By Mr. Ronald W Wolf (Army Medicine)November 22, 2019
The search for keen, adaptive minds who can develop into effective leaders never ends. The US Army Cadet Command (USACC) hosted the 2019 Army Senior Leader Development Conference (SLDC) at Howard University, Washington, DC, on Nov. 7, 2019 to help cultivate future Army leaders. This was the sixth consecutive year the SLDC was held at Howard.
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, The Army Surgeon General, fielded questions and provided encouragement during the morning open forum. Each senior leader had a poster board with their current position and biography. Dingle spoke one-on-one with dozens of cadets. During the afternoon in the university auditorium, he fielded questions from the cadets.
Also participating from Army Medicine was Maj. Gen. Telita Crosland, Deputy Army Surgeon General and Deputy Commanding General (Operations), and Chief, Army Medical Corps. Crosland also met one-on-one with dozens of future military leaders.
Dingle summed his personal leadership philosophy during the afternoon session held in the campus auditorium. By using the letters of B-E-A-R-I-N-G, referring to military and leadership bearing, Dingle provided a lesson in leadership traits. "The 'B' is for 'believe in God and believe in yourself,'" Dingle told them. "The 'E' is endure tough times; the 'A' is accept responsibility, the 'R' is remain unconquered, the 'I' is identify with others who are unselfish, the 'N' is for never quit, the 'G' is for give to others."
Among the points stressed by Dingle and Crosland, and other senior leaders were the following:
-- develop your people to gain their full potential for promotion
-- encourage tough but realistic training
-- understand your strengths and weakness
-- maintain your personnel, equipment, and military systems
-- remember that no one gets where they want to be without someone helping them
-- seek out mentors and be a mentor
-- make the hard decisions.
The SLDC aims at developing people to their full potential. It is an annual event and includes current Army senior leaders, USACC's Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Junior ROTC cadre and cadets. Army senior leaders included more than 12 two-star or above mentors and teachers. About 300 ROTC students from universities and high schools in the Washington, DC, area attended.
Army representatives from medicine to artillery, training and doctrine to criminal investigation, inspector general to engineers, and other occupational specialties were available to discuss opportunities with the cadets.
Howard University has one of the longest and proudest military traditions of universities in the Washington, DC, area, making it an honored host for the SDLC. The school is named after Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, a graduate of West Point. Howard served with distinction during the Civil War and is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery. He was one of the founders of the university and served as its third president.
Organized military training at Howard University dates to World War I, and Howard has a strong connection with the US Army. In early 1917, following the entry of the United States into World War I, a national Army training detachment was formed at the university. The detachment trained men for leadership, and 95 men from this detachment were transferred to the 17th Provisional Training Camp at Des Moines, Iowa, where they received commissions as second lieutenants. An ROTC detachment was established at Howard in 1918.
The goal to find and develop junior leaders who will someday be senior leaders does not end. The partnership between the Army and Howard University is helping to produce the next generation of Soldier-leaders ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow's battlefield and ready to defend the nation.