The Battle Staff Noncommissioned Course redesign provides staff sergeants through master sergeants the technical skills and a professional education that it is rigorous, sequential, progressive, and relevant for all staff NCOs.
“The update to the course is considered to be a total redesign until now, Battle Staff has never been through a complete overhaul to address gaps identified by our customer,” Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, the commandant of the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence said.
The Curriculum Development Directorate team redesigned course due to input from stakeholders such as previous course graduates and leaders throughout the Operational Army.
“We were able to effectively redesign Battle Staff,” Sellers said. “The course uniquely prepares NCOs selected to serve in a staff position to perform their duties and responsibilities while in combat or garrison environment.
The new curriculum focuses on holistic operations across all Army activities.
“The redesigned BSNCOC introduces lessons and activities that engage learners through real-world Multi-Domain Operations, Large Scale Combat Operations, and Joint operations,” Sgt. Maj. Quentin Washington, the BSNCOC director, said.
The new course consists of 30 lessons within the foundations, mission command, military decision-making process, and combined arms rehearsal modules,” Washington said.
He added, “the course is now 22 days and 175 hours versus 159 hours the legacy course provided.”
BSNCOC learners will undergo a series of vigorous lessons and learning step activities that doctrinally educate Staff NCOs to conduct in-depth mission analysis on collaborative projects through each warfighting function.
“These projects challenge the learner to plan missions, execute the duties, and fulfill the responsibilities of a Staff NCO working in a battalion or higher,” Washington said.
The redesigned course is collaborative and engages the learners in real-world staff activities.
As a result, the BSNCOC is now an adult learner-centric educational product, a validator of the Battle Staff NCO Course, Master Sgt. Paul Caswell explains.
“The course is also restructured around the Army Learning Areas, follows the principles of Bloom’s taxonomy, provides General Learning Outcomes, and based on analysis,” he said.
Caswell explains how the recently incorporated lessons are adult learner-centric and also grouped within the seven steps of MDMP.
“The learners retain content because adults learn by doing,” he said. “The MDMP creates a logical flow of the lessons and content delivered to the learner at the point of need. “The course also eliminates multiple-choice tests and instead uses written assessments for evaluation purposes.”
Washington added, “the assessments will challenge NCOs to codify their operational knowledge in short answer essays and short answer responses, as they would in Master Leader Course.”
Aspects of the course will benefit Soldiers attending the MLC in the future.
“NCOs who graduate the course will gain confidence in their
communication skills, public speaking, critical thinking, and management skills while learning mission command and joint operations,” Washington said. “This will better prepare them for MLC.”
The course is open to all staff sergeants through master sergeants, whether they are in an additional skill identifier position of a 2S or not.
The course is for everyone in the ranks of SSG – MSG,” Washington said. “We highly encourage attendance, but NCOs assigned to 2S positions have priority.”
Caswell added, “course attendance is mandatory for those Soldiers assigned to positions coded ASI 2S.”
The BSNCOC also provides opportunities for our sister services and multinational partners to participate.
“The BSNCOC works closely with the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence, International Military Student Office,” Sgt. Maj. Wallace Doss, the IMSO director, said. “The course creates conditions to ensure the International Military Students are successful throughout their training by receiving, integrating and sustaining the curriculum prior to their departure from the institution.”
Doss added, “I like to say, we are with the IMS, from reception to graduation.”
Course graduates will meet the challenges of the complexities and variables of the operational environment in an increasingly complex world.
“The award of the ASI 2S identifies graduates of the Battle Staff NCO Course,” Caswell said.
The BSNCOC provides the operational demand and educational means for Staff NCOs to increase the lethality of their organizations.
“Expect the redesigned course to be delivered to nearly 40 sites across the globe by way of video teleconference,” Washington said.
The course is currently undergoing validation and expected to be official by October 2020.
“NCOs who attend the redesigned course this summer will be exposed to new lessons on land, ammunition, training and school management,” Sellers said.
He added, “through analysis, it has been determined these areas critical important to understand while in a garrison environment and maintain familiarity with while deployed.”