Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 30

Implementation then proceeded by identification of the first 10 NCOs able to meet the minimum English requirement. They went to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, to participate in advanced English language training for eight weeks. Although test scores did not increase dramatically after the eight weeks, the confidence level of the group was bolstered. This helped them communicate more effectively and motivated them to continue practicing English outside classroom training. Nine additional groups eventually followed. Warrior Leader Course at Fort Bliss. Upon completion of the English language training, groups then would move to Fort Bliss, Texas, to attend the U.S. Army’s WLC. Though foreign students, the Jordanian NCOs participated in every aspect of the course with no special provisions made. Shadowing U.S. noncommissioned officers. Upon completion of the WLC, the Jordanian graduates remained at Fort Bliss to be assigned to various units of the 1st Armored Division for two weeks. The intent was to have the Jordanian NCOs partner Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Amanda Smith, U.S. Army Once the senior leadership established this framework, the U.S. country team in Jordan and the JAF proceeded to identify NCOs and turn the concept into reality. Language training. One of the first challenges faced in sending NCO candidates for training in the United States was finding 100 Jordanian soldiers with adequate English language skills. Ordinarily, in the JAF, advanced English language training is reserved for commissioned officers. Before JAF personnel can receive military training in the United States, a minimum score of 70 percent is required on the English Comprehension Level Test (the test normally used to measure the English language proficiency of international participants in U.S. military schools and exercises). However, it quickly became apparent that for the NCO development initiative, this standard was unattainable. The pool of Jordanian NCOs with a working base of English language skills was very limited. Consequently, the standard was adjusted to allow for any NCO candidate scoring a minimum of 55 percent on the test to take training in the United States. Jordanian NCO Basic Course cadets work on their sit ups, March 2013. 28 September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW