NEWS | Feb. 1, 2019

155 ABCT Instructs Basic Leader Course to U.S. Army Central Soldiers

By Spc. Jovi Prevot 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Soldiers from throughout U.S. Army Central attended a Basic Leader Course at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, January 2019. The accelerated two-week course is taught by Soldiers of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team in conjunction with Mississippi National Guard’s 154th Regional Training Institute.

“BLC is the foundation course for our future leaders,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christy Basden, a basic leader course instructor currently assigned to the 3rd Non-Commissioned Officer Training Battalion, 154th Regional Training Institute, Mississippi Army National Guard.

Soldiers need these foundations to advance their career in the U.S. Army as noncommissioned officers.

“BLC is Basic Leader Course, so we are learning to how to basically become a noncommissioned officer,” said U.S. Army Cpl. Britta K. Momanyi, a paralegal specialist assigned to 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard, Task Force Spartan. “There are three training modules… leadership, training, and warfighting; we are learning anything from how to fill out an [Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report] to common warfighting tactics.”

BLC does more than teach from a book.

“It teaches us how to be leaders, not only really the textbook answers on what kind of attributes and competencies we are supposed to have,” said U.S. Army Cpl. Alexander Yucatonis, an infantryman assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Spartan. “[It] also gives us an open mind on how to approach situations, how to handle maybe difficult instances you may find yourself in with a lower enlisted soldier if you were in a supervisory position.”

The group of Soldiers participating in BLC is taking the next step to strengthen the backbone of the Army.

“These are Soldiers that are selected from their unit that are either sitting in a slot as an E-5 or they are preparing to. They are from all different units, all different backgrounds, all different MOSs,” said Basden.

With the help of the 154th Regional Training Institute, the 155th was able to bolster the number of Soldiers it sent to BLC during their Operation Spartan Shield deployment.

Using instructors assigned to the 155 ABCT along with coordinated efforts from our staffs, we were able put together a Mobile Training Team to facilitate three BLC classes according to Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher L. Young, commandant, 3rd Non-Commissioned Officer Training Battalion, 154th Regional Training Institute, Mississippi Army National Guard.

“The end result was an additional 180 Soldiers from all three components being afforded the opportunity to attend BLC,” said Young.

“The intent was to provide Soldiers an opportunity to attend their first leadership course while supporting operations in [Operation Spartan Shield], said Sgt. Maj. Cornelius Williams Jr, Deputy Commandant, Basic Leader Course, Camp Buehring. “Giving deserving and qualified junior Soldiers the chance to complete their necessary Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) course.”

The coursework exposes Soldiers to universal tasks that may be new to them.

“I’d say my favorite part is the warfighting portion because, as a paralegal, that is not my forte. I am learning a lot of skills that I feel would be applicable, and would help me better understand the Soldiers that I will be working with,” said Momanyi.

The course aims to help each Soldier grow as a leader.

“What we do here is we evaluate what their capabilities are and then train them up on their weaknesses so they go back to their unit and become better leaders,” said Basden.

The evaluations are more than pen-and-paper tests.

Soldiers are able to learn from their mistakes, BLC gives them an environment where they can make those mistakes and build off it, said Basden. “It looks at all aspects that are required of an effective Army leader; their ability to counsel, their ability to lead, and also their physical fitness.”

Soldiers must also have the right mentality.

“In my opinion what it does is it gives us the appropriate mindset. It will teach you the documentation aspects of it, all the forms that the Army uses on a day-to-day basis,” said Yucatonis. “It teaches you the mindset on how to approach problems.”

Courses like BLC insure the next generation of NCOs is ready to fulfill their role as the “backbone of the Army.”