FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky - Members of the Aviation and Missile Command workforce have received a first-hand look at how they support Army aviation, as well as supporting their Tennessee Valley community.
Fifteen students and two instructors from AMCOM's Upward Leader Investment for Tomorrow, or UpLIFT, program took a staff ride to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to gain insight and perspective on how the command supports active Army aviation units.

"A lot of students in the class work with Apache, Black Hawk and other helicopters," Jared Tarver, an AMCOM G-1 human resources specialist, said. "To let them go to Fort Campbell and visit with Soldiers they don't see on a daily basis and let them connect the dots between what they do to and how it supports the warfighter was something we wanted to focus on.

"Today was a great success for the class and I think everyone enjoyed themselves."

The UpLIFT course, which is open to GS-10 and below civilian employees, falls in line with the command's Intermediate LIFT and Advanced LIFT courses for managers and supervisors. During the course, UpLIFT students meet all day Tuesday through Thursday for three weeks.

UpLIFT is designed to develop Army leadership attributes and competencies for AMCOM employees throughout the organization, as well as assist the employees in learning the skills they need to become proactive leaders guided by the Army's seven core values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

"The Army values are used within the course curriculum; however, students are encouraged to explore the values that are unique to them and the organizations for which they work," Tarver said. "Within the course, students will complete a 'selfless-service' project at a local nonprofit organization, hear from guest speakers across Redstone Arsenal, attend a staff ride, construct an individual development plan, and complete a group presentation based on their interpretation of how they will incorporate the values into their daily life."

One of the students explained how the class learns through small-group discussions, personal experiences and classroom exercises regarding leadership attributes and competencies.

"There are a lot of things to pull from this trip," UpLIFT student April Laws, an item manager with the AMCOM Black Hawk Project Office, said. "Mostly it was the ability to get some 'hands-on' with aircraft and also allow us to interact with Soldiers. We were able to talk to a variety of people, including pilots and maintainers, and see what they see out in the field. They also got to see where we are coming from as part of their supply and resource chain."

During the staff ride, the UpLIFT students visited the installation's Sabre Army Airfield and were introduced to members of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade leadership. They then toured Fort Campbell's Don F. Pratt Museum, before "flying" an AH-64 Apache simulator.

"The class is outstanding," Vincent Parker, an air traffic controller with the Garrison, said. "I have been trying to get into this class for a few years and finally got selected for it. It is a highly sought-after class because it develops leadership and shows your management potential, and that was my goal in taking the class. I would highly recommend taking this class.

"I have seen the changes other people have made after they took the class. They have gone on to become leaders and enter into management. That is my goal as well. I am grateful to be in the class and I plan to make the most out of it."

In addition to the trip to Fort Campbell, the class also took a staff ride to the Harris Home for Children in Huntsville, where they completed their selfless service project.

The class had various projects to complete while on the grounds of Harris Home to include the following: clean, rearrange and organize a storage closet used for the home; clean and paint bathroom ceilings; repair and paint picnic benches; and mowing the property lawn.

Tarver said the benefit of completing these projects was for the students to actually see how it is to live the value of selfless service.

"We can easily teach the skill to the class however we wanted the students to get firsthand experience into actually 'doing' the selfless service act in the community," he said.

UpLIFT student Lana Smith, a logistics management specialist in the AMCOM Logistics Center Industrial Operations Directorate, said of the event: "Even as we left the Harris campus with aching arms and sneezing, we all left a little piece of ourselves there as we learned about the Harris Home for Children. Our hands-on effort was simply a gateway to each of us committing to our community."

For more information regarding future UpLIFT courses, call Tarver at 842-9040 or email jared.b.tarver2.civ@mail.mil.