FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, stands for a photo with Brig. Gen. James Carr-Smith, incoming British military attaché, Sept. 13. During his visit to TRADOC headquarters, Carr-Smith met with senior TRADOC leadership including the command general, deputy commanding general, and Center for Initial Military Training deputy commanding general and the deputy director of TRADOC’s Army Capabilities Integration Center. Carr-Smith also received a broad laydown of TRADOC roles and missions, and together with TRADOC leaders, reaffirmed the key U.S.-U.K. Army relationship and focused on improving interoperability between the two forces. (U.S. Army photo by Rodney Speed)
Archive for September, 2016
Eager to share what they have learned with the next generation of senior noncommissioned officers, 19 sergeants major graduated in August from the pioneering U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellowship Program at Fort Bliss, Texas. The graduates, all newly armed with master’s degrees in adult education from Pennsylvania State University, will perform two- to three years as senior NCO instructors in the Sergeants Major Course.
Dubbing it a major milestone for the NCO Corps and NCO education, Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Defreese, commandant of USASMA, said the distance-learning program was “specifically designed to further our NCO Professional Development System and this should indicate … the Army is committed to the education of our NCOs.”
Advancing the corps
Sylvester Smith, fellowship program manager, read a congratulatory letter to the graduates from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey during the ceremony Aug. 22. Calling the graduating class an inspiration, Dailey wrote “information is a commodity” and urged graduates of the online program to share it.
“I firmly believe you will continue to advance the corps and the Army as you apply your newfound knowledge as instructors in our academy,” Dailey wrote. “Do not hold anything back. As NCOs, we are trained if we share the knowledge then we as a corps will be able to develop and train the most versatile and effective corpsmen our Army has ever seen.”
Offering his own congratulations, Smith said the “graduates represent the best of the profession in the Army and set the standard” for others to follow.
“In your search for knowledge, collectively you have increased your value to service and country,” Smith told the graduates.
Though no specific military occupational specialty is sought, the cross-section of students face an advanced curriculum to better professionalize senior NCO instructors in the classroom. Under the fellowship program, fellows have one year to focus exclusively on completing a master’s degree in adult education.
Guest speaker Renata S. Engel, associate vice provost for online programs at Penn State, told the crowd she was very pleased that two historic organizations such as the university and the U.S. Army came together in a special program and praised the graduates as “risk-takers.”
“You were the first,” Engel said. “There was a risk involved, and I would like to think risk without preparation is folly. … But risk with preparation, along with the confidence that comes that you’re building on foundation … what you create is a path that is more accessible to those who follow. … It’s not just what you accomplish. It’s what you enable others to accomplish, and your degrees in education are actually going to elevate that even higher.”
‘Stick with learning’
In closing her address, Engel said she wouldn’t be giving the graduates any advice as graduation guest speakers often do. Instead, she offered them two wishes.
“I wish that at some point in your life as an educator you have the joy that comes from a student, a learner, someone who’s following you, tell you about the impact that you have made on them,” Engel said. “It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be amazing when it does. … The second wish I have for you is a wish that you will always want, and I don’t just mean in your profession but … throughout life ─ that you love learning and find so much appreciation for it that you stick with learning.”
The fellowship program offers an opportunity for qualified active-duty senior NCOs to become ambassadors of the Army in the classroom who will help develop agile, adaptive and innovative leaders of the future.
After the past year, Sgt. Maj. Timothy W. Magee and Sgt. Maj. Manuel D. Atencio said they are ready to take their talents into the classroom.
“I am hoping to impress what I have learned in school with the students, and partly the information that I have learned in school is going to help us empathize with what the students are going to be going through,” Magee said. “We know from first-hand experience the pressure we felt going through a new program that we didn’t know anything about. That’s exactly how these students coming through the Sergeant Major Course feel. We’ve got recent education experience with the same anxieties that they are getting ready to experience, so I think that’s going to help us [in the classroom].”
“It was a transformational process, not having been in school for a while to taking four classes at one time,” Atencio said. “It was a great learning experience.”
Both graduates said they would recommend the fellowship program to senior NCOs and encourage them to continue their education.
“I think it’s a very worthwhile program,” Magee said. “One of the amazing parts was when we all got together at Christmas time and we had just completed four classes. … I didn’t realize I had learned anything until we sat around and talked. Just listening to everybody say, ‘Well we talked about this, and we learned this and we learned that,’ and I’m like ‘Holy cow, we actually did learn something.’ It was amazing and pretty fun, too.”
