Junior leader training in Ukraine
“I am very impressed with [Ukraine’s] military and its discipline,” said Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti. “What we have provided them … is being well used, and they are very eager in terms of their ability to learn more.”
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, shouts commands to his team of Canadian soldiers during a combined U.S. - Canadian demonstration of a section attack for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 1 of 6: Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, shouts commands to his team of Canadian soldiers during a combined U.S. - Canadian demonstration of a section attack for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
A Canadian soldier teaches a class to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 2 of 6: A Canadian soldier teaches a class to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, bounds forward with a team of Canadian soldiers while acting as the second in charge of a combined Canadian - U.S. Army section during a section attack demonstration for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 3 of 6: Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, bounds forward with a team of Canadian soldiers while acting as the second in charge of a combined Canadian - U.S. Army section during a section attack demonstration for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, provides feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers who were team leaders during a section attack training exercise at the Ukrainian's base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. 

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 4 of 6: Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, provides feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers who were team leaders during a section attack training exercise at the Ukrainian's base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
Staff Sgt. Kevin Lawson, a Tulsa, Oklahoma resident a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, gives his feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers after watching them conduct section attack training at their base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. 

Lawson and other members of JMTG-U are in Zhytomyr teaching Ukrainian NCOs leadership skills similar to what U.S. soldiers learn in the Basic Leader Course. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 5 of 6: Staff Sgt. Kevin Lawson, a Tulsa, Oklahoma resident a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, gives his feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers after watching them conduct section attack training at their base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. Lawson and other members of JMTG-U are in Zhytomyr teaching Ukrainian NCOs leadership skills similar to what U.S. soldiers learn in the Basic Leader Course. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, listens as a Ukrainian soldier gives his team a mission brief before conducting section attack training at a Ukrainian base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
6 photos: Junior leader training in Ukraine
Photo 6 of 6: Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, listens as a Ukrainian soldier gives his team a mission brief before conducting section attack training at a Ukrainian base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team) Download full-resolution version
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, shouts commands to his team of Canadian soldiers during a combined U.S. - Canadian demonstration of a section attack for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
A Canadian soldier teaches a class to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers during Junior Leader Advanced Training at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, bounds forward with a team of Canadian soldiers while acting as the second in charge of a combined Canadian - U.S. Army section during a section attack demonstration for Ukrainian noncommissioned officers at a Ukrainian army base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, provides feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers who were team leaders during a section attack training exercise at the Ukrainian's base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. 

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
Staff Sgt. Kevin Lawson, a Tulsa, Oklahoma resident a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, gives his feedback to Ukrainian noncommissioned officers after watching them conduct section attack training at their base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22. 

Lawson and other members of JMTG-U are in Zhytomyr teaching Ukrainian NCOs leadership skills similar to what U.S. soldiers learn in the Basic Leader Course. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)
Sgt. Matthew Councill, a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine, listens as a Ukrainian soldier gives his team a mission brief before conducting section attack training at a Ukrainian base near Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on May 22.

U.S. Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine are working alongside Canadian troops to train Ukrainian noncommissioned officers in Zhytomyr before their battalion arrives at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center for a 55-day training rotation later this year. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)

When Ukrainian units rotate through the 55-day training course at the Combat Training Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine, observer controller trainer teams train and evaluate the unit on both individual and collective soldier tasks. 

Junior leader academy training gives Ukrainian units a head start.

JLAT essentially extends the training, and enables them to practice these skills at home station, explained 1st Lt. Jayson McCauslin, an infantry officer with the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assigned to Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine.

“The goal of [JLAT] is to help train their NCOs,” said McCauslin, “We’re looking for their leadership skills, their confidence, the command and control of their element.”

U.S. and Canadian instructors lead the JLAT program, which is designed to mold the Ukrainian NCOs into better leaders. 

The U.S. and Canadian JLAT instructors do not evaluate the Ukrainian Soldiers based on their tactics, but rather, on their critical thinking skills and their ability to train and lead their troops.

U.S., Canadian, and Ukrainian tactics are all different, so the Ukrainians are not being evaluated on what they do, but how they do it, explained McCauslin. 

Although tactics vary from country to country, the U.S. instructors are quick to share their experiences with the Ukrainian NCOs.

We do not want to just check the block here, said Staff Sgt. Kevin Lawson, an observer controller trainer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th IBCT. 

We are trying to make sure they have a thorough understanding of why we’re evaluating them the way we are, so they can take these lessons learned and apply them to training in a way that will save lives, he said. 

The training also contributes to the overall development of the CTC by standardizing units before they arrive, making training more streamlined. 

“[Mobile Training Teams] and JLAT tie into the overall JMTG-U mission by training the personnel before they actually come in for the rotation,” said Sgt. Matthew Councill, an airborne and ranger qualified infantryman with the 45th IBCT assigned to JMTG-U. 

Teaching their non-commissioned officers the individual skills, and then empowering them to train their younger soldiers, should enable units to arrive at the CTC ready to jump into squad- and platoon-level training, so ultimately we are facilitating faster training, he said. 

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Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine is an international coalition dedicated to building professionalism within the Ukrainian army and building Ukraine’s training capacity.

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