Category Archives: Courses

USASMA welcomes Class 64

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With memories of Class 63 still fresh, the staff and faculty of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy had very little down time to rest up before welcoming in a new batch of senior noncommissioned officers and their families.

The initial onslaught of arrivals to the academy began even before Class 63 graduated. Several students arrived early to be sponsors and mentors to the 38 Class 64 international students who were taking part in the international pre-course, a 10-week course designed to help prepare them for the rigors of the Sergeants Major Course. Mike Huffman, director of the International Military Student Office, said this year’s pre-course was more robust than in years past.

“This was the longest amount of time the international students have had to prepare for the sergeants major course. We did a lot of preparation teaching the American Psychological Association –APA – style of documentation for their essays,” he said. “The students were given in-depth blocks of instruction on exactly how the instructors will be grading their research papers. So they will be able to write them with some confidence.”

Huffman also alluded to the newest and possibly biggest challenge that not only the international students, but all students, will face this year – closed book testing.

“This is the first year of closed book testing, so that is going to be a challenge for the Sergeants Major Course,” he said.

 

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While the international students were navigating the pre-course, their sponsors, when not helping their international partners, were kept busy helping the cadre prepare for the arrival of the rest of Class 64. On August 7, USASMA welcomed the remaining infusion of students. Coming in from all around the Army, more than 300 Soldiers descended upon the Academy to begin Day 1 of in-processing, marking the beginning of their 10-month long educational experience.

“We are doing four briefs along with the Post Relocation Fair which will happen later on today at the Centennial Club on Fort Bliss,” said 1st Sgt. Zachary Smith, first sergeant of the Sergeants Major Course. “Then tomorrow the students will conduct in-processing with Finance and then complete their Fort Bliss and academy in-processing on Thursday and Friday.”

On Day 1 the students received their group room assignments along with what department they would be in and where they were actually starting the course. On the last day of in-processing, the students and their families were treated to a BBQ-style icebreaker complete with hot dogs, chips and sodas, a DJ and jumping balloons for the children to let loose some energy.

“Today we are bringing the students and their families here for this icebreaker to set the tone for a great year,” Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Coleman, director of the Sergeants Major Course said.  “We want to let them know that their families are welcome and it is a time to not only get engaged into school, but it is a time for the families to come together and enjoy this year with them. “

Coleman said the picnic-style icebreaker came about naturally because it is summer, still warm, and the weather accommodates it, but more so because a lot of these students have come off deployments and missions and haven’t had these opportunities to bring their families together for an event like this.

 

The welcoming continuesice7

The next two weeks saw the students attending mandatory briefings and training, as well as unpacking household goods and getting their children ready for the new school year. With so much going on during the day, the Academy set aside a couple of evenings to properly welcome the spouses and give them some much needed information and support.

The first evening was dedicated to the international spouses and was hosted by the IMSO in true Texas fashion.

Mike Huffman, IMSO director, welcomed the students and their family members, but not before each learned the Texas way of greeting one another. The group was informed that everything in Texas is bigger, including the welcome and all were mentored in saying, “Yee Haw” and “Howdy Partner.”

Huffman, with the assistance of Command Sgt. Maj. Wesley Weygandt, deputy commandant and Mrs. Deborah Malloy, spouse of USASMA commandant Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, introduced the international spouses to key members of the academy staff and were encouraged to participate in the English as a Second Language course, the spouse leadership development course and to explore the El Paso community.

The next evening get together focused on all of the spouses of Class 64 and was hosted by Weygandt, Coleman and Mrs. Malloy. The spouses were shown a breakdown of the school year and how their Soldier would be affected, as well as given a calendar of important events and holidays. The spouses were also provided a full briefing on the ULTIMA family readiness group and the Spouse Leadership Development Course. During each of the presentations the cadre opened it up to questions and concerns from the spouses.

With all of the orientations complete, it was time to start the academic year with some pomp and circumstance.

USASMA inducts three into Hall of Honor_DBC6689

The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy recognized the singular and cumulative achievements of three former sergeants major that have made significant contributions to the Academy and the Noncommissioned Officer Education System in a ceremony held Aug. 23 in the Academy’s Cooper Lecture Center.

Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, USASMA commandant hosted the ceremony and spoke about each of the inductees — Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Jeffery Colimon, former TRADOC deputy chief of staff for Education; Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Danny R. Hubbard, former Academy director of Doctrine and Training and former TRADOC G3/5/7 sergeant major; and Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Jeffery Wells former TRADOC G3/5/7 sergeant major and HQDA G3/5/7 sergeant major.

“This year we have the great honor of inducting three great Americans into the history books as members of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Hall of Honor. They join the likes of great leaders such as Gen. [Ralph] Haines who is known as the father of our sergeants major academy and the establishment of our noncommissioned officer education system for his vision professionalized our NCO corps,” Malloy said. “Also amongst the ranks includes our first command sergeant major for the Academy, Sgt. Maj. of the Army William Bainbridge, as well as a former chief of staff of the Army, Gen, Gordon Sullivan one of the most passionate leaders to serve our NCO corps.”

Malloy said that each of this year’s inductees shared a theme in that each was instrumental in the development of the Warrior Leaders Course, the creation of Structured Self-Development, the use of distance learning as well as video teletraining to further the education of noncommissioned officers.

While Colimon and Hubbard could not be at the ceremony, both recorded video acceptance speeches thanking the Academy for the recognition. Present to accept his plaque and take part in the ceremony, Wells gave a gracious acceptance speech.

“Nowhere in my wildest dreams did I ever dream that I would be standing here being inducted into something like this in front of my peers. So I share with you that it is an honor to be here,” Wells said. “When I talk about the NCO corps and education it was all about the corps. It was never about me and it can never be about you. It has to be about those in which you are going to lead. The legacy that you will leave behind is supposed to be an honor to the true corps.”

