Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – Ignite them ... That's what the Army
Management Staff College is out to do to its students: Ignite their
leadership potential with a premier leader development experience.
These are not Soldiers they are endeavoring to mold into Army
leaders, however. They are members of the Army Civilian Corps with
unique backgrounds, routines and legal guidelines.
AMSC was born in 1985 when studies on education and training in
the service convinced top Army officials Department of the Army
civilians lacked the preparation for leadership their uniformed
counterparts received in military staff and service colleges. The
Army civilian education effort went through various changes through
the years, ultimately resulting in the Civilian Education System.
CES provides enhanced leader development and educational
opportunities for Army civilians throughout their careers. AMCS is
the executive agent of the CES.
At the heart of this ignition of civilian leadership, is
instilling in them a level of commitment that rises above that for a
April 19, 2016 - Randy Cuka, of Fort Dietrich, Md., confidently
makes a point during a break out session in an Army Management Staff
College class. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Gary Qualls)
“We try to instill in them a conviction that this is not a job –
but a calling,” said AMSC Director Kim Summers.
run 2-4 weeks, depending on whether they are the basic,
intermediate, or advanced level. All the processes and content in
the courses, which are primarily for Army Civilian Corps members at
the GS 7 through GS 12 levels, are viewed through the perspective of
how they pertain to the individual student – making self-awareness
one of their pillars, Summers added.
“The students grab whatever makes them
better,” he explained, adding, “We don't teach them what to think,
but how to think.”
Along with self-awareness, other pillars:
such as team building and mission accomplishment (while improving
the organization) create the foundation of this ambitious program.
And, it all takes leadership.
“You can have the
best artillerymen in the world, but, without good
leadership, they won't focus on what they were truly meant
to do,” Summers explained.
Moreover, Soldiers and
the nation are counting on the Army Civilian Corps more than
ever in the Army today, Summers added.
The fact the world is so interconnected today makes the role of
the civilian in the Army even more important, added Lt. Col. R.
Taylor Basye, an intermediate instructor at AMSC.
got Soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq talking to civilian team members
back in the States while trying to fix an MRAP (Mine-Resistant
Ambush Protected) vehicle,” he said.
“This course has helped
me become a better leader, to understand where Soldiers are coming
from,” noted Chris Benavente, a chief industry hygienist in Camp
Zama, Japan, who is here for the course.
The principles taught in AMSC are broken down into specific
actions members of the Army Civilian Corps can take to improve
themselves and their organizations. A specific action to improve
confidence, for example, is to accept relevant feedback. To enhance
resilience, an action is to model comfort in dealing with ambiguity.
And, to stimulate innovation, an action is to embrace uncommon
Throughout the AMSC learning process instructors
strive to demystify the Army and its jargon-filled language to the
Army Civilian Corps.
April 19, 2016 - Army Management Staff College student Shannon
Comperato gives her take on a team building point with AMSC
Facilitator Thomas N. Barnhouse during a class session. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Gary Qualls)
Logic and emotion are tied together to drive home the
importance of the Army Civilian Corps' role.
such as commitment, integrity and appreciating the worth of
the individual, play a big part in this motivating
“The charging of their (the students')
‘batteries' starts with values,” Basye said.
huge that the Army is believing in me,” added Monica Walker,
a project management specialist at Fort Belvoir, Va. “I feel
the Army has realized they have to start training us (the
Army Civilian Corps) for the future. They're investing in
our development – and it means a lot.”
“I feel I've
gained a lot of tools here to take back to help transform my
directorate into the greatest organization it can be,”
Shannon Comperato, a contract specialist for U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, Omaha District, said.
knowledge and attained skills noted by class members
included the “eye opening” dimension of the class' emphasis
on self-awareness and the individual, the priority placed on
values and the way the course tied the Civilian Corps Creed
and the Army Values together, the encouragement from the
Army sharing its vision and leadership responsibility with
the Army Civilian Corps, and how that kind of trust is
helping to break through the “continuity barrier.”
The class members agreed their class facilitators in their
iteration of the course, Thomas N. Barnhouse and Lyle N. Adams, are
“What I've gained here is profound.” Comperato said.
Learn more about the Army Management Staff College
By U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gary Qualls
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