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News | Sept. 16, 2022

Jordan, U.S. host Senior Enlisted Seminar during Eager Lion 22

By Capt. Olivia Cobiskey-Haftmann U.S. Army Central

AMMAN, Jordan - The U.S. and Jordanian Armed Forces conducted a senior enlisted seminar as part of Exercise Eager Lion, Sept. 13, 2022, in Amman, Jordan. Senior enlisted leaders from more than 10 U.S. Central Command partner nations participated in discussions on drone protection, small unit leadership, and noncommissioned officer (NCO) development.

The primary goal of the SES was to allow senior enlisted leaders the chance, not only to learn more about their partner nation colleagues, but give them an opportunity to exchange ‘best practices’ and experiences each might leverage in their future NCO development.

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Max Pumfrey, an exercise planner for U.S. Army Central, said having the opportunity to speak with other senior enlisted leaders helps develop not only U.S. NCOs but ensures that across a global front NCOs are unified and have a common language.

“So as leaders are implementing new techniques, new doctrine, across multiple domains, we are building off those instead of being restricted to our own internal thoughts,” Pumfrey said. “The only way to continuously build for the future is to learn from others and I think that is what we are getting after at the senior NCO level.”

“There’s room for a lot of growth and opportunity to invite and develop new partnerships through these engagements as well,” Pumfrey added.

One of the guest speakers, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Tanya Meney, a senior enlisted leader at U.S. Central Command, agreed relationships matter.

During her discussion which focused on NCO development, Meney said it’s beneficial for senior NCOs to showcase how important their advice and counsel is to their leadership while pursuing shared organizational goals within their organizations.

“That is why they call us the backbone of our elements,” Meney told the participants.

Meney also pointed to the importance of garnering their officers’ buy-in.

“We are their (officers) most trusted advisor,” she continued. “If you don’t have the buy-in from your leadership, if they don’t understand the value of the NCO corps, it will be difficult to get the training you need to build strong NCOs.”

It was a common theme heard throughout the event, the need for noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to work closely with their officers.

Command Sgt. Maj. Salem B. Mostafa, 2nd Sgt. Maj. of the Jordanian Armed Forces, agreed, pointing to the conflict in the Ukraine and how it highlighted the value of investing in one’s noncommissioned officer corps.

“This kind of war can’t be fought by a division. It has to be fought in small units, shoulder to shoulder,” said Mostafa, who was sworn in as the second sergeant major of the JAF on April 13, 2017. “This is why we need to develop our NCOs.”

Mostafa said the JAF has gained valuable experience from its coalition partnerships. This experience has led to the development of a four phase NCO academy to help develop its noncommissioned officers: basic, intermediate, advanced, and finally the sergeants major phase.

“This will help create a common language for NCOs,” said Mostafa. “And a common language will help them succeed on the battlefield.”

Meney agreed, adding that NCO’s not only help build cohesive and effective teams, but have the unique ability to connect with the enlisted service members at every level. Senior NCOs can then bring any concerns or feedback back to their officers, who may otherwise be occupied.

“You are your officers’ eyes and ears,” she added.