The first Armor Basic Officer Leader Course, taught at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, starts Thursday.

In a welcome letter to Armor and Cavalry lieutenants, Lt. Col. Sean Barnes wrote that the mission of ABOLC is to provide the Army with confident, competent and agile Armor officers capable of conducting full-spectrum operations as part of the combined-arms team.

Barnes, commander of the 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, described the training as a combination of classroom, small group and practical exercises to leadership skills and warrior ethos.

Staff Sgt. Raymond Whitener, operations NCO, said the 84 second lieutenants, including international students and seven Marines, will learn about basic rifle marksmanship, land navigation, M1 Abrams gunnery tactics and dismounted tactics during the 100-day course.

Shoot, move and communicate is how Whitener described the course.
“The rule in the Armor community is the only time tanks are in a defensive position is to prepare for the offense,” he said.

During a 10-day capstone exercise, the officers will divide into two formations " two tank platoons and one scout platoon, and two scout platoons and one tank platoon. Both formations bring different qualities (to the fight) " firepower and sneak and peek, Whitener said.

The officers graduate Oct. 6.