SMA welcomes Class 64, challenges them to excel

With the pomp completed, it was now time for the circumstance — the opening ceremonies for Class 64.

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy began its 64th iteration of the Sergeants Major Course August 23 welcoming in the 526 students who comprise the class during opening ceremonies in the Academy’s Cooper Lecture Center. On hand to mark the event was Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, the 14th sergeant major of the Army, who was the guest speaker.

“It is quite an honor to be here and I want to offer you my congratulations to everyone who is in this auditorium. It has taken you a great deal of work and service and sacrifice to be here and I would like you to reflect on that; on who helped you along the way to be in the position that you are today – sitting in a seat amongst 526 or so of your peers – and to understand that there were a whole lot of others, I believe it was about 78 percent or so, that were not selected to be in one of these seats,” Chandler said. “That means something about you and your commitment, your character, your competence, your professionalism and your support to your nation, whether you are part of the United States armed forces or one of our partner nations that is here today. Congratulations it really means something.”

Chandler challenged the students to seize the opportunity and to understand that the Army of tomorrow is in their hands.

“We are at a crossroads right now and what I would like everyone to understand is that we are in the process of reducing the size of the Army and there are so many unknowns out there we are not sure where the bottom is going to be. What I would ask you to do is while you are here, is understand that you are here to be the leader of the future and that your leap from organizational leadership to strategic level leadership is one that is going to be predicated on your commitment to what this course provides,” he said. “You are going to have to lead the army into the future. You are going to have to decide what type of army you want, because it is going to be on your shoulders.”

Chandler also challenged Class 64 to be the kind of leader that keeps the trust and ensures it is about the NCO Corps and the future of the corps.

“You represent every other NCO in the Army. Remember who you are and why you are here and understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity … to learn something and carry our Army into the future,” Chandler said. “Take a few minutes and reflect on the privilege of being here and be a part of a team and learn together and you will come out on the other side a much better well-rounded individual, sergeant major. We need you in the future. We need you to continue to move the NCO corps’ reputation and attitude of let’s get it done, let’s solve the problem, into the future.”

USASMA announces effects of government shutdown on operations

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Due to the current situation with the federal government shutdown, USASMA has ceased operations in the following areas: The Heritage Center of the Noncommissioned Officer (formally known as the NCO Museum); The Learning Resource Center (Library) and the Strategic Plans office. The following operations will continue on a reduced capacity, the S-1 Personnel Directorate, S-3 Operations, S-4 Logistics and the Directorate of Education Technology. All courses will continue to operate as scheduled. All Department of the Army Civilians are required to monitor the local and national news channels for any updates on the status of the government shutdown.

DACs who need assistance should contact the Employee Assistance office at 744-1416.

Class 64 begins instructional year

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy held the opeining ceremonies for Class 64 of the Sergeants Major Course August 23 in the Academy's Cooper Lecture Center. On hand to be the guest speaker was Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, the 14th sergeant major of the Army. Class 64 consists of 526 students from the active Army, Army National Guard and Reserve, the U.S. Air Force, The U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps and 39 international students from 22 partner nations.
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy held the opeining ceremonies for Class 64 of the Sergeants Major Course August 23 in the Academy’s Cooper Lecture Center. On hand to be the guest speaker was Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, the 14th sergeant major of the Army. Class 64 consists of 526 students from the active Army, Army National Guard and Reserve, the U.S. Air Force, The U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps and 39 international students from 22 partner nations.

By David Crozier, USASMA Command Communications

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy began its 64th iteration of the Sergeants Major Course August 23 welcoming in the 526 students who comprise the class during opening ceremonies in the Academy’s Cooper Lecture Center. On hand to mark the event was Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, the 14th sergeant major of the Army, who was the guest speaker.

After recognizing the students who make up Class 64, — 419 Active Component, 10 Army National Guard, 47 Army Reserve, two U.S. Air Force, three U.S. Coast Guard, six U.S. Marine Corps and 39 International students from 28 partner countries — Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, USASAMA’s commandant, gave a brief welcome.

“Congratulations on your selection and attendance to the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy,” he said. “Over the next 9 ½ months, as you complete your education and your training, embrace the opportunity in which you have and leverage the time you have been given to develop yourself.”

Malloy then introduced Chandler to the Class who not only gave remarks, but opened it up to a 30-minute question and answer session.

“I want to offer my congratulations to everyone who is in this auditorium. It has taken you a great deal of work, service and sacrifice to be here and I would like you to reflect on that,” he said. “Reflect on who helped you along the way to be in the position that you are today — sitting in a seat amongst 526 or so of your peers —and to understand that there were a whole lot of others, about 78 percent or so, that were not selected to be in one of these seats.”

Chandler challenged the students to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy El Paso and the community, heal emotionally and physically, reconnect with their families and to focus on learning as much as they can because the Army of the future is in their hands.

Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy commandant, addresses the crowd during the 2013 Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony. The Academy formally recognized the accomplishments and contributions of Sgt. Maj. (ret) Jeffery Colimon, Sgt. Maj. (ret) Danny Hubbard and Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Wells in improving the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. The inductees join the 36 other fellow honorees.
Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy commandant, addresses the crowd during the 2013 Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony. The Academy formally recognized the accomplishments and contributions of Sgt. Maj. (ret) Jeffery Colimon, Sgt. Maj. (ret) Danny Hubbard and Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Wells in improving the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. The inductees join the 36 other fellow honorees.

“We are at a crossroads right now and what I would like everyone to understand is that we are in the process of reducing the size of the Army and there are so many unknowns out there we are not sure where the bottom is going to be,” Chandler said. “What I would ask you to do is while you are here, understand that you are here to be the leader of the future and that your leap from organizational leadership to strategic level leadership is one that is going to be predicated on your commitment to what this course provides. You are going to have the Army in your hands and you are going to have to decide what type of Army you want, because it is going to be on your shoulders.”

