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A Response to "Sorry, Pentathlete Wasn't on the Syllabus."
by Captain Patrick McKinney, Small Wars Journal Op-Ed
First, I largely agree with Crispin Burke (SWJ, 24 January 2009) concerning instruction at Captains Career Courses and the requirements of junior Army leaders, however, since his attendance to Aviation Captains Career Course (AVCCC) in early 2007, positive changes in other CCC's have been implemented. CCC graduates are likely not the Pentathletes the Army needs, but are closer to Triathletes than single sport amateurs. I am currently enrolled in the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course (MICCC), and cannot speak for changes in other branches, but will attempt to address issues Burke raised in his piece.
Burke is correct that by and large, "the Pentathlete is getting lip service" but is it unrealistic to expect the CCC to graduate experts in all areas. It is more reasonable, and a better starting point, to graduate Triathletes that are competent in a larger set of skills, with a foundation that will allow them to grow into Army Pentathletes. Due to deployments, garrison OPTEMPO, and personal experiences, Captains entering the various CCC are more experienced than CCC students in previous years, and need the CCC to assist them in their progression as Captains. The CCC curriculum needs to adjust to this reality, and from my experience thus far at the MICCC, those changes are being made.