November 8th, 2006 03:24 EST
Senior leader visits troops in Diyala
BAQUBAH — The command sergeant major of Multi-National Corps – Iraq, visited Soldiers from 3rd Brigade CombatTeam, 1st Cavalry Division, Monday.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Beam and Command Sgt. Maj. Donald R. Felt, brigade command sergeant major, traveled from Forward Operating Base Warhorse to meet the Soldiers on the Police Transition Team, the Military Transition Team and a sniper platoon providing security for the Independence Radio and Television station.
Beam, deployed for the past 10 months, said there are several reasons he feels it is important to meet the troops serving our country.
“I do it because I’m a sergeant, just a senior sergeant, and that’s where sergeants should be – where the Soldiers are,” Beam said.
Also, Beam said he interacts with Soldiers to ensure they understand Corps policies, to help him gather information for creating future policies and to gather feedback on how policies affect troops at ground level.
“A policy that can’t be enforced by a sergeant is not a policy,” he added. “I want to make sure the advice I give is advice a sergeant would give.”
Finally, Beam said he circulates operational areas to recognize excellence.
“There are a lot of Soldiers that are out there alone and unafraid,” Beam said, adding he tries to meet as many troops as he can and assess their progress.
From the tactical operation center to the guard tower, Beam visited with a variety of troops during each stop.
“As a senior sergeant … I think 80 percent of your job is to visit Soldiers, be with Soldiers, do what Soldiers do,” he said. “And while you’re there, talk to them about what’s going on, what they’re doing, what’s important to them.”
Beam said he focuses on standards, tactics, techniques and procedures.
“I learn from them as well as they learn from me,” he said, adding he believes Soldiers are vital to winning this war.
“I sort of think the key to winning this thing is sitting right in this room, sitting in the guard towers, sitting in the dining facilities and sitting in the Humvees – they’re called Soldiers and they’re called sergeants, they’re called lieutenants and they’re called commanders,” he said. “That’s what’s going to win this thing for us.”
From the Soldiers’ perspective, Beam’s visit, as well as visits from other key leaders, is important, too.
Cpl. Joseph Sayre, member of Sniper Platoon, Company E, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, was on a guard shift during Beam’s visit and said the command sergeant major asked about his range card, when he last cleaned his weapon and wiped down his ammunition.
“It builds motivation and shows that somebody cares about us, and wants to see how we’re doing,” said Sayre, a native of Eerie, Pa.
“It shows the leadership is willing to get out there,” said Sgt. David Kukla, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-12CAB. “It shows good, strong leadership up top.”
After returning to FOB Warhorse, Beam dined with about 30 Soldiers and conducted an noncommissioned officers’ professional development class with the brigade’s senior NCOs.
(Courtesy of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)
In other developments throughout Iraq: