Officers enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal School’s Captains Career Course (SCCC) attended a leadership professional development (LPD) session that was hosted by a former student of the course April 19.
Col. Shermoan Daiyaan, project manager for Tactical Radios, Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), traveled from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to share his experiences as a signal leader and brief the students.
After thanking everyone for attending, Daiyaan said he hoped to share something the students could “take back out in the field” after graduating from the course.
“I want to be able to give you what’s happening at the strategic level, walk you into what’s happening in this part of the portfolio, and then transition and give you some thoughts from a guy who spent 31 years in signal communications and as an Army officer,” he said to a theater of first lieutenants and captains.
During his presentation, Daiyaan touched on numerous signal-centric topics including tactical radios, Department of Army priorities, transitioning from a “tactical” to “unified” network, lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, modernization, and Army 2030 requirements. Daiyaan also challenged the young officers to “know their craft” and “turn pro” as quickly as possible, emphasizing their role as leaders – meaning they should understand and live the Army culture, understand the Army’s strategic imperatives, and understand what they are trying to accomplish. All of these things are achievable by putting in the necessary time and work.
“There are 40 to 50 people when you’re a platoon leader that expect you to do well by them,” he said. “They expect you to know how to act after-hours … you may be fresh out of college, but you’re not a college student and you’ve got people much older than you looking to you to lead them. From Day One, you’re in charge.”
He also encouraged them to find mentors both in and outside of their branch.
“The mentors have been there before you … we love to tell you what we learned,” Daiyaan said. “We love to tell you what our mistakes were, so you don’t have to make [them].”
In closing, Daiyaan wished everyone the best and told them to reach out to him and his staff if they need anything.
A native of Phoenix, Daiyaan’s Army career began in 1992 when he enlisted as a private. He graduated Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he received his commission as a signal officer. He has held numerous command and staff positions throughout his Army career, earned multiple master’s degrees, and has completed several military education courses including Airborne and Air Assault Schools.
Capt. Shayla Leathers, PEO C3T, contributed to this article.