[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    August 14, 2009

CTLDC introduces new curricula 
following operational trial

By Master Sgt. Christina Steiner, 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness)

A redesigned Company Team Leader Development Course (CTLDC) was unleashed in July, following an operational trial held earlier at Fort McCoy.

Photo: 1st Lt. Monita Johnson (left) and Todd Jahnke, who also is an Army major, grade Company Team Leader Development Course homework. (Photo by Master Sgt. Rick Pedersen)
1st Lt. Monita Johnson (left) and Todd Jahnke, who also is an Army major, grade Company Team Leader Development Course homework. (Photo by Master Sgt. Rick Pedersen)   

After nearly a year-and-a-half of researching and rewriting individual classes, Fort McCoy-based CTLDC instructors from the 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment (formerly the Leadership Development Directorate) launched the new course. Instructor and course writers have created several new leadership- and operationally focused classes to stay current and relevant to an ever-changing Army Reserve time.

CTLDC is a priority for company and detachment command teams. These teams consist of three to five members, of which two must be the commander and first sergeant, according to the U.S. Army Reserve’s command training guidance for 2008 to 2010. Since CTLDC is a course in The Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS), it is resourced using schools training funds.

New leadership class topics include ethics, conflict management, combat stress, leadership teams and challenges, and scenario training for agile teams.

Other classes include Army standards and values, command climate, personality styles, company operations and effective leadership.

Students also have light homework they complete as a command team. As a group, they figure out action plans for drafting a commanders’ vision statement, creating an ethical climate, using strategic thinking and putting it all together into a command operational plan.

CTLDC staff members and a handful of outside students attended the operational trial, where course instructors presented their newly designed classes. A series of critiques and after-action reviews provided feedback for directors and instructors to make future revisions, as necessary.

According to Army Training and Doctrine Command policies, anytime course managers, writers or instructors wish to enact major changes to a course, they must organize a critical task selection board (CTSB) that includes subject-matter experts, writers, CTLDC graduates, and sometimes instructors.

Student critiques and evaluations over the course of time also play a part in how the course evolves.

A course rewrite is a long and arduous process. It can take a year or longer depending upon normal unit mission requirements. Course writers are frequently Soldiers who have other projects and duties in addition to the course.

CTLDC leadership staff conducted several meetings and boards over the past two years to determine the direction and focus for the course, to include the transformation from regional readiness commands (RRCs) into new operational and functional commands.

The original CTLDC was conducted in April 1999 at and by the 63rd RRC in California. It was an intensive 52-hour course running five to six days.

After several rollouts across various RRCs since then, and based upon the 2004 U.S. Army Reserve Leadership Campaign under then-Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. James R. Helmley, researchers determined that the course needed standardization. Hence the then-Leadership Development Directorate based at Fort McCoy was given the course. The first national CTLDC "rollout" was May 2004. Prior to that, the 63rd RRC hosted the only CTLDC.

Brian Kane, 2nd, 339th leadership specialist, and Maj. Christopher Perner, course director, oversaw the course rewrite based upon the CTSB determinations.

"The strength of the course is that it explores effective leadership practices with emphasis on interpersonal skills," Perner said. "It also demonstrates the benefits of leading a unit as a cohesive command team, rather than individually. When teams learn to work together they are much more effective at overcoming leadership challenges. They also build what we call a ‘command operational plan’ while they’re at the course, that they can take home and implement at their units. The students really like leaving the course with a product they can put into action."

Master Sgt. Rick Pedersen, CTLDC instructor, was one of several writers, and explained this process, using his new class on building a leadership team as an example:

"I dissected the combination of two existing classes, merged them, then added more to ‘spice it up.’ The basis for the new class is for the command team to not only consider their own small team, but the overall unit’s talents and strengths," Pedersen said. "It’s all about knowing your team or unit’s overall strengths. It took about a month to finish."

In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the CTLDC has hosted courses since July in locations such as: the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Headquarters at Fort Bragg, N.C., the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Florida, the 416th Engineer Command in Illinois, the 63rd Regional Support Command in California, the 310th and 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Commands in Indianapolis and Pennsylvania, and the First Mission Support Command in Puerto Rico. The three three-person mobile training instructor teams (MTT) have taught close to 400 students.

The 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment also manages, writes and instructs in the Army Reserve’s Pre Command Courses held at Fort McCoy and Atlanta, and is designing a Supervisory Development Course for Army civilians and Soldiers, due to rollout in December.

If Army Reserve operational and functional commands are interested in an MTT visiting their Major Subordinate Command to teach CTLDC, contact CTLDC team leaders: Capt. John McGovern at 608-388-2391 or Maj. Christopher Perner at 608-388-7624.

Both are full-time employees at Fort McCoy. The CTLDC school code in ATRRS is 921A-932.


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