Fort Knox Leadership Academy Provides Training and Skills Development to Civilians in Garrison | Item





The leaders of the Fort Knox garrison, commanding Col. Lance O’Bryan, Command Sgt. Major William Fogle and Garrison Deputy Jim Bradford listen to students during a Leadership Academy group presentation on December 9, 2021.
(Photo credit: Jenn DeHaan, Fort Knox News)

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FORT KNOX, Ky. – Sixteen civilian Fort Knox employees have just completed an eight-week course designed to help them become stronger leaders.

Called Fort Knox Garrison Leadership Academy, the course annually provides 32 selected students with the opportunity to acquire valuable skills and increase their chances for future promotions. According to Randy Moore, director of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation, the biannual course was also created to give those who want to become better leaders something more than the simple “science” of leadership.


A group gives their final presentation at Garrison Leadership Academy in Fort Knox on December 9, 2021.



A group gives their final presentation at Garrison Leadership Academy in Fort Knox on December 9, 2021.
(Photo credit: Jenn DeHaan, Fort Knox News)

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“You won’t find that in any regulation, because it’s science,” Moore said. “This is the art of leadership. It’s very stimulating and intuitive.

The academy’s layout was designed for new emerging leaders within the garrison who were looking for the opportunity to improve in the art of leadership, Moore explained. He said the concept was first explored when a person spoke.

“It happened through our strategic planning process when a new emerging young leader said, ‘There are things I don’t know how to do,’ Moore said. “Everything the person was talking about was really about the art of leadership. We realized that we had to find a way to fix this problem.

In two years, a curriculum was developed for the leadership academy. Moore said it started only within the MWR and then spread to other directions within the garrison.

“This is a very diverse group, which is great because we all work together to serve the soldiers and families at Fort Knox,” said Moore. “It’s going really well. “

The head of the Army’s Community Services Division, Melinda Roberts, was also involved in developing the program. She said a lot has been done to make sure those who wanted to participate get the most out of the experience.

“We started to brainstorm with new supervisors and leaders, asking them, ‘What are you missing? ”Said Roberts. “We ended up with pages of ideas. From there, we’ve broken it down into modules.


A student from the Fall Garrison Leadership Academy in Fort Knox addresses leaders, instructors and classmates during the group's final presentations on December 9, 2021.



A student from the Fall Garrison Leadership Academy in Fort Knox addresses leaders, instructors and classmates during the group’s final presentations on December 9, 2021.
(Photo credit: Jenn DeHaan, Fort Knox News)

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The academy’s instructors are made up of high-level directors and division heads from various departments within the garrison. Moore said that over the course of the eight weeks, participants attended four lunch and learns to discuss aspects of leadership and the different module sessions.

“It’s not overwhelming in terms of engagement,” Moore said. “There isn’t a lot of non-class homework because we appreciate that everyone has regular jobs. However, these lunch and learning discussions are really very powerful.

Moore urged those interested in signing up to start planning ahead.

“This is a program based on the spring and fall semesters,” Moore said. “We have another session coming up in the spring, when an email will be sent out asking for nominations.”

Moore said appointments aren’t just for supervisors to recommend people, but anyone.

“You can nominate yourself,” Moore said. “You can nominate a peer, a friend, a colleague or your boss can nominate you. Ultimately, it will then go through the supervisory channels for selection. “

Garrison leaders, including Commandant Col. Lance O’Bryan, Command Sgt. Major William Fogle and Deputy Commander Jim Bradford engaged the students in a question-and-answer session on the final day to hear what the students learned. O’Bryan encouraged graduates to use what they learned from the academy in the future.


Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Lance O'Bryan discusses take-out with attendees of the fall Garrison Leadership Academy on December 9, 2021.



Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Lance O’Bryan discusses take-out with attendees of the fall Garrison Leadership Academy on December 9, 2021.
(Photo credit: Jenn DeHaan, Fort Knox News)

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“This is just one step among many in a leader’s life journey,” said O’Bryan. “My challenge for you is not to forget what you got from this academy. This is another tool in your toolbox.

While the skills participants learn are seen as important, Moore said there was an even more critical take-away point after graduation.

“People are developing relationships here that they didn’t have yesterday,” Moore said. “It’s a network of other people in the same situation that they can contact and have conversations with. “

Moore and Roberts both highlighted the clear results they see from enrolling in the academy.

“There is a ripple effect,” Moore said. “There are people who were in our first class who are now division heads. We have seen the upward mobility of our alumni across all the different organizations.

Roberts said the ripple eventually spreads even further.


The graduating class of the Fort Knox Fall Garrison Leadership Academy poses with the leaders of the Fort Knox Garrison on December 9, 2021.



The graduating class of the Fort Knox Fall Garrison Leadership Academy poses with the leaders of the Fort Knox Garrison on December 9, 2021.
(Photo credit: Jenn DeHaan, Fort Knox News)

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“By doing this, we learn to better serve our soldiers, families and civilians,” said Roberts. “That way we can better support the Army’s mission.

Roberts said his main hope for graduates, once completed, is that they feel better equipped when they return to their jobs.

“I want everyone to walk away with the confidence that they can be an effective leader,” said Roberts, “and that he has the resources in his toolkit and the know-how to reach out to others, because you can’t do it alone, you need a village.


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