Interview with Command Sgt. Major Patrick McKie

By Master Sgt. Kelli Harr

Command Sgt. Major Patrick McKie, assumed responsibility as the Command Sgt. Major of the Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) on June 29, 2013. Colonel Bartow is ARCD’s commander.

CSM McKie addresses the Soldiers, family and friends during the change of responisibility ceremony on June 29, 2013, Gillem Enclave, GA

CSM McKie addresses the Soldiers, family and friends during the change of responsibility ceremony on June 29, 2013, Gillem Enclave, GA

“I am truly humbled to be selected and assigned as the Command Sgt. Major for this organization. It is truly home for me. Let me start by saying that Colonel Bartow and I truly care about each Soldier and their families within this formation. All of the Army Reserve Careers Division is my family. That is unwavering and constant” – Command Sgt. Major Patrick McKie

What is your vision for the Army Reserve Careers Division over the next several years?

The Army Reserve Careers Division is an NCO-centric force. As such, we will continue to provide professional, adaptive, resilient Non-Commissioned Officers who are capable of accomplishing our core-competencies; reenlistments, transfers into the Army Reserve, and life-cycle counseling. Those aspects won’t change. This all needs to be accomplished while remaining rock-solid Soldiers who exceed the standards. We can achieve all of this without sacrificing our integrity or moral courage.

How will your prior experience as a Brigade Sgt. Major affect your position as the Brigade Command Sgt. Major?

All of our assignments shape who we are. The many assignments I have been fortunate enough to have within AR-RTD/Army Reserve Careers Division have grounded me in our core competencies. External assignments such as being a Cavalry Scout, Drill Sergeant, and Garrison Command Sgt. Major have also shaped me. This is why we PCS Soldiers…to develop them professionally in a variety of assignments and locations.

In what ways will the substantial budget cuts throughout Department of Defense affect Army Reserve Careers Division Soldiers?

We face a fundamentally different fiscal reality. We have faced this before. Limits with funding will continue to challenge us to operate smarter and more efficiently without sacrificing mission accomplishment or Soldier and family care. It is in tough times that the Army does its best…remembering and focusing on the Army Values and the Soldier Creed. Inspirational and positive leadership combined with dedication is what we need to demonstrate across our Army.

Previously you were assigned to a Brigade (within the Army Reserve Careers Division) that somewhat struggled with mission. How will having that prior knowledge of motivating troops in tough situations benefit you as the Brigade Command Sergeant Major?

Missions are inherently tough. I believe that holding Soldiers to the standard, inspiring and empowering them to achieve, and providing them with the resources to accomplish the mission is key. Struggling is okay. The key is to be resilient and resolute in what we do.

How do you see the Soldiers in the Army Reserve Careers Division impacting the Army Reserve end-strength?

The Army Reserve Careers Division directly impacts the strength of the Army Reserve. Every Solder we transition, reenlist, or counsel in anyway directly influences the Army Reserve. There is no other CMF (Career Management Field)  in the Army that directly impacts so many Soldiers.

As you know, Career Counselors are often evaluated on their mission accomplishment which at times can be extremely stressful. How do you suggest they remain resilient in achieving their assigned numbers?

Obviously “making your numbers” should not be the sole factor in evaluations. That said, we have to be aware of our own resiliency. Neglecting to perform routine maintenance or put gas in your vehicle and expecting it to start is lunacy. Yet we do it all the time. My belief is that all of our Soldiers need to perform physical training every day. They need to maximize time with their families. They should get involved in events and activities bigger than themselves (a religious activity, community group, etc.). If we are struggling to bounce back, or our resiliency is tested, we need to reach out to others for help. If we invest in our resiliency, we truly become Army Strong.

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