In case you are wondering, BOLC stands for Basic Officer Leadership Course. BOLC creates solid officers who are able to lead within the Army. There are essentially 2 phases of BOLC. The first phase is the path the person takes to be commissioned as an Army officer. This could be:
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
The United States Military Academy
Often, this also consists of a Direct Commission Course that lasts for 6 weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is then time to enter the 2nd phase of BOLC, and this depends on the area of expertise the soon-to-be officer is entering.
In today’s post, we are going to examine U.S. Army Armor BOLC and what you should know. For those who have a desire to enter the armor area as a leader, you may want to read and learn.
Where It Is Held
Both the infantry and armor BOLC training is held at the United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning. This is an advantage over other BOLC training in that, you will stay where you started phase 1 of BOLC.
When it comes to being an officer with a United States Armor unit, you will have responsibilities over equipment that is valued at millions of dollars. You will also have a responsibility for the leadership and safety of Army personnel that no price can be put on. The Army strives to create the best leaders possible, and that is what Army Armor BOLC is all about. Some of the equipment that you will be overseeing is:
Stryker Armored Combat Vehicles
Stryker MGS Infantry Support Vehicles
M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle
M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
The Army Armor BOLC Course
Just to put some perspective on what the Army is investing in the training of Armor officers, each Armor BOLC course costs approximately $2.3 million. For each candidate, this breaks down to $32,000 each for this 100 day training. If the Army is willing to invest this much money in an officer’s training, that candidate needs to give his/her all into learning everything they can.
The Armor BOLC training is 1/2 Armor and 1/2 Cavalry training, and some of what the Lieutenants will experience are:
Tank training with 2 days of live fire exercises
Each Lieutenant will fire 16 120mm rounds and 600 .50 caliber rounds
Light Cavalry training with 1 day of live fire exercises
A familiarization of Stryker vehicles
8 hours of call for fire training
A maintenance and supply classroom training
Tank close combat training for 5 days
60 days of Physical Readiness Training and Level 1 Combatives with certification
3 different Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) sites
and lastly, a full spectrum of Field Training Exercises using everything learned beforehand
Other posts you may enjoy:
- 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment – Campaigns & Decorations
- 2nd Armored Division – Campaigns & More
- 5 Reasons to be an Army Armor Officer
So essentially, the Armor BOLC is run in 4 phases.
Phase 1: Foundation: This just gets the soldier prepared.
Phase 2: Gunnery: Hands on experience and live fire.
and Phase 3: Tactics: Just what it says; learning to use your armor in the most sensible way.
Phase 4: The Gauntlet: This is when you use everything you learned in field exercises.
Tips From Those Who Have Been There and Done That
In talking with others who have completed the Army Armor BOLC, they have provided these simple tips to succeed:
Listen and ask. Pay attention at all times, and if you have a question, ask. The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked.
Learn. You may make a mistake…learn from it!
Do the homework. BOLC isn’t a vacation. Do the assigned homework because everything cannot be taught without doing the assigned reading and study.
Interact. Do not be afraid to ask advice from superiors or even other candidates that are “getting it.”
Do your assigned job. If you are not the Platoon Leader, just stay quiet and do the job you are assigned to.
Stay positive. Having a positive attitude can make a world of difference.
Teamwork. If you work as a team, the jobs will go smooth.
Physical training. Stay fit…your body and the Army counts on it.
By following these tips from officers who have already experienced Army Armor BOLC, you can make it an easier course.
If there are any of you who have completed Army Armor BOLC and would like to offer more tips, please do so in the comments section below. If you have any questions, you can also post those in that area, and we will do our best to answer them for you.
I want to say that if you are choosing to make a career as an Army Armor officer, you are making a wise choice.
I am attaching some other links that can also help you with Army Armor BOLC. Plus, I believe they can also be a benefit.
Thank you for visiting.