Leading the way across the waves

Written by  //  August 23, 2012  //  Feature Stories, News

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By Sgt. Christopher Vann

ST JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (August 23, 2012) –Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s 211th Regional Training Institute shared their knowledge and expertise with members of the Antigua Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) during a Leadership seminar, August 13-17, 2012, at St. John’s, Antigua.

Members of the Antigua Barbuda Defence Force and the Antigua Police Force pose for a class photo during a leadership seminar, August 14, 2012, at St. John's, Antigua. The Florida National Guard sent Soldiers from the 211th Regional Training Institute to share their knowledge and experience as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program. Photo by Sgt. Christopher Vann

The seminar was part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program and is intended to help the process of further developing junior non-commissioned officers within the ABDF and the Antigua Police Force. This is the first year the seminar was held in Antigua to give the ABDF more in-depth leadership training, with emphasis on proper communication.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Moak, an instructor with the Florida Army National Guard’s 211th Regional Training Institute (RTI), said, “After speaking to the members of the Defence Force and the police force, I feel like they have gained a lot based on the feedback of the leadership information that we have given them.”

The Guardsmen used their experience to improve the participants’ ability to strategize and plan for managing day-to-day struggles, conflicts and even crises. It was also an opportunity for a group to become a cohesive team and create a culture where participants begin to view each other as leadership resources and a “network” that can continue to share new ideas after this seminar.

“The intention is that, where we have a solid base through this seminar, we can go even further when we go into more formalized training,” said Capt. Bertla Benjamin, ABDF liaison.

Members of the Antigua Barbuda Defence Force and the Antigua Police Force demonstrate how to build a make-shift litter to carry a casualty during a leadership seminar, August 14, 2012, at St. John's, Antigua. Photo by Sgt. Christopher Vann

The seminar’s goal was to produce experienced leaders who are able to thrive under pressure, succeed in the face of adversity and know when to shift tactics as well as being able to help subordinates and peers cope with personal and professional stressors.

Sgt. 1st Class David Grimes, also an instructor with the Florida Army National Guard’s 211th RTI, said, “I expect for them to broaden what they have right now, and build on the base they already have.”

“As a Lance Corporal, I don’t believe I got enough knowledge in the six-week course as I need to be an NCO,” said Lance Cpl. I. J. Thomas. “Within the first two days, I learned more, because it was more focused on leadership and how to deal with subordinates and those of a lower rank than me.”

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