Chandler also challenged Class 64 to be the kind of leader that keeps the trust and ensures it is about the NCO Corps and the future of the corps.

“You represent every other NCO in the Army. Remember who you are and why you are here and understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity … to learn something and carry our Army into the future,” Chandler said. “Take a few minutes and reflect on the privilege of being here and be a part of a team and learn together and you will come out on the other side a much better well-rounded individual, sergeant major. We need you in the future. We need you to continue to move the NCO corps reputation and attitude of let’s get it done, let’s solve the problem, into the future.”

The Army’s culminating enlisted Professional Military Education (PME) institution is the Sergeants Major Course. This course provides tools to develop critical reasoning, creative thinking and decision-making skills. Soldiers are provided an education that teaches them to enhance their character, self-expression, and strengthen teamwork abilities. The course assists in the development of logical, practical and original reasoning abilities necessary for problem solving. Students analyze problems based on available information, arrive at logical solutions and decisions with reasonable speed, communicate reasoning and decisions orally and in writing, and supervise to ensure proper execution. Intellectual honesty, integrity, and professional values and standards are highly stressed. The SMC contains a total of 1,484.7 instructional hours, and is also offered as a nonresident course which culminates with two weeks of resident instruction at the academy.

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Acadmey held its opening ceremonies for Class 64 of the Sergeants Major Course Aug. 23 at the Academy's Cooper Lecture Center. The guest speaker for the event was the 14th Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major of the Army Rayomnd F. Chandler III. During the ceremony the Academy recognized the members of the sister services attending the course as well as the international students. Above, the 39 International students from 28 partner nations are recognized.
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Acadmey held its opening ceremonies for Class 64 of the Sergeants Major Course Aug. 23 at the Academy’s Cooper Lecture Center. The guest speaker for the event was the 14th Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major of the Army Rayomnd F. Chandler III. During the ceremony the Academy recognized the members of the sister services attending the course as well as the international students. Above, the 39 International students from 28 partner nations are recognized.

USASMA graduates SMNRC Class 8-13

Command Sgt. Maj. Ervin Capers (r) accepts his graduation certificate from Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Adjutant General, New Jersey Army national Guard, during cermonies Aug. 20 at the Fort Bliss Centennial Club. Capers is one of 34 members of the Nonresident Sergeants Major Course Class 8-13.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ervin Capers (r) accepts his graduation certificate from Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Adjutant General, New Jersey Army national Guard, during cermonies Aug. 20 at the Fort Bliss Centennial Club. Capers is one of 34 members of the Nonresident Sergeants Major Course Class 8-13.

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy held a graduation ceremony August 20, for the 34 students of Sergeants Major Nonresident Course Class 8-13 at the Centennial Club on Fort Bliss, Texas.After opening ceremonies Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins, senior enlisted advisor to the Adjutant General, New Jersey Army National Guard, thanked everyone for attending and inviting him to be the guest speaker for the graduation. He then gave a short speech to the graduates recounting some of his memories in taking the course 14 years ago.

“This is not the course that I graduated from in 1998. Coming back from vacation, I found a stack of correspondence books sitting in front of my door and there were timeline sheets indicating clearly when I needed to get things done and mail in my tests and end of course exams,” he said. “This is totally different [today]. I love talking to my seniors NCOs who said they have problems with this and that and that I had it made back then. No we didn’t.”

Class 8-13 present Command Sgt. Maj. William Tilley, deputy director of the Nonresident Sergeants Major Course with a class plaque.
Class 8-13 present Command Sgt. Maj. William Tilley, deputy director of the Nonresident Sergeants Major Course with a class plaque.

Jenkins charged the graduates to not forget their obligation to take care of the Soldiers and their families in their time of need and to be the leader that enforces the standards.

“We don’t turn a blind eye to issues, such as inappropriate fraternization within our ranks, or toxic leadership, domestic issues and sexual assault,” he said. “Each toxic issue has no place in our Army and I don’t care who you or they are – whoever are creating these incidents – do something about it. We have an obligation to do something about it. Turn a blind eye and you will be the one on the hot seat.”

The Sergeants Major Nonresident Course (SMNRC) is a two phased self-paced program of instruction which leverages distributive learning (dL) in the first phase and students have two years to complete it. The second phase culminates with two weeks of resident instruction which students have up to one year to complete at the academy. The SMNRC mirrors the resident curriculum but in a distributive learning method of instruction.

Structured Self-Development and Advanced Leaders Course – Common Core

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The Army’s vision in 2001, was to move to a learning environment enhanced by distance learning meant to bridge the operational and institutional domains of Army learning for enlisted Soldiers. By 2007, the U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy began development of structured self-development and on Oct. 1, 2010, Structured Self-Development Level I was offered to the force, thus setting conditions for continuous growth and life-long learning throughout a Soldier’s career. SSD began as, and remains a program with individual and leader responsibilities.

In 2004, the Army directed the transformation of the Primary Leadership Development, Basic NCO, Advanced NCO and the Sergeants Major courses. What evolved from this was the Warrior Leader, Advanced Leader, and Senior Leader courses and a completely redesigned Sergeants Major Course. The BNCOC Phase I distance learning program was transformed into Advanced Leader Course- Common Core delivered via blackboard starting on Oct. 1, 2009. Soldiers must complete both the common core and MOS specific phases in order to successfully graduate the ALC.

Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Bailey, director of Structured Self-Development at the Sergeants Major Academy, speaks with the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade Soldiers about Structured Self Development Sept. 13 during his visit to Camp Humphreys, Korea.
Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Bailey, director of Structured Self-Development at the Sergeants Major Academy, speaks with the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade Soldiers about Structured Self Development Sept. 13 during his visit to Camp Humphreys, Korea.

