SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
As an institution, the U.S. military has continually evolved its approach to professional development within its ranks, with the primary focus of growing well-rounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.
Although each service possesses distinct methods of conducting their versions of professional development, all do so because they know people remain the key to the success of any organization and the military is no exception.
With that in mind, Joint Task Force-Bravo’s commander and command sergeant major, U.S. Army Col. Brian Hughes, and U.S. Army Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Shawn Carns, are partnering with Honduran Armed Forces leadership to share concepts and approaches in order to further improve both nations’ ability to develop today’s and tomorrow’s military leaders.
Being JTF-Bravo’s senior enlisted leader, Carns said he is particularly interested in the Honduran military’s non-commissioned officer corps.
“We are looking at doing a sort of subject matter expert exchange,” Carns said. “Also, in October we’re (Honduran Army Brig. Gen. Rene Ponce Fonseca, Honduran Army Forces commander, Cmd. Sgt. Maj. of the Honduran Army Forces Carlos Valle, Hughes and Carns) going to do a road show at the Honduran Air Force Academy, with road shows at the army and navy academies to follow.
Carns went on to explain some of the reasons behind their focus areas.
“The Honduran military tends to be officer-centric, so we want to show them how NCOs can better fit within their organizations and effectively work with officers and commanders,” Carns continued. “(Valle and I) are also going to do battlefield circulations to each one of the NCO academies to see where we might improve upon and learn from their program of instruction.”
To help meet this objective, knowledge and skills from top NCOs from JTF-Bravo will be leveraged, which Valle said is what he’s looking forward to the most.
“It’s very satisfying for me to have started this interaction with (the JTF-Bravo command team) and I know this exchange will benefit both of our service members,” Valle said. “The younger soldiers will benefit the most, but our older generation needs to work so that they can be better than us. I think this can benefit multiple generations of NCOs and officers.”
Valle also said now is the time for an aggressive program like this, because in his 34 years of service he’s never seen a group of key leaders - like Ponce and Hughes - on the same page as their senior enlisted advisors when it comes to the importance of professional development.
“The concept of professional development is comprehensive and leader development is a continuing process, not a single event or course,” Ponce said. “With the help of our partners at JTF-Bravo, this initiative will be mutually-beneficial for our service members and ultimately our countries, because we’re not only expanding their ability but we’re strengthening their commitment to the profession of arms.”
Carns said this pilot program will start within Honduras, with the intention to expand it throughout the Central American region.