KAMPALA, Uganda—U.S. Army Soldiers conducted a Pilot Senior Leader Program (PSLP) with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) focused on the knowledge and skills needed for mentoring, managing and training junior rangers.
On March 6, 2020, the 411th Civil Affairs (CA), assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), held a graduation ceremony for 11 senior UWA students who attended the course. The course is part of the ongoing partnership between CJTF-HOA and the country of Uganda.
The Pilot Senior Leader Program is a week-long course conducted by 411th CA and Task Force Guardian for UWA wardens and assistant wardens who manage the majority of Uganda’s conservation areas.
The course gives the wardens and assistant wardens a deeper understanding of how to effectively lead, manage, and motivate the 100 rangers who have previously graduated from CA’s UWA-Junior Leadership Program (JLP).
“We made sure the PSLP covered key things rangers are learning in UWA-JLP so that the wardens can return and help teach, facilitate and apply what their junior rangers are learning,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Wright, the course’s law enforcement coach from Task Force Guardian. “We want to build relationships with our partner nation while enhancing the UWA’s ability to achieve their strategic goals and improve regional security.”
The PSLP curriculum is comprised of two modules. The first module covers traits essential to leadership such as in the areas of human rights, ethics and the principles of leadership. The second module focuses on subject matter material from UWA-JLP, including land navigation, patrolling, crime scene investigations and first-aid.
“The course helped us improve our operational management skills,” said Katorogo Katamigwa, UWA law enforcement warden. “We learned a lot from each (other) and a lot about what our junior rangers have been learning as well.”
The course participants spoke favorably about the high level of engagement with the course instructors. They also enjoyed learning from one another in the course and sharing the experience.
With the PSLP completed, the 411th CA plans to take a more advisory role for upcoming courses in Uganda, including two junior leadership courses scheduled to start in April. The plan is eventually to transfer the administration of the course curriculum to Uganda game wardens.
“The next two UWA-JLP classes will progressively see more Ugandan’s training junior rangers than U.S. Army doing so, and will lead into the course being completely taught by Ugandans,” Wright said.
UWA-JLP is a four-week professional development course in which junior rangers from multiple conservation areas in Uganda learn basic leadership skills and other capabilities to enhance their abilities to prevent extremist organizations from profiting in illicit activities, including poaching.