Find a course on ATRRS. Yes, a Unit Administrator is supposed to help you with this and ultimately has to request a slot for you, but you can help the process by doing a few minutes of research on your own for upcoming classes and slot availability. Before requesting a course, do a bit of leg work and find classes that match your time frame and preferred location.
Distance Learning is an option for some classes. This means the Soldier does the coursework at home station online instead of traveling to attend a resident course. Note that you still have a mentor/Small Group Leader and have to call in at pre-appointed times throughout the course. So this isn’t a work-at-your-own-pace online course. The advantage of DL classes is the flexibility of not having to schedule attendance as the coursework can be done at home on your schedule. The disadvantage is that the normally two-week BNCOC is spread out over three months
Read the Welcome Packet
While the Army maintains standards throughout its courses, there will be differences and unique situations to anyone class. The cadre will put information on their course on ATRRS (another reason to research this yourself) and should send you a welcome letter when you’re enrolled. This is much easier than having to scramble and make last-minute phone calls to your home unit because you didn’t bring some needed bit of paperwork.
An example is this BNCOC class. The 2007 version of the Pre-Execution (TRADOC Form 350-18-2) has been preceded by the 2009 version. Despite formally requesting this new 2009 version in BOLD print in the welcome letter, a number of folks checked in with the older form. Check in for this course was on a Friday and these personnel had to call their units to get an updated form filled out and faxed to them.
Expect to take the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) and have Height/Weight checked when attending any Army course. Depending on the course or class you may not actually, but you should ALWAYS expect to. Besides, fitness and good appearance is in the regulations and it will do you good to be prepared to weigh in and earn a solid APFT score.