One of the biggest regrets I have is that I don’t have the opportunity to visit every one of the outstanding Soldiers within the 108th Training Command. With all the conferences, Senior Enlisted Leadership Counsels, competitions, Boards, meetings and summits I’m required to attend, there just isn’t enough time and for that I apologize. MG McQueen and I do as many Battlefield Circulation visits as we’re able to fit into our schedules but still don’t get the opportunity to meet each and every one of you. We know you’re doing outstanding things and accomplishing a lot and for that we commend you. Just today I visited with Soldiers from the 95th Division who are mobilized at FLW and are assigned to the 2/48. CSM Stanley, the new Post CSM for FLW could not stop bragging about the magnificent job the Soldiers are doing and how our USAR Drill SGTs are without a doubt some of the finest Drill SGTs he’s ever seen. I’m here at FLW for the TRADOC DSOY competition and our Drill SGTs are excelling in every event. I would be amazed if they didn’t win the overall competition for both the AC and USAR. Last week while at the DSA Change of Command, CSM Gilmer the outgoing commandant of the DSA spoke about the vital role the USAR Drill SGTs have as Drill SGT Leaders at the Academy and how the DSA couldn’t successfully complete their mission without us. He commended us for the candidates we send to the DSA and stated “they always come well prepared and constantly exceed the standards”. In fact, with every DS class that graduates from the DSA, the USAR DS always manage to make the Commandant’s List, the Iron Drill SGT for APFT and at times the Honor Student. The 98th Division has also made a tremendous name for themselves at FT Benning, FT Jackson and at Task Force Marshall where they are responsible for training naval personnel preparing to deploy with Army units around the world. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the commitment and contributions the 104th Training Division has made at Task Force Wolf in training tomorrow’s leaders at the Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) summer camp. The ROTC cadets that attend the training at FT Knox recognize the fact that the Drill SGTs that train them are among the very best the Army has to offer. So again, I thank you and commend each and every Soldier from the 108th Training Command which includes the Soldiers of the 95th, 98th and 104th Training Divisions for your outstanding performance, your commitment and your contributions. You are the reason we are the premier trainers the Army calls when they need the very best!
BUT, before you all start patting yourselves on the back, we still have a lot more work ahead of us. We still have numerous Soldiers that haven’t attended their next level of PME. There is no excuse. Don’t tell me there’s no quotas because there are and don’t tell me there’s no money because there is. These schools are what’s stopping you from being promoted so stop putting them off and stop with the excuses. After asking a young Soldier why he hasn’t attended BLC yet he replied that he’s flagged for not passing the APFT. No Soldier should ever have an issue with taking and passing an APFT. If you’re wearing this uniform you are required to be physically fit at all times no matter how old you are. If you can’t pass the APFT or you have an issue with meeting the HT/WT standards, then it’s time to go. I don’t just hold you accountable but your first line leader as well for not ensuring you meet the standards. Being an Old Soldier, I have high but achievable expectations of my Soldiers. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself “am I happy with the image I project”? And also ask yourself “am I being all I can be”? So if you’re not presenting that positive and professional image and you’re just one of those Soldiers that just does enough to get by, it’s time to adjust fire and get back in the game. I want our formations filled with nothing but the best of the best. Anything else is unacceptable.
Last, I hope you had a great workout today because if you’re not starting your day with PT or at least doing PT every day, you’re WRONG!