Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

A Letter to the Promotion Board

By Tiffany Carty

As a leader, do you know your Soldiers, would you stand for them?  Do you believe in giving chances or is your leadership style filled with the gusto of punishment? 

I wrote the letter below for a Soldier I once supervised.  I went to bat for this Soldier because for some reason I knew in my heart he didn’t know what he had done was so bad.  At the time this happened, my command took into consideration what I said about my Soldier.  He still had to pay a price for what he did by getting demoted, but overall he was given a second chance.  This Soldier is still in the Army today and in 2020 he was just promoted to CW2. 

          This letter of recommendation highly recommends WO1 Doe, for promotion to CW2.  I was WO1 Doe’s first supervisor when he joined the United States Army in 2003, at Hunter Army Airfield as a 42A, Human Resource Specialist.  I was the S1 NCOIC and assigned Doe as the Leave and Finance Clerk.  As a young Private, Doe was always motivated and I never had any issues with him; whether it was Soldiering – PMCS’ing his vehicle, Sergeant’s Time Training, staff duty, or his daily S1 job as our unit’s Finance Clerk.  Doe was always on top of things and willing to learn new things within the S1 shop.  As a young Soldier, out of the six Soldiers I led, Doe was one of my stellar performers when it came to knowing his job and becoming an Army HR subject matter expert.  He swore by my number one rule – “Take Care of Soldiers!  Always processed their paperwork as if it were your own.”

          One day I was called into the Battalion Commander’s office to talk about an incident that happened the night before with Doe.  The Commander and Command Sergeant Major asked me if I knew what had happened, explained to me what happened, and how Doe could be court-martialed for that type of punishment.  I told the Commander that Doe was a great Soldier.  I added that he should take into consideration that he was a new Soldier to the Army, should be given another chance and only demoted from PFC to PVT, but no court-martial. 

          At the time, Doe was 18 years old and had no knowledge of the Army’s regulations and policies on UCMJ when it came to conduct off post, or the repercussion on the duplication and misrepresentation of military identification cards.  After talking to Doe, he had no idea what he had done was a federal offense.  He was very apologetic, ashamed and saddened about his conduct.  

          As his NCO, it was my duty to stand up for an outstanding Soldier like Doe who I knew had the potential to become something great.  One unknowing mistake as a young Soldier in the Army would not deter him from reaching his highest potential.  Becoming a Warrant Officer in the United States Army is an incredible feat already achieved by Doe as a WO1.  This speaks volumes of Doe and shows that he took his mistake as a young Soldier, learned from it, and made himself better.  I cannot think of anyone more deserving of promotion to Warrant Officer Two. 

          Doe has not only made me proud to have served with him, but he has made his family proud and most importantly the Army proud of all his deployments, dedication and selfless service thus far.  This is today’s model Soldier!  

          Army Strong!

As an NCO, it is important to create a relationship with your Soldiers, get to know them; who they really are.  One of the things I use to say was, “A Soldier can smell if you are looking out for their well-being, and if they think you are, they will give you the world.”  Meaning, when you take care of your Soldiers (ensuring their going to school, teaching them everything you know, and getting in the trenches with them) they will go above and beyond what the mission requires.

Not every decision you make as an NCO or Officer will always be the correct one, but when you know your Soldiers, it makes it a lot easier to handle stressful and challenging situations.  You never know, you may be leading the next CSM of the Army.  So do you know and would you stand for your Soldiers?

Leadership Development

By Tiffany Carty

Leadership development expands an individual’s capacity and ability to perform in leadership roles within organizations. A leadership role could be formal in making decisions, taking responsibility and supervising. It could also be informal with little authority, but leading and influencing a team by providing purpose and direction.

Some supervisors lack the basic leadership experience and need development, but many organizations sometimes believe these supervisors should already have a skill set in this area. Therefore these organizations don’t have an extensive Leadership Development Program or may have one but it’s not a priority. It is imperative to use the resources a command has (e.g., human resources and operations) to create a Leadership Development Program. Soldiers are looking to NCOs and Officers for direction, character development, knowledge and skills, resiliency, and so much more. These are areas of responsibility a leader needs to have.

Today, leaders tend to lack communication skills, the exchange of ideas, and the flow of information. Leader inability to ask for feedback or provide opportunities for professional development growth create an ineffective leadership style. Some leaders are inexperienced in these areas of responsibility which could hinder the organization in developing managerial effectiveness, inspiring others, leading the team and developing Soldiers. Some other developmental challenges supervisors have are practicing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and compassion. These are all skills a leader should work on a daily basis. Many leaders need to prioritize this effort, otherwise they make a minimal investment of time and resources toward mission accomplishment, or they have the wrong strategy. Hence, it is important for a command to evolve the way a leader thinks.

The unit’s Human Resources (S-1/G-1), and Operations (S-3/G-3) sections should ensure there is an outstanding Leadership Development Program within their command and should consult and inform leaders on the importance of leadership development. If not, it could break the organization.

