There are many requirements to qualify as part of the NCO Academy Commandant's List: earn an average grade of 90 percent or higher, receive no adverse counseling statements, earn a first-time "pass" rating on all graded criteria, and achieve a superior rating in three of the four demonstrated abilities (written communication, oral communication, leadership skills and contribution to group work). The top student explained what helped her achieve these demonstrated abilities and by setting a goal of making each milestone.
"I set my goals before I came, and I made sure I did everything I needed to do to achieve them," said Spc. Lyia Cerillo, assigned to 46th Composite Truck Company, 194th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and Wilmington, N.C. native, who was awarded the title as Distinguished Honor Graduate for achieving the highest academic average. She was also the female Iron Soldier for achieving the highest Army Physical Fitness Test score. "I paid attention to detail," she added.
Soldiers attend BLC as a requirement to become a noncommissioned officer. BLC cadre train students in basic leadership skills like responsibilities and authority, and how to conduct performance-oriented training.
Cerillo explained that one of the challenges of BLC is working with Soldiers from different MOSs where they may bring a different approach to problem-solving or mission execution, yet still must find a way to work together effectively.
"We have to use cohesion and teamwork, build off each other, and make it like we're one," said Cerillo.
The Honor Graduate pointed out what he'll take forward from this experience.
"Working with different MOSs was challenging, however I learned a lot from other Soldiers and we built a team here," said Spc. Jiajie Wu, assigned to 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, and San Francisco native. "I think BLC is a place to really learn true teamwork and how to work as a proper team," he added.
BLC is a leadership development school designed for personnel whose performance has indicated their potential for advancement and increased responsibility. The course produces battle-competent junior NCOs to serve as qualified leaders.
"I'm honored to attend BLC in Korea. It means to me that as a future leader that people have put trust in me. I have to lead Soldiers by example," said Wu.
Cerillo gave some insight on how she was able to achieve so much success during her BLC class. "The biggest take-away would be to never give up. Keep-pushing and you can achieve it if you want to," she said.