Target Centermass

8/2/2006

Iraqi Cadre to Begin Training Enlisted

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:22 pm

There’s been a remarkable step in the development of the self-sustainability of Iraq’s new security forces — the Iraqis have taken over the training of their NCOs.

The latest cycle of Iraqi troops graduated from the Iraqi Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy here, about 45 miles south of Mosul on July 25.

The class was the last of a series taught by U.S. instructors from the 11th Field Artillery Regiment.

The latest Iraqi NCOs will now return to their units as trained leaders, while Iraqi cadre at the academy prepare to take full responsibility for future training here.

“The (Iraqi) cadre … are charged with training Iraqi NCOs in the new millennium and beyond,” said Staff Sgt. Edwin R. Sanchez, who has taught at the Academy with his fellow Soldiers for the past year.

The instructors, including four Iraqi cadre members, taught a three-week leadership development course which included traffic control point procedures, clearing buildings, drill and ceremony, physical fitness training, hand-to-hand combat, ethics and other skills similar to what American Soldiers learn in their courses.

Sgt. Maj. Walter Murrell, a member of the U.S. training team, gave his last graduation remarks as commandant of the NCO Academy.

“Teamwork is fundamental to what this country is trying hard to achieve,” he told the graduates.

Murrell asked the Iraqi Soldiers to remember and apply what they learned, especially when leading a team of Iraqi Soldiers into a dangerous area.

“You are the lifeblood of your nation, and you must never forget that,” said Murrell.

“It was an honor to serve side by side with you. When the history books are written, you will be the heroes of the republic.”

Sgt. Maj. Farhan, the new Iraqi commandant with the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, said the graduates will be the foundation from which to protect Iraq’s democracy and freedom. He also thanked the academy’s instructors for their work.

“The role of the instructors is clear as sunshine … By doing a great job to train these Soldiers, the instructors deserve to be known as the heroes of the academy,” said Farhan.

Hat tip to CDR Salamander, who chimes in with the following:

You want a sign of success and hope? This is it. A professional NCO corps is the bedrock to any successful military. Even more than solid Senior Officers, without professional NCOs, you have nothing.

Yes, this truly is a good signal of progress. In the past, I have been one of many who have complained that the good news from Iraq and Afghanistan gets ignored by the mainstream media while any bad news is heralded with a clarion call and then drilled into the public with a repeated dirge of failure. One cannot really blame the military, as they try to get the news out to the world. This should be a big story — ’tis a shame once again that, to date, the media have collectively elected to ignore it.

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