Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Senior NCO: 'Capacity Building' Begins With Enlisted Force

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 18, 2007 - While
Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, was here today meeting with senior Tongan military and government officials, his senior enlisted leader, who had accompanied the admiral, was noticeably absent. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. James A. Roy frequently joins Keating during overseas meetings to explain how the U.S. military trains, equips and develops its enlisted force as leaders.

But, Roy said, Tonga already has a keen appreciation of the value of a strong enlisted force and noncommissioned officer corps, and an effort is afoot to professionalize the country's NCO corps.

So rather than preaching to the choir in
military headquarters buildings, Roy spent his time here out in the field, checking on Tonga's progress. He visited with Tongan soldiers, sailors and Marines, observed troops going through basic training, walked through the Marine Corps barracks, and checked out the hangar that houses Tonga's tiny air force fleet.

"I'm impressed by what I've seen in Tonga, that commanders are giving (enlisted members) the responsibilities and authorities they need to lead the force," he said.

Just two and a half months into the job as PACOM's top NCO, Roy said he sees an increasing recognition within the Asia-Pacific theater of just how much the enlisted corps can bring to the mission.

Some regional countries haven't let go of the old mindset that strong NCOs diminish the authority of the officer corps, Roy conceded. "It doesn't. It compounds that authority," he said. "And that's what more militaries are realizing."

Mongolia, for example, has left behind its old Soviet-style
military structure, investing training funds to develop its enlisted troops into leaders, he said. The Philippines are going through "complete reform" in professionalizing their force. Japan has made "huge strides," Roy said.

U.S. military works closely with these countries to offer assistance. Foreign troops attend U.S. military schools and NCO academies. American NCOs train foreign servicemembers who return home to train other troops. The United States and its allies train together through military exercises around the world.

When he visits with foreign militaries interested in strengthening their NCO corps, Roy emphasizes there's no one-size-fits-all formula. Even the United States, which stands alongside Australia and New Zealand on the leading edge of NCO professionalism, has no one system for developing NCOs, he said.

In August, when a group of Malaysian officers visited the PACOM headquarters to talk about their enlisted force, Roy pointed to differences in the four U.S. armed services' NCO academy programs. "I told them that when you go out and visit our services, you will see different ways of doing it, all very successful in what they are accomplishing," he said.

As the United States helps other nations work to achieve similar successes within their own militaries, Roy said, it's also helping to build stronger regional partners.

This effort, called "capacity building," is critical for these partners to be able to carry out missions ranging from peacekeeping to humanitarian responses together.

But it's particularly important, he said, in light of pressing threats they face, particularly in the global war on terror.

"This is something we as a nation can't do alone. It's beyond our capability," Roy said. "Succeeding will take many nations working together and contributing to the effort. And as we help strengthen our partners, we're building the capacity that's needed to confront the threat."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gala Honors Outstanding Leadership

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 14, 2007 - Paralyzed Veterans of America held its annual Americana Gala at the National Building Museum here last night. In keeping with the evening's theme of "Building a Better Tomorrow," the event paid tribute to visionary individuals and corporate
leaders who have championed improved quality of life for veterans and people with disabilities. These improvements include working toward an accessible, barrier-free America and ensuring better access to job-seeking tools and employment opportunities.

"Imagine an America where veterans with disabilities and their families have everything they need to thrive," said Homer S. Townsend Jr., the organization's acting executive director. "Through their
leadership, the people and businesses we honor tonight are helping paralyzed veterans make this vision a reality."

Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao received the 2007 Honor for Public Service Award for her enduring service and her advocacy for the veteran community. U.S. Rep. James Langevin of Rhode Island received the 2007 Congressional Award for his long-time support of both the Paralyzed Veterans of America and veterans. Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia received the 2007 Patriotic Award for his longtime advocacy for veterans with disabilities.

Additionally, the group presented Michael Graves of the Michael Graves and Associates architectural firm with the 2007 Health and Design Award for his efforts to maximize the independence of people with disabilities and his
leadership and innovation in the creation of quality medical devices. United Parcel Service received the 2007 Award for Corporate Leadership for its enduring advocacy for people and veterans with disabilities.

Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease. The organization has more than 19,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

(From a Paralyzed Veterans of America news release.)

Editor's Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil. America Supports You directly connects military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the
military community.

Top Army Reserve NCO Cites Challenges Ahead in Transforming Force

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 14, 2007 - For perspective about how much the
Army Reserve has changed as it has evolved from a strategic reserve to an operational force that's a key player in the war on terror, few could offer as much insight as its senior enlisted soldier. Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Caffie was drafted into the Army in 1970 and served as an infantryman in Vietnam. After returning home, he joined an Army Reserve far different from the one he helps to lead today.

The little equipment reserve units had at the time was cast off from active-duty units. The training "weekend warriors" got when they gathered in their reserve centers typically consisted of reading military
training manuals. If they went to the range for weapons qualification, they borrowed weapons from an active unit. Annual training was all but devoid of training.

