CSM’s guide to fiscal year 16

Kentucky National Guard Staff Report

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As uncertainty hangs over defense budgets and the impacts on the troops, Service members remain ready and able. Regardless of decisions at the highest level, a Guardsman is the steward of his own career. Kentucky’s State Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden has some advice for the coming year.

MUNDEN_CMD (1)I appreciate the opportunity to speak to all of our Soldiers. I would like to let you know a few areas that are important to me as I serve in the Kentucky Guard. As a sergeant, these topics are what I believe and expect my fellow sergeants to embrace.

  1. -Lead! From the front, rear, alongside, always lead. Some in our ranks have titles and positions of leadership, but privates lead as well, when they take the opportunity. Teaching, training, mentoring and counseling are all elements of leadership.
  2. -Get Fit! Good physical fitness will ensure that you can pass the physical fitness test and be in compliance for height and weight. It’s also part of the Performance Triad (Sleep, Activity, Nutrition).
  3. -Be a Warrior! Know your weapons, equipment, MOS and regulations. Be able to utilize them at their most effective service. Be able to teach and train the same. We are professionals, and professionals take their job seriously.
  4. -Go to School! Completion of NCOES schools is the requirement to serve at the next highest rank. That education gives you a license to operate at the next position. Those holding positions of responsibility without the required education are operating without a license.
  5. -Stay Informed! Join a professional organization, like EANGKY, NCOA, and others. Or, join a service organization like the VFW or American Legion. Being well informed about your profession enables you to make better decisions, and if you are a leader, better able to inform those you lead.
  6. -Stay Safe! Slow Down! Remember, Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast. Handle all weapons as if they are loaded. Don’t drive distracted or impaired on alcohol or drugs. Always be aware of your surroundings, and be watchful for people, places and things that don’t look right. If you see something, say something, or do something. If you have to do something, take someone with you, if you can.
  7. -SHARP! All Soldiers are valued, and are equally on the team. Treat one another as an equal, not as an opportunity.
  8. -Have Fun! Enjoy your time in the Kentucky Guard. Make friends. Find value in your service. Maintain a positive mental attitude. Tell your story about your service to family and friends. Be a happy warrior!

We face uncertainty in our budget, as that is appropriated to us by Congress. Currently, we are allotted about the same amount of money as last year. With that, opportunities for additional training and schools with be limited.

I strongly encourage all who need NCOES for their current rank or future promotion opportunities to avail themselves for school in this training year. As we move to the STEP (Select, Train, Educate, Promote) system in 2017, we will have less latitude in assigning school quotas to Soldiers.

As part of STEP, The Army will be changing the NCOES requirement for promotion to sergeant through sergeant major. In general, the NCOES required will fall back one rank. Soldiers who want to be promoted to sergeant will have to complete Basic Leader Course (formerly known as Warrior Leader Course) prior to being promoted. Sergeants will have to complete Advanced Leader Course, and staff sergeants will have to complete Senior Leader Course prior to being promoted.

Many NCO’s in our ranks are currently holding positions of leadership in which they have not achieved what will be the mandated NCOES for that position. For example, we have many sergeants who have not completed the Basic Leader Course, when they should be attending the Advanced Leader Course at the present time. Should these sergeant’s fail to attend BLC during this training year, they will be at a high risk of never being promoted again, as they will not have the NCOES for the next grade, and will not be able to access a school seat for the NCOES that they need to hold their current grade.

I strongly believe that we are in the leadership business. We constantly and consistently grow and produce leaders from our ranks. We need all Soldiers to make themselves available, through training and service, to serve as a leader in our business. Do all that you can to make it to NCOES this training year.

Going back to funding, I realize that money will be tight. Do not let that limit your imagination or motivation to train and teach at the squad and team level. Staff sergeants have never been allocated training funds to spend, so you have a lot of experience at creating good training from your hip pocket or from the resource library. I have full faith and confidence in you to train, teach, mentor and lead our Soldiers.

Every day that I serve with you is an honor and a privilege for me. I will do my best to see each and every one of you in the coming year, whether it is at the armory, in the field, at the schoolhouse, or wherever Soldiers are. Thank you for your service to our country and our state.

 

 

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