lawrence F. Carew was named Commandant of Cadets, and classes were held at the Boston Latin School, where it would remain until the fall of 1954.

In 1949 and 1950, officers from the Department of the Army, the National Guard Bureau, and representatives of the Military Departments of several states, made an inspection of the Academy. They were so favorably impressed with the Massachusetts Military Academy's program, that they established State Officer Candidate School programs in several other states. Today there is an Officer Candidate Training Company in each of the fifty states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, most of which were modeled after the Massachusetts Military Academy.

In January 1951, the Massachusetts Military Academy became the first National Guard State Officer Candidate School in the United States to be accredited by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Throughout the years, the Massachusetts Regional Training Institute has remained a leader of state Army National Guard Officer Candidate School Programs.

In the fall of 1954, the Academy was moved to the Commonwealth Armory in Boston, where it would remain for the next 18 years. In April 1972, the Academy relocated to Camp Curtis Guild in Reading. In 1976, the two-week annual training site was changed to Camp Edwards. The Academy itself relocated to Camp Edwards in 1986, where it remains today.

In 1974, a number of senior Massachusetts Noncommissioned Officers met at the Enlisted Association Conference and discussed the idea of conducting a Noncommissioned Officer Course in the state. A proposal was drafted and presented to the Adjutant General, Major General Vahan Vartanian, who enthusiastically approved the establishment of the new educational program of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy that same year.

Command Sergeant Major Donald A. McCuish served as the Noncommissioned Officer Academy's first Commandant, assisted by Command Sergeant Major Berthold K. Levy as Executive Officer, Captain Emery Teoli as S-3, CW3 Joseph Irr, Jr. as S-1, and CW3 Angelo F. Staffiery as the S-4. The Program of Instruction (POI) was provided by First Army and conducted at Camp Curtis Guild in Reading.

The first Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) class began 8 June 1974, graduating two weeks later on 22 June 1974. The class comprised seventy graduates assigned to units from across the Commonwealth consisting of Combat Arms, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support NCO's.

It was that first NCOA class of 25 years ago that paved the way for future courses. Because of the program's success, the Massachusetts Military Academy Noncommissioned Officer Program became the first state level Military Academy in the United States to earn its accreditation by the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

The Noncommissioned Officer Education System prepares enlisted personnel to assume the duties and responsibilities commensurate with their grade as Noncommissioned Officers. As sergeants progress through the NCO ranks additional schooling is required, beginning with the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), followed by the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), and finally, the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC). Today the Massachusetts Regional Training Institute offers NCO's Common Leader Training at the Basic and Advanced levels.

In the early 1990s, the Massachusetts Military Academy, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Military Academy also presented key developmental programs for senior enlisted personnel. As recent as 1993, training for Company and Battery First Sergeants was held. But a later emphasis on the core NCOES programs and financial constraints prompted a halt to this training.

Other functional courses developed under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Military Academy addressed the evolving needs of the Combat Arms community. These highly specialized courses included RECONDO School, Sniper School, Counter Sniper School, Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB), Shotgun School and Special Sharpshooting Skills School.

On 14 June 1996, the Massachusetts Military Academy was reorganized and designated as the Massachusetts Army National Guard Regional Training Institute. The Regional Training Institute (RTI) provides Combat Arms, Leadership, Military Occupational Specialty Qualification (MOSQ) training, Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) training. The RTI also conducts Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) training and still maintains an active Officer Candidate Training Company (OCS). Under the Total Army School System (TASS), the RTI is home to the 1st Field Artillery Training Battalion for Region A.

The RTI monitors and coordinates academic and field instruction for soldiers participating in courses and training at Camp Edwards. The RTI works in conjunction with the National Guard Bureau (NGB), The TRADOC Coordinating Element (TCE), The Regional Coordinating Element (RCE), the United States Army Reserve Institutional Training Division (DIV[IT]), and proponent schools.

The RTI plans programs and training within its region based on requirements identified by the Individual Training Branch (NGB-ARO-TI, the Army Program for Individual Training (ARPRINT) and the Training Requirements Arbitration Plan (TRAP).

On 1 December 1996, the Massachusetts Regional Training Institute was changed to its present designation - Headquarters, 101st Regiment (RTI). Functioning within the 101st Regiment is the 1st Field Artillery Training Battalion and the 2nd General Studies Battalion.

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