Leadership News

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Face of Defense: Marine Recruit Strives for Leadership Role

By Marine Corps Cpl. Walter Marino III
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

SAN DIEGO  – Most everyone sets goals for their lives. Marine recruits are no different, and many enter training hoping to earn a leadership position. However, goals sometimes take more time to achieve than expected and for one recruit, it took most of boot camp to get within reach of a leadership billet.

Throughout recruit training, Marine Corps Pvt. Zachery T. Douthitt, Platoon 3242, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, strived to be a squad leader or guide. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the later stages of training that his drill instructors noticed his upstanding character.

“He’s been a good recruit this whole cycle,” said Sgt. Alanser Uruo, the platoon’s senior drill instructor. “He always puts out in all the events, whether it’s physically training, drill or guided discussions.”

Out of a platoon of 60 recruits, only four are selected as squad leaders and one as platoon guide.

At 5 feet 4 inches, Douthitt, a 20-year-old native of Muncie, Ind., is one of the smaller recruits in his platoon. He also has a calm demeanor and is soft spoken. While that didn’t make him a bad recruit, it did make it harder for him to get noticed.

“I always tried to show leadership characteristics,” said Douthitt. “I don’t know why I wasn’t picked. I hope to get recognized after boot camp to show I did give everything I have.”

Uruo said that it’s possible for Douthitt to pick up a leadership role in the Corps if he does three things: “All he has to do is stand out, be more vocal [and] take more initiative.”

Although Douthitt was a good recruit, Uruo said, it took until the second and third phase of recruit training to notice his outstanding positive and humble character.

“If I wanted to know how the platoon was doing, I would ask him. That’s how much confidence I have in him,” said Uruo. “The way he presents himself, his mannerisms, motivates other recruits. He has really good character and is a humble recruit.”

As the weeks passed in training, Uruo said Douthitt’s positivity and motivation became obvious, particularly when he would consistently provide input during recruit classes and direct fellow recruits to improve.

However, Uruo said, by that time it was too late in the game to switch up the leadership roster.

Fellow recruits called Douthitt a positive light and someone who always helped others during stressful times.

“He would help me when I was struggling,” said Pvt. Justin E. Duncan, one of Douthitt’s platoon mates. “I remember telling him that I didn’t know what I was doing here and he told me basically to keep my eyes on the prize of becoming a Marine.”

Although Douthitt did not reach his goal of holding a leadership billet in recruit training, he said it hasn’t discouraged him from continuing to excel. Douthitt believes he can earn it during his time in the Marine Corps.

“He’s been that positive person that people have looked up to,” said Duncan. “Yeah he’s not a squad leader now but if he continues the way he is there is no doubt in my mind he’s going to accomplish big things.”

Douthitt said that not being picked as squad leader didn’t affect him; it instead drove him to try harder to help others and to be someone to look up to.

“I’m not going to let my efforts stop here in boot camp,” said Douthitt. “I’m going to keep trying to do my best.”

Douthitt is the son and brother of former Marines, and, he said, he plans on passing on to his kids the values of honor and courage he learned in recruit training.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nimitz Presents First Lt. Cmdr. Regina P. Mills Leadership Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Renee Candelario, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy distributed the first Lt. Cmdr. Regina Pearl Mills Leadership Award during an award ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) Aug. 9.

 More than 500 Sailors from the Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AB) community assembled on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) for the ceremony.
The award was presented to Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Saleema N. Massey.

"I'm excited," said Massey. "I didn't expect it. It's a very big thing for me. My heart is still racing. I was really close to Regina. I was here for both her tours on Nimitz and she did my last reenlistment. Having this award means a lot."

During the ceremony, Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Mill's, Regina's husband, addressed the crowd of AB's.

"A few weeks after my wife's death I was contacted by members of the Aviation Boatswain's Mate Association (ABMA) to discuss a way in which we can honor Regina's memory," said Mills. "The decision was made by the ABMA Board of Directors to create this award. I cannot thank the ABMA enough."