Fellowship program graduates
- Sgt. Maj. James J. Adcock
- Sgt. Maj. Manuel D. Atencio
- Sgt. Maj. Scot D. Cates
- Sgt. Maj. Carl B. Dwyer Jr.
- Sgt. Maj. John O. Garrison
- Sgt. Maj. Reginald R. Gooden
- Sgt. Maj. Jason B. Johnson
- Sgt. Maj. David J. Lee Jr.
- Sgt. Maj. Jason F. Leeworthy
- Sgt. Maj. Timothy W. Magee
- Sgt. Maj. Patrick D. Mason
- Sgt. Maj. Feliece Y. Murrell
- Sgt. Maj. Pedro F. Quiñones
- Sgt. Maj. Dennis M. Reynolds
- Sgt. Maj. Ryan C. Robert
- Sgt. Maj. Christopher A. Roche
- Sgt. Maj. Timothy C. Todd
- Sgt. Maj. Steven M. Townsend
- Sgt. Maj. Terry J. Wade
For more information on the program, contact Sgt. Maj. Joseph J. Hissong, director, USASMA Fellowship Program at 915-744-8827 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Graduates from the pioneering U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellowship Program at Fort Bliss, Texas, take their seats during a ceremony. Nineteen sergeants major graduated Aug. 22 with master’s degrees in adult education from Pennsylvania State University. (U.S. Army photo by Martha C. Koester)
What is it?
Unified Quest is the chief of staff of the Army’s future study program designed to identify issues and explore solutions critical to current and future force development. Unified Quest 2016, managed by Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center – Future Warfare Division, helps senior Army leaders understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead and assess critical changes to the future operational environment and their implications for the future force.
What has the Army done?
Among other achievements, previous Unified Quest future studies resulted in the publication of TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500, “Commanders Appreciation and Campaign Design,” and revisions to the Army Capstone Concepts, Army 2020 narrative and required capabilities development.
What continued efforts are planned for the future?
Unified Quest 2016 and 2017 focus on developing a common understanding of the 2030-2050 future operational environment. Through this understanding, the Army will develop concepts for how the Army, along with its joint, inter-organizational and multinational partners, could fight in the future operating environment. The future study plan will also identify the characteristics, attributes, and required capabilities and opportunities of the future force under realistic scenarios.
During May’s Deep Future Wargame, study participants developed initial projections of the 2030-2050 operational environment, an assessment of the sources of military power with respect to threats and missions, and implications for Army and military operations. This information will be used to develop draft chapters of TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-300, “Vision of Future Conflict 2050.”
Why is this important to the Army?
Unified Quest provides a venue for the Army to explore a wide range of possible futures, generate innovative ideas, and consider how to integrate new capabilities into doctrine, operations, and force structure. Unified Quest does this by using a resource-informed perspective that is not limited by the resource constraints that typically drive near-term planning and programming.
- TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500, “Commanders Appreciation and Campaign Design”
- TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, “Army Capstone Concepts”
The U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, home to the U.S. Army Military Police Corps Regiment, is gearing up to host a celebration that will only happen once in the regiment’s history.
The Military Police Corps Regiment will observe its 75th anniversary, themed “From the Marechaussee to the Military Police of Today: ‘Of the Troops and For the Troops’ — 75 years,” Wednesday through Sept. 26.
“This diamond anniversary could not be possible without the great sacrifices of our Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians serving in our formations across the world,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin Vereen, U.S. Army Military Police School commandant. “People should care about MP Regimental Week, because we’re living in a world that’s a lot more complex than it used to be.”
To commemorate the milestone occasion, the MP Corps Regiment will host several events on post to honor the contributions of past and present MP Soldiers, network, gather best practices and discuss the way ahead for the military police profession.
“This is an opportunity for us to reflect on the impact the military police community has had on the Army over the last 75 years, and what they will continue to do in the future to serve the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense,” Vereen said.
A Strategic Operational Planning Conference for MP personnel takes place Wednesday and Sept. 15.
“We’re making sure our Soldiers are ready to serve in a variety of capacities across our core competencies,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring, USAMPS regimental command sergeant major. “Whether that’s policing, corrections or investigations, by our actions we help preserve the fighting force.”
Concurrent to the planning session, the annual Military Police Regimental Association Expo will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at Nutter Field House, where members of the MP profession will have a chance to see some of the most current technology used in the field today.
Events continue Sept. 19 as the official unveiling of the Marechaussee statue and MP Memorial Tribute are planned for 9:45 a.m. at the MP Memorial Grove. This event is open to the public, and the inclement weather location is Soldier Memorial Chapel.
