Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Guden, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command command sergeant major, led a leader professional development session Oct. 25, 2019, at the Wylie Theater here.

The Army defines leader development as "the deliberate, continuous, and progressive process-founded in Army Values-that grows Soldiers and Army Civilians into competent, committed professional leaders of character."

More than 300 Soldiers and civilians attended the session titled "Expectations of an NCO".

According to Guden, in order to be a successful leader, one must undergo an endless cycle of development and growth.

"Leadership development is continuous, which implies it is something we do 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Guden noted.

Army Leader Development Strategy states that "leader development is achieved through the life-long synthesis of training, education and experiences acquired through opportunities in the operational, institutional and self-development domains."

Continuous growth not only helps non-commissioned officers become more effective leaders, but it also provides them with the tools to properly train their Soldiers.

"The success of our Army mission is hinged upon how well we are trained," Guden said. "NCOs ground their team in the fundamental building blocks of their training, which helps them complete more complex tasks."

Mission success is also grounded in the NCO's ability to care for their Soldiers, Guden stated.

The Army NCO creed states, "My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind--accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers."

Education is paramount for progression within the military ranks.

"Education is part of our development, as it is with any entity in the world," Guden said. "You want people to grow and become a better version of themselves."

Guden believes a positive attitude and mindset can affect your overall takeaway from professional military education.

"Every level of my professional military education has benefited me," Guden explained. "It all comes down to what you get out of it, is what you put in it."

During his military career, Guden recognized a key similarity among every Soldier regardless of rank, occupation or background.

"We all come from different walks of life, but one thing I've noticed that is inherently the same with all Soldiers is they all want to do their best," Guden remarked.

Pairing a Soldier's innate drive for success with professional military education builds a stronger fighting force for tomorrow's Army.

"It's all about the future," Guden concluded. "It's about how we set up our successors for success."