Mills added that the purpose of the award is to recognize the outstanding leadership in the AB community.

 Regina's daughter, Cherie Ayer, also attended the ceremony to assist in presenting the award.

"[The ceremony] was really touching for me," said Ayer. "I'm really glad the award went to Massey. She's a great person and she deserves it. I'm glad everyone was able to get together on Nimitz. There's a lot of history on this ship. I'm glad to be here."

Regina reported for her second tour aboard Nimitz in December 2009 to serve as the Navy's first female aircraft handling officer. She is known for her strength, determination and tremendous leadership during her tours, said Mills.

Regina was struck and killed by a vehicle when she stopped to assist others involved in a traffic collision in Gig Harbor, Wash., Jan. 23, 2012.

Nimitz recently arrived at NASNI after successful completion of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Leadership Speakers Tout Community Partnerships

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

MONTEREY, Calif.  – Leaders from each of the services shared their perspectives on how to maintain community ties in an era of efficiencies, stewardship and renewable energy pursuits at a conference here today.

Craig College, deputy assistant chief of staff, installation management; Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, Navy southwest region commander; Jim Holland, deputy for Air Force installation policy; and Dave Clifton, Marine Corps Installation Command deputy spoke at the installation leadership forum during the 2012 Association of Defense Communities Annual Conference.

College lauded initiatives such as The Community Covenant, an Army program designed to foster and sustain effective state and community partnerships with all services to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families at both current and future duty stations.

“It’s this partnering relationship without the exchange of cash, without the exchange of contracts, that gives me some optimism as we look to things like municipal services … that we have already (a) framework of cooperation that will permit us to figure out how to bring (more) of those kinds of support groups,” College said.

Holland spoke about the community support the Air Force received through a partnership regarding the service’s recent decision to base the F-35 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The partnership is important not only to the aircraft arrival in fiscal 2015, but also in December 2014 when the Air Force will make its next F-35 basing decision.

Air Force bases throughout the nation have seen local community partnership surges in ventures ranging from resorts to hotels and even to hyperbaric chambers, Holland said, but the aviation aspect is one of the larger pieces of the budget puzzle.

“For every dollar that a barrel of crude goes up, the aviation fuel bill goes up $600 million … so you can see why we watch this,” he said.

The volatility of the market is huge, Holland explained, stressing the urgency of the service looking to the commercial sector to help carry the load for alternative fuels.

Clifton shared Holland’s sentiment regarding budgetary tides. “The pace and volume of change is enormous right now,” he said. “For leadership to have clear priorities, we need to have a good idea about what we can do differently.”

Clifton said the Marine Corps has pushed efficiencies, paring where feasible and adding where needed, specifically with the addition of 22,000 Marines for war, land acquisitions at 29 Palms, Calif., and the in-sourcing of information technology and security forces assets.

Smith, whose command is headquartered in San Diego, acknowledged the vitality of the job market for military, contractors and retirees in his domain.

“One in four jobs in San Diego exists either because the individual is in the military, or a civilian employee of the Department of Defense or a contractor.”

“We cannot do anything within a stovepipe; we have to work with the community,” he said.
With just six months in the region, Dixon said, he already has been asked to join the board for Cleantech Group, a San Diego-based organization in collaboration with about 200 eco-centric companies to develop green solutions for business leaders in the military and private sectors.

“Our military forces and installations are phenomenal stewards of the environment,” Dixon said.

Friday, August 03, 2012

First sergeant position provides perspective

by Airman 1st Class Brooke P. Beers
18th Wing Public Affairs

8/1/2012 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan  -- The U.S. Air Force can easily be compared to a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle; it wouldn't be a whole picture if even one piece was missing.

Airmen can get absorbed into their individual jobs and easily forget about how other puzzle pieces are helping to hold them together.

"I've been a first sergeant for maintenance, security forces, the 31st Rescue Squadron and now (communications)," said Master Sgt. Sara Solecki, 18th Communications Squadron first sergeant. "All four squadrons are unique in their own way. They all contribute to the mission, but you don't get to see that from sitting in the clinic."

