12 Tips on How to Prepare for Your Next Army Career Course

Introduction

Soldier education was given an overhaul earlier this year – with the Army Leadership Development Programme (ALDP) launched as a replacement for the old Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) system.

The scheme is split into two modules which personnel will undertake as they move up the ranks.

  • Military Training (MT); and
  • Military Education (ME).

Preparing for the new Syllabus

Below are 12 tips on how best to prepare for each course.

All Lance Corporals to Sergeants must complete MT, and there are several key skills required:

  • Make sure your fitness is up to scratch.
    • You will be expected to actively participate in multiple physical tasks like fire and manoeuvre and casualty evacuation (casevac) drills, including from a position of command.
  • Brush up on basic close combat skills (BCCS).
    • An understanding of the fundamentals of troops in contact is useful as assessors will look for a base line of knowledge to build upon.
  • Hone your navigation skills.
    • Movement between locations is an important part of the field phase of ALDP testing and you will have to take your turn leading the way.
  • Get on top of your admin.
    • Students are assessed on being able to administer themselves in the field, as well as on dress, equipment and the maintenance of battlefield discipline.
  • Revise the orders process.
    • At the Corporals’ and Sergeants’ level, you will be taught to extract and deliver a full set of orders, so an understanding of the format and detail required under each heading will help.
    • As with all of these tips, ask advice from your more experienced colleagues or speak to your training wing.

All Corporals now complete their five-day ME online, whilst Sergeants will attend an intense 2-week package.

  • Swat up beforehand.
    • Make use of the defence learning environment (DLE) site listed in your joining instructions.
    • It hosts optional pre-course reading and helpful guidance.
    • You will also be required to use the DLE throughout the training so get familiar with it and its content.
  • Understand the bigger picture.
    • The course covers international relations and current affairs, so having some knowledge on what the British Army does (and where) is useful.
    • There are numerous resources on the Army knowledge exchange (AKX) or you could listen to podcasts around these topics.
  • Brush up on defence writing.
    • You will need to show good written communication skills and will be asked to produce a brief in the proper format, so familiarise yourself with defence writing conventions as set down in JSP 101.
  • Revise your IT skills.
    • You will need to use a laptop frequently during the course.
    • If you are not comfortable with MS Office beforehand you may be able to arrange a short tutorial at your Army Eduction Centre (AEC) or access a free online session at the following link: edu.gcfglobal.org/en/subjects/tech.
  • Practise verbal communication.
    • Group discussions and being able to communicate effectively are a big part of ME.
    • You will also be required to deliver a presentation to the rest of the course for one of your assessments.
    • If you need to, practise by giving a presentation to friends or family and ask them for constructive feedback.
  • Remind yourself of leadership theory.
    • Assessors will be looking for an understanding of this and how it relates to your role.
    • The Army Leadership Code and Army Leadership Doctrine on the AKX are both really good places to start, as well as the Centre of Army Leadership’s page on the DLE.
  • Get ready to be challenged.
    • Going in prepared and with an open mind will help you make the most of it.
    • It is an opportunity for you to think critically and work collaboratively with your peers from a wide range of different cap badges.
    • Enjoy it!

Who, What, When, and Where?

Lance Corporals to Sergeants undertake the ten-day MT package at training establishments or within their units.

Corporals’ ME is a five-day online package, while the two-week Sergeants’ version is delivered at AECs.

Unlike CLM, the modules can be completed in any order.

The Warrant Officers’ curriculum is under development but will combine elements of both MT and ME into one course.

Further Information

Visit the DLE to access the ALDP Handbook, applications or ME and MT courses and additional resources.

If you have any further questions, you can also contact your local AEC for guidance.

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