After four weeks of field training, 25 junior officers that make up Finance Corp Basic Officer Leader Course Class 004-22 move into Phase II, technical phase of their training Aug. 12.
The Anderson Chapel broke into a deafening round of applause from peers, cadre and leadership as the 25 entered the chapel after completing a tactical road march from their field site.
“There’s one reason why the United States Army can go anywhere on this planet and pay its way and it’s inside this building,” said Col. Gregory R. Worley, Finance School commandant. “We have two moral imperatives. One, we must treat each other as family members. We can not speak to each other in ugly terms. We can not treat each other in ugly ways. We must treat each other as if we were family members. Two, we must prepare for war. These guys have blazed a trail. I am so proud of them, and I am so proud of you for coming out and thanking them for their hard efforts.”
Sweaty and tired, the officers stood at the front of the sanctuary to receive congratulations and shake hands with their peers and leadership. Throughout the past four weeks the officers have completed a series of Soldiers tasks in the field environment that included M4 familiarization, request a medical evacuation, land navigation, hand-to-hand combat, knowledge check and reacting to improvised explosive devices.
“Today was a culmination that we call the Gate I Challenge,” said Capt. Jonathan Berg, Finance Corps BOLC instructor. “This past four weeks have been physically and mentally taxing.”
The 13-week course is split into three phases to include the Gate 1 Challenge, Technical and the final “Road to War” where the officer simulates deploying. Recent changes to the program are being fielded during the class and may determine the future training of Finance Corps officers.
One of the largest changes comes with their living arrangements. Once housed in hotels, the officers were moved into barracks to reduce separation from one another to help build reliance on one another.
“These past four weeks in the field have helped us build good cohesion and bonding between battle buddies and squads,” said 2nd Lt. Jesus Burgos, BOLOC student. “We can’t wait to get our technical training in the remaining weeks we are here.”
After the welcoming ceremony, the students spent the rest of the day recovering equipment from their field site before enjoying a weekend pass. The following week will begin an intensive technical phase of learning finance basics and commercial application before tackling the final phase of training combining all their learned skills and simulating a deployment to a combat environment.
“My wife and kid are waiting for me this weekend,” Burgos said. “Hopefully we will have a really good and relaxing time. They are the fuel for my heart and mind so I can stay focused and on track during this process.”