Army ILE: Intermediate Level Education

In today’s post, I would like to discuss the Army ILE Program also known as Intermediate Level Education.  For the most part, we will focus on the course for USAR and ARNG Officers, but we will also provide an overview of the program and talk about the enrollment process, information covered, and course requirements.  Let’s get started.

Once you reach the rank of Major, you will need to attend and graduate the Army ILE Course, before you will become eligible for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.  Most Majors spend 4-8 years as a Major, so it would be in your best interest to complete this course as soon as possible.  In fact, once you reach the rank of Major, you should sit down and develop a game-plan covering what jobs you want to have as a Major and when you will attend the Army ILE Course.  Failure to do this is poor career management.  Remember, it’s your job to manage your career if you want to advance in rank.

History of the Army Intermediate Level Course

The Army ILE Program is fairly new.  Prior to the creation of the course in 2002, the Army utilized the Command and General Staff College.  In 2002, this program was launched and rolled out in full force in 2005.  Back in the day, only half of all Army Majors from each year group were selected for the CGSC Program.  Now, all Army Majors must attend and graduate Army ILE before they can get promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Quick Facts about Army ILE

I wanted to take a moment and provide a few quick facts and information tidbits about the course.  These are just a few things you should know up front.

  • Active Duty Officers attend the resident training at Fort Leavenworth
  • Reserve and ARNG Officers typically take the non-resident course
  • It is the third tier of the Officer Education System
  • You have 18 months to complete the course, from the time you first sign up
  • Distance Learning (Internet) option consists of three phases, all of which are conducted online
  • The Army School System (TASS) consists of online classes and classroom time
  • The course is designed to prepare Majors for the next ten years of their career
  • Most officers complete the course in about 14 months
  • You must graduate this course to be eligible for promotion to LTC

How to Sign Up for Army ILE?

You can learn more about the course in ATRRS.  The course number is 701-1-250-ILE.  I recommend that you sit down with your Readiness NCO or unit S3 Training NCO to get enrolled.  They will login to ATRRS and show you your options.  You can pick the one that is best for you.  In addition, you must have already completed your Captain’s Career Course or 2nd tier education requirements.  Once you are signed up for ILE, your unit can print you orders for the course.  I also recommend you take a few moments to determine which course (internet or classroom) works best for you.

For most Reserve and Army National Guard Officers, the classroom course is the best option.  I’ve found that many officers drop out of the internet portion because they can’t stay focused.  I’m not saying that to discourage you in any way though.  On the other hand, the major downside of the classroom ILE is that you will probably have to do two drill weekends each month for 9-12 months; one for your ILE and one with your unit.  Most units won’t let you miss 9-12 months of drill weekend to attend a school, especially if you are in a leadership position.

In addition, it might be in your best interest to sit down with your chain of command ahead of time, so you can discuss your career goals and develop a game-plan that supports your unit goals, and still lets you attend ILE.

What Will I Learn in the Intermediate Level Education Course?

You will learn how to be a Brigade level staff officer and higher.  You will learn a lot about the strategic level in the Army.  You will write papers, have discussion groups, take tests and challenge yourself.  You will get instruction in many aspects of strategic, operational and tactical leadership.  You will also learn about Force Management, Military Leadership and much more.  One of the best things about the course is the “fellowship” with your peers.  I consider this aspect of the course just as beneficial as the instruction.  You will be able to rub elbows with other successful Majors and form long-term professional relationships with them.

Final Thoughts

The Army ILE Course is a very important course for any new Army Majors.  At this moment in time, all Majors must graduate ILE in order to get promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  The course itself is tough, time consuming and very challenging.  It will probably be the most difficult military school you’ve had to complete during your part-time military career.  However, the information you learn, the friendships you build and the time sacrifices you make will help you become a better, more proficient Army Officer.

What are your experiences with Army ILE? Do you have any questions? Please post them below.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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37 thoughts on “Army ILE: Intermediate Level Education”

  1. Just finished the course in 12 months time.
    1) Quizzes-just knock them out. They are easy. Only 10 questions per quiz. Take good notes before quiz.

    2) Brush up on essay writing. Essays aren’t long, but they want you to write at a graduate level standard.

    3) Set a schedule. It is easy to lose track of time, but if you stay focused you will eventually finish.

    4) Don’t rely on the Tutor lab to help. I forgot the ladies name at the school, but she was as useless as a sack of potatoes if you had any questions on essay writing.

    1. Happy Veterans Day! I just started ILE (DL) this month…can I reach out to you directly (Johnny) and ask you some questions?

  2. Jeffrey Russell

    I read that you have to have under 15 years of service to attend ILE. Is that true? I’m a National Guard Officer if that matters.

  3. Christopher Tebo

    I would like to start by mentioning that I am lucky to have stumbled on this forum. Thanks a lot Chuck for creating the forum. It has helped tremendously in answering some of my questions about the ILE course. However, I do have another question. Is it a requirement that someone must be already promoted to the rank of major before he or she can attend the course? I would like to attend the course, but I am still a captain .

      1. The Command and General Staff College and their information can be located at the CAC website:

        You will find specific information for Intermediate Level Education under the “Command and General Staff School (CGSS)” Tab located to the right of the screen.
        CGSC not only oversees CGSS but also oversees School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) and School for Command Preparation (SCP). More information can be found on the website located above.

