APG Graduates Future Leaders
February 24, 2012
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. -- Twenty-nine students from 13 different organizations from Aberdeen Proving Ground recently graduated from the installation's "COHORT" senior leadership training program during a ceremony at the Top of the Bay.
This is the third graduating class of this one-year program designed to build and develop a cadre of senior leaders in organizations across the installation.
During his remarks to the graduates, Gary Martin, deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, stated, "COHORT furthers APG as a community." Martin serves as the leadership program's champion and described the course curriculum as modeled after issues important to installation leaders.
The training program is run by the Office of Personnel Management and designed around OPM's executive core qualifications. It includes training sessions in leadership concepts and knowledge, individual coaching sessions, and results-driven community projects.
Martin explained that COHORT has evolved over the past three years and that the community-based projects and engagements have matured to the point that this third class represented everything installation leaders wanted when the program was developed. "The graduates' social responsibility, both on and off post, has brought a real return on investment for the APG community."
Projects included the planning and implementation of the APG Senior Managers Association, STEM Career Day at APG for ninth graders, APG Higher Education Advancement Day, APG Community of Practices; APG Developmental Assignment Program and the DoD Computers for Learning Program.
David Craig, Harford County Executive, provided keynote remarks for the graduation ceremony. Craig's tie to the installation goes back decades. His father started working at APG 72 years ago in the civilian personnel office and was part of the effort after World War II to boost the employment of scientists and physicists on post.
Craig described the COHORT graduates as role models for region, not just leaders on post. He said "you graduates will be major factors in the future success of APG and Harford County." Harford County has been successfully meeting the needs of its citizens and installation partners, according to Craig, but will continue to face challenges as APG grows. He cited six brand new schools in four years and the lowest crime rate since 1975 as examples of the continually improving quality of life for APG employees who live and work in the county.
Craig, a former history teacher, also imparted four leadership ideals through historical vignettes: leaders must be able to communicate with those who work for them; leaders must be seen by the people who work for them and must not be inaccessible to the staff; leaders must have faith in the people who work for them; and you can be anything you resolve to be as long as you have the willpower to do it.
One of the graduates, Marc Rosen, CECOM's deputy chief legal counsel, spoke at the ceremony about a leadership learning experience before he worked for the Army. He headed an eight-person team in Hollywood in the 1980s that colorized the first full-length black and white movie for Ted Turner, "Miracle on 34th Street." He described the difficult, four-month effort working in shifts 24 hours a day to meet Turner's worldwide re-release date for the movie and the stresses that impacted his team. "I learned that the point of leadership was not just to get the project done but to take care of people along the way," he explained.
With COHORT 3 completed, a new class of 50 new leaders is poised to begin. COHORT 4 begins in March and continues on until February 2013.
Sue Nappi, deputy G3/5 for CECOM, will serve as COHORT 4's program
manager. She explained that the program's benefits to the post include connecting APG Organizations and their future leaders, enhancing cooperation and collaboration among APG organizations, and building cross functional teams to better handle community-wide challenges. Nappi said, "Building a strong and vibrant APG community is critical to the success of all organizations on post and the Army as a whole."