JOIN  |   eSTORE  |   LOGIN  |   SITEMAP  |   LINKS
 SEARCH 
HomeAboutMembershipProgramsPublicationsNews & EventsLegislationHomeAboutMembershipProgramsPublicationsNews & EventsLegislation


Institute of Land Warfare >> Institute of Land Warfare Publications >> NCO Update Archive >> Fourth Quarter 2005 Email this... Email    Print this Print


Fourth Quarter 2005
12/01/2005

Korean War veteran receives Medal of Honor

He single-handedly defended a hill for 24 hours, allowing fellow Soldiers to withdraw. While a prisoner of war, he risked his life daily to keep more than 30 fellow POWs alive. Despite these actions above and beyond the call of duty during the Korean War, CPL Tibor (Ted) Rubin, a Holocaust survivor, was denied any awards other than two Purple Hearts due to apparent anti-Semitic attitudes.

Rubin finally received the Medal of Honor in September from President George W. Bush during a White House ceremony; he is the first Jewish Korean War Soldier to receive the honor.

Born 18 June 1929 in Hungary, Rubin was imprisoned at age 13 in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. His father died at Buchenwald, his mother and sister died at Auschwitz. American troops liberated Mauthausen near the end of World War II. “Army medics brought us survivors back to life,” Rubin said. “I was liberated by the U.S. Army and felt that if I ever made it to the United States of America I would join the Army.”

He did just that, after immigrating to the United States in 1948 when war broke out he volunteered. And in July 1950, Rubin, as an infantryman in I Company, 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, engaged the enemy and tended to the wounded with what officials described as “careless disregard for his own safety.” In one battle Rubin manned a machinegun for 24 hours by himself, thus allowing his battalion to successfully withdraw.

In October 1950 Chinese troops crossed the border to join the battle and Rubin was severely wounded and captured. He spent time in two of the worst POW camps, “Death Valley” and Pyoktong. Applying survival skills he learned in Mauthausen, Rubin made soup for himself and his fellow prisoners from grass and wild plants and gathered maggots from filthy latrines to eat gangrene on Soldiers’ wounds. Witnesses said Rubin risked his life to steal food at night from the Chinese captors. Rubin also kept morale up, standing up to the Chinese and turning them down when they offered to send him home to Hungary, then a communist country. Though not yet a U.S. citizen, Rubin refused to leave his American comrades. He was repatriated after 30 months and concluded his Army service on 20 July, 1953. Shortly after that he became an American citizen.

Two unit commanders recommended Rubin three times for the Medal of Honor, but the unit’s first sergeant never prepared the papers. Fellow Soldiers later signed affidavits stating the sergeant’s virulent anti-Semitic attitude was the reason for the snub. Rubin’s subsequent award came after Congress told the armed services in 2001 to review the cases of Jewish veterans. (From Scripps Howard News Service.)

AUSA publishes two new guides

A comprehensive reference handbook about the Army and a guide for Soldiers’ parents are two new publications produced by the Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare (ILW).

Profile of the U.S. Army—a reference handbook is a user-friendly reference book for people familiar with the Army and an easy-to-read introduction to the Army for family members, civilian employees, contractors and future Soldiers. The Profile describes the Army’s role in the national security structure and then flows into the Army’s organization and structure, including the current transformation to the Modular Force. Profile also contains information and helpful graphics on the Soldier, the Army’s institutions, Army families and the Army’s current operations. Each chapter includes a list of relevant websites. Appendixes include information on major Army commands, a list of Army posts and a glossary of acronyms.

Your Soldier, Your Army: A Parents’ Guide was written by Vicki Cody, wife of GEN Richard Cody, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and the mother of two Apache helicopter pilots with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Mrs. Cody turns her own 30-year experience as the wife and mother of Soldiers into advice and consolation for other parents with deploying children. The book’s tone is warm and confidential with an honest mix of pride and tribulation, a tone that appeals to concerned parents. Mrs. Cody covers the whole gamut of deployments, from the preparation through the endurance to the homecoming, and includes a personal view into Army life and an explanation of Army terminology. Supplemental articles and exclamation points feature tips and facts about the Army.

