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HRC leaders reach out to Fort Bliss NCOs at town hall

Extra

By MARTHA C. KOESTER
NCO Journal

Is it true that assignment officers at U.S. Army Human Resources Command save the great jobs for their friends? Or, that assignment officers sit on the promotion boards?

HRC’s Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson has heard many of the fallacies about HRC and urges Soldiers to reject the myths.

“A lot of [the negativity] is [because of a] lack of education,” Jefferson said before a town hall for senior noncommissioned officers in December at Fort Bliss, Texas. “What we try to do is inform the field of what we are doing and why we do it …

Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson of U.S. Army Human Resources Command (right), with Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (left) and Sgt. Maj. Derek Johnson, deputy chief of staff G1 sergeant major at Headquarters Department of the Army, take on talent management during the third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson of U.S. Army Human Resources Command (right), with Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (left) and Sgt. Maj. Derek Johnson, deputy chief of staff G1 sergeant major at Headquarters Department of the Army, take on talent management during the third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

If a Soldier doesn’t get a promotion or assignment he or she wants, “it’s not because the assignment manager doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to send you to those locations,” he said. “It’s because you have to meet certain criteria. The way we dispel those myths is to talk Soldiers through it and educate the leaders. The leaders can help us to educate the Soldier on how the assignment process works.”

Jefferson and Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC commander, visited Fort Bliss on Dec. 14 to reach out to both noncommissioned and commissioned service members. For Jefferson and Seamands, the advantages of doing these HRC road shows are twofold.

“There’s a benefit for us at HRC because we get to come out here and listen to the Soldiers in the field, to find out what’s on their minds and how we can make things better for them and their organizations,” Jefferson said. “The other part is for us to show transparency. We inform the Soldiers of what’s going on and what kinds of changes are taking place within their career management fields. That way, they are aware of what’s taking place and how it affects them and their families.”

As the Army downsizes, Jefferson said talent management is not just HRC’s responsibility.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson (right), with Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC Commander, discusses professional development with noncommissioned officers Dec. 14 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jefferson says road shows are part of HRC’s efforts to show transparency. (Photo by Mehgan Portillo, NCO Journal)
U.S. Army Human Resources Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson (right), with Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC commander, discusses professional development with noncommissioned officers Dec. 14 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jefferson says road shows are part of HRC’s efforts to show transparency. (Photo by Meghan Portillo, NCO Journal)

“We [at HRC] identify the Soldiers that need to move to these different positions in our Army, but once we place Soldiers on assignment, then the unit has the responsibility in managing that talent,” Jefferson said. “The leaders on the ground ensure that Soldiers get to the right schools they need in order to develop the talent and go forward.”

He also recently spoke about the issue during Army Training and Doctrine Command’s third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Many questions and complaints heard during HRC’s road shows are linked to recent revisions in Army policy.

“It’s just the fear of change,” Jefferson said. “When we decided to make the change to a new noncommissioned officer evaluation report, a lot of people were in an uproar about it. But now that we have been doing this NCOER for almost 12 months, not a lot of people are arguing about it. Now, it’s just learning how to write those evaluations. Same thing with STEP,” the Select, Train, Educate, Promote policy for promotion.

Jefferson often offers his assistance to Soldiers at the road shows. If, for example, a Soldier has an issue with his or her assignment and is not connecting with the assignment officer to discuss it, Jefferson will take the Soldier’s information and meet with the assignment officer in an effort to get both parties in touch. Also, if Soldiers continue to take issue with a certain policy or question its relevance, they may count on Jefferson to take up the debate with the deputy chief of staff, G-1.

“If it’s something we think we should look at, we’ll take that back to the Army G-1 and say, ‘We have got this feedback from the Soldiers out in the field. Maybe we could look at this policy, and see if it’s still relevant or if we need to adjust it,’” Jefferson said.

As for those NCOs looking for advice on how to get ahead in the Army, Jefferson said it’s all about self-improvement.

“The way you do that is by going to military schools, by taking the hard jobs and developing yourself and making sure that you are technically and tactically proficient in your career management field,” he said. “Also, reach out to your mentors and find out what else you need to be doing. But the most important thing to prepare yourself for promotion, regardless of what job you are in, is do the best you can and ensure that your evaluation says exactly how you did in that position. Along with going to the schools, that’s the major way to develop ourselves.”

The command sergeant major said he has grown a lot in his 18 months on the job and learns something new every day, especially in his interactions with Soldiers.

