Fort McCoy News October 10, 2014

NCOA trains Warrior Leaders

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

More than 100 students and 20 staff members from the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) participated in a situational training exercise (STX) on Fort McCoy's South Post in late September.

Photo for NCOA article
A Warrior Leader Course student from the Staff Sgt. Todd R.
Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy participates in a
situational training exercise Sept. 22 at a range on Fort McCoy's
South Post.

The students and staff were part of the Warrior Leader Course (WLC). According to the course description at the Army Training Requirements and Resources System, WLC training "provides the Army with a leader who can visualize, describe and execute squad-level operations in varied operational environments." The leader course "produces a predictive, adaptive and innovative combat leader capable of leading Soldiers in any situation."

The course description is based on today's contemporary operational environment and reinforces all small-unit tactics, techniques, and procedures. WLC also incorporates recent lessons learned, battle drills and Army Warrior Tasks. A 36-hour STX is part of the three-week course. Although the STX centers on competency and battle-focused combat scenarios, WLC Instructor Staff Sgt. Turner Bock said the main emphasis is on troop-leading procedures.

"In this tactical field training exercise, our students put together everything they've learned about troop leading and connect that learning with a scenario where they lead fellow Soldiers," Bock said. "As instructors, we then evaluate the students on their ability to be those leaders."

WLC students experienced scenarios requiring them to navigate various types of terrain to include roadways, forested areas, prairie land and steep hills.

"As part of the training, the students use their land-navigation skills where they use a map, protractor and compass, and determine routes to complete missions," Bock said.

Photo for NCOA article
Warrior Leader Course students from the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy train on troop-leading procedures as part of a situational training exercise at a range on Fort McCoy's South Post.

Students also learn more about the steps in military decision-making, such as issuing a warning order and movement as well as reconnoitering.

"Once training on troop-leading procedures gets through a practice phase, we then give evaluations," said WLC Instructor Staff Sgt. John Hoffman. Successful student evaluation centers on their ability to demonstrate troop-leading procedures in scenarios that enhance their 360-degree assessment.

During the STX, students were split into different groups to train at various range areas on South Post.

"We had multiple missions and scenarios going on at the same time," Bock said.

"When we are training in the field, there is always a lot going on."

WLC is one of several courses taught at the NCOA. The Fort McCoy NCOA is one of 33 Armywide — four Reserve, 15 active duty and 14 National Guard. It falls under the command of the U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center at Fort Knox, Ky.

The NCOA was activated at Fort McCoy in 1988. It was dedicated and named after Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, an Army Reserve Soldier from Menomonee Falls, Wis., who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.