PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. –
U.S. Space Command hosted its annual Joint Enlisted Professional Military Education Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., February 14-16, 2023.
The three-day event spearheaded by Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker, USSPACECOM Command Senior Enlisted Leader, educated over 40 joint senior enlisted leaders from five different services and various joint organizations from across the U.S.
"The goal of this conference is to develop our enlisted across the joint force to provide a deep bench of space professionals who are ready for conflict," said Stalker. "Our joint enlisted will return to their respective services with the ability to share how the space domain supports air, land, cyber, and sea domains."
Stalker kicked off the conference by identifying the critical path and narrative imperative for joint enlisted development. He said that as the world and technology evolve, leadership needs to understand the fundamental change in the character or war. The attendees exchanged theoretical and practical discussions on various topics to include the whole of government approach to integrating with international partners, the joint warfighting concept and operating in the current information environment.
"This conference provides our joint enlisted members with an understanding of larger concepts and ideas and how they fit into the key operational and strategic picture," said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Edward Cummings, Senior Enlisted Leader at the Joint Staff Deputy Director of Joint Training in Suffolk, Va.
Cummings spent several months collaborating on the conference curriculum with Stalker and his team. As an advocate for lifelong learning, he said PME should be the passion of all senior enlisted leaders. "This [particular type of] education is critical to the future of our fighting force because we must discuss how to apply the information when we introduce the concepts," he said.
Developing the command's joint enlisted members is one of Stalker's priorities, and one attendee is eager to apply the conference concepts and lessons to the curriculum in her workplace.
U.S. Space Force Senior Master Sgt. Michele Brooks, Vice Commandant at the Space Force EPME Academy at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo., said she's looking for "golden nuggets" to bring back to the senior non-commissioned and non-commissioned officers' respective schoolhouses.
"We're also trying to create an educated joint mindset within our force, so the lessons I learn here will help drive the change that is already happening in our curriculum," she said. "This conference affirms that the schoolhouse is focused on the right concepts in terms of joint education and application."
In addition to presenting operational concepts, the event also included financial readiness and mentorship sessions. This block allowed attendees to share and expand on ideas regarding leadership, developing themselves, their peers, and their subordinates.
"We have to focus on the people," Stalker said as he elaborated on the evolving state of the U.S. military. "In the end, knowledgeable senior enlisted members must be part of the strategic and warfighting conversations."
Events like the EJPME conference are held to strengthen USSPACECOM's ability to meet its assigned responsibilities and ensure there is ‘Never A Day Without Space.’