        For more information on the Department of Distance Education (i.e. – Distributed Learning, TASS, or AOC (Advanced Operations Course)) please visit the website below:

        If you have access to a CAC enabled computer you may access the following website for further information about DDE. There is a lot of great information here. Even if you don’t find what you are looking for, there will be a number to someone who can help you find the answers.:

        Chuck is correct to say – YOU MUST GET WITH YOUR unit ATRRS operator or HRC assignment officer or your branch manager when trying to get a reservation or decide if you need AOC or have credentialing credit from elsewhere. An A1 application would need to be submitted through ATRRS in order to receive a “seat” for DL or TASS (each phase) and/or AOC. Keep in mind things change, contacts change, information/policy can change. With that said it is always best to go to the SOURCE (in this instance – the Schoolhouse/POC’s of DDE) for the most current information.

        1. I completed Phase 1 (50%) of CGSC back in 2004. I ahd a break in serice and now need ot take ILE. How do I found out about the credntialing credit for CGSC?

    1. Hello. I know that you can take the DL course as a Captain if you meet the prerequisites listed in ATTRS. I am a CPT in the National Guard and just got enrolled in phase 1.

  4. Can and how do you submit for pay and/or points if you are completing CGSC via Distance Learning? I relaize there are 1380s, but I am DIMA and it seems that no one knows the answer. How do you adjudicate the number of hours? Also, I had completed two phases of the my CCC as a TPU Reservist and want to submit for those long hours of coursework at night as well.


  5. Completed ILE in 2013 (3 Phases DL). Is the Advanced operation course they do at CGSC part of or a supplement to the DL program of instruction?

  6. Although I am not of a military background myself, nor do I know many who are (save one friend – just completed OCS in the Navy and is on the USS JPJ as I write this), I think a lot of the education the military offers is left in the background in discussions. There’s a lot to be learned, and the various schools encompass this notion.

  7. I started CGSC and did not complete it during the alloted time. I am currently on Retired Reserve. I would like to return to TPU status and just learned that I was up for LTC prior to retiring. What is the process for attending CGSC and is it required prior to returning to Reserve status?

  8. Michael Jensen

    this is an old thread, but hopefully someone is still watching it. Anyone know where to find a list of ILE drill locations?

      1. You can find course dates by going through AKO into the My Training Self-service tab and bring up ATTRS. Search the upcoming FY list for each phase. You can see dates and available seats but your unit Training NCO will need to apply for the slot. Hope this helps. Good luck!

      2. Go to ATTRS and put in the following course number 701-1-250-ILE . Click on phase II and you can see them.

  9. Elaine Bower

    I just completed ILE myself–great course! They also put out that it will no longer be called ILE but will revert back to CGSC. Effective, as we were told in class, immediately. Go figure!


  10. I graduated from the CGSC course more than 15 years ago and really enjoyed it. I thought it did a great job preparing me for staff jobs at the Brigade level and higher. We did lots of research, briefings, presentations and public speaking.

  11. Major Holmes,

    Are NG Major’s afforded the opportunity to attend the resident ILE often? (I’m thinking probably not). I have had the fortune to attend the resident CCC, and would like the opportunity to attend my next OES (ILE) as well. I realize it takes quite a bit of funding to do this for a Major, but it never hurts to ask (which is what I will be doing shortly – I’m newly promoted). On my last two OER’s, my senior rater even requested it! (although I realize that that’s just a recommendation). Thanks in advance!


    1. David,

      It can happen, but it is very, very rare. Normally, it would be one the AGR folks, not an M-Day/TPU Officer, who get to attend the resident ILE. Most states only send 1-2 people to the resident course per year (if they even do that much). It never hurts to ask, but it is highly unlikely. Congrats on your recent promotion and thanks for your service.


    2. I’ve been told that if you apply for a resident ILE course in the National Guard and get denied, you are almost certain to get it if you apply the next year. The reasoning is that by the time you are a Major you are probably in your 30s or 40s, likely have a family, likely own a home, and are in the middle of your career. All of those things make if difficult to pick up and go to a resident course for almost a year. Bottom line is that you will probably not face a lot of competition for those few slots.

  12. Katelyn Hensel

    Excellent post. I never knew the amount of extensive steps required in order to obtain the promotion to Lieutenant Colonel .

    Just a quick question…
    Do you know what prompted the change from the Command and General Staff College to the Army ILE Program? Was it just a matter of setting standards or was there a problem with the previous form of educating leaders?

    1. Katelyn,

      No, I’m not really sure why the Army change the Command and General Staff College to the Intermediate Level Education course. If I had to take a stab at it, I’d bet that it’s because of the way the Army changed it’s tactics and infrastructure with the Force XXI model. When we went to the modular brigades things changed a bit. That’s my best guess why I changed. Hopefully, someone else can chime in here and share their thoughts.


  13. Thanks for the information about Army ILE Chuck. I will be finishing Company Command in a few months and will be eligible for promotion to the rank of Major in about four months. I want to complete ILE as quickly as possible, once I make major. I prefer to do the one weekend a month class, rather than doing everything online. Do you know what I need to do to sign up for the course in ATRRS?


    1. Good for you, Dan. After you finish Company Command I would recommend taking six months off to relax and collect your thoughts. Yes, you’ll still have your drill weekend, but I wouldn’t recommend anything else. Take some family time and relax. After that, you can get back in the swing of things with your military education. Just my thoughts.


  14. I completed the Army ILE last year and have to tell you it was a great course. I did everything online. It was tough at times, managing my job, family life and military responsibilities, but I got it done. Fortunately, I won’t have another school to do for a few years.


    1. Good for you, Harold. How much time did you spend on your classes each week? Did you have a set time every night to work on your ILE Course? I would love to know what worked for you. Most people I talk to who take the Internet portion never finish it.


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