In today’s post, I would like to discuss the Army ILE Program also known as Intermediate Level Education. For the most part, I will focus on the course for USAR and ARNG Officers, but I will also provide an overview of the program and discuss the enrollment process, information covered, and course requirements.
Once you achieve the rank of Major, you must attend and graduate the Army ILE Course, before you will become eligible for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Most Majors spend four to seven years as a Major. Ultimately, you should complete the course within your first one to three years as a Major.
The sooner you can enroll and complete Army ILE the better. In fact, once you are promoted to the rank of Major, you should sit down and develop a game-plan covering what jobs you want to have and determine when you will enroll and attend the Army ILE Course. Don’t leave it to chance and hope your superiors will help you do this!
ILE is the Army’s formal education program for senior captains and majors. ILE consists of a common core of operational instruction offered to all officers, and additional education opportunities tied to the requirements of the officer’s branch or FA. ~ Army Modelling and Simulation Office
Mission & Vision for Army ILE
Here’s a simplified mission and vision statement I found online about ILE.
Mission & Vision
The US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) educates and develops leaders for full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multinational operations and advances the art and science of the profession of arms in support of Army operational requirements.
The CGSC is and will always strive to be an educational center of excellence. We must remain a renowned academic leader in the study of leadership, the conduct of joint and combined
land warfare, and the application of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational organizations to synchronize all elements of power to achieve national objectives. We will continue to support
field commanders with well-trained and well-educated leaders, in depth research in the professional body of knowledge, and reach back capability in support of on-going operations. We will
maintain our world-class dedication to learning and to advancing the professional body of knowledge.
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’d like to take a moment and provide you a few quick facts about the course. These are just a few things you should know up front.
- The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College is a subordinate organization of Army University, within which CGSC is one of three regionally accredited institutions. Army University spans education and training institutions across the Army, and is headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (source).
- 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 you sit down with your Readiness NCO or unit S3 Training NCO to enroll. They will login to ATRRS and show you your options. You can pick the option that is best for you. In addition, you must complete your Captain’s Career Course or 2nd tier education requirements first. Once you are signed up for ILE, your unit can print your orders for the course. I 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. If you enjoy learning via internet instruction, this is your best course of action to take.
On the other hand, the major downside of the classroom ILE is that you will probably 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 Army ILE.
Of all the courses I’ve been to in my 12 years as an Army Officer, I couldn’t have picked a better group of 15 people than I had in my ILE phase 1 class. Such an awesome experience. ~ MAJ via Rally Point
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 rub elbows with other successful Majors and form long-term, professional relationships with them.
The Common Core has five primary “blocks” of instruction:
• C100 (Foundations)
• C200 (Strategic Context of Operational Art)
• C300 (Unified Action)
• C400 (Apply U.S. Army Doctrine)
• C500 (Joint Application of Operational Art)
Those primary blocks are supported by the Guest Speaker Program and three parallel blocks of instruction:
• F100 (Managing Army Change)
• H100 (Rise of the Western Way of War)
• L100 (Developing Organizations and Leaders)
Upon graduation, graduates of ILE possess a warrior ethos and warfighting focus that enable them to lead competently and confidently on Army, Joint, Interagency, and Multinational teams throughout the spectrum of operations. These are graduates who:
- Are prepared to assume warfighting duties immediately upon graduation.
- Possess the competencies and supporting skills and knowledge that enable them to perform duties effectively and help teams achieve organizational objectives.
- Are attuned to the complexities of the operating environment and consider the impact of culture on military operations.
- Take a disciplined approach to meeting organizational and strategic level leadership challenges.
- Are critical and creative thinkers who can adapt and thrive in ambiguous and everchanging environments.
- Are self aware and motivated to continue learning and improving throughout their careers.
There is one ILE class per year; starting in August and ending in June. About 1,200 US military and international officers make up the class. In addition to the ILE curriculum, a graduate masters program exists for students who may qualify to complete a thesis-level research paper and receive a Master of Military Arts and Sciences (M.M.A.S.) degree from the Command and General Staff College. ~ Wikipedia
In conclusion, the Army ILE Course is an important course for Army Majors. Currently, all Majors must graduate ILE in order to get promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The course itself is time consuming and quite 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, and the friendships you build, will help you become a better, more proficient Army Officer.
What are your experiences with Army ILE? Do you have any questions? If so, please post them below. Hooah!