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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
the career path of professional mili-
tary development. During BOLC,
officers first learn skills common to all
Army officers. The final part of
BOLC covers specific technical and
tactical skills associated with each
specialty or branch (Artillery, In-
fantry, Engineer, etc.), such as how to
operate a tank, how to maneuver an
infantry platoon, or how to fly a heli-
Participants then learn the skills necessary to train
and lead other soldiers. In their first assignment as pla-
toon leaders, they will each be responsible for develop-
ing, training and leading 16 to 45 soldiers as a unit that
can effectively operate in a tactical combat environment
with full mastery of their weapon systems.
After about three years in an operational unit, offi-
cers are promoted to the rank of captain and return to
school for the 24-week Captains Career Course. Com-
pletion of the CCC, combined with
platoon leader experience, prepares
officers for greater responsibility: as
company commanders, they will each
be responsible for 100 to 120 troops.
Beginning at about the junior captain
level, while they are still working to
master their technical branch skills,
each officer is also expected to begin,
as an apprentice, to develop as a
combined arms officer. The essential
task is integrating and synchronizing all the branches of
the Army to sustain land operations in any mission.
A key concept of land warfare is integrating the com-
bat power of several different weapon systems and tech-
nical branch skills in time and space to achieve a military
objective. In addition to being able to lead their own
units effectively, an NCO, warrant officer or commis-
sioned officer must thoroughly understand how the
Army works and fights as a combined arms team. They
State must develop
leaders from within
who have the right mix
of experience and
professional education.