SMA Chandler meets with Schofield Soldiers, families

| November 15, 2013 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III (left) talks with Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, during a portion of his three-day visit to Schofield Barracks, earlier this week.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III (left) talks with Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, during a portion of his three-day visit to Schofield Barracks, earlier this week.

Story and photos by
Sgt. Matthew Ryan
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — It was standing room only for almost 1,500 Soldiers and family members who came to hear what the Army’s senior noncommissioned officer, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III, had to say during a town hall meeting at Sgt. Smith Theater, here, Tuesday.

The town hall was part of a three-day visit to Hawaii, Chandler’s second trip here since assuming the position as the senior enlisted adviser for the Army where, among his responsibilities, he advises the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno on all enlisted matters, mainly areas dealing with training and quality of life for Soldiers.

Upon his arrival, here, Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller and Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones, the leadership team of the 25th Infantry Division, greeted Chandler for a discussion about the strategic challenges of the Army and how they impact the Tropic Lighting community.

Chandler (standing) addresses professionalism in the Army, the drawdown and other issues during a town hall meeting with Soldiers and family members at Sgt. Smith Theater.

Chandler (standing) addresses professionalism in the Army, the drawdown and other issues during a town hall meeting with Soldiers and family members at Sgt. Smith Theater.

Afterward, Chandler headed to the “Bronco Inn,” the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID’s dining facility, for lunch and a more tactical discussion with junior NCOs.

Later, at the town hall meeting, Soldiers, family members and Department of Army civilians were able to ask questions and discuss issues that concern the Army and Schofield Barracks community.

His discussion began with a focus on professionalism in the Army, including the importance of character, commitment and competence. Chandler said that these values must guide Soldiers of all ranks when they encounter challenges, such as sexual assault, hazing and suicide.

“I expect NCOs and all leaders to stop talking and start doing something about sexual assault,” he said. “We can solve this problem by getting out there and doing our part. We must look after one another, step up and be professionals in everything we do.”

To help everyone understand the problem, Chandler asked the audience if they had ever had something stolen from their barracks room. Many Soldiers said “yes,” and that the incident made them mad and left them with a lack of trust in their fellow Soldiers and their leadership.

“When someone steals something from your room, it’s tangible, it can be replaced,” he said. “But, with sexual assault, it can never be replaced. You can’t buy back someone’s dignity and respect.”

Junior NCOs had the opportunity to sit down for lunch with Chandler (second from left) at the Bronco Inn during the SMA’s recent visit to Schofield.

Junior NCOs had the opportunity to sit down for lunch with Chandler (second from left) at the Bronco Inn during the SMA’s recent visit to Schofield.

He said a very small percentage of Soldiers are committing these crimes, but everyone else must be engaged to help Soldiers in need or to identify problems in their ranks.

“If we are not helping, we are part of the problem,” he said, adding that he is confident that if NCOs get behind this challenge, he knows the Army will solve it.

During a question-and-answer session at the end of the town hall, Soldiers and family members focused on the effects of the drawdown of troops and budget cuts.

“Budget cuts and sequestration are out of the Army’s control,” Chandler said. “Our Army is guided by the decisions of our elected leaders, so we must prioritize the assets they give us on every level to develop an effective and professional Army.”

He noted that because of the budget cuts, the active Army will have only 490,000 Soldiers by the end of 2015.

“We are going to have fewer troops and less assets and equipment,” he said.

“The Army needs to be trained and ready to defend the nation,” Chandler noted, “and to do that, we can retain only those Soldiers who are exceeding the standards.”

After the town hall meeting, Chandler ended his visit to Hawaii with a tour of two training sites.

His first stop was to the Lightning Academy, where he received a briefing about the upcoming Jungle Operations Training Center and the current courses available, including the Adaptive Leader Course.

He finished his visit by observing a squad- and platoon-level live-fire demonstration with an assault on a simulated enemy objective within jungle terrain.

Chandler said he enjoys opportunities such as this to share information from Army leadership and get direct feedback from members of the Army team.

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Category: Leadership, News

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