First female ROK Army NCO attends leader course
CAMP JACKSON, South Korea — The first female Noncommissioned Officer of the Republic of Korea Army entered the Warrior Leader Course at Eighth Army Wightman NCO Academy March 13.
Staff Sgt. Lee Young-Eun from the 12th Infantry Division Engineer Battalion of the ROK Army began WLC with two other ROK Army NCOs and 117 U.S. Soldiers.
She applied for the course to learn how U.S. Army NCOs are trained and to exchange the advantages of each side.
“I am very nervous to be the first female ROKA NCO attending WLC,” said Staff Sgt. Lee. “However, I’ll show that female Soldiers are just as brave, persistent and active as male Soldiers. Without considering gender, I’m ready to take on any task. I’ll try to be suitable for the title, ‘the first ROK Army female of the WLC’.”
Through WLC, Staff Sgt. Lee will also learn U.S. Army culture which is faithful to the basics and missions, said Sgt. Maj. Shin Myeong-Cheol, KATUSA Training Academy commander of Eighth Army Wightman NCO Academy.
He also wants “the ROK Army NCOs to incorporate what they learn from the course into the ROK Army system and help train junior NCOs and Soldiers.”
The ROK NCOs have to be proficient in English to a certain level and have excelled in their physical fitness test to apply for WLC. Staff Sgt. Lee said she worked on her physical strength and English very hard.
During WLC, which concludes on Apr. 12, participants will take the Army Physical Fitness Test and Land Navigation and participate in a Situational Training Exercise.
ROK NCOs started participating in the Eighth Army WLC course after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ROK Army and U.S. Army, in Jul. 2012. The MOU provides a combined training experience during which ROK NCOs train alongside U.S. NCOs at the academy.
About 5 ROK Army NCOs attend WLC each month, and thus far, 35 ROK Army NCOs have completed the Warrior Leader Course.