Course prepares Army Civilians for leadership roles
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Civilian Education System courses include online modules followed by classroom instruction. Until establishing the new mobile training teams in 2012, classroom time meant temporary duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Each course, ranging from foundation level to advanced, is tailored to specific pay grades. Central funding and flexible course delivery methods, like the mobile training team, makes CES more accessible to local Army civilians, according to developers.

Seventy-two Army civilians from organizations across Redstone Arsenal graduated Friday from the Civilian Education Intermediate Course Resident Phase offered at Toftoy Hall by the Army Management Staff College.

The course marks the second venture of AMSC's mobile training team away from its Fort Leavenworth headquarters to facilitate the course at Redstone Arsenal.

"In 2016, Intermediate and Advanced leadership courses were held on Redstone Arsenal," Jerome Hawkins, director of the AMSC's CES Intermediate Couse, said. "Our facilitators are trained professionals who serve as guides throughout the course to provide students the same instruction they'd normally receive at Fort Leavenworth. Sending a mobile team gives organizations an opportunity for cost savings and more flexibility with staffing.

"A team will return again to offer the CES Advanced course in May. It's a great opportunity for our local Army civilians and with classes quickly filling, we're optimistic about hosting more courses at Redstone in 2018. This is forward thinking for Redstone leadership. The work that is done here is a very important part of the Army's mission; so we think training leaders at every level here is in line with your senior leadership's vision to make this installation the Army's 'Garrison of the Future."

"The three-week course, which began April 3, was full. In fact, the May CES Advanced course is nearly full as well, thanks to Army Materiel Command's effort to promote seats, seeking students from other commands. According to Hawkins, strong partnerships among the major Army commands and Army Management Staff College, which oversees CES, help all involved. CES plays a critical role in career development at every level. All eight courses are in demand because they are prerequisites for admission into other military schools and directly impact a civilian employee's career advancement.

AMSC instructors said having a mobile training team can save money and increases the number of available training slots, affording their staff an opportunity to reach more students.

"The Civilian Education System is increasingly important to employees for career progression and entrance into senior leader schools," Rich Coon, an AMSC instructor in the Intermediate Course's Seminar Four, said. "Taking the course at their home station means some students may probably see each other again and will continue to collaborate and build on what they've learned as they work on future projects here. It's also a less expensive way to get more than 76 people trained all at once -- it would take several years and ample funding to train 76 people, from the same installation, by sending them individually to Leavenworth. Students can decide what works best for them."

Helen Albertson, also an instructor in Seminar Four, agrees.

"This is a great starting point for leaders at every level and a great opportunity for development and networking for civilians," she said. "This course is a great starting point for leaders at every level. Sometimes having the training brought to students affords them better work-life balance. Students have a chance to collaborate with people from a variety of experiences, meeting people they might rarely have the chance to and applying team building skills to multiple scenarios and are encouraged to network not only within their seminar but with all seminars. We're also challenging them to become lifetime learners."

While the Army Materiel Command invited AMSC and offered to host the course, other Army commands here were included in the request for slots.

For employees like Andrew Santana, a logistics management specialist at the Aviation and Missile Command's Logistics Center, participation in training raises an awareness of how important each individual job is to the success of the Army's vision, mission and support of the warfighter.

"I jumped at this opportunity because it provides every student with a new skill set: self-awareness, team development, effective problem solving, decision making and mission accomplishment," Santana said. "The course also promotes creativity and innovation. So I have grown as a leader during this course and will share what I've learned with others in my organization."

Carmela Brewer, logistics management specialist, also with AMCOM's ALC said one of her mentors suggested she take the course a while back to grow her leadership skills. She said she's very pleased that she participated in this learning experience.

"I'm always open to all opportunities for professional development, but didn't know what to expect here. The reinforcement of The Army Values--Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage really stood out for me," Brewer said. "I've also gained more insight on the importance of having a learning organization."

For more information about the latest CES courses, visit the course catalog on the Army Training Requirements and Resource system at Civilians wishing to register for courses or request more information about credit equivalency and transfers should contact the training representative at their organization.