Copies of both publications are available free of charge while supplies last. To order, call 1-800-336-4570, ext. 630, or e-mail ilwpublications@ausa.org. Additionally, they are available as PDFs in the ILW section of the AUSA web site (www.ausa.org/ilw). Profile will be periodically updated as new information becomes available.

Oldest air defense battalion inactivated

What began in 1794 as the 3d Company, 4th Battalion, Corps of Artillerists and Engineers, ended 15 September when the 4th Battalion, 3d Air Defense Artillery Regiment was officially inactivated. At a 1st Infantry Division ceremony in Würzburg, Germany, the colors of the 4-3 ADA, the oldest air defense battalion in the active Army, were sheathed while the colors of the Air and Missile Defense Detachment were presented.

The Air and Missile Defense Detachment was created to advise the 1ID commanding general on all matters related to air and missile defense, as well as provide early warning and airspace management for the division. The detachment is an interim organization while 1ID transforms into a Unit of Employment, part of the Army’s transformation to a modular force. The 4-3 ADA is the first battalion-sized unit of 1ID to be inactivated.

Soldiers in the 4-3 ADA had seen action in almost every major conflict in U.S. history up through Operation Iraqi Freedom II. After returning from its last deployment to Iraq the unit dispersed more than 10,000 pieces of equipment and most of its 500 Soldiers, many of whom were reclassified into new career tracks, including military police, transportation, water purification and cavalry scouts. About 25 Soldiers, along with 10 vehicles and two Sentinel radar systems, remain with the Air and Missile Defense Detachment. (From Army News Service and Stars and Stripes.)

Army honors top recruiters

Although the Army will likely fall short of its recruiting goals, it nevertheless recruited the second highest numbers in the past five years and was on its way to surpassing its reenlistment goals—despite that goal is expansion by 8,000 over last year’s goal.

In recognition of these successes, Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey recognized the best NCO recruiters and career counselors during a 6 September ceremony at the Pentagon. “The Army is not in a crisis mode, but a concerned mode,” he said.

Harvey praised the work of those NCOs who inspire citizens to join the Army and convince Soldiers to reenlist. The following honorees received a large porcelain eagle in full flight holding an American flag:

  • Active Army Recruiter of the Year, SFC Dale Shavalier in Fayetteville, North Carolina;
  • Active Army Career Counselor of the Year, SFC Christopher Richardson at Fort Bragg, North Carolina;
  • Army Reserve Recruiter of the Year, SFC David Morrison in Anniston, Alabama;
  • Army Reserve Retention and Transition NCO of the Year, MSG John Dunlap in Independence, Missouri;
  • Army National Guard Recruiter and Retention NCO of the Year, MSG Manuel Horn in Sterling Heights, Michigan;
  • Army Reserve Component Career Counselor of the Year, SFC Suzanne Delarosa in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Morrison became a recruiter because his own recruiter set a good example. “My job is to tell the Army’s story,” he said. “It’s the best job.” (From Army News Service.)

MPs earn medals for saving Iraqi soldiers

When an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a transport vehicle filled with Iraqi National Guard (ING) soldiers, three members of the 10th Military Police Company from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, took extraordinary action to assist four of the wounded.

SSG Javier Echols, SGT Matthew Acosta and SGT Zachariah Collett were patrolling a main supply route when the IED exploded nearby. Echols led his team to rescue the four wounded Iraqi soldiers while exposed to crossfire between insurgents and the ING soldiers. The trio moved the wounded to safety—creating a makeshift stretcher from a piece of metal blown from the transport truck to carry one of the soldiers—and administered first aid until an evacuation helicopter arrived.

