"Thoughts from the Running Trail" - Strengthening Partnerships Downrange and at Home

This week, we took to the road in order to strengthen our network and increase our partnership capacity. We're not talking about a computer network, now.  We're talking about strengthening the bonds between ourselves, our multi-national teammates, and our interagency partners. Along with our Political Advisor, Jason Hyland, we had several key leader engagements in both Kenya and Somalia.

In Kenya, we visited our Embassy teammates, as well as our CJTF-HOA personnel in Manda Bay, and we were highly impressed by the leadership we saw from both of  those teams. From State Dept personnel, to the USAID team, to our Marines guarding US personnel and property at the Embassy, we saw professionalism, pride, and a can-do attitude across the board. And in Manda Bay, it's easy to see that morale there is high due to strong leadership, initiative, information sharing, and camaraderie that spans the entire population of Camp Simba -- including our Kenyan hosts.

We also visited Mogodishu, Somalia, where we had the chance to speak with the Prime Minister of Somalia, the Somali Minister of Defense, and the Deputy Commander of AMISOM. These gentlemen have been outstanding teammates and partners with us in the fight against violent extremist organizations, and as a result of this meeting, we intend to increase and enhance the level of shared information across the spectrum of our partnership.  We owe it to each other to share information until it hurts, then share it some more. That's how we become an even better team.

We also were able to meet with our incredibly resourceful personnel at the Mission Coordination Cell. We can't say enough about the work they do for our nation in a difficult and often dangerous environment. The entire team there does amazing work on our behalf, every day. Thanks to all of you for your outstanding professionalism, in all you do.

Speaking of professionals, at last week's All Hands Call, you saw the unveiling of the Joint Non-Commissioned Officer Creed, which was not only recited flawlessly, but was also written by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines standing up there before you. Over the course of a month, they worked together to create a creed that encompasses what it means to be a leader in our increasingly joint military. By using the strengths of each Service, we are stronger, more efficient and more effective in accomplishing our mission here at CJTF-HOA.

Here at CJTF-HOA, we're a leadership factory.  We produce leaders - and business is good.  Through physical and mental fitness, competency in our craft, and being great teammates, the mission gets done, and we all become better service members. Most of us have never worked in a joint environment as integrated as this one. What a great opportunity it is to work with and learn from each other and become better service members in the process. This joint creed challenges each and every one of you to lead and inspire those around you, to be a firm, fair and loyal advisor to those appointed over you, and to not forget that we are focused on one team, one fight. While the creed is aimed at NCOs, we all can take something from it.

Have a great week. We'll see you on the running trail...

BG Wayne Grigsby, Jr. and SgtMaj Bonnie Skinner


Leadership Commander Kenya Senior Enlisted Leader Partnership Somalia

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