I wanted to provide you with a quick update as to what we have been doing over the past few weeks, since I have had some great guest bloggers proving useful information.
January began with participation from all of our U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command organizations, community partners and sponsors in the 17th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl. In case you didn’t get to see the event, it’s a high school-level football game with the nation’s best 100 players in an East vs. West matchup. Not only does the event recognize the best athletes, but the band is also represented with an all-star group of 125 top marching band members from across the United States. A really busy week for both groups of our nation’s most talented young people. Very proud of all the TRADOC Soldiers who supported this event, which highlighted our world-class team of professionals.
We also began work on examining the integration of common core subjects into our professional military education, or PME. The weeklong conference at Fort Bliss, Texas, brought together leaders, branch proponents and training developers to determine if we have identified the correct task at each level of PME. This total Army effort provided some great insights to the way forward of improving our PME in those NCO-related tasks in four major topics of Leadership and the Profession, Mission Command, the Human Dimension and Professional Competence. We will make sure to post more information as we refine the plan over the next few months here on the blog page.
Last month, supplemental guidance to the NCO 2020 Strategy was released. This new guidance highlights initiatives under the third line of effort, whichfocuses on Stewardship of the Profession. This is a great way for me to lead into our next State of NCO Development Town Hall 4, which is scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m. EDT. As usual, we will take the questions directly from you on this important responsibility we all have as NCOs. To learn more about the event, I recommend you check out TRADOC’s Facebook page or Twitter page.
Finally, I recently had the opportunity to serve as the guest speaker at the Paralegal Advances Leaders Course in Charlottesville, Virginia. Always such a huge honor to be asked to offer some thoughts on leadership and the development of NCOs. I am not really sure how much the graduating NCOs got from me being there, but I walked away very impressed by the essays of the two NCOs who won the writing award.
I have asked those NCOs if I could post the winning essays on my blog for you to read. All I ask is that as you read them, remove the terms of paralegal, or 27D, and insert your job. I think what you will find is pride in the profession, commitment to competence, and increased understanding of the responsibilities as NCOs that should be common across our profession.
I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed hearing them, and I look forward to seeing you in my travels or hearing from you during the town hall March 30.
DUAL PROFESSION AND THE ONE TEAM CONCEPT
SGT Christina M. Poston
The One Team Concept of the Army is one team, one fight, one future. It entails combining the Army’s components for total Army integration in order to achieve the maximum effective results. Throughout each component, it is essential to maintain positive relationships with every Soldier, regardless of the individual’s rank, position, branch, or military occupational specialty (MOS). We are all here for the same purpose: “to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders” (Army Mission).
As paralegals and attorneys in the JAG Corps, our mission is to “provide principled counsel and premier legal services, as committed members and leaders in the legal and Army professions, in support of a ready, globally responsive, and regionally engaged Army.” As legal professionals, it is our responsibility to uphold and enforce the standards expected of a Soldier in the United States Army, both on and off duty. When commanders or Soldiers come to us for guidance, we must always be trained, competent in our abilities, and ready to assist.
As Army Doctrine Reference Publication 1 states, we as Army professionals, are responsible for acting as a “steward of the Army Profession while adhering to the highest standards of the Army’s ethic.” The Army Profession is built upon five essential characteristics: military expertise, honorable service, trust, esprit de corps, and the stewardship of the profession. As a whole, the Army must continuously develop, apply, and certify the expert knowledge needed to defend the constitution and the people of the United States. We must embody the Army values and ethics through honorable service and gain intangible resilience through esprit de corps. We must use our competence, character, and commitment to gain trust among our team and the people of the United States. As Army leaders, we are stewards of the profession. We maintain the trust of the people through adherence to the Army Ethic. Being dual hatted as members of both the legal and Army professions, it is often said that we are held to a higher standard than others. Not only are we are responsible for advising commanders and assisting Soldiers, but we are also responsible for completing regular day-to-day Soldier tasks, such as physical training and weapons qualification. We can deploy at any moment and will always be ready to defend the nation. We are expected to lead from the front and set the example for others to follow. We must maintain the highest level of professionalism and be prepared for current and future challenges that we may be face within our ever-changing environment.
I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my country and work as a member of the JAG Corps. I have had the privilege of working with Soldiers at multiple echelons and learned a lot from each of the different sections. At the end of every day, it is important to realize that we are the one percent of the population who chose to raise our right hand and defend our country. Each MOS within the Army plays a vital role to accomplish our mission. Regardless of what our job is, we must all come together in order for the Army to function effectively. We must foster relationships among each other and assist wherever needed. Lastly, we must be able to communicate effectively and build trust not only among ourselves, but among the people of the United States as well. We are one team, one fight, one future.
THE DUAL PROFESSION AND ONE TEAM CONCEPT
By SGT Steve Thompson
As noncommissioned officers and leaders in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, we are expected to uphold and enforce the standards. We have a responsibility, both as Soldiers and paralegals, to fight and win our nation’s wars, and to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice. This dual profession requires a level of responsibility that is much higher than what would be required of a civilian. We defend the freedom that we all enjoy as U.S. citizens, and ensure that justice and legal services are served in a professional and timely manner to the command teams and Soldiers.
An Army professional is defined in Army Doctrine Reference Publication 1 (ADRP 1) as “a servant of the Nation, an Army expert, and a faithful steward of the people, other resources, and profession entrusted to our care.” This definition of an Army professional applies twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As a servant of the Nation, our country expects us to be an expert in our field and be ready to defend and even make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. The world has threats that are constantly evolving and it is up to us as Noncommissioned Officers to be ready to meet those threats by staying tactically and technically proficient in our Soldier and paralegal tasks.
We have one central mission in the JAG Corps. As defined by the JAG Corps’ mission statement, we are required to “provide principle counsel and premier legal services, as committed members and leaders in the legal and Army professions, in support of a ready, globally responsive, and regionally engaged Army.” In order to meet this standard, we have to constantly be in state of self-improvement by taking college classes, attending military schools, and seeking mentors that can show us the way. The Army and other nations look to the JAG Corps as the standard bearers in our profession, so we have to always maintain the highest level of discipline as we help enforce law and standards. As noncommissioned officers, it is our duty and responsibility to lead our Soldiers in the right way and train them on their Soldier and paralegal tasks.
We must have a “lead from the front” attitude when we execute our mission that the Army has given to us. Commanders and Soldiers look to us to be the example and to make sure that they are not wrong when they are executing their mission. Therefore, we must always ensure we know what right looks like. Whether we are in a garrison environment assisting a Soldier at legal assistance who is requesting a power of attorney or deployed in a combat zone, we must be competent, steadfast, and capable warriors and paralegals in order to get the job done. It is an honor to serve in a Corps where so many strive to surpass the standard on a daily basis. It reflects positively on the noncommissioned officers of the JAG Corps, the JAG Corps itself, and the United States Army when we exceed the standard.
The first example I saw of what a dual profession meant was through my parents. Both my father and mother served in the Army and they were still able to both be a parent and a professional in the Army. I have since carried that mindset with me throughout my career. I know that in order to be the best noncommissioned officer that I can possibly be in the JAG Corps, I have to embrace every day, the dual profession, and the one team concept of the United States Army. Many people do not, and never will, have the privilege of calling themselves a Soldier, let alone be a part of the great profession of being a paralegal in the JAG Corps. I am honored and privileged to be able to count myself as one of the few who can say it.