From the Command Sergeant Major


This past February marked my 39th anniversary of being in the US Army. Never in a million years did I think I would be in this long but again, thirty-nine years later I’m still wearing the uniform and enjoying every day of being an American Soldier. Like any career or any profession, there are good times and sometimes not so good times. But I can assure you the good times outnumber the not so good times. The men and women that I had the honor and privilege of serving with have filled my military career with great memories. Men and women of great character that exemplify every one of the Army Values and are ready to answer the Nation’s call on a moment’s notice. I am so honored to be part of this organization and cannot thank the Army enough for what it’s done for me and want to make sure that you know it can do the same for you.

I constantly use the old slogan the Army had ‘Be All You Can Be’ because as a Soldier in the US Army you can be anything you want. You just have to want it! Many times when I speak to Soldiers whether it’s at a Town Hall meeting with my Battle Buddy MG McQueen or talking to a Soldier at an airport, I always try to encourage them to take advantage of everything the Army has to offer. The Army has invested a lot of time in you and filled you with a great deal of knowledge that you need to share with others. Sharing that experience and expertise you’ve gained over the years (no matter how many years it may be) is information that is valuable to other Soldiers, especially your subordinates and will guide them on the right path in life to make the right decisions and may be that information that saves their life on the battle field. I had a lot of mentors in my career that did just that. They provided me everything they know and with all the experiences they dealt with in life. They wanted to make sure I knew what right looked like and showed me the road to success. They informed me of their mistakes so I could avoid making those same mistakes. Just think of how much better off we would be if we knew the future. Well a good mentor can practically do that and that’s why I need good Soldiers to not just stay in the Army but to also take your subordinates under your wing and properly mentor them. Counsel them constantly and let them know when they’re doing a good job and if it needs to be for failing an APFT or doing something wrong, counsel them and tell them what they did wrong and make sure you assist them on changing that negative performance. 

In the 108th Training Command we’re constantly trying to recruit Drill SGT candidates. One reason for that is because of everything I’ve been saying in this article. We need outstanding NCOs to take these new recruits and turn them into outstanding Soldiers ready to lead tomorrow’s Army and be able to take our place when it’s time for us to go. Sharing that experience and expertise you have with them so one day they’ll be able to say “I’m squared away because (your name) taught me what right looks like and cared enough about me to put me on the road to success”.  As I’m writing this article I’m actually sitting in an airport waiting for my flight that will be taking me to an Army transition point to speak to a group of Soldiers getting ready to leave the Army. To me it’s worth one last attempt to encourage them to stay in and continue to share their knowledge with others. To let them know how valuable they are. I know the majority of them have made a hasty decision that they’ll regret within the next year or so. I want that opportunity to persuade them to stay and to ‘Be All They Can Be.’ I want each of you to do the same for me and encourage each other to stay in and take maximum advantage of everything the Army has to offer. I’ve never met a veteran that hasn’t said, “I wish I would have stayed in.” Regretting only staying in for one enlistment and getting out.

I also know that the Army not only makes you successful as a Soldier but it also instills the values in us that employers today are looking for. Today’s employer gives priority to hiring men and women of the Armed Forces because they know we have so much to offer. They know we’ll be a loyal worker giving 110 percent every day. They know we understand the importance of being on time, working as a team and respecting others. Maintaining our physical readiness that assists us in performing our jobs better. And most important, they know we will never quit and that we know how to succeed. Wow, sounds like the Army Values and the Army have distinguished us again. 

First in Training


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