Back to Basics, Junior Leader Certification Program

By Capt. Joselyn Sydnor | 653rd Regional Support Group | July 12, 2019

FORT BLISS, Texas —

Twenty-one junior Non-Commissioned Officers of the 653rd Regional Support Group  graduated from the new Army Reserve Junior Leader Certification Program at Fort Bliss Texas on June 29, 2019.

“In recent years our junior leaders have not felt empowered to lead. We’re so busy during Battle Assemblies, that as seniors, we have a tendency to do everything ourselves so that we can get it done. We need to start mentoring and training our junior leaders so that they can take charge,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Denise Lagana, the 653rd RSG senior enlisted advisor.

The certification program was created in an effort to promote and enhance Soldier and unit readiness by reinforcing communication and trust with the units and leaders. The program was mandated by the U.S. Army Reserve Command in December 2018.

The emphasis of the course is to strengthen future leaders of the NCO Corps, the backbone of the Army, ensuring NCOs have the basic building blocks to the Soldiering craft inside and outside of the classroom, and can pass it on. 

“Knowing how to perform Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services, Drill and Ceremony, and Physical Readiness Training are key stepping stones of being a Soldier,” said Sgt. Travis Ly. 

The program also covered NCO duties and responsibilities, performance counseling, leader books, map reading and land navigation, troop leading procedures, the 8-Step Training Model, and junior promotion material. The senior NCOs teaching the classes provided a mix of theoretical and practical blocks of instruction.

“I’m a person who learns more hands-on,” said Ly, “I understand that PowerPoints are involved and are helpful in a way, but more hands-on is a lot better.”

The program is an enduring one. The NCOs certified this round can anticipate training the next set of junior leaders. 

“I believe we are headed in the right direction, I was excited to see our young Soldiers refreshing their basic skills and preparing to teach and mentor the next generation of Soldiers,” said Lagana

The 653rd RSG is currently mobilized as the Fort Bliss Mobilization Brigade and, in collaboration with enterprise partners, provides life-support and sustainment services to mobilizing and demobilizing Army Reserve and National Guard units and civilians.

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