Crista Mary Mack
311th Signal Command (Theater) Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — What is the glue that holds together a multi-component unit?
Active duty, Reserve and active Guard Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 311th Signal Command (Theater) found out that together, July 14, they are that glue.
About 200 Soldiers from the three components convened and worked together at the unit’s first “One Voice” training. Activities included a discussion panel and several team-building exercises, here, and at Tripler Army Medical Center, recently.
The training combined “Theater Voice,” the unit motto, and “One Team,” the U.S. Army-Pacific“ motto, for its moniker, One Voice. Teams engaged in timed exercises that forced them to accomplish tasks quickly as a team, in addition to a slew of other scheduled events for the day.
“It’s called One Voice because the focus was building a bridge to effective communication,” said Master Sgt. Ava Williams, equal opportunity representative and orchestrator of the training for 311th Sig. Cmd.
“We are working towards truly having One Voice by communication and teamwork involving our Reserve Soldiers in our day-to-day work, thus facilitating better working together, as one voice,” Williams said.
One Voice training started with a command run led by Brig. Gen. William Scott, commander, 311th Sig. Cmd. Four platoons were organized by section rather than component, so that a Reserve specialist might be standing in formation next to an active component sergeant major and an active Guard Reserve captain. This integration was a theme throughout the day.
The next major event was a panel discussion, mediated by Scott and 311th Sig. Cmd.’s senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Thompson. Representatives of each component fielded questions about command issues related specifically to the 311th being a multi-component unit.
“We are part of a very unique organization at the 311th Sig. Cmd.,” Scott said. “Part of our challenge is to recognize that we have a unique environment that we need to adapt our training and our mission to in order to account for what we are doing.”
“It’s one of the only organizations of its type in the entire Army, but there are a lot of organizations that say the same thing when they get together, and that’s what makes our Army great,” Scott said. “We are part of an organization that adapts to the mission that we have and that recognizes that change is going to be a constant. This training is part of that continuing effort to improve how we do business.”
Following the panel discussion, everyone broke into groups for multiple team-building exercises that included physically interactive, team-oriented exercises that got everyone working together through communication and trust.
“This event was a great way for all of the 311th Soldiers, regardless of rank and component, to come together and bond by sharing experiences and ideas,” said Spc. Danielle Smith, paralegal and Reserve Soldier, 311th Sig. Cmd. “It was a great opportunity to see the differences and similarities in other units. Even though we wear the same uniform and work side by side together, we don’t always know how the other component operates. Overall, I think it was a success, and I look forward to being a part of more in the future.”
Participants completed the training in the afternoon with small group training at their respective individual sections.
According to Williams, the feedback from the training was positive, and the 311th now plans to make the One Voice training quarterly or biannual.
“During the next training, we will try to think of a way to incorporate our civilian sector,” Williams said. “Once we get the civilians involved in this team-building activity, we will have completely involved our 311th Sig. Cmd. team.”