by Maj. Ian Phillips
U.S. Central Command
7/25/2014 - KARUP AIR BASE, Denmark -- More
than fifty Guard and Reserve officers trained with their NATO
counterparts during leadership exercises at the 20th annual
International Junior Officer Leadership Development Course July 12-19.
Officers from seven countries met here to develop their leadership
skills during seminars and field exercises. Facilitators challenged the
officers both mentally and physically while sharing the challenges of
working on a multicultural team. There were also lectures and teamwork
events to introduce participants to the Danish Armed Forces leadership
"During the course you are faced with leading professionals from various
skill sets, languages and cultures," said Linda Mansolillo, a
biomedical science officer assigned to the 752nd Medical Group at March
Air Reserve Base, California. "They taught us a quick and effective
process to quickly align the team that I will definitely use in my
civilian and reserve careers."
The group included officers from Canada, Denmark, Germany, the
Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
There were indoor and outdoor leadership development events where groups
picked a leader to guide them through a demanding obstacle that
challenged the whole team. Groups analyzed leadership styles and the
outcomes after each event.
Capt. Robert Devane, a medical service corps officer assigned to the
94th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Dobbins Air Reserve Base,
Georgia, said the course was a great mix of leadership and communication
"It taught me not only how to become an effective leader, but how to
become a better communicator when working with others," he said.
By combining their military and civilian skill experience, the reservists brought a unique set of skills to the table.
While focused on leadership, IJOLD gave participants a chance to learn
about other countries militaries, backgrounds, and traditions.
"The best part about IJOLD was building friendships with all of the
international officers through team exercises and lots of humor," said
Maj. Alexis Stucki, a nurse with the 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron
in Minneapolis. "We all left with not only a better understanding of our
allies and their military culture but with lifelong friends we hope to
see again someday."
IJOLD is held each year in a different NATO country. Officers from the
rank of second lieutenant through major have participated in the
U.S. guard and reserve officers interested in applying should watch for
the reserve school selection board announcement each year. For more
information contact the Air Reserve Personnel Center.