News: Wolverine Leader Course: US, ANA combined training
1st Lt. Jason A. Sexton
1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan - Afghan National Army soldiers assigned to 1st Kandak, 2nd Luwa, 203rd Corps, U.S. Army soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Wolverine, 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade and U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 864th Engineer Battalion, Joint Base Lewis McCord, Wash., took part in the Wolverine’s Leaders Course held at FOB Sharana, April 10 and 11.
“WLC is not only for U.S. junior leaders but our partnered Kandaks as well,” said Sgt. 1st Class Julius Moton, assigned to TF Wolverine. “We teach these soldiers about troop leading procedures, pre-combat checks and inspections with the hopes that they teach other soldiers and noncommissioned officers making their units better.”
The course was engineered by Moton and U.S. Army 1st Lt. Andrew McCoy, both assigned to TF Wolverine. It was created to teach all soldiers small unit tactics and TLPs, enhancing their overall mission readiness.
The course closed its third iteration with 13 of 15 U.S. and ANA soldiers successfully completing the training.
“The first iteration was mostly learning operations orders and TLPs; the course has evolved by adding more physical events and realistic training. Now the soldiers actually conduct pre-combat checks, inspections, TLPs and executing partnered dismounted patrols around FOB Sharana,” said Moton.
U.S. Army Sgt. Adam Gramenga, a mortar man assigned to 1st Platoon, Troop C, TF Wolverine, and the most senior soldiers attending the course praised what he learned during the two days.
“I came in with a biased opinion of the class, being a seasoned soldier and it only being two days long, but I now have a whole new appreciation for it,” said Gramenga. “Not only will I send every single one of my guys to it, I will try to go through it again myself. It’s interesting to see the minute difference that each leader has, that, in turn, makes us all that much better, that much more effective in combat and leadership, in general.”
But, U.S. soldiers were not the only ones that learned valuable lessons from the training.
“The course was very well done and informative, we learned a lot. We can now teach our soldiers, our province and our Kandak the things that we have learned from our partners” said a sergeant from the 1st Kandak. He said the small arms range was interesting, learning first aid, checking for improvised explosive devices, and how to conduct formations and tactical movement were very helpful.
The fourth iteration of WLC is scheduled for late April. Currently, U.S. soldiers and ANA soldiers from several different units are applying for admission into the 15 person course.
“In the end, we are dedicated to every small unit leader in TF Wolverine, validating their ability to prepare for missions down to the smallest detail,” said McCoy. “We are looking forward to our Kandak partners leading U.S. small unit leaders’ through their own leader’s course, strengthening both our forces.”