Army Aviation BOLC: 14 Cool Facts

Have you considered becoming an aviator in the United States Army? It is the pilots of helicopters and other aircraft that have aided ground forces in many ways. Joining the one of the elite units that supply help from the skies can be a magnificent career path.

In today’s post, we are going to provide 14 cool facts about Army Aviation BOLC. Scroll down and learn.


The United States Army is full of acronyms. BOLC is an acronym that stands for Basic Officer Leaders Course. All pilots of Army aircraft must either be commissioned officers or warrant officers. This course builds those officer leadership capabilities.

2: BOLC Location

Army Aviation BOLC takes place at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

3: Before BOLC

As you will see in #4, warrant officers will be learning with commissioned officers. Before that, commissioned officers either receive training via ROTC and Officer Candidate School. Warrant officers attend Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC). These are both considered the first levels of BOLC.

4: Togetherness

The Aviation BOLC combines commissioned officers with warrant officers together. This second phase of BOLC combines the commissioned officers with the warrant officers.

5: New Home

Those soldiers who choose to take on Army Aviation BOLC will be given a new home. It is called PCS or Permanent Change of Station. Because of the time involved with Aviation BOLC, and the other training involved with becoming an Army Aviator, the PCS will be Fort Rucker, Alabama. Fort Rucker. Or Mother Rucker as many call this base, will be your new home for a long time.

6: First 3-4 Weeks of BOLC

The first 3 to 4 weeks of BOLC will be classroom academic material. You will want to take notes and study the material you learn during these academic sessions. Some of the material will cover such subjects as:

  • CVID (Combat Vehicle Identification)

  • CAB (Combat Aviation Brigade) formation

  • Attack tactics

  • Recon tactics

  • Logistics

  • and more

7: The Field

After all the academic pleasure, the BOLC course moves to the field for approximately 1 week. During that week, there will be shooting range exercises, and soldiers will participate in simulated convoys. These convoys simulate such things as ambush attacks, IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), and other things that can occur during war. Students will be graded on how well they maintained communications and followed the prescribed Army way. It is about planning and acting on that plan, after all, that is what being an Army officer is all about.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Army Aviation History: Top 13 Amazing Facts
  2. Army Aviation Flight School: Cool Things You Should Know About It
  3. 166th Aviation Brigade: 24 Amazing Facts

8: Combatives

There will be several days of combatives training. A soldier must be able to handle themselves well when faced with hand to hand combat situations. As an Army Aviator, there have been situations when pilots had to use their knives, hands and brain to fight their way out of situations and escape the enemy. Combatives are an important part of BOLC.

9: OPD

The last part of BOLC is called OPD (Officer Professional Development). This is more classroom items that cover the finer nuances of being an Army officer. You will also tour the airfields and be able to relax slightly. Don’t relax too much though.

10: Study Is Important

I cannot reiterate enough how important study is in Aviation BOLC. During those first few weeks in the classroom, you will be required to take 4 exams that can “make or break” your aviator career. I will explain what those exams are in the next area, but make sure and study. If you fail a test, you retake it and no matter how you do, you get a 70 and that is not good.

11: The Exams

I mentioned that there are 4 exams. The exams are:

  1. Aviation Tactics

  2. Maintenance and Sustainment

  3. Combat Vehicle Identification (CVID)

  4. Combined Arms Doctrine

12: Your Air Frame

While you may desire to fly a Blackhawk or Chinook, you really will not know what Army Air Frame you will be awarded with until you complete all training. Keep this in mind during BOLC, because your overall grade from BOLC will account for approximately 30% of the decision factor on which air frame you are trained on.

13: Physical

You may have taken a Class 1 Flight Physical before your move to Mother Rucker, but that really doesn’t count. You will be given another Class 1 Flight Physical at Fort Rucker, and it will decide if you are fit enough to be an Army pilot.

14: Join Them

Completing Army Aviation BOLC is the first step in joining the ranks of some of these famous Army aviators:

General Jimmy Doolittle

This famous Army Air Force pilot earned the Medal of Honor when he led the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan during World War II.

Brigadier General Chuck Yeager

The first pilot to break the speed of sound.

First Lieutenant Bob Hoover

They claim Bob is the best pilot who ever lived. He pushed planes to the limit.

Brigadier General Charles Lindbergh

We often hear about his son being kidnapped, but “Lucky Lindbergh” made the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris.

Final Thoughts

Aviation is a great career path, and what better way to follow that career than to take Army Aviation BOLC?

We would love to hear from any of you who have completed Aviation BOLC. Tell us more and where you have ended up.

If you have any questions or comments, you can post them below. Thank you for visiting.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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