Mentoring the next generation Soldier

02/20/2013  | 
Chaplains Corner...

Every Soldier has committed to memory and practice the Seven Core Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Each of these values shapes and informs our conduct, decisions and our lives. As a Soldier and as a Chaplain, I have grown to believe that each of these values is indispensable to the mission of the Army Reserve and to our nation’s mission of security and peace. This may sound like a recruiting advertisement, but I truly believe that I have not gotten where I am in the Army solely on my own merit. Many others have contributed immeasurably to my success and my fulfillment in the Army Reserve.

Throughout the many years that I have proudly worn the uniform of America’s Army, countless people have influenced me in more ways than I could count. Many leaders, commanders, fellow Soldiers and subordinates have helped mentor me in times when I needed a word of encouragement or guidance. I believe one of the greatest gifts I have received from others is the time that they took to teach and mentor me. They saw potential in me that I might not have seen in myself. They encouraged me to give my best and to never quit. They reminded me that we serve in a big Army but that every Soldier has a vital role in accomplishing the mission.

They are my mentors. Women and men in uniform offered time and assistance to me from the early days when I was an Enlisted Soldier. Young and inexperienced, I was eager to know what right looks like. Fortunately, I learned what right looks like from NCOs and officers early on. They may not have known that I was observing the way they acted and talked and was learning from them along the way.

Each of these mentors helped me learn the most important lesson of all: to give back and to help someone else coming through the ranks after you. That’s an important lesson for any Soldier to learn. There is a Soldier somewhere who is eager to learn what right looks like. There is a Soldier somewhere who is looking for a competent and confident mentor who will take the time to listen, to help, and to encourage success. That’s one of the greatest gifts that you can offer to a Soldier. That’s what makes us Army Strong and that’s a vital part of our mission.

Finally, I would like to personally thank each commander, each colleague, and each Soldier who has been and is part of the team. Thank you for listening and giving thoughtful guidance. Thank you for taking the time to teach and encourage me along the way. Thank you for staying true to the Army Values and for giving back what you have learned. Thank you for proudly serving in the forces that guard and preserve all that we hold dear. Pro Deo et Patria: For God and Country!

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