Supervisory Skills Development Program trains next generation of AMCOM leaders
Maj. Gen Thomas O’Connor, AMCOM commanding general, Donald Nitti, AMCOM deputy to the commanding general and Carlen Chestang Jr., deputy chief of staff, G-1 director discuss challenges facing AMCOM first-time supervisors. The AMCOM G1 Human Capital Directorate recently hosted the Senior Leadership panel as part of AMCOM’s Supervisory Skills Development Program (SSDP). SSDP is designed to supplement the Army’s mandatory supervisory development course and is required for all supervisors within their first year in management at AMCOM. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Colburn) VIEW ORIGINAL

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command G1 Human Capital Directorate recently hosted a leadership panel for new supervisors as part of AMCOM’s Supervisory Skills Development Program.

SSDP is designed to supplement the Army’s mandatory supervisory development course and is required for all supervisors within their first year in management at AMCOM.

“People are the Army’s No. 1 resource,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas O’Connor, AMCOM commanding general. “If we want to make our organization better, we must provide our supervisors the resources and the skills to improve their leadership. It’s a win-win for both the Army and our people.” The SSDP senior leadership panel consisted of O’Connor, Donald Nitti, AMCOM deputy to the commanding general, and Carlen Chestang Jr., deputy chief of staff, G-1 director. The panel answered questions and discussed issues and challenges facing the first-time supervisors while offering senior-level counsel.

“Leader development is essential to mission accomplishment and a priority within AMCOM,” said Nitti. “We trust our leaders with the care of our people and the execution of our missions, and we must train and empower them to be successful.”

The senior leadership panel is one element of SSDP that focuses on specific topics to help employees navigate being first-time supervisors. Other sessions encompass varying aspects of personnel management, such as leave and employee recognition, reasonable accommodations, and instruction on hiring authorities and incentives. The program sessions are designed to provide fundamental skills needed to become an effective and successful leader.

“The goal of SSDP is to provide on-going training for our new supervisors that’s specific to the things that [AMCOM] does and has practical application in the workforce,” said Melissa Kilgore, AMCOM G-1 organizational advisor. “As part of the program, participants are not only expected to attend discussion panels or skills training seminars, but they must also participate in learning activities and exercises demonstrating how the skills were applied.”

SSDP is a year-long program that features monthly training sessions on topics ranging from supervisory roles, crucial conversations, and accountability to leading diverse teams, building trust, critical thinking, and employee and project management. In addition, the program hosts sessions that address AMCOM-specific processes, such as timecards, employee recognition and onboarding. A major focus area of the program is to develop and apply skills in the work environment.

According to Kilgore, prior to 2021, the original program was designed for supervisors located on Redstone Arsenal, however, during the COVID-19 pandemc, the G1 had to adapt to a virtual environment, allowing for greater reach through technology. The 2022 program hosted 77 AMCOM participants — making it the largest cohort since its 2012 inception.

Kilgore said the best part of the program is the feedback she receives from prior SSDP graduates.

“Anytime I get feedback from people who’ve been through the program who say, ‘This has helped me in my work. I’m still using this. I would recommend somebody else to go through the program.’ That tells me that people see value in it and it’s helping them with their day-to-day work.”

The 2023 SSDP will begin in January 2023. Interested participants should email melissa.g.kilgore.civ@army.mil for more information.