JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 8, 2021) -- Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials are providing professional development training events in order to build adaptive leaders to provide its command sergeant major an assessment tool to identify professional strengths and developmental needs.
The Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Program, or NCOPDP, prepares senior NCOs to accept greater roles in leadership. The program is a command responsibility directed by Army Regulation 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development, with a goal of increasing and sustaining NCO combat readiness as part of the commander’s overarching leader development program.
NCOs serve four core roles: trainers, mentors, advisors and communicators. They conduct the daily operations of the Army and are relied on to execute complex tactical operations, make intent-driven decisions and operate in joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational operational environments, according to Army Pamphlet 600-25, U.S. Army Noncommissioned Office Professional Development Guide.
“In the MICC, we aim to develop NCOs who are competent, agile, self-aware and confident in their skills,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Chantel Sena-Diaz, the MICC command sergeant major. “I have observed many changes and evolutions over the three decades I have served. The one thing that remained steadfast throughout the years was the NCO’s responsibility to execute tough, realistic and intentional training. As senior NCOs, if we are going to realize our full potential we must continue to learn new skills.”
Sena-Diaz added that NCOs must first learn and then demonstrate they can translate the commander’s intent into actionable plans and manage the organization while those plans are executed. She said executing these fundamental responsibilities is key in allowing the officer corps to perform their strategic role within the military.
This year, the NCOPDP is focusing on the development of core leader competencies: leads, develops and achieves. The subsets of these competencies are leads others, extends influence beyond the chain of command, leads by example, communicates, creates a positive environment, prepares self and develops others.
“Training is the cornerstone of unit readiness. What better way to work toward meeting and exceeding readiness standards than training,” Sena-Diaz said. “Most importantly, the NCOPDP helps us invest in our greatest asset: our people. We are leveraging our NCOPDP, ensuring our 51 Charlies are ready for the toughest jobs, and can effectively handle a myriad of leadership challenges while adapting to the vast changes we are seeing in the Army.”
One change is the recently established Sergeant Major Assessment Program, which expands the Army’s understanding of senior noncommissioned officers’ talents and assesses their readiness for leadership as command sergeants major. Similar to the Army’s new Battalion Command Assessment Program, a four-day event that assesses officers for selection to battalion command level positions, senior NCOs take a series of assessments: cognitive and non-cognitive, written communication, verbal communication, peer and subordinate feedback, and physical fitness. SMAP uses psychometric assessments to help inform a candidate’s readiness to serve as a command sergeant major.
“The Army is moving from an Industrial Age personnel system to a 21st century approach that manages individual talents,” said Master Sgt. Enrique Torres, the MICC Operations NCO. “The Army is investing in technology to preserve the technical and tactical advantages we have maintained over our adversaries. The Army’s new approach to talent management has fiscal and cultural benefits for the department and will create a force that is more ready, professional, diverse and integrated.”
This year the NCOPDP began with training from the MICC secretary of the general staff. Training focused on recent changes to Army Regulation 25-50, Preparing and Managing Army Correspondence. The rest of the year’s training topics include interviewing techniques and strategic writing. The program will also focus on skills that strengthen command team relationships, operationalizing the commander’s vision, moral leadership, and comprehensive Soldier and family fitness.
Last year, the NCOPDP capitalized on the experience from leaders across the Army. NCOs were introduced to leaders from the Human Resources Command to Army command level.
“We all want to be a part of a winning organization,” Sena-Diaz said. “As noncommissioned officers, we take ownership of our unit’s strengths and weaknesses. A well-trained, highly disciplined, physically and mentally fit force does not happen by accident. We do not always have the luxury of falling in on a great organization, so we must invest the time and intellectual capital to build it.”
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.