Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Suicide, sexual assault and Army standards were among the topics discussed at U.S. Army-Pacific’s Noncommissioned Officer Development Program sessions, Sept. 13.
Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Leota, senior enlisted leader, USARPAC, spoke to senior NCOs, here, in the morning, and then addressed Soldiers stationed at Fort Shafter in the afternoon. Leota’s main objective was to relay information from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III.
Leota addressed two issues that have taken precedence Armywide: suicide and sexual assault.
“It is up to us, as senior noncommissioned officers, to put a stop to these problems,” Leota said. “Soldier awareness and Soldier health starts with our leadership, and we have to take it seriously.”
Leota also addressed rapidly changing Army standards.
“We have to work toward what Sergeant Major of the Army (Chandler) refers to as the ‘new normal,’” Leota said. “We have to reshape our force with a new focus on training, quality of the force and getting back to basics.”
Leota reminded NCOs to maintain a positive relationship with their subordinates, which will foster a strong team built on trust.
“We have to have open and transparent communication,” Leota said. “Our Soldiers will be honest with us if we are honest and up front with them.”
Leota also talked about setting the standard as a senior NCO.
“We have to set and maintain the highest standards,” Leota said. “We have to teach our Soldiers to be proud of what they do and learn to breed esprit at the lowest levels.”
Leota reiterated the emphasis Chandler and all senior leaders put on quality of the force.
“From now on, when a Soldier enlists, he must be of the best quality,” Leota said. “Re-enlistments will only be granted to the most-qualified Soldiers, as well. Our focus is on quality over quantity.
“When you serve, you set a quality example to others,” Leota said. “Sergeant Major of the Army (Chandler) is adamant
that his senior noncommissioned officers are modeling the best behavior, and only those who are will move forward in our force.”