Webinars Focus on Sponsorship, Resilient Leadership

By Mavia Hanson, Army Resilience DirectorateMarch 1, 2023

This past December, the Army Resilience Directorate (ARD) webinar had the pleasure of hosting Sgt. Maj. Sharita Onugha who presented on the Total Army Sponsorship Program (TASP). Onugha is the nominative senior enlisted adviser for the Army Resilience Directorate; she will serve as the U.S. Army Installation Management Command G-9 senior enlisted adviser. Onugha gave a warm and lively presentation, sharing a comprehensive approach to how prevention and response are linked and how to foster a professional climate of trust within units. She discussed the critical roles of sponsors, the types of sponsors, the training involved to become one and the various tiers of program participation. At the end of the session, she spent considerable time answering questions.

In January, the ARD community had the privilege of hearing from retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré on the topic of leading through tough times and resilience building through Soldier support. Honoré is a decorated 37-year Army veteran and a global authority on leadership, disaster management and climate preparedness. At the request of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Honoré led the Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review to improve security after the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol. As the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, he became known as the “Category 5 General” for his leadership in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. A Louisiana native, he founded the Green Army, a coalition of environmental experts and advocates seeking to protect the state against pollution while fighting climate change and the natural disasters it causes.

During his presentation, Honoré talked about facing challenges as a leader, his solution-based approach to leading through Hurricane Katrina, the importance of a battle buddy and his take on the three most important things people should do in their career.

When discussing his time leading through Katrina, he noted how every Soldier is taught to adapt and overcome. “When the Army shows up for a mission, people expect us to fix the problem, complete the mission. When we go in to do a mission, our tradition is to solve the problem and take care of the people, treat them with respect… don’t create issues; just solve the problem.” He shared the importance of letting a battle buddy know where you are and letting them know what’s going on with you mentally and emotionally. “We’re a team in the Army! Like a football team lining up on the field, we know when a key player is missing. A missing Soldier is like a missing weapon—everybody stops, and we find that Soldier because that Soldier is a part of that team!”

Last, he shared his top three important tips to consider for growing in your career.

1.      “Don’t be afraid to embrace the [seemingly] impossible. Have an 'impossible' list.”

2.      “If you’re going to lead, you have to sacrifice. You have to be prepared to be criticized. Leadership is about performance, not popularity. It’s painful sometimes.”

3.      “Do the routine things well. Practice how you will perform.”

He ended by encouraging listeners to challenge themselves frequently. “Continue to challenge yourself. Even in organizations that aren’t after change. Sometimes you have to challenge the status quo.”