Reservists Participate in International Leadership Seminar – 435th SFS
07/27/15 – RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Forty-six reservists from seven countries gathered at Ramstein for the International Junior Officer Leadership Development Seminar in July.
Reserve officers ranging in rank from lieutenant to major from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland participated in IJOLDS to further develop their leadership skills and promote international military understanding and friendship.
“If you want to be an effective military leader in the future, you need to be interested in more than just the military,” Air Force Reserve Maj. Gen. Mark Loeben, director of exercises and assessments for U.S. European Command, told the group.
“You need to understand governments, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations,” he said. “The best benefit of this course will be the connections you make with each other.”
The first IJOLDS took place in 1994 in Oberammergau, Germany. Participating members of the International Air Reserve Symposium take turns hosting the seminar. This year Air Force Reserve Command served as the host nation.
The seminar kicked off with a tour of the Battle of the Bulge. It ncluded stops at the Luxembourg American Cemetery; foxholes of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment; the Mardasson monument; and the Bastogne Barracks, which served as the command post for Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe during the siege of Bastogne.
“When you walk through the cemetery and see all of the graves, you see how valuable peace is,” said Capt. Andreas Feld, a reserve officer in the German air force. “America doesn’t just talk about freedom. Sometimes war is necessary.”
The classroom portion of IJOLDS featured sessions on ethical leadership, applying the “Four Lenses” in leadership, diversity and inclusion, a wing commander’s perspective on leadership, and strategic communication. On the afternoon of July 22, instructors from the Ramstein’s 435th Security Forces Squadron provided field training for all of the participants on how to properly defend an entry control point.
When asked, many of the IJOLDS participants felt that they gained the most from working with each other.
“For me, being a younger officer, I learned the most from interaction with the other students,” said 2nd Lt. Ashley Klase of the Ohio Air National Guard. “I was a team leader during the entry control point exercise, and when the exercise was over, two classmates from Germany and one from the Netherlands provided me positive feedback.
“As a Guard officer, I learned a lot about the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the reserve forces from other countries. We’re all actually very similar,” she added.
One of Klase’s classmates agreed.
“We clearly have the basics of leadership, but the thing you can’t get in the States is the interaction with reservists from other countries,” said Capt. Chris Barnes, an Air Force reservist in the 310th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. “The real value is seeing that our counterparts in other nations deal with similar issues, like balancing reserve duty with work and family, and doing more with less.”
Members of the Air Force Reserve who are interested in attending IJOLDS apply through the Reserve School Selection Board. Interested members of the Air National Guard should contact the National Guard Bureau at email@example.com.
By Col. Rob Palmer,
Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs
Published July 27, 2015
Instructors from the 435th Security Forces Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, provided training on how to properly defend an entry control point to International Junior Officer Leadership Development Seminar participants July 21. Forty-six reserve component officers from seven nations participated in IJOLDS hosted by Air Force Reserve Command at Ramstein AB July 18-25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Col. Rob Palmer)
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