REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL –
“If not you who? If not now when?” Thirty employees from across Redstone Arsenal gathered in Toftoy Hall auditorium to kick off the 2019 Intermediate Leader Investment for Tomorrow program, Oct. 17.
The LIFT program, which is hosted by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command’s G1 Training and Career Management Division, began in 2005. Since that time, successive AMCOM commanders and deputy commanders, along with a host of other senior leaders across Redstone Arsenal, have supported and grown the program to meet the needs of Army civilian leader readiness.
This year is no different. With the full support of AMCOM commander, Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Gabram, and Deputy to the Commander, William P. Marriott, the class is off and running. Marriott provided his expectations and wisdom to this year’s iLIFT class.
Marriott opened the event by saluting the class, congratulating each participant for making a conscious decision to add more work to his/her already busy schedules to improve and develop themselves as leaders. He emphasized the benefits of taking advantage of career-broadening opportunities like the LIFT program, as developmental programs for civilians are rare. He also took questions from the class, discussed a variety of topics from how long to stay in a job, time management, schedules, resiliency, personal discipline, mentoring and other topics. Marriott also singled out the instructional staff who, as a group, support LIFT with their extensive leadership experience and knowledge.
“The best leaders know their value lies not only in managing teams and running organizations, but in motivating others, setting purposeful goals, executing strategic visions and creating cultures of excellence,” said Tanya Allbritten, the Chief to Training and Career Management Division. “LIFT is a deeply collaborative learning program, designed to do just that.”
Steve Fisher, AMCOM G1 trainer and Advanced LIFT instructor, was a student in the 2005 LIFT class, giving him a unique view of the program.
“The one-day-per-month format with a combination of guest speakers, arsenal-capability tours and networking with personnel from other agencies on Redstone Arsenal made this one of the best leadership training programs that I have completed,” Fisher said. “Now, I get a chance to give something back to a program that helped me.”
Melissa Kilgore, who has instructed various components of LIFT for close to 10 years, commented on the dynamic that brings students to the LIFT Program.
"It's a chicken-and-egg discussion: Does LIFT create leaders or do leaders apply for LIFT? I think it's a little of both. LIFT provides leaders the opportunity to hone their skills, but those who already have a leadership-focused mindset continually look for life-long opportunities to develop."
One of many significant changes to this year’s LIFT program is the inclusion of the Army’s Emerging Enterprise Leadership, or EEL program for GS 11 and 12s, the iLIFT component of the program. EEL is intended to provide and standardize, individual command-level leadership programs across the Army.
“Embedding the Army’s EEL program was an ideal fit for the iLIFT course.” said Tom Olszowy, the LIFT program manager. “The requirements and standards for EEL were nearly identical to the existing iLIFT course and by including it, we know our approach and standards for civilian leadership development are the same expected by the Army.
“We are glad to see the rest of the Army is finally catching up to what AMCOM and Team Redstone started in 2005,” Olszowy joked.
Throughout the year-long program, the LIFT classes will focus on three general learning outcomes: Create a passion for the Army profession, develop as professional Army civilians and create partnerships across Redstone Arsenal. This year’s iLIFT class is a diverse group with representation from 13 organizations and agencies from across Redstone Arsenal.
“Knowing who has what expertise and having good communication with those individuals is part of what leaders do to accomplish missions more effectively and make organizations better.” Olszowy said. “The LIFT curriculum is designed to force employees out of their comfort zones, to communicate with people they have never met, brief senior leaders they have never spoken to and gain an awareness of the missions and capabilities around them.”
LIFT provides Army civilians with many opportunities to excel and receive detailed feedback to make themselves better. This is how LIFT contributes to improving future-leader engagement across the Army, by changing the culture for the better, one aspiring leader at a time, Olszowy explained.
All federal civilians assigned to Redstone Arsenal who are interested in enrolling in future LIFT and iLIFT classes may contact Thomas Olszowy, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. The Advanced LIFT application window for GS14-15 employees is open until Dec. 31 and is open to all federal employees working on or within 50 miles of Redstone Arsenal.
2019 iLIFT Class
Steven Aguado, U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity
Jamelia Anderson, Army Contracting Command-Redstone
Thomas Arnold, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command G2
Jason Braxton, U.S. Army Garrison, Redstone Arsenal
Ron Brooks, Army Contracting Command-Redstone
Curtis Campbell, AMCOM Logistics Center
Corey Campsey, U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity
Benita Cross, AMCOM Logistics Center Lauren Davis, AMCOM-ALC
Robert Farmer, AMCOM Logistics Center
Justin Floyd, Army Contracting Command-Redstone
Christopher Gaddes, Missile and Space Intelligence Center
Cassandra Gideon, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA
Leslie Hasenbein, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command G4
Darren Hester, U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity
Cristina Hinkle, Missile and Space Intelligence Center
Thomas Johansen, AMCOM Logistics Center
Whitely Mann, Redstone Test Center
Verge Matthews, AMCOM Logistics Center
Mark McGuigan, U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center
Preon Moore, Army Contracting Command-Redstone
Sandra Morris, AMCOM Logistics Center
Christina Musgrove, U.S. Army Garrison, Redstone Arsenal
Steven Palmer, Army Contracting Command-Redstone
Gaylon Partain, U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity
Tina Pizitz, AMCOM Security Assistance Management Directorate
Roslyn Riley, Army Contracting Command
Kiera Spann, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA
Jason Watson, U.S. Army Garrison, Redstone Arsenal
Erik Wetterhall, Defense Logistics Agency