Noncommissioned Officer Academy tour showcases training excellence

The Noncommissioned Officers Academy tour attendees observe a terrain board demonstration Aug. 3 as part of the Army Central Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium. (Photos by Lindsay Marchello)

The Noncommissioned Officers Academy tour attendees observe a terrain board demonstration Aug. 3 as part of the Army Central Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium.

By Lindsay Marchello, Bayonet & Saber /

Attendees of the Army Central Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium spent the morning of Aug. 3 touring the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, which included the Basic Leaders Course and Armor Advanced Leaders Course.

Representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan observed a terrain board demonstration, a class A uniform inspection, a map reading class and drill and ceremony.

Representatives from a variety of countries attend a tour of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Aug. 3 as part of Army Central Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium. (Photos by Lindsay Marchello)

Representatives from a variety of countries attend a tour of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Aug. 3 as part of Army Central Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium. (Photos by Lindsay Marchello)

“You will get the opportunity to see how they (the students) interact in the classroom, on the field or in practical exercise, and how one complements the other,” Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Ames, the NCO academy commandant said to the tour attendees.

The attendees were given the opportunity to interact with the students and the Cadre during the tour. First Sgt. Sean McCracken, NCO academy, discussed with the attendees about how NCO academy students learn to handle variation in terrain and implement reconnaissance strategies.

“Towards the end of the (Armor Advanced Leaders Course), before the students go to the field training exercise, they will run through the entire mission on the terrain board and be graded on everything,” said McCracken.

The most critical area of evaluation for NCO academy students is how they react to different situations in the field, explained McCracken.

Sgt. Ahmed Fathy, Egyptian Army, explained that he believes the ARCENT Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Symposium will help improve his army’s doctrine.

“Learning how others train their forces will help develop how I train my soldiers,” said Fathy. “Getting to see the infrastructure here is perfect.”

Fathy explained that when he returns home he will write a report of what he has learned at the symposium and draft suggestions based on the experience he has had.

“The most important takeaway we’d like you (the attendees) to get today is the way we bring the Soldiers into the institutions to train them for the job in the operational force and send them back to do that job,” said Ames. “Once they are ready to advance to the next level of leadership, we take them back into the academy, teach them those skillsets and send them back out into the force. It is a constant learning cycle.”

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