Solecki was a medic for 15 years and worked in the 18th Medical Group's Family Practice section before becoming a first sergeant.

"A medic's job is to take care of people, make them feel better and do what you can to help them with their situation," said Solecki. "But as you go higher up in ranks, the less you get to interact with the patients and you do more administrative things; you're away from the helping type of environment, which is what I liked."

Thankfully, Solecki had a first sergeant at the time that was adamant about being involved in the squadron and did everything to help everyone out. Solecki decided then that being a first sergeant would be the perfect way to be able to stay involved in helping people.

"In Airman Leadership School or NCO Academy you meet new people and learn about what they do, but you don't really get to experience it," she said. "It's neat to see the Air Force from different angles."

New first sergeants are not assigned to squadrons close to the career field they've come to know. They are taken out of their area of expertise for three years, with the possibility to extend for three more.

A first sergeant's job is to help resolve issues that could affect the readiness of enlisted members, prepare Airmen to deploy and award or discipline Airmen when needed.

"I like it when we give stripes out or when the Airmen in the squadron get awards," Solecki said about her favorite part of being a first sergeant. "It's nice when you have Airmen that have problems and you are able to step in and help to fix the situation."

A first sergeant is a special duty. To apply, Airman must at least be a master sergeant and submit a package. Some bases even have a shadow program for interested senior NCOs who can follow first sergeant for a period of time to see if it's something they would truly be interested in.

Solecki, winner of Kadena's First Sergeant of the Year award, says the job is all about team work.

"Yes, the award has my name on it, but it's a reflection of everything we all did. From the squadrons to the other first shirts. We solely cannot do everything, "she said. "Everything I did that was listed on the award package was not done by myself, but by the other first sergeants, undershirts and Airmen. It wasn't anything that I did, it was what we did."

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Leading by example: Academy cadets develop leadership skills at BMT

by Mike Joseph
JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

7/30/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- U.S. Air Force Academy cadets learned first-hand over the past seven weeks how military training instructors develop the Air Force's newest warrior Airmen in basic military training.

The 27 cadets in the Summer Leadership Program developed leadership skills by shadowing MTIs in seven BMT squadrons at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The cadets from the academy's incoming junior class, along with two supervising seniors, arrived on base May 24 and departed Saturday after participating in key positions in the July 13 BMT graduation parade.

"The cadets followed the same steps as a student training to be a Military Training Instructor," said Staff Sgt. Corey Norris, 323rd Training Squadron NCO in charge, who oversaw the cadets during their stay in BMT.

"They shadowed MTIs to learn the leadership skills and the different leadership techniques it takes to mold future Airmen," he said. "The cadets did the same thing our NCOs do on a daily basis, and they will be able to draw from their experiences here in BMT when they lead basic cadet training next summer for the academy's incoming freshmen."

Norris said the Summer Leadership Program teaches the future Air Force officers how to become better leaders by understanding how future Airmen are developed in basic training.

"They will have a better understanding about the enlisted force and how MTIs mentor the trainees," he said. "They experienced what BMT is like for both the MTIs and the trainees.

Along with developing and enhancing their leadership skills, they also learned about character development."

Seniors Joshua Hall and Christina Beckett supervised their underclassmen counterparts. Both participated in the Summer Leadership Program last year as underclassmen, and gained a greater understanding of the program's future benefits.

"I've learned a lot more this year, especially about leadership and mentoring," Hall said. "Here, you're not worried about school or athletics. You're only concerned about the military side. This summer has better prepared us for our first duty station."

Beckett agreed with her classmate.

"This is totally different from last year," she said. "We're dealing with more people issues.

"We were in charge of 25 other people. This taught us how to work with them, how to handle their issues and be better mentors. It's been enlightening."