“I want to make an impact on the Soldiers and families because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Our job is to ensure that Soldiers and our families are taken care of, and I am very passionate about that. There are going to be some Soldiers saying, ‘It’s just HRC again,’ but there is another Soldier out here who I am going to have an impact on ─ something that I am going to say today is going to impact him and his family, or I am going to be able to assist them with something and they are going to put that trust back in HRC and think, ‘Well, maybe they are not the bad guys.’”

Jefferson often leaves NCOs with the same bit of advice ─ develop a passion for what they do, and success will come.

“If you are passionate about something, you are going to be successful in doing that,” he said. “Remain competent and relevant. If you are a leader, all these changes affect all of our Soldiers and their families. You have to know what’s going on in our Army today in order for you to be an effective leader.”

NCO posts highest finish for American man in rifle prone at Rio Paralympics

By PABLO VILLA
NCO Journal

Staff Sgt. John Joss may not have reached the medal stand Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the 2016 Paralympic Games, but the four-year member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit certainly proved his name belongs alongside the shooting world’s elite.

Joss started the day next to 40 of the world’s best shooters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, competing in the mixed R6-50-meter rifle prone competition. By day’s end, his scores netted him a fifth-place finish. It was the highest finish for an American man at the competition.

While not bringing home any hardware is certainly disappointing, the top-five finish showcased Joss’ deftness with the rifle in his first Paralympics. He qualified for the medal round after a sixth-place finish in outdoor qualification amid blustery conditions. National Paralympic Coach Bob Foth said Joss made smart decisions throughout qualification in reading wind speed and movement. Once action moved indoors for the finals, Joss improved his standing by one position.

Staff Sgt. John Joss placed fifth in the mixed R6 50-meter rifle prone event Sept. 14 at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (File photo courtesy of U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)
Staff Sgt. John Joss placed fifth in the mixed R6 50-meter rifle prone event Sept. 14 at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (File photo courtesy of U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)

“This is totally different than anything I’ve ever done before,” Joss told USA Shooting after the competition. “I felt calm and on fire at the same time. I know I was working with a kind of shaky hold. I was making smart decisions, but there isn’t much I could do at the end. I did the best I could, and I really took a lot out of it. It’s hard to hit a target that small alone, then when you have an elevated heart rate, a pulse in your hand and your front sight starts moving around, it makes it a lot harder.”

Joss’ performance is also testament to how far he has come since sustaining both physical injuries and emotional hardship in 2007. Joss had both of his legs seriously injured in an improvised explosive device attack while deployed north of Baghdad, Iraq. He returned to the United States to undergo multiple surgeries and begin a grueling rehabilitation process before he was dealt another blow — Joss’ father was killed in a vehicle accident two months after his arrival at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Joss subsequently made the difficult decision to amputate his right leg. He began shooting competitively at Fort Benning, Georgia, to supplement his rehabilitation. Joss soon found success. He joined the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, he won gold at the USA Shooting National Championships. Two years later, he has served notice to the rest of the shooting world that he will be a force in the coming years.

Sgt. Elizabeth Marks broke a Paralympic swimming world record in winning her first gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Marks won the women's 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1.28:13. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program)
Sgt. Elizabeth Marks broke a Paralympic swimming world record in winning her first gold medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Marks won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1.28:13. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program)

WCAP swimmer back in action

Sgt. Elizabeth Marks returns to the pool Thursday, Sept. 15, for the first of three events she is scheduled to compete in.

The Paralympic swimmer from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program competes in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay Sept. 15. She will swim the 4×100-meter medley relay Friday, Sept. 16, and closes the Rio Paralympics in the SM8 200-meter individual medley.

Marks has already claimed one gold medal at these Paralympics, winning the SB7 100-meter breaststroke with a world record time during the weekend.

This Month in NCO History: Aug. 12, 1881 — Buffalo Soldier repels Apache attacks

1st Sgt. George Jordan was a Buffalo Soldier, part of the famed group of African-American men who served after the Civil War and into the 20th century.

As such, Jordan was not immune to the inequality faced by veterans of the segregated regiments. After his days in the Army, he struggled to find help when his health declined dramatically, being denied admission to the hospital at the now-defunct Fort Robinson in northwest Nebraska.

But on the battlefield, Jordan had few equals. His tenacity and bravery while part of the 9th Cavalry were unmatched. These attributes helped him learn to read and write after growing up illiterate. They helped him earn his sergeant stripes. And they helped him become worthy of the nation’s highest military honor.

