My stay at the Spanish Army Infantry Academy at Toledo had come to an end. These were incredible four weeks, and every day spent at the Academy was a great learning experience for me. I audited a fair number of classes for their cadets, which were similar to classes taught at our Infantry Officer Basic Courses, and got a chance to listen to classes for their infantry captains attending a transition course. In the mornings I spent an hour teaching in English classes like Military Decision Making Process, Targeting, or Troop Leading Procedures to the cadets, and in the afternoon I taught the same classes to those faculty members of the Academy that desired to improve their English skills and their knowledge of our staff procedures. During this month spent at the Academy my knowledge of the Spanish Army improved tremendously, as well as my level of military Spanish. I have established contacts and friendships within the Spanish Officer corps that will last me a lifetime. I also got a chance to conduct a daily physical training with the cadets, and I have to admit that I am quite impressed with the level of their physical fitness. I was able to take part in a Field Training Exercise, and had an opportunity to become intimately familiar with their basic infantry weapon systems, such as H&K G-36 rifle, and their H&K MG2 light machinegun.
On my last two days at the Academy, as my parting gift for the cadets, I gave them an opportunity to try to pass our Army Physical Fitness Test and those deserving cadets who have met the standards will be awarded the US Army Physical Excellence Badge in a near undetermined future. Sometime in April, I will coordinate for an alternate qualification range, where the cadets will get a chance to qualify with their weapons according to the US Army standards, and these who will meet the standards, will be awarded an Expert qualification badge.
On 6th of March 2011, I will be flying to Poland, where I will spend 12 days in a staff certification exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to prepare a Polish Army Brigade staff for their deployment to Afghanistan. I will have a chance to use my language skills, combat experience and staff experience in order to help prepare better our allies for their upcoming rotatation. I am really looking forward to this.