Leadership News

Friday, July 24, 2015

George Washington's DCTT Leadership Trains the Trainers

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric S. Brann, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- Senior leaders of the Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) conducted hands-on training of damage control equipment and firefighting techniques for junior DCTT members.

Junior DCTT members were assigned to different positions where they set up boundaries, dressed out in firefighting gear, handled charged fire hoses and received an advanced course on proper firefighting techniques.

DCTT members regularly train junior Sailors, but this time the trainers got the chance to learn from the ship's most experienced damage control personnel.

"I really enjoyed the training, because it gave us the opportunity to get more training ourselves," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Nicola T. Roberts, from Philadelphia. "It allowed us to work in a different position, something we haven't done in a while. This [training] gave us a refresher and we can use this to motivate and train our teams better."

Chief Damage Controlman Timothy Spare, the ship's DCTT coordinator, explained that junior DCTT members received training in crucial parts of damage control that they are not regularly assigned. The end results are to increase the overall training team's proficiency.

"This training gave everyone a chance to use equipment that they haven't used in a while," said Spare. "We want people to don firefighting gear and use a charged fire hose. We want them to see how a hose team enters and exits. Damage control will save the ship and lives."

The training put DCTT members in different scenarios to help them hone their skills and knowledge to better teach junior Sailors.

"We [senior DCTT] are training [junior] DCTT so that they will be the best trained personnel and they will be able to help junior Sailors perform damage control techniques better," said Spare. "We want to make sure Sailors are ready for anything that could happen. It takes a lot of training and muscle memory to perform the right way. We train to fight so it becomes second nature to us."

Every repair locker aboard George Washington has a Senior DCTT member who oversees all drills and casualty scenarios that are conducted. The group is made up of those who are part of the Damage Control Division and Sailors who have the requisite knowledge and qualifications to lead during general quarters (GQ) evolutions.

"Senior DCTT members are the overall leaders for the different repair lockers," said Chief Damage Controlman Felix Renoir, a senior DCTT member. "These are people who have been part of DCTT for a long time and are very knowledgeable in damage control. Senior DCTT members share their knowledge to junior members who then train the Sailors."

The training gave DCTT members insight to what Sailors may struggle with during drills.

"We make sure they do the drills correctly and intervene only when needed, if we find a situation that is unsafe or the drill is not performed correctly," said Roberts.

Spare explained that he will stay aboard George Washington where he will continue the training. Renoir said that he will be transferring to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) where he wants to continue helping Sailors expand their knowledge in damage control.

"Every Sailor on the ship needs to be knowledgeable about damage control so when something happens, they will know what to do," added Spare.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with Ronald Reagan later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Federal Agencies Teach Leadership Skills, Hear from Students at 2011 Intertribal Youth Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Week-Long Youth Leadership Conference Focuses on Public Safety Within Tribal Communities

WASHINGTON – One hundred and seventy five young men and women from nearly 50 tribal communities across the country have convened at the week-long 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit in Santa Fe, N.M., which runs from July 24-28, 2011. The summit features administration officials from the White House and the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services and Education, and it coincides with the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) into law.

The 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit is a youth leadership conference for tribal youth participants to meet other American Indian and Alaska Native youth through special sessions targeting leadership development and critical youth issues such as healthy relationships and lifestyles, education, substance and alcohol abuse, cultural preservation, community development and protecting the environment.

The summit also provides an opportunity for Obama administration officials to hear directly from youth in Indian Country. The administration and federal agencies have made a commitment to building healthier and safer communities through strengthened coordination and collaboration with tribal partners.

“You are the future, and the small choices you make can have an enormous impact on your communities,” Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli told the group of assembled students. “Tribal communities face unique challenges, and it can’t be overstated the importance of your leadership in securing a bright future for your friends, families, and neighbors.”

In response to requests from tribal leaders for the development of more culturally appropriate prevention, early intervention, treatment, rehabilitation and reentry programs for tribal youth and families, the Justice Department launched the Youth Summit initiative to promote long-term improvement in public safety in tribal communities.

The summit’s focus was on youth voices. During the week-long session, participants had the opportunity to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to run in their communities. In a special session called Voices of Youth, participants shared thoughts, concerns and recommendations on ways to address public safety and positively impact the lives of youth across Indian Country—providing a platform for honest dialogue with federal officials. Additional workshops provided tribal youth with knowledge and skills in leadership development and strategies for achieving academic and career success.

Youth were nominated by their tribal youth program coordinators and submitted an application to attend the summit. The Department of Justice’s Office on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP) and Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) made the final selections.

