FORT BRAGG, N.C. - With less than two months before completing
his tenure as the U.S. Army's top enlisted Soldier, Sgt. Maj. of the
Army Raymond F. Chandler III made a stop at Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec.
3, and hosted a town hall meeting with Soldiers and family members
at the post's All-American Chapel.
Over the past four years,
Chandler has visited Soldiers stationed around the world talking to
them about issues that affect them. He advises Army Secretary John
McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno on all enlisted
matters, mainly areas dealing with training and quality of life for
Fourteenth Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III hosted a
long anticipated enlisted town hall with the forces of Fort Bragg on
December 3, 2014. Top on the agenda of discussion was the future of
the Army and the future of the force in an increasingly uncertain
fiscal and geopolitical landscape. Chandler stressed that the
fundamentals of NCO 2020 and basic engaged leadership at all levels
is the key to a successful, healthy force ready for any challenge. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Crail)
Throughout the interactive session, Chandler called upon
several Soldiers to contribute to the discussion and assist
him in driving home the message that Soldiers are
professionals who must look out for one another.
After thanking the Soldiers and family members on behalf of
the secretary and chief of staff, Chandler asked a young
Soldier to come up and discuss the Army Ethos and Army
Values. When she hesitated, he gave her cues to help her
out. It was one of many teaching moments for the young
enlisted leaders in attendance.
"I'm being your battle buddy right now,"
Chandler said. "You had forgotten and I'm there to help. And
when I am in trouble you're going to help me. That is a big
part of who we say we are as Soldiers. We look out for one
The discussion on Army Values segued into
sexual assault prevention as Chandler pointed out that
Soldiers need to do a better job living those values.
"We don't know our professional obligation as well as we
should when it comes to two things: sexual assault and
suicide," he said. "Because those are challenges we can
solve amongst ourselves. It's an Army problem."
discussion seemed to have impacted several Soldiers in
attendance. Many spoke of the positive changes in the Army
and the commitment of leaders to hold perpetrators
accountable. Spc. Jessica Solano, a network operator from
50th Signal Brigade, said she was pleased with Chandler's
aggressive stance on sexual assault prevention and hopes
leaders and Soldiers will be more effective in dealing with
sexual assault cases.
"I think he definitely touched
base on things that are close to me," Solano said. "I think
things are going in the right direction. It doesn't matter
where you're from, your sex, your age, your rank. Anybody
can do it and anybody can be a victim of it."
said she was also pleased with the steps the Army is taking
to prevent suicides since she has a friend, a fellow
Soldier, who is struggling with severe depression.
"Our profession demands that we look out for one another,"
Chandler said. "We can make a difference. We just have to
decide we're going to be what we say that we are --
professional United States Army Soldiers."
the discussion, Chandler took several questions from the
audience focused on sexual assault and suicide prevention,
family advocacy, and promotions.
Soldiers and family
members had the opportunity to have their photo taken with
Chandler, before he left for his flight back to the Pentagon
with their concerns.
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot
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