Story and photos by Capt. Doug Magill
21st Theater Sustainment Command
U.S. Army Europe’s two-star sustainment command inducted two of its Soldiers into a leadership development organization, and inducted five more as honorary members – including the command’s senior enlisted advisor — July 10, during a ceremony at the Kleber Kaserne Theater, in Kaiserslautern.
The 21st Theater Sustainment Command inducted Sergeant 1st Class Natasha Carroll, 16th Sustainment Brigade, and Sergeant 1st Class Joseph Stephens, 30th Medical Brigade, into the Sergeant Morales Club, an organization that recognizes enlisted Soldiers who demonstrate integrity, professionalism and leadership.
The command then inducted Sergeant 1st Class Cherrice Rolax, 30th Medical Brigade; Sergeant 1st Class Justin Engle, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command; Master Sgt. Natali Christenson, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center – Europe; Command Sgt. Maj. Gary E. Plotnick, 10th AAMDC; and Command Sgt. Maj. Rocky L. Carr, 21st TSC, as honorary members. Soldiers inducted as honorary members of the Sergeant Morales Club, have already been inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, a similar organization.
“This is recognizing noncommissioned officers that model the behavior of how we want to shape the future force,” Carr said.
Carroll and Stephens said they felt being inducted into in the organization was acknowledgement that they were doing the right things as leaders, in mentoring the next generation of Army leaders.
“That’s why I joined the Army, to make an impact on Soldiers,” said Carroll, a cargo specialist for 1st Inland Cargo Transfer Company who describes herself as a native of Atlanta by way of Philadelphia. “To hear your Soldiers speak on your behalf, it matters. This is a big way to say ‘thank you’ as we’re grooming the next generation of leaders.”
Stephens, a preventative medicine specialist for 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion from Augusta, Georgia, considered the induction to be a milestone achievement in a career field that has always been his passion. He values the message that the induction sends to junior Soldiers.
“As a younger Soldier progresses as a leader, I advise them to ensure that they’re taking care of every Soldier that works for them, developing and increasing their knowledge, skills and abilities,” he said. “Take care of your Soldiers with the same compassion as you would your family.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Baller, 30th Medical Brigade senior enlisted advisor, inducted Carr into the program as an honorary inductee.
“To publicly recognize a leader that sacrifices on a daily basis and recognize him in a public forum on behalf of our community is an honor,” Baller said. “When he first came here, he recognized that leadership emphasis was needed on the Sergeant Morales Club and he has been the driving force behind where the program is today.”
The membership process begins when a first-line supervisor nominates a Soldier. The nomination then goes to the unit’s first sergeant and then the battalion command sergeant major for their respective endorsements. The Soldier then goes through battalion- and brigade-level boards before a final selection board at the 21st TSC. The process also includes an Army Physical Fitness Test, written essays and hands-on tasks such as the disassembly, reassembly and functions check of individual weapon systems.