Four Tips to Help You Prepare for the Army Warrior Leader Course

There are few things more exciting than career progression. A huge step for any Soldier is their first promotion into the NCO Corps. One essential piece to this promotion is the completion of Warrior Leader Course, which marks the beginning of Non-Commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES). What should you know to prepare for WLC? What do you even do at WLC? After a brief overview, I will share four tips for preparing for WLC.

WLC used to be called Primary Leadership Development Course. It involves training and evaluation in these areas: Land Navigation, Leadership, Training Management, Map Reading, Drill and Ceremony, and Warfighting. You will also take an APFT and be evaluated on conducting PRT. It is typical to any schoolhouse, where you are evaluated on being in leadership positions and written, and practical tests. WLC is MOS immaterial, and everyone must attend this school if they wish to move up the ranks. Every NCOES course that you pass, you will receive the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, with numerals for each subsequent course passed.

Tip 1: Be Physically Fit!

I don’t know why this needs to be said, but somehow I think it always needs to be reiterated. Any school you go to, you should not be just barely passing the APFT. You should be more than comfortably passing, if not excelling. This will allow for any change in altitude (for example, Oregonians living in the Willamette Valley frequently notice a difference in their run time when they go to Camp Williams, UT). Plus, you as either a newly promoted NCO or a SPC aspiring to become one should be setting the standard for others to follow. You should also be practicing PRT, especially since we don’t really do this in the ARNG. Ask your leadership for a chance to lead a PT session at drill and use PRT. That is the best way to get familiar.

Tip 2: Warrior Tasks – Level 1 Skill proficiency (Previously known as CTT)

You should be an expert in all basic skills. Going to WLC should not be your opportunity to learn them, but to be able to teach them to others. How can you be an NCO if you can’t teach these basic skills to your Soldiers and train them?

Tip 3: Land Nav deserves its own category for preparation

Land Navigation is in a majority of Army schools – from OCS, to BOLC, to NCOES, and of course – it starts at Basic Training. However, it’s a very perishable skill. I haven’t personally trained on it since OCS back in 2010 (our class at BOLC in 2011 was very basic and brief), so I know that I would need to sit through a refresher class before going through any lanes, just to resharpen my skills. If this is you, and for most of you, it is, you should volunteer to teach a Land Nav class at drill. This will ensure you prepare yourself for the class, which will be better than sitting through it yourself.

Tip 4: Know your Drill and Ceremony

We don’t use Drill and Ceremony very much at drill, so it is another skill like Land Nav that may need attention before going in front of others to do it for evaluation purposes. It should be something that comes second nature, you shouldn’t feel nervous or worried about being called to take a formation (whether it is running or marching). Take a little time and practice, so you don’t feel strange when you actually are at WLC.

Final Thoughts 

A lot of the skills at WLC are things we have known since we were Privates. We just need to take the time to brush up on these skills and review them before we report to school. What are your experiences with WLC? Any tips not mentioned here? Share in the comments below.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

Suggested Resources:

  • Drop the Belly Fat Today! Decrease cravings. Lose weight and feel great. Learn how.
  • The # 1 Health Product you need, but haven't heard of before! Get the info.
  • The # 1 Side Hustle for 2024 & Beyond! Daily Pay. Take the free tour.

3 thoughts on “Four Tips to Help You Prepare for the Army Warrior Leader Course”

  1. Sometimes people can’t see the forest for the trees. Knowing how to prep for future career progression is vitally important. There are many who only look at the here and now. Maybe they are not organized enough for forward thinking but everyone needs goals – both large and small – to get through a task. With so much to learn, do, and excel in, your tips are important even if they don’t know where they’re going yet.

  2. It is important to know where you may be weak and work hard in that area.It did amaze me that you would have to tell any soldier to be physically fit, but it is good that you do reiterate that message. I also understand the fact that you can suffer if there are altitude changes. It is always best to be prepared. This is a great website if you are a soldier getting ready to attend this course. Ask questions, as I am sure Candace, Chuck or others will provide some answers.

  3. I think all of these areas will be a challenge for most M-Day Soldiers. We don’t do PT, land nav, drill and ceremony or really any of these things much during drill weekend. If possible, pull aside your Team Leader, Squad Leader or Platoon Sergeant and ask them if they will give you some opportunities to do these things during drill weekend. You could also team up with an experienced NCO and practice these things outside of drill weekend.

    The bottom line is to be prepared. Man up or woman up and accept 100% responsibility for your own success. That’s what it will take to make it through the Warrior Leader Course.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *