84th Engineers lay the blueprints for exceptional leadership among Iraqi Army engineers
May 20, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, MOSUL, Iraq - In a small classroom, an Iraqi Army Soldier, or Jundi, stands before his class, explaining the breakdown of information needed for a platoon to meet their objective.
While the platoon leader provides all of the information needed for the task, he said, the platoon is broken into squads by specialty, which only need to know the information that pertains to them.
It's the squad leader's responsibility to know what information to absorb and what to disregard, he concluded.
After the Jundi returned to his seat, the teacher dismissed the class for a break.
Relieved to be exempt from presenting their own assignments, the remaining students bustled outside for the last break of the last day of class.
The Engineer Regiment, 2nd Iraqi Army Div. completed its second Non-Commissioned Officer Academy course last week at Al Kindi, the site of the division's headquarters in Mosul. Headquarters Pltn., Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 84th Engineer Bn., 18th Engineer Bde., 25th Infantry Div. provided instructors and security for the duration of the course.
NCOs of Headquarters Pltn. took turns teaching the class, which focused on many aspects of leadership including counseling, pre-combat checks and inspections and troop leading procedures.
While the topics of discussion and assignments given weren't new material, the Jundi that attended the class had never been exposed to training of this kind.
"They were telling us that the Iraqi Army had officers before they had non-commissioned officers. It's really good that (these NCOs) get some of that responsibility for themselves," said Staff Sgt. Patrick Smith, an NCO with Headquarters Pltn.
These Jundi were chosen for their natural leadership abilities, traits that were put to the test daily when asked to volunteer or lead the class in an assignment. Finally, one student was chosen whose skills as a leader stood out among the rest.
"In every class, you have two or three students that show that they are above and beyond and are constantly being proactive throughout the class, and we appreciate that," said Staff Sgt. Armand Curet, the platoon's NCO in charge.
Warrant Officer Mohamed Obied was awarded the position of Class Leader and graduated with honors.
"I want to thank everyone who put so much effort into this class because I learned a lot of things from our teachers. They encouraged me and didn't let us make mistakes," said Obied. "Now, I'm ready to teach other people."
This class is a gateway for improving the tactics and procedures used in the Iraqi Army by providing its NCOs with the knowledge needed to continue the training after the 84th Eng. Bn. leaves.
"I feel that they'll be able to pass this skill set through different generations," Curet said. "When new Soldiers transfer in, regardless of where they're coming from, they'll still be able to apply what they learned here and develop future leaders."
The 84th Eng. Bn. passed its knowledge of the NCO world on to its 2nd IA Div. brothers in arms. As their trucks pulled away, plans developed for the next class to be in west Mosul, with the 3rd IA Div.
At last, the imprint left by Coalition Forces on the Iraqi Security Forces is one of ambition, initiative and will be passed on without a CF presence.