In addition to the Youth Summit this week, Attorney General Eric Holder, thirty U.S. Attorneys and other administration officials will visit Rapid City and Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D., to engage in listening sessions with tribal leaders and hear from advocates in the fields of tribal safety and domestic violence. Attorney General Holder will also participate in a special wreath laying ceremony at Wounded Knee.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Young athletes learn teamwork, leadership at ProCamp

by Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/21/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.  -- More than 100 children swarmed onto one of the base's football fields for a free National Football League ProCamp, July 16 and 17.

Boys and girls in grades one through eight performed passing, receiving and defensive drills, all while learning the value of teamwork and leadership with the help of the camp's featured athlete, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back, Cortez Allen.

"The kids are excited about being here, ready to work and excited about competing," Allen said as the camp began. "That's the beauty of things like this, when you can be active and be healthy, and still have a lot of fun."

ProCamps for football, basketball and other sports are hosted across the U.S. and internationally to give children once-in-a-lifetime skill training with professional athletes.

Being a football camp, it was only fitting that this camp should begin with a "draft," where the young athletes lined up and counted off to join teams named after those Allen has played for. After meeting their volunteer coaches and performing some light calisthenics, it was time for feet to start shuffling and passes to start flying.

"We went over offensive drills, defensive drills and receiving drills," said Quinn, one of the camp's young participants. "We worked on getting into the right stance, and a lot of techniques you need to learn in football."

Allen said he has volunteered at several camps with other athletes, but interacting with military children was a unique experience.

"They go through different things like having family overseas, not being able to see their parents and other things like that, so it was good to put a smile on their face," Allen said. "I couldn't even compare it to being on the field. They see you on TV, but everybody sees that. Actually being able to run with them and sweat with them, I think they receive that very well."

It would seem the children agree.

"He was very cool," Quinn said. "He was very helpful, especially when it came to stuff I needed to work on like shuffling my feet or watching the defense. "

In addition to catching snaps and blocking tackles, the athletes were also coached on staying healthy and maintaining a fun and active lifestyle.

"I take this a lot more to heart than being on the field," Allen said. "I love what I do, but I love being with kids and giving back to communities. I'm extremely blessed and fortunate to have been a part of this."

From the draft to the drills, and from two-handed tag to a celebratory pizza party, Quinn and other children deemed the NFL ProCamp a success.

"I had a wonderful time," Quinn said. "It was probably one of the best camps I've ever been to."

Saturday, July 18, 2015

LEC enhances leadership through introspection, self-reflection

by Joe Thomas
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

7/17/2015 - BARKSALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command officers attended a course at the Cyber Innovation Center on July 14-16, in Bossier City, Louisiana, to develop one of the most important assets of the nuclear mission-- the people.

"The Leadership Enhancement Course is designed to prepare officers for their first leadership position in Air Force Global Strike Command," said Col. Heraldo Brual, deputy director of the Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements and Analysis Directorate. "It will enable leaders to naturally operate from our Air Force core values."

The three-day beta course, attended by lieutenants, captains and majors, is an AFGSC initiative meant to increase leadership education among its officer corps.

Although leadership is nothing new to the Air Force, the approach of LEC is.

"This course is designed to guide participants into a new way of observing the world around them," said Lt. Col. Nicholas Pederson, team chief, LEC. "It's not about what they know. It's about how they see. This is key to developing oneself as a high-performance leader who can enact significant change at the individual, team and organizational level."

Traditionally, leadership courses teach formulaic methods and the imitation of great leaders--a trend LEC hopes to break. Rooted in intuition and self-reflection, the course seeks to challenge the Airmen's understanding of the world around them.

"The course stresses an understanding of multiple world views," said 1st Lt. Chase Abrams, flight commander from Whiteman AFB, Missouri. "Learning how others see the world is important if a leader wishes to influence change. We'll take what we learn here and distribute it among our circles back at our home commands."

During the course, instructors exposed students to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is an assessment of leadership style and personality. Instructors also taught the use of the Multi-Source Assessment and Feedback tool, or MSAF 360, as a means of developing leadership style. The course also provided an opportunity for students to learn directly from AFGSC and subordinate command leadership through a question and answer session.

Although this first iteration served as a test for future courses, several students found the material useful and insightful.

"The fundamentals of the course are solid," said Maj. Joe Mannino, deputy chief of operations, Plans Branch. "There may be some tweaks to the curriculum based on feedback, but overall, this course is a great opportunity to develop and mature young officers into the desired future of the command."

LEC is a product of the Force Improvement Program, an aggressive grass-roots problem-solution philosophy designed to provide senior Air Force leaders with actionable items to improve mission effectiveness. The command will host the course monthly and plans to adjust the curriculum based on student feedback.

