Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 33

BUILDING PARTNERSHIP CAPACITY classes were assigned to specific instructors with the requirement that each instructor resource the teaching material for his specific class. Identifying a facility. In the summer of 2012, the JAF identified classroom space at the existing Noncommissioned Officer Corps Academy for use by the new NCO course. (The academy had been established to teach technical skills as opposed to NCO leadership.) Officials from the country team escorted by the nine-man cadre visited the proposed site, and the group assessed requirements jointly. The facility allocated two large classrooms and one office space to the new instructor cadre. Concurrently, the team also determined that the field training facilities located at the school would suffice for field training exercises. Their use would be coordinated through Jordanian internal channels. Training the commissioned officers to empower NCOs. At this point, support and encouragement from U.S. Army senior leadership became crucial in gaining the confidence of Jordanian senior leadership and commitment to the new concept of employing NCOs trained as true first-line leaders. Army-to-army staff talks, held annually, provided a venue for U.S. leaders to encourage the effort. In addition, the U.S. Army agreed to send a mobile training team to act as advisors for the duration of the first course.2 The intent was to have U.S. subject matter experts available in a supporting role to answer questions, and lend credibility to the course material and the Jordanian instructors. The greatest test the NCO leadership initiative faced was obtaining the acceptance and utilization of the course’s graduates by the Jordanian officer corps. There is little history of empowered NCOs in Jordan. (This problem was also faced in Afghanistan and Iraq as U.S. forces attempted to build up local security forces.)3 There was stubborn resistance among some, if not most, of the Jordanian senior officer leadership to empowering NCOs with responsibility and authority. Several Jordanian officers reported privately that they wondered how they would retain control of their NCOs. They were reluctant about broadening the authority and initiative of NCOs because they felt they would lose authority or control over their units and their resources. Many commissioned MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 officers were loathe to do what they felt would lead to losing control and prerogatives. This feature of Jordanian military culture was and is the most difficult hurdle in the face of efforts to develop an empowered NCO corps in Jordan. If the officer corps could not overcome a leadership culture