Jordan was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1890 for his actions during the Apache Wars. The conflicts between the U.S. Army and the Apache nations were fought in the Southwest between 1849 and 1886. Jordan became a sergeant with K Troop, 9th Cavalry in 1879. At the time, the unit was stationed at Fort Stockton, Texas, and charged with maintaining order between the Rio Grande and Concho River from Fort Clark to El Paso.

In May 1880, Jordan led a 25-man detachment into the New Mexico Military District to protect Fort Tularosa from potential attack. The fort was near the present-day town of Aragon in Catron County, New Mexico. On May 13, Jordan received word that Apaches led by Chief Victorio were laying siege to the town. Jordan implored his troops to reach the area quickly through a forced march. On the morning of May 14, the detachment arrived at Fort Tularosa, finding the town intact. Jordan immediately had his troops build a new fort to protect the townspeople and a new stockade for their animals.

That evening, about 100 of Victorio’s men attacked, sending the townspeople scurrying under volleys of arrows. The town’s occupants found safety inside the newly built fort as the Buffalo Soldiers kept their attackers at bay. The Apaches staggered their attacks against the fort but Jordan successfully reorganized and mustered his men to repel each wave. His Soldiers even made a daring rescue to save all of the town’s cattle. The Apaches eventually relented after suffering several casualties. Jordan didn’t lose a man.

Protecting the town was an impressive feat, but it was what Jordan did 15 months later that cemented his place in the annals of Army history.

Jordan was one of 19 9th Cavalry troops actively pursuing Nana, a Warm Springs Apache chief who had ravaged areas of Texas, Mexico and New Mexico. The Soldiers were led by Capt. Charles Parker and had tracked Nana and his band of Navajos and Chiricahua Apaches into Carrizo Canyon. The canyon lay south of present-day Carrizozo Spring, New Mexico. Though not daunting in size, the outcropping was a treacherous place to come upon as it provided many high, hidden vantage points for an entrenched contingent to fire upon approaching enemies.

It is unclear how many enemy combatants the Buffalo Soldiers faced when they arrived at the canyon Aug. 12, 1881. Parker’s after-action report estimates that the opposing force had 40 guns. The Americans were easily outnumbered but would need to find a way through the canyon to continue the southward pursuit of Nana. That’s when Parker leaned on the battle-tested Jordan. The Buffalo Soldier was charged with taking a few men to head up the right flank along the gradual slope of the canyon to lay down suppressing fire along the opposite slopes as the rest of the group moved through. But the day didn’t go as planned. During their trek through the underbrush, Parker’s group came under fire from the slopes opposite Jordan. Jordan’s group returned fire from the other side, intermittently making the enemy retreat into the surrounding forest only to see them return further up the path to again cut off Parker’s progress.

While Parker was pinned down, the danger intensified for Jordan and his small detachment up above. They encountered hostile forces that had been posted on their side of the crest who had flanked them from the right. Parker rallied his men, positioning them so they were able to stave off their attackers in close combat while also periodically firing across the canyon at enemy forces that were shooting into the canyon below.

It is unknown how long Jordan and his men remained in this position, but his citation states, “he stubbornly held his ground in an extremely exposed position and gallantly forced back a much superior number of the enemy, preventing them from surrounding the command.” The desperate courage of Jordan allowed the unit to retreat back to Carrizozo Spring. The Americans lost one Soldier while inflicting four enemy casualties.

For his actions at Carrizo Canyon as well as Fort Tularosa, Jordan was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 7, 1890. Another NCO present at Carrizo Canyon, 1st Sgt. Thomas Shaw, also received the Medal of Honor later that year for actions during the battle.

Jordan left the Army in 1897. He originally joined in 1880 in Nashville, Tennessee. By the end of his service he had spent a decade as first sergeant of a troop renowned for its efforts against the Apache and Sioux. Jordan lived among other Buffalo Soldier veterans in Crawford, Nebraska, became a successful land owner and made headway in earning the right to vote.

Jordan became ill in the fall of 1904. He was turned away from Fort Robinson’s hospital and told to travel to Washington, D.C., to gain admission to the United States Soldiers’ Home. He never made the trip, as he died Oct. 24. Jordan was buried in Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.

— Compiled by Pablo Villa

 

VTT connects in new way with Battle Staff NCO Course students

By MARTHA C. KOESTER
NCO Journal

The U.S. Army Video Teletraining Program for the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, has long since established its reputation as a cost-effective program.