Once launched, the force experienced difficulties in executing SSD and ALC-CC, some caused by technology, others caused by a lack of unit oversight to complete the courses. Structured Self- Development was never intended to be a completely self-developmental tool, but requires leader oversight which provides purpose, direction and motivation in getting Soldiers to meet the prerequisites for every level of NCOES. Likewise, leaders must have oversight and account for Soldier enrollment, progression, and completion of ALC-CC.

As the concept of SSD evolved so did its connectivity to NCOES. Army policy established each level of SSD as a prerequisite for attendance to the next NCOES course. Automatic enrollment into SSD Level I was implemented on Oct. 1, 2010, with an adjusted prerequisite date of April 1, 2013. The implementation date for SSD Level III for NCOs who graduated ALC occurred on May 19, 2011 with a prerequisite date of June 1, 2013. The implementation date for SSD Level IV, for NCOs who graduated SLC, occurred on May 19, 2011 with a prerequisite date of June 1, 2013. The implementation date for SSD Level V, for NCOs who graduated the Sergeants Major Course, is yet to be determined with a prerequisite date also yet to be determined. Each of the SSD courses contain upwards of 80 hours of study and Soldiers have three years to complete each of the four courses. Based on established prerequisites dates, Soldiers will now be denied enrollment to WLC if they have not successfully completed SSD I.

As of June 1, Soldiers will be denied enrollment to SLC and the SMC and the Sergeants Major Nonresident Course if they have not successfully completed SSD Level III and IV respectively. Having their ERB annotated with a “G” code showing successful completion and/or presenting an unaltered completion certificate will show proof of meeting the prerequisite. It is also incumbent upon component Army Training Reservation and Resource System managers to ensure Soldiers meet all prerequisites before making reservations to attend NCOES. Too often, USASMA is seeing Soldiers showing up to NCO academies without successfully completing the appropriate level of SSD, yet a training seat reservation was made by their ATRRS managers. This problem occurs when managers override the system to make the reservation. We are working with TRADOC to close this back door problem.

How SSD and ALC-CC work

In the Fall of 2012, USASMA developed a new graphic user interface and a series of templates to deliver a new interactive multimedia instructional design which resulted in immediate improvements in ease of access and functionality, and updated course content to be relevant to the issues facing today’s Soldiers. The first and most telling impact was a reduction of help desk trouble tickets from more than 8,000 a month to well under 500 with most due to operator inexperience. USASMA is currently engaged in transforming SSD Level III and IV to the same GUI delivery system as ALC-CC and working to transform SSD Level I and V by FY14. When fully developed, these courses provide USASMA with the means for rapid adaptability to changes in doctrine, processes, policies, procedures, and to ensure content is current, relevant, easily accessible, mobile compliant, and operationally user friendly – something that is being experienced now by Soldiers enrolled in ALC-CC. The courseware is built using ATSC’s business rules and best practices as well as private sector Web best practices.

 Where are we now?

A screen shot of an ALC-CC module utilizing the new graphics user interface.
A screen shot of an ALC-CC module utilizing the new graphics user interface.

The features of ALC-CC will also be the features developed for SSD. Below are the improvements we made to ALC-CC:

• Response times are 4x faster due to optimized communication with the Web server.

• The new GUI is compatible with today’s Web browsers and platforms including: iPhones, smartphones, IOS Android and Windows.

• The source files provide the means to rapidly develop and maintain content in real time.

• All lessons include page numbers and progress bars to queue students to where they are in the lesson, and bookmarking is built-in for every page in the browser.

• The new GUI also provides an expandable closed caption box which allows students to read the lesson at their own pace if they desire to mute the narration.

• A lesson menu is provided so that students can travel back and forth to the section they desire

• Three learner preferences are addressed: auditory (through narration), visual (text and images), and tactile (through mouse interaction-clicks, hovers and drags)

• Doctrine 2015 reference material was updated and is accessible on each page and in the help menu. Students have the ability to check the exact page being referenced with one click

• There are Checks-on-Learning in every lesson with practical exercises built into the lesson courseware

• Fifty-seven critical tasks are taught.

 Where we are going

The initial 2001 vision to implement SSD as a distance learning delivery method still holds true today. Structured Self-Development links to NCO professional development by ensuring the self-development domain is well defined, meaningful, and integrated into the leader development process. Distance learning is the way of the future and more emphasis is being placed on it as a viable tool for self-development. The content of SSD I, III, IV and V was developed to link to operational needs and institutional training and education. The USASMA conducted extensive gap analysis, looking at each level of SSD to ensure it is linked progressively, sequentially and with relevance to the next level of NCOES. In conjunction with TRADOC’s ATSC and the Army G6, USASMA is working to improve the capabilities of ALMS functionality and accessibility of SSD. ATSC made significant progress in eliminating frustration associated with maneuvering through SSD courses. In addition, ATSC added additional help desk personnel to provide rapid response to trouble tickets. It is USASMA’s goal to eliminate frustrations experienced with ALMS with the delivery of the newly designed SSD to IMI by second quarter of FY14.

USASMA is also working towards virtual and gaming content, developing more challenging examinations which assess each Soldier’s skills in becoming a critical-thinking, problem-solving adaptive leader where the emphasis on learning falls on the Soldier.

How do you get enrolled?

