WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army Signal Soldiers gathered for a series of classes and presentations about the noncommissioned officer evaluation report, support form, counseling, effective writing and other career development topics during the quarterly Soldier Development Program April 19, 2018 in Wiesbaden.

The classes were organized by the 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion, 2nd Theater Signal Brigade, and included participants from Baumholder, Grafenwoehr and Kaiserslautern, and locally from the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command TAC-Europe.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Hanson, a satellite communications systems operator-maintainer assigned to the U.S. Army Europe Commanding General's Communication Team, led a class on the NCOER support form and how it's used to inform the overall rating. He said the initial conversations between the rater and the rated NCO are important to understanding expectations and to establish reasonable and achievable performance goals for the rated period.

"It's your blueprint to your NCOER - it's your rater and senior rater giving you guidance on what you need to do not only to meet the standard, but to exceed it and far exceed that standard," Hanson said.

He emphasized it's critical to maintain good communication throughout the rated period, and to keep a running list of your accomplishments.

Master Sgt. John Brandt, the S-3 Operations, Plans and Training noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 102nd Strategic Signal Bn., said the classes also focused on practical skills, including how to write effective bullets, and how to give and receive counseling for themselves and other NCOs.

"We're showing them the importance of their NCOERs now and how that builds into their career as they progress in the military," Brandt said.

The Soldier Development Program provides Soldiers with information on a wide variety of personal and professional topics designed to grow junior Soldiers into future leaders. Previous classes have focused on higher education opportunities and benefits, and on the enlisted record brief.

"With this knowledge set, they will know how to continually progress in their career, what steps to take, and that gives them an advantage," Brandt said.

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2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.