Enhancing leadership skills

WASHINGTON (Oct. 9, 2014) — Soldiers from around the Nation learned about the facets and challenges of command during the Company Commanders and First Sergeant Course (CCFSC), from Oct. 6-9, 2014. The course was hosted by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C.

CCFSC introduces new and prospective company leaders to potential challenges of command, avenues and resources available to them as they continue to grow as Army leaders.

“The course introduces company leaders to important Army programs, potential challenges of command and resources available to assist them,” said David Stone, one of the course organizers. “It’s done in a very interactive class environment with planned discussions, case studies and small group exercises.”

More than 35 Soliders were trained with the objective of making them better and more responsive leaders.

“Talking to the future commanders and first sergeants is important for two reasons,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael D. Jaques, MDW Wounded Warrior Chaplain. “First, the leaders at the company level will have the most contact with Soldiers and they will be able to see if something is different with one of the Soldiers and intervene. Second, these leaders will set the command climate for their unit. The way the Soldier perceives the command climate influences how he responds to suicidal thoughts. If he thinks it is safe to ask for help he may be more apt to ask.”

Suicide prevention and the role of the Chaplain Corps were only two of the many topics discussed during the week long course. Other topics discussed included the standards of conduct, military justice and civilian management.

“The chaplain’s role for company commanders and first sergeants is to work with them and let them know how the Unit Ministry Team (UMT) can be used as a resource in building a spiritually fit unit,” said Jaques.

“Our daily class mentors included colonels, lieutenant colonels and command sergeant majors from the Old Guard, Army Air Operations Group and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” said Stone. “These senior members contributed their great knowledge and seasoned experience throughout the week. We will continue to invite field grade officers and senior non commissioned officers to participate as class mentors.”