News: Marching Orders: USARC NCOs step out on ruck march
Story by Timothy Hale
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Non-commissioned officers from the U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters here, stepped out from behind their desks for a ruck march, May 11, 2012.
Marching to the beat of a cadence of “hard work, work,” sung by Sgt. 1st Class Donald Rivers, the NCOs moved along the nearly five mile course across the hills and trails of Smith Lake Recreation Area at a brisk pace.
Many of the soldiers said it was a nice change of scenery from working inside the headquarters.
“It’s something different,” said Master Sgt. Rodney Tello, with USARC Staff Judge Advocate Office, the directorate charged with leading this month’s event.
“It gets you out of the office. That’s why we joined the Army – to be soldiers.”
The NCOs had a surprise participant when Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, the senior NCO for the Army Reserve, donned a ruck to march with the soldiers.
“It’s not about sitting behind a desk – that’s what we’re asked to do. But at the end of the day, we want to be soldiers,” Schultz said.
Schultz said that participating in physical activities such as road marches, weapons qualifications and honing Warrior skills goes hand-in-hand with the actual jobs that soldiers do.
“As long as we’re doing that, as well as our jobs, that’s what keeps soldiers happy,” he said.
More importantly, Schultz said the NCODP program conducted at the USARC headquarters sends a message to the rest of the Army Reserve.
“We are the leadership for the 205,000 soldiers that we have out there,” Schultz said.
“If we’re not doing those same things in our headquarters that we’re asking our downtrace units to do, we’re failing as leaders.”
Keeping the mood light throughout the event was key for Sgt. 1st Class William Steward, with the USARC Augmentation Unit. He joked with the soldiers and helped keep the cadence lively during the march.
“I try to motivate the troops,” Steward said. “I try to keep everybody upbeat and going.
“I luckily am a morning person. False motivation is better than no motivation at all so we’ve got to keep them going,” he said with a smile.
Each USARC directorate leads the monthly NCODP for the headquarters. Previous events have included combatives, medical training, confidence course, and rappelling.
The program took off in full stride in January utilizing the training opportunities that Fort Bragg has to offer – training not readily available when the headquarters was located at Fort McPherson, Ga.