Civilian Logistics Career Management Office
(CLCMO) logistics interns must complete various
requirements to graduate and begin their careers
as Federal employees. One of the most challenging
aspects of the program is the 4-month-long Basic Officer
Leader Course (BOLC), during which interns train on
Army doctrine and customs alongside lieutenants.
Danny Osborn, Leticia Williams, and I were interns
who benefited from training with a BOLC class in a Sustainment
Warrior field training exercise (SWFTX) and
on the rifle range.
During SWFTX, Danny Osborn led the opposing force
(OPFOR)—a small engagement team that modeled possible
attacks that could occur in a fight. For this exercise,
the OPFOR engaged U.S. forces by attacking their
operations and causing harm and destruction to their
tactical vehicles. The team approached Soldiers entering
the village, and if Soldiers caused problems or did not
ask the right questions, a two-man team of “insurgents” used mortar rounds or indirect fire to fire on the force
from a nearby building.
The OPFOR engagements taught Soldiers how to react
under fire and officers how to direct their Soldiers. If
personnel were shot, lieutenants had to call in medics
or drag them off the field. When U.S. forces entered the
insurgents’ buildings, they searched the building and the
insurgents. These events were true-to-life scenarios.
The OPFOR had a six-man insurgent team that simulated
combat conditions by using improvised explosive
devices and by attacking the main base with mortar fire.
The insurgents were able to take the entry control point
and two towers and clear the tactical operations center
and four commanders’ tents.
This battle drill helped the warriors experience what
would happen if a base was attacked. The Soldiers
grabbed their body armor and Kevlar helmets and used
situational awareness to address the circumstances they
faced. As an OPFOR member, Osborn witnessed how
Soldiers bonded and pulled security in an effort to identify
the enemy. Once the enemy was identified, the teams
returned suppressive fire.
After each scenario, students representing the U.S.
force participated in an after-action review where they
discussed what happened and how their response to the
situation could have been improved.
Through various SWFTX training events, Leticia
Williams gained respect for the warriors and the officers.
During SWFTX, the tactical operations center was
a business center in which commands were distributed
and decisions were made. Some of the Department of
the Army civilian interns assumed such staff positions as
the S–1, S–2, S–3, S–4, public affairs officer, battalion
movement officer/unit movement officer, forward operating
base mayor, and contingency operating post mayor.
Williams was assigned as the S–2. She was responsible
for gathering information about weather conditions and
previous attacks that had taken place on the situational
training exercise lanes. Williams received back briefs
from the lieutenants about their attacks and the quick reaction
force techniques they used to combat the OPFOR.
By holding this position, Williams realized how important
it was to have accurate information in the fight.
On the rifle range, I reached for an M16A2 rifle for the
very first time in my life as the range officer called,“Take
your positions. Firers ready. Ready on the left. Ready on
the right.” Weighted down with a modular lightweight
load-carrying system, individual body armor, and a
Kevlar helmet, I watched intensely as the instructors
provided safety information and explained how to zero
As sweat beads trickled down my back and across my
forehead, I anxiously assumed the prone position and
loaded a magazine into my weapon. The taste of dirt and
dry air filled my mouth as I fired a round. Wearing full “battle rattle,” I quickly learned the importance of physical
training. As a civilian, I had never experienced such
an intense event on the job, and it gave me a newfound
respect for the operations Soldiers undertake to keep our
BOLC provided an opportunity for us interns to “see
through the eyes of a warrior.” Through BOLC, we
learned more than academics. We also learned survival
skills through tactical training, combatives courses, and
a SWFTX. Although BOLC was challenging at times, it
was an experience that we will never forget and that has
helped us to understand our customers, the Soldiers.