Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 34

Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Amanda Smith, U.S. Army change in command philosophy. Therefore, change would need to be enforced through Jordanian directives and encouraged through active examples. The United States role would be to foster Jordaniangenerated initiatives aimed at empowering NCOs; and, to provide concrete support to Jordanian leaders pursuing such initiatives. Focused efforts. Efforts to train NCOs and officers would need to be conducted jointly and focused on one unit at time. This would help maximize the effects and minimize the stress. NCOs as trainers. Qualified Jordanian NCOs would need to be assigned to JAF military schools, with a focus on the officer academy. This would accustom officers at the very outset of their careers to the presence and capabilities of NCO leaders. Fortunately, the willing and visionary partner al Zaben took the lead in promoting such changes from the top down. Taking the initiative, al Zaben led by example, as he assigned the first Jordanian sergeant major of the army to act as the army’s senior enlisted member—Mohammad Ismail Mohammad al Samadi.4 Second, al Zaben issued directives to subordinates outlining his vision for the future JAF NCO corps. Finally, he initiated a campaign for empowering NCOs through training, lectures, and command example. Implementation by the Jordanian Armed Forces In execution of these initiatives, one assumption was that success would be its own best marketer. Therefore, a key decision was made by JAF officials and U.S. advisors to focus on first achieving and demonstrating success with a small group before attempting to expand the concept of empowered NCOs to the entire JAF. Consequently, al Zaben and the U.S. senior defense official in Jordan agreed that only one Jordanian unit at a time would be selected to send its NCOs to the new NCO course for training, followed by closely monitored employment that emphasized officers empowering these newly trained NCOs within their assigned units. The thought process behind this decision was to move forward slowly, cautiously, and thoroughly to maximize the effects of the new concept in the JAF. Such focus was necessary because, had the new course been offered to the Jordanian army as a whole, the effects likely would have been diluted. Having a few trained NCOs in a unit that had not made a cultural shift in officer attitudes regarding employment of NCOs would have had little effect on the unit as a whole; no real change would have taken place. In fact, such a situation probably would have been detrimental to efforts aimed at promoting NCO empowerment. However, by focusing efforts on one unit and training most of its NCOs and officers together, the pace of change could be closely observed, managed, measured for results, adjusted, and then publicized as an example for other units to emulate. Subsequently, the plan called for 30 NCOs from one brigade to attend the newly formed course. Simultaneously, the officers in the brigade would receive the directives and guidance from al-Zaben as to his intent for the future of the NCO corps. Furthermore, classes and lectures were organized by Jordanian NCO Basic Course cadets improve map reading skills, March 2013. senior Jordanian and U.S. officers, 32 September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW