500th MI Bde.’s Retention hosts informative breakfast

| April 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from 500th MI Bde., listen Sgt. 1st Class Edward M. Zezlina, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Career Counselor, discusses reenlistment options during the brigade’s re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Soldiers from 500th MI Bde., listen Sgt. 1st Class Edward M. Zezlina, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Career Counselor, discusses reenlistment options during the brigade’s re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins
500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — For Soldiers, there are many major decisions that must be faced during an Army career.

Re-enlisting is one decision Soldiers should not take lightly.

The 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s Career Counselor hosted a re-enlistment breakfast focused on informing Soldiers of their re-enlistment options, held at the 8th Theater Sustainment Command Consolidated Dinning Facility, here, April 13.

Command Sgt. Maj. James M. Calder, senior enlisted adviser, 500th MI Bde., began with comments about the importance of a comprehensive retention policy,

Col. Patrick J. Wempe, commander, 500th MI Bde., talks to the Soldiers about making informed decisions as it pertains to re-enlistment during the brigade’s re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, at 8th Theater Sustainment Command's Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Col. Patrick J. Wempe, commander, 500th MI Bde., talks to the Soldiers about making informed decisions as it pertains to re-enlistment during the brigade’s re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, at 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

“The goal of the retention program here isn’t to tighten the screws down on someone to make them re-enlist,” said Calder. “This is a 360-degree approach, where the most important thing is for your leadership to sit down and talk about what is important to you and what you would like to do and make sure that you make an informed decision.”

In his comments, Calder emphasized the importance of retaining highly qualified Soldiers and maintaining a force that is effective and motivated.

“If you want to stay a Soldier, I love it; stay on my team. I want the best of you to stay in the Army, because we need you.”

Following Command Sgt. Maj. Calder’s comments, Col. Patrick J. Wempe, commander, 500th MI Bde., encouraged the Soldiers present to look beyond their immediate duties and examine the impact of their efforts on the Army as a whole.

“You might not necessarily understand the value of your job day to day, but all of us, all the way up to the brigade commander level, are part of a machine that is the world’s greatest Army,” Wempe said. “And, all of us, performing our role in that big machine, are what allows this big machine to be great.”

But for some Soldiers, the Army may not be the right decision.

“I recognize the army is not for everyone. … For some, the Army might not be the best option,” said Wempe, regarding re-enlistment. “However, I believe that for virtually everyone, the Army is a really good option.”

Spc. Durette Dimry, a Logan, Utah, native, signals intelligence analyst, Company B, 715th MI Battalion, 500th MI Bde., is taking a hard look at his choice to re-enlist.

Sgt. 1st Class Edward M. Zezlina, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Career Counselor, discusses re-enlistment options with Soldiers of the 500th MI Bde. during a re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, at 8th Theater Sustainment Command's Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Sgt. 1st Class Edward M. Zezlina, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Career Counselor, discusses re-enlistment options with Soldiers of the 500th MI Bde. during a re-enlistment breakfast, April 13, at 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s Consolidated Dinning Facility, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

“Too many Soldiers get out of the Army for the wrong reasons,” Dimry said. “There are good reasons to get out of the Army, and there are bad reasons to get out of the Army. The information presented here will allow me to make an informed decision.”

“If you sit down, look at your options, and after thinking about everything, you decide to be a civilian, I want you to be successful there,” said Calder. “We owe it to you to give you all the support we can. I would tell you, thank you for being a Soldier during this time. God bless you. We have been at war for a long time time, and what tools can we provide you so that when you get out you can be successful?”

Wempe expressed that it is okay to serve your country and then move on.

“It’s alright not to spend a career or a lifetime in the Army. Do not feel like you are quitting. We want you to be successful in what you do outside the Army,” Wempe said. “And if you move on and start another phase of your life, that is okay, and we will help you do that, because we want you to be successful when you leave the Army.”

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