News: SMA visits Fort Carson
Story by Staff Sgt. Craig Cantrell
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III toured the “Home of the 4th Infantry Division” during a three-day visit, May 2-4.
During his visit, the senior enlisted leader for the Army spent three days gathering feedback, advising soldiers and leaders on ways to improve the Army and its programs, stressing the importance of character, commitment and competence.
“I want the soldiers of Fort Carson to know that this is a great place, and [Army leadership is] constantly reminded of what they do for us every day,” said Chandler. “We are grateful for their service and the service of their families.”
Chandler visited units, held a town hall meeting addressing topics from hazing to troop drawdown, and spoke one-on-one with Fort Carson soldiers about their personal career paths.
Chandler’s visit began at McMahon Auditorium where he addressed approximately 900 Fort Carson soldiers and family members gathered to hear the senior enlisted leader speak on topics affecting the future of all soldiers.
“We discussed sexual assault in the Army and the question I have for you sergeant major is, ‘What can we do to garner the trust of our soldiers?’” said Staff Sgt. Brett Williams, Equal Opportunity Leader, Company C, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Inf. Div.
“We have the Warrior Ethos that not only applies downrange.”
“We have a set of Army Values and lastly as NCOs we have a creed and the creed defines us as a part of the Army,” answered Chandler.
Chandler also hosted a breakfast at Wolf Dining Facility where he spoke with soldiers from the World Class Athlete Program.
“For the Sergeant Major of the Army to take time out of his schedule and have breakfast with us, and recognize us … made me feel appreciated,” said Spc. Justin Lester, Roman Greco wrestler, WCAP.
After eating breakfast with athletes from the WCAP, Chandler visited the Fort Carson Non-commissioned Officer Academy to discuss future operations with senior leadership, and conducted a sensing session with cadre from the academy.
Chandler addressed topics ranging from hazing to regulation changes and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.
“I am looking for some feedback from you on what you are teaching in your classrooms to our junior soldiers, and I want to focus on the Army profession,” said Chandler.
Chandler spoke with non-commissioned officers charged with training the leaders of tomorrow, and also spent time at the 43rd Sustainment Brigade headquarters meeting with soldiers, handing out Sergeant Major of the Army coins, and chairing a question and answer session with brigade non-commissioned officers.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for our soldiers to meet the Sergeant Major of the Army, and for him to see our soldiers in their daily environment,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Gensinger, information assurance manager, 43rd SB.
“It is good to know that the highest ranking non-commissioned officer came to visit us and see what we do,” said Sgt. Brady Kell, Sustainment Automation Support Management Office non-commissioned officer, 43rd SB. “It boosted morale knowing that he would take time to come see us down here and show that he cares about us and what we do.”
During his visit, Chandler also attended the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, an Olympic-style event where wounded warriors from the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines represented their services.
“I think that each and every one of those competitors epitomizes resilient people and their ability to bounce back from some very horrific injuries and wounds of war,” said Chandler.
The trip marked Chandler’s first visit to Fort Carson since he was appointed the 14th Sergeant Major of the Army.