Madigan Healthcare System specialists and sergeants attending the Warrior Leader Course at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Henry H. Lind Noncommissioned Officer Academy will see a familiar face sitting at the commandantAca,!a,,cs desk.

Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Shepardson was hand-selected by base leadership to serve as the top enlisted leader at the baseAca,!a,,cs Army NCO development school. He recently said goodbye to friends, Family and Soldiers during the Madigan Healthcare System Troop Command Change of Responsibility Ceremony Jan. 20, at Keeler Gym.

His appointment to the two-year job is unusual Aca,!" it is unkown as to whether Shepardson is the first medic to command the school since typically the position is held by combat arms senior enlisted Soldiers. His selection as commandant is a testament to his career as being a leader of Soldiers, said his former boss Lt. Col. Jon Van Steenvort, Troop Command commander. Aca,!A"(The JBLM leadership) could not have picked a better NCO, leader, or person than (Shepardson) to educate, develop and grow the NCOs of tomorrow,Aca,!A? Van Steenvort said. Aca,!A"I am confident he will make history by taking the reins of the NCO Academy and moving it forward to leadership excellence.Aca,!A?

Shepardson assumes the duties as the commandant at a pivotal time for the NCO Education System, which is undergoing a redesign to better mirror officer schoolsAca,!a,,c curriculums. More focus will be placed on critical thinking and problem-solving skills formerly reserved for officer-level instruction. This will better prepare front-line leaders, like young sergeants, to make split-second, complex decisions during the heat of the battle, Shepardson said.

At JBLM, the name NCOA will be going away and replaced with the Institute of Professional Development, and instead of being strictly owned by the base, the school will now fall directly under the Training and Doctrine Command. Shepardson said he likes the changes, as commandants at the base level will have more of a voice on NCO education standardization. Aca,!A"In my perspective, itAca,!a,,cs a great opportunity to voice concerns of the 1st Corps NCOs to the rest of the Army,Aca,!A? he said.

Shepardson is ready to prove those wrong who think a medic canAca,!a,,ct teach infantry tactics, marching and NCO leadership. Aca,!A"I look at it like this Aca,!" an NCO is an NCO,Aca,!A? he said, Aca,!A"and all NCOs, whether infantrymen or lab technicians, should have predetermined leadership skills required of any leader to lead in the Army, and thatAca,!a,,cs the bottom line.Aca,!A?

Replacing Shepardson at Troop Command is Command Sgt. Maj. David Rogers, who comes to Madigan from just a few miles down the road at 62nd Medical Brigade. He joins fellow former 62nd alum Van Steenvort. Both deployed to Iraq for 15 months with their former unit more than a year ago. But the day belonged to Shepardson as the outgoing senior enlisted leader of Troop Command. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cve done my research Aca,!" your peers, subordinates and superiors above you, everything I found on, everything they said; you did a fantastic job,Aca,!A? Rogers said about Shepardson. Aca,!A"I am both honored and humbled to follow in your footsteps.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16