ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois (Oct. 2, 2023) – Thirty-four members of the Army's workforce are taking part in the Civilian Education System's Intermediate Phase 2 Course this month.
The course is available through a three-week instructor-led program held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and can also be conducted on-site at various other locations.
During his opening remarks, on Oct. 2, Jay Carr, the Joint Munitions Command's executive director for ammunition and the deputy to the commander, said the community was fortunate the course was being offered at the Rock Island Arsenal.
"One of the most challenging things you have with any class like this is you’re going to be away from your work. You are going to think that things that are piling up on your desk are going to be more important than what you learn in this class and that couldn’t be further from the truth," Carr said. "Each one of you has taken a different path to get here and I don’t know what brought you here but what I can tell you is to take the time to listen, to learn, and to talk to your peers that are in this training. The relationships that you’re going to build in this training are relationships that you are going to leverage for the rest of your career regardless of where you go.
“This class is truly important. The things that you learn in this class you’re going to use the rest of your career," Carr added. "I challenge you to take the opportunity that you have in front of you and run with it.”
Tanner Schuldt, a human resources program analyst for JMC, introduced Carr. Schuldt, who graduated from the course in July after attending sessions at Fort Leavenworth, also had some advice to give and it echoed his superior.
"You’re in this classroom to become better leaders don't be too homed in on focusing on your weaknesses that it overpowers your strengths as leaders," Schuldt said. "I really hope you all put yourselves out there, be vulnerable and provide your teammates with constructive feedback when you go through all these exercises.
"Be vulnerable and that will really help as you further your leadership skills throughout these exercises," he added. "Really take advantage of this opportunity.”
According to the Army Management Staff College's website, "The Intermediate Course prepares current and aspiring Army Civilian leaders (GS 10-12) to become more innovative, self-aware, and prepared to effectively lead and care for personnel and manage assigned resources at the organizational level. The course is required per AR 350-1 for Army Civilian supervisors in those grades. Training and developmental exercises focus on 'mission' planning, team building, establishing command climate, and stewardship of resources."
The course and the instructional approach employed differs significantly from traditional college courses and other Army training experiences. Within the course, there are 44 tasks intentionally designed to be ambiguous, allowing for multiple correct answers and various pathways to reach those answers. Learners face numerous decision points, relying on their own judgment as well as the collective skills, talents, and knowledge of their team members.
Each of the 44 tasks, and nearly all the questions posed, serve the overarching purpose of facilitating self-discovery and promoting a deeper understanding of one's interactions with others and their effectiveness in collaborative efforts. Participants are encouraged to enter the course with clear goals, set additional goals as needed, and actively seek feedback. This approach allows individuals to prioritize areas of personal benefit and encourages them to unearth their unique solutions. Every question asked aims to guide participants in uncovering their individual answers, and the course encourages active engagement and enjoyment throughout the learning journey.
Within the course, emerging leaders are nurtured, contributing to the Army Materiel Command's dedication to delivering exact sustainment and material preparedness for a worldwide expeditionary force. This covers endeavors ranging from the Joint Strategic Support Area to frontline tactical involvement, addressing the full spectrum of conflicts in support of the Joint Force.
“When reflecting on your life, consider the amount of time you allocate to self-improvement and personal development. How much of it is dedicated to enhancing your skills and investing in your own growth?,” Carr said. “This opportunity presents a chance to prioritize precisely that.”