Photo by Sgt. Mark A. Cloutier, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Sgt. Dariusz Krzywonos works on an SSD course to increase his knowledge base at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Photo by Sgt. Mark A. Cloutier, 5th Mobile Public Affairs
Sgt. Dariusz Krzywonos works on an SSD course to increase his knowledge base at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Human Resources Command has appointed an individual to assist with all SSD enrollment and disenrollment issues and has also established a mailbox at usarmy.knox.hrc.mbx.epmd-ncoes-ssd@mail.mil for requests. For Army Reserve Soldiers, the USARC is the resource manager for enrollment. Army National Guard Soldiers are managed by their State’s quota managers. Once a Soldier has been identified as not being automatically enrolled, the schools or training NCOs send an e-mail and roster of all those who need to be enrolled to HRC who will ensure Soldiers are enrolled. Automatic enrollment into SSD is accomplished by HRC based on:• Completion of AIT or OSUT, Soldiers are enrolled into SSD I.• Enrollment into ALC-CC is automatic. Human Resources Command Schools Branch is the proponent for enrollment.

• Upon completion of all phases of ALC, Soldiers are enrolled into SSD III.

• Upon completion of SLC, Soldiers are automatically enrolled into SSD IV.

• NCOs are automatically enrolled into SSD V upon graduation from the SMC.

Once a Soldier has completed WLC and their completion certificate or graduate code is inputted into EDAS or eMILPO, HRC builds an Army Order of Merit list. The OML is refined every 30 days against flag codes, reduction codes, deployments, PCS, categories by grade, and each NCO is prioritized for attendance. Human Resources Command sends the class roster to the ATRRS to reserve each NCO’s training seat. Once the reservation is made, ATRRS generates a message through AKO or enterprise e-mail to the NCO with the class attendance date. The NCO opens up the message, which gives instructions to pre-register for his/her designated class. In some situations HRC will contact the individual who may be sitting on OML directly through AKO or enterprise e-mail with instructions to pre-register in order to fill potential vacant seats.

Note: Soldiers can also enroll through the Army Career Tracker at https://actnow.army.mil.

 Additional requirements

IAW AR 614-200, dated Feb. 26, 2009/Rapid Army Revision, dated Sept. 3, 2009, Para 3-12. Subject: Warrior Attributes Inventory (WAI) assessment, each NCO is required to enroll into the WAI assessment to evaluate each NCO’s individual capabilities and potential for future assignments in the Institutional Army. Completion of the WAI assessment is mandatory for all active Army NCOs upon promotion to the rank of sergeant. Any active Army sergeant with a date of rank of Dec. 31, 2007 and earlier are not required to complete the WAI assessment. Reserve component NCOs (SGT through SFC) must upon entry into an Active Guard or Reserve Program take the WAI. The RC NCOs (SGT through SFC) accessed into an AGR program prior to April 1, 2008 are not required to take the WAI assessment. Active Army sergeants with a date of rank of Jan. 1, 2008 and later and RC NCOs (SGT through SFC) assessed into an AGR program on April 1, 2008 and later must complete the WAI assessment as a requirement for ALC graduation. Active Army Soldiers will be notified of the requirement to take the WAI assessment through the ATRRS within one month of their promotion effective date. The RC NCOs will be manually enrolled into the WAI assessment in ATRRS by their respective component and will take the assessment as part of accessions in-processing.

Military’s top NCO visits USASMA

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the Sergeants Major Course Class 63 students May 29 at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. His address to the students outlined how he helps the chairman implement his vision and priorities as well as the importance of transition assistance for departing service members.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the Sergeants Major Course Class 63 students May 29 at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. His address to the students outlined how he helps the chairman implement his vision and priorities as well as the importance of transition assistance for departing service members.

 

 

By David Crozier, Command Communications

The military’s top enlisted leader spent the morning May 29 talking NCO and transition issues with the students of Sergeants Major Course Class 63 at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, started his presentation to the class by introducing Dr. Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D. the principal director, Transition to Veterans Program Office, whom he said had very important news for the students to hear about transition assistance.

“It is very important for us to get our transition programs right. Part of our job as NCOs is to prepare our [troops] to transition and ensure they reenter society as a productive member,” he said. “Doctor Kelly has been a lead in overhauling our Army Career and Alumni Programs.”

The Department of Defense has developed a curricula for transitioning service members and encompasses responsibilities that include leadership ensuring certain career readiness standards are met, Kelly said. The curricula are also standardized ensuring every service member receives the same transition assistance training.

“This is an entirely new curriculum for transitioning service members that they must complete,” she said. “They just don’t sit through classes either. There is a concrete deliverable that each service member will have to show at the end of the [training] and it is the commander’s responsibility to verify that every service member meets new career readiness standards.”

Dr. Kelly said the standards are basic, but critical to ensuring the military is doing its best to prepare transitioning service members. Some of the requirements include, having a job application or job offer letter; filling out a college application or having an acceptance letter; attending a VA benefits briefing; completing self assessment tools; understanding financial requirements and so forth. Once all of the standards have been met, or a referral for assistance has been made, the leader can sign the new form, DD form 2958, verifying the service member is prepared to transition out.

“Senior NCOs are going to play a pivotal role in this,” she said. “The service members are going to need leadership, guidance and a nudge to get the ball rolling and that nudge is going to come from you.”

Following Dr. Kelly’s presentation, Battaglia addressed the class about his role as the SEAC and how he helps the Chairman implement his four priorities – Achieve our national objectives in current conflicts, Develop Joint Force 2020, Keeping faith with our military family and Renewing our commitment to the Profession of Arms – all with an overarching theme of “Total Commitment to the Total Force.”

Battaglia explained that total force means from the young military child and spouse, to the service member and the service member who is now retired and is 80 years old and has been a lifelong member of the American Legion. “That is the total force,” he said.

Speaking to the priorities, Battaglia said that with sequestration “[The military is] going to have challenges of [its] own with downsizing and we are going to have to roll up our sleeves and get things done to ensure that we remain ready, relevant, trained,  educated, and we can face any American threat or a tasker that our president may direct.”

He added, “It is not the first time we have been here. We got  through it before; we will get through it again. While we make our way through,
we are not going to let readiness drop where we are irrelevant or ineffective. That dog is not going to hunt and the NCO corps, the backbone of our military, plays a vital role in that.”