The commandant will host a “Salute to Law Enforcement” reception for representatives of law enforcement agencies from across the state of Missouri at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in the MP Regimental Room.
Spouses are scheduled to meet up from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Stem Village for hands-on activities to learn more about the regiment and social time.
Select members of the regiment will take to the sky for a paratrooper and heavy drop airborne operations demo Sept. 20 to 21 at Training Area 210.
The annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and luncheon at Pershing Community Center, followed by a photo hanging at the Military Police Regimental Museum, takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21. Advanced registration is required to attend the Hall of Fame luncheon by calling the MSCoE Protocol Office at 573.563.6145 by Sept. 15.
Gammon Field will serve as the backdrop for a regimental review at 9 a.m., followed by an optional regimental motorcycle ride to Licking, Missouri, at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22.
Several retired military groups will reunite during a welcome and tour Sept. 22, and a memorial tribute Sept. 24.
A regimental golf tournament starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at Piney Valley Golf Course. The regiment will gather for the MP Regimental Ball at 5 p.m. Sept. 24 in Nutter Field House.
Finally, members of the regiment will team up to run 72.25 miles and conclude with a 2.75-mile-regimental-formation run beginning at 5:30 a.m. Sept. 26 on Gammon Field, to complete a total of 75 miles.
“As we look forward to the next 75 years, we will make great advances in technology to further enhance our mission and capability,” Vereen said. “We are still going to have a huge law enforcement mission. I see a lot more collaboration among units. I see units made up of all of our disciplines.”
“You’ll only see the 75th (MP anniversary) once in a lifetime, so it’s important to take time out to see some of the events representing our history and our regiment,” Vereen added. “If you’re able to make it to Fort Leonard Wood, we’d like to see you here, or celebrate at your posts, camps and stations across the world.”
Army modernization exercises hosted at Fort Bliss are making a significant shift this fall, from formal tests focusing on the Army’s network, to early assessments of possible technology and capability solutions to meet the Army Warfighting Challenges. These assessments will take place through the Army Warfighting Assessment 17.1, or AWA, where fleets of Army vehicles are currently being configured to support the interoperability of the systems.
Planning for the Army’s first official AWA has been ongoing for more than a year, with Army leaders refining its concept for the past several years. All of this work leads up to an October field event taking place in the realistic operational environment of the Fort Bliss desert, where Soldiers will employ and utilize the innovative capabilities in a variety of mission scenarios.
The AWA is derived from the Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, which was formerly a semi-annual event. Now, the annual NIEs will continue to mature the Army’s tactical network from a test and evaluation perspective, while annual AWAs will focus on early development and assessments of new technologies for the battlefield.
“As the Army continues to execute and refine modernization efforts, aligned with that are the respective NIE and AWA processes,” said Col. Terrece Harris, director, Capability Package Directorate, or CPD. “AWA efforts will have a tremendous positive impact on the Army’s ability to assess early network and non-network capabilities that can have significant near term benefits for Soldiers.”
Harris leads the team accountable for designing, configuring and integrating the platforms and vehicles utilized during NIEs and AWAs. CPD works with Program Executive Offices, program managers, and industry, who have a variety of capabilities that are in need of Soldier feedback. To give Soldiers time with those capabilities on Army platforms, engineers created 36 different vehicle designs to support the first official AWA.
“What makes AWAs and NIEs so unique is that the vehicle and network architecture changes twice a year, whereas traditional units spend several years on a single architecture,” said Eric Nevarez, integration chief for Capability Package Directorate. “With the AWA being a joint and coalition event, we face the challenge of aligning each Army AWA architecture with other services and nations.”
AWA 17.1 is expected to include more than 44 different capabilities. Engineers and integrators must focus on important factors when integrating capabilities onto vehicles, such as size, weight, and power. Neglecting any of these factors may affect the interoperability of the systems and the overall performance of the equipment for Soldiers executing the event out in the field.
“What we provide to the AWAs are integrated-vehicle networked platforms that will provide the coalition with a network to rely on for the brigade,” said Nevarez. “We also provide an opportunity for the world to see how these technologies and concepts emerge and show how the Army is taking into consideration the need to evolve from legacy Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance systems and what our team is doing to augment that evolution.”
For AWAs, there is a common theme of collaboration. Several stakeholders participate in this joint and coalition environment, which will facilitate improvements of technologies as well as multinational interoperability between the Army and its allies. The combined effort will help develop and refine new concepts and capability requirements by obtaining Soldier feedback early and often.
