We have finished the first full week of our 16-week ILE course and here are some of my observations:
1. There are some very smart officers in my class.
2. I am not one of them. :)
3. I am learning a great many things about military tactics and procedures, leadership, and plain ol’ gettin’ along with others.
Our subjects last week ranged from civilian-military relationships throughout the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, media relations, and a possible new way to approach MDMP, the Military Decision Making Process. Any officer who has survived OBC (now BOLC), CAS3, the Captain’s Career Course, or CGSC knows how complicated and time consuming MDMP can be, but also its effectiveness in reaching a decision. Or not reaching a decision, depending on which lens you are using to view the process and outcome.
Anyway, at the end of Week 2 I wanted to share some information and tidbits about ILE Class 10-002. First of all, for all my non-military readers out there, the class number comes from 2 separate numbers: The year of the class (2010) and the number of classes that have started in that year. We’re the second class. The previous class was 10-001 and the next class will be 10-003. We have 63 students overall but we are divided into four staff groups: A, B, C, and D. Sorry if you were expecting something more fancy and inventive, like Apples, Bananas, Carrots, and Dates (the fruit, not the mating game). We have three officers from the US Navy, one who is in our group. Sadly, we don’t have any international officers. When I went to the Captain’s Career Course in 2005 we had officers from Lithuania, the Ukraine, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. They rounded out the class, offering us a glimpse into the mindset of an officer from another military.
I am in staff group (SG) C, along with 15 other officers who represent a wide range of specialties and branches. For some officers, ILE is based specifically on their branch, such as Infantry or Armor. This ILE is a hodge-podge of smaller branches and specialties. SG C is comprised of a veterinarian, a social worker, some contracting officers, our Navy officer, some other specialties I haven’t figured out yet, and me…the lone Public Affairs Officer. In fact, I think I might be the only Army Reserve Soldier in the entire class and that to me is quite an honor. I am the first example of an AGR officer that some of these personnel have come across and I want to make a good impression. That alone makes me study harder, even on sunny Sunday afternoons when I want to be outside.
One like: We did an “off-site” class this past week. Subgroups of SG C presented discussions on various topics and we did our final presentations at a local restaurant for breakfast. So, over eggs, waffles, and corned beef hash (that’s what I had), we discussed…well, I’m still not sure exactly what we discussed. See number 2 above. It was nice to get out of the building and into a more informal and relaxed atmosphere to posit ideas and share theories.
One dislike: Some officers in our class need to realize that they don’t have to offer their opinion or viewpoint on every single topic that we discuss in class. While their input to discussions is valuable and meaningful, every once in a while they should sit back and listen, just listen, to what others have to say.
The views expressed in this ILE Class 10-002 Blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.