Instructor Education Course For Bolc B. The United States Army Officer

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Instructor Education Course for BOLC B

Patricia Ryder, CPT, USA,
CG 14

Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School
Major Brian Schweers
March 30, 2015
In 1819, to the House of Representatives, Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun wrote “No truth is better supported by history than that . . . victory will be on the side of those who have the best instructed officers.”1 Officers in the United States military carry a heavy burden to take responsibility for the lives they lead. As our Nation faces many unpredictable and complex conflicts in the operating environment, it is apparent that our preparation is essential. The United States Army Officer education program has a gaping hole in the current curriculum structure.
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An overview of the Army’s commissioning sources aids in understanding the structure of the officer development program. The Army’s commissioning sources include the Reserve Officer Training Corps, United States Military Academy, Officer Candidate School, and Direct Commissioning. Due to the variety of commissioning sources, the new officers vary greatly in terms of experience. Major Adam Wojack explains, “each commissioning source maintains its own regulatory guideline which governs admissions, training, and other administrative matters.”3 However, with all commissioned officers coming from varying programs, the commissioning end-product of all programs must meet a common goal. That goal is “. . . each graduate possess the character, leadership, integrity, and other attributes essential to a career of exemplary service to the nation.”4
Prior to 2009, attendance at Basic Officer’s Leaders’ Course (BOLC) II served as the next phase in junior officer development. This six week branch-immaterial course strived to challenge and prepare new lieutenants both “physically and mentally. . .with 84 percent of the training conducted … in a tactical or field environment” 5 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) deemed BOLC II
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