GRAFENWOEHR, Germany— Serbian Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) instructor, Sgt. Nenad Basaric, shadowed 7th Army NCOA instructors during the academy’s 22-day Basic Leader Course (BLC) Sept. 4 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area to further build the partnership and interoperability between the Serbian and 7th Army NCOAs.
Basaric was selected by senior Serbian Army NCOA instructors to gain experience at the 7th Army NCOA to later convey useful information for their academy.
This Serbian-American cooperation stemmed from a site visit that was conducted at the Serbian NCOA.
“That site visit led to a dialogue between the former 7th Army NCOA deputy commandant and the Serbian Army's NCOA leadership to create a partnership that would strengthen both NCOAs,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Pureco, Chief Instructor for the 7th Army NCOA.
When Basaric arrived to the 7th Army NCOA, he was welcomed and treated as one of the 7th Army NCOs.
“I must say that from the first day, everyone at the academy was very kind and pleasant to me,” said Basaric. “They created an atmosphere as if I were at home in Serbia.”
Basaric shadowed multiple instructors at the 7th Army NCOA and gained insight on the different teaching styles.
“They always found time to explain to me what they were doing and the goal of the class,” said Basaric.
There was something Basaric noticed about the 7th Army NCOA instructors.
“You have instructors who have been at the academy for a long time and teach slightly better than the newer instructors,” said Basaric. “It makes me happy to see senior instructors pass on their knowledge to younger ones.”
Basaric began his training to become a Serbian NCO instructor in 2021 where he, “fell in love with training.”
In order to become an NCO in Serbia, Soldiers must first complete a six-week leadership course. After completing the required leadership course, Soldiers can then begin going through the selection process along with the medical and psychological examinations to begin BLC.
At the conclusion of Basaric's time at the 7th Army's NCOA, he exchanged gifts with the Commandant of the 7th Army NCOA, Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Holmes III.
"I will certainly implement the things I've learned at the academy in my future classes," said Basaric.