News: New NCO sets the standard
Story by Sgt. Kissta DiGregorio
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — "When you first come into the Army, it's every private's dream to be an NCO," said Sgt. William Taylor, who just earned his rank in June.
Taylor, 22, who is assigned to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, has been in the Army just over three years.
Younger soldiers look up to Non-Commissioned Officers, Taylor said, while senior NCOs watch to make sure they aren't making mistakes.
"You got to be on top of your game," he said.
It is a challenge he happily accepts.
Taylor has already faced several challenges in his Army career.
He completed the Warrior Leadership Course and Air Assault School within the same month as a Specialist, he said. He required a waiver to even participate in WLC because of his rank at the time.
He said he didn't think he would get a slot for Air Assault School, which is why he decided to attend WLC. Upon returning from the course he was told he would be leaving for Air Assault in Fort Benning, Georgia, three days later.
Taylor compares WLC to Basic Combat Training, but with an emphasis on leadership.
"It's about becoming a good NCO," he said.
While at Air Assault, Taylor had to complete a 12 mile road march, a series of rappels, two written tests and inspect sling loads for deficiencies.
During the two-week school, he was bit on the foot by a Brown Recluse, which required surgery.
Aside from attending schools, Taylor helps plan fundraisers for his unit, including family days and car washes, he said.
Taylor said he believes the events help build morale.
"It's a chance to get everyone together and relax," he said.
He also enjoys helping to raise money for benefits outside of work.
He likes to participate in fundraisers, particularly marathons, for causes such as cancer, he said.
It seems that Taylor's drive and attitude have already made a good impression with his superiors.
"He takes a lot of initiative," said Sgt. First Class Donnie Bivens of Headquarters Battery, 2/319.
Bivens is Taylor's supervisor platoon sergeant.
"He's got everything on track to be a good NCO," Bivens said.
Taylor said he knows it can be easy for young soldiers to lose motivation and morale, but if they find a good NCO to emulate, it'll pay off in the end.