By: Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command
FORT HOOD, Texas – The Army is a group of diverse men and women from different cultures and backgrounds. In order to successfully form cohesive teams, leaders must effectively communicate the Army’s organizational culture, and Soldiers must embrace a shared understanding of the Army’s values and expectations.
Leaders from the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command began the inaugural Green Company cycle April 6-14.
“The Green Company is part of the 13th ESC’s campaign to change the culture on Fort Hood, and it starts from the time Soldiers arrive,” said Cpt. Stephen Bracken, Green Company Commander.
For two weeks each cycle, Soldiers new to the 13th ESC will be familiarized with the four company fundamental pillars; knowledge, skills, assessment and indoctrination.
“When Soldiers finish their time with the company, they will have ultimately been indoctrinated into the ESC culture of people first,” Bracken said. “They will also have an understanding of Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention, equal opportunity, suicide prevention, basic Soldier skills and unit history.”
In order to emphasize the importance of the company, only the best-of-the-best noncommissioned and commissioned officers from across the command were selected as cadre.
“They’re highly motivated, adaptable and physically fit Soldiers, NCOs and officers who are excited to welcome in our new Soldiers into our culture through their example,” Bracken explained.
New Soldiers receive unique assessments such as a personality inventory given by the 13th ESC Command Chaplin, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Hart, and an in-the-works cultural competency test.
Assessments like these will help cadre assess who a Soldier is, and their level of understanding of empathy and emotional intelligence, which are important in leading Soldiers. This will not only help Soldiers better relate and understand the people around them, but also help their new leadership get to know them better.
Soldiers have the opportunity to train in areas that will help them learn to build cohesive teams such as a leader reaction course or escape room, but also train in areas that help shape their resiliency.
During an Army Community Service led stress management class, Ruth Roubal, Fort Hood Family Advocacy Office, had the opportunity to show Soldiers how stress can affect not only them, but those around them as well.
“As individuals if we can’t manage stress, then that stress can become part of bigger problems.”
The company 1st Sgt. Richard Gaines II, 13th ESC, supports finding ways to help Soldiers manage the day-to-day challenges and adversities Soldier’s face.
“In the Army, you get things thrown at you non-stop,” Gaines said. “It’s important we teach Soldiers how to adapt and react to those challenges.”
After completing the inaugural cycle, Bishopville, South Carolina native, Pvt. Montrez Wright, 61st Quartermaster Battalion, received his unit patch.
Wright has only been in the Army for two months as a petroleum supply specialist, and appreciated this step before going to his first unit.
“It definitely made me feel more comfortable being shown what is expected of me and how to do stuff the right way,” Wright said.
During the patch ceremony, Gaines spoke to the cadre and two Soldiers receiving their patches, and explained why being agents of change is crucial.
“It’s all about showing Soldiers, NCOs and officers what right is, and not what right looks like,” Gaines said. “Identifying corrosive behaviors and working cohesively in a team is what the Green Company is all about.”
The Green Company leadership and cadre will now see what they can incorporate for the next group of Soldiers.
“As an NCO, I always enjoy taking on a challenge first,” said first platoon sergeant, Anthony Wilkins. “Now we can provide feedback and improve the experience for the next time.”
Getting the first cycle out of the way was a huge step for everyone involved.
“Be proud of yourselves because you are a part of something that’s going to be a big part of ESC and Ft. Hood history,” Gaines said. “But I also believe the Army’s history eventually.”