By Spc. Bradley J. Wancour
Third Army/ARCENT Public Affairs

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- Third Army recognized graduates of the Warrior Leader Course Feb. 27.

Throughout the 15-day course, students ranging from specialist to staff sergeant tested their leadership abilities in both classroom and training settings. Training included surveying counter improvised explosive device lanes and conducting squad tactics exercises.

"WLC was the greatest experience I've had in Kuwait so far," said Sgt. Blayne Peterson, health care specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Third Army/ARCENT and native of Winamac, Ind.

During the graduation ceremony, Peterson was awarded an Army Achievement Medal for being the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the course.

"I just kept my head in the game," said Peterson. "I worked as hard as I could through all the classes and the field training exercise."

While he stood out from his classmates, Peterson explained he could not have done it alone.

"I leaned on my teammates a lot," Peterson said. "Without them, I wouldn't have received this honor."

Throughout the class, Peterson was impressed with the camaraderie among his fellow students, he explained.

"A lot of the Soldiers here are from different units, so to be able to come together and work as a team was a great experience," Peterson stated.

One of his classmates, Spc. Michael Davis, communication specialist, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, and Charlestown, Ind. native., was honored with the Leadership Award and an AAM.

Davis plans on using the knowledge gained from WLC to improve his abilities as a leader, he explained.

"I think this training will help me develop my Soldiers more," Davis stated. "Knowing what I know now, I can be more of a mentor."

Third Army is shaping the future by educating, inspiring, and training Soldiers like Peterson and Davis to be strong leaders of tomorrow.