Class 60 Encounters New Sergeants Major Course

Thursday August 20, 2009

What is it?

On August 11, 2009, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) began its 60th class of the Sergeants Major Course. This is a completely redesigned course and marks the first major overhaul of the course since it went to nine months in 1995 for Class 46. It incorporates the Chief of Staff Army's Initiative 5, accelerating leader development, and the recommendations from the review of education, training, and assignments for leaders (RETAL) task force which mandates building broadly skilled noncommissioned officers through education and training and assignments.

What has the Army done?

The redesign supports the Army's Command Sergeant Major/Sergeant Major (CSM/SGM) Management and Utilization Program, and is in keeping with the intent of NCOES Transformation. It also supports full spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict by supporting the chief of staff Army's leader development strategy for a 21st century Army. The curriculum is vertically and horizontally aligned with the Officer Education System and incorporates experiential learning. The new course uses an adult teaching model instead of standardized training support packages, and focuses on joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational operations; counter-insurgency; force management; history; and advanced warfighting. Graduates will be better able to understand, comprehend, and translate plans and orders received from higher headquarters to their formations. It will provide them the confidence to partner not only with field grade officers of their own organization, but those at all levels of a joint task force. They will be better equipped to operate autonomously, with confidence and competence. Class 60 is scheduled to graduate May 27, 2010.

Why is this important to the Army?

Mostly master sergeants will attend after being selected by HQDA in accordance with the select-train-promote methodology. If they successfully complete the course, at graduation they will be promoted or frocked to sergeant major. They will report to their initial SGM assignment wearing the new rank. They will generally serve approximately 24 months as a sergeant major before they are appointed to command sergeant major providing they are selected by the Command Sergeant Major Selection Board, scheduled for implementation in fiscal year 2011. The Soldiers will benefit from the Army's commitment to accelerate leader development and build the broadly skilled NCO through initiatives that emphasize the need for improved education, experience, and leadership.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

While the sergeants major course will be incorporated under the umbrella of the Army's Warrior University, the Sergeants Major Academy is working with the American Council on Education and local colleges and universities to increase the college credit given for the course, and to position USASMA to become a degree-producing academic institution.

Resources:

Year of the NCO Web site

USASMA Web site

Related Article: U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy shifts focus of curriculum

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