FORT BLISS, Texas -- The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence held a graduation Feb. 12, in the institution's Cooper Lecture Center for the Spouse Leadership Development Course, Class 70-005.
The NCOLCoE enhances professional relationships, training, and overall coordination with our allies and partners through the NCOLCoE International Military Student Office and the Spouse Leadership Development Course.
Recently 16 spouses attended the latest SLDC class, with two of the students being spouses of international students attending the Sergeants Major Course.
The master of ceremonies of the event Sgt. Maj. Matildo Coppi recognized the spouses for their time and effort in partaking in the class.
"This week your spouses were provided a wealth of information with a total of 42 hours of instruction in the areas of human psychology, human relations, leadership development including building effective teams, protocol and etiquette, public speaking, effective communications, and Army programs," Coppi said.
Coppi then spoke to the experience the spouses received through the course.
"Each of our graduating spouses shared their experiences as well as the cultural differences between the U.S. and our international partners from Georgia and Singapore," he said.
Course director, Michelle Mebane spoke to the audience with heartfelt messages for the leadership, students, and Soldiers in attendance.
"Thank you," she said. "Thank you to the leadership for always supporting this course, thank you to the Soldiers for enrolling and supporting your spouses, and thank you to the students for your dedication and willingness to learn."
Mebane made mention of the SLDC graduation for class 70-005 being the last one for Mrs. Heather Henry, spouse of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Henry, the NCOLCoE deputy commandant.
"Thank you for your support and encouragement," Mebane said to Henry. "Your attendance during the senior spouse panel, your input for the SLDC pilot, and your advice are all invaluable and will be missed."
Mebane ended her speech by speaking to the class motto, "grow where you go."
"To grow where you go, you need sunlight," Mebane said. "Your smiles will be the light you bring into the places you go. You also need water and good ground. This class provided you all with the nutrients you need to be successful through the resources you received while participating in the course."
Mebane continued, "As you leave one area for another and need a bigger pot, you will be able to be easily uprooted because now, you are ready to grow where you go."
Following Mebanes's remarks a Class 70-005 student, Shandra Willis, who spoke of encountering a new chapter in life.
"We [spouses of SLDC Class 70-005] are determined and ready to face this new chapter of our lives, and we are more enlightened than ever before," she said.
Willis added, "over the last eight days; we discussed several topics that were essential to the development of a senior spouse."
She ended her speech by letting the audience know the class gave the spouses a new outlook on what it meant to be a sergeant's major spouse, and how to serve as an advisor.
"The position that we hold is an honor and a privilege that we will not take lightly," she said. "Ms. Mebane is the Spouses Leadership Development Course, and this course is she."
The SLDC Class 70-005 also had Eteri Tvaradze, an international student from the country of Georgia, provide remarks.
Tvaradze not only thanked the leadership and Mebane for their dedication and commitment to the course but thanked her classmates for their motivation.
"I learned a lot about how the U.S. military and military families collaborate and work together to support each other and make the U.S stronger and united," she said.
She expressed her excitement for becoming a part of the SLDC class.
"As an international spouse coming from a significantly diverse culture and background," she said. "It was essential for me to become a member of your team [speaking to Mebane about the SLDC class]."
Tvaradze let the audience know she will share the knowledge she received with other Georgian military spouses upon her return.
Command Sgt. Maj. David Lee Jr., director of the Sergeants Major Academy, assisted by Shaunette Sellers, spouse of Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, the NCOLCoE commandant, and Mebane handed out the certificates of completion to the spouses.
The spouses of SLDC Class 70-005, are ready to go on to their next duty station and be leaders in their respective communities while they continue to "grow where they go."
The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence is responsible for developing, maintaining, teaching, and distributing five levels of Enlisted Professional Military Education -- Introductory, Primary, Intermediate, Senior, and Executive.
Each level best prepares the soldier, our allies, and partners to bring unique capabilities and skill-sets to win in a complex world as adaptive, agile, leaders, and trusted professionals of the Force.