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NEWS | Nov. 10, 2020

U.S., Colombia Armies begin PISAJ 14

By Sgt. Ashley Dotson U.S. Army South

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-Fort Sam Houston, Texas - U.S. Army South held an opening ceremony for the first virtual iteration of the semi-annual military-to-military engagement, "Programa Integral para Suboficiales de Alta Jerarquía," or PISAJ on Nov. 9 at the Army South Headquarters.

PISAJ is a U.S. Army South-hosted engagement between the U.S. and Colombian armies. This year, senior enlisted service members from Brazil and México have also been invited to participate.

“We are here to enhance essential leadership skills of the Colombian senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs),” said Command Sgt. Maj. Trevor C. Walker, U.S. Army South command sergeant major during the 14th iteration of PISAJ. “We are fully committed to assisting our partners in designing and developing a course map for the future sergeant major academy that reinforces the Colombian commitment and goal to professionalize their NCO corps. The U.S. NCO corps is an integral part of what has made the U.S. Army so successful throughout 245 years of service to our nation.”

The PISAJ series focuses on increasing NCOs’ capabilities in the Colombian Army and reinforcing the professional development program of NCOs serving in our military forces. In addition, PISAJ 14 will allow participants to conduct a professional lecture with various command sergeants major from various U.S. military components virtually to maintain the COVID-19 guidelines of social distancing. Our sergeants major and strategic allies will further equip the Colombian Joint Sergeant Major Academy students’ with essential leadership competencies while increasing critical thinking capabilities and understanding of mission command concepts.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity and this chance that you have given us,” said Sargento Mayor de Comando Conjunto Luis Alfredo Bueno Marquez, senior enlisted advisor for the commanding general of the Colombian Military Armed Forces. “We have a variety of students participating who are sergeants major and up from the Colombian, Brazilian and Mexican armies.”

Bueno said he is looking forward to strengthening the partnerships between the armies’ NCO corps and discussed how the PISAJ 14 seminar objectives would assist in Colombia joining different doctrines. This capability will allow the various militaries to participate in operational, strategic planning and integrate human rights into their plan as they share their experiences from across the participating armies.

"This iteration has a strategic leadership approach,” said Sgt. Maj. Alejandro Pereyra Alaniz, U.S. Army South PISAJ 14 coordinator, “We also want to give you the necessary tools to create a curricular template for the future Academy of Sergeants Mayors in Colombia. Instructors from the U.S. Army NCO Leadership Center of Excellence will facilitate the creation and development of a curricular plan consistent with the needs of the future academy of sergeants major for the Colombian armed forces."