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Two posts to support BOLC II

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 25, 2005) -- The Army will transition from the pilot phase of the Basic Officer Leader Course to full implementation in June 2006, senior officials said recently.

BOLC is part of a comprehensive initiative to transform the Officer Education System, which includes officers in the active and reserve components, along with selected special branch officers. Officers will attend BOLC as their initial-entry training.

The Army, in coordination with Training and Doctrine Command, made a decision to conduct BOLC II, the initial-entry field leadership phase, at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Sill, Okla., reducing BOLC II sites from four to two. Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Knox, Ky., will stand-down BOLC II preparation, officials said, to fully support Army initiatives in the transformation to the future force.

The change from four to two sites was made due to the base realignment and closure decision to move the Armor School and the Air Defense School to Fort Benning and Fort Sill, respectively.

OES is being transformed so it better supports the goals of increased readiness, greater relevance of the force and a more Joint and expeditionary Army, officials said.

BOLC has three phases and is designed to ensure a tough, standardized, small-unit leadership experience that flows progressively from each phase. BOLC’s Phase I is the pre-commissioning phase. BOLC I includes training conducted at the U.S. Military Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps and officer candidate schools. USMA, ROTC and the OCSs are revising their curricula to train basic Soldier and leader tasks performed by all lieutenants regardless of the commissioning source.

After lieutenants are commissioned, they go to BOLC II, the initial-entry field-leadership phase. BOLC II is a rigorous seven-week, branch-immaterial course in small-unit leadership and tactics designed to challenge officers physically and mentally. Fort Benning and Fort Sill will host this phase.

Immediately following BOLC II, officers will go to BOLC III, the branch technical phase, to learn the specialized skills, doctrine, tactics and techniques of their assigned branch. Since BOLC III is branch-specific, these courses are taught at the appropriate TRADOC schoolhouse or training center and range from six to 15 weeks. The old style of training at the schools/centers is being revamped to make greater use of experimental training to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the branch-specific course.

Upon graduating from BOLC III, officers will proceed to their first unit or attend more assignment-oriented training, officials said.

(Editor’s note: Information provided by TRADOC.)



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