News: Afghan National Security Force holds inaugural “Recruiting and Re-Contracting Master Training Course”
Story by Vladimir Potapenko
KABUL, Afghanistan - Members of the Afghan National Security Force Army and Police joined coalition forces for the first day of the inaugural “Recruiting and Re-Contracting Master Training Course” held at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul, Afghanistan Jan. 29.
Designed to develop the ANSF’s recruiting and troop retention capabilities, the course is a nine day evolution led by master instructors brought to Afghanistan from Fort Jackson, S.C. to train soldiers on how to better engage ANSF’s personnel demands.
“When you are establishing a military, the first thing you need to do is find people to fill it,” said Gen. Sher Mohammed Karimi, the Afghan National Army general chief of staff.
Once the troops have been recruited and they have gained experience, it is important to keep them in the military, continued Karimi.
It is this two-pronged approach to military building that the team of U.S. Army instructors is trying to assist.
“Our mission is comprised of three parts,” said Sgt. Major Rich Jones, the senior-enlisted instructor for the recruiting and re-contracting course team.
The first mission is to train Afghan troops on how to properly recruit, the second mission is to show the troops how to become teachers of proper recruiting and re-contracting practices, and the third is to evaluate those service members as they try and implement the skills learned during the course, said Jones.
Maj. Chris Moore, the instructor team chief, believes that it is through these three steps that he and his team can turn course participants into master instructors able to fill the recruiting and retention needs of the quickly evolving ANSF.
Moore says that this kind of progress is attainable due to the focus points of the course: aiming recruiting towards pre-qualified personnel, building a recruiting and retention plan, building rapport with community leaders and striving for a community commitment to developing the military.
After troops leave the course, they will be able to go back to their divisions and teach others how to be recruiters and create a chain that allows the ANSF to build its force by bringing in properly qualified troops who can also be taught how to bring in more troops, said Moore.
Since it is not only important to bring in recruits, the course highlights the positive impact that retaining current service-members has on the professionalization of the military.
It is more beneficial for the ANSF to re-contract a solder, policeman or non-commissioned officer who has already been trained and is well experienced in the ways of the ANSF, said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Jeff Ingram, the ANSF recruiting and re-contracting sergeant major. By re-contracting troops with experience, the ANSF ensures that a quality force will always be maintained.
Though a great benefit to the Afghan military, the course is also another step towards the eventual drawdown of Coalition forces in the country, believes Moore.
“The quicker we can help them build their military, the quicker we can go home,” he said.
“Don’t forget that in 2014 responsibility shifts solely to our shoulders. So, let’s be practical and take the help we receive from partnering nations and put it into use. Recruiting and retention is a big part of that,” said Karimi.
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