CAMP QURGHA, Afghanistan - The Afghan National Army Sergeants Major Academy graduated its 18th class, encompassing 80 noncommissioned officers, at Camp Qurgha, August 29.
"You are the backbone [of the Army] and you will be deciding the future of Afghanistan," said Afghan Army Sergeant Major Roshan Safi, Sergeant Major of the Afghan National Army, during remarks at the ceremony. "No one will be safe unless we work hard."
The Afghan National Army Sergeants Major Academy was established June 2009 at the Kabul Military Training Center with the support of U.S. military advisors. It was inaugurated by Safi and Gen. Bismillah Muhammadi, Afghanistan's former Minister of Defense.
The training focus of the 6-month Sergeants Major course was to educate and improve the level of knowledge for senior Bridmals (non-commissioned officers), while promoting the ranks of men and women within both the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police sectors.
Afghan soldiers listen to remarks given during the Afghan National Army Sergeant Major Academy graduation ceremony at Camp Qurgha, Afghanistan, August 29, 2018. The class of 80 included four females. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Shaiyla Hakeem)
Coursework included preparing Bridmals for working in tactical, operational and strategic arenas at the levels of company, kandak and corps. To date, the academy has graduated more than 650 trainees.
Afghan National Army Sgt. Maj. Mahammad Yasin, a speaker at the graduation, encouraged soldiers to not just accept the graduation certificate, but pass the knowledge obtained on to their fellow soldiers.
"You can pass [make] changes," said Yasin, "and save lives."
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan's security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner..