DVIDS – News – WHINSEC Inaugural Senior Alumni Seminar a huge success!
Panama City, Panama – WHINSEC alumni share best practices in professional development and human rights training.
From August 16-18, 2022, 23 alumni of the Command General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) participated in a Senior Leadership Seminar. The seminar was made up of officers from the United States, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, Colombia, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic and the Uruguay.
Since WHINSEC’s inception in 2001, talks have been underway to create an alumni program. The goal of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) Alumni Engagement Program is to build on the relationships developed during the school experience and strengthen the bonds forged at WHINSEC. The Alumni Engagement Program Seminar aims to increase instructor capabilities and resources to improve stability and interoperability and revitalize relationships with alumni from WHINSEC partner nations. This opportunity will help WHINSEC understand its customer base and initiate discussion on long-term goals. The goal is to have an alumni program similar to WHINSEC’s predecessors at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Command and General Staff College and Army War College.
In accordance with the Interim National Security Strategic Guidelines, WHINSEC is following the guidelines by strengthening engagement and partnerships with our closest neighbors in the Americas. By adding the Senior Alumni Seminar this year, WHINSEC is elevating connectivity with former instructors and students. Through networking, WHINSEC enhances regional relationships with genuine discussions and sharing of current perspectives. While simultaneously WHINSEC helps our neighbors to invest in good governance with democratic educational institutions.
Lieutenant General Manuel Rodriguez Sosa, Commander General of the Paraguayan Army Training and Doctrine Command, attended WHINSEC in 2001 as a student of the Civil-Military Operations Course, then returned to WHINSEC as a guest instructor in 2008-2010.
“As a student, attending WHINSEC helped me understand the international environment. The same challenges and threats exist, and all of our countries need to work together to try to solve the problems that will arise in the future. WHINSEC had a significant impact on the career of every Paraguayan army.” Maj. Gen. Sosa said.
Among the participants in the opening session were the former Minister of Public Security of Panama, Juan Manuel Pino Forero, alumnus of WHINSEC, and the Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Panama, Stewart Tuttle .
Pino commented: “As a graduate of WHINSEC, I can assure you that it was a great opportunity to share experiences with colleagues from other latitudes. The knowledge acquired has improved my professional career. Almost every qualified officer in the Western Hemisphere trained at WHINSEC. They return to their country and occupy critical positions. I believe in WHINSEC and I am loyal to WHINSEC.”
Some of the topics covered at the seminar were Women for Peace (WPS) Security, NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) Development, and new updates to the General Staff and Command Officers Course ( CGSOC). A representative from each country presented how each security force is improving in each area.
“Conversations about WPS are an ongoing dialogue and serve a purpose. It helps remind countries, whether it’s the United States or the region, to keep it front and center,” said Maj. Gen. Dusty Shultz, alumnus of CGSOC in 2007.
During the presentation of non-commissioned officers (NCO), WHINSEC Sgt. Maj. Jose Lopez presented the progress of training and educating a non-commissioned officer to rise in the chain of leadership. He explained that the purpose of the NCO is to support and accomplish the mission of the commander and to prepare NCOs to serve in higher capacities within their professional specialties.
Former WHINSEC Deputy Commander for Police Affairs and CGSOC alumnus, Colonel (Retired) Cenen Castillo, Panama Police, said: “One of the essential things as leaders is to create cohesive groups. This group begins with the leadership that we develop in the armed and security forces. We create a great organizational climate, and that organizational climate works best when we educate and train our NCOs. Our goal is to prepare the NCO for the next leadership position.
In the security forces, we perform different tasks than the armed forces. Often we don’t have enough officers to command these small groups that perform various tasks. This is where the NCO comes in because the NCO connects the officers to the troops. Not all leaders can be everywhere. If we give them confidence and latitude, offer them the best training; we achieve a goal that, in the end, we are all winners in terms of security and strategy.”
WHINSEC Commander Sergeant Major. Commanding Sgt. Maj. Roberto H. Alvarez added, “Over the past few years, the Army has worked hard to provide NCOs with the resources necessary to have the same level of training as the officer. By using distance learning programs, soldiers and NCOs can advance their education while pursuing their careers. Additionally, since 2014, all professional military schools have been accredited and offer college credit to their graduates. This initiative encourages non-commissioned officers to undergo professional military training to progress to a university degree. Additionally, the Sergeant Major Academy (SGM) has been accredited and its graduates are awarded a bachelor’s degree upon completion of the course. The SGM course offers advanced study credits for those with a degree.
Former WHINSEC CGSOC student and then WHINSEC Instructor, Lt. Col. Fernando Chaine also commented, “The responsibility of the officer is to give sergeants their rightful place in the team and not just to use them as a resource. While I was a company commander, my officers and platoon leaders were transferred to another mission. I’ve designated my platoon sergeants as platoon leaders. I allowed them to demonstrate that they could assume the responsibilities if they were in position. Their work was excellent. Chaine is currently the Director of the Uruguayan Army Command and General Staff Officer Course.
CGSOC updates mentioned include students receiving a master’s degree and the option to receive a second master’s degree with a participating university. Many alumni were thrilled to hear about the changes to CGSOC. They plan to encourage their respective countries to send more students and instructors to WHINSEC.
During the CGSOC presentation, alumni suggested that WHINSEC consider adding an English track and an optional Common Faculty Development – Instructor Course (CFD-IC). The alumni believe it would help increase readiness in the Western Hemisphere by providing additional training for their military and police.
“As an officer who is currently working with the University of Defense of Honduras, year after year we improve the level of education of our officers. These seminars are essential because officers who have gone through WHINSEC come to share their experiences We can compare the doctrine experience of the United States by contributing our points of view. We share the WHINSEC curriculum with the curriculum of our countries’ command and staff courses. As instructors, let’s share experiences to achieve development goals in the elements of national power, economic, political and above all, the psychosocial with all the problems that affect the development of the country,” said Honduran Air Force Colonel Gerardo Obando, WHINSEC 2009 CGSOC alumnus.
WHINSEC Alumni, CGSOC Class of 2007 Major General Dusty Shultz, Director, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Operations, G-3/5/7 addressed the attendees.
She commented: “WHINSEC means so much to me. It represents the best of our entire western hemisphere. What an incredible opportunity for leaders to come back, create new relationships with each other and share where we left off and where we need I had a chance today to talk to elders, to be asked pointed questions and to be able to ask those pointed questions. For example, what is it like to be a woman in the “army, then to share my point of view when I arrived 35 years ago. It is a unique exchange and conversation; we must maintain this dialogue. These relationships strengthen our hemisphere.
Shultz was recognized as an inductee into the WHINSEC Hall of Fame among seminary alumni. WHINSEC staff showed a photo of Maj. Gen. Shultz’s portrait hanging in the Hall of Fame. “It was quite a privilege to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I thank Dr. Chago Rodriguez and now General Flavio Lancia of Brazil, my two main instructors, for helping to shape my thoughts, not on what think, but to make me think. After leaving WHINSEC, alumni become advocates for WHINSEC. I consider myself a lifetime ambassador of WHINSEC.
|Date posted:||09.12.2022 16:59|
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