FORT BRAGG, NC -- Security Force Assistance Command hosted a 5-day pre-command course at Fort Bragg, NC., Apr. 24-28, 2023. The course prepares incoming battalion commanders, command sergeants major and staff to lead Security Force Assistance Brigades.
SFABs are specialized U.S. Army units with the core mission to conduct training, advising, assisting, enabling and accompanying operations with allied and partner nations. To be successful, an SFAB leader must be an adaptive, strategic leader.
The conference gave future leaders a picture of strategic, operational and tactical effects SFABs have daily in their regionally-aligned areas of responsibility, how SFABs build readiness and an overview by Defense Security Cooperation University of the larger security force assistance and security cooperation communities.
SFAB leaders must be leaders of character, capable of leading small teams across the globe.
“Emphasizing the Advisor attributes enables them to support the Army’s global mission,” said Security Force Assistance Command Command Sgt. Maj. Donald W. Ferguson.
Effective leadership also requires an understanding of the global environment.
“We're helping the SFAB leadership understand the broader context in which they operate, the environment is complex,” said George Dryden, Department Chair at Defense Security Cooperation University. “There are lots of other Department of Defense activities and there are a lot of partner allied activities. It's no longer just an Army mission.”
The course also gives participants the opportunity to network with other Advisors and learn from their experiences. Mentors provided the context of transitions and real-world examples to help incoming leaders.
“It's awesome to be a mentor for the PCC course. This course has helped build a cohesive team and has brought the future leaders of the SFAB community together,” said Lt. Col. Brian Looney, 5th Battalion, 1st SFAB battalion commander. “And, we understand the importance of the SFAB enterprise because we hear about it directly from the commanding general.”
This experience helped to unite the SFAB enterprise and motivate future prospects as they develop.
“This is my first time going through something like this, especially as a guy who will be a staff member, not a commander or a command sergeant major. Most of the folks in this room are going into command positions,” said Maj. Gavin Grimm, incoming command judge advocate. “For primary staff officers to come in and get a glimpse of what they're dealing with every single day and get some focus on leadership here at the SFAC, it is a great experience.”
Thanks to the efforts of all the mentors and the command team, incoming leaders will be able to adapt and respond to any challenges and operate more efficiently with our allies and partner forces during SFAB missions, making any situation or new environment feel more familiar.
For more about SFABs and how to volunteer, go to www.army.mil/sfab.