He also said that the service must bridge back to basics by leveraging the technology of today while ensuring we make today’s generation part of the solution and not the problem.

He closed his presentation to the class asking them to renew their commitment to the profession of arms. He said while each service has their creed – Soldier’s Creed, Sailor’s Creed, Airman’s, My Rifle – the Creed of a United States Marine, etc. – there is one thing everyone has that is the same – the Oath of Enlistment.

“Everyone should know the oath just like your service creed,” he said. “It is the common denominator between all of us and has been around since the late 1700s. It is a very, very powerful paragraph and I use it to renew my commitment to the profession of arms.”

For more information about the new transition assistance program visit http://www.turbotap.org/portal/transition/resources/Stakeholder_General_Public.

USASMA Recognizes International Students, Inducts Three Into Hall of Fame

This year's inductees into the International Military Student Hall of Fame are Force Sergeant Major of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Chief Warrant Officer Raphael Oa; Sergeant Major of the Swiss Army Pius Mueller; and Sergeant Major of the Taiwan Army Chi-Jui Chuang.
This year’s inductees into the International Military Student Hall of Fame are Force Sergeant Major of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Chief Warrant Officer Raphael Oa; Sergeant Major of the Swiss Army Pius Mueller; and Sergeant Major of the Taiwan Army Chi-Jui Chuang.

By: David Crozier Command Communications

The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy ceremoniously recognized the academic accomplishments of the 41 international students of Sergeants Major Course Class 63 June 20, by awarding them the International Military Student Badge. The Academy also recognized the service of four of its Military Professional Exchange Program instructors and inducted three former international military students into the International Military Student Hall of Fame.

Command Sgt. Maj. Rory L. Malloy, commandant, thanked everyone for attending the ceremony and honoring the international students.

“What a great day in our academy history as we formally recognize the academic achievements and the leadership of our international students upon the occasion of their graduation from Class 63,” he said. “Since 18 August 1975, when the first international student attended the academy we have graduated 698 international partners from 72 countries and class 63 has added 41 distinguished graduates to that roll. Class 63 international students have represented their country as a military very well.”

Malloy said every year there are a couple of students who stand out among their peers and this class of international students was no different. Most of the recognition is through academic achievement, he added, such as the student from Switzerland, Senior Warrant Officer Olivier Ditzler, who had the highest GPA of the international students and which also beat out many of the U.S. Army students; or the two students who for the first time in academy history were graduating with a collegiate degree – Sgt. Maj. Genc Metaj from Kosovo and Sgt. Maj. Yi-Jyun Chen of Taiwan – both of whom earned a Masters Degree in Leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso.

“However, I believe the class and international partners would agree the one who leaves the most lasting impact, not only for his academic achievements which were displayed during his attendance at the academy,” Malloy said, “But during the last couple of weeks of the course, in probably the most challenging department, he went down to San Antonio and underwent brain surgery for cancer, came back and completed all academic requirements and will graduate here this morning –Master Sgt. Baysgalan Olonbayar from Mongolia.”

Following Malloy’s remarks, the academy awarded the international students their student badges and certificates and then turned their attention to the Military Professional Exchange Program Instructors by awarding them the Meritorious Service Medal for their work and contributions at the Academy. Recognized were: Warrant Officer One John Kirkham of the Australian Army, Sergeant major Joao Marcelo Mota of the Brazilian Army, Adjutant Johannes Haans of the Royal Netherlands Army, and Senior Warrant Officer Mok Chia Kee of the Singapore Army.

Many of the international students who have attended the Sergeants Major Course have gone on to make significant contributions to the lineage of their own NCO corps and education systems, but only a few have assumed the position of their respective country’s or armed forces senior enlisted advisor, a position similar to that of the U.S. Army’s Sergeant Major of the Army. The Academy recognized three individuals who have done just that by inducting them into the International Military Student Hall of Fame. Malloy assisted each of the honorees to unveil their induction plaques.

The first honoree was Force Sergeant Major of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Chief Warrant Officer Raphael Oa, a graduate of Sergeants Major Course Class 61. Oa thanked the Academy for honoring him and then praised the work of the cadre for their efforts.

“The Sergeants Major Academy is a great opportunity for military education, personnel development, understanding of all aspects of army operations, including full-spectrum operations and irregular warfare,” Oa said. “The curriculum of USASMA is a great exposure to not only US army operations but also of several foreign countries. My advice to all international students is, you get out of it what you put into it.”

The next honoree was the Sergeant Major of the Swiss Army Pius Mueller a graduate of Class 47.

“It is a great honor and a pleasure to be here,” he said. “Nineteen ninety seven was the last time I was here as student. So you see we always come back to our roots.”

Mueller gave a quick break down of his country’s military and then encouraged the international students to understand one another’s military, accomplishments and what they bring to the table.

“We need a common language and a common understanding and this [Sergeants Major] course is a fine example of this process, especially together with all of the international students,” Mueller said. “I am convinced that due to this training you will be better NCOs indeed. It is certainly a benefit for all of our nations.”

The final inductee was the Sergeant Major of the Taiwan Army Chi-Jui Chuang who is a graduate of Class 54. Chuang immediately turned his attention to the international students who were graduating by addressing the things they learned while attending the academy.

“I want you to know, the knowledge that you get and the friends that you have formed here; the partnership will endure. What is more, the leadership skills you have acquired here will help you, your commander develop the NCO of tomorrow,” he said. “Without the dedication and selfless service of the [faculty] and leadership of USASMA we could not make this happen. It is indeed an honor to be recognized and inducted into your hall of fame and most prestigious NCO academy in the world.”

