Building and sustaining relationships through regional immersion

LDP- P 19-03 students arrive at the U.S. Embassy Singapore to attend a briefing by the U.S. Embassy Singapore Attaché Sept. 3 in Singapore. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kayla Hocker)
LDP- P 19-03 students arrive at the U.S. Embassy Singapore to attend a briefing by the U.S. Embassy Singapore Attaché Sept. 3 in Singapore. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kayla Hocker)

Building and sustaining relationships through regional immersion

by Sgt. Kayla Hocker
20th Public Affairs Detachment

SINGAPORE -- The U.S. Army Pacific Regional Leader Development Program – Pacific 19-03 began its two weeks of Regional Immersion Sept. 2 in Singapore. Eligible mid-level commissioned and non-commissioned officers were given the opportunity to receive in-depth knowledge on the regional complexities within the Indo-Pacific Theater.

The importance of RLDP is to grant mid-level commissioned and non-commissioned officers a chance to hone in on leadership development at a regional scale that is essential to the future of the Army.

“The intent is to help them learn how to think strategically and operationally,” said K.K. Chin, RLDP senior mentor. “ Our strength as an Army is in our individual Soldiers and leaders, it’s important, at a younger age, that they learn how their actions have strategic and operational impact.”

Instilling the importance of their impact started with Command and General Staff College classes in Leavenworth, Kansas. After their two week class, the leaders were sent to Singapore to visit key organizations such as the NEWater Centre, accredited institutions such as the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, engage with key leaders at business associations such as the American Chamber of Commerce, and many more essential pieces to Singapore’s infrastructure as a country.

“The first two weeks was quite demanding for them,” said Peter Curry, senior mentor, G3 training deputy, U.S. Army Pacific. “That was on purpose, bringing in the academics of the CGSC institute to make sure that they all had a good grounding in understanding the Pacific area of responsibility before we continued on.”

The program is currently the only one of its kind and RLDP senior mentors are partnering to create more in the future.

“We are unique because we’re the only regional leader development program,” said Curry. “Europe has something similar but not as structured as ours. Even the Naval component in the Pacific is standing up their version called “All Hands,” similar to our program and we’re working in partnership with that.”

This RLDP class consisted of military members from all over the world. Officers from the Singaporean and Australian Army attended seminars and briefs with non-commissioned officers from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade as well as the 25th Cavalry Regiment. Marines from Marine Forces Pacific and III Marine Expeditionary Force learned alongside Soldiers from 1st Psychological Operations Group, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and 431st Contracting Support Brigade, just to name a few.

During their time in Singapore, the students built rapport and established relationships through panel and small group discussion at the U.S. Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a huge area of responsibility, there’s a lot going on here and its something that I don’t think one country is going to be able to do on their own,” said Cpt. Jeff Mock, 10th Support Group, Okinawa, Japan. “It’s all about building relationships in the area of responsibility.”

RLDP-P students were invited to briefs at the Singapore police headquarters and the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre where they were able to ask questions about operations strategies and security measures.

“I believe that RLDP provides a great opportunity for junior leaders, such as myself, just to be exposed to the greater conflicts of Indo-Pacom,” said Cpt. Tela O’Rourke, 16th Cavalry Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. “Being a captain, I’m used to tactical, maybe even operational level, but this provides a strategic level of understanding.”

At the end of the first regional immersion week, leaders were separated into two groups. One group will head to Bangkok, Thailand, and the other group will continue on to Tokyo, Japan. Students will continue to build relationships and continue to develop themselves and their units from the engagements provided by the program.

“This experience has prepared me to just have a better understanding overall of what the U.S. impact is in Indo-Pacom, what we bring to the table, and what our partner nations bring to the table.” said O’Rourke.

“The Regional Leader Development Program provides that indoctrination, education and training for our junior leaders to understand the unique environment that exists in the Pacific,” said Curry.

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content

Around the Web