• Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III (right) speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Co.'s communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III (right) speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Co.'s communications exercise, Feb. 11...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III receives a briefing hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Lamarquis Knowles, the senior enlisted advisor for the 82nd Airborne Division, during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 10, 2014. During his visit, Chandler briefed senior enlisted leaders on the challenges that face the Army profession and the importance of engaged leadership and discipline within the force.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III receives a briefing hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Lamarquis Knowles, the senior enlisted advisor for the 82nd Airborne Division, during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 10, 2014. During his visit, Chandler...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III shakes hands with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III shakes hands with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III (left) discusses leadership with Staff Sgt. Joni Collazo (right), an instructor with the Fort Bragg, N.C., Air Assault School. Minute attention to detail is a corner stone stressed by the instructors at the school through hands-on, close interaction with the students. Chandler stressed throughout his visit that dynamic and involved leadership at all levels will be the key to success for the Army of tomorrow.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III (left) discusses leadership with Staff Sgt. Joni Collazo (right), an instructor with the Fort Bragg, N.C., Air Assault School. Minute attention to detail is a corner stone stressed by the instructors at the...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks with infantrymen assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III shakes hands with Pfc. Brandon Davis, an infantryman assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's communications exercise, Feb. 11, 2014. During his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Chandler observed the paratroopers' training, discussed current Army issues and thanked the troopers for their hard work and service.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III shakes hands with Pfc. Brandon Davis, an infantryman assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, during C Company's...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III has breakfast with paratroopers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, during his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 10, 2014. Chandler talked about how the Army will sustain a high-quality all-volunteer force.

    SMA Chandler visits Bragg, discusses Army challenges, future

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III has breakfast with paratroopers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, during his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 10, 2014. Chandler talked about how the Army will sustain a...

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Feb. 12, 2014) -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III sat down with Team Bragg's enlisted Soldiers at multiple venues this week for a candid discussion about the challenges, changes and priorities for tomorrow's Army.

Chandler began each gathering with the same requirement of the Soldiers.

"Everyone is going to ask a question," he would start. "It may be about Fort Bragg, it may be about the Army, or it may be that you want to stay in the Army and want to know what you need to do."

As wide-ranging as the individual Soldier's questions were, the answers from Chandler always followed a central theme.

"There is no easy button here," said Chandler, while stressing the basic requirements for the progression in the Army.

His message to junior enlisted with big dreams was that they need to master the basic skills of their chosen job first.

For non-commissioned officers and newer leaders who grew up in an Army at war, he stressed the need to get involved with every aspect of their Soldiers' lives, not just their next deployment or what happens in formations.

"When I first joined," Chandler recalled, "we were eight Soldiers to a room with NCOs in a four-man room. We had zero privacy, but if anyone was in a tough spot, we all knew and could help them out."

Chandler stressed the need to approach every aspect of the Army as a team engagement rather than a job where individuals disappear into the barracks or home after the retreat.

"We have great facilities now," Chandler said, speaking of the modern barracks program, "but they tend to isolate people."

Chandler was not stressing a return to open bay barracks, but instead a return to basic self-policing that has defined the organization over the past 30 years.

"So many of the challenges in our Army today can be answered by this question: 'Are you willing to take this on?'" Chandler asked.

Sexual assault, suicide, and under-performing Soldiers are challenges that can be solved by engaged and dynamic leaders who get directly involved.

"It starts with leaders enforcing the standards," Chandler explained. "Getting in the barracks, both announced and unannounced and checking on Soldiers."

"Our profession demands that you are a Soldier on and off duty, 24/7," he continued. "It's hard, and I understand that, but it is what makes us so different as an organization."

As Chandler answered different questions, he defined success in in terms junior and senior Soldiers alike could relate to.

"He gave the why with his answer," said Pfc. Stepharonn Miller from Headquarters Company, 44th Medical Brigade. "He gave the 'why' behind the reasons, not just the decisions. It was all really good information I can now take back to my unit."

"I really appreciate him coming out to do this," said Staff Sgt. Ivan Diaz, an infantryman with Headquarters Company, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. "It is great for say, a [private first class], to meet him and talk to him in a relaxed environment like this."

"He was really engaging," said Miller. "Very straight forward in how he spoke."

"I am more confident in the troops we have now than the troops we had in 2001," said Chandler of the current Army generation. "We have all learned some hard lessons over the last decade."

Chandler did not shy away from the challenges facing the force of the future; he was blunt about placing the hope for future and the burden of success on the next generation of Soldiers and leaders.

"I need your help with it," Chandler said, speaking of the state of the Army in 2020, "help holding one another accountable."

A planned post wide town hall was cancelled due to winter weather that hit the area.

"We are going to get back down here soon for that town hall," said Chandler "You can plan on that."

Page last updated Wed February 12th, 2014 at 10:34