VTT eliminates the need for students’ temporary duty assignments and allows one instructor to teach many Soldiers at remote locations. Its savings benefits just grew as the nonresident training program recently eliminated a third-party contracting agency, which connected all sites, in favor of a more direct connection that the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course can control.

The result is a new clarity in photo transmission for students, as well as a staff of instructors excited to deliver the next generation of VTT with enhanced equipment, said Master Sgt. Andrea Thomas, Video Teleconference manager and senior instructor, BSNCOC.

Sgt. 1st Class Khambao Mounlasy, a VTT instructor, says he values sharing his experience with noncommissioned officers out in the field. Mounlasy spoke with students and tries out the functions of the new enhanced equipment. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Sgt. 1st Class Khambao Mounlasy, a VTT instructor, says he values sharing his experience with noncommissioned officers out in the field. Mounlasy spoke with students and tries out the functions of the new enhanced equipment. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“We are the controlling tower, if you will,” Thomas said. “It will be easier, and it saves the Army money. This equipment is phenomenal. Our old equipment, you kind of had to patch it up and keep it going. We were well overdue.”

The new equipment will ease operations and help get instructors back to the fast-paced business of training the future leaders of the Army.

“I love it; it’s back-to-back-to-back classes,” Thomas said. “It’s a phenomenal course, and you get to train NCOs. What is better than that?”

“It’s been a good experience being an instructor and sharing the knowledge and my experience with the fellow noncommissioned officer out there in the field,” said Sgt. 1st Class Khambao Mounlasy, VTT instructor. “It’s fun. I learn new things every day from the students as well.”

Because they are transmitting remotely, VTT instructors have experienced their fair share of technical difficulties.

The enhanced VTT equipment offers the nonresident training program of the Battle Staff Noncommissioner Course a new clarity in photo transmission, instructors say. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
The enhanced VTT equipment offers the nonresident training program of the Battle Staff Noncommissioner Course a new clarity in photo transmission, instructors say. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“We have to have a back-up plan because Murphy’s Law has littered our course with everything you could think of,” Thomas said. “In the wintertime, our East Coast folks at posts such as Fort Drum, New York, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, have bad weather and a lot of connectivity issues. We have seen it all. We have been quite talented in working around those issues, and we have accomplished the mission every time — graduating as many NCOs as possible. That is the goal, and that is what we are here for.”

Thomas said the support of USASMA’s leadership helped the success of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course.

“I am thankful that we have the leadership that we have [at USASMA] because they are very supportive,” she said. “And the team we work with — we know there is a chain of command to follow, but we all treat each other as peers and that’s what works.”

Thomas said the experience she has gained as part of BSNCOC will serve her well as she transitions out of the Army.                 “The leadership, networking and being able to connect to people and seeing what works in the organization [has benefited me],” Thomas said. “I was able to get all of those tools working here in the Battle Staff.”

Director leads Battle Staff into new era

By MARTHA C. KOESTER 
NCO Journal 

Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Tucker, director of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, credits many military leaders for an amiable leadership style he honed during his decades-long Army career. But it was a former platoon sergeant at then-Fort Lewis, Washington, who showed him what taking care of Soldiers was really about.

“Regard your Soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.”

Staff Sgt. Timothy D. Hughes and Sgt. 1st Class Dillon review their notes during a Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course exercise in the spring at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Staff Sgt. Timothy D. Hughes and Sgt. 1st Class Tannia I. Dillon review their notes during a Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course exercise in the spring at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

That’s what this former platoon sergeant did, Tucker said. He embodied the ancient philosophy of Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, which greatly influenced Tucker. It was the way each Soldier was welcomed into the fold and the little things Tucker saw his former platoon sergeant do that went a long way with Soldiers.

This philosophy would set the tone for Tucker’s leadership, whether as a platoon sergeant, first sergeant or later as director of USASMA’s Battle Staff NCO Course at Fort Bliss, Texas.

“I have been fortunate in my entire career as a leader,” Tucker said. “When I was a squad leader, I had great team leaders. As a platoon sergeant, I was really lucky. Down to the lowest private, they were outstanding platoons. The squad leaders, the team leaders, they made my life easy.”

Changing the formula

When Tucker first came to the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course after graduating Class 59 at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, he noticed the curriculum had not evolved along with the Army and suggested a revamp of lessons was in order.

“We developed a couple new classes,” Tucker said. “Some of the existing classes were updated, and some things were added to make the classes more relevant.

