Photo By Sgt. Justin Moeller | U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Dent (front row, right), command sergeant major of 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), poses with his fellow Currahees after graduating from the Fort Campbell Sabalauski Air Assault School, Jan. 24, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)
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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – A group of Currahees graduated from the Fort Campbell Sabalauski Air Assault School Jan. 24, 2013.
While seeing Currahees graduate from that school is a common occurrence, one of this class’ graduates was Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Dent, command sergeant major of 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“In all things you look to your command sergeant major to be the standard bearer for your unit,” said Lt. Col. Gavin Lawrence, commander of the 801st BSB, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. “Command Sgt. Maj. Dent did just that by successfully attending and completing the [Sabalauski] Air Assault course here at Fort Campbell.”
Being the example for his battalion also gave him an opportunity for personal triumph.
“I feel I have achieved a great accomplishment. It is a great honor to be able to wear the 101st Air Assault wings,” said Dent. “Not everyone has the opportunity to even attempt to earn them.”
Part of earning them is by successfully rappelling from a 34 foot tower which was a challenge for Dent.
“I am not a big fan of heights,” said Dent, “so anything that took me off the ground more than my height, 72 inches, was a bit challenging.”
“My favorite part of the course was walking across the finish line after the 12 mile foot march.”
Overcoming challenges and facing fears is what being a Soldier of the 101st is all about.
“It’s a privilege to be a member of the 101st Airborne Division; it’s the only air assault division in the United States Army,” expressed Lawrence. “As a leader with in this division, [going to Air Assault School] is what’s expected of him. [As a senior leader] You can’t tell your junior-enlisted Soldiers and leaders to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.”
Dent prepared for Air Assault School as soon as he got back from his recent seven month deployment to Afghanistan, six weeks later while still redeploying, he started.
He now has personal experience to better help his soldiers preparing to go.
“My advice to soldiers preparing to go is to train on the obstacle course,” Dent explained. “Find out which one is the most difficult for you and train on that obstacle(s) more. If you are a leader prepare your mind and shelve your rank in your pocket. Everyone is treated the same.”
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This work, Battalion CSM sets standard for Currahees, by SGT Justin Moeller, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.