FORT BLISS, Texas -- The Commandant, faculty, and staff at the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence, and U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy conducted an NCOLCoE strategic planning off-site to discuss the Army NCO strategy, NCOLCoE strategy and the NCOLCoE people strategy, Jan. 21-23 at the Wyndham Hotel in El Paso, Texas.These strategies not only impact the institution but the Army as a whole.Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, the NCOLCoE commandant, gave the group guidance on shaping the strategies and preparing for his handover to the next commandant during his opening remarks."It took 43 years to update the NCO Professional Development System," he said. "It was the NCO 2020 strategy that helped shape the way ahead. As you move forward, think about how the next Sergeant Major of the Army can use what is in place for the NCO strategy and drive the primary objectives."He then asked the group, "How can we shape and position ourselves for the next commandant through the NCOLCoE Strategy?"Sellers reminded the group of the NCOLCoE people strategy to look at longevity and continuity."Look deep into the bench," he said. "Who are the people behind us, and how do we set them up for success.""I need you to think beyond the short term and get to the long term," he said. "Anticipate the requirements."Attendees at the off-site have historically been a small group of personnel comprised of the command team, division chiefs, and key staff. Until the latest event, which opened the off-site to NCOLCoE personnel who could participate, plan, and execute strategies in their assigned group.The NCOLCoE also brought a senior mentor to assist, retired Command Sgt. Maj. James K. Sims. Sims provided guidance and support during the off-site."What we have found is that as an organization, the off-site is an effective tool for driving change," Sellers said .Participants were not just there to get away from their desks and listen to briefs. Instead, they were there to be strategic leaders."Strategic leaders turn words into action", Sellers said. "When leaders talk about all the elements that matter to the Army, we focus on talent management, professional development, and training education, as leaders we need to take our intents on these elements and turn them into action according to the commander's or commandant's intent. That is what you are here to do."After receiving their guidance, the groups broke off and started their planning process.Sgt. Maj. Wade Russell, with the NCO Professional Development Directorate, participated in the Army NCO Strategy group."We are working on tying the NCO strategy to the National Defense Strategy, the chief of Staff's people strategy and the Army strategy, which will give us the necessary resources to support our strategy," he said. "We are also looking at defining a clearer end state of what we want the NCO to look like in the future."The second working group, The NCOLCoE People Strategy, was led by Command Sgt. Maj. David Lee, the director of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy."The purpose of the strategy is to provide a framework on how the NCOLCoE is acquiring, developing, and retaining our greatest resource, our people," Lee said. "We are using the Army strategy as a base to scale down to our level, which we will also continue to use a reference. The packet we put together will not just be words; we are creating a product with charts, success stories, and illustrations to codify the document."Throughout the off-site, all the teams would come together and discuss issues, concerns, and lines of effort to ensure their products drive change and meet the intent.William "Bill" Ogletree, the team lead for the NCOLCoE Strategy, discusses the different elements of the strategy his team worked."The purpose of the NCOLCoE Strategy is to look out 12-24 months on three lines of effort, being organizational structure, organization technology, and processes and systems," he said. "Currently, we are validating the organizational structure, and ensuring we have internal continuity through our processes and systems."Members of the red team also challenged the three strategy teams. William "Bill" Backscheider, a training specialist with the NCOLCoE, explains the mission of the red team, by quoting Gen. Mark A. Milley."Every assumption we hold, every claim, every assertion, every single one of them must be challenged," Backscheider quoted. "Our NCOLCoE commandant formed the red team to provide and challenge each working group's claims and assertions at the off-site. The team leads even challenged us back, which in some cases caused more work for the groups, but that in and of itself works out in the Army's favor."After being challenged, and reworking their individual products, it was time for each group to put their plans into action.On the final day of the off-site, participants moved their plans into action by providing detailed briefs to the commandant and staff present."We accomplished a lot over this time," Sellers said. "If it were not for us getting together like this, nothing would get done with regards to the strategic planning for our organization. It was a phenomenal week, and we are integrating changes in education readiness for our Army."Sellers then spoke to the group about the commodity of time."We carved out time over the last three days," he said. "Our building still stands. Therefore we need to help change the mindset. For some reason, there is an issue out there getting after warrior task battle drills, Expert Infantry Badge, Expert Soldier Badge, and the Army Combat Fitness Test, because they say they do not have time."Sellers added, "We need to challenge that thought process and mindset. Because they need to make time for this training, and it will make their organizations better."The off-site provided the NCOLCoE a chance to capitalize on the talent in the room, transform the institution, the NCO Corps, and the Army.