Pre-WLC graduates 18 Soldiers

13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) Public Affairs

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — The 18 Soldiers who graduated from the Staff Sgt. William J. Beardsley Pre-Warrior Leader Course, sponsored by 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary), June 6 received more than just a leg up on other Soldiers entering WLC.

“Not only are we giving them leadership skills to take back to their companies, but we are giving them some civilian education,” said Sgt. Joshua Taylor, a Pre-WLC instructor with the 169th Seaport Operations Company, 373rd CSSB, 3rd Sustainment Bde and a Greenfield, Ohio native.

Stress management and leadership styles are college courses offered by Central Texas College. They are taught by certified instructors during Pre-WLC, effectively giving the students two college credits.

Pfc. Manessa Landwater, a mortuary affairs specialist with the 111th Quartermaster Company, 373rd CSSB and a Hampshire, Ill., native, said she was excited about the possibility of adding college credits to her records and to help her along when promotion opportunities arise.

“The college credits will really help me out,” she said. “I want to become a great leader and a great (noncommissioned officer).”

The eight-day Pre-WLC course at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is offered to all Soldiers throughout Iraq, and is designed to teach them everything they need to know to be successful at WLC, Taylor said.

“We have Soldiers come down from (U.S.) Central Command to go through this course,” he said. “We will give something to them that they can take back and teach their peers.”

The program was established by Command Sgt. Maj. Dwight Williams, command sergeant major of the 260th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Bde., and a Baltimore native, and was named after Staff Sgt. William J. Beardsley, a 25-year-old Coon Rapids, Minn., native, who died Feb. 26, 2007, in Diwaniyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle.

When the 260th CSSB redeployed, the program was picked up by the 373rd CSSB. This is the twelfth course the 373rd CSSB has conducted since taking over. In that time, more than 130 Soldiers have completed the course, said Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Montgomery, command sergeant major with the 373rd CSSB and a Houston native.

“We tend to get a good return from our students,” Montgomery said. “From the 300-400 students who have gone through the course … 112 have made honor (graduate) and even more distinguished (graduate).”

Taylor said he encourages everyone to get involved. It is a great opportunity and almost too good to pass up.

“They are going to be taught well, and after the eight days, when they come back, they may be able to answer some questions that many NCOs cannot,” he said.

The hours are long but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it, Taylor said.

“At the end of the week,” he said. “We are able to give something back to these students that they are able to take back to their companies and use for the betterment of the Army.”

 

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Spc. Jose Ochoa, driver for the battalion command sergeant major with the 716th Quartermaster Company, 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and Paterson, N.J., native makes sure his equipment is properly organized June 6 at the Staff Sgt. William J. Beardsley Pre-Warrior Leader Course at Camp Liberty, Iraq.

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Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Montgomery, command sergeant major for the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and Houston, Texas native, speaks to students in the Staff Sgt. William J. Beardsley Pre-Warrior Leader Course June 6 at Camp Liberty Iraq.