News: 'Ready First' NCOs lead from the front while in Iraq
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq -- Two noncommissioned officers of 1st "Ready First" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, were recently recognized for their professionalism, general military knowledge and leadership while deployed to Forward Operating Base Warrior, in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Sfc. Chestine Sanders, a Pine Bluff, Ark., native and platoon sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-1 Special Troops Battalion, 1-1 AD, was inducted into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, March 26 and Staff Sgt. David Henderson, a Fayetteville, N.C., native and platoon sergeant for Headquarters Platoon, Charlie Company, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1-1 AD was named United States Division – North's NCO of the 3rd quarter, April 26.
The two both attribute their success to their Soldiers and leadership.
It was like all of 1-1 STB came together to help me succeed, said Sanders.
"Soldiers would stop me when they saw me and ask me questions, my first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Robert Beattie, held classes for me, and my fiancée, Jacqueline Williams, sent me here with a book to prepare for the SAMC board," he said.
Henderson said, he tried a different approach by listening to the Army Study Guide on his iPod and testing his Soldiers.
"To and from work, I would listen to the Army Study Guide then when I got to work, [I would] quiz my Soldiers constantly and if they don't know the answer we would research it," said Henderson.
"By doing this I was prepared for the board and at the same time built my Soldiers general Army knowledge," he added.
Ready First Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Daniels, who is also a SAMC member, said these NCOs have been successful because they live the SAMC motto, "lead from the front."
Not only do they challenge themselves to develop their leadership and Army knowledge, they also focus on building up their Soldiers, he said.
These two NCO's don't plan to stop leading from the front anytime soon.
During the deployment Henderson will be working towards becoming USD-N, NCO of the Year and joining Sanders as a member of the SAMC, before moving to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Sanders plans to be promoted to master sergeant and then become a first sergeant in Hawaii.
Henderson said he plans to use confidence to accomplish all of this.
"I walk into the board thinking I am a Soldier and NCO, I know my material," he said.