By Lt. Col. Armando HernandezApril 5, 2018
On Feb. 28, 2018, United States Army Africa launched the Emerging Enterprise Leader program to develop the next generation of Army enterprise leaders.
The EEL program broadens the experiences of Army civilians within grades GS/GG-07 to GS/GG-12 and maximizes their leadership potential.
"This is the first year we implemented the program," said Susan Groth, the USARAF G7 directorate chief of training, who is responsible for implementing USARAF's EEL program. "This program prepares our Army civilians for jobs of greater responsibility while increasing the effectiveness of the organization."
USARAF's first group of civilian employees who received the training included Kristen Clark, Eric Doro and Sarah Galvin.
The training began with opening comments from Kevin Owens, the USARAF deputy chief of staff, followed by a formal orientation providing an overview of the EEL program.
The morning instruction included a class on leadership and diversity provided by the equal opportunity office, and a segment from the Army community service office on how to balance work and life. The morning orientation concluded with a class on ethics and leadership, which was led by the USARAF chaplain and staff judge advocate.
In the afternoon, USARAF's EEL participants conducted a team-building exercise at the Cronos Escape Room in the city of Verona.
Led by a mentor, Craig Cotter, the USARAF Logistics Directorate Deputy Director, the participants learned to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses.
"People are the Army's most important resource. This program demonstrates the command's willingness to invest in our employees. When any of us, military or civilian, feel that leadership wants to make that sort of commitment to our professional development, it can't help but make you feel good and improve morale. A motivated workforce will have a positive and direct impact on readiness...every time," said Cotter.
Participants assumed both roles of leadership and team members to maximize opportunities to lead and operate as team members while accomplishing complex tasks.
The exercise provided a dynamic environment where the participants practiced methods to solve problems, gather and analyze data, weigh alternatives, and create resolutions.
"The EEL program has exposed me to opportunities that I would not have otherwise had. Participating in the program and having Mr. Cotter as a mentor will make me a better leader and allow me to see how different parts of USARAF function," said Kristen Clark, USARAF G5 Operation Research System Analyst.
The EEL program is designed to improve USARAF's workforce by developing a cadre of future strategic leaders who are dynamic and focused on accomplishing the goals of the organization.
Groth summarized the EEL program by communicating its beneficial impact for both the organization and the employee. "We are improving our employee's decision-making, interpersonal, and conflict management skills. We are deepening their ability to think critically while broadening their assignment experience. We are improving USARAF as an organization, and developing a community of future