FORT BLISS, Texas -- The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence finds another way to give back to the NCO Corps through the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellowship Program.
Sgt. Maj. James Campbell, is a fellow from Cohort 4, the latest cohort to start instructing for Sergeants Major Course at the USASMA.
"To have the opportunity to shape, guide, influence, and mentor the next generation of senior noncommissioned officers is an honor," Sgt. Maj. James Campbell said.
Campbell continued, "I applied to the program because I wanted to give back to the corps."
The USASMA Fellowship Program not only benefits the NCO Corps, by producing highly qualified and highly educated instructors, it is also a broadening experience for sergeants major.
"The fellowship provided me a rare opportunity to enhance my professional development through the means of an institution of higher learning," Sgt. Maj. Kevin French, Cohort 4 Fellow, said.
French believes education is a vital link to professional growth and development for all Soldiers.
"As leaders, we stress the importance of professional development and encourage individuals to broaden their abilities through various means that include the realm of institutional training and education," he said.
French added, "the fellowship provides a platform at the senior level for continued enlisted leader development."
The USASMA Fellowship Program is a broadening program which, selects highly qualified sergeants major candidates every year to attain a master's degree in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education from Pennsylvania State University or a degree in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University.
"The fellowship program provided me an opportunity to singularly focus on earning a Master's Degree from a prestigious university, uninterrupted, while on active duty within a year," Sgt. Maj. John Alam Sr., Cohort 4 fellow, said.
Given the time to learn and absorb the educational material Sgt. Maj. Sean Horval felt prepared due to the education and training he received from the USASMA Fellowship program.
"The education received throughout the program made me a better researcher, writer, speaker, and critical/creative thinker," Horval said. "All of these competencies are required to facilitate lesson plans, deliver and grade both formative and summative assessments, and effectively contribute to the professional development of students."
Horval added, "they [SMC students] are the future organizational leaders that will be shaping the attitudes and beliefs of thousands of Soldiers, our allies and partners."
Horval explains self-development is an opportunity to develop both cognitively and emotionally.
"Self-development is not selfish; it is a combat multiplier," he said. "The more educated and mentally sound you are, the more you will be able to help and educate others. In other words, prioritizing self-development is critical to the long-term sustainment of the Army."
Sgt. Maj Cody Thomas appreciates the skills and knowledge he obtained from the fellowship program.
"The knowledge and skills we received offer alternative or supplemental avenues to mentor our Soldiers and communicate effectively with peers and seniors, both during your time on the platform and once back to operational units," he said.
Thomas continued, "The Army is a learning organization and the fellowship, coupled with practical experience as a facilitator, allows sergeants major to help their organization maximize learning opportunities, continue to grow, and to meet their objectives in the complex and constantly changing environment in which they operate."
Recently the latest application for the USASMA Fellowship program released, opening the opportunity for 30 sergeants major to encounter a transformative education experience as a part of cohort 7.
"The Army needs fellows who are willing to come back to the academy, share their experiences and their knowledge with students for two to three years, and then be prepared to go back out to the force as brigade or nominative sergeants major and command sergeants major," Campbell said.
The fellowship also prepares the force with technically and tactically proficient senior enlisted leaders.
"Throughout my career, I have always had a passion for learning to increase my professional growth and development, French said. "As I progressed through the ranks, I became responsible for ensuring my soldiers also grew and developed professionally."
French noted, "the fellowship program not only provides an opportunity to perform this responsibility at the senior level, but allows us to ensure we develop senior leaders who are tactically and technically proficient with the ability to think critically in any situation."
The fellowship program offers senior noncommissioned officers an excellent opportunity to obtain a master's degree from one of two renowned institutions.
In previous years 20 fellows were selected into the USASMA Fellowship Program, but starting with the latest cohort, Cohort 7, the panel is looking to select 30 highly qualified sergeants major.
Join the NCOLCoE and the USASMA team, and apply to be a part of something bigger than yourself, become a fellow.
WHO CAN APPLY
Any sergeant major who has less than 26 years of military service, is either Active Component, National Guard, or Active Guard Reserve with a completed bachelor's degree of a 3.0 or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
National Guard and Reserve Soldiers who elected to participate in the "Enlisted Sanctuary Program" may not meet the remaining service requirements required for consideration into the Fellowship Program.
ALREADY HAVE A MASTER'S DEGREE
If you are a sergeant major with a master's degree and are interested in being an instructor at USASMA, contact the Sergeants Major Branch at HRC.
For more information on the USASMA Fellowship Program application process visit https://www.ncolcoeworldcampus.army.mil/Academics/USASMA-Fellowship-Program/