New Army specialists (E-4s) will automatically receive an email reminder to enroll in the service’s new Distributed Leader Course, an online tool that maps the road to making sergeant.
The DLC is a six-stage educational program for noncommissioned officers that is meant to coincide with their attendance at Basic Leader, Advanced Leader, Senior Leader and Master Leader courses.
It is replacing a system that allowed soldiers to complete online training well ahead of their appropriate leadership courses, meaning some soldiers completed training that did not correlate to their coursework.
“I think the biggest thing we’re proud about is the fact that the actual DLC course is tied to the brick-and-mortar schoolhouse,” Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, the commandant of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, told the Army Times.
The DLC model will enroll soldiers at the appropriate time in their careers, with completion of each program required within 24 months of a new promotion.
Each level will start with a mission briefing, and after completing the course, the soldier will receive an after-action report breaking down what they did well and where they can improve. DLC modules can be repeated, but the system only records the first passing score, which averages with the soldier’s in-resident Enlisted Professional Military Education grade.
DLC stages one and two went live Feb. 1.
Soldiers who completed the first two stages under the old system will not have to take the equivalent DLC course. DLC stage three is scheduled for release this spring, and stages five and six are scheduled for fall and winter, respectively.