Coalition forces enhance leadership skills during noncommissioned officer symposium
By Cpl. Cody Haas
| I Marine Expeditionary Force | April 23, 2014
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Multinational noncommissioned officers with Task Force Belleau Wood enhanced their leadership skills during a Coalition Committed and Engaged Leadership Symposium aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, April 20.
Task Force Belleau Wood is comprised of approximately 3,400 Marines as well as a multitude of NATO International Security Assistance Force personnel to include 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment; a squadron from the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force referred to as TFBW’s Force Protection Wing; the 31st Light Infantry Battalion from the Republic of Georgia and a Jordanian Armed Forces Task Force.
Task Force Belleau Wood’s primary mission is to prevent an attack on Camp Leatherneck by taking an offensive and aggressive approach toward the enemy, engaging away from the base and out of the area of operations.
Because of the diversity of cultures that make up TFBW, a meeting for NCOs was held to give them a better understanding of each other’s goals and mentoring techniques for junior enlisted personnel.
“This meeting is designed to get NCOs together and learn from each other’s leadership styles,” said Sgt. Maj. Reginald Robinson, sergeant major, Task Force Belleau Wood. “We come together to the fight; however, prior to the fight we need to understand each other. I was a junior NCO during the Gulf War; coalition forces worked side by side, but we never exchanged each other’s leadership styles. If we had a class like this, it would have been a great benefit to NCOs.”
The class gave NCOs the opportunity to discuss leadership within their units as well as to become familiar with their counterparts in joint services.
“When we met with other noncommissioned officers from completely different jobs in the Marine Corps as well as coalition forces, I noticed comparable similarities with their expectations of noncommissioned officers and their training techniques with our own,” said Cpl. Nicholas Perrorazio, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
The class covered the basics of what is to be expected of NCOs as well as the similarities and differences of the separate forces. Military members were able to learn from each other and bring back key points and learning objectives to their units, such as unique ways to motivate new service members.
“It’s important for our noncommissioned officers to come together as one team,” said Robinson. “It’s better to face the adversities in a garrison environment rather than in the middle of battle. It will always be a unit effort along with our brother services. If these NCOs take away at least one thing from this class, it would be to get to know and understand our brothers-in-arms’ leadership.”
Task Force Belleau Wood’s Marine and coalition NCOs will continue to meet and exchange ideas throughout their deployment in Afghanistan.