School Days: Army civilian residence course comes to post
February 17, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Army civilians at Fort Jackson are receiving leadership education to help further their careers and gain more job fulfillment with no out-of-pocket cost.
Thirty-two civilians graduated from the Civilian Education System Basic Course last week, culminating two weeks of studying how to become an effective team leader.
"I have gained so many tools to take back and develop a high-performance team," said Melvin Jones, Outdoor Recreation assistant director. "It has been a very informative and interesting course."
The course, which is offered by the Army Management Staff College, consists of a distance learning portion and a two-week residence portion. The basic course is part of the Civilian Education System, which is a progressive and sequential leader development program that provides education opportunities for Army civilians throughout their careers.
Eight levels of education, including the Basic Course, comprise the Civilian Education System. Other courses include a Foundation Course, Intermediate Course, Advanced Course, Continuing Education for Senior Leaders and more.
Army Management Staff College courses are split between Fort Leavenworth, Kan., or Fort Belvoir, Va., with the Basic Course typically taught at Fort Leavenworth. Leadership at the Army Staff Management College decided to hold the course at Fort Jackson at the request of Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson commanding general.
Army civilians across the post from almost every directorate participated in the course.
"Getting people from all commands and career fields adds to the richness of diverse backgrounds, and that really adds to the course," said Bruce Yaeger, dean of Academics for the Army Staff Management College, who visited Fort Jackson last week to check in on the class and attend graduation. "I like to spend time with my faculty and make sure we are holding standards and that they have everything they need."
During the course, students are taught to develop, and work in, teams. They are also taught to develop subordinates and personal leadership competencies.
"I have learned that being a leader means more than being a supervisor," said Georges Dib, chief of Operations and Maintenance Division of the Directorate of Public Works. "It also means being an effective listener. Often, we don't listen and (we) make assumptions. But this class is giving us a full spectrum of what leadership is all about. This class has been very rewarding for me."
Margaret Good, deputy G6 for Fort Jackson Army Training Center, said having the course taught on post instead of traveling to another installation had several positive results.
"I am glad this course is at Fort Jackson because it allows us to grow as a Fort Jackson team," Good said. "If we had gone TDY to another installation, we would have been learning with people we likely would never see again."
The Basic Course will be taught again at Fort Jackson in June. Leadership at Fort Jackson is also hoping to bring the Intermediate Course to the installation, said Sean O'Brian, post safety director, who helped organize the course at Fort Jackson.
"Fort Jackson has a command group that is firmly committed to civilian workforce development," he said. "We are taking an outstanding civilian workforce and providing them with essential skills."
For more information about the Civilian Education System, visit www.amsc.belvoir.army.mil.