|Taking the broken, ineffective Afghan fighting forces and turning them into an all-volunteer, valuable army was a big job, but the United States responded by sending some of its best recruiters into the country to help.|
When then-Master Sgt. Cutler arrived in Afghanistan, there were only three national army volunteer centers open, and construction was underway for others. There was no program in place for Afghan recruiters, so he and two other soldiers were tasked with developing the first Afghan National Army Recruiting Command – and a training center to go along with it – from scratch.
Cutler arrived in the country in March 2004 and went to work straightaway. His team developed and implemented a training program still used at the Afghan National Army Recruiting Academy. The team finished their task in nine months; the normal time for organizing such a complex, multi-level course is 18 to 24 months. They trained the first 100 Afghan recruiters in 90 days, and graduated 300 officers and non-commissioned officers shortly thereafter.
While the work was hard, Cutler said he and the team were honored to be a part of it: “We've played a small part – at a historic moment – in helping stabilize the country.”
On Oct. 25, 2004, Cutler received the Bronze Star for his work.