Army National Guard holds annual senior leader training

Commanders, senior enlisted advisers and senior staff all gathered at Camp Chamberlain on Dec. 4 for the Maine Army National Guard’s annual senior leadership training. Approximately 90 leaders attended the event, with additional personnel joining via Microsoft Teams.

The theme for the event was “Command Climate,” following last year’s theme of “Coaching and Mentoring.”

“There is no other training event on our calendar that brings this collection of leadership together,” said Brig. Gen. Dean Preston, Maine’s land component commander, in his opening remarks. “To me, that validates the importance of today’s training. I want these leaders to discuss strategies that can improve our organizational climate; to address specific concerns, issues and ideas about the health of the organization.”

Dr. Monika Bissell, president of Maine College of Health Professions, was the guest keynote speaker and gave a presentation on leadership styles and how organizations respond to them. Bissell discussed setting conditions for an organizational culture, how trust is built or eroded, and how to identify best practices for maintaining a healthy positive climate within an organization.


“Leaders are duty-bound to create environments in which people’s needs are met and they can achieve self-actualization,” Bissell said during her remarks. “This is the essence of culture.”

Following Bissell’s presentation, leaders conducted various breakout sessions, both by rank and by command grouping.

“When you get all this experience together and get them all talking about a specific topic, you are going to hear some incredibly useful anecdotal accounts about applied leadership,” Preston continued. “And more importantly, the anticipated as well as unanticipated results of that applied leadership. Our job is to listen.”


Equal opportunity leaders course graduates 19

The Maine Army National Guard’s 240th Regional Training Institute held a 60-hour equal opportunity training course in late November to train new equal opportunity leaders (EOL), as well as provide refresher training for veteran EOLs.


The EOL course teaches how to recognize issues of discrimination and/or harassment, and how to train and educate fellow soldiers on these issues. It also covers the role of an EOL in supporting commanders and fellow soldiers, as well as responding to complaints of inappropriate behavior.

The goal of equal opportunity (EO) programs is to ensure all military members are afforded an opportunity to succeed in an environment free from discrimination on a basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity) sexual orientation, and free from sexual harassment.

Nineteen soldiers from various units across Maine attended the training. Maj. Ana Silva, a Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute certified instructor from the Massachusetts Army National Guard, taught the course. A few soldiers will go on to the equal opportunity adviser course (EOA), the next level of training.

“Our people are our most valuable resource and that’s what the EO program is about at its core – people,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine’s adjutant general. “Mutual respect for everyone in uniform is the foundation of this program, and we know that success in the EO arena pays dividends in teamwork and mission accomplishment. Our sincere thanks to these soldiers for taking on this additional responsibility to continue to improve their units.”

The 240th is one of many Army National Guard-owned training institutes across the country. Among varying course offerings, the 240th is known for its instructor courses, as well as its carpentry/masonry course, qualifying soldiers for the 12W, or “twelve whiskey” military occupational specialty.

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