FORSCOM's top NCO shares his thoughts on NCO leadership for the future

By Ms Mikie PerkinsOctober 12, 2023

Command Sgt. Maj. T.J. Holland, took the stage in one of his first major addresses to Soldiers and civilian attendees during the annual AUSA conference in Washington, D.C. Holland, who assumed responsibility as the new command sergeant major of U.S. Army Forces Command on September 8, was a key panel member during the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Professional Development Forum at this year’s AUSA conference.

Holland was joined by the lead command sergeant’s majors of Army Futures Command, Training and Doctrine Command, and Army Material Command. This year’s theme was “Developing Leaders for the Army of 2030,” and, with that in mind, Holland discussed FORSCOM and a bit of its recent history.

“This command, FORSCOM; it exists, we exist, to fight and win our nation’s wars,” said Holland, “and with 750,000 Soldiers, we do this by preparing combat ready, globally responsive forces.”

Under the leadership of the previous FORSCOM commander, Gen. Michael Garrett, Holland said this modern leadership approach focused on squad and platoon-level lethality.

“General Garrett transitioned us over to foundational training which gave us more time for reps and sets at the squad and platoon level, and we saw that success; we validated that lethality at the CTCs,” Holland said, “so when General Poppas came on board and assessed FORSCOM, he recognized we needed to be able to synchronize warfighting functions at the battalion and brigade level in order to win the next fight,” he said. “Poppas recognized we atrophied those warfighting skills by concentrating so much on the squads and platoon,” added Holland.

NCOs were encouraged by Holland to educate themselves and study Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy, which talks about NCO training authorities.

“Go right to paragraph 2-19 and find out what your NCO training authorities are and what your commander’s authorities are,” Holland said. “It is important and imperative you know these things.”

He also reminded Soldiers that every NCO in the Army has one thing in common regardless of rank and that is to train Soldiers to survive, thrive, and win.

“The most decisive element of combat power is presence; presence matters,” he said, “so be with your Soldiers; be present,” said Holland.

The FORSCOM sergeant major and fellow panel members spoke on the second day of the three-day conference which was hosted by the 17th Sergeant Major of the Army, Michael. R. Weimer.