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    US Army Europe Junior Enlisted develop leadership skills through history

    US Army Europe junior enlisted develop leadership skills through history

    Photo By Brittany Jones | Historian Dr. James Scott Wheeler explains how the German military utilized stone...... read more read more



    Story by Brittany Jones 

    21st Theater Sustainment Command

    Zweifall, Germany –Thirty-nine Soldiers from across U.S. Army Europe, had the opportunity to learn about World War II’s Battle of Huertgen and Aachen, while participating in the USAREUR junior enlisted staff ride, April 8-12.

    The four-day experience was hosted by a senior mentor, Command Sgt. Maj. Defarreo Poole 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s Special Troops Battalion senior enlisted advisor and coordinated by Oberstabsfeldwebel Sgt. Maj. Uwe Leiner, USAREUR senior enlisted commandant.

    Soldiers specialist to staff sergeant, were offered hands-on and practical experiences of what U.S. Soldiers endured during the 1944 battles.

    “We’re here to learn about our past, to create a more productive and influential future” Poole said. “This is an opportunity for our junior enlisted Soldiers to really learn and understand how far our military has developed.”

    Participants were divided into three groups. Each group was responsible for researching what took place at the local battle fields using excerpts from the book “WWII Siegfried Line Campaign” for a better understanding and appreciation of what combat looked like for U.S. Soldiers of that time period.

    The three groups were led by junior mentors Staff Sgt. Samantha Bonds, Sgt. Levi-Jordan Melloy, and Sgt. Jaylen Youngblood, all of which participated in USAREUR’s 2017 junior enlisted staff ride.
    “We really wanted to ensure the groups received the most out of this experience. Understanding what Soldiers experienced in these battles, was truly a humbling experience.” Bonds said.

    Melloy stated he enjoyed last’s year staff ride but was excited to see the new perceptive this year’s ride would offered attendees.

    “We went to the same places but the topics were a little different. I think the areas of focus were more tactical and strategic this year. Last, I felt it was more of a hearts and minds mentality” Mellory said.

    Guaranteeing the participants received a detailed overview of the battles, was retired U.S. Army Colonel, Dr. James Scott Wheeler, historian and facilitator of the event.

    Wheeler highlighted several themes he hoped the group would notice during the staff ride, teamwork and leadership being key.

    “I hope I can get the group to start thinking about leadership then, and leadership now.” Wheeler said. “They are learning that during these battles recognized leaders were not just officers.

    “A good military organization is a team. All arms and all logisticians are part of that team. The transporter, the signalmen, the tanker, the infantrymen, the artillerymen are all part of a team. That’s what we have been showing at each [location]” He said.

    Specialist Khadijah Terry, shared how being a participant during the staff ride provided a learning opportunity on leadership that she has not yet experienced this early in her military career.

    “Being a specialist at the junior enlisted staff ride, many of the participants were sergeants or staff sergeants.” Terry said. “It was really an eye opener because they spoke on types of leadership and different parts of leadership that as a specialist, and just coming out of AIT [Advanced Individual Training], I haven’t thought about or experienced.

    “The opportunity allowed me to focus on leadership skills and techniques that I want to develop as I progress in the Army” said Terry.

    Following their research, each group held presentations at specific battle sites to recall significant events and historic lessons learned.

    “We use staff rides to look at history and see how our forefathers fought battles” Leiner said. “We take that history, analyze it and apply what was brought to the fight- sound judgement, experience and knowledge.”



    Date Taken: 04.13.2018
    Date Posted: 04.17.2018 07:28
    Story ID: 272985
    Location: AACHEN, NW, DE 

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