Students of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course strategize during a class exercise in the spring. The military decision-making process is a culminating block of instruction in the course. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Students of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course strategize during a class exercise in the spring. The military decision-making process is a culminating block of instruction in the course. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“We teach Army doctrine as a whole,” he said. “What you get is classroom discussion and  information-sharing. All students bring a unique plate to the table. One of the biggest things these NCOs learn when they come to our course is where to find the information if they don’t know the answer. Research is one of the biggest things.”

The military decision-making process became the culminating block of instruction within the course. Though some students may see it as overwhelming, Tucker said the military decision-making process is essential for NCOs.

“The role of the NCO has transformed over the past 15 years of war,” Tucker said. “Sergeants major are part of the planning process when the unit is planning the mission. Seventeen, 18 years ago that wasn’t necessarily so.”

Master Sgt. Andrea Thomas, BSNCOC Video Teletraining manager, could not agree more with Tucker.

Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Tucker, right, director of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, with Master Sgt. Thomas D. Yaudas Jr., center, give representatives of the Israel Defense Forces an overview on the course in the spring at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Tucker, right, director of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, with Master Sgt. Thomas D. Yaudas Jr., center, give representatives of the Israel Defense Forces an overview on the course in the spring at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“A lot of times I tell my students we are more than just NCOs who make sure chow is there, guard duty is happening or the sleep tents are up,” Thomas said. “We can be part of that thinking and brainstorming process to help make those military decisions. Trying to close that knowledge gap is important, because we are a valuable asset to the Army.”

VTT is also a large part of BSNCOC because it allows instructors to reach NCOs in distant locations, whether students are sitting in a classroom at Fort Dix, New Jersey, or Italy. The technology behind VTT allows for maximum interaction between the instructors and students, even though they may be separated by an ocean.

 A united front

Tucker said none of the improvements would have been possible without contributions from the many NCOs and civilians who worked as the course writers, developers and manager. They helped get the Battle Staff Course to what it is today – 159 academic hours over the course of four weeks. The NCOs on staff, whether deputy director or instructors, are instrumental to its success.

“I pull them in 10 different directions, but they are very flexible, very professional,” Tucker said. “I have been very fortunate.

“All of my instructors are sergeants first class and master sergeants,” he said. “They are senior NCOs. … Give them the task, and let them figure it out.”

Battle Staff instructors are equally as grateful to have Tucker at the helm.

“We have such camaraderie here in the Battle Staff,” Thomas said. “He trusts us, and that just speaks volumes.

“One team, one fight, and we truly believe that here,” Thomas said. “We want everybody to feel like they are a member of the team and that they can contribute and make this course a success. Tucker has done that. He has turned this course around. And the people, even though we are from all walks of life, we are still brothers and sisters in arms and that’s how we live every day when we come here.”

The BSNCOC touches more than 1,500 students a year, and Tucker sees to it that every resident course is filled to capacity.

“Usually what happens is that at a certain point during registration the staff will start looking to see how many students we have,” Tucker said. “I will start calling every brigade sergeant major. I call the division sergeant major. I start calling every sergeant major I can think of [to fill classes].”

BSNCOC is essential to every NCO’s career, Tucker said. The students come from all walks of Army life, including the aviation, legal and medical branches, as well as military police and cooks.

“I believe it allows an NCO to see another side of the Army,” Tucker said. “It allows you to see things on a bigger scale and look at things in a new light. When they get back to their units, they will start to ask, ‘What were they thinking when they planned this?’”

Students such as Staff Sgt. Craige A. Sears, a supply sergeant, said he couldn’t wait to immerse himself in BSNCOC after trying to get into the course for the past two years.

“I think it’s important to understand the overall staff aspect and what goes into an actual battle staff,” Sears said. “A lot of times you kind of get into a situation where you have the command team, you have leadership positions — you’re a sergeant, commander, platoon sergeant — but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes of what the staff does. Now you get to understand what actually drives the unit, where are all the tasks coming from, the observation post orders. I think that’s huge.

“What I’m learning here is actually going to be an addition to what I have already learned, so it’s just going to help mold me, to make me a better NCO leader,” Sears said.

In September, Tucker will wrap up a nearly 30-year career with the Army. He often tells the NCOs at BSNCOC that he’s glad he is able to end his career on an assignment with a group of quality NCOs like them.

“I look forward to coming to work every day because of the crew in Battle Staff,” Tucker said. “We have made an impact. We have made changes that will continue to make an impact. And at the same time, to have been able to work with a group of professionals like them, you really can’t ask for any more than that.”