FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Sept. 5, 2019) -- Inside Snow Hall, 26 names were called during a graduation ceremony Aug. 29, for the inaugural Leadership Fort Sill class.

The ceremony celebrated the completion of the yearlong program which encouraged mid-grade Department of the Army civilians (GS 11-13) to gain a broader perspective of the workings of Fort Sill, said Joe Gallagher, deputy commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence.

"The intent was to get them the opportunity to spend a day with each of the major organizations on post," said Gallagher. "Inside the Fires Center of Excellence, they got to see the three training brigades, each on separate visits, and understand how each of the brigade missions are unique."

The group met every month and then additionally with mentors. In addition to the training brigades, Gallagher said the participants also spent a day at the hospital and a day at the logistics readiness center (LRC).

"The LRC mission, which is really kind of, out-of-sight out-of-mind, provides the backbone of everything we do on a daily basis," said Gallagher. "So it's that broader interaction across all the agencies that we're trying to get after."

That broader interaction is what Katherine Murry, training specialist at 30th Air Defense Artillery, said she was hoping to get when she applied for the program.

In addition to being able to get out of her comfort zone and "put some faces to some names," Murry said she was able to change her perspective on challenges she faced.

"I think my favorite part was coming together as a group to talk about some challenges that some of the organizations were having and applying some of the things that we learned to those challenges and come up with possible solutions," said Murry.

Applications for the next Leadership Fort Sill class will be available later this month.

Until then, organizers of the program will be spending their time to make changes in the program construction. They used portions of time at the end of the program to do both formal and informal evaluations. The class suggested changes to make, areas to improve, and areas to omit altogether.

"I think it's a great program for our mid-grade DA civilians to do something a little out of the ordinary," said Gallagher. "They don't have to leave post, they don't have to be gone for weeks at a time, they can do just a monthly interaction to expand their network. Hopefully, they built some friendships. I think it's a great program."