News: U.S. Army conducts board with Iraqi counterparts
By Sgt. Matthew Hayes
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq — Boards, in which a Soldier stands before a group of senior leaders and is examined for technical and general proficiency, are a common experience in the Army, but it is not so often that Soldiers have the opportunity to be examined by leadership from a host nation.
The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, had just such an opportunity March 6, at Contingency Operating Base Delta.
Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Aaron, 1st Bn. command sergeant major, took his seat as the president of the battalion Non-commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Quarter boards that day with the usual first sergeants from the battalion to his left. On his right, however, was his Iraqi counterpart.
Command Sgt. Maj. Abas Abad Al Hussain, 8th Iraqi Army Motorized Transportation Regt., was an honorary guest and served as co-president for the prestigious board.
The board began like many other boards, with the participants reciting various military creeds, conducting facing movements, and reciting their biographies. Soldiers were asked questions about the military by members of the board, starting with Abas. His questions addressed topics such as the chain of command.
A military board is something that every non-commissioned officer must experience to obtain the rank of sergeant. The traditions of the NCO Corps run deep in the U.S. Army and these traditions are being passed on to the Iraqi NCO Corps. Every NCO from the newest sergeant to the command sergeant major of the Army has experienced a board at some time in their career.
U.S. Forces are now advising and assisting Iraq to become a self sustaining nation.