FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Aug. 31, 2018) -- A new mentorship program for federal civilians working at Fort Sill is seeking applicants who desire to expand their leadership skills, gain a strategic perspective of the installation, and work as an integral part of Team Sill to shape the post's future.

Leadership Fort Sill (LFS) is a one-year program open to all federal civilian employees from all agencies in pay grades GS-11 through 13, or equivalent, i.e., NAF, ND, WG, etc., said Woody Gebhart, 434th Field Artillery Brigade deputy commanding officer. Non-supervisors and supervisors may apply. Contractors are not eligible.

Dr. Al Peterson Jr., director of the G8/Directorate of Resource Management, served as an adviser to the program as it was conceptualized and developed. He said through LFS, participants will develop their leadership and managerial skills while gaining a broader understanding of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill enterprise.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about other organizations and the missions that they perform, develop relationships with other DA civilians from across Fort Sill, and learn best practices on a variety of topics," said Peterson, in an email interview.

Each month the LFS class will spend a four-hour block at a seminar with a hosting unit or agency, Gebhart said. Seminars will typically include a leadership forum with the host senior leaders, classroom presentation, a tour of the unit, and a demonstration.

Throughout the program LFS class members will be assigned to a mentor, who is in pay grade GS-13 or 14. A 1-to-5 mentor-to-student ratio will ensure accessibility to the senior leader, Gebhart said.

Joe Gallagher, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill deputy to the commanding general, provided guidance and the authority for this program to be implemented. He will select the class members upon recommendations from the Directorate of Resource Management, and the deputy chief of staff.
LFS classes will have between 20 and 25 participants. The application deadline is Sept. 14.

The first LFS seminar is set for Sept. 25, to be hosted by 428th Field Artillery Brigade leaders, Gebhart said. Gallagher will address the first class to kick off the program.

Other units scheduled to sponsor seminars include 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Directorate of Training Development and Doctrine, Directorate of Human Resources, and Reynolds Army Health Clinic. Any organization at Fort Sill may voluntarily host an LFS seminar.

Some of LFS's guiding principles include: collaborating, networking, learning, leading, developing, managing, enhancing management insight, and encouraging conflict resolution at the mid-grade level.

Gebhart said he believes Fort Sill is the only Army installation with such a program. LFS closely mirrors the Leadership Federal Executive Board, a mentorship program for federal government employees.

Similarly, Leadership Oklahoma is the state's initiative to develop outstanding community leaders to shape the future of the Sooner State. Fort Sill is a regular site visit for Leadership Oklahoma classes. Locally, Leadership Lawton helps to develop community, civic and business leaders.