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More schools teaching BNCOC 
and ANCOC common core

By Jim Caldwell, Army News Service

       FORT MONROE, Va. - More schools in The Army School System (TASS) are teaching or soon will be teaching the stand-alone common core for basic and advanced NCO courses (BNCOC and ANCOC).

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Dore, an ANCOC instructor for the Fort McCoy NCO Academy, emphasizes a point with the students in a recent course. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Dore, an ANCOC instructor for the Fort McCoy NCO Academy, emphasizes a point with the students in a recent course. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      "Expanding throughout TASS gives even more soldiers the opportunity to complete the common core phase of BNCOC and ANCOC at or near their home installations," said Sgt. Maj. Steve Merrill, chief of the NCO branch for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training (DCST) at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

      Forts Lewis, Wash., and Huachuca, Ariz., and the South Carolina Army National Guard at Eastover, S.C., originally piloted this course in the summer of 2000, according to Master Sgt. Dennis Martinson, Fort McCoy NCO Academy ANCOC and BNCOC course manager. Several active-component schools started instructing it in October 2000.

Students in a BNCOC at the McCoy NCO Academy do small group practical exercises. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Students in a BNCOC at the McCoy NCO Academy do small group practical exercises. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      The U.S. Army Reserve NCO Academy at Fort Lewis, Wash., was scheduled to begin teaching the stand-alone common core in classes beginning in early January.

       The 3747th U.S. Army Reserve Multifunctional Training Brigade (Europe), Graffenwoehr, Germany, starts classes later this month.

        In May, the NCO Academy in Alaska and the 25th Infantry Division NCO Academy, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, will enter the pilot program and begin teaching the common core.

        All branch-specific NCO academies were teaching common core basic leadership tasks as Phase 1 for both BNCOC and ANCOC courses as of last October.  Soldiers must pass this Phase I before taking the military occupational specialty-specific Phase II in residence.

      "NCOs selected by Personnel Command to attend BNCOC and ANCOC may take the stand-alone common core at any location that teaches it, regardless of military occupational specialty, as long as it's within 50 miles of where they're stationed," Merrill said.

           Soldiers will not be reimbursed for mileage if they elect to take the common core at or near their home installation.

      "If  I'm an infantry soldier stationed at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., I have the alternative to take the BNCOC or ANCOC stand-alone common core at Fort Huachuca.  Then I can go to my Phase II at Fort Benning, Ga.," said Jeffrey Coliman, senior military analyst in DCST's personnel proponent directory.

      That means that it will be two less weeks a soldier must be away from the family, Coliman said.  It also will be two less weeks for which the Army won't have to pay temporary duty costs to send the soldier to his or her branch school.

BNCOC/ANCOC offers options at McCoy

      The Fort McCoy NCO Academy has offered the BNCOC and ANCOC stand-alone common core courses since December 2000, said Master Sgt. Dennis Martinson, Fort McCoy NCO Academy ANCOC and BNCOC course manager.

      Martinson said a big advantage for soldiers and their units is that unlike active-component schools, the Fort McCoy NCO Academy teaches the courses in 12 consecutive days (no weekends off), while the active-component schools don't have instruction on weekends.

             Having active-component personnel take the course at the McCoy NCO Academy allows units to get these soldiers back to do their jobs sooner, Martinson  said.

      Martinson said the student population who needs the courses has been sufficient so that the wider availability of the courses has not affected attendance at the McCoy NCO Academy courses to date.

      "The additional courses have given soldiers more convenience in choosing where to attend the training," he said.

      Soldiers also have the opportunity to attend a branch school of another military occupational specialty (MOS) for Phase II BNCOC or ANCOC on the same installation.

      To do so, an NCO must have been selected to attend ANCOC or BNCOC by Army Personnel Command, Army National Guard or Army Reserve personnel.  The school also must have room in a class.

      At Fort McCoy, BNCOC and ANCOC training opportunities in CMF 63 (maintenance) are offered at Regional Training Site-Maintenance, according to RTS-Maintenance Commandant Maj. Timothy Norton.

      "This allows the students to do all the training at one place and cuts down on their TDY travel," Norton said. "The students also can get back to their units quicker and are trained and ready to do their assigned duties."

      "The interesting aspect of the stand-alone common core training in Europe is that it will be done by distance learning," Coliman said.  "It will be broadcast through video teletraining from Graffenwoehr to several locations in Germany and to other locations in Europe, such as Vicenza, Italy."

      Merrill also said active soldiers can only take the stand-alone common core at reserve-component schools when the training is conducted as a two-week block of instruction. 

      More TASS schools will be added each year so that by 2004 the stand-alone common core will be taught in schools convenient to nearly every soldier, TRADOC officials said.

      "The Army School System is one system, one standard, so every soldier taking the stand-alone common core will receive identical training no matter which school he or she attends," Merrill said.

(Editor's note: Jim Caldwell writes for the TRADOC News Service.)

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