49th MCB conducts officers' professional development conference
September 8, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -The 49th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), hosted its first officers' professional development conference Aug. 28, at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Lt. Col. Pete Haas, the commander of the 49th, said the OPD conference is a key leadership development event for junior officers in the battalion.
The conference focused on Army values, counseling, physical fitness, nutrition and how all these traits help form a sound and balanced officer. Officers also discussed leadership scenarios that introduced ethical dilemmas.
The officers, from both Regular Army and Army Reserve components, came from Contingency Operating Locations throughout Iraq.
"You get a sense of how large our battalion is when you see representatives from each (movement control team), even more so when you consider all of our (Kellogg, Brown and Root, Inc.) employees," said Warrant Officer David Hiniker, the battalion logistics officer with the 49th Trans. Bn., and Killeen, Texas native.
Second Lt. Anshwa Pennington, the 49th's personnel officer and a Houston native, said the battalion faces special challenges because it is distributed throughout Iraq.
"The 49th has special challenges in getting its leadership together," said Pennington. "Whenever we can get together and talk face to face it's a welcome change, because most of the time we only know each other from our voices on the daily Breeze (online teleconference) sessions."
Junior officers from the battalion's 19 movement control teams and headquarters detachment - from Trebil Gate, Habur Gate and Basrah to Joint Base Balad - convened for the OPD.
Haas said, "This OPD conference is part of our three-pronged leadership development program, which includes the green tab huddle for our commanders and detachment sergeants, our Web-based (noncommissioned officer professional development) led by Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Bivens, and this conference."
As discussed during the conference, part of being a well-rounded officer is having fun. The unit held an ultimate Frisbee team-building tournament, which left all the participants thoroughly invigorated and exhausted, said Haas.