ZHYTOMYR, Ukraine-When Ukrainian units rotate through the 55-day training course at the Combat Training Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine, observer controller trainer teams train and evaluate the unit on both individual and collective soldier tasks.

Junior leader academy training gives Ukrainian units a head start.

JLAT essentially extends the training, and enables them to practice these skills at home station, explained 1st Lt. Jayson McCauslin, an infantry officer with the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine.

"The goal of [JLAT] is to help train their NCOs," said McCauslin, "We're looking for their leadership skills, their confidence, the command and control of their element."

U.S. and Canadian instructors lead the JLAT program, which is designed to mold the Ukrainian NCOs into better leaders.

The U.S. and Canadian JLAT instructors do not evaluate the Ukrainian Soldiers based on their tactics, but rather, on their critical thinking skills and their ability to train and lead their troops.

U.S., Canadian, and Ukrainian tactics are all different, so the Ukrainians are not being evaluated on what they do, but how they do it, explained McCauslin.

Although tactics vary from country to country, the U.S. instructors are quick to share their experiences with the Ukrainian NCOs.

We do not want to just check the block here, said Staff Sgt. Kevin Lawson, an observer controller trainer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th IBCT.

We are trying to make sure they have a thorough understanding of why we're evaluating them the way we are, so they can take these lessons learned and apply them to training in a way that will save lives, he said.

The training also contributes to the overall development of the CTC by standardizing units before they arrive, making training more streamlined.

"[Mobile Training Teams] and JLAT tie into the overall JMTG-U mission by training the personnel before they actually come in for the rotation," said Sgt. Matthew Councill, an airborne and ranger qualified infantryman with the 45th IBCT assigned to JMTG-U.

Teaching their non-commissioned officers the individual skills, and then empowering them to train their younger soldiers, should enable units to arrive at the CTC ready to jump into squad- and platoon-level training, so ultimately we are facilitating faster training, he said.

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Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine is an international coalition dedicated to building professionalism within the Ukrainian army and building Ukraine's training capacity.