Soldiers in training earn Army Value tags
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Kerperien presents Pvt. Dakota Kirkland with the Loyalty tag during a Value Tag ceremony Company E, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment held on April 3.

Soldiers may know and live the Army Values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage -- but some Basic Combat Training Soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood are earning value tags for behavior exemplifying their meaning.

"The Value Tag Program is part of the Values Based Training initiative being implemented here at 3-10. We issue out values tags with the Army Values on them to deserving (Soldiers in Training) for their performance of tasks or displaying that particular value during the week," said Capt. Charles Black, Company E, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment.

Drill sergeants, the unit's command team and other Soldiers-in-training nominate Soldiers to receive a tag.

Even Soldiers who have had administrative actions, such as a counseling or violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, can be selected to wear one of the seven tags for a week.

"The reason for that is to show them that even though they made a mistake or a bad decision, they can continue to demonstrate Army Values -- reminding them that it is not the end of the world and they can recover from it. It's a method of giving them a second chance," said 1st Sgt. Mauvet Rawls, Co. E, 3-10th Inf. Bn.

Rawls said this program, started last month, shows young Soldiers the meaning of the Army Values, instead of just telling them to memorize them.

"It tells them they need to also live by them, and live up to them because they never know who is looking. By issuing the tags, they see that we are watching even when they don't know that we are. I explain to them that we don't have enough (tags) for everyone, some may get passed over and even if they don't get a tag, they need to take pride within themselves for living the Army Values. What other people think is not what is important. Self-affirmation is the key," Rawls said.

Some companies within the 3-10th Inf. Bn., nominate new Soldiers every phase and others do weekly, like Co. E.

"We decided to do it weekly, because it affords us the opportunity to select more trainees over the 10-week period," Rawls said.

During a Value Tag ceremony April 3, Soldiers giving up their tag stood before the company and told the others what it meant to them to have the tag for a week.

"My tag was respect. I got it from my platoon members. They showed me how to show respect. Wearing this tag all week really made me more aware of how I treat others. It made me think before I spoke and listen before I jumped to conclusions," said Pvt. Joshua Marsh, Co. E, 3-10th Inf. Bn.

When new Soldiers were presented with their tag, a drill sergeant explained why they were selected.

"This program has been a positive addition by taking the time to stop training to show how important the Army Values are and have a ceremony where the commander, first sergeant and nominating drill sergeants speak about personal experiences, and how they relate to trainees," Black said.

Page last updated Thu April 10th, 2014 at 00:00