“Within this world of modernization, we don’t work in a stovepipe fashion,” explained Nevarez. “Instead, we promote working with all stakeholders, take legacy platforms, rapidly integrate and deliver them to meet the AWA mission in just a matter of months. This exemplifies how the Army is working to improve intra-agency cooperation to make Army priorities happen.”
Photo credit: During the Army Warfighting Assessment 17.1 Fleet Build, a Soldier swiftly inspects his vehicle while inside one of the bays at the Integration Motor Pool at Fort Bliss, Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Vanessa Flores)
After four days of difficult competition, the 15 NCOs vying to become the 2016 Drill Sergeant and AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year were called into the Bowen Room of the Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for the announcement of the winners.
The toll the competition had taken was obvious, as many limped in to take their spots, walking delicately to avoid blisters and burns on their sore feet. They were pained and tired, but still standing proud.
Then the announcement came. Sgt. 1st Class Martin Delaney, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was named the 2016 Drill Sergeant of the Year. Sgt. Ryan Moldovan, 98th Training Division, was named 2016 Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year. Staff Sgt. Brandon Laspe, Panama City, Florida, was named Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year.
The 1st Sgt. Tobias Meister Award, which goes to the competitor who scored highest on his Army Physical Fitness Test, was awarded to Staff Sgt. Dustin Randall, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Before the winners were announced, the NCOs heard from Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, commanding general of the Center for Initial Military Training, who told them he was impressed by what he saw during the week. He also told a story about a family he met.
“There are a lot of families at my hotel because of the graduation,” Funkhouser said. “One family had a little boy, he was probably 10 years old. He sees me in uniform and he comes to start talkin
g to me, making small talk, chatting away. He says, ‘Hey, my older brother is graduating tomorrow from basic training. He wants to be a drill sergeant one day.’ I say, ‘That’s pretty neat. Our drill sergeants are impressive individuals.’ So, he says, ‘Are you a drill sergeant?’ I look down at my rank, stand up straight so he can see it, and say, ‘No, I’m a General.’ He said, ‘Oh … so will you ever get promoted to drill sergeant?’”
After being named Drill Sergeant of the Year, Delaney said the feeling he got when he heard his name called could be summed up in one word: “Incredible.”
“Everything is so secretive that you have no idea where you stand,” Delaney said. “Everybody is on pins and needles, and you hope you did well enough in all the events so that they can call your name. It was a great feeling. These guys are the best from every installation, so of course, they are going to be very good at everything, and it was kind of nerve-wracking watching them do things so well.”
As AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year, Laspe said he was looking forward to his chance to work at the strategic level with the Training and Doctrine Command. As part of their victories, the winners of the drill sergeant and AIT platoon sergeant competitions spend the next year working at Fort Jackson, assisting TRADOC with policy.
“The competition was grueling, physically and mentally, but that’s what we train for and that’s what we prepare for,” Laspe said. “I’m excited to affect things at a more strategic level because now, instead of impacting my field and my group of Soldiers, I’ll have an impact on the entire Army. That’s pretty exciting.”
To be named Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year, Moldovan had to survive a difficult challenge from Sgt. 1st Class Jason Scott, 95th Training Division. As the competition wore on, their respect for each other grew through the tests.
“These NCOs are top notch,” Moldovan said. “I had to keep up with them 100 percent of the way.
“I could talk to you all day about Drill Sgt. Scott,” Moldovan continued. “His ethics, his principles, his integrity. I’ll tell you a story about Drill Sgt. Scott. We were head-to-head, right? It’s me against him for all the glory. We had a surprise ruck march. They brought us into a line, we had our ruck sacks on, and they said, ‘Alright drill sergeants: Ruck march. Unknown distance, unknown time.’ I started tightening my straps. I went to tighten a strap, and it unsnapped. There was nothing I could do to get it to snap, and everybody was already halfway down the road. Drill Sgt. Scott — knowing that I’m his direct competition — stopped to help me. He said, ‘I got you, Battle,’ and he snapped me up and then we ran together on the ruck march. I have so much respect for Drill Sgt. Scott. He is a great competitor.”
There could only be the three winners, but as Funkhouser said earlier in the week, the 15 competitors were already “the best of the best.” The 15 walked and limped away from the week with memories they won’t soon forget. And Delaney, Moldovan and Laspe walked away with shiny new titles: Drill Sergeant, Army Reserve Drill Sergeant and AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year.
Previously in The NCO Journal:
Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Brandon Laspe (from left), 2016 AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year; Sgt. Ryan Moldovan, 2016 U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year; and Sgt. 1st Class Martin Delaney, 2016 Drill Sergeant of the Year, pose after the awards ceremony Sept. 9 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.