Put to the Test…

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gale, 2012 Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gale, 2012 Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year

The goal, find the top Army Reserve Career Counselor. A Soldier that is balanced and proficient in his daily duty requirements and as Warrior.

To do this the Soldier were given pop quizzes, Army Physical Fitness Test, tested on land navigation, First Aid, Code of Conducted, Uniform Inspection, the EST 2000, appeared before board and had to write a essay.

Provided only a computer without connection to the outside world the competitors were give the question below and 45 minutes to write their essay.

“The Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) recently visited multiple installations. From his visits, he has placed an emphasis on Leaders to improve upon the following three topics:
1. Discipline
2. Leadership
3. Accountability (holding Soldiers accountable)
In what way can you impact the SMA’s emphasized three topics as an Army Reserve Career Counselor and how does the SMA’s topic fit in with the Enlisted Career Management?”

Below is the winning essay by Sgt. 1st Class Gale, the 2012 Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year.

Improving as Leaders
2012 Secretary of the Army, ARCC of the Year Competition
SFC Chris Gale
8th BN, ARCD
18 September 2012

Improving as Leaders

Within the first few months after joining your first unit, you know that only two kinds of leaders exist in the Army: those that live the Be, Know, Do philosophy, and all the rest. The Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) recently placed emphasis on three areas all Leaders need to improve on – discipline (Be), accountability (Know), and leadership (Do). These three topics form the framework of the Enlisted Career Management we provide to our Soldiers, and as Career Counselors we can impact the SMA’s emphasized leader topics.

The first topic the SMA emphasized is discipline – the attribute of an individual or group that ensures prompt obedience to an order, or the initiation of the appropriate action in the absence of orders. A leader must BE a leader of courage, of integrity, a leader with intellectual capacity. A leader must BE all of these traits to ensure they are self-disciplined and to guarantee that they can instill discipline in their teams and units. As ARCCs we must be self-disciplined. Everyday. We operate as autonomous entities and are expected to function with little supervision or guidance. A disciplined ARCC is mission focused, results oriented, competent, and professional. Discipline contributes to providing effective Enlisted Career Management. Soldiers seldom have to wait for a disciplined career counselor to lookup all of their information regarding their benefits at battle assembly; this will already be prepared. Disciplined career counselors also prepare for reenlistment ceremonies ahead of time. Furthermore, as a career counselor, having self discipline means you are accountable for your actions and can help your team members remain accountable for their individual missions and actions.

Accountability means being responsible for what you do or fail to do. NCOs are also responsible for the success or failure of their team’s mission accomplishment. In order to effectively hold Soldier’s accountable, a leader needs to KNOW what the standards are, KNOW their Soldierly tasks, and be proficient in their MOS. As ARCCs we greatly impact accountability. We ensure we know the standards and remain proficient in our MOS. As a result, Soldiers get the proper sponsorship when they enter the unit, are counseled if they are not fulfilling their obligations, and get the current guidance when it comes time to reenlist. We also are accountable to our team and Battalion for our individual mission when it comes to doing our part to shape and sustain the strength of the Army Reserve. Accountability fits in with Enlisted Career Management through a Soldier’s Career Plan. To provide the proper career guidance we use the 83-R as a tool for Soldiers and their first line leaders to set personal career goals and hold them accountable to achieving those goals. This also forces first line leaders to be accountable for their leadership when it comes to the welfare and careers of their subordinates.

Leadership, the process of influencing Soldiers to accomplish the mission by providing purpose direction and motivation, is what a leader must DO. A leader must lead by example, develop Soldiers, and accomplish the mission. Without having the DO quality of an Army leader, mission accomplishment becomes an afterthought once things get difficult and situations are seemingly hopeless. As ARCCs we impact leadership by effectively taking care of Soldiers and their careers. We act as a force multiplier for our supported unit commanders by ensuring the end strength of the unit and the Army Reserve. Providing proper Enlisted Career Management requires effective leadership. We give Soldiers the proper career guidance and explain the best avenues of approach for their careers, in order to develop the next generation of Army leaders.

Discipline. Accountability. Leadership. These are the topics the Sergeant Major of the Army emphasized that leaders need to improve on as our Army changes to meet ARFORGEN requirements and to meet the continually evolving landscape of the war on terror. As Army Reserve Career Counselors we must remain cognizant of these factors of leadership in order to successfully do our jobs and effectively provide enlisted career management.


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