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LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- The 4th Kandak and 173rd Brigade Support Battalion Non-commissioned Officer Academy is the first Combined Action Non-commissioned Officer Academy in the Logar Province.
Due to a shortage of trained and certified junior NCOs in the 4th Kandak, U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion Command Sgt. Maj., and Afghan National Army Command Sgt. Maj. Abdul Qadar, 4th Kandak, 201st Corps command sergeant major , developed and implemented the institution for the purpose of training NCOs.
The first class enrolled on March 27, with U.S. Army Master Sgt. Sean Wilson as the commandant. The Academy was designated the 4th Kandak and 173rd Brigade Support Battalion Non-commissioned Officer Academy on February 25. At its inception, the Academy occupied two adjoining bases, Camp Maiwan and Forward Operating Base Shank; charged with the official duty of training, coaching and teaching future ANA NCOs assigned to the 4th Kandak and their combined action partners from the Brigade Support Battalion.
The first class graduated April 8, with over a dozen Warriors Leader Course honorees.
ANA Staff Sgt. Akhel Malager, a reconnaissance NCO with the 4th Kandak, said at the graduation that he learned both tactical and medical guidance throughout the course.
“The ANA commanders and coalition forces set up classes for us. We would start with physical training, and after that they would teach us in the field. We learned a lot about tactics and received medical training. We learned how to save a life and how to protect ourselves,” Malager said.
“I feel very good right now; we’ve been through the classes, we know how to lead. I’m ready for the challenge,” Malager said.
U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Richard Carullo, Alpha Company 173rd Brigade Support Battalion first sergeant, spoke to the graduates about the importance of their training and the importance of leadership.
“The course you just completed is a culmination of nearly ten years of partnering between our two countries,” he said.
“It is understood in militaries around the globe that non-commissioned officers are the backbone of an army. The fact that Task Force Repel and the 4thKandak are taking the time to establish a non-commissioned officer education system, speaks volumes of the dedication these commands have to the success of our partnership,” he said.
Carullo said that the graduates were now given the responsibility of young Soldiers lives under their guidance.
There’s no greater gift that a nation can bestow on an individual, than to place the lives of its soldiers in your hands,” he said.
He left them by saying that the adventure of leadership had just begun for them.
“I hope that if there is anything you take from this course, and apply to your daily duties, it’s that you are about to embark on the greatest adventure any person could ever embark on, and that is the adventure of leadership. From this day forward you are a leader: one that can be counted on to do what is right legally, morally, and ethically, one that can be counted on to be technically and tactically proficient, one that stands for a cause that is greater than their own, one that leads Soldiers by providing purpose direction and motivation, while accomplishing any mission, at any time, in any weather, with minimal resources,” said Carullo.
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