News: Fort Carson SGLs train future Army leaders at WLC
Story by Spc. Andrew Ingram
FORT CARSON, Colo. – During the Warrior Leader Course, experienced non-commissioned officers teach junior soldiers skills to effectively lead.
Sgt. 1st Class Travis Platt, a small group leader with the Fort Carson Warrior Leader Course, 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, said SGLs are not interested in making the perfect leader.
“When a soldier graduates from WLC, it doesn’t mean they will be perfect non-commissioned officers, but we will give them the tools to become good ones by giving them basic knowledge and teaching them how to research and find the information they need,” said Platt.
During WLC, soldiers study subject matter ranging from writing NCO evaluation reports to conducting land navigation, with the overall focus on developing well-rounded, competent leaders.
Throughout the course, instructors set the standard for military discipline, serving as an example for students to follow, said Platt.
SGLs inspire strength of character in junior leaders by demonstrating the Army standard in their words and actions, providing an example for their students to exemplify when they have soldiers of their own, he said.
“We try to instill discipline in them by showing them the way we act and treat them is the way they should act and treat their Soldiers,” he said.
Platt explained having only two weeks to mentor each class, the instructors must exemplify strong leadership qualities and push their students to become decisive and disciplined leaders.
The WLC instructors’ believe their lessons should extend beyond the schoolhouse to the Army, said Staff Sgt. Daniel Cummings, small group leader, Fort Carson Warrior Leader Course, 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute.
“When we talk to one young soldier, we do more than instill the confidence to be a good leader in them,” explained Cummings, a health care specialist. “They will pass on the skills we give them to their subordinates, and use the skills (we give them) to interact with their soldiers in an effective manner.”
Perhaps more important than the classes, soldiers learn the importance of time management and organization, said Spc. Mark Campbell, infantryman, Company A, 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
“It built up my mental endurance, taught me how to power through … and accomplish the mission,” said Campbell, who earned recognition as Distinguished Honor Graduate of Fort Carson WLC Class 12-007.
The course also provides the soldiers a chance to experience Army operations from a leadership standpoint, he said.
“I spent a week as the student first sergeant, and that really put things in a different perspective for me,” he said. “A leader’s first priority is to look after those under them, and I think that is a principle that will serve me well in my military career, and later, when I re-enter the civilian world.”
Fort Carson boasts the first multi-component WLC with Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard component soldiers working together to serve and mentor junior leaders from throughout the Mountain division states.
“It is a really great experience getting to serve with soldiers from all of the different components,” Cummings said. “We are all working toward a common goal – to train the future leaders of our Army.”