"One Voice" Training at 311th binds multi-compo command
July 19, 2012
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- What is the glue that holds together a multi-component unit? The Active Component, Reserve and Active Guard Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 311th Signal Command (Theater) found out last weekend that together, they are that glue.
About 200 Soldiers from the three components convened and worked together at the unit's first "One Voice training" which included a discussion panel and several teambuilding exercises at Fort Shafter and Tripler Army Medical Center July 14.
The training combined "Theater Voice," the unit motto, and "One Team", the U.S. Army, Pacific" motto, for its moniker. Teams engaged in timed exercises that forced them to accomplish tasks quickly as a team, in addition to a slew of other scheduled events for the day.
"It's called 'One Voice,' because the focus was building a bridge to effective communication," said Master Sgt. Ava Williams, 311th SC equal opportunity representative and orchestrator of the training. "We are working towards truly having 'One Voice', by communication and teamwork involving our Reserve Soldiers in our day to day work, thus facilitating better working together, as one voice."
"One Voice" training started with a command run, led by 311th SC Commanding General Brig. Gen. William Scott. Four platoons were organized by section rather than component, so that a Reserve specialist might be standing in formation next to an AC sergeant major and an AGR captain. This integration was a theme throughout the day.
The next major event was a panel discussion, mediated by Scott and 311th SC Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Thompson, during which representatives of each component fielded and questions and members of the audience were invited to discuss concerns and questions about command issues related specifically to the 311th being a multi-component unit.
"We are part of a very unique organization at the 311th Signal Command," said Scott. "Part of our challenge is to recognize that we have a unique environment that we need to adapt our training and our mission in order to account for what we are doing. "
"It's one of the only organizations of its type in the entire Army, but there are a lot of organizations that say the same thing when they get together, and that's what makes our Army great," said Scott. "We are part of an organization that adapts to the mission that we have and that recognizes that change is going to be a constant, so this training is part of that continuing effort to improve how we do business."
Following the panel discussion, everyone broke into groups for multiple teambuilding exercises that included physically interactive team-oriented exercises that got everyone working together through communication and trust.
"This event was a great way for all of the 311th Soldiers, regardless of rank and component, to come together and bond by sharing experiences and ideas," said Spc. Danielle Smith, 311th paralegal and Reserve Soldier. "It was a great opportunity to see the differences and similarities in other units. Even though we wear the same uniform and work side by side together we don't always know how the other component operates. Overall I think it was a success and I look forward to being a part of more in the future."
Participants completed the training in the afternoon with small group training at their respective individual sections.
"I was trying to think of something that fit, not just for 311th SC, but for multi-compo units coming to work together," said Williams. "Once we set the groundwork for teambuilding and having that trust and communications amongst the team members from section to section it all fell into place."
"The teambuilding activities got people smiling, communicating, everybody pitched in, bottom line, that was our goal, to create some cohesion, mixing everybody up, officers, junior enlisted, senior enlisted, all from different sections and components, mission accomplished," Williams said.
According to Williams, the feedback from the training was positive and the 311th now plans to make this a quarterly or bi-annual training.
"In the next training, we will try to think of a way to incorporate our civilian sector. once we get the civilians involved in this team building activity we will have completely involved our 311th team."
For more information about "One Voice" training, contact Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.