NEW DELHI, India –
NEW DELHI, India - The Indo-Pacific's most experienced and trusted senior enlisted leaders gathered for the 9th Senior Enlisted Leadership Forum (SELF), Sep. 26-27, in New Delhi, India, to discuss interoperability and developing the next generation of Soldiers.
SELF was part of the largest Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference and Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar in history, with 30 nations represented.
The leaders discussed today's junior Soldiers and how they are well-versed in technology and hungry for purpose in their daily mission. Despite these changes and potential generational differences, the conversation continuously went back to the importance of mastering the basics and developing empowered, adaptive leaders who aren't afraid to lead and grow through realistic training together.
"The Army's future leaders will be more innovative, adaptive, and agile than ever," said India's Army Subedar Harish Nair V. "We must foster this change to create more dynamic Soldiers for tomorrow's battlefield." As their countries' most senior enlisted land force leaders, the strategic "together" concept shaped the dialogue, but the human aspect of leadership was the heart of the dialogue.
Leader after leader in the room shared their countries' experiences and lessons learned related to training and developing leaders.
"How you train is how you are going to fight," said Thailand's Sgt. Maj. Paithoon Khamsopha. "Soldiers need to find their purpose, and once they find their purpose, they will understand more why some things are done the way they are during these exercises."
They all agreed that leaders at every echelon face the challenge of instilling discipline and rigorous training in Soldiers to ensure they are well-prepared for war and other missions in the vast theater's challenging environments.
Throughout IPACC/IPAMS/SELF 2023, India's senior defense and military leaders expressed how important the senior enlisted discussions and feedback are to the overall growth and success of combined Indo-Pacific land force strength and stability.
"We may wear different uniforms, but we share many of the same goals and challenges; conversations like this help us learn and grow together," said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Brzak, U.S. Army Pacific command sergeant major. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We want and need to go far in the Indo-Pacific, so we must work together at every level."
Brzak emphasized that the relationships and understanding fostered during these engagements are the most important outcomes, and continued dialogue between senior enlisted leaders across the priority theater is key to the Indo-Pacific partner's goal of peace and stability.