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    Lessons From The Field With Command Sgt. Maj. DeCecco

    Lessons From The Field With Command Sgt. Maj. DeCecco

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Terry Rajsombath | Command Sgt. Maj. Glen DeCecco, State Command Sergeant Major for the Rhode Island...... read more read more

    Q: As a young adult, what was your first job?
    A: “My first well-paying job was in 1978 for four dollars and ninety-five cents per hour- a score back then- working for Union Camp Corporation as an extruder operator, making blown film polyethylene sheeting. I stayed with Union Camp, which was a unionized company, climbing the blue-collar ladder and becoming a lead flexographic printer, bringing me to a whopping life changing hourly wage of nine dollars and fifty cents! Haha.”

    Q: As a young Soldier, what was your initial M.O.S?
    A: “I was a late starter; I came in at the age of twenty-five. I knew there was something inside that kept pushing me toward the military. I was recently divorced and had joint custody of my daughter to care for, so active duty just didn’t fit. A few people I worked with mentioned the National Guard which seemed the right fit for me, so I called a recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Zarrella; he asked what were my hobbies. At the time I was a drummer in a garage band. He mentioned I could try out for the 88th Army Band but I didn’t want to do that. My father was a MP (military police) during WWII, so I said military police officer. At the time it was a 95B MOS, now it’s 31B and that’s the only MOS I every held.”

    Q: Growing up, who did you find inspiring and why?
    A: “I grew up in South Providence which was a tough place in the 70s. My parents always taught me to respect others, regardless of a person’s belief or color. The golden rule that I was taught was to base your impressions on the character of a person. My mother was a nurse and my father was a blue collar worker- middleclass; both worked hard to give their kids opportunities. We talk about selfless service in the Army, but most parents live that every day. In addition, I had a younger brother who was born with severe handicaps. He couldn’t speak, sit up, or feed himself. He taught me volumes of how precious life is and how fortunate we are to have those abilities that he was denied. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing it shaped me to who I am today.”

    Q: Coming up in the ranks, was there a leader who left a strong impact on you? Whether through words or action. Can you give an example?
    A: “Command Sgt. Maj. Edward McConnell and Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Hebert. Command Sgt. Maj. McConnell was my platoon sergeant then became the Company first sergeant and Command Sgt. Maj. Hebert was our readiness NCO. Both taught me invaluable insight of the character of a good leader and those lessons have guided my career and the decisions I make to this day. ‘Always think of the troops and how it would impact them, never think you have all the answers, and never put troops in a position that you would not do yourself.’”

    Q: As a young adult, what was on the top of your bucket list and did you accomplish it?
    A: “This is going to seem crazy, but in 1986, I was an E2 just months out of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) with the 119th Military Police company. I was working ADSW (Active Duty Special Work) also known as ADOS (Active Duty Operational Support) and I will never forget the 119TH admin clerk Spc. Diane Mulholland, who took the time to take interest in a young E2 and ask me, ‘what is your military career goal?’ I said, ‘Specialist, I want to be the State Command Sergeant Major of the Rhode Island National Guard.’ True story, I regret not tracking her down when I was selected and seeing if she remembered that brief encounter thirty plus years ago.”

    Q: As a senior leader in the Rhode Island National Guard, what is a personal and professional mission you wish to accomplish?
    A: “I think any leader that ascends through the ranks wants to make improvements and leave the organization better than they found it; which by the way, is a tough order to fill following Command Sgt. Maj. Moniz. I want to energize our young leaders to take the torch and become the best leaders they can and continue to develop our enlisted while safeguarding their welfare. I also want to build a wider bridge with both the green and blue and become a closer more bonded RING team. Lastly, on a personal note, I want all of us to respect each other, look out for each other, and not only become a better Soldier or Airmen, but more importantly a better person and a stronger organization.”



    Date Taken: 11.29.2020
    Date Posted: 12.04.2020 09:32
    Story ID: 384142
    Location: RI, US

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