SMA Chandler discusses warrior issues during symposium

| April 29, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler III, sergeant major of the Army, discusses Soldier issues at the AUSA Institute for Land Warfare Installations Symposium, held in San Antonio, April 21. (Luke Elliot | Installation Management Command Headquarters)

Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler III, sergeant major of the Army, discusses Soldier issues at the AUSA Institute for Land Warfare Installations Symposium, held in San Antonio, April 21. (Luke Elliot | Installation Management Command Headquarters)

Shayna E. Brouker
Installation Management Command

SAN ANTONIO — Despite the stress on Soldiers after nearly a decade at war, the Army is doing well, said Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler III, sergeant major of the Army, during the Association of the U.S. Army symposium, April 21, here.

He acknowledged problems facing the Army as it begins another decade engaged in war, but noted that last year the Army met its recruitment and retention goals.

“You all are a large part of that,” he said, addressing the Installation Management Command workforce and Department of the Army civilians. “IMCOM is a flexible, adaptable organization that provides what our Army asks for. Thank you for what you do to make Soldiers’ and families’ lives seamless.”

Chandler then focused on the biggest issues facing the Army, including the recent repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and mental health problems in Soldiers returning from war. He condemned the plague of sexual harassment and assault within Army ranks.

“It is against Army core values and the warrior ethos to allow people to sexually harass and sexually assault each other,” he asserted. “It is not okay. I expect my battle buddies to tell me if I’m way out in left field. That is the attitude we need to incorporate.”

In a moment of candor, Chandler disclosed that he has benefited from behavioral health counseling himself, for the past two years, and that Gen. George Casey, former Army chief of staff, selected him as sergeant major of the Army with full knowledge of that fact.

He encouraged other Army leaders to “walk the talk,” too, to help dispel the stigma against mental health counseling.

Chandler also called on leaders to look out for their subordinates and said leadership was the key to solving the suicide problem.

“The young men and women we’ve asked to serve are thirsty for your leadership,” he said. “We need to find those 10 minutes to make a difference in that person’s life. We’ve got to go the extra mile to make sure they’re okay.”

Chandler acknowledged that the Army is “tired, but not broken.”

“We’ve got a great Army family, all committed to excellence,” he said. “There are lots of challenges ahead, but we know the business at hand and what our country expects of us. We are an Army of action, and we are going to take charge.”

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Category: Army News Service, Leadership, News

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