WHINSEC Captains graduate, 13 earn German Army Proficiency Badge
By Lee Rials, Public Affairs, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation /
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Nov. 3, 2016) – The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s Maneuver Captains Career Course Class completed 23 weeks of study with a graduation ceremony Nov 3. at the Institute.
Col. David G. Fivecoat, Director of the Training and Doctrine Directorate at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, addressed the students, urging them to make full use of what they learned, stay as physically fit as possible, and lead their units with enthusiasm.
The 30 students in the class represented seven nations: Belize, Costa Rica and Panama in Central America, Colombia and Uruguay in South America, the Dominican Republic on the isle of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, and the United States.
During the ceremony, 13 students who had competed for and earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency during an event offered by the German Army Liaison team to MCoE received their badges and certificates. (295 other Fort Benning Soldiers also earned the German badge.)
WHINSEC’s course is the same course as the MCoE offers (taught in Spanish) and uses classrooms in the Maneuver Center’s McGinnis-Wickam Hall next to the English-language courses. It is accredited by the Army’s Training & Doctrine Command so that U.S. Army Captains who speak Spanish and who may use the language in future assignments can attend. Completion of the course satisfies their requirement for Military
Education Level “F” (MEL-F) certification.
Proving that language does not have to be a barrier to cooperation, WHINSEC’s students participated in a major field exercise with the MCoE students, and later a terrain-model exercise of rehearsing for a military operation. The Institute’s Translation Division provided interpreters for both events.
Because the course is preponderantly non-U.S., there are some additional events during the six months to stress U.S. culture, customs and traditions especially emphasizing commitment to human rights and support for democracy.
The class began with study of human rights, ethics, and democratic values, and participated in several trips to various sites including Washington, DC, Atlanta, Ga, the Andersonville National Historic Site and Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.