Following the ceremony the inductees were taken to the International Military Student Hall of Fame area to be shown where their plaques would be put on display among the other honorees of years past. For more photos of the ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction visit USASMA Photo Archive.

What is the Sergeants Major Course

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By CSM Gary Coleman, Course Director

The Army’s culminating enlisted Professional Military Education course is the Sergeants Major Course. The course is designed around the university model that educates senior enlisted leaders from our Army, sister services, and allied militaries to be agile and adaptive senior noncommissioned officers through the study of leadership, conduct of Unified Land Operations, and the application of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and multi-national organizations in an era of persistent conflict and beyond. The SMC is the consummate of enlisted professional military education that prepares sergeants major to be the critical and creative thinkers that can execute at all command levels throughout the Department of Defense.

The course provides tools to develop critical reasoning, creative thinking and decision-making skills to help the sergeants majors advise senior leaders and commanders. Students are provided an education that teaches them to enhance their character, self-expression, and strengthen teamwork abilities. The course assists in the development of logical, practical and original reasoning abilities necessary for problem solving. Students analyze problems based on available information, arrive at logical solutions and decisions with reasonable speed, communicate reasoning and decisions orally and in writing, and supervise to ensure proper execution. Intellectual honesty, integrity, and professional values and standards are highly stressed.

The students experience a curriculum-filled five-day week that includes professional lectures and strategic level briefings from the leaders across the Department of Defense and academia. Additionally, students have the opportunity to attain or complete a college degree from the 22 universities that support the course. This year’s class completed 79 master’s degrees, 183 bachelor’s degrees and 56 their associate degrees.

Throughout the course, students are presented with comprehensive exams in each semester. The first exam, “closed book”, is administered after the first half of each semester with the second exam, “scenario based”, administered at the end of each semester. Furthermore, students are required to write multiple APA style papers, participate in a national security briefing, develop an operational art and design research project, and conduct numerous presentations. The course culminates with a comprehensive End of Course exam that measures the students understanding of our Army and the multiple roles of the Sergeant Major.

The SMC consist of five departments which students rotate through by semesters. These departments, which include an orientation phase at the start of the course, focus on command leadership, military history, Army operations, mission command, unified land operations, and joint, interagency, intergovernmental, multinational organization operations. Each department consists of a team of subject matter experts made up of seasoned sergeants major from all three components of the Army, and senior enlisted leaders from sister services, along with civilian associate professors who prepare master sergeants and sergeants major to elevate from a tactical level of thinking to an operational and strategic perspective. What the students learn prepares them for their roles in battalion, brigade, and division through echelons-above-corps or staff command levels. The joint perspective is enhanced through the attendance of students from the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard as well as international partners.

This Professional Military Education is provided by leveraging both resident and distributive learning educational methods and technologies. The SMC is responsible for delivering three courses; the Sergeants Major Course, a 10-month long resident course containing a total of 1,484.7 instructional hours; the Sergeants Major-Nonresident Course, a 18- to 24-month long course delivered through the distributed learning method culminating with a two-week resident course of instruction at the Academy; and the 10-week International Pre-course which prepares our international students to successfully navigate the SMC.

Command Leadership
Instruction in the Department of Command Leadership focuses on the attributes and competencies required of an operational and strategic level leader in today’s Armed Forces. When a Noncommissioned Officer becomes a Sergeant Major, their span of control decreases, however their sphere of influence increases significantly. The curriculum in this department is designed to enhance individual critical and creative thinking skills so the students can effectively maximize their influence and extend it beyond their chain of command to support the mission and goals of their organization.SMC
Students use a blend of military and civilian case studies to critically analyze contemporary and historical leadership issues. This method expands their leadership perspective in order to gain a greater understanding of the challenges they will face as sergeants major in today’s operational environment. Students are also taught to use the mission command framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess. This enables them to speak the same language as their officer counterparts so they can provide timely and relevant input and advice when confronted with the operational- and strategic-level issues and complexities of leadership.

Students in the DCL will receive Master Resilience Trainer instruction and examine the factors of resiliency and their link to Army Doctrine and Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. They research the core concepts of Positive Psychology and Resiliency with the focus of learning how to develop themselves as resilient leaders. This lesson is based on a holistic program focused on developing the five dimensions of individual strength – physical, emotional, social, spiritual and family. Gaining a greater understanding of these five dimensions provides sergeants major the tools necessary to help develop an Army of balanced, healthy, self-confident Soldiers, family members and Army civilians whose resilience and total fitness enables them to excel in an era of high operational tempo and persistent conflict. As a result of this information, students will gain further self-awareness and insights concerning their own resiliency and the positive impact of resilient leaders on organizations. All graduates receive the additional skill identifier “8R” for Master Resilience Trainer instructors.

Military History
The students in the Department of Military History examine and analyze the evolving roles, duties and responsibilities of the NCO spanning more than 200 years of American history from the mid 1700s to present. Students look at the concept of continuity and change in the role of the NCO over time as well as the factors that account for these changes which form the foundation of the curriculum designed to promote “historical mindedness” for the future sergeants majors in our Army.

The DMH curriculum is episodic in nature. It seeks to integrate themes relevant for today’s joint warfighter and place them in historical context. Course themes include an ever-increasing role of the NCO on the battlefield, the impact of new technologies, previous Army transformation efforts, insurgency and counterinsurgency operations by the British, French, U.S. Armies, and lastly, combat and ethical leadership.

Students analyze the European way of war, practiced by the British Army in the 17th and 18th centuries. They study European tactics, techniques and procedures against the Native Americans and how attempting to apply previous experiences to solutions in the past, to conditions that were fundamentally different. Students also study the Mexican American and the American Civil War, the technological changes that occurred in the years between the end of the Mexican War and the outbreak of the Civil War, and changing tactics and technology in weapons on the battlefield and how it affected doctrine.

