2 Apr 2007

PR# 2007-259

Leading the way: ANA graduates 86 from pre-NCO course

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A graduation ceremony was held at Camp Shirzai, near Kandahar, for soldiers of the Afghan National Army who successfully completed a Team Leadership Course (TLC), March 29.  The TLC is a required developmental course for ANA soldiers to become a non-commissioned officers. Eighty-six ANA soldiers serving in the 205th “Hero” Corps received their certificates and took the next step to becoming NCOs in the ANA.

During the three-week course, U.S. and British soldiers trained and advised ANA instructors on tactical situations and how to survive in a field environment. The ANA instructors then trained ANA soldiers under the supervision and evaluation of the U.S. and British soldiers.

Maj Gen Rhamullah Raoufi, commander of the 205th “Hero” Corps, was the guest speaker for the ceremony and praised the U.S. and British soldiers for their efforts.  “We are thankful for the United States, United Kingdom and other countries that are here to teach and support us,” said Raoufi.

“Your teachers helped you successfully complete the Team Leadership Course and I am very happy that you have done well,” he said to the graduates.  Raoufi also reminded the graduates they are the future of the ANA.  If they work hard, they will be in positions of command in the future.

“We must be powerful because the people of Afghanistan are counting on us. By graduating this course you help the ANA become more professional,” Raoufi said.  “You are young and your minds are fresh; this is a good time to learn and improve your performance,” he added.

The commander also told the soon-to-be NCOs it is part of their duty to train soldiers using the knowledge they have acquired.

The ANA students receive training in several areas of soldiering throughout the course. They spend the first 10 days learning how to mentor, motivate and discipline soldiers, as well as learning rank structure, customs and courtesies. The rest of the course focuses on battlefield tactics, like moving under fire as a team, moving in battle as a squad, checking for vehicle-borne improvised explosive devises at a check point and cooking in the field.

Sgt Sabar, 205th “Hero” Corp, is proud to be a graduate of the course.  “I learned how to take care of my fellow soldiers,” Sabar said. “I was happy to complete the course and hope I will be able to lead the soldiers working under me.”

Staff Sgt. Victor Colon-Rosa, an American adviser serving on the mobile training team, based at the Kabul Military Training Center, says the students of the 205th “Hero” Corps did an outstanding job.  He has taught many of these courses at Kabul, but he said, “This was my first class at Shirzai; these soldiers were the best I have seen so far.”

“I see a lot of good leaders already in this group. I see five to seven good leaders that could make a platoon sergeant and there are a lot of good squad leaders here,” he said.

Colon-Rosa also stated that this is the result of three weeks of hard work and training.  “Today you see the results with 86 soldiers graduating. It is unreal to graduate that many from this type of course,” he said.  Colon-Rosa noted most courses start with 120 - 130 students, with only 25 - 30 students graduating.  Most of the failures in the course are due to discipline problems or for missing more than three days of training.

Colon-Rosa also expressed his pride for the new graduates.  “I am extremely proud of this class, especially because I came to realize about this group is about 80 percent of them are privates,” Colon Rosa said. “Those are the ones that will make the future of this army. I hope and pray that they take what they have learned here, apply it to the battlefield, and teach other soldiers that have not been through the training.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
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