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Iraqi Defense Forces Gain Strength and Leadership

The New Iraqi Defense Forces took a strong step forwarded on March 11, 2004, as the first class of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps's Non Commission Officers graduated from the Primary Leadership Development Course.  One hundred sixteen ICDC soldiers participated in the historic and tradition filled ceremony held at Camp Muleskinner, home to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment's Support Squadron, 1st Armored Division.  Given the important role NCOs play in any military unit, the ceremony marked a new beginning for the emerging democratic Iraq and its home-grown national defense.  Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bush, 1st Armored Division command sergeant major, served as guest speaker and noting that the class of NCOs "Are the history makers of this great country."

The U.S. Army - led course focused on six areas: leadership, communication skills, maintenance, professional skills, military training and military studies. Emphasis was placed on leadership and professional skills.  The initial course was opened up to soldiers serving in senior leadership positions such as platoon sergeant through sergeant major. Attendees were recommended for the course by their U.S. Army partners.                                                   

The respect that the Iraqi Civil Defense Corp's soldiers had for their instructors became evident during the post-ceremony celebrations. The new NCOs hoisted their drill sergeants onto their shoulders while chanting traditional Iraqi cheers and songs as they carried them around the hall.


This information was taken from a press release issued by the U.S. Army, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs Office.  A full length version of the press release can be viewed at:

For more information on the New Iraqi Defense Forces, please visit:


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