Students examine experiences of the American Soldier and how the roles duties and responsibilities of the NCO during WWI evolved due to the changing nature of warfare. Students examine WWII and the process of transformation, Vietnam and the dilemma confronting Soldiers waging counterinsurgency operations, and lastly, operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the evolution of the NCO corps. At the completion of the semester students have a better understanding of the major factors that shaped doctrine, as well as the evolving roles, duties and responsibilities of the NCO.

Army Operations
The students in the Department of Army Operations study the central concept of Unified Land Operations – Army units seize, retain, and exploit the initiative to gain and maintain a position of relative advantage in sustained land operations to create conditions for favorable conflict resolution. Based on this concept, the DAO curriculum has four major areas: doctrine, mission command, decisive action, and operational art. The students explore ULO with a solid foundation of doctrine. The road to 2015 and 2020 are fast moving vehicles and understanding the changes in doctrine and the way forward, sets the conditions for the student to comprehend the philosophy and warfighting function of mission command.

The students study mission command first which allows them to apply the principles of mission command to the rest of their studies. Mission command is the way that commanders drive the operations process. In order to best support the commander, the operations SGM must comprehend the commander’s activities of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess and be able to effectively use their staff to provide the knowledge and data which supports these actions.

The student’s study of decisive action is the bridge between mission command and operation art. The student broadens their understanding of offensive, defensive, and stability operations and the defense support of civil authorities though the use of practical exercises and automation. The use of the Command Post of the Future is the primary tool utilized within the DAO to enhance the learning experience. CPOF is a computer program which enables the planning process and facilitates collaboration. Students gain a complete understanding of the capabilities of CPOF and how it can best support the mission, staff, and commander.

Operational art is the pursuit of strategic objectives, in whole or in part, through the arrangement of tactical actions in time, space, and purpose. The students explore operational art using the Army Design Methodology. The ADM is the conceptual planning accomplished prior to the detailed planning of the Military Decision Making Process. Through the study of the ADM, the students frame the operational environment; identify the right problem; and establish an operational approach. The students tie this learning to the commander’s needs of understanding, visualizing and describing to produce products that their staffs can use for the detailed planning of the MDMP. Finally, the students bring all of their knowledge together with the use of the MDMP and the application of the principles of the operations process.

Force Management
The Department of Force Management’s objective is to educate and analyze the “how to” and “why” of determining force requirements and alternative means of resourcing Soldier training requirements in order to accomplish Army functions and missions as related to their unit and Army Command-level management positions.

This department provides a systemic overview of “How the Army Runs.” Students learn the constitutional, statutory and regulatory basis for the force projection Army and the capabilities that must be sustained through management of doctrinal, organizational, and material change. They become familiar with organizational roles, functions and missions especially at the command and secretariat/staff levels.

DFM students are also introduced to:

  • Established force management processes; from the determination of force requirements to the resourcing of those requirements and the assessment of their utilization in order to accomplish functions and missions.
  • Command Post of the future to prepare unit training and deployment documents, and then conduct a formal briefing using the materials created.
  • The Fort Bliss Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group to observe firsthand how installation airfields deploy Soldiers and equipment to support theater requirements.
  • Contracting and budget regulations and guidelines to support Army operations.
  • Army and joint logistics and sustainment systems.

At the completion of the semester a successful student is able to define the roles that sergeants major have in the force management process at all levels.

Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multi-National Operations
The Department of Joint Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational is an integral part of the Sergeants Major Course foundation for Joint Professional Military Education. This semester addresses significant portions and objectives of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff training priorities. The DJIIM uses critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving to explore the application of Joint doctrine. By applying these principles to a complex problem set, students develop an overarching perspective of leadership at the operational and strategic level.

During the first half of the semester, students are provided with techniques and methods in an academic setting conducive to the most advance understanding of strategic concepts, national military strategy, state department processes, joint services application, joint functions overview, irregular warfare, and the joint operational planning process. The second half of the semester culminates a 25-hour capstone Mission Readiness Exercise supported by a visit to the Joint Task Force North operating facilities.

Moreover, the DJIIM prepares students to work at the strategic level regardless of their next duty assignments. The overarching concept is to provide rigorous academic challenges and relevant experiences using state of the art systems such as Command Post of the Future and Army Battle Command Systems. Finally, the DJIIM’s deliberate student assessment strategies and department evaluations provide students with immediate feedback required to master each phase of the joint planning process.
NonRes

The Nonresident Course
In order to accommodate students who are unable to attend the Sergeants Major Course in residence, and to broaden the availability of training, the Army developed the Sergeants Major Non-Resident Course.

Each SMNRC class consists of senior NCO in the rank of master sergeant, first sergeant, sergeants major, and command sergeants major from the active Army, Army Reserve and National Guard.

The SMNRC is a 18- to 24-month program of instruction under the new design distance learning portion, Phase I, which must be completed within 18 months, and a two-week resident requirement at the Sergeant’s Major Academy, Phase II, conducted within 6 month after completion of Phase I. The curriculum parallels the Resident Sergeant’s Major Course and provides lessons with both self-graded and on-line graded requirements. Emphasis is on improving student communication skills with written and oral practical exercises, JIIM/DAT.

The Course of the Future
The USASMA continues to analyze and develop the role of the sergeant major and their PME needs. Course improvements slated for Class 65 and beyond include changing the Department of Military History to the Department of Training and Doctrine. This improvement keeps the senior enlisted course in line with the Army’s enterprising structure and the functional educational needs of sergeants major. The course will also see additional lessons incorporated into the Department of Force Management that will focus on garrison operations and absorb the nominative level Force Management course.

As we “Shape the Army of 2020”, the United States Army Sergeants Major Course will continue to be the consummate institution that prepares Sergeants Major to execute at all command levels throughout the Department of Defense.