The focus and primary benefit of the program is for the cadets who shadowed MTIs and NCOs to pass on their training knowledge at the academy. It also exposed them to the importance of working with members of the enlisted corps.

"I've learned more in this program about leadership and mentoring in seven weeks than the three years I've been at the academy because of the roles," Hall said.

"We met with all the squadron commanders in an open forum, and had the opportunity to ask questions," he added. "What we learned from them will help us become better officers."

During their seven weeks at BMT, the cadets also worked on perfecting their military drill skills. The program's culminating event was July 13 when the cadets filled the key positions in the weekly BMT graduation parade.

Face of Defense: Reservist's Civilian Skills Benefit Unit Safety

By Army Spc. Phillip Scaringi
78th Training Division

FORT McCOY, Wis., Aug. 1, 2012 - The Army Reserve has a unique ability to integrate professional civilian skills that its citizen-soldiers have acquired and use them to assist the unit in completing its mission.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. Ed Lewis prepares to monitor a training site at the 2012 Combat Support Training Exercise on Fort McCoy, Wis., July 30, 2012. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael McDevitt

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Reservists who bring their civilian skills to the Army Reserve are known as "force multipliers." Reserve units see it as imperative to recognize civilian job skills and use them as effectively as possible.
Spc. Ed Lewis is an Army Reserve soldier from Orange, N.Y., who serves with G Company, 3rd Battalion, 78th Training Division, based out of Horseheads, N.Y.

 He is mobilized here to support the unit's Combat Support Training Exercise, one of the largest annual training exercises conducted by the Army Reserve. Lewis, a supply specialist in the Army Reserve, works as a volunteer emergency medical technician and assistant fire chief back home. These civilian job skills on safety procedures and first aid made him a premier candidate to become a task force safety officer during the exercise.

Safety officers ensure soldiers comply with safety standards. Lewis keeps a watchful eye on all aspects of the training; from M16 rifle ranges and convoy operations to troop movement around the various training areas. Lewis and his team inform and direct soldiers to key locations such as medical and hydration stations, and they educate units on best safety practices while training in the field.

The importance of safety is a focus of all people in uniform. Having soldiers like Lewis working in this key role, allow units to prepare for war while minimizing hazards, officials here said.

Agreement Bolsters Reservist, Veteran Employment Opportunities

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2012 - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Army Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley today signed an agreement to increase employment opportunities for reserve members and to facilitate connecting military families with America's outdoors, history and culture.

Under the agreement, the Army Reserve and the Interior Department will:
-- Seek joint programming opportunities to include employment opportunities;
-- Collaborate to provide developmental opportunities to both workforces;
-- Engage military families in local conservation projects; and
-- Expand recreational opportunities for community-based wounded warriors.

"America's veterans and reservists have the skills and the know-how that not only build the strength of the United States Army, but can also build the capabilities of the Department of the Interior to manage the natural and cultural resources of America," Salazar said. "This agreement answers President [Barack] Obama's call to increase employment opportunities for veterans, while helping Interior build a 21st century, highly skilled workforce that reflects the diversity of the United States, engages youth, and provides sustainable ways to conserve America's great outdoors."

The Army Reserve Employer Partnership Office will collaborate with the Interior Department to provide targeted recruitment opportunities in the communities where reserve soldiers live, and assist reserve soldiers to understand and compete in the federal hiring process, Talley said. "Our goal is to assist civilian employers to recognize and maximize the highly skilled and capable members of their community who also serve in the Army Reserve," he added.

The agreement encourages use of available options, such as noncompetitive hiring authorities, to fairly recruit, select and hire eligible Army Reserve soldiers, mindful of merit system principles, prohibited personnel practices and labor relations obligations.

All federal agencies and departments are establishing plans and goals to enhance recruitment of and promote employment opportunities for veterans. The Interior Department's strategy identifies a goal to establish programs and partnerships that foster an increased veteran understanding of the federal hiring process as well as opportunities at the department, officials said. The strategy also calls upon the department's human resource professionals and hiring managers to use local resources to develop an understanding of the capabilities veterans bring to the workforce and to find qualified veteran candidates.

