By Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Army National Guard (LAARNG) sent nearly 750 Soldiers to various military professional development and additional skill identifier schools around the country, October 2020 – October 2021.
These schools include well-known certifications like Airborne and Air Assault schools as well as career progression and professional development schools for enlisted Soldiers and commissioned officers.
“Our leaders should prioritize Soldier development by pushing their personnel to attend professional development courses,” said Master Sgt. Lee Fox, the LAARNG schools quota manager.
The LAARNG commissioned 21 new officers through Officer Candidacy School. Twenty-five lieutenants graduated the Basic Officer Leadership Course, 28 officers graduated the Captain’s Career Course, 10 officers graduated the Intermediate Level Education and five officers graduated from senior service colleges.
“As an officer moves through the company and field grade ranks, the military education requirements coincide with an officer’s career progression, which focuses on key tenets and elements of the joint planning process at each operational level,” said Col. Scott Slaven, a recent U.S. Army War College graduate. “For me, this training methodology helped me better understand operational concepts, the roles and responsibilities of command and staff positions and external variables that influence military operations.”
More than 480 enlisted Soldiers completed noncommissioned officer professional development schools needed to advance in their career. These include the basic, advanced, senior and master leader courses. Another 11 graduated from the Sergeants’ Major Academy.
Fox said that there are an abundance of opportunities to send personnel to schools outside of the professional development system and that it is important that leaders look for chances to send Soldiers to the many available additional skill identifier (ASI) and special qualifications identifier (SQI) producing courses.
“There are opportunities to send people to these courses,” said Fox.
Some of the most common ASIs and SQIs include: Air Assault, Airborne, Common Faculty Development-Instructor Course, Master Fitness Trainer, Master Resiliency Trainer, Pathfinder and Sapper Leader. Fox stressed that the units sending Soldiers to any courses must ensure that they meet all prerequisites required to attend.
“Guardsman should seek opportunities to advance their military education,” said Slaven. “As military doctrine, technology, and systems continue to rapidly advance, it is imperative that our service members continue to take a proactive approach on staying up to date on new joint warfighting concepts to counter our adversaries in the future.”