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I had been an infantryman until earlier that year, when an injury and medical reclassification placed me in this new career. It was a drastic change. The officer and the rest of the support team were there on temporary duty. Armed with this and a vague understanding of what was expected of me, I prepared to depart.
I was apprehensive to say the least, and it was not about the location. The apprehension stemmed from being in a new career and, in truth, possibly failing. As I was out-processing, my battalion command sergeant major requested that I come in for a talk.
Afterward, I asked him for some additional time and relayed to him my apprehension and concern. What he shared with me that afternoon was advice that I have since given to many Soldiers: Learn the job and keep learning.
You never know what you might need to get the mission accomplished. Because it establishes a foundation of learning for the NCO Corps, it also tells the Army that the NCO Corps understands that adapting and learning in the operating environment are critical for success.
It further stresses that failure to do either can result in mission failure, and for the NCO Corps, failure is not an option. In the complex operating environment that the NCOs of today find themselves in, there seems to be one constant: This constant change is challenging for NCOs.
However, it is a challenge that the NCO Corps has risen to meet for more than years. How is this accomplished? The NCO Corps is made of professionals and perpetual, or continuous, learners.
Included throughout these training domains is leader development and education. The ATLD model shown below portrays these three domains. Though they are separate and distinct, they overlap and join to ensure that the Army has NCOs who are prepared to train the Army and ready their units for unified land operations.
The institutional domain, also referred to as the generating force, is where the NCO Corps receives functional and professional military education. The operating domain encompasses home-station leader development, training and education activities that NCOs require to prepare themselves, their Soldiers and their units for employment.
In this domain, NCOs are compelled to recognize certain facts. One of these facts is that structured training activities in formal schools and operational units do not meet every mission requirement or individual need.
These deficiencies are referred to as training gaps. The continuous learner recognizes these training gaps and that to solve this challenge, the NCO must search for solutions to bridge those gaps.
In the search for a training solution, NCOs bridge the gap and further their professional and personal growth.
This growth benefits both the NCO and their unit— not only in their current assignment but also for their future assignments. The continuous learning required to remain tactically and technically proficient is not new. But has been made more challenging because of the complex operating environment that the Army and the NCO Corps has found themselves in during the past 20 years.
This environment encourages and demands of its leaders continuous learning as a fact of life and a matter of survival. However, in this immense effort, the NCO should remember that civilian education can also be a combat multiplier. Civilian education and training can be used to complement and expand leader skills.For the first time, scientists have identified which emotion a person is experiencing based on brain activity.
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