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CARLISLE, Pennsylvania -- Delegates to the African Alumni Symposium continued discussion on "Collaborative Security Building" on the third day of the conference here today.
In the plenary session this morning, panelists from U.S. and Malawi senior military colleges presented ideas about the military professional education.
Dr. Edward Kaplan, professor of National Security Studies at the Army War College here, explained the Army's professional military education system for officers to the group of dozens of delegates from 19 African countries.
"Education of offership and leadership are in constant development throughout an officers career," Kaplan said.
Officers and the education system that develops them require "active shaping" to account for several factors influencing their progression through the ranks and the changing environment in which they lead, Kaplan said.
"We have them slow down a little bit, and so we bring them into the professional military education system" to help them find success at the next level, he said. "Every person that has the potential to move on can learn the skills and we can teach them with the right system. We improve the members' likelihood of succeeding at the next level."
The command sergeant major of the Army War College provided a noncommissioned officer's perspective on the professional military education system.
"We've continued to evolve our education process over the last 51 years," said Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Gregory, senior enlisted adviser at AWC with over 30 years experience as a Soldier and NCO.
"It's not a fast process," he said. Militaries seeking to implement a NCO career path and education system need to always focus on commanders' needs, according to Gregory. He mentioned Malawi as an example of a national army in Africa that had made progress in establishing an NCO education model. The Malawi army currently supports the education of NCOs from 18 different countries in its basic NCO course.
"Sometimes it's as simple as starting a basic course for your NCOs to educate about what NCOs need to be, know and do," Gregory said.
Sharing the panel with Gregory and Kaplan, Malawi Defence Force Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali provided his thoughts on essential education for military officers.
"From my perspective three 'L's define a good leader," Kuwali said. "'Listen.' Everyone must hear their subordinates. 'Learn.' Learning entails two things -- developing yourself to raise the bar, and understanding your subordinates. And
'Language.' Language faciliates understanding. Leaders should develop their communication skills and mind their language."
Kuwali continued to identify actions leaders should make.
"Inform," he said. "Set the parameters and explain why they are there, what they need to do and how to do it. Inspire. Inspire your teammates to have a passion for their assignments. Initiative. Not mechanical but methodological. Integrity. Commend good and condemn bad, instilling a sense of accountability in order to improve."
"Leadership is the art of inculcating 'mutualality,' " Kuwali said, explaining the effort to build consensus across a community.
"Good leaders should manifest humanity, integrity and communication skills to achieve common goals," he said.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) is responsible for achieving U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Campaign Plan objectives while conducting all U.S. Army operations, exercises and security cooperation on the African continent.
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