By 1st Lt. Verniccia FordJanuary 30, 2019
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Mentorship and professional development are arguably intrinsic components when molding Soldiers in the Armed Forces.
In the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, 'Lifeliners', 101st Airborne Division, officer and non-commissioned officer development is something that has always remained a top priority.
"Senior leader engagements and professional development are absolutely vital in personal and professional growth," said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McAdoo, the senior enlisted advisor for the 101st SBDE. "We will advance on and do other things in life whether it's inside or outside our great Army, we are setting a foundation to make Soldiers versatile and well rounded.
Finding solutions, being efficient and providing seamless sustainment support to the warfighter are the things reiterated by Col. Stephanie Barton, a native of Alabama and commander for 101st SBDE, and McAdoo.
While deployed to a combat zone in support of both U.S. Forces Afghanistan and Operation Freedom's Sentinel, the brigade's commander team have implemented programs to develop and groom future Army leaders.
"Leader development is of extreme importance in any environment. We have aggressively taken advantage of the additional time, which has resulted in leader development programs that have involved junior leaders, mid-grade leaders and seniors," said McAdoo. "Our tactic has been to flood the system with opportunities for Soldiers and their leaders to be developed. This is an investment in the future of our Army; this is how we pay it forward."
For Capt. Sarah Barnes, the support transportation-contracting officer, she enjoys the wealth of knowledge being taught to the Soldiers.
"The biggest take away for me is to trust that your leaders are looking at the big picture when it comes to what's best for you and your career. Similarly, you need to be a leader who your subordinates can trust will look out for them and their career," said Barnes.
Maj. John Hurd, a native of Gahanna, Ohio, and the brigade's adjutant officer, believes leader development seminars are important, not for the specific topic but for the dialogue that is created between all leaders within an organization.
Hurd believes it provides leaders with a better understanding of the commander's vision, intent, and end state through interaction.
"Leadership is a mix between science and art, but mostly art, influencing Soldiers within an organization to accomplish the mission," Hurd said. "I focus on key touch points with junior officers, which comes through training, meetings, and pairing them with a capable NCO. Training increases their knowledge base of system and technical specialties and boost confidence."
As Lifeliners are coming full circle on their tenure in Afghanistan at the final moral leadership seminar Barton concluded the seminar with a motivating and heartfelt message to the service members in the room.
"I want you to know that this team is the reason why we continue to dominate and never fail," said Barton. "Learn from your mistakes and keep growing those in our formation, continue to share your knowledge and experience and this will help better our organization. You guys are the reason why we are the best Sustainment Brigade in the Army!"
Company Command University and senior empowerment sessions has paid huge dividends to leaders across the brigade. Almost a dozen captains have redeployed to take command and lead Soldiers in various formations across the 101st Abn. Div. While non-commissioned officers are winning monthly boards, dominating in various roles, and operating outside their designated military occupational specialty.