Interior Department officials said implementing today's agreement will include:
-- Exploring ways to improve recruitment into mission-critical occupations by leveraging military experience and training in occupations such as those for engineers, technicians, law enforcement officers and administrators, and others;
-- Reaching Native American Army Reserve soldiers with opportunities that exist in their communities;
-- Engaging local land managers, such as those from the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, with local reserve unit commanders to share information about the department and to learn more about military leadership and technical training, heightening the awareness of both organizations; and
-- Providing volunteer opportunities to families of deployed military reservists and participating in Yellow Ribbon reintegration events in nearby communities

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

O’Malley award nominations due Dec. 3 by Gloria Kwizera Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Nominations for the 2013 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award are due Dec. 3, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced. Named in honor of the late General Jerome F. O’Malley, the award recognizes the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force, and the local community best exemplify the highest ideas and positive leadership of a military couple in a key Air Force position. The award is based on contributions that occur between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. The military member must have served as a wing commander for at least six months during the award period and have at least two years retainability to be eligible. Each major command, field operating agency and direct reporting unit may only submit one nomination. Organizations and base-level personnel must contact their MAJCOM, FOA or DRU for applicable suspense dates and additional information regarding nomination procedures. Completed nomination packages are due sent to the Air Force Personnel Center by Dec. 3.

by Gloria Kwizera
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

– Nominations for the 2013 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award are due Dec. 3, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.

Named in honor of the late General Jerome F. O’Malley, the award recognizes the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force, and the local community best exemplify the highest ideas and positive leadership of a military couple in a key Air Force position.

The award is based on contributions that occur between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. The military member must have served as a wing commander for at least six months during the award period and have at least two years retainability to be eligible. Each major command, field operating agency and direct reporting unit may only submit one nomination.

Organizations and base-level personnel must contact their MAJCOM, FOA or DRU for applicable suspense dates and additional information regarding nomination procedures.

Completed nomination packages are due sent to the Air Force Personnel Center by Dec. 3.

Vaught award nominations sought

by Gloria Kwizera
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

– Air Force officials are accepting nominations for the 2013 General Wilma Vaught Visionary Leadership Award.

Named in honor of Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, the award recognizes service members and civilians who have exhibited innovation, commitment and a selfless spirit of service to others while inspiring others and significantly improving the integration of and opportunities for women in the Air Force.

Officers, enlisted service members and civilians from any career field or occupational series are eligible.

The award is based on contributions that occur Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2012.

Organizations and base-level personnel must contact their major command, field operating agency, direct reporting unit, or major command equivalent for applicable suspense dates and additional information regarding nomination procedures.

National Intertribal Youth Summit Brings Young Leaders Together

August 1st, 2012 Posted by Tracy Russo
The following post appears courtesy of Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary

This week, I was privileged to meet with the more than 200 American Indian and Alaska Native youth and adult leaders from 53 tribal communities across the country at the 2012 National Intertribal Youth Summit. The conference will run through Aug. 2 at the 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and at various locations in Washington, D.C. I was inspired by the enthusiasm of these remarkable young people who are so strongly invested in the future of their communities, and so eager to help bring about positive change.

During the summit, the teens will discuss the critical issues facing them in Indian Country. The participants will have a chance to develop their leadership skills and engage in interactive discussions with tribal elders and leaders, youth advocates, and field experts on cultural values and community-based solutions to these pressing issues. They will talk about their concerns with officials from Congress and the White House, and from the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services and Education. And while they are here they will tour our city’s monuments and visit the Capitol and the White House.

The Justice Department launched the Youth Summit initiative to promote long-term improvement in public safety in tribal communities. The Department was responding to requests from tribal leaders for the development of culturally appropriate prevention, treatment and reentry programs for tribal youth and families. The Summit provides an important opportunity for the Department to ask the young people themselves how they perceive the problems and what they recommend in formulating solutions.