The time has come for the newly redesigned Basic Leader Course to become fully operational on February 1 at all active component NCO Academies. With the publishing of EXORD 236-15, Army-Wide Implementation of the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System in July 2015, TRADOC called for the redesign of BLC.
In the last eight months, many changes have occurred with the new BLC model. One change in particular has all 34 of the AC NCOAs launching their BLCs to start and stop on the same day allowing for predictability across the component and to allow for maximum utilization of available seats through the Institutional Training Common Operating Picture.
The ITCOP offers commanders and leaders a holistic view of training slots available for NCOPDS. Allowing them to capitalize on the vacancies and gain opportunities to schedule Soldier for training. Through this scope "the Order of Merit List is used to ensure the right Soldier is attending the right course at the right time," said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Simmons, director, NCO Professional Development and Education.
BLC provides the foundation for further development along the Professional Military Education learning continuum. Across the globe Soldiers in the rank of specialist promotable, will start attending their first enlisted leadership school.
Throughout the history of The United States Sergeants Major Academy, BLC has evolved over the years. What was originally called the Primary Leadership Development Course changed in October 2005 to the Warrior Leader Course. The then, battle-focused training was tailored to the operational Army environment of the time while the junior NCOs were taught basic skills needed to lead Soldiers in a learning environment of PowerPoint slides and lectures.
The Army's first priority is readiness, ensuring our Soldiers have the tools and training they need to be lethal and ready to fight and win. The new BLC emphasizes the necessary leader attributes to fight and win our nation's wars (through prompting critical thinking, problem solving, resiliency, agility, innovation, creativity and adaptability). BLC is designed to build leader and trainer skills needed to lead a team-size element.
"The redesigned BLC focuses on getting back to basics and developing a leader and trainer with a strong intellect, physical presence, professional competence, and moral character who will serve as a role model," William R. Ogletree Jr., director of Curriculum Development said.
The new course will still be completed within 22 days, but what was formerly three phases will grow to four: Foundations, Leadership, Readiness and Assessment. A major paradigm shift occurred with the implementation of the Experiential Learning Model and educating future NCOs on the six Leader Core Competencies (Readiness, Leadership, and Training Management, Operations, Communication, and Program Management). The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence integrates lessons learned, doctrine and the LLCs to ensure enlisted leaders are skilled in critical attributes and competencies.
The Army is advancing The Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System to develop today's leaders for tomorrow. The new BLC will consist of 22 lessons, five evaluations/assessments, and no multiple choice examinations. All assessments-some are executed during the Leader and Readiness phases-are done through observation of their written essays and communication
The course will fall in line with the Army Experiential Learning Model versus the PowerPoint based lectures. The NCOL CoE delivers NCO leadership development through courses which enhances training readiness.
A Soldier in the new BLC can expect collaborative learning in groups of four working through problems as a team. There will now be an emphasis on writing, critical thinking, speaking, to ready our future enlisted leaders in understanding their operational environment and their Soldiers.
Newly designed training will utilize the six LLCs of, which is cutting edge and relevant for the modern day warrior, compared to the former BLC. It will also employ scenarios, practical exercises, collaborative team exercises, and applications against LCCs and leader attributes.
"The Army's greatest asset is our people, which is why the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence develops the programs of instruction for the Army's NCO PME courses based on current doctrine and the Leader Core Competencies", said by Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Henry, deputy commandant, NCOL CoE.