US Army lady of­fi­cer qual­i­fies


In a re­mark­able sign that in­ter­op­er­abil­ity is mov­ing for­ward mean­ing­fully in crit­i­cal ar­eas be­tween the ar­mies of the US and In­dia, a young lady of­fi­cer has passed the In­dian Army’s rig­or­ous Heavy Drop Course in Agra with fly­ing colours, grad­u­at­ing in sec­ond place. US Army 1st Lt. Laura Condyles, a rig­ger-qual­i­fied of­fi­cer with the 725th Brigade Sup­port Bat­tal­ion, a 25-year-old quar­ter­mas­ter of­fi­cer hail­ing from Vir­ginia, was hand­picked from a dis­tinct group of rig­ger qual­i­fied of­fi­cers to be part of the Heavy Drop Course at the In­dian Army’s fa­mous Army Air­borne Train­ing School in Agra, sim­i­lar to the es­tab­lish­ment at Fort Ben­ning. The 52-day course be­gan in early Au­gust.

“When I first got there, we found out that the class wasn’t in English. The whole class was in Hindi the en­tire time!” Condyles said in an in­ter­view to an of­fi­cial US Army dis­patch. “They had an old dic­tionary they used to trans­late the tests for me.” Her saviour dur­ing the course was In­dian of­fi­cer Cap­tain Ashish Jha, who trans­lated and guided her through the course.

Lt Condyles was able to as­sist the In­dian Army in train­ing with the type V plat­forms and con­tainer de­liv­ery sys­tems por­tion of the train­ing, com­pat­i­ble with op­er­a­tions on the newly in­ducted C-130Js and C-17s. Ac­cord­ing to the US Army dis­patch on her achieve­ment, “Condyles ex­celled in the heavy drop course and earned the In­dian army’s Medal of Ex­cel­lence for achiev­ing the cov­eted “i” in­di­ca­tor on her com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate. The in­di­ca­tor means she per­formed at such a high level that she is qual­i­fied to be an in­struc­tor for the course.”

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