GRAFENWOEHR, Germany –
Senior enlisted leaders from the 7th Mission Support Command held two Junior Leader Certification Programs for 53 U.S. Army Reserve junior noncommissioned officers during the unit’s annual training held at United States Army Garrison Bavaria, July 28-31, 2020.
First introduced in 2018 and unique to the U.S. Army Reserve, the JLCP focuses on the corporal through staff sergeant population. The comprehensive program promotes learning on key subject areas to enhance First Line Leader communication and engagement, and helps strengthen bonds between Soldiers, said Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Yingst, 7th MSC command sergeant major.
“The overall purpose is to provide a foundational program that places NCOs back in front of the formation where they belong: Leading Soldiers,” said Yingst.
The two-day program highlighted topics like NCO duties and responsibilities, NCO evaluation reports, Troop Leading Procedures, NCO promotion boards, counseling, mentoring, the 8-step leadership model, map reading and land navigation, drill and ceremony, and physical readiness training.
The junior NCOs were broken down into four groups and rotated squad leader responsibilities at the start of each new class. Senior NCOs from across the 7th MSC provided course material and taught classes.
“The idea is for junior NCOs to learn and understand what their job consists of as a First Line Leader with the expectation they will take what they have learned back to their unit and fully engage with their Soldiers,” said Yingst. “Through their positive example, others will follow.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Abernethy, U.S. Army Europe command sergeant major, visited the JLCP to observe training and answer questions from junior NCO students.
“The JLCP is looked upon as a critically important program for the development of our junior NCOs and the betterment of the 7th MSC, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the United States Army Reserve, and United States Army Europe,” said Yingst. “(Abernethy’s) presence was a huge motivator and it showed through in the interaction of the students.”
Yingst says the overall goal of the U.S. Army Reserve Command NCO corps is to be more focused on their Soldiers and mission readiness.
“It’s only through a professional and fully engaged “NCO Corps” that we can bring about this change,” said Yingst. “NCOs will be more skilled and comfortable in planning, coordinating, facilitating learning with their Soldiers, and most importantly, leading.”
At the conclusion of both two-day JLCPs, the 53 graduates participated in a NCO Induction Ceremony that officially recognized the junior leaders for their accomplishment, reaffirmed their commitment to the NCO Corps, and reestablished their responsibility as a leader of Soldiers.
“I felt that the JLCP was needed and able to put the junior NCOs on the same page with what senior NCOs are tracking,” said Sgt. Abraham Gonzalez, 7th MSC human resources NCO and JLCP graduate. “It was a great refresher on what it is to be a NCO and what skills we need to sharpen.”
It was the first time the 7th MSC conducted the JLCP and Yingst felt it was a huge success.
“In time, this effort will promote professional relationships, stronger bonds, and organizations built on a foundation of Lethal Warriors that trust each other and stand shoulder to shoulder, no matter what adversity they are facing,” said Yingst.
Program complete, the junior NCO graduates can now step up as trainers to new NCOs in future JLCPs held throughout the U.S. Army Reserve.