SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Emails and telephone calls have become the standard for how leaders communicate with each other, but a better option for the 94th Training Division-Force Sustainment leadership was to bring together their key senior noncommissioned officers for a Command Sergeant Major Leadership Huddle held here on September 26-29, 2019.
“The purpose of this huddle is two-fold: bring cohesion and unity of effort amongst all the senior enlisted leaders within the division,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Simpson, the 94th TD’s command sergeant major. “Secondly, it’s to get on the same sheet of music, because with us all in the same room absorbing the same information;, it’s easier to execute in the manner that I would anticipate.”
The four-day event consisted of more than 40 Senior NCOs throughout the division and its subordinate units, learning more about a multitude of topics such as Select-Train-Educate-Promote Compliance. Also known as STEP, this policy represents the Army's investment in Soldiers' professional military, which is a crucial element of the training and instructing environment.
Additionally, the huddle served as an opportunity for not only Simpson to push critical information out, but for the command sergeants major to collaborate with one another and to discuss hot-topic issues involving the division, its five brigades, and the approximately 45 battalions spanning the Continental United States.
“The CSM Huddle facilitated communication from the division to the battalions,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Hausler, 2nd Brigade, 94th TD. “We came together as Senior NCOs in a relaxed environment to have honest discussions on issues and concerns facing the NCO Corps and our organization.”
Attendees also discussed topics such as retention initiatives and the updated instructor certification process and conferred how the division’s leadership takes in feedback and comments from events like the CSM Huddle to shape policies and procedures.
“The new standard operating procedures for instructor certification and guidelines show how engaged the division is in supporting our efforts when it comes to new instructors,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Rebecca Clemens, 1st Brigade, 94th TD. “This event gave everyone a chance to come together, have open discussions, and be a voice at the table for conversations further up the chain.”
The 94th TD resources and conducts specified military occupational specialty reclassification, and NCO and officer educational and functional training, in direct support of stated United States Army Reserve Command and Training and Doctrine Command missions and objectives.
Although the critical NCO leaders converse regularly on conference calls and through emails, the ability to gather together to network and discuss tasks seemed to be an avenue to strengthen the communication channel throughout the division.
“Conference calls don’t always do us justice,” said Simpson. “When we all come together and talk over things, we leave with a better understanding, which enables us to go out collectively and carry out the commanding general’s mission.”
“We need to have these face-to-face interactions because it makes a world of difference,” he added. “Units function better when enlisted leaders come together.”