News: Soldiers grow from 19th ESC’s pay-day activities
Story by Pfc. Dong-weon Kim
CAMP WALKER, South Korea - The 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command conducted payday activities, which included soldiers’ barracks inspection and Army Service Uniform (ASU) in-rank inspections by 40 noncommissioned officers Nov. 1 at Camp Walker and Camp Henry.
In the early morning, soldiers of the 19th ESC loudly shouted "At ease" as leaders stepped into the barracks. 1st Sgt. Danny Morales, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th ESC first sergeant, platoon sergeants and other NCOs walked through the barracks to inspect how well the soldiers were maintaining their rooms.
Approximately 250 soldiers stood by their rooms in the position of parade rest while waiting for their leaders. Days prior to the payday activity, they put in an enthusiastic effort by cleaning up the barracks and displaying their ASUs to be presented to their senior leaders.
Most soldiers were nervous when their NCOs entered their rooms, meticulously searching for any defects. Throughout the inspection, the atmosphere gained tension as senior leaders were looking over every corner of the room where the soldiers might have unintentionally ignored.
“I was surprised to see the first sergeant inspecting the barracks this carefully,” said Pfc. Jung Yo-seob, HHC, 19th ESC Supply clerk. “The first sergeant opened up the refrigerator and microwave to see if there was any dust or defaults.”
Despite the tense atmosphere, comradeship was shared between the NCOs and soldiers. Senior leaders complimented the soldiers’ accomplishments in presenting their rooms satisfactory, but scolded those who needed improvements. While checking on the soldiers, leaders had to advise them to provide the highest quality of life.
“It is important for leaders and NCOs to check on their soldiers more often and inspect their rooms that they are clean,” said Sgt. 1st Class Shervonne R. James, HHC, 19th ESC S-1 noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “These inspections would keep down the germs in the rooms preventing sickness. Clean barracks would help soldiers to be ready to effectively fight and accomplish their mission.”
The U.S. Army is consisted of diverse racial bodies with different backgrounds. Especially in the Korea Theater of Operations, the U.S. soldiers and Korean soldiers who have different cultures, share parts of their life together. It is important to understand and respect the contrasting traditions that each soldier has.
“Every soldier has different cultures belonging from diverse backgrounds. The lifestyle between the U.S. soldiers and Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army (KATUSA) soldiers is very different but these inspections facilitate communication and harmony.” James added.
After the last "At ease" was exclaimed on the third floor in the barracks, leaders and NCOs stepped out of the barracks and remaining soldiers prepared for their ASU in-rank inspection. Soldiers and their battle buddies dusted off each other’s ASUs and adjusted ties, buttons and sleeves to display their best as an exemplary 19th ESC soldier.
Before noon, there was a formation behind the 19th ESC Headquarters’ building. The ASU in-rank inspection was followed by the end of the payday activity. The NCOs and leaders were dressed up in their ASUs which motivated their military professionalism.
First Sgt. Morales ordered the platoon sergeants to conduct in-rank inspection of the soldier’s ASUs. The ribbons embedded on the soldier’s chest and the stripes on their sleeves reflect all the years of their military service and their noble dedications to the Army.
While the platoon sergeants were keenly checking on the soldiers’ ASUs, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert F. Austin, 19th ESC command sergeant major, moved through the wave of soldiers and asked a couple of fundamental questions to the soldiers. Pfc. Rhemah Lewis, HHC, 19th ESC Training Room specialist, was the only soldier who perfectly answered the command sergeant major’s quiz.
“I asked the soldiers what the three general orders were, requested them to explain the meanings of the ribbons on their uniform and speak out the soldiers creed,” Austin said. “The payday activity is a perfect opportunity for the soldiers to know about the army and basic soldier skills. These questions will foster professional growth”
The pay-day activity concluded with the first sergeant’s declaration of falling out the formation. This day provided the 19th ESC soldiers to wear their crisp and fresh uniform and explore the great history of the Army. The pay-day activity infused a spirit of confidence to the soldiers to look sharp and clean.