Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying themselves and taking the time to relax with loved ones and re-energize before the New Year begins. The Holiday Season is supposed to be a great time of the year. Time to relax and reflect on family, friends, and life. However, our culture has transformed this part of the year into an extremely hectic and fast paced time that is often hard to enjoy as we have created it. This should be, and can be, the best time of the year if we will manage it.
As we head into the New Year I look forward to seeing your achievements and where your efforts take us as a command. Continually look for opportunities and let me know where I and the Division can help.
This time period is also, unfortunately, a very difficult time of the year for many who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. This year we have COVID to contend with, which has impacts on the Holiday Season in many parts of the country. I ask that we take additional time to reach out and check on our friends, family, and Soldiers. Clear some space on your calendars to just relax and unwind from stress. Take the opportunity to look for activities that are less complex and enjoyable for you and your family.
I believe there are a lot of good things we can learn from COVID if we take the opportunity to look around us. A big one for me is eliminating things that really aren’t important that consume my time. Time is our most valuable asset and we need to invest it wisely. Hopefully, we have discovered activities that we can do without. An example might be watching endless hours of sports when we can spend that time with family or accomplishing projects around the house or discovering new hobbies.
We as a Division are developing ways to leverage new opportunities to make processes and activities more efficient and effective. One is the OIP program. We are building an electronic OIP, which will save time and resources by conducting inspections virtually. This will enable us to send SAV teams targeted to areas of concern. We also conducted our Company Commander and First Sergeant course in October. This is designed to provide clear priorities for command teams and give them the tools to be successful. The Division is backing up this training with supporting documents in our SharePoint which will act as future reference sources to move forward in accomplishing priorities.
We will continue to stress Drill Sergeant Production as our number one priority. The Division recently converted our DS packets to DSPAS, which is intended to save time by eliminating duplication of effort and lost documents or emails. CSM Coyle has conducted two SRRI training events to put the tools for online recruiting into the hands of the companies. Your efforts in recruiting and production led to a high production year for the 98th with 108 graduates last year, and 251 for the 108th Training Command, a record year not equaled since the days of the Grow the Army Program. CSM Coyle and I appreciate your continued support in producing Drill Sergeants.
As we head into the New Year I look forward to seeing your achievements and where your efforts take us as a command. Continually look for opportunities and let me know where I and the Division can help. Establish realistic, achievable priorities and goals that will enable you and your Soldiers to be successful in the areas that are important. Again, enjoy the Holiday season with family and friends. Take time to relax and focus on what is important. Iroquois Warriors!