XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
1 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Caleb Martin, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 3rd Special Forces Group working as a student at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg NCO Academy, guards the entry of his fellow Soldiers' camp In a training area outside of Fort Bragg N.C., ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
2 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Kris McCarrick, an infantryman with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division working as a student at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg NCO Academy, plans a tactical operation with other Soldiers as part of his final test at the ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
3 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Kris McCarrick, an infantryman with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division working as a student at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg NCO Academy, plans a tactical operation with other Soldiers while loading blank rounds for hi... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
4 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier and student of the the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg NCO Academy, lays down suppressive fire during simulated attack of a rally point in a simulated mission inside of a training area outside of Fort Bragg N.C., Jan. 30, 2017. The scho... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
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XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg School For Leaders
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FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Soft morning light and a cold breeze accompany Soldiers guarding a makeshift hidden patrol base just outside of Fort Bragg, N.C. It's early in the morning, and each Soldier knows the outcome of their training will depend on their ability to defend the base.

Defense of the patrol base is performed one of the final field tests required to graduate from the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy Jan. 30, 2017. The purpose of the test, and the school, is to help teach Soldiers the fundamentals of Army leadership.

The school, founded in 1972, is one of the fundamental requirements for a Soldier to become an NCO. During three weeks of instruction, the instructors used a combination of classroom and field training to teach Soldiers, ranking from specialist to staff sergeant, skills ranging from critical thinking to land navigation.

"Our school is incredibly professional," said Staff Sgt. Jon Beck, an instructor at the Fort Bragg NCO Academy. "We're taking new, young leaders for the Army, and we're bringing them up to standard to where they can lead their own Soldiers."

The school is the second largest NCO academy in the Army. The staff boasts the highest amount potential leaders enrolled, with approximately 3,840 Soldiers trained annually. According to the Army's promotion program, every Soldier, regardless of their job within the Army, should have an opportunity to attend a leadership school.

"This is valuable training," said Cpl. Andrew Blake, a student at the academy. "It's good to come here …, because there are a lot of lessons to be learned. You can go back to your unit and apply it supporting your Soldiers or just your day to day tasks."