Benavidez Leadership Development Program

The Benavidez Leader Development Program (BLDP) is an executive education leader development program designed to educate USMA’s Cadet Company Tactical Non-Commissioned Officers so that they are prepared to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets, and to prepare the TAC NCOs to excel as senior NCOs at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of our Army.
The Purpose of BLDP: 

To provide each USMA Cadet Company Tactical Non-Commissioned Officers (TAC NCOs) world-class executive-education experience in organizational leadership to:

  • Prepare them to better develop, educate, lead, and train their cadet companies
  • Prepare them to better develop, lead, and train their future Army companies, battalions, brigades and above
  • Align them conceptually with the education of their partner Tactical Officers
  • Provide them with a world-class educational experience commensurate with the US Army NCO Corps’ remarkable dedication and service
  • Bridge the civil-military divide by immersion in the environment at Teacher’s College, Columbia University  

SFC Raymond Collazo

SFC Raymond Collazo

Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Raymond Collazo and I am currently serving as a Brigade TAC NCO.  I have been serving in the Army for 12 years and my duty stations include, Fort Carson, CO, Fort Sill, OK, Fort Hood, TX, and West Point, NY.  I am currently promotable to MSG and will look to move into a 1SG position in the next year.
How has the BLDP made you a better TAC NCO and/or prepared you for future assignments back in the operational Army?
It helped put past military training into perspective.  It gave meaning and definition to everything I have already been doing as a senior leader.  It opened up my eyes on how many different ways leaders can be developed and how you can affect change through leader management and challenges.   
  Read More about SFC Raymond Collazo


1SG Michael P Kearney,  USMAPS

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I joined the Infantry later in life at 27, backed with a GED, spending my time on a commercial fishing boat. Was lucky enough to be stationed in Baumholder Germany and do a couple deployments to the Sunni Triangle with 1-6 IN for the Ramadi Surge and Wall Build of Sadr City. Drill Sergeant time on top of marriage and starting a family followed that. Rounding out my entry into a senior leader position at Schofield Barracks, while continuing to expand with Air Assault, Jungle, SLC, MRT, and SHARP courses. Served as a TACNCO for a calendar year until becoming promotable and filling the 1SG position currently here at USMAPS.

How has the BLDP made you a better TAC NCO and/or prepared you for future assignments back in the operational Army?
Being a better number two. Dr. Burke had a funny and true saying about how there are hundreds of thousands of books out there on how to be number one but almost no books out there on how to be number two. Which my opinion, is exactly what a senior enlisted advisor is to a large degree. Focusing on the Executive Coaching portion of BLDP, aligned with Group Dynamics, and Culture Change, are key areas I believe will be of aid to future Field Grade or General Officers I am assigned to. Also, the history portion of the course helped frame and give context to a historic and current complex political and personality driven landscape, where the pillars here at West Point collide and create ever changing fault lines. Allowing a clearer ability to filter agendas and nest stakeholders to command philosophies in mission statements or METLs here or at any unit.
Read More about 1SG Michael Kearney


SFC Caprina Rivers

SFC Caprina Rivers

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. I have served in the military for 12 years as a 15P Flight Operation Specialist.  I have served in Korea, Fort Campbell, KY, Fort Rucker, AL, Fort Riley, KS and now West Point, NY with one deployment to Iraqi and two to Afghanistan.  I have had the opportunity to lead in many positions to include Flight Operations Specialist and Sergeant, Aviation Operation Sergeant, Brigade Operations Sergeant, AIT Platoon Sergeant, Joint Operations Center Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Assistant Aviation Operations Sergeant, Senior Aviation Operation Sergeant and now Company Tactical Noncommissioned Officer. My military education consists of all NCOES for current grade, Battle Staff, Joint Firepower Course, Master Resiliency Course, Master Fitness Course, Hazardous Material Course, Field Sanitation Course, Unit Prevention Leader Course, Equal Opportunity Leaders Course, and Combatives Level 1. My awards and decoration include MSM, 7 ARCOMs, 4 AAMs, JMUA, 2 MUC, 4 AGCM, NDSM, 2 ACM-CS , 2 ICM-CS , GWTSM , 3 NOPDR , 4 OSR , AV-BAD , SRACCMBB just to name a few. I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in Criminal Justice and am working towards my M.B.A.


How has the BLDP made you a better TAC NCO and/or prepared you for future assignments back in the operational Army?
I have always led by being the great example for my Soldiers and Cadets to see. BLDP introduced me to more leadership techniques and styles. I have started assessing my Cadets by challenging them through military, character, academics and education. I support the Cadets with knowledge, regulations, leveraging their peers and through encouragement each step of the way.  I help not only Cadets but others diagnose their development needs, provide appropriate feedback and other learning opportunities, coach and encourage changes in their behavior, and recognize and reward improvements. I strive to create a variety of rich and integrated developmental experiences that provide assessment, challenge, and support. Lastly, the concepts learned from BLDP, increased my capacity to enhance my Cadets’ and future Soldiers’ ability to learn from their experience.

Read More SAME as Kearney

For more information please contact:
CPT David Weart, 845-938-2602 
CPT Guillermo Guandique, 845-938-2827 
CPT Joseph Steadman, 845-938-5058