Leadership News

Thursday, April 19, 2018

FBI Newark Announces Recipient of Director’s Community Leadership Award

This past January, Eyal Shapira, President of Pennsylvania and Southern Railway, Inc., was recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Director’s Community Leadership Award. Mr. Shapira was nominated for this prestigious award by the Special Agent in Charge of the Newark FBI Office and will be travelling to Washington, D.C. on April 20th to participate in the formal ceremony with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Mr. Shapira is known for his humanitarian efforts aimed at supporting his communities and to those individuals who have served, currently serving, or are looking to serve in our military and Special Forces. For over 20 years, Mr. Shapira has assisted charities, schools, food pantries, and other groups. He works diligently to create employment opportunities, provides assistance, and organizes events for homeless veterans, active service members, and their families. At his New England home, Mr. Shapira has developed a training and wellness center for young adults with the skills necessary to pursue a military career without charge. It also offers a country retreat for service members and their families who need to get away and relax.

More recently, Mr. Shapira has become a benefactor to our nation’s Gold Star Mothers. Through frequent memorials, events, trips, and retreats, he has committed himself to supporting families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and covers all charges. This includes a living memorial at the training and wellness center for those lost in recent battles. In all of these efforts, Mr. Shapira strives to respect the privacy of our service members and their families and requests not to be acknowledged publicly for his kindness.

Mr. Shapira is a recent graduate of the FBI Newark Citizens Academy (CA). Upon graduating from the CA, Mr. Shapira immediately became an active member of the NJ Chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. He recently organized four community outreach seminars for approximately 100 executives from 32 corporations in New Jersey. The purpose of these seminars were to build a strong bond between the FBI and our community partners.
Eyal Shapira, President of Pennsylvania and Southern Railway, Inc.

“Mr. Shapira is an exemplary role model and citizen who goes above and beyond the call of service to make life better for young men and women of the military,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen of the FBI Field Office. “His service to the community and dedication to helping others is an inspiration for all of us at the Newark FBI Office.”

The Director’s Community Leadership Award is presented on behalf of the FBI and was formally created in 1990 as a way to publicly honor those who have gone above and beyond the call to service by tirelessly working to make their own cities and towns a better and safer place for their fellow residents.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Troxell: NCOs Must Keep Growing, Learning, Setting Example

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2018 —  Noncommissioned officers have to keep growing, have to keep learning and have to keep setting the example for the American military to remain the best in the world, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a group of Air Force senior enlisted leaders here April 4.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell told the airmen that the United States “has the most empowered noncommissioned officer/petty officer corps in the world.”

The Air Force Element Senior Enlisted Leader Summit, which looks to strengthen the joint forces team, had NCOs from the Pentagon, the combatant commands and combat support elements. They represented airmen involved in everything from the nuclear enterprise to special operations to cyber ops.

National Defense Strategy

Troxell’s discussion hinged on the National Defense Strategy and its central position in what DoD must accomplish. The strategy calls for the military “to build a more lethal force,” the sergeant major said.

“The U.S. military must maintain this advantage,” Troxell said. “Let there be no doubt in every warfighting domain right now [that] we have competitive advantages. But some of those advantages are eroding because of continuing resolutions, because of unstable budgets.”

The strategy is based on the United States maintaining strong alliances and building on them, he said, adding that NATO and the treaties with Pacific nations are fundamental to the defense of the United States and its allies. Senior NCOs will be called upon to play a role in this effort, he said, working with counterpart NCOs and helping to train indigenous forces.

The senior NCOs discussed the threats facing the United States. The nation will be in a long-term economic, political, diplomatic and military power competition with Russia and China, so all aspects of national power must be maintained, Troxell told the senior enlisted leaders.

Russia and China are both – in their own areas – trying to dismantle America’s network of allies. Russia is seeking to portray the United States as an undependable ally in Europe and is doing itself to fracture NATO – the most successful alliance in history, Troxell said.