As a result of their actions, Echols received the Silver Star for bravery, Acosta received the Bronze Star Medal for valor and Collett received an Army Commendation Medal for valor. (From Army News Service.)

Oldest Buffalo Soldier dies at 111

With more than 500 people present, including fellow Buffalo Soldiers, retired 1SG Mark Matthews was laid to rest 12 September at Arlington National Cemetery. At 111, he was believed to be the oldest of the Buffalo Soldiers, the African-American Soldiers who fought in segregated regiments in the American West.

Born 7 August 1894 in Greenville, Alabama, Matthews grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, when he delivered newspapers on his pony. He met a group of Buffalo Soldiers at a racetrack where he worked exercising horses. Inspired by their stories of service, he altered documents to convince recruiters he was 17 rather than 16.

Matthews was assigned to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and served with GEN John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing’s 1916 expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa. In 1931 he was assigned to Fort Myer, Virginia, where he trained recruits in horsemanship, tended Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential stable and played on the polo team. He saw action on Saipan in the South Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army in 1949.

About 5,000 African American Soldiers enlisted in the 9th and 10th cavalries and what would become the 24th and 25th infantries after these segregated regiments were formed in 1866, one year after the Civil War’s end. These regiments did distinguished service first in the American western plains against the Cheyenne, Kiowa and Apache. It was these Native American tribes who bestowed the name “Buffalo Soldiers” because the Soldiers’ black, curly hair reminded them of a buffalo’s mane, and their fighting prowess earned the native warriors’ respect.

Mary Matthews Watson, 1SG Matthews’ daughter and caretaker, received the folded U.S. flag that draped her father’s casket before he was buried in a vault above that of his wife, Genevieve, who died in 1986. “When they presented me the flag, I felt not only for my father but for all the Buffalo Soldiers and the other African American Soldiers who were such great heroes and such great Americans,” she said. (From The Washington Post.)

Sergeants Major Academy gets first Afghan student

Among the 648 students in U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 56 at Fort Bliss, Texas, one was a standout from the first day of classes in August: Command Sergeant Major Roshan Safi of the Afghanistan National Army. CSM Safi is the first Afghan to attend the academy.

“We thought he was the best in the enlisted part of the army to make some changes in the Afghan culture and in the army,” said Vermont National Guardsman CSM Mark Spencer, who, while stationed in Afghanistan, was Safi’s mentor. Spencer noted that along with Safi’s ability to read and write in English, he showed strong leadership skills.

Safi studied English in Iran, where he lived while the Taliban ruled Aghanistan. After the Taliban’s fall, Safi returned home and became the first man in his province to join the Afghanistan National Army. “I joined because I hope for a better life for my people,” Safi said. “We had a very bad time under the Taliban regime. People were selling their children for food.”

Safi withstood pressures form local insurgents, who would drop letters in villages at night to warn people against joining the army. “After my basic training for 70 days, I went back and I heard they killed my brother,” he said. “My brother is dead, but now there are thousands of people safe.”

In part that’s due to Safi. He began his career as a supply sergeant and was promoted to battalion command sergeant major. He was later selected to brigade command sergeant major. After attending the Kabul Military Training Center he was chosen to be the first Afghan Soldier to attend the U.S. Army’s Sergeants Major Course. “We felt he was the future for that army,” Spencer said. (From Army News Service.)

Tobacco addiction threatens readiness

The increase in deployments and stress has led to higher levels of tobacco use—cigarettes and snuff—among Army troops. Many Soldiers consider a drag or a dip an effective relaxant in the midst of deployment hardships.

However, tobacco use also is responsible for a higher rate of medical problems and hinders Soldiers’ abilities in combat. Smoking, chewing and dipping tobacco can decrease night vision, mental acuity, lung capacity, stamina, stress management and the healing of wounds. Further-more, while tobacco use can create a temporary pleasurable sensation, it ends up causing further cravings that lead to addiction.

