Training to lead: WLC returns to Riley
A Soldier at the Fort Riley Warrior Leaders Course calls out to fellow Soldiers after checking the body of a downed combatant March 20 during a field exercise. The course teaches Soldiers how to react to indirect and direct fire, how to give commands and how to conduct searches and after action reports.

FORT RILEY, Kan. - Junior enlisted Soldiers may soon have the opportunity to receive standard leadership training at Fort Riley.

Students graduated March 20 from the Warrior Leaders Course, a training program that Fort Riley and 1st Infantry Division leaders hope to keep on post full time as part of a growing NCO Academy.

Warrior Leaders Course is a two-week course that trains and prepares junior enlisted Soldiers to shoulder the responsibilities of the noncommissioned officer. From learning how to give commands and move in a squad to keeping their bodies at their physical peak, WLC serves as the first of many stepping stones on the road to becoming a NCO.

This class of WLC graduates is the first of its kind at Fort Riley in a number of years. Previously, the class was known as the Primary Leadership Development Course. With the return of the course, fewer Soldiers are required to travel to another post to receive the training, which means more time with their Families without sacrificing career progression.

Soldiers in the course learn not only the basic Soldier skills, such as squad movement and radio procedure, but also how to effectively give commands and instruct Soldiers in both peacetime and combat. For Spc. Glen Cooper, who was promoted in January, the experience has been good for him.

"It's something that I've wanted to do for a while now," said Cooper.

During their two week stay, the students learn from instructors who have been trained to teach the Soldiers how to become leaders. Many of the instructors, including Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Platt, have experience turning Soldiers into NCOs.

"If they want to be here and lead Soldiers, it will be a great influence on their career and their life," said Platt. "It will show them what right looks like."

Upon graduation from the course, the Soldiers are recognized as junior leaders, proficient in the knowledge and skills learned during the course.

The skills that the students take with them will go to leading and preparing younger Soldiers to take on the responsibilities of leadership in the future.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16