CAMP HENRY, South Korea – Command Sgt. Maj. Ray A. Devens, Eighth U.S. Army command sergeant major, visited Area IV to conduct Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development (NCOPD) and check on the new physical readiness training program with Area IV soldiers Nov. 12-13.
This visitation of the Eighth U.S. Army command sergeant major was mainly focused on developing the NCOs’ leadership skills while reminding them of their role as the true backbone of the Army as well as trying out the new PRT with the soldiers.
Devens started off his Wednesday, Nov. 13, with conducting the new Eighth U.S. Army PRT with the 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion soldiers and NCOPD at Camp Carroll.
After finishing NCOPD at Camp Carroll, he visited the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command to conduct NCOPD with the noncommissioned officers of the 19th ESC and its subordinate units.
During the NCOPD, Devens cast light upon the issues that the Army has faced such as sexual assault, intoxication and misconduct. He strenuously insisted that those undisciplined behaviors of soldiers must be stopped by their leaders.
“I want you to be aware of the decisions your soldiers are making and give them help when they ask you. Help your son or daughter [soldier] to stop making bad decisions and to be successful in their lives,” Devens said. “I need every person in this room to recognize the importance of your roles and responsibility to be challenged everyday by your soldiers.”
Also, Devens demanded the noncommissioned officers not to look for comfort but to love to be challenged by problems that they would face.
“Bad things are going to keep happening, which will test you everyday. It is our role to face the challenges that we need to get rid of and overcome those,” Devens spoke. “The comfort is not for us, but for the soldiers.”
His remarks ended with encouraging the noncommissioned officers to be a proper model for the soldiers while expressing his gratitude to the noncommissioned officers’ enthusiastic efforts in serving for freedom and nation.
“Make sure the soldiers see us as proper examples for the key part of their success. And make sure we are doing a right thing every time either on- or off-duty, since the soldiers are going to see and mirror us,” Devens said. “Thank you for being dedicated, responsible, fit, athletic warriors and accepting this challenge to build trust and protect our own in Korea.”
The senior noncommissioned officer’s speech with sincere advices and stern messages influenced and made the leaders take the mission of disciplining soldiers upon themselves by becoming a right example.
“If you are a leader, you should set the example by being the first one in, last one out, as everything he [Devens] mentioned was not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. You cannot just talk about something if you are not doing it well,” said 1st Sgt. Danny Morales, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th ESC first sergeant.
Although it is hard to be a perfect soldier who excels on every field, other soldiers can accomplish more by mirroring him or her if he or she achieves it, Morales added.
Devens completed his visitation on Area IV with two NCOPDs and PRT session while inscribing strict messages on the Army leaders’ mind.