By: Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold
13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – Creating positive change on Fort Hood is something leaders continue to strive for. As the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command incorporates initiatives that have the “Great Place” and the Army on the cusp of a change, identifying the knowledge and skills new Soldiers need is even more crucial.
The Green Company, 13th ESC, held Army Substance Abuse Program training for Soldiers new to the unit May 10th during the company’s third cycle.
The Guardians of the 13th ESC’s newest company orients new Soldiers and leaders to a baseline shared understanding of the Army’s and unit’s values and expectations during each two-week training cycle.
“Everything is aimed at education and empowering Soldiers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Saleskie Nazario, 4th Platoon Sergeant, Green Co. “The goal is to equip them with all the information they need to identify problematic tendencies and eliminate them by reporting and assisting when help is needed.”
In order for the Soldiers to get the most out of these important training events, much like the cadre who are charged with transforming them into “Agents of Change,” the best experts from across Fort Hood are brought in to assist.
ASAP prevention coordinator LoNika Harris, had the opportunity to speak with Soldiers and leaders on how the program benefits them.
“We provide services which are proactive and responsive to the needs of the Army’s workforce, while putting emphasis on substance abuse deterrence, prevention and education,” Harris said. “We want to ensure Soldiers and leaders understand the effects and consequences of substance abuse and gambling disorders.“
As Harris spoke with Soldiers and leaders about the dangers of binge drinking, Soldiers acknowledged finding it humorous when a friend may get sick after drinking too much, and Harris pointed out the seriousness and danger associated with the act.
“I hope when you see that individual vomiting you realize it’s a stage of alcohol poisoning,” Harris explained. “Alcohol poisoning is serious, but when we are drinking, it’s not something we think about.”
Training opportunities like ASAP provide Soldiers and leaders with knowledge they may often overlook, and it’s one of the reasons to stress their importance early.
“ASAP is also a good tool for preventive measures,” Nazario said. “The Army needs to get back to being more proactive, and less reactive.”
For the 13th ESC Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Ronald R. Ragin, initiatives like the Green Co. will help create transformational change across the 13th ESC, III Corps and the Army.
“We became an Army where we checked the block and it cost us to overlook the most important part of our Army; our people,” Ragin said. “Leaders that don’t get on board will be held accountable.”
These training opportunities not only give Soldiers and leaders knowledge for themselves, it also gives them insight to help lead, coach and mentor others once they get to their new units.
“Substance abuse whether it’s illegal drugs, controlled drugs, alcohol or gambling disorders is incompatible with the Army’s Readiness, physical and mental fitness and the Army Values and Warrior Ethos,” Harris said. “It is important for ASAP to provide prevention education to every Soldier that cycles through the Green Company before that Soldier is assigned to his or her new unit.”