SMA Preston, wife visit U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Osan Air Base
December 1, 2008
USAG-HUMPHREYS, Korea - Accountability of the non-commissioned officer corps, efforts to streamline deployment downtimes and the progress made toward quality of life for Soldiers and their Families were some of the issues Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston addressed during a tour of U.S. Army Forces Korea installations this week.
During a 35th Air Defense Artillery NCO Induction Ceremony at Osan Air Base, Preston talked about the importance of the NCO Corps and accountability for the safety of Soldiers.
"I charge the noncommissioned officers here today to not only know what the standards are, but to enforce them," Preston said. "As noncommissioned officers, you can make on-the-spot corrections, and there may be times when on-the-spot corrections may not be appreciated. It's important that we as noncommissioned officers enforce those standards because that's what builds the discipline within our organization."
Preston also hosted a town hall meeting at the Humphreys Super Gym for more than 850 Soldiers assigned here.
Preston talked about progress of American forces worldwide, future modular brigades, relocations of future forces and the current challenges faced by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Preston answered questions about future pay raises for Soldiers and retirees, uniform changes, economic impact on Soldier quality of life and promotion opportunities for Soldiers.
"Secretary Geren and I have toured Korea this week--and also the world - and we have more than 250,000 Soldiers deployed to 80 countries and they are all doing a phenomenal job," he said.
One of the Soldiers who attended the town hall, Staff Sgt. Dianne Smith, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, enjoyed seeing Preston interact with the Soldiers.
Smith first entered active duty as a Soldier in 1978, left the service after a few years and returned to active duty earlier this year to complete 20 years of active service.
"I still see some of the leadership style in today's Soldiers that was there when I began 30 years ago, but we are developing new leaders now. Soldiers are coming in better-educated and many with college education and we all are evolving as the Army evolves," she said.
As Preston hosted the town hall in the Super Gym, his wife Karen joined Humphreys Garrison spouses Jean Dumoulin and Anna Kim and Donna Winzenried, wife of Eighth Army Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Winzenried, on a tour of the installation.
Tour locations included the Child Development Center, the Super Gym, the new Family Readiness Center, Army Community Service, Alaska Mining Company and an apartment in family housing.
"Korea is the best kept secret in the Army," said Karen Preston. "The (USAG-Humphreys) facilities are so nice."
During the tour, Donna Winzenried said she's already making plans to come back and spend another day at USAG-Humphreys and try out some of the new facilities for herself.