DORAL, Fla. — U.S. Army South led the “Programa Integral para Suboficiales de Alta Jerarquía,” or PISAJ, concluded today after 13 days of training, combat duty briefings and facility tours between Washington, D.C. and Miami.
“PISAJ is not only an exchange focused on the personal development of Colombian NCOs (NCOs), but also the advancement of the entire Colombian NCO corps,” said Sergeant de commandment. Maj. Ronald J. Graves, the US Army South senior enlisted advisor. “It’s repetitive engagements like PISAJ that help us create a common understanding through relationships and trust.”
PISAJ is a military-to-military engagement conducted semi-annually with the Colombian military and other invited participants under a semi-annual agreement between the United States and Colombia. The program focuses on the professional development of NCOs and is designed to increase capacity and regional collaboration between the two armies.
With this iteration focused on modernization and leader development, 30 students and observers from the Colombian and Mexican armies attended briefings from senior advisors from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Defense Intelligence Agency, Women’s Peace and Security, Inter-American Defense College, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and other military organizations.
During the program, the class visited the Pentagon, National Defense University, Special Operations Command South, Joint Interagency Task Force South, US Southern Command and several other military installations.
The impression this iteration of PISAJ has left on participants will further advance their personal military development as well as the modernization of their armies as a whole, the Colombian army sergeant said. Major Eli Mosquera Cruz.
“This experience with the United States Army has helped me better understand the role a sergeant major plays in the development of individual soldiers and the military as an institution,” Mosquera said. “The wisdom gained and the success we have achieved here are not only for those present, but also for the sergeant majors who will serve after us.”
One of four female senior NCOs participating in this iteration of PISAJ is the first female senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Colombian Military Forces, Command Sgt. Major Consuelo Diaz Alvarez. She said that every day her soldiers build the capacity of the Colombian NCO Corps.
“Our sergeant majors leave here stronger with wisdom and experience that will enable them to be better people and better leaders,” Díaz said. “Each day of PISAJ, we have shared doctrine, built capacity and learned lessons that will make us better advisors to Colombian army commanders, and I know they will implement what they have learned. here to make our army stronger.”
sergeant. Colombian Army Major Mauricio Páez Acosta said the experiences and lessons learned during PISAJ are invaluable in providing a level of critical thinking needed to lead soldiers.
“When a sergeant major takes part in this program, they carry with them a different vision of how to lead their soldiers, facilitate command and influence the Colombian NCO corps,” Páez said. “As an advisor to the commander, we see things from a different perspective and opportunistically highlight challenges he or she may face.”
Both Páez and Graves envision expanding partner nation participation and planning with a greater emphasis on joint and combined operations.
“We want to amplify PISAJ and give the opportunity to other components and our partner countries to participate in order to strengthen the program, all the non-commissioned officers who participate in it and their military forces,” Páez said.
The next iteration of PISAJ is currently being planned and will take place in the spring of 2023.