The Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) is a two-phased training course designed to produce commissioned officers in the United States Army. Prospective officers complete Phase I (BOLC A) as either a cadet (United States Military Academy or Reserve Officers' Training Corps) or an officer candidate (Officer Candidate School (United States Army)) before continuing on to BOLC B as Second Lieutenants. If BOLC B is not completed within two years of commissioning, 2LTs will be administratively separated from the service unless there are extenuating circumstances. This a progressive model designed to produce US Army officers with leadership skills, small unit tactics and certain branch-specific capabilities.
For almost all Army officers, Phase I of BOLC consists of pre-commissioning training, either through Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Officer Candidate School, or the United States Military Academy. It is at this stage the officer candidate learns basic leadership skills and basic small unit tactics.
For many direct commissioned officers (generally only medical providers such as doctors and nurses, as well as lawyers), BOLC A consists of a six-week Direct Commission Course (DCC) at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The primary purpose of this post-commissioning training is to allow those officers who generally have little to no prior military experience to obtain the skills necessary to continue on to BOLC B. DCC may not be required for all direct commissioned officers with prior service experience, but it is still required for active duty officers who participate in the Judge Advocate General's Corps Funded Legal Education Program.
The second phase of the Basic Officer Leader Course - previously referred to as the Officer Basic Course (OBC) and BOLC III - is designed to develop new combat-effective officers and train them to perform their wartime duties as commissioned officers. It is during this phase that they learn the specifics of the systems and equipment they will use in their duty unit.
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