PITTSBURGH, Pa. –
Maj. Chaveso Cook, a doctoral student studying Human Development at Tufts University, led a professional development discussion with leaders from the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) staff at the unit's headquarters July 11.
The discussion featured an overview of Cook's article, "A Strategy for the Development of Principled Professionals," published in the Association of the United States Army's January 2020 edition of The Land Power Essay Series. More than 50 Soldiers from the unit participated in the session via teleconference. The hour-long discussion focused on the principles of creating and assessing a unit's professional development program and its effect on Soldiers.
One of Cook’s strategies emphasized the need for leaders to prioritize the implementation of an Officer Professional Development program in the unit's training plan. Cook explained how leaders often allow urgent tasks to supersede important tasks and emphasized how leader development is an important task benefitting both the long-term goals of an individual and organization. To highlight his point, he noted how urgent emails and deadlines take most of the attention and energy of leaders to the detriment of the organization's future goals.
Investing in the future is why the commanding general of the 316th ESC, Brig. Gen. Scott Linton directed the unit to revamp its Leader Development program earlier this year. The unit’s new program will include regular group sessions led by a diverse group of Soldiers that bring a variety of relevant topics and considerations to a discussion, said Capt. Andrew Collins of the 316th ESC.
During the call, Linton urged every Soldier on the call to prepare themselves for the professional development program. Soldiers can prepare themselves for the upcoming changes in the unit's professional development program conducting a “clear-eyed self-assessment of who YOU are and where YOU are," said Cook. "You can never know too much about yourself," he added. He recommended Soldiers find people they trust so they can candidly discuss ideas and questions to get a fuller view of self. Second, Cook suggested Soldiers read more books that cover a wide range of topics, including occupation, leadership, and creativity in order to expand their knowledge and meet personal and professional goals.
The 316th understands that leader development is the key to mission success. As such, the 316th ESC continues to pursue its goal of developing a cadre of world-class sustainment leaders capable of supporting operations worldwide.