Local ARNG officer trains with Marines
Capt. Ken Curtzwiler of South Lake Tahoe was the only Nevada Army National Guard Officer among 29 Marines who graduated recently from the seven-week Mountain Leader Course offered at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center at Bridgeport, Calif.
Not only was Curtzwiler the only National Guard Officer to ever complete a Marine Winter Warfare instructor course, but at the age of 44, he was the oldest soldier to ever complete the course.
Curtzwiler, who owns and operates K&K Enterprises, a roofing and tree service company, said that he trained some in a gym to prepare for the course, but his work helps keep him in shape.
The course encompassed 34 training days of classroom instruction and practical application in the skills required for junior leaders to operate in cold weather and snow-covered mountainous environments. The curriculum focused on training students in the fundamentals of ski mobility, cold weather survival, avalanche awareness, communications and logistics considerations in cold weather environments as well as conducting a wide variety of combat operations in freezing temperatures.
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center has operated as the Marine Corp’s only cold weather training facility since its establishment in 1951, when a requirement was identified to familiarize Marines with cold weather operations prior to their service in the Korean conflict. Currently, the center trains approximately 7,000 Marines and other servicemen each year within the scope of mountain and cold weather unit operations, mountain leader skills, survival and medicine.
Curtzwiler, who volunteered for the training, received a certificate of completion as well as the satisfaction of proving he has what it takes for such an intense and strenuous course.
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