FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii —
To be successful, service members need to grow in the jobs they have, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told soldiers here yesterday during an all-hands call.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey provided that advice in answer to an Army specialist who asked what young noncommissioned officers or officers should do to prepare for jobs with more responsibility.
“There are a lot of people in uniform and out who are always looking two jobs ahead,” he said. “If you were to tell me right now how you were looking forward to being a command sergeant major, … I would tell you that you are missing the opportunity to be the best specialist you can be.”
Being the best specialist means learning how to work effectively as a member of a team -- and that is the glue that holds the Army together, Dempsey said.
“We are interested in being the best people we can be individually, but we also care that the man or woman to our left or right respects us,” he said. “That’s pretty unique.”
He said the combat patches the soldiers were wearing show they already understand that. “You don’t walk out a gate at a [forward operating base] unless you trust the man or woman to your left or right,” he said.
And this bridges units and services, he said. Soldiers need to trust that the medic is trained and will perform if needed. They need to trust that the helicopter pilot knows what to do to lay down fire or to fly casualties to safety. They need to trust that the rear detachment can get the right supplies to the right place at the right time. “If you don’t have that kind of confidence in each other, the whole thing breaks apart,” the chairman said.
This, the chairman said, is why combatting sexual assault and sexual harassment is so important to him.
“It is so troubling to me, … because it also breaks down that bond of trust,” he said. “It just breaks it.”
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