Calling all sergeants major of the 21st TSC

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Taylor
21st TSC Public Affairs

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — The 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s senior enlisted adviser held a three-day offsite conference March 13 to 15 for all the sergeants major of the command at the Rhinelander Club here.

Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer’s offsite conference was held as a way to get all the senior enlisted leaders together in one place and discuss issues and concerns that affect Soldiers and important changes that will be happening throughout the Army as a whole.

“Forums like this allow our senior enlisted adviser to share his intent, share his way ahead, share his knowledge of what he received from the top level and get buy-in from the brigade and battalion levels of what we forsee is the way ahead for noncommissioned officers,” said Commad Sgt. Maj. Clifton E. Lewis, the senior enlisted adviser for the 21st Special Troops Battalion.

During the conference, some of the key topics discussed were Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, Lean Six Sigma, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the Profession of Arms Campaign and the Army Learning Concept for 2015.

The sergeants major in attendance received several briefings from the 21st TSC’s office of the secretary general staff, the Baumholder range control staff, the 21st TSC’s security and intelligence office, the U.S. Army’s Combined Arms Training Center, and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.   

Also during their time at the conference, the sergeants major had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the commanding general of the 21st TSC, Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion. While engaged in this group discussion, they talked about several topics, but the main topic of conversation was DADT.

The group addressed their concerns regarding the repeal of DADT and how to tackle potential challenges. The general expressed to the sergeants major how grateful she was to have the opportunity to sit down with them to discuss those important issues.

“From this conference I plan to take back insight,” Command Sergeant Major Lewis said. “We got insight from our commanding general, insight about DADT, insight on CSF and insight on the way the Army looks now and the way the Army is going to look.”

“These topics help us gain insight on several topics that affect or will affect our Army, our units and our leadership,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ismael Rodriguez, the senior enlisted adviser for the 16th Sustainment Brigade.

Sgt. Maj. Troy Nattress and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bushee, both from TRADOC, traveled from the U.S. to speak at the conference and receive feedback from the 21st TSC’s sergeants major on a number of issues.

Sergeant Major Nattress discussed the Profession of Arms Campaign and the Army Learning Concept for 2015. Sergeant Major Bushee followed him, discussing the One Army School System initiatives.

This is a great opportunity to talk to the 21st TSC’s sergeants major and let them know what’s currently going on with TRADOC and some of the highpoints and highlights of the campaigns TRADOC is working on, Sergeant Major Nattress said.

“We have to have feedback from Soldiers who currently work in their profession to make sure that we’re getting our campaigns right,” he added. “By explaining to them what we’re doing, it will help them better understand what changes are going to be occurring in the Army so they can inform their Soldiers of what is happening in the Army and what is going to be happening in the future.”

Nearly all the sergeant majors who attended agreed that one of the perks of having an offsite like this was the opportunity for them to meet with their peers within the command, some of whom are rarely afforded the opportunity to do so on a regular basis.

“A good effect or byproduct of these conferences is the networking and socialization between the senior enlisted leaders of the 21st TSC,” Command Sergeant Major Rodriguez said.

“What makes this conference more important is that the brigades and battalions can take the information back to the companies and be able to define everything they’ve learned here these last couple days,” Command Sergeant Major Lewis said.
Command Sergeant Major Spencer said the conference was an overall success, and many key issues were tackled.