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    Division CSM inducts U.S., Afghan NCOs into Corps

    Division CSM inducts US, Afghan NCOs into Corps

    Photo By Master Sgt. Kap Kim | Combined Joint Task Force-10 and 10th Mtn. Div. Command U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Lewis...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Kap Kim 

    Combined Joint Task Force 10

    ASSISTANCE PLATFORM CLARK, Afghanistan – In quite possibly his last of five deployments to Afghanistan, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie McIntyre, of Queens, NY, wanted to leave something behind for the Afghan National Army noncomissioned officers – something he’s very proud of: the U.S. Army’s NCO Corps.

    So, McIntyre, as the Operations sergeant major, along with 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) NCO support channel and chain of command, decided to have a combined NCO induction ceremony at their small camp in Khost province, June 2, 2014, they immediately went to their Afghan Army counterparts to take part in the U.S. Army’s long-honored tradition of welcoming new sergeants into the NCO Corps.

    “Since our arrival to Afghanistan October 7th, we’ve taken the SFAAT thing seriously,” said McIntyre about their Security Force Assistance Advisory Team mission and partnership with their 203rd Afghan National Army Corps counterparts.

    During his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2003, McIntyre, who was with Battery A, 3rd Bn., 6th FA Regt., 10th Mtn. Div., arrived with the mindset that it would be an all out “knock down, knock out mission,” but what his subsequent deployments taught him was the exact opposite.

    “These people are awesome,” he said of Afghans. “They want their freedom; they want their democratic government … I’ve seen that change … it’s huge.”

    The other change he has seen is in the evolution of the ANA NCO corps. During the last decade of the ANA, McIntyre admitted that although the ANA always had NCOs, it’s only been in the last seven years that he’s seen what it has become today with their more advanced training, education and now, pride within the corps. The ANA NCOs are following the U.S. Army’s brand of NCO leadership, he said.

    Combined Joint Task Force-10 and 10th Mtn. Div. U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Lewis and ANA Sgt. Maj. Sadar Mohammad Alam, 1st Brigade, 203rd ANA Corps’s senior enlisted leader, were on hand to welcome in the newest U.S. Army and ANA’s NCOs.

    Lewis, who enlisted in 1983, shared his personal experience as a young Army leader with the newest NCOs. He told the story of his first NCO and the lack of a good role model he was, but how with his second NCO, he learned to lead by example.

    “My second leader in the Army, Sergeant Pablo, taught me everything about leadership,” he said fondly. “I looked up to that man. He was the first guy I saw with his chest covered full of skill badges. That alone earned my respect of that NCO. I knew what NCO leadership looked like after I met Sergeant Pablo.”

    U.S. Army Sgt. Corey Clarkson, a cannon crewmember with Battery B, 4th Bn., 25th FA Regt., of Fort Worth, Texas, who was inducted pinned on his sergeant stripes in April, understand exactly what Lewis was speaking of.

    “He kinda through me for a loop at first when he spoke about his first NCO, but he was right,” Clarkson said. “NCOs shouldn’t be a bad influence, and we have to get away from that.”

    Lewis and Alam both congratulated each NCO with a certificate and NCO Charge certificate upon their ceremonial entrance into the NCO Corps through a structured arch with both U.S. Army and ANA NCO ranks that adorned each pilar.

    With that action, he then charged their leadership, in attendance, with the responsibility to fill their new “toolkit.”

    “When these guys walk under this arch, they are going to get a basic toolkit for being a leader, and in that little canvas bag, the only thing they’ll get on graduation day is a hammer,” Lewis explained in his analogy. “Now, if we don’t fill that toolkit and put additional tools in that kit bag, everything they see – every problem they approach becomes a nail.’

    ‘If you’ve got nothing in your toolkit but a hammer, you’ll do nothing but pound away at your Soldiers. Your job is to add tools to that tool bag. Help these Soldiers understand what leadership, what character, solid leadership to use on those individual problems.”

    Alam, in his charge to the young NCOs, spoke about mutual respect amongst the ranks.

    “With your new rank, you will have young soldiers,” he told them. “You must have mutual respect. When you respect your Soldiers, they will, in turn, have respect for you.”

    After the short ceremony, the inductees and guests shared a meal together. There, Lewis, of Lynchburg, Ohio, took the time to hold a more intimate NCO professional development with 4th Bn., 25th FA Regt. NCOs in his unique way of disarming Soldiers: through anecdotes of the Army seen through the young eyes of a young Pvt. Lewis.

    “I just want to pass along my knowledge before the (military police) come and tell me, ‘you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” he said to a crowd of laughter.

    Lewis’ mission – his legacy as a sergeant major is to pass along his experiences to the younger generation of Soldiers. It would be a lesson he learned from one of his former leaders. Through an act of kindness his former platoon sergeant showed to him and his family years ago, Lewis spends his travels throughout Regional Command-East trying to “pay it forward,” as he said.

    “Every month, we lived on peanut butter and oats,” Lewis said of his first few years in the Army. “I don’t know how he knew, but he brought over a trunk full of grocery bags to my house for my wife and children – I won’t ever forget that. Through the years, my wife and I have done the same types of things – all under the radar.”

    Through Lewis’ career, he explained that not everything was ideal or right and mistakes were made, but said he had no regrets and each step he made brought him to where he is today as a leader, husband and father.

    He charged the newly minted NCOs with deciding on what type of leader they would be. Later, he told that you can learn as much from a bad leader as you can from a good leader.

    “You have to decide,” Lewis told them. “So, I ask you guys in formation here today, what type of leader are you going to be? Be the leader that these soldiers require … and push yourselves to stand above your peers.”



    Date Taken: 06.02.2014
    Date Posted: 06.04.2014 02:40
    Story ID: 132008
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 291
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