SOUTHCOM Sponsors Leadership Workshop in Dominican Republic
By Master Sgt. Clifton McDonald/U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs November 09, 2016The workshop, held at the “27 de febrero” Naval Base, was sponsored by SOUTHCOM and is part of the Caribbean nation’s six-month long NCO development course. SOUTHCOM NCOs facilitated the event, the second NCO Leadership Workshop held for the Dominican Republic Armed Forces. The workshop is part of the Dominican Republic’s professional NCO course and was attended by 48 NCOs from all branches of the Dominican Armed Forces, including 23 Army, 13 Navy, and 12 Air Force members. The main focus of the workshop was to work with partner-nation NCOs to enhance their basic leadership skills. The students represented a diverse educational background. Many hold college degrees, while others had earned a law degree. The goal of the program is to empower the NCOs with the knowledge and confidence necessary to become effective leaders in their respective units. The workshop began with Master Sgt. Zajira Alleyne, of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, facilitating a discussion on identifying different personality types. During the discussion, Master Sgt. Alleyne used the “4-Lenses Assessment” tool by the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. NCOs were challenged to acknowledge their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Most participants agreed with the results of the assessment, recognizing their own personality types. Some students were eager to share this assessment with their home units upon their return. Participants were also challenged with a three-word question: “What is leadership?” The question steered the rest of the discussions throughout the event, serving to generate numerous ideas and discussions about their own roles as leaders. SOUTHCOM’s Army Sgt. 1st Class Rulberto Ojendismiranda and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Southern’s Gunnery Sgt. Juan Morales led a session to introducestudents to a leadership model used by the U.S. Army that aligns leader development to a set of characteristics called attributes and competencies. Attributes such as character, presence, and intellect are competencies to be developed and skills to be learned and enhanced. Dominican Army Lieutenant Colonel Juan Miguel Oviedo Montero believes the leadership workshop helps bridge the gap between NCOs and officers. Although NCOs don’t yet hold any leadership positions, there are plans to incorporate them into positions of leadership at the company, battalion, and brigade levels in the near future. “That’s why it’s imperative to incorporate leadership training to build the confidence and knowledge the Dominican Republic NCOs need to advise officers and lead personnel,” he said. Lt. Col Oviedo said he has seen an improvement in the NCOs who have been through the first Leadership Workshop and he is looking forward to future training workshops with SOUTHCOM.