Today I'm thankful for the OUTSTANDING leaders I've been fortunate enough to serve with through the years. I've been blessed with SOME incredible 1SGs, so today is for you all.
As with anything, we always have good examples and bad examples that are set for us, but thankfully, I can honestly say I've had some pretty amazing examples to follow and mold myself after when it comes to 1SGs since I joined the Army over 20 years ago. Those individuals are a large part of the Soldier I was in the end.
I think all the way back to 1SG Capers in AIT, who I have been lucky enough to see throughout the years at GAFB, as he's still in San Angelo. (I hope he still is so I can see him when I go up later this month.) He always set the example of the kind of Soldier we should be and that leaves an impression on a young Soldier - at least it certainly did on this one! Through the years he was always so kind and supportive anytime I would see him. Thanks, Top!
The next point in my career where the 1SG had such an impact, it wasn't even my 1SG that did it, it was one of the 1SGs from another company in the battalion, which you will see is a theme in this post . . . 1SG Best was a huge help to me during what was probably the most difficult and challenging time for me in my career. When I wasn't getting the guidance and support I needed from my 1SG, she was able to provide that and enable me to "Soldier on" through some very tough times. Thanks, Top! Then, 1SG Fleming, who was not only my best friend, but became my 1SG was able to help me put those times behind me and work my way back to being the Soldier I was before. Thanks, Top! Yes, we all have our difficult times, but fortunately, there are those out there who are willing to help because they care, and are AMAZING at what they do!
Finally, I reflect on the next chapter, after those days of challenge and then putting things back together . . . it was 1SG Jesson who was the one who always seemed to know what I needed, often better than I did. His mentorship and guidance were the support that I needed to be able to take care of my Soldiers in the best way I knew how. Thanks, Top! While we weren't a team for long, 1SG Santiago was the perfect one to step into that role. I wasn't so sure in the beginning . . . lol . . . but once I gave him a chance, he proved to be one of the best 1SG I've ever had and certainly made it an even bigger challenge for anyone who followed! If only he could have stuck around a few more months to have been here for my retirement . . . without having to risk missing movement! lol Thanks, Top!
This all brings me to the final 1SG who impacted my career in the end . . . and the other individual who, though he was never, "my" 1SG, is someone who I would have been honored to have called "my 1SG" and is one of the 1SGs for another company in the battalion I spent my last two years in. 1SG Sanders is someone who looks out for all Soldiers, regardless of whether they are in his company or not, and I am very thankful that he does. Not only have I been the lucky recipient of his guidance and mentorship because of that, but so have countless other Soldiers who, without him, would feel lost and without what Soldiers need most...someone who cares and will provide them direction and guidance. Thanks, Top!
So, with that, I will simply say "Thank You" to all of you who have helped me to finish my career with the honor and pride that I did, for it was your example, guidance, mentorship, training and correction that made it all possible!
There are several others who helped along the way, but this post would never end, so I just wanted to touch on those who really were in those key positions at the most formative and trying times . . . but without you all, I would not have accomplished so much, so again, I simply say, "THANK YOU!"
God Bless You All,
God Bless America,