While students throughout Corpus Christi prepared for their first day of school, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) honored the latest graduating class of Upward Leader Investment for Tomorrow (UPLIFT) August 19th at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Wings Auditorium.

The graduating UPLIFT Class 16-1 is part of a growing alumni of future civilian leaders. CCAD's on-site course builds from the Army Materiel Command's premier program that develops civilian leaders through the Army's core leadership competencies.

The course was designed at CCAD by the Workforce Development Division for CCAD non-supervisory personnel.

To qualify for the six-month course, potential students must be nominated by a supervisor and undergo a rigorous application process that includes a Q&A before a panel of judges.

Twenty-three Army civilians stepped up to the challenge.

Event speaker and UPLIFT trainer, Sergeant First Class Patrick Gallagher, spoke about the panel interviews that prefaced the UPLIFT course. Nominees were asked to recall times they failed as leaders.

"If only they had known that was the easiest day of the program," he commented.

Once selected, UPLIFT students spent the next half-year juggling program coursework along with their existing responsibilities at work and at home.

"They were repeatedly challenged and tested," Gallagher said. But the 16-1 class proved their abilities. As students brought their shared drive and determinism to each lesson, they quickly coalesced into high functioning teams.

Students also shadowed a number of CCAD's most influential mentors and leaders, like Marc Gonzalez, Director of Engines and Powertrain Production, who delivered the keynote address.

Craig Tuttle, Senior Instructor and curriculum writer for UPLIFT, ensured the course wasn't a simple overview of leadership attributes. Students engaged in the psychodynamics of interpersonal communication and the Army problem-solving method to prepare them to effectively manage the Army Soldier-Civilian dynamic they would encounter in the Army's organic industrial base.

"Soldier and Army Civilian alike, by doctrine and profession, by word and deed, we are members of the same team," Gallagher said at the graduation.

"Where the Soldier creed declares 'I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army values,' it is matched by the Army Civilian Corps creed which states: 'I live the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.'"

The commencement ceremony ended with cake and refreshments as UPLIFT graduates shared details of the course and the next step on their Army civilian leadership journey.

UPLIFT offers a unique experience for Army civilian employees to acquire critical leadership skills and to learn from industry and professional leaders. For more information about CCAD's UPLIFT class and how to apply for the next course offering, call (361) 961-7003.

CCAD UPLIFT 16-1 GRADUATES

Juan Almaguer (Accessories and Rotor Blade Production)

Clifford Chapman (Infrastructure and Risk Management)

Meghan Clardy (Production Engineering)

Hector Contreras (Manufacturing Process Production)

Rikki Craig (Manufacturing Process Production)

Bobby Ellis (Engines and Power Train Production)

Edward Garcia (Manufacturing Process Production)

Peggy Hatcher (Quality Management)

Juan Hernandez (Infrastructure and Risk Management)

Harold Hoffmaster (Production Engineering)

Lonnie Johnston III (Engines and Power Train Production)

Matthew LaPointe (Aircraft Production)

Alex Martinez (Manufacturing Process Production)

Victor Martinez (Production Engineering)

Eric Murphy (Manufacturing Process Production)

Christopher Powell (Information Technology)

Dexter Rhines (Production Management)

Eduardo Rodriguez (Resource Management)

Glenn Rogers (Production Management)

Christopher Ryza (Office of the Chief of Staff)

Rosa Maria Segovia-Luther (Production Management)

Ruben Teran (Engine Production)

Veronica Verastiqui (Manufacturing Process Production)