Story by U.S. Army
Sgt. 1st Class Kassidy Snyder, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Guardsmen
with the Illinois National Guard (ILNG) Counterdrug Task Force conducted a team-building
exercise toward the end of a weeklong leadership training course for approximately
60 Illinois State Troopers at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in
Springfield, Illinois, Oct. 9.
troopers will have to build a team with their subordinates once they are
promoted to supervisor," said Michael Zerbonia, Colonel of Operations with
the Illinois State Police and Land Forces Component Commander for the Illinois
Army National Guard. "This training fits perfectly with the intended goal
of transitioning the troopers to be effective leaders in the field."
of the 60 troopers going through the training, roughly 10 will be promoted
within 45 days and another 20 promoted in the spring, said Zerbonia.
intent for the troopers was to learn to work together,” said Sgt. 1st Class
Steven Starks of Peoria, Illinois, lead instructor and civil operations manager
for the ILNG Counterdrug Task Force. “Also, we want the troopers to look at
different aspects of their work; for example identifying their weaknesses and strengths;
critical thinking and making quick decisions under pressure.”
overall training objectives included: understanding good leadership behaviors;
gaining insight into personal patterns; interpersonal and communication skills;
handling stress; empowering, motivating and inspiring others; and leading by
liked the exercises because they were critical thinking, different leadership
skills and being able to communicate without using your voice,” said Special
Agent Tarod Deeder of Winchester, Illinois, Illinois State Police, Division of
Internal Investigations. “It put you in situations where you can apply that to
our type of work, because we rely on communication and technology.”
is the second time the Illinois State Police has conducted the leadership
training for the troopers. The first was held earlier this year and they plan
to continue holding two per year in the coming years, said Zerbonia.
have the resources and the expertise and it just made sense for us to facilitate
the training," said Lt. Col. Eric Smith of Springfield, Illinois, the ILNG
Counterdrug Task Force coordinator. "This isn't a core mission for
Counterdrug, but we have an enduring relationship with the Illinois State
Police and anything we can do continue that relationship we will."
not conducting team-building exercises, the ILNG Counterdrug Task Force assists
law enforcement agencies to disrupt and deny illicit drug financing, production,
transportation and distribution in order to reduce the drug threat to the
homeland while collaborating with community-based organizations to build and
support drug free community coalitions.