If all this sounds like drug abuse, it is. “I was not a drug addict, even though nicotine is a drug and I was an addict,” said SFC Steven Campbell, a tobacco user for 18 years before quitting cold turkey. “When you say ‘drug addict,’ most people think of cocaine or heroin. Most people don’t think of nicotine as being a drug. But once it’s got a hold of you, it doesn’t want to turn loose.”

Though cancer is the best known resulting disease from tobacco use, it is not the only medical issue. Risk of strokes, dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis, ulcers, erectile dysfunction and hearing loss all significantly increase with tobacco use.

As with any drug, nicotine withdrawal is a physical and emotional challenge. When Soldiers quit they often endure depression similar to mourning the loss of a loved one. In fact, some Soldiers hold funerals or keep tokens of their final tobacco experience. That approach can be therapeutic for it provides closure for kicking a drug addiction, said Cindy Hawthorne, coordinator of the Tobacco Cessation Program at Fort Lewis, Washington. “Quitting can be painful,” she said. “Some people need to have that extra push.” (From Army News Service.)

Soldiers getting upgraded body armor

Citing a need for better protection against the strongest attacks from insurgents, the Pentagon is again replacing body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as for civilian employees and news reporters. This will be the second body armor upgrade since Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began.

The first upgrade, completed in early 2004, installed ceramic protective plates in vests. The current upgrade, which will take several more months to complete, consists of thicker plates that can withstand stronger attacks: the new armor weighs about 18 pounds, one pound heavier than the original plates. According to the New York Times the upgrades will cost at least $160 million.

The upgrades have been delayed in part because of debate over what is best for the troops, balancing the need for more protection against the need for agility that could be hampered by carrying extra weight. A shortage of raw material has also been blamed for the delay. (From the Associated Press.)

CSM Gainey in new Pentagon position

U.S. Marine Corps General Peter Pace, who took over the duties as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff on 30 September 2005, has selected U.S. Army CSM William J. Gainey to serve as his senior enlisted advisor. Gainey began serving in his new post 1 October 2005.

This is a newly created position established to advise the chairman on all matters involving enlisted personnel in a joint environment.

Gainey enlisted in the Army in 1974 and entered basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on 17 June 1975. He began as a driver, loader, gunner and tank commander and since has served in every leadership position from command group gunner to command sergeant major. He served in Operations Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard and Joint Forge in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was command sergeant major of Eagle Base. He also served as command sergeant major for the Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

Prior to his selection by Pace for the new Joint Chiefs of Staff position, Gainey had served as the command sergeant major for III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, since 9 May 2003.

His biography may be found at www.hood.army.mil/fthood/3Corps/bios/CSM%20Biography.htm.


NCO Notes

Leadership Attributes
By Command Sergeant Major Daniel E. Hagan

    Leadership is not a natural trait, something inherited like the color of the eyes or hair. . . .
    Leadership is a skill that can be studied, learned, and perfected by practice.1
The Noncommissioned Officer’s Guide, 1962

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born, leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work . . . we are all leaders, and all people have potential leadership skills.”2 We develop our leadership skills through the application and refinement of three classifications of leadership attributes: mental, physical and emotional. These attributes, tied with ethical responsibility, a set of values and sound mentorship, mold us as leaders so we are able to analyze, process and rationalize situations to arrive at a sound decision when faced with adversities in life.

But what are attributes? What defines our mental, physical and emotional attributes? Webster’s dictionary defines “attribute” as “a quality, character, or characteristic ascribed, naturally belonging to a person, based on attributing feelings.”3 Based on this definition, we can safely conclude that attributes are characteristics which leaders possess that assign certain qualities inherent to successful leadership abilities. So what criteria define our mental, physical and emotional attributes?

