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    Operation Potomac Gives NC Guardsmen a View into Their Government

    Operation Potomac Gives NC Guardsmen a View into Their Government

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Mary Junell | North Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen participating in Operation Potomac...... read more read more

    WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES

    08.22.2017

    Story by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell 

    North Carolina National Guard

    The Military, including the North Carolina National Guard (NCNG), is one of many smaller pieces that make up the government of the United States of America.

    Recently, a group of 17 NCNG Soldiers and Airmen had the chance to see just how their piece fits into the puzzle thanks to a professional development program called Operation Potomac.

    The program allows young leaders to travel to D.C. and see how the Guard integrates national policy and strategy into the organization, and how the NCNG partners with the Army and Air National Guard, the National Guard Bureau and NC Congressional Delegation.

    “The program started to provide an opportunity for mid-career officers and warrant officers to gain insight into the strategic level budget and policy implementation,” said Army Maj. Bob May, a Government Affairs Officer for the NCNG and one of the program’s organizers. “Our federal government operates in a complex environment that is difficult for many leaders to understand and navigate. The best way to understand the situation is the experience these complexities in person.”

    Often, Soldiers and Airmen follow orders never understanding the reasoning behind those orders. This program not only helps leaders understand the ‘why,’ it also helps the NCNG as a whole grow when those leaders go on to share the knowledge they gained on the trip.

    “One criteria for the program is for the individuals selected to have some longevity in the organization so the impacts can be multiplied and replicated,” said May. “These are future senior leaders of the organization and the true benefit of the program may not be fully realized until knowledge meets an opportunity.”

    Adjutant General for North Carolina, Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, gives participants that opportunity to share their knowledge by periodically accesses participants as a sounding board for organizational issues.

    This year’s trip was the first to include non-commissioned officers (NCO).

    "I am truly honored to be the first NCO to attend Operation Potomac and hope that my attendance paves the way for future NCOs,” said Sgt. Major Harold Watts, operations sergeant major with the 1st-252nd Armor Regiment. “I feel that this year’s program is a great example of how senior NCOs can provide value and perspective during officer professional development training programs."

    Air Force 2nd Lt. Kelnisha Murphy, one of the Operation Potomac participants is looking forward to using what she learned in the future.

    “The program helped me recognize who to contact or collaborate with to ensure the right decisions are made to support our mission and our people,” said Murphy, the force support officer for the 145th Air Wing. “Hands down the best grass-roots training held for mid-level career officers.”

    This year’s participants include Maj. Bob May, Lt. Col. Troy Holowiti, Capt. John Dupre, Maj. Jeremy Shellhammer, Maj. Roland Lambe, Sgt. Maj. Harold Watts Capt. Sean Daily,Capt. Patrick Mohan, Capt. Vincent Nicholson, Capt. Christopher Blair, Maj. Kent Caldwell, Capt. Joel Lequire, Maj. David Thorneloe, Capt. Raffaela Gibbard, Capt. George Flythe, Air Force 2nd Lt. Kelnisha Murphy, Air Force Capt. Brooks Peel, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joe Longoria.

    Soldiers and Airmen interested in participating in future events should contact their unit leadership.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.22.2017
    Date Posted: 08.23.2017 09:10
    Story ID: 245574
    Location: WASHINGTON, DC, US 

    Web Views: 265
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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