Sustainment leader development

By CourtesyMay 20, 2024

Stewardship by definition is the conducting, supervising or managing of something; our profession of arms is that “something.” Noncommissioned officers are commonly known as the “Backbone of the Army” because they charged with being good stewards of the Army’s profession. They have an inherent responsibility to foster a culture of growth and accountability as guardians of standards and discipline, expert trainers of subordinates and technically and tactically proficient Soldiers. NCOs must fully embrace the role they play in personnel development of their subordinates through sequential and progressive developmental programs.

XVIII Airborne Corps has a rich and extensive history dating all the way back to 1942. Appropriately named “America’s Contingency Corps,” XVIII Airborne Corps rapidly deploys Army forces anywhere in the world by air, land or sea through forcible entry, if necessary, to shape, deter, fight and win. The Corps Headquarters provides mission command as an Army, Joint or Combined Task Force Headquarters. The Corps G-4 plays a pivotal role in ensuring operational reach and endurance of the team, harnessing all elements of the sustainment enterprise to support the XVIII Airborne Corps.

In January 2024, the Corps G-4 team began developing a leader development program for sustainment NCOs that will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills and experiences among XVIII Airborne Corps sustainment professionals. Sustainment Leader Development is designed to enhance professional development for division and brigade level G-4/S-4s who operate in an ever-evolving environment with multi-faceted logistical challenges.

“Senior enlisted sustainment professionals must be prepared to meet current, surge and future Army requirements by continuously modernizing sustainment operations to ensure sustainers are positioned to build the bench with the right talent, in the right position, and in the right place at the right time” said Command Sgt Maj. Jimmy Sellers, Army Materiel Command’s senior enlisted leader.

Leader development is an important attribute that makes any organization flow or function at a high level; especially in the Army when conducted with consistency and relevance. The XVIII Airborne Corps G-4 Senior Enlisted Sustainers are committed to the coaching, teaching and mentoring of all sustainers within their Division and Brigade Separates.

The XVIII Airborne Corps G-4 team conducted the first of quarterly leader professional development sessions available to their downtrace title The State of Sustainment April 11 at the Mission Training Center in Fort Liberty, North Carolina. The LPD allowed Soldiers to hear from senior leaders from the Sustainment Enterprise, including the command sergeants major from the XVIII Airborne Corps, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Medical Logistics Command, and the 406th Army Field Support Brigade along with the U.S. Forces Command G-4 sergeant major.

Connection to Sustainment Initiatives Guide

Achieving excellence in the fundamentals of sustainment is crucial to empower non-commissioned officers to accomplish missions successfully by synchronizing, taking action and building momentum of resources at tactical and strategic levels. By harnessing the diverse skills, knowledge and warfighting experience of sustainment NCOs, in conjunction with the Sustainment NCO Initiative Guide, logistics NCOs can streamline, enhance and equip themselves with the knowledge to advise their commanders on sustainment operations to achieve successful mission outcomes.

Connection to Army Chief of Staff focus areas

It is essential to prioritize leader development, talent management and stewardship of the profession to ensure a sustainable path to warfighting for the Army of 2030. In 2023, General Randy George, Chief of Staff of the Army, outlined his four key focus areas to guide the Army’s efforts for the future: warfighting, continuous transformation, strengthening the profession, and delivering combat-ready formations. The operational force plays a crucial role in delivering combat-ready formations, providing freedom of action, extending operational reach and increasing lethality. Sustainment NCOs utilize data analysis to provide decision dominance to commanders with sustainment information systems.

It is crucial for leaders to promote continuous learning through resident and distance learning opportunities to stay relevant and maintain Army effectiveness. Investing in leaders, talent management and the profession is vital to ensuring readiness for any challenge. Furthermore, leaders must be resilient and adaptable in the face of change and transformation. The Army is transforming how sustainers develop combat-ready in a large-scale combat environment.


As the Army and the NCO Corps undergo transformation, it is imperative that we focus on developing endurance, flexibility and a sturdy foundation of sustainment doctrine, roles and functions. Sustainment Leader Development program identifies specific tasks that must be accomplished for the NCO Corps to progress and evolve. It is critical that leaders at every echelon have a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities in order to fortify the profession and effectively transition into the future. By embracing these challenges and committing to the development of sustainment leaders, we can ensure a stronger and more successful NCO Corps for years to come.

By Sgt. Maj. Damarco Wyatt, XVIII Airborne Corps G-4 sergeant major