The Army Senior Leader Course: An Overview

As a Soldier, if you plan to serve in the Army for at least one six-year enlistment, then as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) you will be required to attend and graduate from leadership school courses, particularly if you hope to promote during your time in the Army.  One of these courses may include the Senior Leader Course.  The Army Senior Leader Course (SLC) is the new name of the previous Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course (ANCOC) and is usually taken by Soldiers in the Army who are ranked as Staff Sergeant and Sergeant First Class.  This course is an Army branch-specific course, which teaches E-7 Sergeants First Class the skills that they need to lead and perform technical and tactical abilities needed to lead platoons in their specific field.

About the Army Senior Leader Course

The Senior Leader Course is a part of the Army’s Non-Commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES), which provides courses that non-commissioned officers must complete prior to advancing to a higher rank.  Once a higher-level NCO course is completed, such as SLC, Soldiers are awarded a numeral between 2 and 4 to be pinned on their Professional Development Ribbon from completion of the Warrior Leader Course.

The Army Senior Leader Course is classified as a Professional Development Course.  This course is designed to teach the non-commissioned officer how to apply practical experiences through education.  The emphasis is more on educating the student towards becoming an effective leader and instilling self-confidence in the individual.

This course, the SLC, used to be named the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course.  It is taken at the school for the chosen MOS (military occupational specialty).  For completion of this course, the Soldier is awarded the number 3 and it is added to his or her ribbon.

Why Is The Senior Leader Course Important to the Army?

Through the Senior Leader Course, the program’s goal is to produce leaders who understand the core values of the Army, how to perform duties across all operation spectrums and increase the morale of his or her platoon/squadron.  The idea is to execute the course with the hopes of growing and incorporating quality non-commissioned officers required to lead and educate as leaders.

Leader development is a very important part of the educational sector of the United States Army.  It is the continuous, progressive part that grounds each individual within the Army Values.  Soldiers must strive to continue to grow into confident leaders who are capable of making good and rational decisions.

The Senior Leader Course teaches the non-commissioned officer to operate independently, dynamically and politically despite difficult environments.  The leader must be able to communicate effectively, coordinate other Soldiers and speak across various types of organizations, local leaders, media outlets, civilians and people across the globe.  Within their designated field, the Soldier must remain competent and stay abreast of all the advances, which is why the Senior Leader Course is as important as it is.

Senior Noncommissioned Officers possess the responsibility to ensure that others have the tools necessary to be efficient and effective at all times.  It is by their direction that future leaders can grow, be mentored and persuaded to continuously engage in self-development opportunities.

Providing education through the Senior Leader Course provides the proper training needed to be promoted to the next ranking.  This also allows the Soldier to improve upon his or her abilities and benefits the Soldier tremendously.  Self-development should be a continuous effort and pursued institutionally and operationally to tackle all sorts of Army assignments.

Final Thoughts

It is in my opinion that self-development through courses such as the Senior Leader Course is a crucial part of developing necessary leadership skills in our young Soldiers.  As self-development is completed, confidence and undiscovered skills will begin to surface.  Build upon each leader’s strengths, decrease their weaknesses and obtain certain leadership goals to enhance the individual.  What are your thoughts?  If you have taken the Senior Leader Course, please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comment box.  How has the course enhanced self-development skills within your platoon?

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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5 thoughts on “The Army Senior Leader Course: An Overview”

  1. A lot of soldiers are kind of rough around the edges when enlisting. A lot of them are young, from small towns and haven’t had a lot of life experience in general. By attending a course like the Army Senior Leader Course, you turn soldiers into leaders. They learn communication, motivation and get the confidence needed to inspire, lead and encourage their fellow soldiers. Without good and properly trained leaders, a squad will not be efficient or successful. It’s good that the Army provides this much needed additional training for its troops.

  2. I believe this to be a good idea. Anything that will develop soldiers to be better leaders has got to be good. Of course, it all depends on the teacher and the curriculum provided. I believe that teaching a soldier how to lead by example and how to speak with authority but respect is very important. Another great thing about courses such as this is that not only will it help with leadership skills in the Army, but also in civilian job prospects too. It is another plus that can be added to your resume. Great post sir.

  3. Candace Ginestar

    I think that the SSD needs to be eliminated. Take NCOES completely back to the schoolhouse, like it used to be.

    1. I wish you would elaborate more on this comment Candace. What about SSD is bad? I ask because I am unaware, not being sarcastic.

      I always have thought that hands on experience is a good thing, and that is what I am wondering. Are they trying to perform this education in the field in between other duties?

      Either way, I still say any kind of leadership training must be a good thing. Many soldiers can be great followers, but when it comes to leading, the numbers drop dramatically. Like Ty said, many of these soldiers just were not in leadership roles before they joined the Army.

      1. Candace Ginestar

        SSD is computer based, which I get…it is the wave of the future. However, the program itself crashes a lot, and is hard to get working right. It wastes a lot of time, and is usually stuff that isn’t new information.

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