Gallery contains 8 images
VICENZA, Italy – Current and soon-to-be squad leaders from several units under U.S Army Southern European
Task Force, Africa came together last week to expand on their knowledge of what it means to be a squad leader.
Learning how to build trained, disciplined, fit, and cohesive teams aligns with the U.S. Army’s non-
commissioned officer strategy. The squad leader summit took place 19-22 April, 2022 on Caserma Ederle.
The summit was designed with the U.S. Army’s ‘This is My Squad’ initiative in mind, the initiative’s core
values call for the empowerment of first-line leaders to take ownership and be accountable for morale, discipline
and cohesion at the squad level. TIMS aims to compliment and expand upon the ‘Not in My Squad’ campaign
aimed to help junior leaders work to prevent sexual harassment and assault.
“The summit provides an opportunity for 60 soldiers to come together and become better educated on the art
and science that’s associated with building effective teams,” said Sgt. Maj. Sean Horval, lead facilitator for the
Each day focused on a single lesson topic: leadership, the performance triad, and communication. These lessons
combined videos, lectures and breakout group activities designed to guide conversations and foster mutual
understanding. Summit attendees also did physical training together each morning that focused on teaching
leaders better ways to build and execute PT plans to increase results and decrease injuries.
Both the TIMS and NIMS initiatives take a bottom-up approach to change and improve Army culture,
emphasizing that to effectively implement new Army policies, change must start at the squad level. TIMS
outlines that leaders intending to build a cohesive, trained, disciplined and fit squad, must first know their
soldiers. Lecturers at the SETAF-AF squad leader summit underscored that squads built upon trust as well as
discipline and training combine into units that are ready to fight and win.
“What I hope you get out of this is the importance of being an engaged leader,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling,
commanding general for SETAF-AF. “What that means for you as a squad leader is that you know every single
one of your soldiers; their families, their goals, their hobbies, what stressors they have in their lives. Squad
leaders should know these things. That’s a leader who gets out and talks to their soldiers and builds trust with
every individual they lead.”
Every aspect of the summit sought to remind attendees that trust builds cohesion and cohesive squads are less
likely to face issues of sexual misconduct, behavioral health, or training failures. Each lesson, PT activity and
group discussion circled back to the idea that squad leaders who are empathetic and caring while still displaying
clear expectations and standards for discipline and training are more likely to leave a positive, lasting impact on
“This week we had discussions about the integration of power and influence, about the power of emotional
intelligence and what that means to empower rather than to simply delegate, said Horval. “This summit is all
about building better leaders so we can have more cohesive teams that are fit, and ready to fight.”