Army SSD Changes to the Distributed Leader Course DLC
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Distributed Leader Course (DLC) to Replace SSD
Army TRADOC CSM, 25 October 2017 -- We ran a “preview of coming attractions”
before the annual Association of the United States Army meeting in Washington, D.C.,
recently, and today I’m going to keep my promise to roll out some of the steps in the
evolution of our great Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System.

In that blog, I mentioned how our centers of excellence have put tremendous focus on the
technical and tactical skills of our midgrade NCOs, making them experts in their chosen
fields. That is what our Army needs, but it’s been falling short in a critical skill — and that’s
leadership. We have a lack of unified and relevant standardized core competencies in
NCO professional military education. The current curriculum fails to meet the Army’s
needs of leader competencies across the NCO cohort.

Our studies and feedback from leaders and units identified six Leader Core
Competencies, or LCCs, that all NCOs should develop while in PME.

Those LCCs are Readiness, Leadership, Training Management, Army and Joint
Operations, Program  Management and Communications.

These LCCs support the NCO 2020 Strategy and the Army Leader Development Strategy.
The subject matter reflects the input and data points from a number of different Army
studies, directives, focus groups and site visits to centers of excellence. In the coming
months, we’ll talk more specifics on LCCs, including specific tasks and the number of
hours our NCO academies will devote to these six leader core competencies.

I also teased a change to the Structured Self Development courses, so I know there’s a
segment of the population on the edge of their seats, waiting for more information. Yes,
we’re changing the dreaded SSDs starting in June 2018.

First off, we’re changing the name to the Distributed Leader Course, or DLC. We’re not
just changing the name; we’re changing the content and providing a modern look and feel
that today’s Soldier identifies with. The content is also being fully redesigned, with the
multiple-guess testing coming to a well-deserved end. Soldiers will spend less time trying
to game the system and more time trying to work their way through the situational training
in the modules.

Once complete, the DLC will consist of six levels, where the Army will auto-enroll a
Soldier upon completion of initial military training and each NCO PME course. We’re
also working to change auto-enrollment upon Soldier being eligible for promotion.

The Army introduced the Noncommissioned Officer Education System 40+ years ago.
Our Soldiers deserve the best education we can provide, ensuring our courses are
sequential and progressive and provide them the skills we need to fight and win our
nation’s wars.

As always, I want to hear from you, so send me your thoughts! Click the link, and let me
know if you think this is on point or off base.

Download the Slide Presentation for the SSD Change >>