GRAFENWOEHR, Germany— Soldiers from specialist to sergeant experience their first level of advanced leadership training during the Basic Leader Course, or BLC, at Grafenwoehr each month. Not all of the Soldiers are from the U.S., however.
The BLC, held by 7th Army Training Command's Noncommissioned Officer Academy, has a multinational dynamic, as the academy hosts and trains many Allied and partner nation Soldiers.
“There’s a lot we can learn from our international students,” said NCOA Instructor Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Pureco.
In a recent class, two soldiers from the Finnish Army trained alongside U.S. Soldiers in course elements such as physical fitness, classroom instruction, drill and ceremony, land navigation, and a culminating training event that allowed them to exercise the leadership skills they learned.
While Soldiers from all nations are able to build relationships, international Soldiers can compare and contrast the U.S. Army's NCO curriculum to their own Army's leadership development strategy.
“For basic communication, the style of teaching here is very captivating,” said Finnish Army Staff Sgt. Kim Hanski. “I was able to add new tools to my tool bag.”
Both service members are now able to take the skills they've learned to their country and teach to their fellow service members. But not just the skills, they're also able to share their experience with training alongside American Soldiers.
“It’s been amazing and it has opened my eyes,” said Finnish Army Staff Sgt. Arttu Nikki. “There are a few differences, but I have learned so far: basic leading and cooperation, that is the biggest reason I wanted to come here.”
Pureco believes the multinational aspect of training is extremely beneficial to the Army.
“We’re trying to build a relationship with our partners, and improve our interoperability,” said Pureco. “It makes the Army a better organization to be able to work with a multicultural force here in Europe.”
The 7th Army NCO Academy's mission is to train and develop future leaders who are adaptive, disciplined, and ready to lead effectively at the squad and team levels. Elements of the course include the Army Physical Fitness Test, daily physical training, classroom instruction, drill and ceremony, land navigation, and the culminating training exercise at the end of the 30-day course.
Learn more about 7th ATC's NCO Academy
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