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News | June 25, 2021

NCOs Lead the Way

By Milton Mariani Rodriguez Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation

Today, 17 students of the Senior Enlisted advisor course graduated here at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

Representing Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Honduras and México, the NCOs embarked on ten weeks of training for the fourth iteration of the SEA course. Under the leadership of former Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Colombian Military,  Command Sergeant Major (RET) Argemiro Posso Rivera; the course offered classroom and practical applications involving discussion and hands-on Training, Leadership, Professional Studies, and the Operations Process. Specific areas of study included, but not limited to team building; communication skills; national military strategy, training management and assessment and operations planning.

Additionally, the students received instruction on Ethics, Democracy, and Human Rights, the Rule of Law, Due Process, Civilian Control of the Military, and the Military's Role in a Democratic Society within the framework of the Profession of Arms.

Army University Senior Enlisted Advisor, Command Sergeant Major Faith Alexander was the keynote speaker for the event.

During her remarks Alexander talked about leadership and how is defined as the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

“As you embark on this journey of senior enlisted representation, know that you will be required to facilitate a cohesive unit and organization to meet your commander’s intent, commented Alexander.”

She added, “When I became an NCO, I knew my impact would be profound. This does not come without challenging moments. As you find your way, you will receive preconceived biases towards you. Do not allow those opinions to define you. Allow feedback and candidness from not only officers, but your subordinates as well. Utilize those assessments to be self-aware, and continue to adapt as an agile leader. Leaders do leader things. Lead people, and treat them with dignity and respect. Shared hardship builds cohesive teams that trust each other. Soldiers do not expect you to be perfect; they expect you there. Master the craft of being a servant leader. Servant leadership is choosing to serve others first, and then making a cognizant choice in wanting to lead well. Good leaders have heart, grit, and a love for what they do.”

“Work hard, so when you leave, those coming after you will have better opportunities than when you came in,” Alexander concluded.