Marines, Partner Nations develop leadership
Marines with the Non-Commissioned Officer Development Team, Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Black Sea Rotational Force hosted a NCO-Development Seminar in Bucharest, Romania, April 3-5.
"Our goal is to enhance our partner nation's NCO corps leadership potential through an exchange of ideas," said Gunnery Sgt. Joe Urias, team leader for the NCO development team, Black Sea Rotational Force 12.
"These ideas include but are not limited to, professional military education, counseling, mentoring, evaluations and leadership ideologies."
Representatives from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Macedonia and the U.S. took turns presenting the current status of their NCO corps. There was also an open discussion in which the representatives shared new ideas, goals and plans for the future.
The impact of this training is great because it opens up our minds as leaders to allow us to make decisions, said Gabriel Enache, Chief Master Sergeant of the Romanian Air Force.
For many of the countries developing a NCO corps is a fairly new process. Some of the countries have had less than five years of formal training for their NCO's and are looking to their more experienced partner nations for guidance and ideas.
We started training our NCO corps about four to five years ago, said Maj. Sasa Petkovic, Deputy Commander for NCO Training Center, Serbian Armed Forces. The U.S has had an NCO corps for a long time so we want to learn from their experiences and implement and adapt them for use in our armed forces. Some training has already been implemented due to past seminars like this.
The Marine Corps NCO Creed states that Non-Commissioned Officers are the backbone of the Marine Corps. The NCO's of BSRF displayed this designation as they shared their experience with their partner nations.
"We anticipate that through sharing the Marine Corps philosophy on small unit leadership and roles and responsibilities of our NCO's, that our partner nations can begin developing methods that work for their respective armies in regards to their NCO's assuming areas of greater responsibility," said Urias.
One topic at the seminar included the NCO's role as a medium between officers and enlisted. Many countries have key leadership roles being filled only by officers. However, they have made steps to de-conflict the roles and responsibilities of an officer and an NCO in order to have a more efficient army as a whole.
"We appreciate all the work that has gone into this seminar," said Enache. "2009 was declared the year of the NCO it should be like that every year."
Article by Cpl. Paul Zellner, Black Sea Rotational Force