"Equipped with the tools we'll give them, students will find themselves exercising leadership as a natural expression, an endeavor that will lead to high performance outcomes in almost every arena," Brual said.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

ANG Command Chief among key speakers at Florida ANG's first Airman Development Course

by Staff Sgt. Troy Anderson
125th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/15/2015 - Jacksonville Fla. -- The Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant visited Florida Air National Guard units in and around here July 9 -11.

During his visit he held enlisted calls, presented a Senior Enlisted Leader's Perspective session and facilitated Florida's first ever Airman Development Course.

"I want every Airman to take away that as the Command Chief, I value them as a human; I value them as an Airman" said Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, Command Chief Master Sgt. of the Air National Guard.

During Hotaling's presentations he explained his Aim Points which include: a renewed commitment to the profession of arms, a focus on health of the force, and recognizing and embracing accomplishments. Throughout his discussion he provided opportunities for audience participation and feedback.

"The guidance and motivation that he was able to provide to us was immeasurable" said Tech. Sgt. Daniel Flores, production recruiter who attended both the course and one of Hotaling's enlisted calls. "If you didn't leave out of there proud to be an Airman in the United States Air Force you were sleeping."

"I believe feedback is important for any system to function appropriately" Staff Sgt. Chad Manson, contract specialist. "So you need that feedback from top to bottom and bottom to top."

Much of Hotaling's feedback elicited laughter, while some produced surprise.

"As I was looking at those around me, I could see that people were engaged" said Flores. "There was a general thirst to be there. It really showed how important this information is by having the command chief take the time to come out and speak with us."

The main event was the Airman Development Course at the 125th Fighter Wing here. The course proved to be a perfect opportunity for Hotaling to convey the ANG's message to Florida's young leaders. The two day course allowed junior enlisted ANG members the opportunity to learn from multiple speakers on a myriad of topics pertaining to military leadership, personal development and a renewed focus.

Face of Defense: Army Reservist Pursues Leadership

By Army Sgt. Victor Ayala
210th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

LARAMIE, Wyo., July 16, 2015 – Some join the military out of a lifelong call to serve their country. Others join out of a long family tradition of service. Some are drawn by the chance to make a better life or see the world. For Maggie Walstrom, the decision came abruptly.

"I'd been talking to a friend in high school who had just gotten back from basic combat training," said Walstrom, a private in the Army Reserve's 353rd Transportation Company and an ROTC cadet at the Minnesota State University at Mankato. "At that time, I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. So, I was in the gym one day at school and said to myself, 'I'm joining the Reserve when I turn 17.'"

Walstrom, a Buffalo, Minnesota, native, recalled telling her parents about the decision. "I told my mom, and she thought I was nuts," she said. "My whole family thought I was crazy."

Serendipitous Inspiration

The rest happened quickly. On her 17th birthday, Walstrom signed her enlistment contract and went off to basic combat training in April 2012. In her relatively brief time with the 353rd, she's ascended from an enlisted automated logistics specialist to an acting platoon leader.

Her choice to become an officer was as serendipitous as her choice to enlist. Her unit was hosting a family readiness group fundraiser in which key positions in the unit were auctioned off for a day. Walstrom won the position of company commander. It was all in good fun, she said, but she felt compelled by the notion of leading and commanding soldiers.

"It was only for about eight or nine hours," she said. "But it opened my eyes to some of what an officer does, and it really interested me." Walstrom said her leaders at the 353rd have been trusting her with more and more responsibility, designating her 1st Platoon leader and assigning her more leadership-based tasks. On July 11, during the 353rd's weeklong convoy mission from Buffalo, Minnesota, to Camp Roberts, California, Walstrom took charge of the company formation and held a promotion ceremony for a junior enlisted soldier.

Following in Footsteps

"This has been a really rewarding and positive experience," she said. "Some of the soldiers are starting to treat me with more respect, too." Walstrom's recent achievements extend beyond her military career. Walstrom said she's studying law enforcement at MSU Mankato, in the hopes of becoming a law enforcement officer like her late uncle, Rudy Betlach. Raised solely by her mother, she added, she looked to Betlach as a father figure.

"He was my idol -- my hero," Walstrom said of her uncle, who was a police officer in Anoka, Minnesota. "I looked up to him. I've decided to follow in his footsteps."

Growing Roots

In high school, she said, she thought college would be too expensive for a child growing up in a single-parent household to even consider. However, since beginning classes, she's been hired onto the North Mankato Police Reserves and the River Halls Mall Security Force in Mankato. She was also recently awarded a $25,000 scholarship from MSU Mankato, which in addition to her ROTC stipend, is making college education a reality.

When she considers the moment she'll become a commissioned officer, she said, her first thoughts are of her fellow troops and the bonds she's forged in the 353rd. "I've got roots here in the unit," she said. "I want to stay in transportation. I want to stay with the trucks. I love being on convoys, so I hope to stay in this unit."