News: 7 ID hosts Junior Leaders for Sustainment course
Story by Sgt. James Bunn
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – During a sustainment course for junior leaders July 23, U.S. Army soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division learned that being an Army professional is about more than overcoming an enemy combatant.
Whether a $400 helmet or a nearly $4 million Stryker fighting vehicle, every soldier is responsible for valuable military equipment.
And as Army professionals are promoted, they not only gain authority over more soldiers but also inherit responsibility of their subordinates’ government property.
“I think it’s incredibly important that we infuse accountability and material readiness into professional development,” said Sgt. Maj. Hector Meneses, 7th Infantry Division sustainment section sergeant major and one of the sustainment course’s instructors.
Meneses, a San Diego native, said that the course is designed to inform junior leaders of their role in maintaining their unit’s property and “get back to the basics” of the Army’s command supply discipline program.
Throughout the three-hour class, instructors also explained that how well Army professionals account for their property directly impacts the trust between the Army and the American people.
“We have to safeguard the taxpayer money, and we do that by accounting and being responsible for the property the taxpayer has purchased,” Meneses said. “We have to be responsible for it, we have to maintain it, safeguard it and ensure that we account for it.”
For junior officers like 2nd Lt. Matthew Riley, a fire direction control officer with 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., are often entrusted with millions of dollars of government equipment and sometimes dozens of Soldiers within months of completing their initial training.
The 7th Infantry Division’s sustainment course for junior leaders provided specific examples of how Riley and his peers should account for military property.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure my soldiers are doing their job,” said Riley, a Memphis, Tenn., native. “Because I know the standard, I can enforce it.”