News: New role, new responsibilities
After approximately seven months as commander of the 189th Military Police Company of the 525th Military Police Battalion at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Army Capt. Suzanne Redente, a native of East Haven, Conn., is gaining valuable leadership experience and taking on an additional role as the officer-in-charge of Camp 5.
"I'm here to make sure the detainees, as well as soldiers, are getting support and the standard operating procedures in the camps are being followed," said Redente.
The officer in-charge position is usually rotated among the junior company commanders of the 525th to provide them with an experience in detainee operations at JTF Guantanamo, a unique opportunity for young officers in the military police field.
Redente received training in the camps upon arrival at the task force and that training proved to be a valuable asset when she recently assumed the position.
"The systems are the same; I've just had to get to know the different personnel who are here," said Redente.
Redente is adjusting to her new responsibilities and appreciates spending more time interacting with her soldiers and watching them perform their duties.
"Being a commander is a full-time job and keeping the camp running is also a full-time job," said Redente.
Her leadership style has been noticed by not only her superiors, but also the soldiers she works with every day.
"Capt. Redente has raised the morale of the soldiers to its highest level in the last 22 months that I have been the first sergeant," said Army 1st Sgt. Mark Tillman, the 189th MP Company first sergeant. "She talks with the soldiers every chance she gets, asking them how they are doing and if they have talked with their family lately."
Her time as a commander has already taught her some valuable lessons, especially in patience. Redente says she has matured as a leader and improved her interpersonal communication skills.
"I've learned that when things happen, to take a minute, rationalize, and then make a solution," Redente said. "I understand that nobody's perfect. We try to look at why the problem happened and what we learned."
That sentiment was echoed by her first sergeant.
"She is not afraid to make the quick decision, yet she also realizes to research all courses of action when necessary," Tillman said. "She has a full understanding that a leader never wants to 'rush to failure'."