Partnerships with Guard, Reserve vital to Army

| June 28, 2013 | 0 Comments


1st Sgt. Salelea Tuiolemotu
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
196th Infantry Brigade

The 196th Infantry Brigade is the standard bearer for all National Guard and Reserve Component training, providing critical observer-controller support for annual training, unit battle assemblies and pre/post-mobilization training.

The brigade partners with Guard and Reserve units in their efforts to get back to the basics.

Getting Soldiers back to the basics does not stop with the Army. The 196th Inf. Bde. supports many multinational and bilateral exercises, providing experience and expertise in the training and evaluation of forces within Pacific Army Command.

Partnerships are vital to the health of the Army and critical to the ability of the brigade to accomplish its mission.

National Guard and Reserve Component units have opportunities to gain knowledge and a sense of perspective from 196th leaders with reference to their state of training and readiness. Units see how another unit conducts its business, establishes standard operating procedures and receives direct feedback during training exercises. The 196th provides this through observer-controller/trainer mentors (OC-TMS).

Brigade OC-TMs have years of combat experience and sound-grounding in Army training and tactical doctrine. They ensure that unit training and mentorship are comprehensive, covering both administrative operation and tactical execution of the unit’s mission.

A comprehensive approach ensures that units are trained, not just for the current war in Afghanistan, but for preparation for anything across the range of military operations.

Recently, the 196th Inf. Bde. returned from Balikatan 2013, a successful training exercise in the Philippines. During the exercise, the brigade worked with Filipino leadership and encouraged a back to the basics approach in the development of their noncommissioned officer corps.

OC-TMs engaged leaders of the Philippine army and discussed and demonstrated the duties, responsibilities and authorities of an NCO. It focused the basics of “be, know, do” and stressed that the NCOs have to be entrusted with responsibility before they can perform to expectations.

As the partnership between the OC-TMs and their counterparts developed, the vital role of the NCO became clear. At the conclusion of the exercise, one company commander pulled an OC-TM aside and expressed his appreciation, saying, “I cannot believe how well the American NCOs taught, coached and mentored all my NCOs in just two weeks! They have changed my perceptions.”

Mentorship by leaders with a focus on the basics will enable a successful transition while maintaining operational readiness. Young leaders need to understand the difference between combat operations and home station training.

Home station operations are the basics, and they are those things that establish the foundation of training and discipline. The focus on combat operations has absorbed the majority of our effort and time, recently, at the expense of home station functions. As leaders, we must teach, coach and mentor the Soldiers of today’s Army to understand the importance of these functions, focusing on discipline, to get back to the basics.

Army Values, customs, courtesies and traditions will be the cornerstone upon which the next generation is built. These provide guidance and inspiration for NCOs and officers to lead from the front and to take care of Soldiers.

(Editor’s note: Capt. Aaron Poll, 196th Inf. Bde., contributed to this article.)

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Category: News, Training

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