In light of the non-commissioned officer being honored for their commitment to service and achievements, many NCOs continue to prepare for what will help them enhance their development as warfighters through the battle staff course.
The battle staff video tele-training course was held for the first time in combat zone on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, April 21.
"Battle staff is primarily to teach NCOs how to operate on a staff that's currently in a wartime situation and also helpful in garrison operations," said Master Sgt. Shavetta Wallace, senior assistant instructor for the battle staff NCO course here."It is a premiere course that is offered to senior noncommissioned officers; but because of operations that the U.S. Army is presently conducting, it has been afforded to sergeants that are to be in a two sierra skill identifier position, holding the grade of E-5 and above."
The process to gain approval for the course began a few years ago, and U.S. Army Central finally received their approval notification from Headquarters, Department of the Army this past January.
BSNCOC was formerly a two month residency course conducted at Fort Bliss, Texas, but has been restructured into two phases.
Students now begin phase one through a virtual learning disk that they receive and have to complete within 30 days with a passing score of at least 70 percent before they can proceed with phase two.
Once students advance to phase two, they are either placed in a residency course, which is held at Fort Bliss or are placed in a video tele-training course, which is taught from Fort Bliss.
The 30-day, phase two, VTT was held for servicemembers at USARCENT's Signal University located on Camp Arifjan.
The first part of phase two covered reinforcing the material that they have already learned in phase one with maps and overlays, and graphics. The students then moved into more enhanced information about graphics and overlays, and prepared the overlays for the maps.
The next portion rolled into plans, orders and annexes. Here the students were able to apply their knowledge of map reading, and how to make a map overlay, and tie it in with obtaining the necessary information to write the plan and make it come together.
As the students moved into the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, they conducted military briefs, where they briefed operation, warning or fragmentary orders.
During the final event of the course, the students will function in a simulated Command Post Exercise, in which they apply all the skills that they have learned throughout both phases of the course. Students will conduct battle update briefs and shift changes in the same manner as a normal Tactical Operations Center operates.
"Because of the way that current wars and conflicts are going on, there is no more isolation of services; so it's getting them to think on a more joint environment," said Wallace.
Those who pass the Battle Staff Course 14-09 will celebrate in a graduation ceremony at the Zone 1 Chapel May 22 at 12 p.m.
"It is a very valuable course because it gives those NCOs an opportunity to see how the staff plans and how everything is necessary and intertwines with each other," said Wallace.

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