From April 24 – 29, the officers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District gathered with other military leaders throughout the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for Leader Professional Development, or LPD. The week-long event included many educational experiences and was a great example of the U.S. Army’s policy to continuously develop their leaders. This valuable opportunity was dedicated to building relationships and sharing operational knowledge across USACE.
“Part of the purpose of this LPD was … a chance for [the USACE officers] to get [connected with] the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment and see what direction the force is going,” said Maj. Stanley Kareta, chief of staff for the Kansas City District. “We get an update on some of the current threats and some of the lessons learned … and we get to highlight some of [our] projects like the Fort Leonard Wood Hospital Replacement Project.”
The purpose of leader development programs like LPD is to enhance critical and creative thinking in leaders, as well as share ideas and build camaraderie across the organization.
“By learning how other members of the organization solve complex problems, officers will be able to apply those lessons learned in similar circumstances,” said Maj. Steven Lanni, deputy area engineer for the Missouri Area Office at Fort Leonard Wood. “The ability to learn lessons enables the organization to … become better as time advances.”
The Kansas City District invests in officer professional development four times a year. Although these events look different each time, they all center around the same goal – to create a foundation of knowledge for officers to use going forward.
In addition to a foundation of knowledge, LPD is also an opportunity for officers to build partnerships and have valuable conversations with each other.
“Being here now, we get to rekindle some of the relationships with people that we have seen in the past,” said Kareta.
Meeting at Fort Leonard Wood with other officers from the Northwestern Division enabled the Kansas City District officers to understand the complex problem sets other officers from the division encounter in their jobs. Additionally, all attendees were able to build relationships with their peers and superiors, which will ensure better communication across the enterprise.
“The relationship building that occurs during these events will continue to benefit both the officer and the organization for years to come,” said Lanni.
This LPD consisted of several different events focused on the strategic problem sets that face USACE leadership. These events included briefings on current events across the globe, a site visit of the Fort Leonard Wood Hospital Replacement Project to learn about building relationships with industry partners, as well as discussions on the future of engineering in the U.S. Army.
“This kind of training is invaluable,” said Lt. Col. John Chambers, the deputy district commander for the Kansas City District. “It allows us to get the most up-to-date information and apply our institutional and operational experiences to better understand how warfare may or may not be changing.”
The officers came away from the LPD better prepared to carry on military traditions, understand the future of the Engineer Regiment and appreciate the value USACE brings to the U.S. Army.