Brian Driggers, deputy to the commander of the Security Assistance Training Management Organization out of Fort Liberty, North Carolina, was one of 14 selectees Armywide for the FY23 Leadership for a Democratic Society program.
The Leadership for a Democratic Society program is conducted at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. Created for GS-15 and Senior Executive Service personnel, this learning experience prepares these leaders through assessing self-awareness, gaining actionable knowledge and practicing various concepts and models for effective leadership to tackle complex challenges. It works to develop the capacity for visionary leaders like Driggers who can transform organizations through their knowledge and insights.
“USASAC/SATMO and my family have been incredibly supportive, and the developmental opportunity is 100% centrally Army funded. Given all this, I felt I could not pass on the excellent opportunity,” Driggers said.
He has been an Army civilian since June 2010, with his entire career focused on the international affairs and security cooperation arena. He spent much of this time working in Geographic Combatant Commands, specifically USEUCOM J5 and USAFRICOM J5. This September will mark two years at SATMO as the deputy to the commander. He also served within USASAC/SATMO for two and a half years on a previous assignment providing all SATMO support for the Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard.
“From the tactically and technically proficient subject matter experts we have down range on security assistance teams directly training and supporting allies and partners to the excellent support staff we have in our footprint at Fort Liberty, we have top-notch Soldiers, DA civilians, and contractor teammates ensuring mission success and security assistance training excellence worldwide,” Driggers said.
The importance of SATMO’s mission and the caliber of people Driggers works with to support this mission are what keep him motivated. Whether this be those directly interacting with allies and partners, those supporting major weapons sales, or those coordinating training teams, it is the people that really drive him to success.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by several senior leaders, and one theme remains consistent in their collective wisdom – always invest in our people as the mission will not succeed without them,” Driggers said. “I have taken that to heart and try to incorporate that viewpoint into every assignment.”
His goal is straightforward – being the best leader and manager he can be for the teams he serves today and into the future. The LDS program adopts an environment where the participants and faculty are both the teachers and learners, which gives Driggers the opportunity to increase self-awareness as an individual, team member and leader, and thus, take more active steps toward this goal.
One unique element of this program is the fact that it utilizes the U.S. Constitution as a principal foundation to understanding the diverse goals of the U.S. government and the citizens it serves. It allows everyone to be focused on the same concept and its connection to each organization’s mission. Driggers is most looking forward to diving deeper into this aspect, which will give him the opportunity to hear leadership perspectives from across the interagency representation and implement what he has learned in his current leadership role.
SATMO’s work on a SATMO 2030 strategic plan has further steered Driggers toward this professional development program. The LDS course helps focus leaders on vision, alignment and execution, which dovetails into his efforts to ensure SATMO 2030 is executable and aligned with the resources required to keep USASAC/SATMO postured to meet current and future Security Assistance Training mission requirements.
“No matter the specific organization or subset of the national security mission set, we will continue to face the management challenge of making the most efficient use of scarce resources to accomplish our objectives and the continuous leadership responsibility of creating the next generation of leaders while empowering subordinates to develop creative solutions to tackle the toughest global security challenges,” Driggers said.
He said he has been incredibly blessed over the years to have great mentorship and coaching from leaders, peers and subordinates alike in every unit with which he has served. Through other leadership development programs, such as the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program he attended in FY21, he has also walked away with plentiful tools and resources from key leaders who advised him. He has brought back all this to Fort Liberty to assist the commander in leading SATMO and overseeing a global security assistance training staff of over 200 Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors.
“I’m incredibly honored to be selected by the Army for LDS and extremely grateful to the USASAC/SATMO team for their support in allowing me to take advantage of this opportunity,” Driggers said. “As a leader, I have always tried to do the same for any of my personnel. I have found that one gets out as much as one puts into these developmental opportunities, allowing an individual and his or her unit to reap a worthwhile return on investment.”