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October 22, 2010

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Command sergeants major host officer symposium

The Officer Development Program normally is taught by a senior officer or a peer. Senior leadership of Task Force (TF) 1st, 182nd, which is at Fort McCoy preparing for deployment, decided to tap into wealth of knowledge possessed by a panel of command sergeants major.
PHOTO: A panel comprised of command sergeants major from the 1st, 182nd Task Force  host a symposium about the Officer Development Program. Photo by 1st Lt. Anthony Ashford
A panel comprised of command sergeants major from the 1st, 182nd Task Force host a symposium about the Officer Development Program. (Photo by 1st Lt. Anthony Ashford)

The Oct. 11 symposium was hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Day (TF 1st, 182nd).

The panel consisted of the following command sergeants major: Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Considine (197th Fire Brigades, New Hampshire National Guard), Command Sgt. Maj. Jody Arrington (TF 1st, 119th Michigan National Guard), and Command Sgt. Maj. Stanton Noyes (Camp Command Cell Arifjan, New Hampshire National Guard).

Day started the symposium by identifying officer and noncommissioned officer (NCO) relationships between platoon leaders and platoon sergeants, staff officers and staff NCOs in charge, commanders and first sergeants, and battalion commanders and command sergeants major. He then laid the foundation of NCO business as it supports the officer’s mission.

He stated that officers are responsible for everything, but NCOs conduct the daily business of managing personnel, individual- and team training, managing equipment, and enforcing standards.

Near the end of the panel, the junior officers asked the panel a variety of questions.

Questions from the officers included: What is the relationship between the platoon leader and first sergeant?, What was the greatest mistake you made with your lieutenant and what was your greatest success with your lieutenant?, What do you, as a command sergeant major, expect from a lieutenant?; How do I counsel a senior NCO who has 15 years in the Army while I only have 15 months?; How much do I get involved?

The responses were profound. Panel members talked about trust and how the officer/NCO relationship must be a “marriage,” with both parties needing to build creditability with each other.

“If you are cleaner, more rested, and less hungry than your Soldiers then that is your gauge to get more involved with training and missions,” Day said.

The symposium was rewarding for the command sergeants major, as well as the junior officers of Task Force 1st, 182nd, said Lt. Col. Leonard Rusher, 1st, 182nd TF commander.

(Submitted by the 1st, 182nd Task Force.)

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