Story and photo by
Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Leota, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Army-Pacific, visited students attending the Noncommissioned Officer Academy-Hawaii, here, Aug. 6.
Students first viewed a video made by Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, who discussed issues such as Soldier suicide, sexual assault, “Back to Basics” and the future of Army operations throughout the Pacific.
Afterward, Leota discussed NCO responsibilities.
“When you put on those chevrons and become a leader, you are responsible for someone’s son or daughter,” Leota said. “You are saying to their parents that you will take care of them. You have to take that job seriously.”
Leota also spoke about issues covered in the video, highlighting Wiercinski’s top issues.
“To take care of these problems, you have to talk to your Soldiers, not through email or text, but face-to-face,” Leota said. “You have to engage your Soldiers, find out what is in their brains; otherwise, you will not be able to help them with these problems.”
Students were encouraged and motivated by the visit.
“It’s good to see our (leadership) is very serious about taking care of issues like sexual assault and suicide,” said Sgt. Matthew Savadin, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
Leota challenged students to move forward in their careers with conviction, especially as combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq begin to subside and focus shifts to Army basics.
“I believe this new focus on the basics will breed a strong spirit of competition, which is what pushes us to excellence,” said Spc. Luis Amezcua, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID.