Information Papers

Basic Officer Leader Course

What is it?
Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) is a three phase training program designed to provide initial military training for junior commissioned and warrant officers in both active and reserve components. BOLC I, II, and III create officers who are grounded in the core leader competencies (leading, developing, and achieving) and are capable of serving the modular force in full spectrum operations. They are designed to be attended sequentially.

BOLC I encompasses all military training conducted by the traditional pre-commissioning sources (United States Military Academy, Reserve Officer Training Core, Officer Candidate School, and Warrant Officer Candidate School) and provides the foundation in the common skills, knowledge, and attributes desired of all officers. In February 2007, the Army implemented a four week Direct Commissioned Officers Course to prepare direct commissioned officers such as Judge Advocate General, and select Army Medical officers for the rigors of BOLC II.

BOLC II is a 6-week common block of instruction conducted at two TRADOC schools (Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, and Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, OK). It is an operationally relevant program that produces more capable, confident, mentally agile and adaptable leaders through an emphasis on field craft, small unit leadership and the Warrior Ethos. It also develops Leaders who share a common bond with their combined arms peers and are ready to lead small units in tactical environments upon arrival at their first unit of assignment. Chaplains, Medical Specialist, Medical Doctors, Dentists, and Nurses are excluded from attending based on proponent decision.

BOLC III ranges between 6 weeks to 15 weeks 4 days and consist of branch-specific functional training conducted at existing TRADOC branch school locations.

What has the Army done?
The Army created a common core, tactical leadership phase of training in BOLC II. The methods of training at BOLC III have been modified to make greater use of experiential training models to enhance the quality and effectiveness of training, and increase learning. This supports Officer Education System transformation and the goals of increased readiness, greater relevance of the force, and a more Joint and expeditionary Army.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to identify capability gaps in the context of full spectrum operations and adjust BOLC training curricula to address those gaps. Beginning in FY09, newly appointed warrant officers will be integrated into BOLC II to provide the training necessary to prepare them to meet the Army’s expectations of our future warrant officers as leaders and technical experts within their respective fields.

Why is this important to the Army?
BOLC is developing leaders with a common warrior experience - more competent, confident and adaptable - effective at solving problems, making rapid decisions, and leading Soldiers in the full spectrum operations. Each leader will be ready to train and lead small units in combat immediately upon arrival at his or her first unit of assignment.