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NEWS | May 6, 2021

U.S. Army North staff members complete security workforce certification

By Spc. Ashlind House U.S. Army North Public Affairs

The triad of the U.S. Army North mission encompasses Homeland Defense, Theater Security Cooperation and Defense Support of Civil Authorities. Recently members of ARNORTH’s G3 completed the Security Cooperation Workforce certificate program to enhance the TSC mission.

Kayla Wagner, a member of the G3 Security Cooperation Division Plan team working on long-range security cooperation planning with Mexico and Canada, recently finished the SCW Certification Program along with five of her coworkers.

The Security Cooperation Workforce is comprised of Department of Defense civilians and military personnel in positions that interact and support those who interact with foreign country's security institutions.

These interactions help build and develop the security capabilities of allied and friendly nations for self-defense and multinational operations. They also provide the armed forces with access to foreign countries during peacetime or contingency operations, and also builds relations that promote specific U.S. security interests.

“The education provided by the SCW Certification provides me with a holistic SCW education and toolkit to accomplish our Command Theater Security Cooperation mission in support of the ARNORTH Theater Strategy objective to remain the land-based security partner-of-choice, by building regional security and increasing levels of interoperability with our allies and partners,” said Wagner when asked how this program helps her support the ARNORTH mission.

Wagner not only felt that this program helped support the ARNORTH mission, but also the Security Cooperation Workforce. This program provides them with education and training to not only help execute their current mission but also build a set of skills to enable them to execute future missions.

The SCW Certification program consists of different levels, basic, intermediate, advanced, and expert. Wagner, Rich Berry, Dave Mantiply, Dave Morrison and Jose Velazquez were among the first in the Army to complete the basic level and were recognized by the Assistant Secretary of the Army as well as by the U.S. Army North commanding general.

“Congress mandated to the Department of Defense, that they do a better job of professionalizing those members of the Department of Defense that deal with security cooperation which is primarily working with foreign countries as allies and partners,” Wagner said.

This program helps all levels of the military and civilian workforce have a broad understanding of the work they are doing, starting with the basic level and working all the way up to the advanced level of the program.

“For the civilian security cooperation workforce, in particular, the SCW Certification Program fills a gap in providing SCW civilians with formalized SC training and education in their career field so they can practice SCW at parity with their uniformed counterparts,” Wagner said. “By standardizing and professionalizing the SCW training and education, we are increasing the overall readiness of the U.S. Army to execute the critical security cooperation mission.”

Wagner believes that this course could benefit other positions outside of security cooperation because there are many different divisions that make up ARNORTH that take part in the security aspect of the day-to-day mission.

Within the last five years, they have created a career field in the civilian workforce. The SCW program is meant to get the civilian workforce more professionalized training to deal with foreign partners.

“Unlike most other training, it provides a larger perspective to our National Military Strategy than just what you're doing in your office,” Wagner said.

Wagner had many takeaways from this course but her biggest takeaway was the great effort at standardizing and formalizing training across the security cooperation enterprise. Although other training resources were available, there was not a requirement for SCW training. Now a requirement for both military and Department of Defense civilians, the training helps keep everyone on the same baseline for knowledge.