The Colombian Advance Joint Special Operations Forces Noncommissioned Officer Course kicked off its second iteration after an opening ceremony held in Canto Norte, Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 26, 2019.
The first AJSOF NCO course in Colombia was initiated in March of this year between Special Operations Command South, the Joint Special Operations University, and the Colombian military leadership to continue enabling the advancement of the NCO Corps. The course prepares Colombian senior NCOs for increased leadership responsibilities in the joint and combined environment, and assists students to become adaptable, critical thinkers, while improving skills through increased education at the operational and strategic level.
“The opportunity I have to implement the knowledge the course has given me, I take full advantage of, because the knowledge we are receiving in this course should be spread and should be shared,” said Colombian Sergeant First Class Jose Julian Jaramillo K., Command Advisor to the Special Operations Battalion N: 2 of the Colombian National Army. “This knowledge helps us grow professionally and grow personally for each of us, and will raise our standard”.
Colombian Marine Corps Forces Sgt. Maj. Hugo Suarez Argenas, Sergeant Major and advisor to the Marine Corps Special Forces Battalion, spoke about how it felt to train his troops and comrades.
“It feels really good. You feel capable and empowered with advanced knowledge that you can offer to them. We can offer them direction, we can offer them motivation. We’re seen as leaders with slightly different capacities from units that we have in Colombia,” said Suarez.
The AJSOF NCO Course lasts three weeks and is currently taught by primary instructors who are retired sergeants major within the SOF community. The goal is for the Colombian Special Forces to take the lead as primary instructors for the course within two or three years.
“I see this course in two or three years very well developed and structured in the special operations units contributing to a specialized professional career,” said Suarez.
“The course helps with the professional development of noncommissioned officers in Colombia,” said Jaramilo. “It’s important to assess the level where we are at, but more importantly to receive these lessons to raise our level of understanding in professionalizing the noncommissioned officer force and highlight our performance within our jobs.”
“The course is very important because we are receiving an advanced education, a special education, and for the organization it is very important” said Suarez.
U.S. Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Jerome Root, SOCSOUTH Senior Enlisted Leader, spoke to the AJSOF NCO course and further stressed the importance to everyone.
“I think we can all agree – education is the key to our future success. We as NCOs are the backbone within our respective militaries and it is essential at our level that we have the best education possible to properly advise our commanders and to operationalize their intent,” said Root.