From the Command Sergeant Major

09/29/2015  |  Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Riti 108th Training Command (IET)
From the Command Sergeant Major

It’s always good to start off with something positive and it doesn’t get any better than being the command sergeant major of the greatest command in the U.S. Army. Since I’ve been assigned to the 108th Training Command I’ve observed our Soldiers performing their assigned missions with great proficiency.

I’ve also received many comments commending our drill sergeants and the work they’re doing at every one of the Army Training Centers, Task Force Marshall, the CRC and their contributions at Task Force Wolf where they train cadets to become tomorrow’s leaders as officers in this great Army of ours. Long arduous hours, technical and tactical proficiency and patience are just a few requirements of wearing the Brown Round. No Soldier joins our formation without their stamp of approval.

But there are other members of the team who are just as outstanding. The support groups consisting of various sections like supply, training NCOs and every officer, NCO and Soldier of the unit who works endless hours to make their units successful. I thank you and commend every one of you for your contributions and commitment which is instrumental to mission success.

But all this glory can be wiped away in the blink of an eye. Too many of our fellow Soldiers are making mistakes that will affect them for a very long time as well as possibly ending their military careers. As Soldiers we are accountable for our actions. We are held to higher standards more than anyone else and we live the Army Values which makes us unique.

When we engage in activities that we know are not consistent with our moral values, we compromise our integrity as well as the trust the American people have bestowed upon us.

I’ve just attended a leadership symposium where this very topic was the center of discussion by the CSA, the SMA and many others.

Stewardship in today’s Army is something we need to take very serious and do a lot more of. I have been a strong advocate of mentorship/stewardship for many years. Though it may appear I’m repeating myself constantly, I can assure you that it’s not because I’m getting old. I repeat important issues over and over because just as we grow physically stronger from doing more repetitions of exercises, so do our brains grow stronger from the repetitions of hearing something over and over. It’s referred to as retention through repetitions.

Good Soldiers become even better Soldiers and good leaders become even better leaders when we take the time to counsel/mentor them. This stewardship/mentorship is a very intricate part of their professional development. And I don’t mean doing it through e-mails or texting. I’m talking about good old fashion counseling ‘eye-ball to eye-ball, knee cap to knee cap’. By taking a more proactive approach to mentoring our Soldiers we can stop a large part of them from doing things that could compromise their integrity. WE CAN stop them from making bad decisions that will affect their lives and their careers.

As I discussed this issue several months ago with a senior NCO, they said “where do we find the time to sit down and counsel every one of our Soldiers with everything we have to do”.  I kept my response to myself since it was less than professional but the right response would have been “You’re a leader. You find the time”.

So again, I ask that each of you share your experience and expertise with our Soldiers and give them everything they need to ensure ‘the Army goes rolling along’.

I know by the time this article and edition of the Griffon is published, Maj. Gen. Purser will have changed command and moved on to her next assignment and with that, I would like to finish by saying, Maj. Gen. Purser was a true commander. She embodied every one of the Army Values and attributes of a leader. The Soldiers of the 108th Training Command were her number one priority. Whenever an issue concerning any one of our eight-thousand plus Soldiers was brought to her attention, she gave it her full attention and made sure it was rectified as soon as possible.

The things she has done to improve this command can never be counted and we know she will continue to have our best interest in mind. Maj. Gen. Purser, I thank you for your leadership, mentorship and most of all, your friendship. Best of luck in your new position. We all know you will continue to do great things for our Army.

First in Training

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