Russian and Chinese Actions

Russia’s use of cyberwarfare and actions short of war continue to this day. Russia’s occupation of Crimea and active participation in operations in eastern Ukraine show the Vladimir Putin-led nation continues its strategy of confronting the West, the sergeant major said.

China is using the same strategy and is trying to drive wedges between the United States and its treaty allies South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand. China is using economic power, propaganda, cyber, foreign aid and military modernization to expand its sphere of influence into the South and East China Seas and globally.

Troxell also addressed the threats from Iran, North Korea and violent extremism. He called Iran the leading state sponsor of terrorism, noting it has supported the Houthi in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon. “All of these proxies that we are bumping into all around the world … we are seeing have Iranian influence,” he said.

The sergeant major said he is guardedly optimistic about developments in North Korea, but more must happen before he is convinced the North Korean leader’s overtures to the United States are more than just a charm offensive. “We will see as we move forward here,” he said.

He told the airmen he is worried that combat operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have stalemated in the middle Euphrates River valley. Turkish operations against the Kurds in Northern Syria have distracted Syrian Democratic Forces that were mounting the operations against ISIS, he noted.

The United States also must guard against ISIS threats in Africa and Asia, and the fight against violent extremists is a generational one, the sergeant major said.

Troxell pointed out that the discussions among the senior enlisted leaders mirror those happening at the general and flag officer level. The days of senior enlisted just being concerned with “haircuts and cigarette butts” are long over, he said. Noting that about 70 percent of senior enlisted Air Force airmen are college graduates, he said they extend the reach of their commanders in ways that other militaries only dream about.

Setting the Example

Senior NCOs also must set the example and train their service members to be ready to face “the worst day of their life,” the sergeant major said. That means they must be physically ready if they find themselves in combat. This is not a rare happening, and it has to include all members of the military – a human relations specialist in Afghanistan or Syria may have to respond to an attack, Troxell said.

“It’s not enough to just meet the minimum standard,” the sergeant major said. “Every day we have to train people to face the worst day of their life and get them better each day -- physically, mentally and emotionally.”

And it should be tough, he said.

“[Physical training] should not be an event where everybody feels good about each other,” he said. “People ought to be crawling off the PT field. They ought to be near puking, and they ought to know that this is going to make me better every day. We have to set the example by validating our credentials and being that leader who inspires the troops and intimidates the enemy.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FBI Honors the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute with 2017 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

BIRMINGHAM, AL—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Johnnie Sharp, Jr, announced that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is the Birmingham Division recipient of the 2017 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). SAC Sharp presented a certificate to Andrea L. Taylor, president and CEO of BCRI, at a press conference at the FBI’s Birmingham headquarters.

On April 20, 2018, Ms. Taylor will represent BCRI at a presentation in Washington, DC, where FBI Director Christopher A. Wray will present the formal award to her and other recipients from across the country.

Since 1990, the FBI has recognized individuals and organizations whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang, or violence prevention/education field had an exemplary impact on the community. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office selects an individual or organization that has made a major contribution in these areas.

The mission of BCRI is to enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future. BCRI is committed to preserving and telling the Birmingham story, creating programs that encourage cultural awareness, and championing civil and human rights by facilitating an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding.

For more than a decade, BCRI has partnered with the Birmingham FBI office for a conference on civil rights and law enforcement. The focus of the conference is to help “bridge the gap” between law enforcement and communities they serve.

BCRI also serves as a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.

“BCRI truly embodies the meaning of this award,” Sharp said. “It’s a privilege to be able to recognize BCRI for their partnership, their work in championing civil rights, and for working side by side with the FBI to connect law enforcement and the community.”

“We are honored to receive this award from the FBI,” stated Taylor, “Strong relationships with local and federal law enforcement are crucial to our community and we are grateful for the FBI’s partnership in this endeavor.”

A part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, BCRI celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017.