News: Centaur soldiers receive battlefield promotions
By U.S. Army Pfc. John A. Martinez
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan - Two non-commissioned officers from 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, Task Force Centaur, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, earned battlefield promotions at Forward Operating Base Salerno, May 7.
A battlefield promotion is awarded to a qualified soldier who regularly goes well above and beyond the expectations of him, and allows him to skip most of the usual administration and examination processes required to achieve a promotion.
Lt. Col. James Vizzard of Fort Knox, Ky., commander of TF Centaur, pinned the new rank on U.S. Army Sgt. Brian S. Stout from Columbus, Ohio, and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tameiko D. Snell, from Cottonwood, Ala.
Snell addressed the assembled soldiers and reflected on his reasons for serving.
“At first, I entered the military to gain a secured income,” he said. “I realized after leaving the Army for a while that I wasn’t happy with just being; I wanted more. I wanted to be a Soldier again. With this promotion, I know more than ever that it’s not just a job for me. It’s a career.”
“I’m not just a soldier,” said Stout, reflecting on his role as an NCO, “I truly believe in the Army values by living them every day. My job as a sergeant now is to help as many fellow soldiers transition from being soldiers to being leaders.”
Stout also addressed his mentor, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Derrick Spencer of Fort Worth, Texas, who was in the audience at the ceremony, recognizing the importance of having a mentor to help him along his way.
“Staff Sgt. Spencer has taught me everything I know,” said Stout. “I started with him back in Fort Hood five years ago and he has done nothing but push me to excel at everything I do as an admin. I can say without a doubt, that this promotion to sergeant is a direct reflection of the work ethic that he has instilled in me.”
Throughout TF Duke, which consists of more than 4,500 soldiers, only three were awarded a battlefield promotion this month.
Command Sgt. Maj. William Cave, the senior enlisted soldier of TF Centaur, and native of Allendale, S.C., expressed his pride that two of the three recipients were from his battalion.
“I feel it reflects greatly on our leadership and shows that we always put our best foot forward by producing soldiers of superior merit,” he said.
Cave, who joined the battalion in July of 2009, met Snell and Stout shortly after his arrival.
He said he knew from his initial meetings with the two that they would advance in the U.S. Army.
“I saw from the beginning that these two soldiers would progress in their military careers. They were go-getters and had unmistakable leadership qualities that shown through right from the start. Plus they were always willing to make the mission happen no matter what it took.”
“It really reminds me a lot of myself when I first entered into the Army,” remarked Cave.