Our mental attributes – will, self-discipline, initiative, judgment, self-confidence, intelligence and cultural awareness – are developed through a series of intensive and progressive training scenarios, real life events, diversity of assignments and formal courses of instruction. They are designed to build on those mental characteristics that help define our personality, the way we interact with our surroundings and the way others interact with us. Our mental state changes with the mission and situation; it can go from one extreme (combat/contingency-driven) to another (peacetime/family-driven). Our mental processes force us to analyze, anticipate, judge, comprehend and execute sound operational practices and remind us of the cultural differences which make each person a unique individual.

As for physical attributes, the aspects of health fitness, physical fitness and professional bearing are inherent to any successful leadership capability. In defining these attributes, the lessons learned by Task Force Smith in Korea are still relevant: “If we fail to prepare our soldiers for their physically demanding wartime tasks, we are paying lip service to the principle of ‘Train as you Fight.’”4 We must diligently develop the physical toughness of our Soldiers so they are able to handle the physical demands of conflict.

This is accomplished not only through tough physical fitness training but also through a series of strenuous physical conditioning exercises and battle drills that stretch the physical limitations of your Soldiers, giving them the will to “drive on” despite fatigue and deprivation. We must also enforce the appearance standards of our Soldiers. Wear the uniform with pride. When Soldiers are flagged for being overweight, don’t merely label them as “fat” or “sloppy”; give them the counseling and motivation they need to overcome their weight problem and remain within Army standards.

Some do not easily handle the situations that Soldiers face in combat and the emotional strain incurred from what they have witnessed. As a leader, your emotional attributes—self-control, balance and stability—are compelling allies when dealing with the emotional complexities you may face in a combat environment. Soldiers in combat situations may experience fear, anxiety, anger and even depression. SGT Theresa Kristek, a veteran of Operation Just Cause, relays her emotional state: “Sure I was scared, but under the circumstances, I’d have been crazy not to be scared. . . . There’s nothing wrong with fear. Without fear, you can’t have acts of courage.”5

Your ability to successfully deal with the emotional tribulations of Soldiers is dependent upon your ability to manage your own. When applying your emotional attributes, lead by inspiration, motivate and rally your Soldiers, remain calm under adverse conditions and recognize that fear is a normal human emotion but can be used positively in any situation. Keep focused on the mission and be mindful of your Soldiers’ emotional state; this may include an “emotional spot check” to ensure there are no signs or symptoms of combat stress.

Another viewpoint of emotional attributes comes from the Academy of Management Executives, which defines one’s “emotional intelligence” as having five components:
1) self-awareness—being conscious of your emotions;
2) managing emotions—not letting your emotions get in the way of getting the job done;
3) motivating oneself—being optimistic despite obstacles, setbacks, and failures;
4) empathy—putting yourself in someone else’s situation and understanding their emotions; and
5) social skills—building relationships, responding to emotions and influencing others.6

These components define how we interact emotionally with others and help us manage our own emotional state. The ability to cope with our emotions is rooted in our capacity to understand and manage emotional responses.

We must understand the role our leadership attributes play in our ability to lead Soldiers on the battlefield. Our mental state, physical abilities and emotional responses are all vital links in assessing our Soldiers’ capabilities when responding to stressful situations, combat environments and leader actions. We have to continually assess and strengthen our attributes in order to grow as leaders. Armed with well-defined leadership attributes, we are able to effectively manage situations where the well-being of our Soldiers becomes the motivating factor in determining the human efficiency of continuous operations and their ability to cope with stressful environments.

1 Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), FM 22-100, Army Leadership: Be, Know, Do, August 1999, pp. 2–10.
2 Robert N. Lussier and Christopher F. Achua, Leadership Theory, Application, Skill Development (Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Wester, 2004), p. 9.
3 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.2002).
4 HQDA, Army Field Manual (FM) 21-20, Physical Fitness Training, 1998, p. iii.
5 FM 22-100, Army Leadership, pp. 2–18.
6 Lussier and Achua, Leadership Theory, p. 36.


JOIN  |   eSTORE  |   LOGIN  |   SITEMAP  |   LINKS