By Mr. Rick Scavetta (IMCOM)June 9, 2009
Mentoring in Ethiopia
What is it'
Sergeants major from U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Africa Command are mentoring senior noncommissioned officers from the Ethiopia National Defence Force (ENDF). The program, coordinated by Army NCOs from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, is a series of week-long guest mentors - sergeant majors discussing various roles as part of a staff headquarters.
What has U.S. Army Africa done'
Ethiopia requested U.S. Army cadre to share information with ENDF instructors, similar to U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy offerings. Army NCOs from the Fort Sill-based 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment, who serve under CJTF-HOA, have been supporting a "train the trainer" program. ENDF students become familiar with the duties and responsibilities of sergeants major at battalion and brigade levels. Recently, a call went out for guest mentors to provide support, sergeants major from U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) responded. In May, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Ripka, U.S. AFRICOM's command senior enlisted leader, began the guest mentoring visits. Now, U.S. Army Africa NCOs are among mentors rotating through at weekly intervals, focusing on sergeants major's roles in fields such as operations, communication and logistics.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
U.S. Army Africa, the land component of U.S. AFRICOM, partners with African nations to promote military professionalism. Ongoing mentorship programs, such as this current effort in Ethiopia, expose African military leaders to various styles of NCO development for possible incorporation into their own programs. The rank of command sergeant major is something new for the Ethiopian military. Future course graduates may be promoted to the new rank upon graduation. Meanwhile, U.S. Army NCOs in Africa continue to take part in mentoring efforts in Rwanda, Liberia and the Horn of Africa. Other upcoming partnerships also involve Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Swaziland and Uganda.
Why is this important to the Army'
U.S. Army partnership with Ethiopian forces dates back to the Korean War. In recent years, the ENDF partnered with CJTF-HOA, based in nearby Djibouti. Ethiopian forces also take part in several African peacekeeping missions, to include the current missions in Liberia and Sudan. By building capacity within the Ethiopian military, the U.S. Army maintains a valuable ally in Africa to support stability and defeat extremism in the region, a priority for U.S. foreign policy.
U.S. Army Africa
Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa