Story by Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Calkins
EASTOVER, S.C. – Senior noncommissioned officers assigned to the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (218th MEB) attended the Command Sergeant Major Call held at McCrady Training Center, Eastover, S.C., August 27, 2016.
Approximately 30 members, ranks ranging from Master Sergeant to Command Sergeant Major, came together to learn of policy changes and discuss issues pertinent to Soldier education, training, and administrative support.
Opening remarks from Col. Jeffrey A. Jones, the commander of the 218th MEB, were heard via live remote as he attended the Strong Bonds event in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“It is important to talk about issues in the brigade, the challenges and whether they are necessary,” said Jones. “Due to your leadership, our Soldiers and their families are doing well.”
South Carolina State Command Sergeant Major Russell A. Vickery expanded these sentiments as he addressed the group of leaders on the importance of mentoring subordinate Soldiers.
“We need to continue to develop young Soldiers, young Captains and Lieutenants,” said Vickery. “Embrace change and meet them on their own media.”
Vickery encouraged the leadership to use the Army Career Tracker to mentor their Soldiers while relating to Soldiers personally through their own media, social media.
The event included guest speakers from Joint Force Headquarters concerning policy changes for promotions and military school attendance, recruiting and retention, and training opportunities through the Army National Guard Regional Virtual Training Program (RVTP).
The event provided senior NCOs an opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions of guest speakers and of Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel McLellan, the command sergeant major of the 218th MEB. Priority issues for McLellan included safety, recruiting and retention, and how the National Guard is changing.
“Taking care of Soldiers, doing the right thing, and slowing down to increase safety are our priorities,” said McLellan as he addressed leaders. “We have to do all we can do to take care of Soldiers.”
As the day came to a close, senior NCOs were able to voice their battalion and company level concerns, work towards solutions, and ask for support of units within the brigade.
“What can we do better, how can we change things,” asked McLellan of his senior leaders. “Come to me with your problems and we will get it solved.”