• FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) -- Command Sgt. Maj. Edward G. Ellis-Kelsey, command sergeant major, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 165th Infantry Brigade, greets Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces training directorate assistant to the chief of NCOs enlisted training section, during confidence training at Victory Tower. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) -- Command Sgt. Maj. Edward G. Ellis-Kelsey, command sergeant major, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 165th Infantry Brigade, greets Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces training directorate...

  • Standing, from left: Chief Warrant Officer Rabih Jomaaa, First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, and Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces, speak with a drill sergeant and an instructor while observing U.S. Soldiers participating in marksmanship training. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    Standing, from left: Chief Warrant Officer Rabih Jomaaa, First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, and Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces, speak with a drill sergeant and an instructor while observing U.S. Soldiers participating in marksmanship...

  • FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) " Left to right: Chief Warrant Officer Rabih Jomaaa and Sgt. Mohamad Nazir Dhaybi, Lebanese Armed Forces, share a laugh with Command Sergeant Major Stephan Frennier, Third Army/ARCENT command sergeant major, during a tour of the Basic Combat Training Museum. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) " Left to right: Chief Warrant Officer Rabih Jomaaa and Sgt. Mohamad Nazir Dhaybi, Lebanese Armed Forces, share a laugh with Command Sergeant Major Stephan Frennier, Third Army/ARCENT command sergeant major, during a...

  • FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) " From left: First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, Sgt. Mohamad Nazir Dhaybi and Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces, observe U.S. Soldiers participating in confidence training at Victory Tower. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Mylinda DuRousseau, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 19, 2013) " From left: First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, Sgt. Mohamad Nazir Dhaybi and Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac, Lebanese Armed Forces, observe U.S. Soldiers participating in confidence training at Victory Tower. Members of...

  • SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (March 18, 2013) " Center right: Command Sergeant Major Stephan Frennier, Third Army/ARCENT command sergeant major, speaks with members of the 
Lebanese Armed Forces during a roundtable discussion with U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force senior enlisted leaders. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Salcido, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (March 18, 2013) " Center right: Command Sergeant Major Stephan Frennier, Third Army/ARCENT command sergeant major, speaks with members of the Lebanese Armed Forces during a roundtable discussion with U.S. Army and U.S. Air...

  • SUMTER, S.C. (March 18, 2013) " Right to left: Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Bruton, station commander, Sumter Recruiting Office, explains the recruiting process to Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac and First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, Lebanese Armed Forces, during their visit. Members of the LAF observed the process of transforming a civilian into a Soldier, from the recruiting station to basic training, during a noncommissioned officer exchange March 18-26 at various locations, including Sumter and Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Salcido, Third Army Public Affairs.)

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    SUMTER, S.C. (March 18, 2013) " Right to left: Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Bruton, station commander, Sumter Recruiting Office, explains the recruiting process to Lt. Col. Stephan El Chidiac and First Adjutant Sami Mehdi Shoman, Lebanese Armed Forces, during...

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Command Sgt. Maj. Stephan Frennier, Third Army/ARCENT senior enlisted leader, and members of Third Army/ARCENT's International Military Affairs team hosted a noncommissioned officer information exchange with infantry and combat engineer NCOs from the Lebanese Armed Forces March 18-26.

"Your military and our military have shared values, and the same enemy -- terrorism," said Lt. Col. Stephan Y. El Chidiac, LAF training directorate assistant to the chief of NCOs enlisted training section. "In order to help each other we need to have a better understanding of the way we train, operate and think."

The nine-day event, designed to show the process of turning a civilian into a U.S. Army Soldier, capitalized on two seminars Third Army/ARCENT conducted with Lebanese military members in 2012.

"It makes a big impression, the way you train your Soldiers," said El Chidiac.

The event began at the Sumter, S.C. recruiting battalion where participants learned some of the requirements that must be met before a person can join the Army. From there they traveled to Fort Jackson to learn about the three phases of basic training and the standards drill sergeant candidates must meet before teaching and training new recruits.

The rest of the day was spent observing new recruits as they took part in an obstacle course and practiced basic rifle marksmanship on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 system under the supervision and guidance of U.S. NCOs.

"I have seen here the degree to which you rely on NCOs," said El Chidiac, "The NCO role is very important."

The exchange was more than an opportunity to learn about the Army NCO corps and training Soldiers; U.S. participants learned about the process of becoming an NCO in the LAF.

"We learned a lot from them. It's very impressive; their NCO corps, the structure, how they're selected and how they're promoted," said Frennier, a Whitehouse, Texas native. "It's very interesting to learn how they do things."

Third Army/ARCENT hosts events like this one in support of its mission to shape the future by building relationships with partner nations.

"These kind of exchanges always help build relationships, improve communications and achieve the final goals," said El Chidiac.

The anticipated result of the exchange is that U.S. and LAF militaries will be more interoperable and capable of functioning together effectively on the battlefield.

"Anytime we are able to do information exchanges with some of our partner nations, in this case Lebanon, I think it's really a win-win situation," he said. "We are bringing in some friends, showing them how we do things, showing the professionalism, especially of the NCO corps, and then have them take that back to their nation and share it with their leadership."

The exchange continued at Fort Benning, Ga. and concluded with a trip to the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. Third Army/ARCENT's relationship with the LAF will not end there; Frennier and others are scheduled to tour LAF facilities in Lebanon later this year.

"I look forward to when we can visit them and see some of their institutions," Frennier said.

Page last updated Mon April 1st, 2013 at 00:00