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Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC)

What is it?
The BOLC is a three phase program that provides initial military training for junior commissioned and warrant officers in both the Active and Reserve Components. The BOLC creates officers who are grounded in the core leader competencies (leading, developing, and achieving) and are capable of serving in the Army during full spectrum operations.

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. The three phases of the BOLC are:

  • BOLC I encompasses all military training conducted by the traditional pre-commissioning sources (United States Military Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps, 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 of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) schools (Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, and Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma). 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 specialists, medical doctors, dentists, and nurses are excluded from attending based on proponent decision.
  • BOLC III ranges from 6 weeks to 15 weeks and 4 days, and consists of branch-specific functional training conducted at existing TRADOC branch school locations.

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 to address those gaps. Beginning in 1st Quarter FY10, 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 warrant officers as leaders and technical experts within their respective fields.

Why is this important to the Army?
The 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 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.

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