Fort Knox, Ky. — The MC cubed course prepares company grade officers for squad or company commands; it is focused on combat, tactical skills needed to win.
Class 10-04, which completed its training Nov. 23, is the last MC3 class to graduate at Fort Knox, as all others will be conducted at Fort Benning under the auspices of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. MC3 courses are taught at Fort Benning under the same program of instruction.
The guest speaker was the 44th chief of Armor, Col. David Teeples, who left Fort Knox earlier this year.
“Twenty-three years ago, I sat in your seats,” he told the graduating captains, as he related his own experiences as a young armor officer. One of his assignments in that class was to develop a command philosophy, which he shared with his audience.
He summarized his tenets for command with four T’s: teamwork, training, trust and talk. As officers who will soon be commanding company- or squad-level units, they need to incorporate the four T’s, Teeples said.
He closed by saying Fort Knox is an historic post and the class was part of a great legacy, as Armor officers and Army officers. “You are part of the very few who have raised their right hands to serve,” he said.
Although the course’s name has changed over the years, the MC3 classes have been taught at Fort Knox since 1940. Attendance figures are only available since 1984, which documents more than 9,000 students. But since its inception in 1940, the staff estimates more than 300,000 armor leaders have been trained at Fort Knox. Many of the Army’s current senior leadership studied under the Knox instructors, to include Training and Doctrine Commander Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Army’s current Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Forces Command Gen. James Thurmond, and former Armor chief Gen. Robert Williams. The armor alumni also include such notables as the tank’s namesake, Gen. Creighton Abrams, retired Gen. B.B. Bell; and the Army’s 34th chief of staff, and now Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gen. Eric Shinseki.
In addition to its U.S. Army armor officers, the MC3 course hosts international students, averaging 350 foreign students each year. The Armor school is responsible for teaching 19 armor-related courses, including the master gunner course, reconnaissance courses, and the cavalry leader course.
Lt. Col. Shawn Vail, commander of the 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, which oversees the courses, said only three of the current course instructors will move to Fort Benning next year.
“However, our best practices will be incorporated into the POI at Benning,” Vail said.
Although all future MC3 courses will be taught at Benning — the next one begins in January — the 3/16 will remain at Knox until the last reconnaissance course graduates next year.
“The train is moving and moving fast,” Vail said. “I think it’s a good thing to have the two elements of maneuver in one place.”