I want to start off by telling you how proud and honored I am to be selected as the 108th Training Command (IET) Command Sergeant Major.
I have spent the majority of my military career serving in IET units as a drill sergeant, a Drill Sergeant Leader of the Drill Sergeant School, a first sergeant and a command sergeant major. As a command sergeant major, I have had many assignments over the years. Those assignments brought me to several units and countries where I had the pleasure of meeting and working with many outstanding officers, NCOs and Soldiers of our Armed Forces, as well as Armies of other countries. As much as I enjoyed serving in those units, there’s nowhere I would rather be than back where I started.
In my opinion, one of the greatest satisfactions you will ever experience is the pride in watching young men and women transforming into Soldiers of the greatest Army on the face of the earth. It’s gratifying to know you played an intricate role in their transition to Soldiers.
But as big a role as the drill sergeant plays in this transformation; it is every member of the unit that shares in the success of ‘accomplishing the mission’. Every single member of the unit is responsible for ensuring we reach our goals and objectives, from the commander all the way down to that young private.
The mission is successfully completed when Soldiers are well trained. There is no substitute for good quality training. General George S. Patton once said “the more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in war”. We cannot afford to give anything less than one-hundred percent when it comes to training our Soldiers, and I plan on attending as much training in this command as time allows me to.
Another important area I am focused on is Soldier’s education and Soldier readiness. We need to be ready to assume any assignment we are tasked with, and we will be!
With that said, I am completely aware of some of the issues we are faced with as far as drill sergeant strength and budget issues because they are the same issues we faced since I joined the Army Reserve. But as members of the U.S. Army, we know how to adjust fire and adapt to changes. Once I assume responsibility of the training command, I will work endlessly to rectify both of these.
In closing, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci Derezza for all he has done, not just with the 108th Training Command, but the U.S. Army.
I first met Derezza in Iraq in 2004, and from the beginning, he was all about taking care of Soldiers. He is the epitome of a NCO and has proven himself on the battlefield. Derezza and I have shared the glory of mission success, as well as the unfortunate grief of losing Soldiers. He is a true professional and we wish him nothing but happiness and success in his future.
I look forward to serving and working with every one of you.
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