Band hosts federal government leadership symposium
By Master Sgt. Ani Berberian, The United States Air Force Band
/ Published February 13, 2020
JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. --
On Jan. 15, Major Jason Plosch, director of operations for The United States Air Force Band, and seven enlisted members of the Concert Band hosted 55 federal employees from the Excellence in Government Fellows Program (EIG) for a symposium in the Band’s rehearsal studios in historic Hangar 2 on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.
The EIG program is the premier leadership development course for federal employees at the GS-14 to GS-15 levels, but exceptional GS-13s are also encouraged to apply. For more than 30 years, EIG has trained federal employees on the skills and strategies they need to lead, teaching them to think “outside the box” when dealing with subordinates as well as their superiors.
As part of one of EIG’s benchmark experiences, the eight members from The USAF Band, led by Senior Master Sgt. Brett Miller, served on a panel which addressed leadership and organizational synergy in regard to roles of band conductors and officers. They discussed band leadership from the past and into the future, leadership in enlisted-led small ensembles, and leading without rank in the empowerment of junior members of the organization.
During the event, Miller met a retired logistics readiness squadron officer and commander with 23 years of active duty military experience who exclaimed, “This is the best leadership presentation I’ve attended, and I’ve attended plenty of military, civilian, Department of Defense and other professional seminars!”
The retired officer went on to add that he appreciated the presenters’ simple tone and language, and their thoughtful insight. He also liked the straightforward musical examples performed by the USAF Band Ceremonial Brass Quintet at the start of the presentation.
“The Air Force Air Education and Training Command needs to capture this style of inspirational instruction and distribute to all enlisted and officer Professional Military Education (PME) attendees,” he shared.
Madeleine Lowe, program coordinator for the EIG Fellows program, said she appreciated the band’s presentation, especially the “candid examples of leadership, working across various teams, how different parts of the enterprise worked to create a whole, and the opportunity to hear some fantastic music!”
In addition to the positive comments from Lowe, Sgt. Miller received some very encouraging feedback from the participants.
“In the survey feedback, the EIG fellows said that the Band’s presentation was insightful, relevant, fun and engaging,” he shared. “They also appreciated the various perspectives and experiences represented on the panel.”
Empowered by their experience, EIG’s graduates go on to develop and implement innovative solutions to address the federal government’s biggest challenges and improve their agencies’ effectiveness.