Military Intelligence BOLC

My name is 2LT Kevin Coleman. I graduated from John Carroll University in 2019. I commissioned as an active duty Military Intelligence officer and recently graduated from MIBOLC (Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course) in Fort Huachuca, AZ. The course is approximately 4 ½ months, with 30 days of field training. The first two weeks of BOLC is common core, the basic attributes that every soldier must-have. This includes shooting, land navigation, grenade employment, and the night infiltration course(NIC). For those unfamiliar with the NIC, it consists of crawling under barbed wire while a machine gun is fired well over your head.  I did not have to do the NIC, but BOLCs are beginning to implement them. 

Most of MIBOLC is class instruction, with 3 papers and 4 tests. The tests are closed book and the paper topics are dependent on cadre. The entire class is structured around a potential conflict area in Eastern Europe called ‘Gorgas’ that happens to look like Ukraine. The enemy for the scenario are the ‘Donovians.’ In the scenario, the Donovians invade Gorgas and install a pro-donovian government. NATO launches an offensive into Gorgas in order to restore pre-war international boundaries. The course starts with learning about offensive and defensive operations then switches to consolidation of gains than to stability operations. The course flows into each of these different phases. I learned both friendly and enemy doctrine, equipment, and tactics. I also learned how to make intelligence collection plans and the various assets that the military fields in order to collect intelligence. To sum up the purpose of an MI officer, the job is to provide the commander with an insight into what the enemy is doing and what they are capable of doing. This is done by utilizing the Military Decision Making Process or MDMP, it helps in developing courses of action that the enemy may use.

MIBOLC teaches officers how to critically think and to make assessments based on enemy reporting, doctrine, and tactics. It helps identify biases that an individual may have and teaches cooperation. I met many interesting people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, etc. If I can recommend anything to the cadets going to BOLC in the near future, it is to go in with an open mind and show humility. I was in a class with a ranger, a green beret, and veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They have decades of experience between them, but everyone in the class was brand new to military intelligence. The officers that struggled the most in my class were the ones that thought they knew the answer to everything. Always ask questions and it’s okay if you do not know the answer. Good luck with your future careers, please reach out to me if you need anything.     

MIBOLC Christmas tree

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