CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Soldiers in a deployed environment receive plenty of "on-the-job-training." Their adaptability and professionalism frequently shine through when things need to get done. While here during the past few months, enlisted Soldiers and junior noncommissioned officers had another type of training which tested their adaptability and further developed their professional capabilities. Under the leadership of Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Macias, who served as NCO education system commandant, numerous Soldiers took part in the Warrior Leader Course, also known as WLC.

WLC, formerly called Primary Leadership Development Course, is the first leadership course required for NCOs attend. The WLC curriculum, usually a month-long course for most active components, was upgraded in this deployed environment to complete the broad range of training in half the time, but with all of the benefits for the Soldiers trained. The course teaches specialists, corporals and junior sergeants the basic skills crucial to leading small groups of Soldiers. This course is hard hitting and intensive with an emphasis on leadership skills, and prepares Soldiers to successfully execute the duties inherent to the roles of an NCO.

Command Sgt. Maj. Macias and his staff assembled an NCO Academy to instruct WLC at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. WLC students live at the academy training location for the duration of the training that combines classroom instruction with practical application in the field. Any Soldier wanting to move up in rank is required to take this course. WLC is not Military Occupational Specialty-dependent and includes topics such as Leadership, Training Management, Map Reading, Land Navigation, War-fighting, and Drill and Ceremony.

The Illinois Army National Guard\'s 1244th Transportation Company took full advantage of the WLC opportunity for its deployed Soldiers by sending eight enlisted through the course. All eight performed well throughout the course and brought their increased knowledge, confidence and leadership abilities back to their unit to improve overall performance. Soldiers attending the course were Sgt. Joshua Adams, Sgt. Laurel Baker, Spc. Brian Fox, Sgt. Tiffany Givens, Sgt. Matthew Kirkpatrick, Sgt. Odvin Moran, Spc. Chinonso Nwosu, and Sgt. Ryan Schneid. Baker and Fox were the last of the 1244th graduates under Command Sgt. Maj. Macias, as his NCO Academy and staff were needed elsewhere until later this year. Fox earned Commandant's List honors for his performance, and immediately after graduation received his promotion to sergeant.

The entire 1244th is proud of their newest WLC graduates. More importantly, the unit and its Soldiers benefit greatly from the skills and knowledge these warriors obtained and developed during the course, which in-turn, strengthens everyone's performance. As stated in the Creed of the NCO, these Soldiers are now fully integrated into the time honored Noncommissioned Officer Corps and become a valuable part of that fraternity known as "The Backbone of the Army."

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