Future leaders complete 2nd phase of Young Alaka‘i

| April 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
NU’UANU PALI — Brenden Bliss, history instructor, HPU Military Campus Programs, shows  Young Alaka‘i Phase II students the location Kalanikupule retreated to during his defense of Oahu against the invasion of Oahu by King Kamehameha I. The April 10 class from 8th TSC is part of a three-phase program targeted to help top-performing Army leaders.

NU’UANU PALI — Brenden Bliss, history instructor, HPU Military Campus Programs, shows Young Alaka‘i Phase II students the location Kalanikupule retreated to during his defense of Oahu against the invasion of Oahu by King Kamehameha I. The April 10 class from 8th TSC is part of a three-phase program targeted to help top-performing Army leaders.

Sgt. Jon Heinrich
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

HONOLULU – Twenty-three officers, warrant officers and senior noncommissioned officers from 8th Theater Sustainment Command graduated the Young Alaka‘i Leadership Program’s Phase II, April 10, atop the crater rim at Punchbowl.

The ceremony was held in the afternoon after students completed their last day of the weeklong training, with visits to several historical sites around the island, while discussing Hawaii’s history and role in the larger Polynesian culture.

8th TSC created the three-phase program to bring together top-performing captains, senior NCOs and mid-grade warrant officers who excel in their current career fields.

Capt. Christopher J. Vesce, commander, 545th Harbormaster Company, 524th Combat Sust. Support Battalion, 45th Sust. Brigade, 8th TSC, said the program was a great experience for him that he will use for his current job and in the future.

“Some of the most interesting parts were when we did a deep-dive into the Pacific region as a whole during the second phase,” Vesce said. “We looked at each region between the Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the different countries that are in there and the different relationships they have and how the U.S. plays a role through bilateral and multilateral engagements.”

Phase I discussed leadership and the Army profession, and was held Feb. 9-13 at the Hale Ikena on Fort Shafter. It focused on the Army profession and ethics, while allowing participants to share and learn more about their own organizations and capabilities with each other.

Phase II was April 6-10, and took a more regional, strategic-level approach, including discussion and practical exercises related to U.S. foreign policy in Asian and the Pacific, security dynamics and disaster response, and working in the joint interagency, intergovernmental, multinational environment. The phase concluded with a symbolic graduation ceremony.

The students began their final day at Fort DeRussey, where they were instructed by Honorable Thomas Ka’auwai Kaulukukui Jr., the chairman of the board and managing trustee of the trust. They discussed Hawaiian history and leader development and values, to prepare them to be the strategic leaders of tomorrow in the region and across the globe.

“Any place you go here after will have a history, and you should understand it,” Kaulukukui. said. “Why? Because there’s a proverb that says ‘the land is the chief.’

“If you want to know something about why people act the way they do, what their culture is, you look at their land,” he said.

The class was introduced to a number of ancient Hawaiian weapons, learned about the history and culture of the islands and Hawaiian lineage.

Kaulukukui said no one can truly lead if they don’t have an understanding of who they are and every leader should know their lineage, genealogy and the knowledge of where they come from.

“Go back eight generations at least, then you really know who you are,” he said. “You’re not your nametag, you’re not your business card or just your name.”

Led by Brenden Bliss, a history instructor for the Military Campus Programs department at Hawaii Pacific University, the Young Alaki‘i also visited Diamond Head Beach Park where they learned about King Kamehameha I and his invasion of Oahu, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl and Pali Lookout to discuss Kalanikūpule’s defense against the invasion.

While the graduation marked a milestone in completing the initial phases of the program, it also marked a beginning to the part of Young Alaka‘i that will have the widest impact on every person the graduates interact with as leaders in the future.

Phase III is scheduled for May 15-21 and will focus on alumni development, with the Young Alaka‘i playing critical roles in several 8th TSC strategic-level engagements and events during the week.

“Phase III should be a great experience,” Vesce said. “We’re going to be afforded the opportunity to engage with senior leaders and talk about the region again, both of which are two of the main aspects I enjoyed about Young Alaka‘i.”

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Category: Leadership, News

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