ALC-CC becomes necessity for NCO promotions
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FORT BLISS, Texas -- Soldiers can expect to see a decrease in promotion waivers issued for lack of noncommissioned officer education schools, such as Advanced Leader Course -- Common Core, said Sgt. Maj. Scott L. Denson, ALC-CC director at the U.S. Sergeants Major Academy, here.

"The Army is now saying, 'hey, the waivers are going away,' and you are now responsible to make sure you're completing all of the NCOES you need to complete," said Denson. "You have to get this done."

Even though ALC-CC is strictly an online course, it can be one of the classes Soldiers frequently neglect and could hold them back from promotion.

Denson said most Soldiers see ALC-CC, formally known as Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course: Phase 1, as more of a correspondence course than NCOES. In the very near future, NCOs who fail to complete it will not be able to enroll in the resident portion of ALC and will be passed over for promotion to sergeant first class.

Soldiers need to recognize the course is designed to prepare sergeants to fill their future role as squad leaders and staff sergeants. It builds off information learned in Warrior Leader Course and teaches them to perform at the next level.

"At the end of the day, we're looking to produce battle-competent NCOs," said Denson. "We want as many noncommissioned officers to take ALC-Common Core as physically possible."

Fortunately, Soldiers can take this course anywhere Internet capability is available. NCOs hoping to take the course can fill out a DA Form 4187 requesting to be enrolled and provide it to their chain of command. They can also get more information about the course and points of contact for enrollment by logging on to and accessing the slideshow in the career map labeled "ALC-CC Orientation."

After becoming enrolled, Soldiers have 90 days to complete approximately 80 hours of coursework. An important thing to remember, though, is ALC-CC, which takes the place of Structured Self Development -- Level 2, does not operate like a correspondence course. Soldiers will be required to complete certain milestones by posted due dates and will interact via forums with peers who are taking the course at the same time.

If a Soldier fails to complete ALC-CC, it could be up to two years before he or she can reenroll; therefore, leaders need to make sure they're staying involved with their subordinates' progress throughout the course.

"It's important for the leadership and the noncommissioned officer enrolled in this course to work together," said Denson. "As leaders, we need to be giving people every opportunity possible to excel - short of giving them the answers."

This includes giving Soldiers work breaks to finish ALC-CC, as the mission permits. According to Army Regulation 350-1, all leaders must, "ensure that time is available during the duty day for Soldiers to complete DA-directed training and structured self-development training."

This makes the workload much easier on the student and allows him or her to focus on the material being taught, said Denson.

"My personal hope is that once they complete this course, they feel that they've learned something," he said. "I hope they feel like a better noncommissioned officer."