Caffie remembers his first reserve AT, at Fort Jackson, S.C. He and his fellow reservists had to cut through the weeds to get to the condemned buildings they'd been assigned to work in. Their biggest task, Caffie recalls, was to put together the unit's annual AT party.

"They really didn't expect us to do anything," he said. "We were more of a nuisance to the active component than we were assets."

Flash forward 33 years, and Caffie is happy to report: "That legacy force no longer exists."

Army Reserve has changed from a force of last resort to an integral part of the Army structure, he said. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, more than 102,000 of the Army Reserve's 200,000 members have mobilized to support the war effort.

As the 10th senior enlisted advisor to the Army Reserve chief, Caffie is helping the Army Reserve continue to move beyond the legacy force he once served in. And a big part of that task, he said, is looking out for soldiers' interests.

Army Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz interviewed 16 people before selecting Caffie to the job last year. Impressed by Caffie's ability to impose strict standards and his genuine concern for the troops, Stultz said, he knew he had his man to help move the Army Reserve transformation forward.

"He won't tolerate substandard performance, and that's what soldiers appreciate – the fact that he demands and lives up to that warrior ethos and doesn't ask anything of a soldier that he's not willing to do himself," the general said at Caffie's swearing-in ceremony.

Even Caffie's job description represented a shift from the Army Reserve's old way of doing business. In the past, the
Army Reserve had two enlisted leaders: one for the U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., and another for the chief of the Army Reserve in Washington. Stultz merged the two jobs into one position.

"This is symbolic of not only bringing in new
leadership, but also of the fact that we're transforming the reserves into an operational force from an old, legacy force," Stultz said.

As he supports that transformation, Caffie focuses on
training soldiers, developing leaders and helping reservists balance their military and civilian careers and family responsibilities.

Caffie has a keen appreciation of the juggling act citizen-soldiers face. He spent 28 years in law enforcement before retiring from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office in Florida, all while serving in increasingly responsible
Army Reserve jobs.

Now that he's in a position to make a difference, Caffie said, he's committed to changing old-school ways to make it easier for citizen-soldiers to serve.

He's convinced, for example, that fixed battle assemblies – "drill weekends" in Caffie's earlier days – aren't the best way to train Army Reservists. He said he's encouraged to see more flexible schedules for reservists to enhance their skills.

When they train, Caffie wants reservists out in the field as much as possible, not in those "concrete cocoons that we call
Army Reserve centers." Soldiers appreciate knowing that their training is worthwhile, and get motivated developing their leadership skills, he said.

"The key is to get the soldiers into a field environment. Show them appreciation. Challenge them with
leadership roles," Caffie said. "And they will deliver."

They're delivering every day, he said, with some the vast majority of the 26,000 reservists currently mobilized serving in about 20 countries around the world, including Iraq. In addition to carrying out a broad range of critical missions overseas, about 6,000 reservists are training other troops about to deploy.

During his regular visits to check on these mobilized reservists, Caffie said, he's struck by the contrast to his early
Army Reserve days. "You can walk into the theater today in Afghanistan and Iraq and I would wager that you could not distinguish the active-duty soldier from the reserve-component soldier," he said.

This, he said, shows that new approaches to
training soldiers are paying off. "We've changed the paradigm and the old, mundane way of leadership. We're able to maintain the same high standards, but have torn down the boxes that we have built around ourselves," he said.

One big change is the way the Army Reserve looks at its members' civilian job responsibilities. Caffie said there's a growing recognition of the value of the vast civilian skills reservists bring to the
military force beyond they military occupational specialties.

"It's important that we understand the force we have and the diversity that reservists bring to the fight," he said. "For too long, people have overlooked the wealth of experience reservists bring in terms of their education and civilian-acquired skills."

Caffie rattled off examples of the unique professional skills. Among them was the story of a young Army Reserve specialist the sergeant major met when visiting a medical unit deployed to Sarajevo. The soldier was working in a corner of the medical facility, hunched over a malfunctioning MRI machine he had torn apart.

"He told me he works for the company that makes the machines," Caffie said. "He said he knew what the problem was, that he'd called back to his company to get them to send the parts it needed, and that he'd put it back together and get it working.

"That's the kind of expertise you have in the Army Reserve, so it's important that you understand what you've got," he continued. "We have people with two unique professional skills – the one they train on as an MOS and the one they bring from their civilian careers."

These civilian-acquired skills make
Army Reservists particularly value to the military, Caffie said.

With Stultz, he's working to remove some of the roadblocks that interfere with their ability to continue serving. They promote employer support programs and praise efforts being advanced through the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

They're also focusing on programs for families, particularly during reserve call-ups. "We recruit soldiers, but we sustain families," Caffie said. "We still have a ways to go, but I think we have made significant improvements in that arena."

Some of Caffie's focus boils down to issues as basic as clearing the way to pay reservists for out-of-pocket expenses associated with their military
training. Caffie relayed the story of an Army Reserve specialist who regularly drives more than 250 miles to his battle assemblies, pays two nights' hotel costs to attend them and has to pick up the tab for two meals a day while he's away from home for training. At the end of a drill weekend, the soldier ends up in the red.

