For an Army security assistance officer, working in the legislative branch of the federal government is a significant departure from what could have been an ordinary career path.
Capt. Waverly Washington, a Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT) leader with the US Army Security Assistance Command Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO), was selected for a fellowship at Capitol Hill and an all-expenses-paid master’s degree from George Washington University.
While participating in the Army’s FY 2024 Congressional Scholarship Program, Washington will earn a degree in Legislative Affairs, serve as a member of the US Congress, and serve on the Army Staff in a service capacity. related to Congress.
The 44-month curriculum seeks service members who have demonstrated outstanding promotion potential. Participants will be assigned tasks such as drafting laws and handling advocacy-related constituent issues. By being exposed to these various responsibilities and having opportunities to delve deeper into elective courses or independent study, fellows gain a better understanding of the strategic relationships between Congress and the Army.
Washington was motivated to take this opportunity to feed that information back to soldiers, helping them understand the “why” of what they do. He said he is looking forward to pursuing a degree in Legislative Affairs and taking a closer look at policy making, civilian-military relationships and the effect those relationships have on the military’s operational and strategic decisions.
Washington, 34, is currently assigned to Fort Bragg-based SATMO and is serving as the TAFT leader in Halmstad, Sweden. He has also worked in Korea, Japan, Germany and most recently Turkey as a NATO radar site commander.
“Being a part of SATMO has been a great and rewarding experience,” Washington said. “It is a small, professional organization that focuses on tactical training that leads to operational results and strategic impact. It is the most unique unit I have ever served in.”
His partnership building assignment at SATMO is especially significant as Sweden is regarded as the template for training crews for the Patriotic missile system. The skills he learned at SATMO, along with extensive experience in each of his assignments, prepared him for his next fellowship.
“You will have a better understanding of the foreign military sales process, a better understanding of the EUCOM environment, and a better understanding of the capabilities of our allies and partners that will take the pressure off the United States,” said Mr. Patrick Macri, 3rd Regional Security Assistance Command (RSAC) Senior Manager of Security Assistance Training. He continued: “I think the skills you’ve learned and the challenges you’ve faced will better prepare you to advise and provide information wherever you go. Cultural sensitivities with our allies and partners will especially help you better understand how they work.”
The Army Congressional Scholarship Program requires excellent speaking and writing skills. Applicants must submit an executive summary of the 2020 Army Position Statement that identifies key points for each of the Army’s priorities. In the Washington writing samples, she highlighted how most of her assignments were outside of the continental United States and helped shape her critical thinking and interpersonal and communication skills.
“Training and coaching with partners are the catalyst for my communication skills,” Washington said. “When you work with partners, the words you use matter and how you say them matters too. It is important to do your due diligence to understand partner nations not only professionally but also culturally to create a shared understanding.”
Macri noted that Washington has faced many engagements in different contexts that will continue to give him more experience working with senior leaders. She said that Washington feels very comfortable working with other organizations at the embassy. Everyone who has met or worked with Washington knows his interpersonal skills and strength when it comes to creating and maintaining strong connections.
Lt. Col. Daphne C. Mitchell-Wright, Commander of the 3rd Regional Security Assistance Command (RSAC), agrees.
“Relationship building is critical to the type of work you’re doing and who you’re working with,” Mitchell-Wright said. “He is seen as a trusted and notable subject matter expert in the area in which he is working and will continue to build those relationships at EUCOM.”
As much as Washington is a mentor to those around him, he also said he sees a mentor in Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey himself. Washington served with Gainey in the Army’s 94th Air and Missile Defense Command in Hawaii. For Washington, Gainey epitomizes professional excellence and what it means to care for soldiers. He said Gainey was the first person to mention prestigious opportunities to him and give him confidence that it was something he could compete for to become a better officer. Gainey’s advice stuck with Washington and propelled him into the congressional fellowship.
When asked what his best advice would be for other Soldiers who want to apply for this scholarship, Washington said, “Challenge yourself with difficult and distinctive assignments when the opportunity presents itself. He will help his professional development, and those experiences will make him a competitive candidate for any expansion opportunity.”
Washington’s supervisors and peers emphasized that he is a born leader with a heart for service. His teammates from the Security Assistance Command expressed their excitement about his trip in the Army Congressional Scholarship Program and wished him the best in his future legislative liaison position.
SATMO is a subordinate organization of the US Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC). To learn more about SATMO or USASAC and how they support US foreign policy, visit www.army.mil/satmo and www.army.mil/usasac.
|Date to be held:||17.11.2022|
|Publication date:||21.12.2022 16:16|
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