by Brian Lamar, NCBC Public Affairs
Throughout the recent Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s Uniformed Police Training Program class UPTP-1904 in Glynco, Ga., two Naval Construction Battalion Center’s Security Department personnel attending the class, racked up nearly all of the class’ awards.
Out of the more than 50 federal law enforcement officers with organizations like the United States Capitol Police and the Defense Logistics Agency, Maj. Jeff Graf and Patrolman Darren Lea scooped an arm load of awards, but a headful of valuable knowledge to bring back to use day-to-day on NCBC.
“I take all my training seriously. I train hard and learn what I can so I have the ability to equip my department with the best possible tactical advantages over any adversary,” said Maj. Jeff Graf, one of two training officers with the Naval Construction Battalion Center’s Security Department.
For 60 days, Graf and Lea were subjected to a battery of courses in advanced tactics, like responding to active shooter threats, advanced marksmanship training, counter-terrorism, aircraft counter-measures, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) training, chemical warfare, advanced tactical driving and even academic courses like constitutional law.
“At first, I was not excited about the prospect of attending a mini boot camp with a lot of yelling. When I got there, I found that it was very professional and more of a gentleman’s course that was intensely focused on equipping us with the most up-to-date tactical and professional law enforcement curriculum,” said Lea. “Now I am very glad I went. I learned a lot and had a blast.”
Not only was the curriculum more than expected, but the duo knew that their own motivation and attitude is what would carry them successfully through the course.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I went in with an open mind. I wanted to see if they could teach this old dog some new tricks,” said Graf. “Due to the professional instruction, I shot better there than I have in my entire life,” Lea explained.
The curriculum at FLETC is varied and elaborate, which added to the realism of the training scenarios.
“Everything is done full speed. This is a state-of-the-art facility. The ranges were top notch. The school even has a mock airport, subway, bus and train stations that are so realistic, I thought they had actually taken us to an airport,” said Graf.
Out of all the awards won throughout the course, the ones that Graf and Lea are most proud of were the ones that showed their tactical prowess that could someday save their own or their brother-in-blue’s lives. Patrolman Lea received second place in overall academics, but also beat Graf by a fraction of a point in the Top Gun competition, which is designed to award the trainee who performed highest. The pair received expert as a team in firearm practical exercises.
Graf received a coin for overall best shooter and the coveted highest honor in the program, the Director’s Leadership Award, which is a vote from all his peers in the course, which displayed the highest leadership attributes of the class.
According to the award received, Graf displayed all the attributes that a law enforcement officer strives to be. The award citation states that he is a role model for other officers to follow due to his honor courage, commitment and loyalty. Graf is also proud of the driving expert award.
The classmates are now back at NCBC working in the Security Department with an advanced law enforcement tactics available.