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Europe Leader Development Cohort Shares Experiences

When welcoming the first cohort to Installation Management Command Europe’s Executive Leader Development Program, Director Tommy Mize said looking five or 10 years down the road at the success of the participants would be an important measure of the program.

While it hasn’t been quite that long, over the course of the program’s first year, participants have traveled to other garrisons to work on individual projects, met with their mentors, collaborated on a group project impacting the region, and participated in region-wide meetings and working groups. The kicked off August meeting with the IMCOM commanding general.

These experiences and more have shaped the program’s first year. As the application window for cohort two opens, the first cohort shared their thoughts on the past year:

Why did you apply for ELDP?

“Although I have extensive DoD audit experience, I am new to the Department of the Army. I applied for ELDP because I wanted to learn more about the mission of the Army, IMCOM, IMCOM-E and garrisons in Europe and how these departments and functions interrelate.” – Maria C. Brown, Internal Review and Audit Compliance, IMCOM-Europe

“I applied to the program to continue my growth and development as an Army leader within IMCOM Europe and to build and develop relationships across the theater. I felt that the ELDP program would provide me with new insight at the enterprise level and assist me in working with military teams and civilian leaders across the region.” – Philip C. Merchant, Safety Office, USAG Bavaria

“I thought the ELDP program looked interesting as an opportunity to gain more leadership skills, learn about the IMCOM-E’s mission, and push myself to be a better person and employee.” – Kathryn M. Dunbar, Agreements, Resource Management Office, USAG Italy

What was your favorite part of the ELDP experience?

“My favorite part of my ELDP experience has been interacting with people outside of my profession and learning what their missions are for the garrison and ultimately the region. I enjoy learning from people who are passionate about their positions, willing and enthusiastic to train on topics outside of my current environment. These interactions have provided me with a greater perspective of garrison operations and how each person and garrison tackle complex challenges in strategically unique methods.” –Taylor I. Wilson, Operations Officer, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz

“Shadowing and interacting with senior leaders of IMCOM-Europe region as well as opportunities to have question and answer sessions with various members of the (Senior Executive Service).” – Robert D. Goodenow, S-3 Operations, USAG Ansbach

What types of individual projects did participants work on?

Participants chose individual projects of interest from across IMCOM-Europe’s garrisons to complete during the program. Projects included looking at garrison growth, tracking of agreements, identifying housing challenges, position coding, postal smart lockers, and best practices for reimbursable services.

What was your group project and what was it like working with your team on this?

For their group project, cohort one created an IMCOM-Europe newcomer’s guide for civilian employees.

“The diversity of thought within the group was a major contributor to the seamless development of the group project. The group was agile to the dynamic updates and issues pertaining to civilian processes and procedures overseas.” – Maria C. Brown, Internal Review and Audit Compliance, IMCOM-Europe

“I could not have asked for a better team. Everyone is highly motivated and passionate about their portion, and this has shown through in their dedication with this project. I truly enjoy that this team has even encouraged and supported me with advancing my computer skills with implementing SharePoint sites for an electronic version of the book and for past and present cohorts.” – Taylor I. Wilson, Operations Officer, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz

“The team we have built as the initial cohort has been great with a variety of experiences and skills brought from the many different backgrounds. We have been able to come together as a team and accomplish our established goals with a high rate of success.” – Robert D. Goodenow, S-3 Operations, USAG Ansbach

How do you feel ELDP has prepared you for future positions?

“It has broadened my perspective, exposed me to a variety of leadership styles and given me some insight into the Army at echelon, but most of all it has given me the courage to reach higher.” – Federica S. LeMauk, Army Community Service, USAG Wiesbaden

“I do. It has developed my ability to work multiple projects over time and provided the mental flexibility to learn to prioritize, forced me to learn how to delegate, and understand the strategic level of IMCOM Europe. It has also provided me mentorship across the region, both in the operational garrison and with region staff. It has also provided me the confidence to see myself as a garrison leader and not just a ‘Safety Guy’, whose experiences in multiple garrisons across multiple theaters, both OCONUS and CONUS, has value and be able to communicate that!” – Philip C. Merchant, Safety Office, USAG Bavaria

“Since being in the ELDP program, I have learned to see things more from a bigger perspective and how everything fits together. This has helped me to understand what possibilities are out there for future positions and what I think I would like to do. – Amy R. Cates, Community Ready and Resiliency Integrator, USAG Italy

What would you say to someone thinking about applying for the ELDP in 2023?

“It is definitely worth competing for this amazing opportunity to interact with and learn from the most experienced individuals in the garrison and at IMCOM-E, to learn about yourself in the process and to develop your leadership skills.” – Federica S. LeMauk, Army Community Service, USAG Wiesbaden

“Go for it. The opportunities are there to accelerate your career. Talk to one of us, the initial cohort, talk to your leadership, have a plan, and use the ELDP to execute that plan.” – Robert D. Goodenow, S-3 Operations, USAG Ansbach

“It will allow any applicant to step outside the boundaries of their current daily job activities and will get a better understanding of the contribution of their job to the overall IMCOM-E, IMCOM, (Army Materiel Command) and Department of the Army’s mission.” –Maria C. Brown, Internal Review and Audit Compliance, IMCOM-Europe

“If you are hesitant to apply, just apply. You never know what the outcome will be if you do not open yourself up to the opportunity. It is an amazing program, and I am grateful for all of the opportunities to further define my interest, skills and capabilities.” – Taylor I. Wilson, Operations Officer, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz

“They should do it! It is an event! It provides learning experiences and personal development and growth. It helps broaden your perspective and gives you the opportunity to work with others who are passionate about their leader development and passionate about improving the IMCOM enterprise!” – Philip C. Merchant, Safety Office, USAG Bavaria

“I would encourage them to apply! If you want a challenge, this it the right program and opportunity to make you a better person, employee and leader.” – Kathryn M. Dunbar, Agreements, Resource Management Office, USAG Italy

“Do it! You will learn about leadership, IMCOM, and meet great people. But most of all, you will learn about yourself, and it will broaden your perspective.”

Source : Army

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