The senior leadership of the Army Training Center at Fort Jackson took a tour last week of FN America's Columbia plant Aug. 7 as part of a professional development program organized by the commanding general.

"It's a large company we can relate to, because of the product line they have," said Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, Fort Jackson commanding general. More importantly, he said, firearms manufacturer FN America recently made significant adjustments to its business practices in order to remain successful
and relevant ... a lesson he thought worth sharing with senior leaders.

"FN America was able to manage and lead an important change that allowed them to go from something they saw as unsustainable, to something that could deliver an enduring growth for their
company," he said.

"We all have to find ways to move our teams forward, especially when things change in our environment," Johnson said. "This is all about giving us another set of tools, another perspective, albeit from a civilian manufacturing perspective. Some of these are very relatable to our military mission."

The tour kicked off with a briefing of FN America's history and mission before heading out onto the factory floor. There, Soldiers were shown --from start to finish --how the company makes its
products. These included briefings on how FN America manages the daily demands of a high-tech manufacturing facility.

"Generally, there's a lot we can learn from our civilian partners about leadership, about cultural change, about running organizations," said Col. Mark Shade, Fort Jackson deputy commander. "We take these opportunities to take our senior leaders out and get them to think outside of the
normal box that they're in with the Army. We're also looking at Amazon, Volvo, BMW, any kind of large organization where we can talk about organizational change and leadership."