If our leaders are not where they need to be, where does that leave our young and upcoming Soldiers? We have to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to our Soldiers as they are the future of our Army!

Staying on the Cutting Edge of Technology and Resources

By SGT Che’mar Harris

As an AG professional, it is important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology, resources and our Army’s ever-changing policies and procedures. This is a concept that is understood well by our seasoned AG warriors to include our Senior Noncommissioned Officers, but not necessarily a pearl of wisdom that is handed down to our junior Soldiers and NCOs. At the same time though, although the veteran members of our field understand the importance of remaining flexible and adaptive, it is easier said than done to keep some of them up-to-date on new information. This certainly isn’t due to a lack of interest or care much like it isn’t a lack of passion for our field that can sometimes leave our junior enlisted personnel behind, it is simply a lack of ease of access of communication and mentorship between the two.

In my current role as the Battalion Social Media Manager, I have been forced to take a look at the Army as a whole and the way our profession is represented through the eyes of a youngster. Naturally, our target market is young men and women between the ages of 17 and 25 which can be the same age bracket as a new 42A. I have had applicants express to me that they looked for an Army Recruiter on Instagram and I was one of the few they found and that is why they decided to work with me. To some, this may seem obscure but when observed with an open mind, this is a gold mine and can be the wave of the future for the AGCRA! In order for us to effectively reach out to our junior enlisted population it is imperative we reach them at their level. This is not meant to insult anyone or insinuate that a younger crowd is not interested in networking resources; in fact it’s the opposite. Our junior enlisted population are young millennials much like myself and are members of the information generation. We are used to having tons of information at our fingertips and are not used to doing a great deal of research when searching for an answer. In my opinion, this is the reason why Facebook groups such as the 42A Human Resources Specialist/Sergeant page is so popular and continues to earn new members daily. Suddenly AG professionals and curious Soldiers alike have a wealth of information a click and a scroll away and no longer have to search regulations. What if we applied this same concept to the AGCRA but added a unique twist?

Infographics are incredibly popular because they offer a single image filled with accurate, quick-reference information that is pertinent to whatever the viewer is searching for. If this same concept was applied within the AGCRA, we could attract junior Soldiers to join our organization. To offer a twist though, as opposed to leaving the infographic as-is as a quick reference to a certain degree, dissuades research, turn it into something fun that entices membership and involvement. Every Soldier dons their uniform with pride and enjoys earning medals and awards that showcase what they’ve done, how they’ve contributed to the Army and allows them to add a new adornment to their dress uniform. Few junior Soldiers are aware that AG professionals may earn special awards specific to our MOS which not only showcase an achievement, but also sets them apart from all other MOS’ since awards such as the Theodore Roosevelt Medal and Benjamin Harrison Medal are only available to AG Soldiers. Imagine an infographic that showcased a Soldier in their ASUs that housed the ASU measurements (that’s a staple in the Google search bar for nearly all junior Soldiers) but the photo included a Soldier proudly sporting his/her Horatio Gates Honorary Medal. A medal that although easy to identify for a seasoned AG professional, is something that would spark interest for a new Soldiers who is still learning their awards and medals and encourage the young Soldier to research what this medal represents and how it is earned thus leading them to inquire about AGCRA membership. This approach not only accomplishes one of the objectives of an AG professional by being a steward of good information, not only the objective of the AGCRA by offering an opportunity for networking and build a sense of fellowship within the Army but also reaching our junior Soldiers at their level by appealing to their curiosity, thirst for knowledge and appealing to the vanity by offering an opportunity to join an exclusive group just for our MOS. The appropriate application of these three concepts with a little ingenuity, social media savvy and creativity will not only captivate the interest of junior Soldiers but will reach them at their level and through mentorship provided by other AGCRA members, bring these young high speeds up to our level as seasoned AG warriors.

Once we have garnered the interest in the AGCRA from our junior population with social media and meeting them at their level, I believe an opportunity for mentorship and fellowship is a key element to keeping our new 42As on board with the AGCRA. It is no secret that the Army’s mission is training and at times, to fight the nation’s wars. The problem with that is when a 42A is assigned to a unit that is not an AG or Postal unit, the focus is not on our field but instead, the mission or objective of their assigned unit. Then I was a new Soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA I was assigned to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team and spent a majority of my time in the field. I was able to go on spur ride with my cavalry battalion, complete the Manchu Mile with one of my infantry Battalions and even complete the EIB course “just for fun” with the same unit but in my 2.5 years with the Raider Brigade never did I have AG centric training and this is how the AGCRA can develop leaders in the AG community.

With these concepts and principles in mind, I believe we could appeal to our younger AG warriors and indoctrinate them into the AG community and continue to build a legacy for the AGCRA. It’s not enough to capture the interest of our junior leaders. We must appeal to their sense of pride in self and profession, determination to excel and engender a commitment to excellence within our field and beyond.