Another Class of Iraqi
Civil Defense Corps Ready to Lead
By Sgt. Susan German. 122nd MPAD
– The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps officially welcomed its NCO
“backbone” during graduation ceremonies for the first
Primarily Leadership Development Course March 11.
Civil Defense Corps soldiers celebrate the completion of
the inaugural Primary Leadership Development Course with
one of their instructors, dill sergeant Staff Sgt. Carlos
The NCOs completed
the first class of the Primary Leadership Development Course conducted
in Iraq by the United States Army.
was held at the Camp Muleskinner, which is home to the 2nd Armored
Cavalry Regiment’s Support Squadron. The regiment is part
of Task Force 1st Armored Division.
sixteen ICDC soldiers participated in the historic ceremony. The
program followed the U.S. Army’s traditional ceremonial
sequence of events.
It began with
the arrival of the official party, which included members of the
cadre, as well as guest speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bush,
1st Armored Division command sergeant major.
the national anthems of the United States and Iraq, the new noncommissioned
officers recited the NCO creed and charge in their native language.
are the history makers of this great country,” Bush told
He and Master
Sgt. Johnny McKenzie, the NCO academy commandant, presented diplomas
to the soldiers. As they walked through a receiving line, their
chevrons were “wetted down,” following an NCO tradition.
and Doctrine Command drill sergeants from Fort Sill, Okla., led
the trainees through a 113-hour program of instruction (POI).
The course focused on six areas: leadership, communication skills,
maintenance, professional skills, military training and military
studies. Emphasis was placed on leadership and professional skills.
a strict training schedule, the Iraqi soldiers practiced drill
and ceremony and conducted physical training during the two-week
course. Every classroom had an interpreter and instructional slides
were presented in both English and Arabic. Soldiers were required
to take a written exam and also received periodic counseling to
evaluate their progress.
course was opened up to soldiers serving in senior leadership
positions such as platoon sergeant through sergeant major. Attendees
were recommended for the course by their U.S. Army partners. Most
served in leadership positions to prepare them for attendance
in the class. Medical screening and background checks were conducted
before soldiers reported for class.
general theme of the course was “BE KNOW DO.” Three
simple words that the (Iraqi) Soldiers could speak, are easy to
remember and when you apply the concept to the NCO corps, that’s
what we expect,” said Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, the 1AD
operations section sergeant major (G3).
sergeants said they were pleased with the progress made by their
students. They learned basic commands in Arabic, but depended
on interpreters to relay their messages. Drill sergeant Staff
Sgt. Richard George said the cadre ensured that commands were
understood correctly was through repetition of every task.
that the ICDC soldiers had for their instructors became evident
during the post-ceremony celebrations. The new NCOs hoisted their
drill sergeants onto their shoulders while chanting traditional
Iraqi cheers and songs as they carried them around the hall.
marked a new beginning for the NCOs and their country as they
assumed leadership positions in their nation’s defense,
very excited about it,” Davenport said. “They’re
very eager to assume their new role.”