It’s been a few days since I have updated you on my activities as I move around our great TRADOC organization. Upfront, I will tell you it’s going to be a rather long post, but well worth your time to read, and I look forward to your comments.
Since my last post, I hosted a Center of Excellence and proponent workshop at Camp Williams, Utah to focus on establishing the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System. NCOPDS will be responsible for developing the NCOs we’ll need for the future Army. Just a quick reminder that NCOPDS has replaced the Noncommissioned Officer Education System or NCOES.
We had a wide range of representatives participate in the workshop such as the Combined Arms Center, Army U, Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, each of the Centers of Excellence, School proponents, National Guard, Army Reserves, Army Medical Department School, Judge Advocate General School, Chaplain School, and of course, the Institute for noncommissioned officer professional development.
From my stand point, the workshop was a resounding success. There was a strategic gain by having the TRADOC-wide participants, and other partners understand the direction the Army is going with NCOPDS. This was also a great opportunity to gain shared commitments to achieving our goals by each of these stakeholders who have such important roles in NCO education and training.
The first day of the conference consisted of a series of briefings from myself followed by INCOPD, USASMA, and ArmyU to the participants on several key subjects and initiatives for establishing NCOPDS.
To set the tone of the workshop, I provided the group with the strategic vision, and introduced the NCO 2020 Strategy as a path to achieving that vision.
Additional briefings included:
• An update on FRAGO 1 to DA EXORD 236-15 S.T.E.P.;
• The One Army School System;
• Joint Professional Military Education for the enlisted force;
• Future changes to the DA Form 1059 Academic Evaluation Report;
• Instructor Screening, Selection, Development, and Recognition;
• Establishment of Common Core Curriculum in NCO PME;
• Credentialing and the Army University;
Here’s an example career map
I believe the briefings were well received and prompted good discussion. For many of the participants, the introduction to the NCO 2020 Strategy was considered extremely valuable and set the stage for the working groups the next day (look for the NCO 2020 Strategy to be out officially during the first quarter, calendar year 2016).
The second day of the conference involved breaking the participants into smaller working groups to focus on several key initiatives in support of the establishment of a NCOPDS.
The Working Groups:
• Collaboratively developed a proposed Army Common Career Map for our NCOs;
• Agreed upon common desired skills, knowledge, and attributes (Be, Know, Do) for each grade of NCO;
• Recommended changes to the DA Form 1059;
• And recommended revisions to the NCO General Learning Outcomes.
I believe the working groups developed some very good products and recommendations in all focus areas. The collaboration was invaluable both in achieving outcomes and in garnering a shared understanding amongst the cross section of participants. Take a look at this example of a career map template which was one of the outcomes from the WGs.
I had a great time working with sergeants major from across TRADOC on really important NCO education initiatives. Here’s photo by SFC Matt Schreifels of a working group I participated in where we talked about creating a common career map for the enlisted cohort.
The last day of the conference started with WGs finalizing recommendations and preparing back briefs. Each group then provided me with a detailed brief on their work and recommendations for their respective subject areas. Again, a healthy discussion occurred amongst the larger audience allowing for further collaboration and refinement of the ideas developed in the WGs.
The following proposals were offered and agreed upon by the participants:
1. Proposed common career map for enlisted cohort
2. Seek Proponent/CMF specific input to compliment career map
3. Proposed common desired Skills, Knowledge, and Attributes for each grade of NCO
4. Recommend revising the NCO General Learning Outcomes to include the KSAs and ensure progressive by grade
5. Establish working group to further develop changes to the DA Form 1059 and establish standards across all COEs and Schools ISO the effort
But we are not done. We will be publishing a TRADOC TASKORD assigning tasks with a suspense to further refine and achieve the proposals listed here. Additionally, we will conduct a similar event in the spring to follow up on the due outs, and identify the next focus areas in support of the NCOPDS – SSDs and the common core instruction that will flow from the Basic Leader Course to the Executive Leader Course.
One final note on the workshop, I would like to recognize the phenomenal support we received from the Utah Army National Guard leadership and the 640th Regional Training Institute at Camp Williams. The success of this workshop was due in large part to the professionalism and welcoming atmosphere provided by the 640th RTI leadership and staff.
Victory Starts Here!
– CSM D