"It's not fair, but that is the legacy way that we have done business," Caffie said. "We need to move away from that into an operational mindset. An operational mindset says that I have talented soldiers out there, and I will do anything within my power to ensure they are treated fairly and get what they are entitled to."

Fixing this problem is one of the "rocks" Caffie said his boss has "put into my rucksack."

"I got rid of some of them, but some are still there," he said. "I still have some I continue to work on."

As he picks away at these rocks, Caffie said he gets personal gratification knowing he's serving his soldiers and helping the
Army Reserve move beyond that legacy force he joined back in 1974.

One indication of how far that force has come is reflected in Army Reserve retention rates. Attrition – at chronic levels during Caffie's early Army Reserve days – is at its lowest point in seven years as the
Army Reserve exceeds all retention goals.

Caffie called these retention successes "remarkable," particularly among troops who have deployed to combat. "If you look at the stats for soldiers who have been deployed in the Army Reserve, those retention rates are astronomical as well," he said. "We have done a remarkable job of retaining soldiers with combat experience, who have deployed into either Afghanistan or Iraq."

These retention rates are no accident, he said, particularly when some Army Reserve troops already have served two deployments, and some are preparing for their third deployment.

"When you throw all those angles into the mix, and you are still able to retain them, we are doing something correct," he said. "I think that's about
leadership. It starts at the top."

Ultimately, Caffie attributes the success of the
Army Reserve and the fact that its members continue to serve to old-fashioned patriotism. Many reservists serve because they believe they're making a contribution to their country and helping preserve its freedoms, he said.

"That's the reason a lot of these soldiers continue to serve today -- because they figure that one must be willing to pay to be free," he said. "They're great American patriots."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Verbal Judo Way of Leadership

The Verbal Judo Institute is pleased to announce that the latest book written by Dr. George "Rhino" Thompson, “The Verbal Judo Way of Leadership—Empowering the Thin Blue Line from the Inside Up," is now available!

For many years Dr. Thompson has sought to present the Verbal Judo philosophy on leadership in written form. "The Verbal Judo Way of
Leadership" is a unique co-authorship between George Thompson, founder and president of The Verbal Judo Institute and VJ instructor/retired "Green Beret" Greg Walker.

This book features exclusive new material on the art of
Tactical Communications and the elusive art of superior leadership. Dr. Thompson and Greg Walker combine their diverse professional backgrounds with their shared vision of Verbal Judo concepts to help Peace Officers achieve excellence as law enforcement supervisors, managers, administrators, and beyond. Drawing from Dr. Thompson's street and courtroom proven Verbal Judo philosophy and his co-author's dual careers as an Army Special Forces combat leader and civilian peace officer "The Verbal Judo Way of Leadership –Empowering the Thin Blue Line from the Inside Up" is MUST reading for the 21st Century law enforcement officer, First Responder, and military man or woman intent on achieving true success as a leader in his or her chosen profession.

For additional information, please review the attached Verbal Judo Merchandise Catalog or visit our

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Situational Leadership® II for Law Enforcement Training Program (SLTP)

The role of the law enforcement supervisor and manager has changed. In the past, supervisors and managers were expected to be the boss, evaluator, judge, and critic. In today’s rapidly changing world the authoritarian manager that valued compliance, conformity and command control hierarchies will not be able to keep up with the pace of change. Today, the law enforcement manager and supervisor must become a partner, facilitator, cheerleader, supporter, and coach in order to be successful. As law enforcement leaders, our task is to accomplish the organizational mission by means of our greatest resource, our people. As law enforcement leaders, we must understand that the value of diversity is that each individual brings his or her unique experience, skills and commitment to the organization and its mission. Today’s law enforcement leader must be able to successfully use a variety of leadership styles depending on the task, mission, and individual. Situational Leadership® II can provide you with a variety of leadership tools that can enhance your effectiveness and success as a supervisor, in this rapidly changing world.

This program teaches the
leadership model developed and perfected by Dr. Ken Blanchard, and his colleagues at The Ken Blanchard Companies. The FLETC Law Enforcement Leadership Institute (LELI) and The Ken Blanchard Companies have collaborated to customize the program for law enforcement leaders and managers. It provides a unique opportunity for law enforcement professionals to not only refine their supervisory and leadership skills, but more importantly, to use SL® II to develop their people.

The instructors are current or former
law enforcement professionals and have been qualified by The Ken Blanchard Companies to present the program. These professionals bring a unique understanding of the law enforcement culture, and practical knowledge of how to meet the challenges that face a law enforcement supervisor in operational settings.

Participants in this program will gain an understanding of how to apply Situational
Leadership® II in both their personal lives and their law enforcement careers. Participants will explore topics to develop skills using an adult learning model that employs lecture, case studies, practical exercises, and self-directed learning. This program is highly participatory and hands on.

For Course Information: